Entertaining + Mom’s Birthday Dinner

Tim and I love entertaining, and I think we make a great team when we host people at our apartment.  This may seem like a shocker, but I get everything organized ahead of time in terms of planning, logistics, and lots of to do lists.  Most of the time we’ll go grocery shopping together, but if it’s an especially busy or rushed week we’ll decide who has more time to go pick up any necessary food or supplies.  In terms of appetizers and munchies, we usually will set out the usual cheese and crackers, veggies and hummus, chips and salsa, etc. but sometimes we’ll make a dip or get fancy depending on who has a good idea for something new to make.

As far as the meal itself goes, Tim is definitely the master chef in the kitchen.  I could do it, but Tim likes it more and is a better cook than I am.  And it’s okay because while he makes sure everything is timed right, I play hostess extraordinaire.  I greet everyone at the door, take their coats, make sure everyone has a drink, is comfortable, clean up after Tim in the kitchen as he cooks so there isn’t a huge mess later, yadda yadda yadda.  Plus, I usually have baked up a storm prior to everyone arriving anyways.

It works out well.

Last weekend we had some family over for my mom’s birthday.

It wasn’t anything big, just my parents, brother, aunt, and uncle.  Uncle Jimmy brought over some fun wine.  Tim and I set out the “usual appetizers” as I mentioned above, plus some grapes and a pumpkin cheese ball, courtesy of Stonewall Kitchen.  I promise the crackers weren’t sitting out for a couple of months.

On our dinner menu:

Spinach, Feta, and Tomato Stuffed Pork Tenderloin:

Greek Style Green Beans:

Seasoned brown rice:

Teropita (fancy Greek word for cheese pie), made by Auntie Tina!  Hers are the best!

My dad brought over a salad too, so all in all, here was our display:

After dinner, my mom opened her presents.  I only took one picture here, of my parents and my mom’s bottle of ketchup.

Yes, that’s right, I said ketchup.  Aka, my dad’s gag gift about my mom’s age.  Heinz’s 57 varieties… get it?  Sorry mom, now all F&F readers know how old you are.

Finally, I set out many desserts.  The “main” dessert was chocolate chip oatmeal cupcakes with a cinnamon sugar chocolate chip frosting.  They may not look like it, but these seriously are hands down the best cupcakes I’ve baked to date.  I’ll post the recipe soon, I promise.

I also set out soooo many leftovers from Thanksgiving and from my co-worker Lauren’s baby shower that afternoon.  We had mini pecan pie phyllo tarts, mini maple walnut cupcakes, and apple blondies with brown sugar frosting.  And grapes.  I tried to have at least one healthy option on the table.  Oooof.

Was an entertaining success, if I do say so myself.  Hope you had a nice birthday, mom!

Do you like to entertain?  Why or why not?  If so, do you have a “system?”

I am stepping AWAY from my computer, blogging, and Y work for the rest of the night.  Have a good one, friends!