Every Christmas, myself and my girlfriends of 15 years, Erin, Diana and Ashley, and their sig others take turns hosting a holiday dinner at each other's homes. This year it was Erin's turn, but we had two new additions - baby Chloe and baby Payton! Payton is 3.5 months, and Chloe is almost 2 months.
Having babies around certainly added a new dimension to our happy crew. Good friends can always go with the flow though, and Chloe and Payton were passed around, coddled, fed and changed by every single one of us at some point throughout the night. As the 7 of us (Joe couldn't come) took turns on baby duty, I couldn't help but notice the truth behind the saying, "It takes a village to raise a child." Holy handful. It would be a lot easier if Chloe and Payton had five "moms" instead of one and they all lived in one giant hut.
Erin and hubby, Grant, had anticipated the chaos, though, and as former servers at the esteemed Boar's Head Inn in Charlottesville, they broke out some old tricks to make dinner easier. The day before Erin had plated the tossed salad and wrapped each individual plate in saran wrap so it was ready to pull out and serve at meal time. She'd also pre-made a delicious Apple Balsamic Vinaigrette, which was the perfect winter dressing.
Grant prepared two types of creamy risotto - one with shrimp and one with sausage. He garnished each risotto with vegetables julienne to add simple color.
Dessert was peppermint sundaes served in Christmas mugs and topped with crushed candy canes and homemade glazed sugar cookies! Charming presentation, and a delicious, festive taste.
Kudos to the McElwains for pulling off a wonderful dinner and night of friendship while juggling baby Chloe. If I'm ever in their shoes, I can only hope to be as graceful!