Tag Archives: entertaining

Weeknight Entertaining

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I declare weeknights the best for entertaining. (Makes it so official, right?)  For us, the best night of the week for entertaining is Tuesday.  Now that we have entertained two Tuesdays in a row I am completely hooked.  Tuesdays are the weekday that we have the least amount of activities going on.  A little respite that begs for some fun.  If you live anywhere near us prepare for an invite.  Here is my super convincing argument for why you should entertain on weeknights.

Blackberry rhubarb crisp is a great dessert for entertaining...add a dollop of ice cream and it is sweet and tart perfection!

Blackberry rhubarb crisp is a great dessert for entertaining…add a dollop of ice cream and it is sweet and tart perfection!

  1.  Entertaining on weeknights frees up your weekend. Thanks, Captain Obvious (right?). But, not so fast. We live somewhere that people are always going to the coolest places on weekends. Daytrips, long weekends, vacations, the whole deal. Entertaining on a weeknight means that we can go do all these things, too!
  2. It’s easier to stay closer to your healthy eating habits on weekdays. Weekdays feel more routine and rigid which can be good and bad. The good part is that having people over on a weeknight busts up the routine and makes it more exciting. But, being used to the weekly routine also makes it a time when you will still have your “healthy choices” momentum going for the week and it’ll make it easier for you to keep portions reasonable.
  3. Some weekdays are the worst…but your friends aren’t. Ya know those days that just seem like your life has become The Office (like work will never end and you are counting the minutes ’til the weekend)? Or your kids all decide to take turns revolting?  Is it better if they do it at once or tag-off all day long? I still can’t decide. Looking forward to having some of your favorite people over for dinner makes it so much easier to get to dinner time in one piece.

    Pasta, chicken and salad are some of our favorites for entertaining.

    Pasta, chicken and salad are some of our favorites for entertaining.

  4. Everyone loves when someone else makes dinner. Word. Everyone is always busy. That is a given no matter who your friends are. They need a nice meal. And on a busy weeknight giving them one less thing to worry about may just make you their favorite person.
  5. You won’t feel like a goober for going to bed early. I have to be in pajamas around 9 pm. When we entertain on weekends I always get so tired! On weeknights everyone has something to do the next day so no one can stay out too late. This makes me feel normal! (Okay, at least normal in this regard.)

    Something roasted is always a great option for entertaining...while it cooks you have tons of time to get other things ready!

    Something roasted is always a great option for entertaining…while it cooks you have tons of time to get other things ready!

  6. You’ll make so much food you’ll have two dinners for the week instead of just one. No one ever likes to run out of food so chances are you’ll end up making enough food for you, your guests and the next night, too. Two dinners in one, hollaaaaaaa!
  7. It is a great excuse to make your favorite things. Any normal weeknight it would just feel weird to make something fancy or super yummy or something that may take a little extra planning. If you entertain on a weeknight you can take those liberties and not feel like a big geek. Go ahead, make dessert even.

What do you think is the best night of the week to entertain?  I’d love to hear your reasons why in the comments section below!

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Leftovers Galore

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This week we had friends over mid-week and I am finally getting into a groove with meal planning since our big move to Germany. I have been thinking about our usual week and trying to plan meals that work with our schedule. We don’t have any kid activities on Tuesday afternoons so those are days that I can make a dinner that may take more time.  This is a big week for Hannah since we just found out that a space opened up for her to go to pre-K instead of the part-day preschool she has been going to. She will have homework and is allowed to bring a backpack. She’s a pretty big deal and could not be more excited!

Good thing Hannah has been working on her reading (note the box of spaghetti on the way home from the grocery store).  She's definitely going to be ready for pre-K in a few weeks!

Good thing Hannah has been working on her reading (note the box of spaghetti on the way home from the grocery store). She’s definitely going to be ready for pre-K in a few weeks!

Sunday: Leftovers. We ran a little (a lot) late going to the grocery store. We didn’t make it there until almost 1pm! We usually make it there by 11am. Needless to say our whole schedule for the day was thrown off so we didn’t have time to make dinner before church. We peeked in the fridge and realized we had leftovers. Score! Lifesaver!

Monday: Skinny Thai Chicken Meatballs with Peanut Sauce with Edamame. This was SO fun to make! Do you have any kitchen gadgets that you love to use? For me it is my cookie scooper. I think I love to harness my inner lunch lady. I used my 2 tablespoon cookie scoop to scoop up the meatballs. It really was a win-win since I didn’t get my hands icky (this is always good when the three kiddos are running rampant) and it portioned the meatballs evenly. Love that! I kept half of the meatballs out of the sauce so that the kids would have some that were not spicy and they tore it up. I forgot how edamame obsessed Ryan is and only had one bag of the steamable edamame. Ryan let the rest of us have a few, luckily. Big thank you to JoCooks.com for the awesome recipe!

Anything that allows me to use my cookie scoop is a winner for me.  I LOVE meatballs!!!!

Anything that allows me to use my cookie scoop is a winner for me. I LOVE meatballs!!!!

Tuesday: Aleppo Pepper-Roasted Pork with Shallot Vinaigrette, Pasta Salad with Walnuts, Gorgonzola and Mozzarella and Salted Chocolate Chunk Peanut Butter Cookies. I recently decided that weeknights are the best nights evahhhh for entertaining. I picked a recipe this time that hubby hadn’t had yet since I made it for my fam when I was visiting them in May. This pork is a must-try. Really. Super easy since you just prep the rub the night before and then just pop it in the oven. While it roasted I was able to make the vinaigrette, prep the pasta, bake cookies and even clean up a little. 🙂 The cookies are a must try, too. Kinda like a Reese’s cup in cookie form with some salt…yum!

Wednesday: Kielbasa and ‘Kraut. This was a Rachael Ray recipe that I really liked but hubby didn’t dig so much. Everyone ate the kielbasa and onions. Ryan was weirded out that our apples got mushy. He also did not approve of the ‘kraut on his potatoes. We ended up with tons of potatoes and ‘kraut left and ran out of kielbasa. Ugh. I thought it was good, but not as good as my fave slow cooker recipe with pierogis. And with hubs not liking it we ended up just deleting this one from my recipe organizer. So sad.

Daddy had a tough job while I made the kielbasa and 'kraut: snuggling the littlest angel.

Daddy had a tough job while I made the kielbasa and ‘kraut: snuggling the littlest angel.

Thursday: Carrabba’s Chicken Bryan, Pasta with Herb Sauce and Salad. This is hubby’s fave meal and he wanted to have it earlier in the week but I had already had the beginning of the week planned so we just filled it in for Thursday. We have made it so many times that it is pretty easy for us to pull it together. The pasta is one we found in the Joy of Cooking a looooong time ago and have made so many times. I really need to make sure I plant some oregano, marjoram and chives in my herb garden next year.

Friday: Date night. Hubby wasn’t feeling good and got progressively worse throughout the day so we ended up just having leftovers. At least we had one of his fave meals on Thursday so leftovers were not too shabby.

Saturday: Leftovers. We still had a lot of random bits of dinners from the week left so we decided to just take it easy and have leftovers. Thank goodness we had some good food this week!

She IS so cute it's scary!  Guess I should actually put this shirt away now that it is past Halloween.  If anyone is interested in this cute shirt it is a 9 mo size...send me a message on my "contact me" page and it's yours!

She IS so cute it’s scary! Guess I should actually put this shirt away now that it is past Halloween. If anyone is interested in this cute shirt it is a 9 mo size…send me a message on my “contact me” page and it’s yours!

How did your dinners go this week?  What is your favorite day of the week to entertain?  I’d love to know in the comments section below!

 

 

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Feeding our Party of Five (and visitors, too!)

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My sweet boy loves  his baby sister.

My sweet boy loves his baby sister.

This week we are having some comfort foods heading into the last few weeks of winter (hopefully!).  Gigi will be here to help out and snuggle baby Chloe this week and has offered to help pitch in in the kitchen…maybe I can convince her to bake me cookies.  That’s what mamas are for, right?

Sunday: Gigi arrives today so we are making some braised short ribs with potatoes.  I love the flavor of perfectly browned meat braising for hours.  And the house always smells like home when we make slow cooked food.  This will be perfect with a wee bit of red wine…now that I can drink wine again! 🙂

Monday: Mustard-crusted branzino (but we’ll probably use tilapia) with salad.  I know hubby bubby didn’t really want this the last time it was on the menu so my plan is to tell him that it is an Epicurious recipe…he always likes those!

Hannah is so excited Gigi is here to visit!

Hannah is so excited Gigi is here to visit!

Tuesday: Italian pot roast with buttered noodles and an endive and pear salad with BLEU CHEESE! 🙂  This one is always a crowd pleaser.  It always feels a little fancy but is super easy to make.

Wednesday: We will not be having leftovers, gasp!!! One of hubby bubby’s friends will be in town for a few days at a local training and he will be coming over for dinner.  We’ll have Carrabba’s Chicken Bryan using a copy cat recipe (it really tastes like the real thing!), pasta with herb sauce and an arugula, blood orange and honey goat cheese salad with pomegranate vinaigrette.  The salad sounds amazing and is a recipe by a fellow RD that I went to grad school with.  If you’re not following Julie, the Gourmet RD (www.thegourmetRD.com), on social media you should be!

Thursday:  Asian pork wraps.  Our pork that we were going to have last week froze in the fridge in our sun room.  Guess it got a little extra cold out there!  Hopefully I’ll remember to thaw this in time.  Fingers crossed!

Friday: Ree Drummond’s Penne alla Betsy with salad.  I love shrimp and pasta so this will be a perfect one for a Friday during Lent.  I have a huge girl crush on Ree Drummond lately!

Saturday: Prime rib burgers with potatoes and veggies or salad.  Can you tell I have been craving burgers?! 🙂  These have a special Kentucky steak sauce that goes on top.  A little bourbon in steak sauce sounds perfect to me!

You can always count on Gigi for a good snuggle.

You can always count on Gigi for a good snuggle.

What will you be up to this week?  What are your favorite recipes and menus for when you have guests over?  I hope you have a great week.  Thanks for reading!

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