Wednesday, July 22, 2015

Grilled Cheese Bar Birthday Party

Birthday celebrations are fun, but can sometimes bring challenges. In my family for birthdays we tend to get together for dinner – either out to eat at the birthday person’s place of choice or dining in with a favorite meal – give gifts and eat cake. It’s a great formula for birthday success! This year, I felt home bound by our adorable kiddos. Dining out is just not much fun these days, so I didn’t want to get everyone out just to be forced to wrangle kids in an unfamiliar-to-them environment and be stressed through all of dinner. But, what to eat?! After much deliberation and restaurant take-out research, I landed on a favorite childhood meal, but with a twist.

Enter the grilled cheese bar. My mom makes a mean grilled cheese, so I wanted to take advantage of her mad skills, plus see how we could adventure to make new, maybe more adult grilled cheese combinations. I Googled this grand idea, and sure enough, it’s a thing! Bloggers and celebrities have shared the idea, so I took what I thought would work best for our family and pitched the idea to my family. Thankfully, they were game. And, we had quite the spread!

Grilled Cheese Bar Spread

Bread: sourdough, whole wheat and homemade white
Cheese: provolone, cheddar, smoked Gouda, Swiss and vegan for Sistah
Meat: prosciutto and ham
Other: apple slices, caramelized onions, fig jam (from last year’s fig bounty) and chutney

But, wait, there's more! We complemented it all with vegan tomato soup, made by my loving sister; a couple growlers of local Ballast Point beer; and a decadent rum cake, made by my dad. Delish!

It was amazing! And, what a fun and easy way to throw a dinner party! Each person made their own concoction, grilling up their own specialty grilled cheese sandwich and we casually dined. Plus, cleanup was a cinch, just what this birthday girl needed! I highly recommend this idea for dinner parties. Grilled cheese bar parties may be done at our house on repeat.

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