An Easy & Delicious Dinner With Friends

by HEAB on September 9, 2013

Last night, CD and I hosted dinner for seven adults and six kids, aged 5 weeks to 3 years.  The evening was filled with many laughs, some good food, some tears (from the kids, not the adults), a lot of beer (dads who run can throw back some drinks!), and CONFETTI…

Summer and her friend, Max discovered one of my (what I thought was secure) craft bins and had way too much fun with the tissue paper.  I had no idea what was happening until CD said, Whose idea was the confetti?  It made for quite a festive evening.

Anyway, we enjoyed a delicious dinner with some of CD’s running buddies and their wives.  Three of the them are now fathers – so cool to look back over the years and see how these guys have changed, all while remaining good friends.

And now, onto the eats…

I used to stress out and put way too much thought into preparing food and getting the house ready whenenver we had dinner guests.  Now, I could care less what the house looks like, and I try and keep the food simple.  While the babies (sigh…I guess none of them are really babies anymore.  Summer will be three soon!) all napped, I chopped veggies and made the dressing for The  Pioneer Woman’s Greek Salad, and then tossed everything together shortly after our guests arrived.

This is a wonderful salad.  Only change I made was to use basil instead of parsley as my basil plant still lives!

For the main course, Chris and I picked up three take and bake pizzas from Costco earlier in the day and baked them while I put the salad together.

So easy and really good.  Plus, you can’t beat the price – $8.99 per 18″ pizza!

My favorite was the Margherita…

Mmm, pesto marina sauce.  Basil makes me so happy.

And not but not least, we finished off the evening with Key Lime Pie (purchased from Publix and EXCELLENT) and chocolate peanut butter Rice Krispies Treats (recipe below).

Such a fun night!  Summer, Charlie, and Katie loved having a house full of people, and Chris and I really hope to do stuff like this with our friends more often (confetti optional).


Chocolate Peanut Butter Rice Krispies Treats


  • 10 ounces dark chocolate + a handful more for topping
  • 1 cup peanut butter (I used all natural crunchy) + 2 TBSP for topping
  • 6 cups Rice Krispies


  • Combine chocolate and peanut butter in a large saucepan over low heat, stirring until melted.
  • Remove from heat and stir in Rice Krispies until completely coated in chocolate/pb.
  • Press into 9 x 9 parchment paper lined pan and top with remaining chocolate chips and peanut butter.  Run a knife through top of squares to spread the toppings.  They will melt a bit.
  • Refrigerate and cut into squares once chocolate has hardened.





Ameena September 11, 2013 at 7:31 am

Love the simplicity of the party! Makes entertaining so much more feasible.

The confetti…hysterical. You took it in stride I’m sure!

HEAB September 11, 2013 at 6:43 pm

Oh my gosh – I’m STILL picking up tissue paper confetti. It was everywhere!!! It was very colorful and fun…for about an hour. 😉

Samantha September 10, 2013 at 6:02 pm

They do indeed grow WAY TOO FAST! (Says a mom of 7 and 10 who wonders where the time went?!)

I too dearly love basil. Confetti optional? I’d say it’s a must! 😉

HEAB September 11, 2013 at 6:44 pm

I have no idea, but I’m sure I’ll be saying the same in a few years. Trying to just soak in every second. 🙂

Tracy September 10, 2013 at 12:12 pm

I love getting Costco pizza and making salad for get togethers. Perfect combo of easy and good. I wish my Costco had Margherita though….that’s my absolute favorite pizza! The salad looks wonderful. I’ve never made that one but have had so much success with Ree’s recipes. Never fail.

I think Summer had a great idea with the confetti! Girl knows how to throw a good party 😉

HEAB September 11, 2013 at 6:45 pm

Oh no – you MUST request that your Costco start making the Margherita – it was everyone’s favorite!

Ana September 10, 2013 at 10:22 am

I have to say that the confetti made your hallway very festive!!! Good thing that you guys took it all with a laugh, best thing to do when we have kids! Enjoy the confetti moments, these babies grow up way too quickly!

HEAB September 11, 2013 at 6:46 pm

I agree. It was really fun and colorful, but I’m definitely OVER the confetti after STILL picking it up 4 days later. Haha, I keep finding it in the most random places.

Lara September 10, 2013 at 10:17 am

I love the simplicity of this gathering. I always feel a lot of pressure if I want to have people over, but it doesn’t have to be that way, does it? Who doesn’t love Costco pizza?!

HEAB September 11, 2013 at 6:46 pm

Nope, it doesn’t – pizza for the win! 🙂

Marcia@Frugal Healthy Simple September 10, 2013 at 10:05 am

Ha! Confetti. I have never tried the Costco take and bake pizzas. Hmm…I wonder if I have anything big enough to cook them on (18 inches is pretty big…)

I definitely try to go easy these days. I had a little get together/ BBQ a couple of weeks ago. I bought sausages and burgers, made salsa and salad. Bought beer and wine. That’s it. Other people brought stuff. My husband felt compelled to run out and buy 3 tubs of ice cream, four different drinks (that we never opened, like lemonade and sparking cider), and cookies. And then proceeded to ask me why I only bought 8 burgers for 9 adults and 4 children.

Um, because we had 8 sausages and 8 hot dogs too?

HEAB September 12, 2013 at 8:25 pm

Hi Marcia,
We have a pizza stone from Pampered Chef, and I used it to cook one of the pizzas, and that one turned out the most crisp. For the other two, I simply baked them directly on our oven racks but had to bake them longer than the recommended 15 minutes.

Haha, your husband is like me. I always feel compelled to have all the drink/dessert options, etc. – total overkill. I’m learning to stick with the basics…and I got really tired of that unopened bottle of sparkling cider taking up space in our fridge! 😉

Gina @ Health, Love, and Chocolate September 10, 2013 at 2:45 am

Sometimes easy is the way to go. It is much nicer to enjoy the company of your guests then stress about the food and house!

HEAB September 12, 2013 at 8:22 pm

I could not agree more! No one cares what our house looks like – I hope! 😉

STUFT Mama September 10, 2013 at 12:39 am

Oh……. I always tress out way too much when we have friends over. Now we just don’t have people over. Ha ha. Those rice krispie bars…….. Mmmmmmmm. Oh and LOVE the Costco pizza. 🙂

HEAB September 12, 2013 at 8:21 pm

Get the pizza and invite some friends over. No reason to stress. Even if things do get a little hectic, we always look back on the evening and realize how much we enjoyed the time with friends and then say, “we should really do this more often”. 🙂

Amie September 9, 2013 at 8:30 pm

That salad looks incredible! And the bowl you served it in is absolutely beautiful! Looks like a fun party 🙂

HEAB September 12, 2013 at 8:20 pm

Thanks Amie,
Can’t remember where I got that bowl, but I love it. Great for salads and rice type dishes. I think Target sells something similar these days.

Purelytwins September 9, 2013 at 5:08 pm

mmm looks like the perfect meal with friends!! we always love getting together with friends and seeing how everyone has changed and we are dealign with more “grown-up” things. haha

Colleen September 9, 2013 at 5:03 pm

My mom used to make something like your choc/Pb krispie treats. Instead of squares, she made it into crumbles, stirred them into softened vanilla bean ice cream, then refroze the whole mixture in a springform pan. It is the best dessert ever!!!

HEAB September 12, 2013 at 8:18 pm

Yeah, that sounds pretty much like the best dessert ever. I must try your mom’s version – it will happen soon!!! 🙂

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