Our friends, Mercedes and Mark are gracious hosts when 25 to 30 of us descend on them every year for the Florida/Georgia football game in Jacksonville, FL. (My husband and son are both Gators). This year, they also had 10 of their daughter’s UF sorority sisters, too.
My girlfriends… Mercedes is on the right…looking calm 🙂 as usual, in spite of the crowd. Notice her tortoiseshell jewelry? She said she was inspired by this post.
For parties this large, you might think let’s just order pizza or Costco lasagna… but not Mercedes. Here’s how she made the “Gourmet Dinners for A Crowd.”
Friday Night Italian Dinner
Cheese Platter similar to this.
Trader Joe’s Bruschetta Sauce with toasted baguette slices.
I was in charge of slicing and toasting the baguette slices (delegation). I am definitely buying this sauce when I get home…
Mercedes doubled this meatless recipe. And made another double batch but with crumbled Italian sweet sausage, too. She made the sauce a few days in advance and assembled everything the day of our dinner. Everyone went back for seconds and my son was still talking about it the next day!
Brownies for Dessert
The next day we went to the Florida/Georgia game. We lost 🙁 but still had fun!
At the tailgating parties, everyone has fun and it’s a friendly rivalry. We were in charge of this meal and basically ordered platters that we picked up and stocked coolers with drinks. (Got off easily).
Then, we came home to this…
Saturday Night Mexican “Street Fare”
Chips and Guacamole
Mercedes’ tip: “The shrimp were peeled and deveined frozen shrimp from Costco.” The recipe was quadrupled for the party.
Mercedes’ tip: “For the pork tacos, I made it the day before in a crockpot. Then, I refrigerated it so that the fat rose to the top and I was able to skim it off the next morning.” And she doubled the recipe for the big group.
Local Bakery Cookies for dessert
Here is Mark and Mercedes’ dining room all cleaned up!
Thanks for a wonderful weekend in Jacksonville, Mark and Mercedes!
After Florida, we spent a couple of fun days in New York City and right now I am in New Jersey with my cousin, Patricia. You can see what I am up to on my Instagram.
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