Monday, February 6, 2017

Retro Recipes and Wedding Food

Jan here, with a trip down wedding memory lane.

Back in 1950, when my parents were married, no one in their families thought about hiring someone to provide food for the wedding reception. The extended family, or the church, or the neighbors, or anyone who was handy, pitched in. The menu would be simple: ham sandwiches on potato rolls, jello salads, a relish plate (carrot and celery sticks, some pickles, etc.), and a tasty cake made as a wedding gift by an aunt or cousin.

Then twenty-five years later, when my brother and sister-in-law were married, I was one of the many relatives making the sandwiches and putting together a fruit salad.

I broke the tradition. My husband and I actually had our reception tea catered (of course, we hired the company my husband was working for at the time!)

Fast forward to the next generation!

The current trend, at least in our family, is to have a reception menu that reflects the bride's and groom's favorites. You can read about our June 2016 wedding here.

But we have another wedding coming up.


This reception is going to be similar to our June wedding in that the menu boasts some favorite foods, but with a totally different flair!

Again, it's in the afternoon, so no meal. Instead we'll have nachos, chips, punch and hot cider. And for the wedding cake? Jacob's favorite: cheesecake.

Since the wedding isn't until Saturday, I'll have to share the nachos recipe with you another time. But don't despair! I do have a fun recipe for you!

Katie brought this to her first Christmas Eve Tea with our family last year, and Carrie made it for a Super Bowl Party, so I'm sharing it here. Kids who grew up in the '90's love this stuff!

Dunkin' Dip

Back when my children were in the in-between know the's when they're old enough to be hungry ALL. THE. TIME., and yet young enough to enjoy fun food...they loved getting Dunkaroos at the grocery store for a rare treat.

In case you need a refresher, here's a link to the product on Walmart's website: Dunkaroos

This recipe (or a few like it) have been circulating on Pinterest. Here's Carrie's version:

vanilla cake mix
8 oz. tub frozen whipped topping, thawed
1 cup plain greek yogurt

Cookies for dipping: Teddy Grahams, Graham Crackers, Vanilla Wafers, Animal Crackers...whatever you like best.

(Did I mention this recipe is super easy???)

Mix the cake mix, whipped topping, and yogurt in a bowl until blended. Stir in sprinkles (as many as you like).

Serve with your choice of dipping crackers or cookies.

Didn't I tell you that was easy?

Let's talk about wedding food - Tell us about a unique food you've seen at a wedding reception!

Jan Drexler loves her family, her home, cooking and just about anything made by hand. But she loves her Lord most of all.

Stop by Jan's website to learn more about her books:


  1. Congratulations to the happy couple! Before I attended my college roommate's wedding, I'd only ever seen catered meals with the usual salmon, chicken, steak options, etc.
    But my roommate was from Mississippi and the reception meal had all sorts of interesting food that we Pacific Northwesterners had never seen. Cheese straws, shoofly pie, etc. It sure gave people a lot to talk about and made the reception very memorable. :)

  2. Oh, I guess I should mention my own wedding reception. We got married in Mexico, so a few days before the wedding, we picked out a calf. (Well, my husband did. I couldn't do it.)

    Then they butchered it and baked it in an underground brick oven for three days. Then it was made into birria, a very spicy meat mixture that was served on rice.
    In their tradition, the members of the family take over certain roles in the wedding, like rings, announcements, flowers, food. So, it's polite to smile and be thankful for whatever the relatives have chosen. My friends and relatives who came couldn't even eat the meal, it was so spicy. Still makes me laugh. In the photos, all the anglos are red-faced, sweating and guzzling Coke while the locals are enjoying the delicious meal.

    The reception dinner we had back in the States was much less spicy and was deliciously catered by a local farm-to-table place.

    1. What memories! And yes, I'd be guzzling coke and sweating up a storm. :)

  3. Jan, this is so fun! Ours was a super tiny wedding, and we had dinner with about twenty people at my mother in law's house.... and then hosted an open house the next week at the little house we bought instead of spending money on a big wedding...

    I have come to love small wedding gatherings. Ours have gotten out of control big here, and when you write about these, I love them so much! Thank you for sharing.

    I've never had a dunkaroo type dip, I've only heard the name in passing, so now I'm enchanted by the idea of this! Must try it!!!!

    Five days....

    Aye Caramba, what a wonderful blessing that is!

    1. After helping to plan these two weddings and having lived through (and survived!) one so far, I'm so glad both of the girls have opted for small(ish) and homey weddings.

      The wedding on Saturday is super simple, which is what the happy couple wanted. It should be a lot of fun. :)

  4. May the weather be in your favour!!!!!! I much prefer a more informal wedding reception. Simple food. Lots of love and laughter. Kids included. I guess the most non-traditional wedding I attended was in a barn venue and the menu was barbecue and a variety of salad. Sundaes instead of wedding cake. Second marriage for both bride and groom and they each had kids who were allowed to invite friends so it was a relaxed, no fuss affair.

    I've never heard of those dunkaroos. Wonder if it's a south of the border thing?

    1. The dunkaroos could be a state-side thing, but I had forgotten all about them until this recipe came along.

      I love the informal receptions, too. Children are definitely invited and expected at this one - Katie and Jacob have put together goodie bags just for kids with coloring books, crayons and snacks. Carrie and Josh set up a coloring table in the corner of the room at their reception so the kids could make cards for the happy couple...or just color.

      What would celebrations be without children to make them special???

      And the weather forecast looks good - We're supposed to get some snow on Wednesday, but we're expecting the weekend to be well above freezing and partly sunny.

  5. Jan, how exciting! Tell the couple congrats from the Cafe ladies! :)

    I guess the most unusual I've had at a reception was mashed potatoes served in plastic champagne glasses. Then you put toppings on them (cheese, bacon, chives, etc). Of course, now I've seen that at several weddings, so I guess it's not as unusual anymore. :)

    1. That's something I've never seen, Missy! Sort of a fancy baked potato bar?

      Actually, it sounds pretty yummy.... :)

  6. Jan you forgot to put an addictive warning on this dip! Once you start you can't stop.

  7. Thanks Jan! Forgot all about this dip until I read your post! Now I'm just trying to make it through work the next few days!

  8. Jan, I love these weddings you have described. The weddings I've seen lately are OUTLANDISH! I can't even conceive of the cost - hundreds of dollars per guest. People planning years in advance. Someone told me recently of an upcoming wedding where the bride planned to have two different dresses - one for the ceremony and one for the reception!!!!!!

    So much money!

    We had a very small wedding. My brother-in-law was Pastor of a church in Baltimore so we married there and had the reception in his rectory. He planned the whole thing!

    1. Now THAT'S the way to do it! Let someone else plan the whole thing! :)

  9. Happy wedding week, Katie!!!!!!!

    I wish you a beautiful day and a lifetime of happiness together!