Progressive Dinner Party

On Tuesday night our family got together with Steph’s family and B’s family to do a progressive dinner party.  For those of you who do not know what that is, a progressive dinner party is where each family chooses and prepares a course in a meal.  The entire party goes from house to house eating one course at each stop.  This worked especially well for our group since we normally get together the week of Christmas to have dinner and exchange Christmas presents.  The six children loved going from house to house opening presents at each stop.

We kicked off the evening with appetizers and salad.  I made queso with corn chips (J’s request), stuffed mushroom caps and a gigantic spinach salad.

Each family offered an adult beverage of some sort as well.  I made cranberry champagne cocktails.  So yummy!

Cranberry Champagne Cocktails

  • Sparkling wine or champagne
  • Cranberry nectar
  • Sugar cubes
  • Red sugar from cookie decorating supplies…
  • Lemon wedges
  • Fresh cranberries for garnish

Rim champagne flutes with lemon and red cookie sugar.  Place one sugar cube in the bottom of each glass.  Pour a splash of cranberry nectar onto the sugar cube.  Pour champagne into the glass.  Add a skewer full of cranberries to the glass and serve.  This cocktail could easily be modified into a non-alcoholic option by using sparkling cider or grape juice.  It looks so pretty and festive with the bubbles and pinky hue!

I provided sparkling grape juice for the children.  They thought they were pretty hot stuff with their very own bubbly drink.

After appetizers and salad, we let the children open presents!

When the wrapping paper debris had been cleared and the dished had been stacked in the sink, we headed over to Steph’s house for chicken and rice, wine and more presents.

B’s house was our last stop.  She made an incredible chocolate fondue with Kahlua coffee to go with it.  The kids opened their final batch of presents and we called it a night.  It was after 11 PM by the time we got home!

It was a great evening spent with wonderful friends!


Cookie Exchange Party

My friend, B, hosted a Christmas cookie exchange at her home on Monday.  She sent out the most adorable invitations.  I wish I had taken a photo of them.  They were little folded aprons with recipe cards in them.

Wildman was at Disney with Nana and Papa so he did not get to partake in the festivities.  Somehow, I think he managed just fine…

I watched T-bone and Cousin B for a few hours while their parents were at work.  They came with me and Nicholas to the cookie exchange and had a blast with the other kids.  B’s husband, Frank the Tank, converted their screened porch into a play room a few years ago.  It’s completely enclosed kid zone.  The room is wonderful!  It is about 100 sq.ft. of toys and craft supplies.  It is always a treat to go to B’s house to play.  I dream of a space like this at our house but, with the addition of the pool, our porch area has become a great outdoor living room so I really cannot complain.

For the cookie exchange, I made banana-chocolate chip cookie bars. The recipe made about 3 dozen.  We were told to bring 2 dozen to the party so we had a bunch left over to snack on.  They were soooo good!

Banana-Chocolate Chip Cookie Bars

  • 3/4 cup softened butter
  • 2/3 cup granulated sugar
  • 2/3 cup packed brown sugar
  • 2 tsp. baking powder
  • 1/2 tsp. salt
  • 1 egg
  • 1 cup mashed ripe bananas (I used 2 large-ish bananas)
  • 1 tsp. vanilla
  • 2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 6-oz. semisweet chocolate chips

Grease a jelly roll pan and set aside.  In a medium bowl, beat butter with an electric mixer on medium to high speed for 30 seconds.  Add both sugars, baking powder and salt.  Beat until combined.  Add egg, bananas and vanilla.  Beat until combined.  Beat in all of the flour a little at a time until all is incorporated into the batter.  Stir in the chocolate chips.  Spread batter in the jelly roll pan.  Bake at 350 degrees for 20 minutes or until golden brown.  Cool completely then cut into bars.


Can you believe Christmas is only two days away?!  I’m pretty much ready except for framing and wrapping the boys’ school pictures for the grandparents.  That will probably be my task for the today.

The Preschool Program

Last Friday was the last day of school for the boys until January 4th.  What am I going to do with them for two weeks?!  I anticipate a zoo trip or two!

The preschool put on an adorable program for the families.  Since I helped with the set up for the post-program reception, I was able to secure some pretty great seats at the front of the sanctuary for me, J, his parents and my mom.

The children all sang so wonderfully.  It brought a tear to my eyes.

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