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Sunday, September 25, 2016

A Potluck Weekend

We attended two fantastic fall potluck dinner parties this weekend: a Bilbo Baggins Birthday Party & a Stone Soup Supper.  The weather could not have been better, the food was fabulous, and it was so good to catch up with old friends again, as well as make new acquaintances.  Both parties were in wooded settings with lots of room for all the children to run and play and make noise, and each one was so unique.  I'm including the recipes of the foods we prepared and took along, but what I really wish I had was a cookbook filled with the numerous recipes used and shared this weekend.  Despite what many people believe, potluck dinners are still alive and thriving here in rural America.

 Vegetable Bars
Cover a cookie sheet with 2 packages Pillsbury crescent rolls.  (Press seams together to form one large crust.)  Bake 7-8 minutes @ 350.
Mix 3/4 cup Miracle Whip with 2 (8oz.) packages cream cheese and 1 envelope Hidden Valley Ranch Dry dressing mix.  Spread the mixture on cooled crust.
Top with finely chopped veggies and shredded cheese.  I used broccoli, cherry tomatoes from our garden, black olives, mushrooms, and cheddar cheese. 

Pumpkin Dip
Beat 2 cups powdered sugar with 1 (8oz.) package softened cream cheese with mixer till blended.  Add 1 can pumpkin (15 oz.), 1 teaspoon cinnamon, and 1/2 teaspoon ginger.  Blend well.  Serve with ginger snaps, graham crackers, or sliced apples.

Peanut Butter Pie
Prepare 1 box vanilla pudding (cook kind) according to directions.  Add 1 cup peanut butter to it while it's hot.  Pour into prepared chocolate graham cracker pie crust.  Cool.  You can top with whipped cream or cool whip.  I just added 2 crushed Halloween Oreo cookies to the top without the whipped cream.

Shells & Vegetables Italiano
Prepare 1 box Velveeta shells and cheese as directedToss shells and cheese with 3 cups of blanched broccoli florets, 1 pint halved cherry tomatoes, 1 (3 oz.) can halved, pitted ripe black olives, 1/2 cup Italian salad dressing, and 1/2 cup sour cream.  I chill it, but it can be served warm immediately after making.

Honey Balls
Visit my post from June 9, 2015 for the recipe found here.

***All of these dishes were simple enough to put together in one morning.  It only took me about three hours to prepare everything, wash the dishes, and do a quick photo shoot.

Scenes from the Bilbo Baggins Birthday Party:

The children had to treck through the massive spider webs to kill all the enormous "spiders" popping up all over the place (made from black water balloons.)

Our 11 year old looked like Bilbo after the spiders were finished with him; although, to hear him tell  it, HE finished off the spiders.

Entertainment at the Stone Soup Supper:

The hosts' alpacas finally had babies this year (crias).  And there were also goats, chickens, rabbits, ducks, an enormous wrestling mat that the younger children covered, buzzing beehives, a guesthouse/treehouse, and more to see. 

What a terrific way to spend an autumn weekend.  What fun things did you do?

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