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progressive dinner


Once or twice a year our neighborhood has a Progressive Dinner.

Here’s how it works – a notice goes out to all 118 homes in the community. You may sign up to be a “Dinner Host”, which means you do not have to cook, just set up to host dinner for 10 people.

Or, you sign up to cook, in which case you are then assigned to provide either an appetizer, an entrée for 10, soup or salad plus a side for 10, or a dessert. Those dishes are dropped off at the “Host Houses”. Each couple brings 1 bottle of red wine and 1 bottle of white wine to the “Appetizer House” where everyone first gathers.

Names are drawn randomly during appetizers and we all disperse to the various host homes for dinner. The wines travel along to the dinner part of the evening. Then we all gather back together at a specific house for dessert (remaining wine – in tow).

You and your significant other stay together if you are a “Dinner Host”, otherwise the two of you are split up during the dinner part of the evening.

Past themes have included; Italian, Mexican, Western, Mardi Gras, Valentine’s, and Tacky/White Trash (not the best food- think Kentucky Fried Chicken, Pigs in a Blanket, Chili in a Frito bag- but the most fun ever! Pictures below.)

White Trash Progressive (3)

Our house for appetizers; complete with plastic flamingos in the yard, a clothesline on the trailer, and a wheelbarrow full of cheap beer and boxed wine

White Trash Progressive (13)

Me, Whitney, and Joanie (last names omitted to protect the innocent!) complete with candy cigarettes in hand, bad make-up, wads of gum in mouths, and classy overalls!

ding-dong, donut, White Trash cake!

Twinkie, zinger, snoball, ding-dong, donut, White Trash cake!

Our next Progressive is this Friday and the theme is Jamaican. Appetizers will be at our house and even though hosts are not required to cook, obviously, I still do. One of the dishes I plan to make Jamaican Beef Dumplings. I found an amazing price on a pot roast at the store today and decided it would be perfect to use for the shredded beef. I cooked up the roast for dinner and will now use the rest of the beef for the dumplings, that recipe will post in a couple of days.

What a deal!!!

1960’s price! What a deal!!!

Spicy Crock-Pot Roast

5-pound beef chuck pot roast
Salt and freshly ground black pepper
2 tablespoons olive oil
1 medium onion, peeled, halved, and thinly sliced
2 garlic cloves, peeled and minced
1/2 cup white wine vinegar
1 cup red wine, water, or beef broth, divided
1/4 teaspoon chipotle chili powder
1/4 teaspoon ground allspice
10.75-ounce can condensed tomato soup
2 tablespoons giardiniera
1 pound Yukon gold potatoes, peeled and quartered
2 carrots, peeled and cut into 1-inch pieces


Season pot roast with salt and pepper on all sides.

Heat a large skillet over medium-high heat.  Add the oil and brown the meat on all sides. Place the browned roast in a crock pot. Add the onions and garlic to the skillet and sauté until lightly browned.

Add the vinegar, 1/2 cup of the wine, chili powder, and allspice to the skillet and bring to a boil to deglaze the pan.  Pour the tomato soup into the skillet, fill the soup can with the remaining 1/2 cup wine, and swish around to clean out the soup clinging to the can and add to the skillet.

Rub each side of the meat with 1 tablespoon of giardiniera. Pour the onions and liquid from the skillet, into the crock-pot over the meat, Cook on high heat for 30 minutes, reduce heat to low, and cook an additional 2 hours. Add the potatoes to the pot and cook for 30 more minutes until the potatoes are tender and the meat shreds easily.


Serves 6

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1 comment

1 dave hopkins { 01.26.10 at 7:17 PM }

mmm, I hope I get assigned to that house

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