Sisterly Fun & Entertaining Extended Family

In the cookies of life, sisters are the chocolate chips. ~Author Unknown

We had 20 family and extended family members over for dinner last night. It had been a long time since we had all gotten together and we had some birthdays to celebrate. Life gets so crazy with everyone’s traveling schedules and busyness with kids. We planned far in advance to get this date on the calendar.

Delegation is my secret weapon for larger group parties. And delegate I did! I made 2 kinds of salmon, my yummy mandarin orange green salad, and my favorite crowd-pleasing Creamy Potato Gratin from one of Nigella Lawson’s cookbooks. You can make this up a day or two early as it heats up quite well. The longer it sits, the longer the garlic flavor comes out (RECIPE BELOW).

The rest of the meal was delegated out to the guests and it flowed beautifully.

A sister is a forever friend. ~Author Unknown

My sisters and I always have fun and share a lot of laughter when we are together.

You can tell by these silly pictures that my hubby snatched of us! We are each so different, but we share that common bond of being family. I always wonder how people make it through life without a sister?

Sisters are different flowers from the same garden. ~Author Unknown

Di and Linda are terrific hostesses and excellent cooks, as well. We learned well from our Mom.

During the meal we celebrated Paul’s new book that just arrived by UPS, right before our guests arrived! It’s called, No More Jellyfish, Chickens or Wimps (raising secure, assertive kids in a tough world) and it is officially in bookstores on June 1st!

Two birthday cakes, one for my 2 teen boys (stay tuned for the ICE CREAM TROUGH post coming up!) and my sister, Di, who is turning, well … let’s say next year is the big year for her!

Abby played Concerto No.2 and No. 5 (3rd and 1st movement – by F. Seitz) for us on her violin and our brother in law, Steve, serenaded us on the piano for much of the evening with his awesome talent.

The kids swam for hours as one-year old Gavin entertained us with his cuteness, and our conversation was lively and fun.

Sharing meals and meaningful times with extended family was really a pleasure last night.

I wish we did it more often!

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4 ½ pounds all-purpose potatoes
2 cups whole milk
2 cups heavy cream
2 onions, peeled & sliced (I use sweet)
6-8 cloves garlic, minced
1-2 T salt
¼ cup butter

Pre-heat oven to 500.
Peel potatoes and cut them in ½ inch slices. Put in a large pan with milk, cream, onion, minced garlic and salt. Bring to a boil and cook at a robust simmer or gentle boil until verging on tender, but not dissolving into mush.
Use some of the butter to grease a large roasting pan (15×12) and then pour the almost sludgy milk and potato mixture into it. Dot with remaining butter and cook in the oven for 15 minutes or until the potato is bubbly and browned on top. Remove and let stand for 10-20 min.

I actually make the night before and cook the next day, uncovered at 350 for 1 hour.


13 comments on “Sisterly Fun & Entertaining Extended Family”

  1. This recipe looks great. I will definitely give it a try. Who can resist a potato? Love the photos of your sisters. Wonderful!

  2. My goodness you are all gorgeous! Your site is such an escape from the mundane!

  3. You are blessed to have wonderful sisters. (I have six brothers. I love them dearly, but always longed for a sister.) You three are beautiful, and you look like you have a grand time together!

  4. Looks like a wonderful family party. How cute you and your sisters are.

    I wasn’t blessed with a sister but I have a cousin who does a very good job of standing in for that role. In fact I’m flying to Oregon in June just to get some cousin-as-sister time with her.

    The recipe looks great!


  5. Linda – I’ve had a lot of people tell me they’ve made the salad. I’m glad it was a hit!
    I just invited 14 neighbor ladies over for a *Salad Social*luncheon next week. I’m going to make that salad!

  6. Sandy, I was such a big hit yesterday with the “mandarin orange green salad” that I made for a salad luncheon!! Everyone LOVED it!!
    Thank you sooo much Sandy for the awesome recipe! Adding chicken made it a meal! I will be making it again this week while my sister is here! Thanks again!

  7. WoW! What a bash. hello from venezuela.

  8. Yay! Just (pre)-ordered it on Amazon – can’t wait to get it!

  9. I am SO GOING TO BUY THIS BOOK! Seriously! Hubby and I were just talking about this subject the other day…

    Your sisters look so fun – great pics!

    Thanks for the email Sandy – wish you could come visit me at my blog! :(

  10. Your sisters are beautiful (as are you). Your dinner looked like so much fun and congrats to your hubby on his book. I’ve saw it advertised in one of my Christian magazines.

    Thanks for the recipes!

  11. Congrats on Paul’s new book! Sooo cool!
    What a lovely family gathering Sandy! I have two sisters too and I one of them is coming to visit me for a week on Wednesday!!! I am sooo excited to have Ginny here to celebrate Shawn & Tyler’s graduation!
    There is nothing like a sister to share your heart and home with. We are blessed Sandy!

  12. Oh, how fun! You make me wish I was a part of your extended family!
    You and your sisters are just beautiful…and it’s obvious you all love each other!
    I never had a real sister growing up, so seeing my two little girls (5 and almost 8) together is such a joy for me.
    Thank you for sharing your special family day – and the yummy recipes too! :)

  13. So whaddya mean “big year for Di”–30?! Y’all should be mom models! Mr Paul’s new book cover is a riot, tho I wish they woulda made the green kid bigger. He conveys the essence of Mr Paul humor, albeit in a juvenile kinda way!

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