Back when having my own home was only a vision in my not-terribly-realistic head, I dreamed of serving elaborate dinners and breakfasts and snack trays and such to my overnight guests.
Honestly, when I lived alone, and then when first married . . . I did.
I remember spending an entire newlywed Saturday making seafood gumbo for another couple, only to later add up the cost and realize that we had spent over sixty dollars on that home-cooked dinner for four. And that was just the main dish. The drinks, bread, salad, dessert . . . I’m sure in my pre-kids mind, those were free.
Also, in those days, we ate out regularly. For breakfast, lunch or dinner . . . or maybe all three on a particularly fun day.
Now, though, as a mom of three who generally hosts others with kids, eating out more than once during a visit isn’t practical.
Besides, the best times spent with guests are the ones around the table. After the meal. Talking well into the night because they aren’t going anywhere.
However, spending all day preparing an elaborate dinner isn’t always practical when you are hosting guests.
Freezer cooking to the rescue! Don’t worry! I’m not talking about casseroles. Just by pre-cooking meats and other ingredients like rice or beans, you can have fresh-cooked meals ready in minutes.
Using pre-cooked ground beef, you can make spaghetti, mexican casserole, tacos, chili, hamburger pizzas, taco soup, pizza snowballs, etc.
Using pre-cooked cubed chicken you can make chicken fried rice, chicken with faux alfredo, etc.
One of our favorites is to use pre-grilled chicken breasts to make a fajita bar!
And then there’s breakfast. You can make sausage biscuits, bacon egg and cheese breakfast pockets, or pancakes to be frozen and thawed individually as needed.
Consider the difference in wake-up times between you and your guests. I admire people who can sleep past 7 and have taught their kids to sleep until 9.
My kids are up by seven. As in . . . we’re lucky if it’s that late. I am fully aware that this isn’t necessarily normal. It works well for us, but is difficult when we stay with another family who sleeps later. The great thing about these freezer breakfasts is that they can be prepared individually and as needed. Show your guests where they are and leave a post-it note on the microwave with a reminder of instructions on how to re-heat them. This way, even if you aren’t up yet, your guests can find something to eat or to feed their kids without having to dig through your kitchen.
And even if you’re planning to make a big breakfast later on, set out bowls and boxes of cereal for those who might be up three hours before the meal.
Check out the variety of other 5 Days of Christmas series –
Feels Like Home – Christmas Traditions
Somewhat Crunchy – Christmas with Dairy Allergies
Spell Outloud – Children’s Books
Mama’s Learning Corner – Children’s Crafts
Many Little Blessings – Edible Gifts
Sunflower Schoolhouse – Decorations
An Oregon Cottage – Christmas Cookies
Catholic Icing – Wishing Jesus Happy Birthday
The Traveling Praters – Traveling
The Homeschool Classroom – Gifts Kids Can Make
Mama’s Laundry Talk – Laundry Gifts
8am. I tell my kids they can’t wake me up before 8am on days we don’t have to be up early. 🙂
TyKes Mom says
LOVE this! I am a big supporter of freezer cooking in general, but it is even better when you have guests coming over. The last time my in-laws were here, I had frozen a casserole, a quiche, and so much more. I felt like a super-housewife as I pulled out the from-scratch meals and had them on the table in 15 minutes. It felt great to impress my MIL!
I completely understand the breakfast…My kids wake me up by 5:45 AM and are eating breakfast by 6:30. So I always feel awkward about fixing breakfast that early when company is over, but if it is a pull out as you need it that would be great…and no, I don’t wake my company up for breakfast!
When I first looked at the title of this post, I thought it said, FREEZE your Overnight Guests — Freezer Cooking! LOL Certainly made me stop and closely read the rest of the article!!!!
Love all of your ideas! My in-laws are actually springing an impromtu visit this weekend! I will be spending tomorrow in the kitchen preparing some of these! 🙂
Honey @ Sunflower Schoolhouse says
I love all your ideas about preparing what you can ahead of time for guests. We won’t be having sleepover guests this year, as far as I know, but we will have guests for some of our meals and preparing what we can ahead will make them just that much easier.
I know this is a nine year old post, but the tip about having cereal or something out is such a good one! My toddler wakes up early (as toddlers do) and my father-in-law (who wakes up early to work from home) always seems flustered and wakes up his wife, and I feel bad making her wake up early! I’d much rather just toss my kid some cheerios and let them sleep a little longer.