I enjoy having people in my home for a meal, a visit, and perhaps a game. I know many who like to entertain, but feel it is simply too much work. I get it. As a young bride I found having people over to be overflowing with stress. That was before I learned the secret.
I wrote a story that appeared in two editions of Chicken Soup for the Soul called “The Secret to Being a Good Hostess.” The latest is in the Magic of Moms. It featured wise words my mother once gave me.
“Treat your family like company and your company like family.”
As more of my family and friends are getting the COVID vaccine and the weather is warming where we can gather outside, I decided to share some of my favorite easy meals for entertaining. Each has an appetizer, a main course, and a dessert. We’re starting with breakfast.
The focus is on simple, fun, relaxing, entertaining, and affordable. Ready?
Appetizer: Our breakfast appetizer is a simple fruit cup.
No, I did not go out and buy all fresh fruit, spend hours cutting, cleaning, pitting, and everything else you have to do to make a fresh fruit salad. I didn’t spend an arm and a leg either. I opened a can of fruit cocktail, drained it, and put it in a pretty glass. (It is fruit cocktail, after all.) I sliced a single banana and added to all four servings. You could add fresh berries or slices of apple. Add what you like…and what you have on hand. We don’t want to spend our time and energy on this. We want something that looks good, tastes great, and whets those appetites!
Main Course: Breakfast Pizza
My family loves breakfast pizza. It is a staple when we go skiing and a favorite family breakfast during the holidays. But I enjoy making it whenever I have people over for any sort of breakfast gathering. It can be big and flat like a pizza made on a cookie sheet or a deep dish offering much like a fluffy quiche. Same ingredients. Easy to throw together and pretty.
For today’s menu, I used one tube of crescent rolls for the crust (just separate them and “smoosh” them together in the bottom of the dish. I browned some ground sausage in a pan, drained it and spread it over the crust. I threw in some chopped green chili, frozen hash browns, covered the whole thing with some eggs I had mixed up with a bit of milk and smothered it with shredded cheese.
You can add anything else you like. I’ve put a layer of fresh spinach in on occasion, sometimes maybe a bit of ham or sweet peppers. I was going to add tomatoes to this one, but forgot. Like mushrooms? Throw some in. Make it to your liking. Don’t stress over the recipe. Be creative.
Toss the whole shebang in your preheated oven. I think I had mine set at 350F and it took about thirty-five minutes. I stick a table knife in to see if it’s ready. When I make it thinner on a cookie sheet it takes less time. I go by smell and looks and the “come out clean” knife method. While it’s baking, I wash up the pans and bowls I’ve dirtied in the process, set the table, and make the coffee.
A seriously delicious and easy way to entertain friends and family for breakfast. And now for dessert.
Dessert for breakfast? Well, if you’re like me, the breakfast pizza will fill you, but as you and your friends visit or play a game, you may want a little snack with your second cup of coffee. And this blog post is a full-meal, offering. Remember?
Dessert: Breakfast Cookies
These are called breakfast cookies because the main ingredients are oatmeal and cornflakes. They can be made ahead of time (though I love them soft and warm and fresh out of the oven). They are perfect for dunking and you can add anything you like to them such as chocolate chips, raisins, nuts…anything. I’m posting the picture, but if you want the recipe, shoot me an email at firstname.lastname@example.org and I’ll be sure to send the recipe to you.
There you have it. The first of three meal plans for entertaining. Next week I’ll tackle the lunch menu! Let me know if you have a favorite recipe or if you try one of these ideas. I love to hear from readers.
**Please continue to take safe measures against COVID-19. Get your shot. Continue to wear a mask. Use social distancing when and where you can.**