Friday Fun Party Planning

We've got a busy weekend planned.  Tonight, we're going to a dinner and concert with friends.  Tomorrow, we're traveling towards the coast in our 1974 VW bus for a renaissance festival.  And assuming the bus (aka "Arnold) decides he's up for the round trip, we're hosting a party Sunday night for my husband's new colleagues at the hospital.  So it looks like I'm going to be pretty busy having fun this weekend!

The bottom line is that today is my day for party prep.  We decided to keep this party simple, since the main goal is for the doctors and their spouses to feel welcomed and to meet the rest of the staff.  We've invited our guests to bring a beverage and either an appetizer or desert to share.  This should minimize the expense and prep time for our get together, and should create a fun variety of items being served.  As a back up, I've ordered a half sheet carrot cake from Costco (enough desert for the crowd!) and am planning a few simple filler snacks.  Today is my day to clean and prep the house and back yard for Sunday.

I learned from my parents that entertaining is a joy and it's something we never do enough of!  Don't wait to have the perfect home or the most fabulous recipes to throw a party.  Just provide the venue and invite friends to share in some of the hospitality and focus on being a great host!  I have countless memories of family parties from my childhood, and rarely were they lavish, catered affairs.  They were families gathering around the pool munching on grilled hot dogs or huddled inside eating Christmas cookies and enjoying holiday spirit together. 

Here's one of the simple recipes I'm planning for Sunday:


2/3 cup grated Parmesan cheese
1/3 cup half and half cream
2/3 cup mayonnaise
1/2 green pepper, chopped
1 tablespoon pimento pepper, chopped
1 (6 1/2 oz.) jar marinated artichoke hearts
1 (4 oz.) can diced green chilis

Drain jar of artichoke hearts. Chop coarsely.  Combine Parmesan cheese, cream, and mayonnaise in a medium mixing bowl. Add peppers, artichoke hearts and green chilis.  Serve with tortilla chips or bread.

Home-work for Today:

  • Plan a get together with friends either at your home or a local park.  Keep it simple and make it pot luck!

The Bookshelf:
Barefoot Contessa Parties! Ideas and Recipes for Easy Parties That Are Really Fun

Reading Room Resources:
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Lisa Hendey, Catholic wife and mom, is the founder and webmaster of and the author of A Book of Saints for Catholic Moms: 52 Companions for Your Heart, Mind, Body and Soul and The Handbook for Catholic Moms: Nurturing Your Heart, Mind, Body and Soul. Lisa writes for several online and print publications, enjoys speaking around the country and hosts the Catholic Moments Podcast. Visit her at

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