Monday, July 13, 2015

The 2015 Christian Education Appreciation Dinner

The past week (and more) has been taken up with preparing our annual appreciation dinner for the workers in our church's children's department.  We have an outstanding staff and stellar volunteers who spend many hours giving to our kids. Teaching them about faith and love, practicing programs and plays, putting on a fabulous VBS program every year.  They deserve a night out, to be waited on hand and foot and a chance to relax and not lift a finger. That is our goal.
This year Earl and I thought it would be fun to put on a Tapas dinner in the yard. Tapas means "small plate" and is meant to be enjoyed at a leisurely pace. It is a wonderful way to enjoy a relaxed meal of lots of fun foods with plenty of time for conversation and laughter around the table. We brought out 4 courses over the evening and if feedback is any indication, a good time was had by all.
 The first course, marinated mushrooms and olives, fresh grapes, toasted bread, pesto and herbed olive oil for dipping and almonds spiced with sea salt, rosemary and smoked paprika. Earl had a stash of hardwood veneers in his workshop and decided to use some of them to make some beautiful serving boards.
 A quick snapshot of the centerpieces lined up on the windowsill, Stella Doro lilies and lavender.
I didn't get a picture of the tables. Truth be told, we hit the ground running early in the day and I was lucky to remember to take pictures at all. Did I mention this dinner was for 30+ people?  Yes, and just so you know, this is a picture of the aftermath in the kitchen. Lord have mercy.  My daughter Lauren keeps telling me we make entertaining look easy.  I'm here to tell you it isn't, especially when it is for that many people.  I'm not even sure if that counts as entertaining so much as catering. The good thing about doing it at home is you can load the dishwasher, turn out the lights on the rest of the mess and fall into bed...which is pretty much what we did.  Would I do it again? Not for 30+ people. We were fortunate to have 4 adult volunteers who were real go getters. Thank goodness we had the help, I really don't think we could have done this without them. I will be sharing recipes and a few more pictures of the evening later. I think Tapas is a fabulous way to entertain a smaller group of friends and we found some recipes that we will be making again!  Now I need to catch up on all your posts, and yes, I'm still putting away dishes :)


  1. Well done Kathy! It sounds such a lovely idea and you must have worked very hard to make it a success.

  2. We have a tapas place near my store otherwise I probably wouldn't know what it is. This was very creative and a blessing to those who serve.

  3. Well, the first course looked wonderful! I have never cooked for 30 people before. The most I ever cooked for was about 16. I imagine your guests had the most wonderful time!

  4. You sure are an all-star dinner/party giver. Your food looks wonderful and the thought behind it is awfully sweet.

  5. Lost the comment...

    What a gift you gave! Hope that you will reap the rewards many times over.

    1. I like your redesign! Remembered that I was going to check out your apron tutorial and it had been moved by the time I got back. Looks nice and clean!

  6. What a dinner you gave. The food looks fabulous and I know everyone had a wonderful time. You go girl cooking for 30 people! Your kitchen shows the work you put in to the dinner party!

  7. I have no doubt it was fabulous! Can't wait to see the menu & recipes! You both have such giving hearts.

  8. What an incredible honor for the folks who work hard to minister to the children. I can't wait to hear more. I know it was wonderful!

  9. How wonderful that you went through hard work to give such a wonderful dinner!

  10. What a wonderful dinner this looks to have been! So good of you to host this!

  11. I'm sure this was a night everyone will remember, Kathy. What a great idea going with the tapas. I'd love to hear what other sorts of food you had. Your kitchen looks like mine did after the 4th! Good times and a great way to honor all those nice, giving people.

    You asked on my last post how the sea grass rug feels underfoot. I won't lie---it's rough but not in an irritating way. I've had/have all sorts of natural rugs and I don't mind at all. With the high cost of area rugs I now look for durable and this one was supposed to be the bomb! Love the light natural look of it, too.

    I'll be sure to get by more often once I get this dreadful cast off.

    Jane x

  12. Great job, i wouldnt have attempted it lol i did a fall tea party several years ago with a actually sit down meal of fabulous beef stew from the contessia a full menu for around ten and that was good enough me doing all the cooking plus treats tea etc. that was enough could imagine 30 plus. With love Janice


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