Casual Father’s Day Dinner

So, I sort of have this tendency to over-do things on a regular basis every now and then. I’m sort of like the Clark Griswold of the modern day family function. And let’s be real here, people. My family doesn’t care if we eat off of matching plates or on a properly set table with a festive centerpiece and candlelight.

If I plopped a spoon into the vat of mashed potatoes still in my Kitchen Aide mixer and served them that way, my hubby would think he’d gone to heaven. I can make some good mashed potatoes, peeps. But does he care if eat them off of my Grandmother’s china or on paper plates? That’s a Big. Fat. No.

Here’s the thing, though…I do.

I’m trying to remind myself, though, that not everything has to be such a big to-do. Entertaining isn’t about perfection, right? It’s about hospitality. Sharing. Giving. Love.

So, I decided I wasn’t going to go over the top for our annual Father’s Day cookout with my parents. This is a guy event, anyway, right? If there’s meat and beer, they’ll think it’s fab.

I set the table with my rust colored chargers, plain white dinner plates (a must-have, these are soooo versatile), pale blue salad plates, and paper napkins. Plastic drinking glasses since we’ll likely head outside after dinner. And the cutest bottles of Dad’s Root Beer I found at World Market.

The rest was easy-peasy.  I marinated chicken breasts in home-made teryiaki sauce  and cubed up some potatoes with red onion, olive oil and spices and placed those in a foil pack Saturday morning.  Threaded some fresh fruit on skewers:

Threw together a quick summer salad (more on this later):

And set out some crusty bread with ready-made artichoke spread:

The result?  For once, a stress-free meal for entertaining!

Teriyaki Sauce (printable recipe)

1/2 cup sugar

1/2 cup soy sauce

1/4 cup cider vinegar

1 clove garlic, minced

1/2 teaspoon minced fresh ginger

1/4 black pepper

1 tablespoon cornstarch

1 tablespoon cold water

Mix all ingredients except cornstarch and water in a small sauce pan and bring to a boil.

Combine cornstarch and water and whisk into sauce mixture until thick.  Remove from heat and allow to cool.

1 Comment

  1. Joan@Chocolate and More

    I can’t believe this was your first post! And my family is totally like yours, paper plates means no one has to do the dishes but I want a heavy ceramic plate under my food. Just makes me feel like I’m really having a meal and not a snack. Love the extra touch of the Dad’s root beer.
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Interestingly enough, I didn’t grow up with an interest in cooking.  In fact, I informed my mother on multiple occasions that I was not getting an advanced education so I could spend my evenings preparing meals.

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