Sunday, September 8, 2013 enjoy the lovely evening

...with Mark's coworkers and their spouses

Mark and I decided to host a gathering with all of the field grade officers and their spouses (about 50 people) in the brigade this past weekend.  There are many new majors to the brigade (6 battalions and several SFAT teams) and we thought it would be a great opportunity for them to mingle in a casual environment before the impending deployment next month.

I wanted the evening to be low-key and comfortable for our guests.

I mulled over the menu (and consulted my friend Kris (who is an amazing chef) for quite a while before I settled on...

Main Dishes

  • Baked Carnitas (these were a huge hit)
  • Taquitos
  • Taco Salad
these were served with Cilantro Dip & Taco Salad Dressing.


  • Queso
  • Taco Dip
  • Buffalo Dip
  • Guacamole 


  • Fruit Pastry
  • Cream Cheese and Chocolate Chip Cake
  • Pretzel bites (Peanut butter and chocolate chip cookie dough)
  • Chocolate Chip Cookies

I was worried about so many things...
-having enough food (there was plenty (too much taco salad).
-serving it hot (thank goodness Amy & Meghan were willing to pre-heat their ovens!)
-traffic flow (no troubles)
-being able to mingle (thanks to our sitter I was definitely able to enjoy myself).

Here are a few photos of the evening:

the backyard transformed
drink area

S'more station

another view

the fire pit

serving ware

the living area
the main food area
The evening would not have been a success with Meghan's late night help frying taquitos, Donnie's help setting up chairs, Amy's help assembling taco salads and fruit pastries, and Carolyn's help behind the scenes for the duration of the event (refilling platters, keeping the food hot, washing dishes).

Meghan also made the most amazing dessert kidding the guests were raving about the pretzel bites AND she stomped through the fields with me cutting greens (weeds) for the centerpieces.

Amy also made several trips back and forth to her home for dishes, extra pyrex, crock pots, and babysat all four of my children (and our dog) for the entire evening!

Thank you girls...shall we plan a holiday extravaganza?

It was a fun night.


  1. Only plan the holiday extravaganza if I can come to the whole party this time!! XOXO!!

  2. WOW! What a party and what AMAZING friends to help you plan/ cater/ host it!! Looks like a SPECTACULAR party! Wish we would've been there! :)

  3. PS. I love the menu... so clever to put the taco salad in cups! I'll have to remember that cute trick!

  4. Looks awesome! Can I expect this when I visit next?