thou shalt feed thy guests.

This is the third and final post about our guest room and hosting guests.  See the other two here and here.

When it comes to having guests, it’s important to feed them.  This may mean that you go out to a restaurant every night or it may mean a four course meal!  After having a comfortable (and remember, that’s relative) home and some simple hospitality, feeding your guests is the best way you can show them you are happy to have them in your home.img_3057

  1. Quick meals and snacks. My old bossLori taught me this smart but simple idea. I worked as not only her nanny but also as a “household manager” for 5 years.  Whenever she had guests she would always ask me to grab a pound of pimiento cheese and chicken salad from a deli.  She would keep it in the fridge for times when her guests would need a quick meal or snack.  Point them in the direction of these types of snacks and encourage them to help themselves.
  2. Cookies. See how this is a completely separate line item from the snacks line? Yeah, it’s that important. The best way I know how to show love is with baked goods.  My chocolate chip cookies in a jar are one of the little ways I show my guests that we’re happy to have them with us. It also reminds me of my Mudder (Geraldine’s) always stocked jar of Nilla Wafers.  A bowl of candy can accomplish the same thing.
  3. Consider the kids. Keeping a few “kid foods” on hand for little guests is a great measure of hospitality for the smallest visitors.  William loves when we have friends with kids come to visit because I stock the house with squeezable yogurts, granola bars, and fun snack foods.  This is a nice way to accommodate if your friends’ kids are picky.  Of course, make sure allergies are also accommodated!
  4. Drinks. We like to make sure to have iced tea, fun sodas, and adult beverages on hand when we have visiting guests, along with milk and a non-dairy milk option. We try to keep some grab-and-go drinks readily available for when guests go out during their stay.
  5. Coffee (or tea). Make sure you know whether your guests are coffee or tea drinkers and have either on the ready.  There is nothing worse than visiting a friend and finding they don’t stock coffee.  Us coffee drinkers are not nice guests without a little help in the morning.  Plan on waking up earlier than your guests and prepare a pot of coffee (or a kettle of hot water for tea) so that when they wake up the coffee is ready! Also ensure you have cream and sweetener options on the ready.
  6. Party! When we have guests who used to live in town, we love to host a casual get-together to ensure they’ve had a chance to catch up with old friends.  Many times just a simple potluck dinner.  It gives everyone the opportunity to see their old friends for a few hours in a relaxed environment.
  7. Local Faves. Living in Memphis, where BBQ is highly prized, we usually HAVE to make a stop at a BBQ restaurant. (No complaints from this Memphian!)  I always like to take the chance to ensure guests have a chance to visit their favorite local restaurants.  You may do a fabulous job of cooking meals when they come to visit, but making sure to hit their favorites is a great way to be hospitable.
  8. To go. Plan to send your guests with a few snacks for the road when they leave.  A few bags of trail mix can be appreciated a few hours later.  I also like to have some to-go coffee cups on hand.  Caffeination for the road is never turned down!
  9. Cook ahead. Do as much cooking ahead as possible.  I like to make easily warmed breakfast items to keep on hand. Cooking stress with visitors is absolutely no fun.  Preparing a few items will free up a tremendous amount of time. (See below for a few fun breakfast ideas!)
  10. Plan.  I mentioned this in my previous post.  Hosting is the most successful if everyone’s expectations are managed.  You may find that your guests want to spend the entire weekend lounging on the couch together.  They may have no interest in visiting your town’s touristy destinations.  The same is true for cooking.  Know when your guests plan on dining in your home, make it a point to plan the meals they want to have elsewhere, and be sure to synch schedules to keep everyone well fed!
  11. Most importantly- enjoy your guests! No five star meal will ever taste as good if the host is stressed.  Plan your meals and make sure your guests are well fed.  This doesn’t have to be fancy or elaborate.  A frozen pizza dinner will accomplish the same thing as a fancy roast!

 

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No matter what the day looks like for your guests, a delicious breakfast will go a long way.  Here are a few ideas for easy to make and quick breakfasts that everyone will love!

  1. Biscuit Sandwiches– bake eggs in greased muffin tins and fry up some sausage or bacon.  Then layer with sliced cheese on these biscuits.  Then wrap in parchment or foil and refrigerate.  These can be microwaved (not with the foil!) or reheated in large batches in the oven.  Then guests can grab and go!
  2. Soft Boiled Eggs and Soldiers (pictured)Use this method for PERFECT soft boiled eggs– a Maas family favorite.  Cut some toast into strips (kitchen shears do a lovely job of this) and serve with flaky salt and black pepper.  Throw on some bacon while the eggs are cooking and you’ve got a different 6.5 minute breakfast everyone will rave about!
  3. Strata- My mom taught me to save stale bread in the freezer for this purpose.  I rarely use a recipe for this.  I simply whisk about a dozen eggs, some milk, salt, pepper, and mustard powder together.  Mix it with the torn bread hunks, until all the bread is sufficiently saturated, then top with loads of shredded cheese.  Bake until things are set! It’s the simplest and most make-ahead friendly dish I make. Here and here are some other recipes for it that look delicious.!  This dish can be as fancy or as lowbrow as you choose.
  4. Breakfast Burritos- We love breakfast burritos around here.  Scramble some eggs, fry up some sausage, top with sautéed veggies, salsa, avocado, sour cream, and cheese.  Who doesn’t love one of these? Plus they can be customized to fit your guests preferences. These burritos can be made ahead and frozen for the busiest mornings with your guests.
  5. Granola and yogurt- This recipe from when I wrote for the Memphis Moms Blog is a great option to make ahead and serve  over some greek yogurt.  Add in some fruit and you’re set!

I hope these ideas give you the confidence to host guests with grace and ease.  There’s really no better way to show love than with a cozy bed, some delicious food, and good company.  Good luck!

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