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Kristin Cooks: Surviving Serving House Guests

Posted by Lane on April 21, 2011 at 4:17 PM Comments comments (0)

by Kristin

With the Easter holiday this weekend, I thought I would talk a little strategy about surviving house guests. One of the things that we all think of for family gatherings is FOOD….who is cooking what, who is bringing something else, and OH the calories! We all gather in the kitchen to chat, eat, and drink, and normally the hostess runs around making sure everyone is satisfied. I have a few tips that (I hope!) may help.

I like to have a fruit/cheese tray and a veggie tray ready to go in the fridge. Chop all your fruits/veggies/cheeses in advance and store them in Ziplocs or Tupperware. Then, the day your guests are arriving, you have 2 different plates of snacks to serve (or fun holiday platters if you have any!). Serve them with a bowl of mixed nuts and some pretzels or crackers. Once everyone is done, you can refill the platters and bowls from your already chopped stash, cover with foil/saran wrap and place back into the fridge to pull out for the next day’s snacks. Not only will you be thankful for the quick shortcut, your guests will be thankful for something healthy to snack on!

If you are looking for something a bit snazzier, you can buy some cute appetizer skewers (World Market always has a few kinds!) and try some of these combinations. Serve with a bowl of pesto or fruit dip: pineapple chunks & sharp cheddar cheese, green grapes & gruyere cheese, tomato & marinated mozzarella balls, greek olives & a feta chunk. There are many more you can add, and even get creative (smores skewers anyone?!).

Last, I wanted to share a favorite family recipe that I grew up having when everyone was in town. It’s super easy and versatile so you can adapt to anyone who shows up. Cook your sausage or bacon the night before so its ready to go when you are in the morning. The great thing about this casserole is that you can cut the leftovers into squares and freeze individually for breakfast in the following days.

Breakfast Casserole

Can of crescent rolls

1 lb sausage or bacon (cooked and crumbled)

9-12 eggs, beaten and add salt/pepper

2 cups Shredded Cheddar Cheese

Optional – 2 cups shredded hash browns (cooked)

1. In a rectangular baking dish, spray with cooking spray. Unroll the crescents and press into the bottom to cover it

2. Layer sausage or bacon

3. Top with hashbrowns (if using)

4. Pour egg over top of the casserole until meat is mostly covered. You want to still have about ¼ -1/2 inch of open space at the top of your dish to allow for the eggs to rise.

5. Sprinkle with cheese

6. Bake at 350 for 30-45 minutes until the center no longer jiggles and the eggs are super brown (you may have to poke with a knife to ensure they are cooked)

* you can add any veggies you want, just layer them with the meat before you pour in the eggs. Also feel free to add a few dollops of roasted red pepper pesto (found on the Italian food aisle in your grocery store) before the eggs to make a fancier casserole