I went with a shabby chic look and busted out all my farmhouse dishes. (Thank you, Ree Drummond.) It was actually nice not to have to spring for all the disposable stuff. Everything fit in the dishwasher too, so I think I'll go with the "real" dinnerware more often. I did a pasta bar. It turned out great and was easy to serve because almost everything was done beforehand. I made a meat marinara sauce, an Alfredo sauce with grilled chicken, and meatballs in marinara the night before. I did them all in crockpots, so all I had to do the day of the dinner was turn the crockpots on to keep everything warm. I'd really like to have one of those three tier crockpot thingies. #hostessgoals
I boiled three different pasta shapes the morning of the dinner (rotini, penne, and of course, spaghetti) and kept them warm in my three tier buffet warmer. The trick was to spray the pans really well and toss the pasta in olive oil so it didn't get all sticky. I made some quick garlic bread in the oven when we returned from the recital. It only took about 10 minutes, and we were ready to eat. The dads all got to get in line first, of course.
Oh, and dessert. Because as Julia Child famously said, "A party without cake is just a meeting." I made this chocolate cake and the girl made these strawberry cupcakes. Interestingly enough, these were made with fresh strawberries and a box mix from Aldi and were fantastic. We bought them again for the 4th of July along with the blueberry ones.
I bought this frame on our anniversary trip in a little flea market store and used it to decorate the dessert table. It held pictures of previous recitals. I know I'll use this frame for lots of other things (birthdays, holidays, graduations). I love parties!