Archive for the ‘Entertaining’ Category

We recently had friends over for dinner.  It was really fun to be able to cook with produce from our local box and from our family farm.  The foil is covering chicken cooked with Mrs. Dash Garlic and Herb seasoning (sprinkle chicken with Mrs. Dash and throw in the oven until 160˚).  We also served (meatless) taco soup (recipe from Owl Haven’s Family Feasts) and corn from our family’s farm.

I especially loved putting a platter of raw veggies in the middle of the table (a la Food Nanny style).  The carrots and tomatoes are from the local box and the bell peppers are from our family’s farm.

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We have started having Game Night on Monday nights.  We don’t sing songs or read scriptures, but at least we’re spending some quality time together at least once a week.  It usually spills over, because we end up playing games additional nights during the week.  When we have friends over for dinner, we also play board games (or Wii) after dinner.  One of our favorite games to play is Ticket to Ride.  There are different versions (mostly maps of European countries), but we currently own the United States version, as well as the 1910 expansion set (which is just larger playing cards with more destination cards).

The object of the game is to get the most points by claiming routes between cities.  To play, you may draw train cards (different colors, because routes between cities are different colors), put your trains between 2 cities to claim a route (if the route is 3 purple trains long, then you must play 3 purple train cards, but you get 4 points), or draw destination cards (one might say to go from Vancouver to Montreal for 20 additional points).

Everyone has the same number of trains (playing pieces), and everyone plays until someone runs out of trains.  Then, the game ends and everyone adds up points on their destination cards.  Thus, you don’t know who will win until the very end of the game, although you can get more points throughout the game by completing more destinations than everyone else and claiming longer routes between cities.

Here are some pictures of when my husband and I recently played Ticket to Ride.  I’m not sure who won, but we were both within one point of each other.

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How do you entertain?  When we have people over, I try to make everything look great, but I don’t spend a lot of money on the food.  Instead, I cook what I had planned to cook that evening anyways.  We always have leftovers, so there’s never a problem of not having enough food.

Recently, I made Hamburger Helper (Lasagna) that night that we had two friends over for dinner and a board game.  I added onions, zucchini, carrots, sliced mushrooms, a tomato (good in Texas if they’re cooked), and garlic powder (I forgot to add garlic, so I added garlic powder at the end) when I cooked the beef.  That way, the H Helper had a lot more to help it out.  I also served salad (romaine lettuce) with ranch and caesar dressing on the table, as well as shredded parmesan cheese for anyone that wanted to make a caesar salad.  To round out the meal, I made a batch of brownies (1 stick butter, 1/4 cup cocoa, 1 cup flour, 1 cup sugar, 1 pinch salt, 1 tsp baking powder, 1/2 cup chocolate chips, and 1 egg, cooked for 20 minutes at 350 – recipe modified from Dining on a Dime).

A different evening, I made oven-roasted chicken (season chicken breasts with sodium-free garlic and heb seasoning, then throw them in the oven until they’re done), spaghetti, and brownies.  I also served salad (romaine lettuce and baby carrots) with ranch dressing, sliced strawberries, and brownies.  That evening, our toilet went on the fritz, so my husband ate after the plumber had left.

Here are some pictures of the table set-up from when I served spaghetti, chicken breasts, salad, sliced tomatoes (before the salmonella mess started), strawberries, and brownies:

Here are some pictures from another time when I made Hamburger Helper with added veggies (mushrooms, onions, and carrots):

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