Great Expectations

or “My Life in Blog Sounds Much Cooler Than It Really Is”

Archive for the ‘Entertaining’ Category

Fun is…

Posted by mandyhuckins on July 16, 2009

Inviting four horseloving friends to share good food, laughter and two and a half bottles of wine.  Good times!  (even on a “school” night)

Not being lonely in Kansas?…Priceless!

Thanks ladies!


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Our first dinner party…

Posted by mandyhuckins on July 14, 2009

On Saturday night we hosted our first official dinner party here in Wichita.  We invited 14 people (7 couples).  Out of that number, only 4 couples could actually attend.  Our house is very small, so this turned out to be a blessing in disguise and it allowed everyone to sit at the same table for dinner.  To put the leaves in the dining room table, we had to move all of the living room furniture out of the way.

Here is a reminder of how it looked before the re-arranging.

Here is how it looked on Saturday night.


Here is a closer view of the table, set with my wedding china – “Mi Amor” by Noritake.  This is another reason it is secretly a good thing that not everyone could make it – I had enough plates, glasses and silverware.  I guess if we are going to keep doing these things (and, I assume we are) then I am going to have to “re-register” for some of these things in the form of birthday and Christmas gifts from family.


You probably noticed that my lovely olive table cloth purchased on our 10th anniversary trip to the South of France doesn’t quite make it to the end of the table.  But, I figured it wouldn’t matter too much – my husband and I were sitting on the ends anyway.

Here is a close up of the centerpiece I arranged.  I was quite proud of it and thought it turned out well.


The evening began at 6:00 pm.  We invited all of the guests to the backyard, where I set up an appetizer table and we had a cooler full of drinks.  I wish I had taken a picture of the appetizer table, because it looked very cute with its own flower arrangement and a brightly colored tablecloth of its own.  But, by then I was running around like crazy and didn’t remember to take any pictures.  The theme of the evening was “A Few of our Favorite Things” and was a chance for us to share some things we love with my husband’s new crew.  It also gave everyone a chance to socialize outside of the office and for them to see where we live.

Here was the menu:


Trio of dips with pretzels and fresh veggies (carrots, cucumbers, sugar snap peas and yellow peppers) – the dips were hummus (store bought), guacamole (my sister’s simple, but delicious recipe) and salmon dip (recipe courtesy of my  mom and always a crowd pleaser)

Three different types of olives

Bruscetta- toasted rosemary bread witha topping of chopped heirloom tomatoes and fresh basil grown on my back porch with a drizzle of Italian olive oil

Spicy garlic shrimp – this was our favorite food in Spain.  Just thinking about eating it there makes my mouth water.  Mine isn’t exact, but we did bring home some of the dried peppers that impart the unique flavor we remember.

Main Course

Lemony Chicken Piccatta – from Italy

Grilled Pepper-Rubbed Sirloin – Beef,- its what’s for dinner in South Dakota – the only nod to my husband’s home state

Mashed potato casserole – again courtesy of my mom

Grilled baby asparagus – asparagus in general is reminiscent of Germany – they LOVE their asparagus!

Mixed green salad with toasted/candied almond slices and sliced strawberries with a raspberry/walnut vinaigrette dressing (not from anywhere in particular, but delicious nonetheless)


Apple and Fruit Strudels

Fresh whipped cream made in the special dispenser we bought in Germany

Jacobs coffee – from Germany

Of course, we also had a variety of wines from Germany, Italy and France on offer throughout the evening.  (Although, I was probably the largest consumer of those!) 

I hope everyone enjoyed sampling some of our various favorite recipes.  I know that going to your boss’s house for dinner is usually something that you dread…

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