Monday, February 11, 2013

Grilled Cheese Bar and Root Beer Float Party

Besides the token veggie and fruit tray, this party was not about healthy food choices.  It was all about comfort food and going back in time.  Like when a song or smell launches you into a time warp, giving you that inexplicable feeling of warmth and joy.  That’s what this party was about.  My dad’s 80th.  Old pictures, memories and the comfort of family and good, old comfort foods.  Grilled cheese, soup, chips, cookies, old time soda pop like rock-n-rye, creme soda and root beer, strawberry shortcake and root beer floats.

Last week, I mentioned I was going for an old diner feeling, so when everyone arrived, they were greeted by this sign I picked up from the hardware store.  Just goes to show you can find party decorations anywhere.


My daughter made the Poppy’s Diner sign and had the clever idea of taking a checkered flag off the stick to add behind the sign.  She might just have my sickness genes.

poppy's diner

Loved using glass soda pop bottles as a part of the shin dig.  Not only cute, but have you had a creme soda lately?  It was delicious!  Although, Rock & Rye was the favorite with this group.

I was excited to embrace some Michigan made products too – Faygo, Better Made chips and pretzel rods, Ray’s Ice Cream and Sander’s Hot Fudge.  Even the bread happened to be made in local bakeries.


balloons 2menu

The grilled cheese bar included butter crust white bread, wheat and sourdough, a variety of cheese, deli meat, bacon, onions and tomatoes.  We even added raspberry jam into the mix last minute.  Everyone came up with something different.  The Foreman Grill was at the end of the line to grill up the sandwich creations.



Let’s pretend the next picture received an old time instagram treatment.  Truth is, it’s my stellar photography skills and lack of under counter lighting that gave this old effect.  Ha.

Anyhow, I labeled the cheeses with toothpicks and washi tape.  Oh, washi tape, how I love you.  We had cheddar, muenster, smoked gouda, Swiss and Colby.


I took my sister’s advice and made a smoked gouda, turkey and raspberry jam grilled cheese.  Can I just say heaven?  Seriously, SO GOOD!  I highly recommend it!

We had tomato roasted pepper soup, loaded baked potato soup and cream of broccoli out of little paper cups.  You could drink it or use a spoon.  Dad drank his tomato soup straight from the cup!

grilled cheese tomato soupIMG_5408IMG_5409IMG_5433

The original plan was to pre-scoop the ice cream into the mason jars, store them in the freezer, then take them out ready to go. The reality of last minute cleaning took over and we scooped as went, but I wanted to pass along that tip anyway.

root beer float


We chose a Pepperidge Farms cookie variety pack because that was the kind my Dad would bring to friends and sometimes people he barely knew in the hospital.  It was definitely one of his trademarks.  I can’t tell you how many times people would tell me that my dad visited them in the hospital and brought them cookies.  It was comical, yet made me beam at the same time.  We also had what we call “Poppy crackers” and now some of my friends call “Poppy crackers” too, aka Keebler Town Club crackers (one of Dad’s favorites).

pepperidge farm cookiesred vines and candy sticks


My daughter had a blast acting as our waitress with a diner hat that we doctored up from Steak-n-Shake.  Everyone chose their own pair of cat-eyed glasses or sunglasses.  Definitely a good time had by all.

Erin & Poppy 80th bdayPoppy's 80th family pic


{I feel like I can’t write a post about my Dad without sharing some fun tid-bits about him and info about Alzheimer’s.}


  1. Yum, yum, and yummy! Looks like party success! Happy bday to your dad!!!!!

  2. What a cool party! I love root beer and grilled cheese so I would have been right at home at that shindig. I'm sure your guests had an awesome time. :)

  3. What an adorable idea for a party... such a blessing to those who shared it with you.


I'm so glad you stopped by for a slice of Plumberry Pie today! Your comments make my day, so comment away!

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