Another busy weekend over for us. A fun one, but busy.
We like to entertain at our house. We don’t go out much because dinner with a family of four can get expensive in a restaurant. We also don’t spend a lot of money going to movies or amusement parks or other entertainment venues. We do that once in a while (once or twice a year), but the rest of the time we make our own entertainment.
We invited friends for dinner on Saturday night. Two other couples, both with children close in ages to our own – 12 of us in total. The children entertained themselves on the play equipment and with petting the ponies and the adults were able to enjoy a few glasses of wine on the deck while dinner cooked.
We made it easy on ourselves by assembling a dinner that we could cook entirely on the barbeque – my husband bbq’d a pork roast that he tied with fresh rosemary and sage, we bbq’d the potatoes sliced with onions in between each slice and wrapped them in tin foil, and when the roast was finished, we grilled some fresh asparagus (from the neighbours garden) that we had marinated with balsamic vinegar, olive oil and salt and pepper.
The whole thing was delicious; we served it with a spinach salad with a simple vinaigrette dressing and lots of homemade iced tea for the kids (they drank a gallon and a half of it!). Even the kids all ate everything on their plates – and we served them outside on the deck, away from the adult’s watchful eyes.
All in all, it was a successful dinner and visit – the kids were still outside playing hide and seek even after it was dark, and the adults were enjoying adult conversation.
And after they went home, the clean up and preparations started for Mother’s Day Brunch. We made up a batch of fudge to give the moms along with some homemade cards that the kids made and a couple of gardening magazines. I made the fudge with Grand Marnier this time and everything that didn’t get given away as a present was gobbled up by the end of dinner.
Grand Marnier Fudge
- 1 can condensed milk
- 3 1/2 cups chocolate chips (I use semi-sweet)
- 1/3 cup Grand Marnier
- 1 tsp coconut oil or butter (gives a nice shine to the fudge)
- 1/2 to 1 cup of chopped walnuts (optional)
Slowly melt chocolate and condensed milk together over medium low heat. Add Grand Marnier and nuts. Scrape into a 9″ square pan (either use a silicone pan or a pan lined with saran wrap – it’ll come out easier). Chill in fridge until set.
Cut into small pieces to serve – it’s very rich, so a little goes a long way.
For the brunch, my husband made Eggs Benedict, I made a spinach salad with a simple vinaigrette dressing and a fruit salad with some chopped mint and we were done. We served rhubarb syrup and Prosecco and I made a pitcher of rhubarb syrup and soda water to drink (both drinks went over very well). And for dessert, leftover cookies from the night before and fudge.
Again, everyone seemed to enjoy the food and the company. This time around there were 13 of us in total – lots of busy-ness in the kitchen, but there are also lots of people around to help with the clean up afterwards. My china and most of the silverware can go right into the dishwasher on the china setting – and it comes out just fine. The only things that we have to wash by hand are the silver knives (something about the way that the handles are glued – they shouldn’t go in the dishwasher), the crystal and the pots and pans. It was all cleaned up, the guests had left and I even had a while to sit and read for a while. And then we were off for dinner at my in-law’s house. See, I told you.. busy.
I do love weekends. I like entertaining too, when we can keep it relatively low-key like this. Sometimes Mondays at work seem relaxing too.