Best quick & filling food options when cooking for house guests?

Hi everyone, I have some family guests that are staying with me for 1 week. It's all fun and games but I need to prep a shopping list and have some meals ready for their stay for lunch & dinner ideally. All suggestions welcome!

Inga Orlova
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Pegeen October 14, 2014
Lots of great recipes in the One Pot Meal contest:
CarlaCooks October 14, 2014
I would try to make as much ahead of time (dishes that can be frozen) so you'll have plenty of time to spend with your guests and not be 'stuck' in the kitchen all the time (then again, when my in-laws visit, I make sure to make nothing ahead of time so that I can spend most of my time in the kitchen instead of with them...). Dishes like lasagne, meat loaf, chicken pot pie, and chili are great dishes to partially make ahead and freeze. For the chicken pot pie, just make the filling and freeze it; on the day you're serving it, top the dish with puffed pastry before baking. You could also make a big batch of meatballs and a simple tomato sauce and keep them in the freezer.
nutcakes October 10, 2014
Having just cooked for a group in house (I was the guest, though...

Here is a formula for a puffy frittata/crustless quiche 8 eggs to 2/3rd cup of milk, plus 1/2 c parmesan cheese shreds and salt and pepper. Pour into hot pan with your warmed filling and finish in the oven. Saute onion and pepper and add any leftovers. I've used leftover sausage and chopped up meatballs from spaghetti dinner. Use vegetables left from dinner, spinach, zucchini too. You can use leftover spaghetti noodles or diced potatoes for filler. This made 10 servings and worked great cold or reheated the next day.

If you make a fancy salmon dinner (I made salmon with red thai curry and asian slaw from Terra--google it), cook extra and make salmon cakes for lunch, skip one day. You can even mix with canned to strech it. I love this cooking light recipe, I'm glad I just found it again. (Just use regular eggs if you want.) A couple small cakes and a salad is a nice meal.

I also always do simmered (crockpot) shredded chicken with chicken taco seasoning and tomato paste to keep on hand, freezes well too. I made chicken enchiladas, one pan red, one pan green, just using canned sauce because I needed something quick. This also made good leftovers. Plus the leftover shredded chicken was used for make your own burritos using leftover beans and rice from the meal. This might be great with Oranges and Jicama salad, maybe make with tangerines as they are just in season.
Inga O. October 13, 2014
Great ideas, just what I needed! Thank you.
SKK October 9, 2014
This dish is from Hillary Bee is wonderful for breakfast or lunch and can be made ahead. The recipe is incredibly versatile. from dymnyno is spectacular. You can make the components ahead if you like, or all at once and just freeze. This does not have to be made ahead and it is so simple and delicious This is an amazing appetizer And this meat-loaf
Inga O. October 13, 2014
Thanks SKK!! This is very helpful.

Voted the Best Reply!

aargersi October 9, 2014
How fun! Well it sounds fun to me :-) Here are some thoughts on things you can make / freeze
1) scones - look at any recipe from MrsLarkin, you make them and cut them, and then bake straight from the freezer as needed
2) You can trust any muffin (or any RECIPE) that Dr Babs makes - I bake and freeze her muffins and then microwave for 30 seconds on demand:
3) Have a good supply of yogurt, honey, granola and pre-cut fruit on hand
4) The obvious dinner answer is any soup, stew or chili - make and freeze, easy to heat and go - just add bread and salad!!! (when I have houseguests I make a giant tossed salad right before they arrive and live off that for a couple days, then I force them to make all salads for the remainder of the visit. SUCH a good hostess. Not.)
5) Consider an "opening night" roast - something big like a turkey or a big roast beef, that will serve as dinner that night and leftovers for sandwiches and such for the next day or two. A large pork loin could become pork fried rice the next night.

I often have large groups here, and my tactics also include involving everyone in prep, cooking and cleanup. Survey your guests - maybe someone has a specialty they would like to cook for the whole gang?

Lots of wine and beer on hand
Check how everyone takes their coffee or tea in the morning


don't forget extra TP :-)
Inga O. October 9, 2014
Wow, you totally got this down! Want to come help me host? Just kidding...

Thank you for such a detailed response, especially the salad forcing! I was also thinking of ordering in one night since they are from out of town and being a true New Yorker I don't believe they have ever had good pizza, Chinese food, sushi or Indian. Only NY has the real deal, of course. But other than that, the big food items will give leftovers which is a valid point. The one item I always have in abundance is wine, now all I have to do is craft the meals around that....
aargersi October 10, 2014
Oh you are in New York! Well this is food nerd fun but I would think it super fun to go to the Union Square market and everyone run around and buy whatever looks best and most beautiful to them, then come home and have a cook-a-palooza!!! I did that with a group here in Austin, in our post Color Run glory no less, and we had a blast.
Inga O. October 13, 2014
Yes, I will definitely do that here! Austin is an amazing food city as well, I take my words back. One day soon I will visit it :)
K'lee October 9, 2014
For breakfast options; french toast or breakfast sandwiches! Lunch could be as simple as soups w/ grilled cheese. For dinner, any pasta dishes are always a quick and easy way to go!
Hope this help! :D x
Inga O. October 9, 2014
Thanks K'lee, I totally forgot about breakfast so you rock. I agree with the ideas, just need to stock up my fridge and do a pantry check. Pancakes with some mixed berries can also work... need to get to shopping!
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