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Cooking for House Guests

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As I write this post, I am currently in an airplane, several thousand feet in the air, flying over a set of mountains. It’s simply gorgeous!! I’m heading home from San Jose, California where I learned all about Invisalign Teen braces. We are all very excited to have the opportunity for Nick to experience these braces. Up until the last several months, finances in our home have been pretty tight. I thank God everyday for the opportunities he has given me to grow Hoosier Homemade to what it has become. Since we have not been able to afford braces for Nick, this is a real blessing for us.

So please, bear with me, even though his journey does not have to do with cooking or baking or even decorating our home, I will be sharing his experience with you. But it is definitely “making our house a happy home!” {not to mention, Nick is thrilled!}

Now…onto business…

We still aren’t quite ready to launch Pocket Change Gourmet, so you will need to hang tight another week to see the exciting reveal! In the meantime, I have some great recipes to share with you if you are cooking for house guests.

We don’t have guests that spend the night very often, although I would love it if we did. One of my favorite things to do is entertainment. If you have been around here for a little while, you will know that I love the holidays and cooking for others.

Last week, my good blogging friend, Gina from The Shabby Creek Cottage, hosted a few of her blogging friends for a few days. It all started back in May when Gina held a little contest for a lucky DIY weekend. The winner would be joining an extremely talented “gaggle” of bloggers and the plan was to help Gina decorate her two teenager daughter’s rooms.

Gina revealed the first room today that the gaggle decorated…

Aren’t those curtains to die for? Good thing I don’t have girls, I would spend all my money on girly stuff!

Now, you certainly can’t have house guests for three days and not feed them…enter yours truly to the rescue! Of course, I wish I lived in Nashville where I could have gone over and spent the whole time just cooking and baking for them, but…I don’t, so the next best thing was virtual cooking and baking. I put together a list of recipes that I thought were easy, delicious and would be a hit with the gaggle.

Here are some ideas I shared with Gina…

Easy Summer Salads

Make Ahead Meals


I also gave Gina a few tips to make meal time easier so she had more time with her guests.

  1. Wrap silverware in a napkin and tie up with a ribbon. Place in a basket and it’s all ready.
  2. Set bowls and platters out and put a little sticky note on each, telling you what food will go in that dish.
  3. Create a menu with lots of make ahead dishes, leaving you time to spend with your guests.
  4. Bar cookies for dessert are easy to prepare, store and serve well and can be made up ahead.

What are your tips for serving house guests?

I’m linking to…Hodge Podge Friday


  1. Thank you so much for posting this! I have gotten bored of what I have been cooking lately and needed something to change it up. I have added your Chicken Kabobs, Chicken Burritos, and Chicken Sandwiches to the menu plan. 🙂

  2. I use post its to mark what food I am putting in what dishes all the time. It is something I picked up when I was a caterer. To me, this makes it very easy to stay organized, and I know that my dishes are clean and ready for use. I once had someone question me about why in the world I would put notes in the dishes like that, but I never thought anything of it. I think they thought I was crazy! It’s all part of the prep. I love your idea about making bar desserts when you have company coming!
    Thanks for hosting!

  3. Hi Liz,

    Just wanted to thank you for the SW layered salad recipe, I made it for dinner one night last week, and my family loved it!

    1. That’s great! Thanks so much for letting me know, I always love hearing from cooks that try my recipes.

  4. Aw man I wish you were there too! We were so busy working that food was the last thing on our minds until our stomachs started talking. Those ideas are fabulous and will be perfect for next year when the gaggle comes to my house! I love the napkin wrapped around the plasticware idea. Lisa~

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