Party Panache, Easy Peasy Tabletops and Recipes

I wanted to share a few more easy peasy recipes that helped me feed the masses during the Family “Re-Onion,”  and some simple tabletops


Our beach house is on stilts so the area under the house is handy for all kinds of things, especially parties! No need to worry if a thunderstorm pops up, you can be safe and dry~ also it is shaded and there is always a lovely breeze blowing through~

We rented some tables and chairs and set up a seating area.  I arranged for a 5 day rental so we could use them throughout the weekend.  It was very reasonable, so check into it if you need furniture for a party or event~ we used Pelican Pete’s Party Rental


Each table had a fitted white plastic cover and an orange print circular topper.  Longer cloths aren’t practical for a breezy outdoor setting and the plastic covers were easily be wiped off after dining, without disturbing the centerpieces, ready for the next meal


I used 4 different lanterns that I already had, and filled them with shells,  seaglass and a candle.  I put the same mix in each one so that even though they were all different, the tables seemed unified


Under each lantern is an aqua straw circular placemat topped with an orange rattan charger, also things I already had.  Shells and seaglass were sprinkled around the edges of the fabric circle, which kept them from blowing up in the breeze.  Small blue mason jars held battery powered candles.  The only things I bought for these tables was fabric for the circular toppers and candles


We used long tables for serving the food and one for a bar/appetizer area


5 Minute Mystery Dip is my go to appetizer when time is short.  It’s a block of cream cheese topped with mango chutney, orange marmalade or any jam you prefer.  You top the cream cheese and jam with loads of chopped bacon, green onions, coconut and nuts.  I kicked it up a notch for the party by using Macadamia nuts rather than peanuts, and I made it super easy by using cooked bacon crumbles from a package~ this version is called Macadamia Madness, and I used orange marmalade


This dip is always a hit, it’s an exotic mix of sweet and sour, salty and tangy elements~


I wish I had had time to really set it up and make everything look fancier, but when you have people visiting throughout the day and trying to set up parties at night, I was lucky to get food on the tables!

There just wasn’t enough time to set up the tables the way I wanted to, and being outside was an extra challenge~


In a perfect world there would have been a party bunting and lights hung over the buffet tables and labels for the various dishes

Here is the menu for this Saturday Under the Stars Soiree.  The main part of the meal was catered by one of our favorite local restaurants, Shipp’s Harbour Grill

menu 2

To make this meal more budget friendly we supplemented the catered food with appetizers and the dessert.  We decided to make some kid friendly, easy to eat finger foods in case the younger guests weren’t excited about sushi and crab stuffed mushrooms~ Pigs in a Blanket, chips and salsa, and Grilled Cheese Sandwiches  kept the kiddos happy.  I made the Pigs early in the week and froze them.  The afternoon of the party I assembled the cheese sandwiches and baked them on a cookie sheet.  Easy Peasy.


Shipp’s is famous for their sushi, this beautiful platter was place on a high cocktail table for ease of serving


The Fried Shrimp with 3 pepper glace and bleu cheese crumbles was divine


I would love to get the recipe for these Pimento Cheese Fritters, such a delightful soft bite with a kick


The Crab stuffed Mushrooms with Dijon Cream Sauce were a big hit


and you can’t beat BBQ Pork Sliders topped with Slaw~


When it was time for dessert we removed the chafing dishes and brought out the Ice Cream Sundae stuff


Gallon tubs of Vanilla and Neopolitan Ice Cream were ready for scooping


Chocolate and Caramel Sauces, cherries, mini Reece’s cups and Rolos, -did you know you can buy them unwrapped in small bags? [Walmart] There were jelly bellies and saltwater taffy in the Foxfest orange and aqua for topping or nibbling~


I am a little embarrassed at how crude this set up is, but we were all having too much fun to care and worry about presentation~

try to picture an ice cream parlor with stacks of ice cream cones, endless apothecary jars of colorful candies, a bright orange striped table cloth and a big neon sign over the table that says “Ice Cream Sundae Bar”…

because that’s the way I wanted it to look~


The kids didn’t care, they just wanted to dig in!

Macadamia Madness

Prep Time 5 minutes
Course Appetizer
Cuisine American


  • 8 oz cream cheese softened [I use low fat]
  • 1 cup orange marmalade [or use any jam or mango chutney]
  • 1 cup shredded sweetened coconut
  • 3 oz cooked bacon crumbles
  • 4 green onion tops chopped
  • 1 cup roasted and salted Macadamia nuts chopped


  • 8 oz cream cheese, softened [I use low fat]
  • 1 cup orange marmalade [or use any jam or mango chutney]
  • 1 cup shredded sweetened coconut
  • 3 oz cooked bacon crumbles
  • 4 green onion tops, chopped
  • 1 cup roasted and salted Macadamia nuts, chopped
  • Place cream cheese in the center of a large plate or platter.
  • Spread jam over top.
  • Sprinkle with coconut, bacon and nuts.
  • Garnish with green onion slices.
  • Serve with a spreader and crackers


increase quantities for a crowd, I tripled this recipe to serve 36
Keyword cream cheese spread, easy party spread, macadamia nuts

Baked Cheese Sandwiches

Prep Time 5 minutes
Cook Time 20 minutes
Course Appetizer, Main Course
Cuisine American


  • Pepperidge Farm thin sliced bread or any white bread*
  • American cheese slices or whatever you prefer
  • softened butter


  • Lightly butter one side of bread. Build sandwiches with 2 slices of cheese and 2 slices of bread, buttered side out.
  • Place the sandwiches on a cookie sheet.
  • Bake at 400 for about 7-10 minutes and turn over.
  • Bake for 5-7 more minutes until bread is toasted. Cut into triangles to serve.
  • *Cooking time will vary depending on your oven and type of bread used
Keyword baked cheese sandwich, easy grilled cheese sandwich

Don’t forget to have fun at your own party!


I will be joining these fabulous parties and blogs:

Rustic and Refined

The Dedicated House

The Scoop

Coastal Charm

A Stroll Thru Life

Memories by the Mile

The Gunny Sack

The Style Sisters

Savvy Southern Style

19 Responses to “Party Panache, Easy Peasy Tabletops and Recipes”
  1. Mary says:

    I love all your details and menu for an easy peasy party and your reunion Jenna! The table rental and your under cover dining is a perfect solution for rain or shine. I’ll help myself to some crab stuffed mushrooms and pimento cheese fritters too! I was introduced to a version of your Macadamia Madness with chutney and peanuts (sans bacon) in Southern Living years ago. It’s shockingly good, I can imagine it with bacon! Fun, fun, fun, hope you’ve recovered and are relaxing after your hostess duties ๐Ÿ™‚

  2. You made such great memories for your family, and I am pretty sure no one cared about the presentation, especially all those kids having the time of their lives. I am in awe that you could do this at all — so much work! I think Martha Stewart has made the rest of us feel like we have to apologize for things that need no apology at all — just remember she has a “cast of thousands” to make things look picture perfect.

    I am going to have to check out some of these restaurants you have mentioned in this series. We have gotten in a rut when we are down there, and always go to the same places.

    • Thanks Ellen! You have made me feel so much better! I was disappointed that I didn’t everything set like I wanted and that I didn’t get more photos, but you are right, the important thing was that everyone had such a great time~ I will say, I was pretty tired when the last group finally left! You must try Shipp’s Harbour Grille, their food is amazing and they have a nice outdoor dining porch that is usually nice and breezy, and they take reservations!

  3. Christine says:

    ohhhh I love the string lights hanging…soooo cute!!!! beautiful inspiration !!!!

  4. Happier Than A Pig In Mud says:

    I’d say the re-onion was a smashing success Jenna! Looks like everyone ate well and had a blast:@)

  5. Oh I definitely PINned this to save your recipes!! The tables and the food…OMG I would have been so rude staking you out the door as you carried tray after tray of that delicious looking food!

  6. I guess my invite got lost in the mail! I’d love to party with you! What a wonderful set up you have for a crowd… everything from the tablescapes to the food look beachy and WONDERFUL!!!! Jenna, those kiddos are precious! Thanks for letting us share in the celebration!

  7. Kim says:

    You did great, Jenna! With all your meals to get out, you did a fantastic job just keeping up with the flow of food! I love your table decor – didn’t realize the size of things until you told about the blue place mat and charger. That put the sizes into perspective! You Macadamia Madness looks amazing! I’m pinning to have for later. ๐Ÿ™‚

  8. Just un-freaking-believable!!! I mean, goodness….you must have spent endless hours in the kitchen getting all of that food together! Even if some of it was catered, you STILL had a lot that you prepared on your end, so that equals countless hours on your feet in the kitchen. And I remember reading that the goodie bags for the kids were history on the 1st day…so I’m sure you had to make up for that, too! I bow to you, woman! Bow low!!!!!!!!

    Don’t EVEN apologize for it not looking “fancier.” This was pretty darn swank, especially given the number of people at your home for the number of days they were there. I would have been a total basket case!!! Let’s be real: I don’t think there are too many of us that – without help, of course – would have been able to pull this off like you did!!! So, bravo to you!!!

    Have a great weekend, and try to rest up your bones!

    • You are too kind Alycia, and I know you understand how I am replaying everything in my head and thinking it wasn’t good enough! I am so lucky because my sweet husband keeps telling me it was all fabulous~ he is a very smart man ๐Ÿ™‚ I really really appreciate your sweet and supportive comments, thank you!

  9. loryrb says:

    Lovely, fun, and omg, what a spread!! You really seem to get to the heart of what makes a celebration special and enjoyable… ๐Ÿ™‚

    Lory at Designthusiasm

  10. Marigene says:

    Wow, when you throw a party, you throw a party! I am salivating just looking at all the delicious looking food. I love the orange and aqua theme.
    Have a great 4th, Jenna!

  11. Rosie says:

    I am so very impressed with the effort and planning that you put in to make this reunion an obvious tremendous success!! Congratulations on a stupendous job. Many thanks for your “easy peasy” recipes and a glimpse of what creativity, effort and caring can produce!! Bravo! Rosie @ The Magic Hutch
    P.S. Did those stretch table covers come from the party rental store or did you purchase them some place? What a great idea!

    • Thanks Rosie, the covers did come with the rentals but they looked like a retail package that you might could find at a party store or even Wal-mart. They were only $4 and made things so easy!

  12. You always do such an awesome job, My favorite pic is of all the kids sitting on beach loungers enjoying all the great food.

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