a night with friends

I am loving this new {well to me} cookbook called Home Cooking with Trisha Yearwood. My mom let me borrow it last week when I was visiting and every recipe looked so delicious that I could not wait to get home and start cooking! We had some friends stay with us this week so I thought this would be a good chance to give some of these recipes a try. The first two recipes I made from this cookbook were her twice baked potatoes {you really cannot go wrong with butter, sour cream, cheese and potatoes} and for dessert I made her strawberry cake. There were both pretty easy to make and so tasty! {recipes and pictures at the end of this post.}

I really do enjoy entertaining. Not only because I love to hang out with friends but it is always a good motivation for me to REALLY clean the house and set our dining room table. This was a more casual dinner since there were 2 babies under 6 months attending :) so I just put simple white flowers in my teal mason jars and used our everyday white dinnerware.
The goblets were from Marshalls about a year ago and I ended up driving around to three different ones to get a complete set. I love the pattern on them and they are identical to these tumblers which are much more expensive then the $1.99 each I paid at Marshalls.
While the food was delicious the highlight of this dinner party was definitely the smallest person in attendance :) I got to meet my friend's baby for the first time and I seriously could not get enough of this sweet little girl. She is 5 weeks old and was so good!
Will and Quinn had their first pictures taken together. They will hopefully be such great buds!
Quinn and her momma looked so cute and Will and I were still in our PJ's! Next time we will definitely change into more appropriate attire for a photo session :) 

{Here are the delicious recipes mentioned above. If you end up making them I'd love to hear how they turn out!}
Twice Baked Potatoes
6 large baking potatoes
2 tablespoons olive oil
3 tablespoons milk
3 tablespoons butter
2 cups sour cream
10 ounces sharp Cheddar cheese, grated (about 2 1/2 cups)
1 tablespoon garlic salt
salt and pepper
6 slices bacon, cooked and crumbled
1/2 cup finely chopped green onion
Preheat the oven to 400 F.

Wash the potatoes and pierce them with a fork. Rub the potatoes with the olive oil and place them on a jellyroll pan or a large cookie sheet with a rim. Bake the potatoes for 45 minutes to an hour, or until done. Remove the potatoes from the oven and cut them in half lengthwise. Set aside. Reduce the temperature of the oven to 350 F.

When the potatoes are cool enough to handle, scoop out the potato flesh into a large electric mixing bowl. Add the milk, butter, sour cream, cheese, garlic salt, and salt and pepper to taste. Mix until creamy. Divide the mixture evenly and spoon it back into potato shells. Return the potatoes to the oven for 15 minutes. Remove from the oven and garnish with the bacon and green onion.

Strawberry Cake
Cake Ingredients:
1 standard box plain white cake mix
1 (3-ounce) box strawberry-flavored gelatin
2/3 cup vegetable oil
½ cup frozen sliced
4 large eggs
strawberries in syrup, thawed
½ cup water

Icing Ingredients:
½ cup butter, room temperature
1 cup confectioners’ sugar
1 cup frozen sliced strawberries in syrup, thawed
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Spray a 9-by- 13-inch baking pan with cooking spray.

With an electric mixer, beat the cake mix, gelatin, oil, strawberries and water until fully combined. Add the eggs, one at a time, beating well after each addition. Pour the batter into the prepared pan and gently smooth the top. Bake for 40 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in the center of the cakes comes out clean. Let cool in the pan.

In a blender or food processor, puree the butter, sugar and strawberries for the glaze until smooth. Poke holes in the cake with a toothpick, then pour the icing over the cake, allowing some of it to seep into the cake. The more strawberry syrup you add, the thinner your icing will become. Store this cake, covered, in the refrigerator for up to two weeks.

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