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June 15, 2015

Our First Family Party | Pre-Father's Day Dinner, Ribs, Creamy Cilantro Corn, Tomatoes, Wilted Lettuce & Cheesy Bread

Are you ready for this?  An actual entertaining post - with recipes, from a real party at our home.  It has been ages since I've done a post like this, unfortunately, which is odd since this is what this blog is all about ; ) 

Mike's parents will be out of town next weekend so we hosted his family for a pre-Father's Day dinner last night.  It was our first time hosting dinner for a big group and gave us the chance to really see how the new kitchen entertaining space functioned.  

Here's a little mini tour of the kitchen.  I didn't style anything for the photos - just set up, ready for a family party.  I'm making an effort going forward to focus on less styled photos and more real life posts.  This slice-of-life style feels better for me these days and more natural for me to share.  I hope you feel the same about reading them.   All of these photos were taken before everyone arrived, except for a couple of the dads at the end.  Taking photos of food when the guests are here always feels a little strange to me.  It makes me feel like I'm at work instead of a party, so I really try to avoid it.  Sorry for no complete photos of all of the food ready to go, but hopefully you'll get the idea.

I like to set up a serve yourself drink station in a central location.  Here I have a pitcher of ice water waiting for glasses (that were in the dishwasher...), and some white wine.  I set out the small tumblers  (these Fleur de Lys Tumblers in my store) that I use everyday to be used for either the water or wine.  Beer for the guys was in the fridge since this was casual family party.   For a bigger gathering, I would have put out a big bowl of beers on ice.

I laid out all of the food along the baking counter, which worked perfectly as buffet.  

Since everyone naturally gathers around the island before dinner, I really like having an out of the way area to set out the platters ahead of time.

As you can see left to right :  I set out plates, a Blue Enamelware Platter for Ribs, Cheesy Bread on a baking sheet ready to go in the oven (and then on a Wooden Bread Board for serving after oven), big salad ready for dressing, then skillet with creamy cilantro corn.  I put all of this out before everyone arrived to make it easy on myself.  I used an assortment of Natural and Blue and Navy linens under each platter to protect the counter.  

Here is Emma helping me mix and spread/taste the cheese mixture for the bread.

Here's the first glimpse of our hearth room - we're waiting on rugs for this room.  Everything is so neutral right now, I'm getting anxious to add color with rug, throws and pillows.  Hopefully I'll be able to make some decisions by end of summer ready for Fall.  

The dining area set up and ready.  Again, still waiting on water glasses that were in the dishwasher : )

This rug will be replaced with a sisal rug in a couple of weeks.  I ordered one from Ballard, but it was backordered and should ship next week.  I'm anxious to get this heavy wool one out. 

Centerpiece is simple - three tumblers with Annabelle hydrangeas from our garden.  I'm obsessed with how large they have already grown in their first year.  We should have blooms all summer.

I mixed and matched various linen and unbleached blue napkins and I mixed our new Ivory Flatware with my old Pewter Flatware.   Emma set the table : )

Father's Day Menu :

BBQ Ribs

Cheesy Bread

Wilted Lettuce with Warm Bacon Dressing

Creamy Cilantro Sweet Corn
*recipe coming tomorrow!

Sliced Tomatoes

*here is my link to oven s'mores if you don't have a fire pit!

I'll share the creamy cilantro corn recipe tomorrow - really good and really simple!  I made it early in the day and reheated on the stove just before dinner.  It could also reheat in the oven to make it even easier.

I figured a salad with bacon would be a good salad for dads, right?

Mike's favorite - cheese bread made the old fashioned way with Mayo, Cheddar, Butter and Garlic Salt.  I've never shared the recipe, but I assume everyone knows this one, right?  If not, let me know and I'll share.

I slow braised the ribs in the oven all day (followed this recipe) and then we slathered sauce on them and finished them on the grill for just a couple of minutes.

They looked great on the Blue Enamelware tray.

Very tender!

And here's Papi with his girls!

Happy Father's Day : )


  1. I would love the recipe for the cheesy bread - and your new home addition is GORGEOUS!

  2. Everything looks beautiful and delicious! Would you mind sharing your recipe for both the cheesy bread and coleslaw? Both would be a hit at my house! Thank you! :)

  3. The house looks beautiful! Always in such good taste.

  4. Anonymous2:41 PM

    Please share the bread spread recipe.

  5. I've actually never heard of that cheese bread recipe. Please share!

  6. Anonymous3:19 PM

    Hi. I love your blog. Will you please share the recipe for the cheese bread? It looks delicious! Thanks, Tammy

  7. LOVE the kitchen! did you do brass hardware on the cabinets - and then polished chrome/nickel for faucet?? always get so hung up on using different finishes when specifying....this looks really great :)

  8. Anonymous5:24 PM

    Love your blog! Also love your new house! :) Would you be able to do a post about your light fixtures? I searched your blog and couldn't find any info on the beautiful light over your dining room table. If you would be willing to share! Nancy

  9. I would love the recipe for the cheese bread! The house looks gorgeous ....

  10. This looks lovely! I can't wait to try that corn recipe, maybe with a little basil or parsley in our house!

    I do have one question Jenny - any tips on how you keep your linens clean? I love all the tea towels i've purchased fro you so far, but it's so hard to avoid food stains or the like... thoughts? Do you bleach them? Thanks!

  11. Anonymous1:42 PM

    Your renovations look fabulous and so thoughtfully done. I would love the cheesy bread recipe. Many thanks, Joy

  12. Your renovation is so beautiful. I just wanted to post and say that I think it's perfectly tasteful and livable and you really nailed all the details. I love the ceiling and windows and cabinets and lighting. It's all just so lovely. This one is going in my inspiration folder.


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