Yes… I realize that I have been M.I.A on this blog, but I have had a good reason…. I promise. This cute couple is the reason why I haven’t been on my blog posting away. This is my son and his then fiancé… now wife! I made dinner the night before their wedding for about 50 family members and close friends of the families. I thought a good way to come back is to share the night with you all!


My sweet and talented sister in law did the floral pieces and table scape. Did I mention that it was 100 degrees this particular day? Crazy heat wave we had out of no where! That is love people! The outside tables were gorgeous and the night was dreamy.


I told you.. just dreamy.


So how, do you ask does one make dinner for so many people? You start days in advance! Three days before the dinner, I shopped for all the ingredients, made the salad dressing (A whole lot of it!), the pesto that I stuffed in the salmon, and did all my chopping for any salads or vegetables. Two days before, I baked all the cupcakes and kept them in sealed cupcake holders that kept them perfectly moist. I also baked the french bread that I used for the crostinis and made the hummus. The day before the dinner, I frosted and decorated the cupcakes, cut up the tomatoes for the salmon and strawberries used in the salad and candied the nuts for the salad. The day of the dinner, I made the quinoa salad (with the veggies I prechopped on Monday), baked the honey whole loaves, and finished the crostinis. 

This shot was taken an hour or so before everyone started to arrive. We set out the cupcakes, the beginnings of the crostini (that was still awaiting more toppings), platters for the veggie and hummus appetizers and the huge salad bowls. It is helpful to get everything out that you will be serving food in in advance. That way, you get a feel for how everything will look and it helps you organize what needs to be done. It’s so easy to forget to set out a side dish or appetizer when you are serving so much food!


Samantha loves my Smashed Avocado Crostini’s so that is what I served as an appetizer as everyone was arriving and mingling. 


I also served my hummus with fresh veggies and pita chips. You can find the recipe on this blog… and if  you haven’t made it yet…. trust me.. you need to!


Here’s what was on the menu this night. Pesto Stuffed Salmon with Roasted Tomatoes, Quinoa Super Salad, Hawaiian Inspired Salad with a Papaya Vinaigrette, Honey Whole Wheat Loaves and some delicious cupcakes for dessert!


Here’s a shot of the salad before the Papaya Dressing went on it. It’s so good and beautiful… don’t you think?


I made a lot of these loaves right before we ate. Who doesn’t love fresh bread? 


When deciding what to make for dessert for this many people… I realized I would not have refrigerator space for anything other than what I was making for the dinner. So I knew cupcakes would be perfect! Everyone loves cupcakes… especially when there is a variety to try. I love the look of them… especially on pretty stands. They double for decoration!


These ones are Lemon Meringue. I also made Chocolate Peanut Butter and Cinnamon Oatmeal. Yes.. they were the perfect ending to a great meal if I do say so myself!


We ended the night going around the room where everyone shared wedding advice to the soon to be “Mr. and Mrs.” Sorry for the poor picture quality. This was taken with my phone. 

What a great night it was to have family and close friends join together to celebrate the this sweet couple! You certainly couldn’t have recreated this atmosphere at a restaurant. It made all the work so worth it! Nothing brings people together better than having gatherings of any sort… big or small. 

My last piece of advice is to do something I forgot to do this night! Hire a couple of people to clean up and wash the dishes. Good thing I have a terrific husband that doesn’t mind rolling up his sleeves and washing dishes… because there was A LOT of them! 

Check back soon because I have a lot to share with you … more classes and recipes!