A little over a week ago, we hosted our Monday night supper club/Bible study. We love this group of friends and it is pure joy to have them in our home (as a large group) about 4 + times a year. However, sometimes coming up with a practical meal for 20 + people can be a challenge. So whenever it is my turn to host I give a call to my Mama who helps me figure out what to make. Cooking and meal planning for crowds are her spiritual gifts and she has never let me down when it comes to advice.
Here's what I served last week...chicken sandwiches, cheese grits, & ice cream pie.
Be inspired...have some friends over!
grilled chicken sub sandwiches
Marinate chicken cutlets overnight in Italian dressing.
Grill chicken on medium/high heat. Mine took about 7 minutes on each side.
Then layer chicken on large Italian bread loaf, along with mayonnaise, spinach, tomatoes, slices of red onion, and Monterey Jack cheese. Wrap in foil and heat in oven on 350 for 20-25 minutes before serving. Slice sandwich and eat up!
Cook grits in chicken broth. When done add some butter, cream cheese, and extra sharp Cheddar cheese. As much as you like of all three! But use some discretion, of course.
Pour into a casserole dish and re-heat before guest arrive.
ice cream pie
Store bought Oreo pie crust + your favorite ice cream + chocolate and caramel sauce = ice cream pie. This is a quick and easy. Let ice cream soften a little before spooning into pie crust, then place back in the freezer after drizzling it with chocolate and caramel sauce.
A few general tips I've learned about cooking for a crowd...
Do as much as possible BEFORE guests arrive, things like putting coffee grounds in the coffee maker so it's all set to brew. Once people get there, you'll want to chat and it is bothersome to be dealing with lots of last minute tasks.
If someone offers to help and you need it, then let them. Delegate. People like to help.
Don't pick too many involved recipes. Pick one "elaborate" dish and then make the rest easy. My sandwiches were the most involved item on my menu...grilling chicken, assembling, etc, but the grits and ice cream pies were quick "throw it in the pot" type recipes.
Don't sweat the small stuff. Even if one of your guests has a full pitcher of sweet tea crack and spill when they pick it up...Oh well! At least there are lots of hands to help clean up and no one minds drinking water from the tap!
What are your cooking for crowds tips and strategies?
P.S. THANK YOU PEOPLE FOR THE LOVELY SALAD DRESSING RECIPES. I CAN'T WAIT TO TRY THEM!!!