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Are you Prepared for Out of Town Guests? Make a List and Check this List TWICE.

Tis’ the season for LOTS and LOTS of company!  Many of us have family and friends who will be visiting us over the holidays.  How will you prepare your home to receive all those extra bodies?  I hope this post will help you think through how to be prepared to make your guests comfortable while keeping your sanity AND being able to enjoy spending time with them while they are here.

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First, survey the linen closet, pantry, and other areas of your home to make a list of any things you will need. Here are some things to think about:

  1. Do you have enough towels? Wash cloths?
  2. Do you have enough sheets for the beds in your home?
  3. Do you need extra beds/air mattresses so everyone while have a place to sleep?
  4. Is your guest bathroom stocked: shampoo, soap, toilet paper, hand soap?

Once these bases are all covered take your list to Walmart to get all the basics {and more}.

Whole Wheat Pumpkin Waffles

Now, the biggest looming question in your mind… WHAT WILL I FEED THEM??  Break out that crockpot {or buy yourself a good one… happy holidays!}.  And stock up on easy to prepare foods.  A week before guests arrive prep some items and freeze them and a couple days before they arrive wash and cut up any fresh fruits or veggies you plan to set out/serve.  Designate an area in your home for setting up a “buffet” and stock up on paper goods to make clean up a cinch – the last thing you want to do is wash dishes the whole time.  Here are some meal ideas to get you thinking:

Breakfast. You may have visions of everyone getting dressed and ready and meeting at the table but the chances that will happen are slim.  Some guests will want to sleep in and the little people probably won’t want to wast a single second sleeping. 😉  To make sure everyone can eat when they are ready without making you feel like a short order cook purchase and/or prepare some breakfast items ahead of time.

  • These waffles are easy to make in LARGE quantities {make a double or triple batch and freeze them BEFORE company arrives.Guests can pull out one or two and pop them in the toaster oven to reheat and enjoy when they are ready.
  • Prepare one or more breakfast casseroles ahead of time and stick them in the freezer.  Here’s one of my favorite recipes: http://wholesomemommy.com/spinach-and-potato-breakfast-casserole/  The night before you want to serve them place them in the fridge to begin thawing. Set up a “breakfast station” with cups, juice milk, casserole, plates, napkins, and silverware along with any other breakfast items you are serving {like fresh fruit} and guests can serve themselves when they are ready.
  • Visit your local Walmart bakery to pick up breakfast pastries, donuts, and other sweet breads. Put on a pot of coffee, set out some milk and you’ve got a quick breakfast at your ready for your guests. {This is a great option for when the time together is winding down and you are running out of energy! Think ahead and be prepared for THOSE days! 😉 }
  • Breakfast tacos/burritos make a GREAT grab and go breakfast. Scramble some eggs and sausage {or grab some turkey sausage crumbles – my personal favorite} and assemble burritos with egg, cheese, and sausage. Roll them up in foil and place them on a cookie sheet. Place the whole cookie sheet in the oven  on a warming setting to keep them warm.  Guests can help themselves to one or more when they are ready.
  • Stock up on fresh fruit and have it washed and ready so you can set it out for guests in the morning.  Fruit is great for rounding out a meal and for snacking while you are finishing up with the cooking!

How to Cook Baked Potatoes in the Crockpot From WholesomeMommy.com

 

Lunch.  You don’t want to be in the kitchen the WHOLE time.  Make sure you stock your kitchen with these items:

  • There are bound to be leftovers. Pack them and label them well so that guests can eat them up at lunch.
  • Place a BIG pot of black beans or pintos on in the crockpot.  Pick up other burrito toppings such as cheese, sour cream, shredded lettuce, salsa, tortilla chips, etc.  Set everything out buffet style along with paper products and guests can assemble nachos or burritos when they are ready to eat.
  • Pick up a couple kinds of sandwich bread along with lunch meats and toppings and chips. Lunch will be a cinch and everyone will be able to make their sandwich just like they like it.
  • Put some potatoes in the crockpot for baking!  Set out toppings like sour cream, butter, cheese, chopped lunch meat, cooked bacon, and chili {either make and freeze ahead of time or grab your favorite canned chili – personally love Amy’s when I don’t have homemade on hand}.
  • Prepare pasta salads, chicken salad, pimento cheese, and/or tuna salad ahead of time. These will keep several days {and actually get tastier as they sit}.  Pull them out along with fresh fruit, crackers, and breads and let guests assemble it however they like.
  • Make a big pot of soup. Soup is easy and affordable to make and is wonderful on a cold day.  Make sure you grab crackers rolls to serve with it.

10 ways to use roast beef

 

Dinner. You may have big plans for big family dinners and this is the meal you WANT to spend in the kitchen with your family – preparing the meal together. But, if there are going to be days when a big family meal isn’t in the cards, you’re going to want to give that crockpot a workout!  Here are a few ideas for things that make wonderful meals cooking in your crockpot:

What tips do you have to make feeding a large crowd easier and less labor intensive?

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