Serving a Crowd

This past weekend was great. And I did not even share about it. But now I want to, because it was too great not to.

So, as I mentioned last Friday, 

my sister, 
brother in-law, 
friends Martha and Ian, 
and their cutest baby girl ever,

All came to stay with us. 

On top of that, my cousin Cae was in town with her man and we got to see her twice while they were here.

All of this visiting goodness meant that on Friday night we would have 8 people for dinner,

And Saturday night we would have 10. 

I'd never really cooked two back-to-back dinners for so many. I'm just starting to master the dinner-for-two-type meals. I was feeling nervous about how I would cost effectively, taste effectively, and time effectively feed all the folks who I love good meals for the weekend. After a week of talking with my mom, sister, and good friend/food blogger Allyson, I decided to go with these:

Friday: Crock-Pot Chicken Tacos, from "Chocolate Therapy." They were SO easy. You dump salsa, taco seasoning, and chicken (I added black beans too) into your slow cooker in the morning and by dinner time the chicken is falling apart and begging to be stuffed into some soft taco shells and topped with fresh avo. My tummy is growling as I write. Great for a big party, great for two. And, makes great leftovers! 

Saturday: I went with this delicious homemade Bolognese. I had eaten it before, but had never made it myself. It comes from none other than "Pastor Ryan"--a friend and guest blogger of the Pioneer Woman. I had been wanting to make it for a long time, so I finally went for it. And boy was it a good decision. We served it with some garlic-butter-danger bread and an awesome spinach salad. And vino, of course. The entire bottle that was in the sauce just wasn't going to cut it for the evening. 

For breakfasts we made cinnamon raisin buttered bagels (GrandBetty's recipe) and oatmeal. Smashed banana if you were a baby. 

But along with eating well, we also had a great time enjoying each other's company, watching Duke beat Maryland, playing games, having an impromptu tribute to Whitney Houston night (18 minutes after the news came out) which turned into a tribute to all dead singers night (Aaliyah and MJ anyone?) which also somehow included JT, Tom Petty, and Bob Dylan. Lots of singing from the heart.

Hosting is so fun, particularly when you have a sweet husband to share it with. We loved spending time with so many great friends. We loved getting to play with a precious little baby all weekend. And we hated saying goodbye. Can't wait for our next chance to host this fun group...or anyone else that wants to come visit! Here are some of my favorite photos from the weekend.

Can I keep her? Can I please keep her?
Love having friendlies in my kitchen!
I heart my sister.

He's a sucker for a head scratch. I think we lost him to it.

Ready for church, in our matching bow coats.

Foster's Market for Sunday brunch!

What are your go-to recipes for big groups? I really need to start building my repertoire. But tonight we are back to two, so I better start brainstorming for that...

Happy Wednesday to all! 


  1. You are my hero! Someone once planted the hosting bug in me... :) The crockpot is so underrated; I fed 15 ladies at the small group last week and there wasn't a smidgen left!

  2. I've printed both of these recipes to make as soon as possible. Love sharing recipes. :)


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