Sunday, July 28, 2013

Progressive Dinner

We are a big happy family.  One thing about our family, we love celebrations and we love making memories.  Well, the last time I picked up my grandma for dinner, when I was taking her home and as we passed all her other grand children's homes, she said she couldn't remember who was who anymore.  Sadly, it comes with age.  However, when I got home, I called everyone in my family and asked them what they thought about doing a Progressive dinner since we all live close to each other.  This way, grandma will visit us and all our homes every other month and hopefully that will make things easier for her to remember.  What is a progressive dinner you ask?  It's a nifty way to share a meal with  your family and friends by each picking up one of the appetizers, salads, entree or dessert.  You simply all meet at the first house, planning about 40 minutes per stop, and then leave to go to the next home and the next.  It's a lot of fun and you only need to cook small bites since you fill up quickly in between.
Here are a few photos and ideas from our night.

For a progressive dinner, you can have a theme, like "Italian food" or "Mexican food" or pretty much anything your heart's desire.  We decided on no theme this time.
Stop 1~ appetizers
Stop 2~ salads and bread
Stop 3~ entree
Stop 4~ dessert
*note~ if you have more people coming that aren't having something in their home, they can bring the bread or they can bring  the sodas or other beverages.

The first stop was at my sister's home for Appetizers.  My sister and her hubby, the nice looking red head below sitting next to my daddy, had chips and salsa, caprese salad spears, meatballs and a nice artichoke dip.
Here's my grandma enjoying the first stop.

For the second stop, we drove to my brother Bradley's home.  He did the salad.  Look at that proud salad maker.  My adult daughter Erin took the bread she brought here with some butter.
The next stop was my parent's home.  Here is my beautiful mommy getting ready to serve her enchiladas, rice and beans.
This is us. As they say, the family that prays together, stays together!
And last but not least, our home for dessert.
 Okay, so I was a bit ambitious in how many cakes I made.  However, we had all sorts of events to catch up on and celebrate and I wanted everyone to feel special.
Here's my son Vince that just graduated from the Wildland Fire academy. I'm such a proud momma.  This was the second cake I made him so he felt real special.
It was my lovely sister Cheryl and her hubby Jay's 23rd Anniversary.

It was also my In law's 55th anniversary too. Gary and Mary...and I love 'em!

It was my daughter's 25th Birthday.  Isn't my Erin gorgeous!
My nephew Ryan was just accepted into the marines. My little dude is all grown up now.  I'm feeling so weepy, but so very proud of him!

and here is my grandma, waiting to dig into the cakes. See how cakes make people happy!  I love her smile!
For Ryan's cake, I did two white layers and one chocolate.  The little stars were just purchased from the 99cent only store.  (Score!) I knew they'd come in handy.

For his cake, I experimented with making ruffles on the side.  It turned out so-so. I needed a bit stiffer frosting for a nicer ruffled look.  But Ryan loved it so no worries here. 

The medallions were made with red tinted white chocolate.  I bought a few molds from a cake and candy supply. They're fun and easy to make by just melting chocolate. And they look so special too.

For my son's cake, I made a chocolate cake with jarred fudge frosting.  It smelled wonderful and tasted wonderful too. I also used a mold to do the picks and the helmets.  For this mold, I added sticks so that I could stand these candies upright. The flames were made with fondant and a Wilton leaf cutter set.
For more on how to do the flames, check the blog entry below...

This is one of my new favorites, a Nude Cake.  They're popping up all over. They're tasty and yet simply elegant.  I bought flowers from my local grocer and adorned the top and front.  A simple powdered sugar made this just a bit sweeter, but you can do a nude cake with or without it.
The really yummy recipe I used to do this cake is below...

For the final cake, I made a Minted chocolate Holiday Cake. Below is the recipe...

This was a chocolate cake on the bottom, next layer Chocolate mint, and the top layer was peppermint stick.  I flavored white cakes using 1 packet of Duncan Hines® Frosting Creations™ Mint Chocolate Flavor Mix and 1 packet of Duncan Hines® Frosting Creations™ Limited Edition Peppermint stick mix.  I called this technique "Cake Creations" and they are so easy to do.  These little packets, and there are many to choose from,  pack a wallop of flavor.

 I hope that you may be able to enjoy a progressive dinner with family and or friends someday and that you may make many memories to share.  Blessings and happy baking~

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