We’re very lucky to live close to my husband’s family. Even more lucky that we all get along and like each other. So when we were all together last month for my nephews birthday after not seeing everyone together for months my sister-in-law had a great idea. We would rotate the location each month for a family dinner. Set a day and if everyone could make it perfect but we would still have the dinner even if only a few people could attend. That way we would get to see each other regularly. The dinner would be something simple so no one gets stressed out. This weekend was our first one at my house. It worked out really well except that one of my nephews was sick so not everyone could make it.

It went so well that I only took one photo during the preparation and the dinner. It was so simple that I was able to relax and enjoy everyone’s company. I find during holidays that I’m rushing around making sure that everything is perfect.

Our menu was:

One of my highlights of the dinner was the Sangria. It was a last minute decision to try my hand at making it. I have been following my friend on her travels to Portugal and seeing tons of photos of her drinking sangria so that was my inspiration. Also I have a lot of bottles of red wine and we are not wine drinkers so I was hoping to use some of it up.

I found a recipe called Simply Sangria at Mix Bake Stir and I knew that one was the one for my first attempt. It was so good that I don’t think I’ll need to try any other recipes. Oh how I wish that I thought to take photos and that I had doubled the recipe.

Simply Sangria

(adapted from Mix Bake Stir)

  • 3 oranges, 2 for juice, 1 halved and thinly sliced crosswise
  • 1/4 cup sugar
  • 1/4 cup Grand Marnier
  • 1 bottle red wine, chilled (I used a Cabernet Sauvignon)
  • 1 lime, thinly sliced
  • 2 cups club soda

In a large pitcher combined the juice of the two oranges, sugar, and Grand Marnier. Stir until the sugar is dissolved. Add the wine, orange and lime slices and the club soda. Stir and serve over ice.

I’ve already promised my sister-in-law to make Sangria again when she hosts dinner at her place. I need some more ideas for meals that will feed a lot of people with little effort. If anyone has any send them over. We were lucky this time that we had just enough food but if we had everyone over we would have run out.