How to Make Iced Coffee for a Crowd

iced coffee

In three years I went from not liking coffee, to loving coffee, to becoming a coffee snob. I mean this in the sweetest way. I’ve learned that there’s coffee, and then there’s coffee. Can I help it if I prefer the coffee that makes me feel the actual love of Jesus flow over me? Well of course I can’t help this.

I blame my oldest son for my particular coffee preferences, because any time I can blame one of my children for something, I do. (I hate it when I spill something and none of my kids is around to blame. It’s very frustrating.)

Why are my coffee snob issues Asa’s fault? Because I was in my early years of drinking coffee about the time he took a mission trip to Ecuador two years ago. While he was there, I happily sipped my “coffee from a red canister that shall remain nameless” like I had done since I started my coffee drinking ways. When he came back home, he brought me a cute little Ecuador bracelet as a souvenir and a package of Ecuadorian coffee. How nice, I thought. Coffee from Ecuador. I’ll pray for the ministry there while I drink it. It will be so lovely.

Lovely didn’t even begin to describe this experience. I took my first sip and exclaimed, “Oh my goodness!! This coffee!! I’ve never had anything like it. I think this must be the most amazing thing I’ve ever tasted. I might even like this more than butter.”

From that moment on, no other cup of coffee measured up. Once you have the best, it’s hard to go back.

(Our second son, Justus, will have the delightful opportunity to go to Ecuador this summer for his first overseas mission trip. I am so excited for him to bring me back a suitcase full of coffee share the love of Jesus with people there.)

How to Cold Brew Coffee

Needless to say, I hoarded my little bag of Ecuador coffee and rationed it – saving it for the mornings I could truly savor it. I might not have shared even a drop with anyone, but I can’t remember all the details. I’ve since started buying (and yes, even sharing) these Guatemalan coffee beans online. I find the flavor to be very similar to the Ecuador beans. This coffee is so delicious!

I questioned myself. “Should I really be spending extra money on high quality coffee?” So I did the math.

I discovered that it costs between $0.50-$0.60 per pot of coffee when I use the good stuff. This is more than a pot of the cheaper coffee. But worth it? Well, is it worth it to spend more on butter instead of settling for margarine? Obviously! (I know. That’s not an apples to apples comparison because the butter/margarine thing is more about eating real food for good health, but still. I think it’s worth it to pay a little extra for good quality and taste.)

Iced Coffee for a Crowd

Well, all that to say – get yourself some good coffee and treat people to this delicious Iced Coffee I’m going to tell you about. Or just use the cheap stuff for this recipe since you’re adding sugar anyway. :)

Last week I was asked to provide drinks for a get-together. I made a gallon of Homemade Lemonade (with sugar instead of maple syrup to cut the cost). Then I decided to make a big jar of iced coffee just for fun. It was a hit, so I thought I’d better share the idea with you!

My rough calculations tell me that a half-gallon of this Homemade Iced Mocha Coffee costs about $1.00. (I priced it at the store a few days later. The cheapest one cost $2.66. Boom.)

How to Make Iced Coffee for a CrowdYum

How to Make Iced Coffee for a Crowd
 
Author:
Ingredients
  • 1 quart coffee
  • 1 tray coffee ice cubes
  • ½ cup heavy cream
  • ½ cup homemade chocolate fudge sauce (more or less to taste)
Instructions
  1. Cold brew coffee, or hot brew as normal, then chill.
  2. Stir cold coffee, coffee ice cubes, cream, and chocolate sauce into a half-gallon jar.
  3. Shake well before serving.

Some helpful links for you:

You might also enjoy this idea:

How to set up an Iced Coffee Bar

How to Make an Iced Coffee Bar

We set up that Iced Coffee Bar for my birthday guests last year and it was so much fun! See? I’m nice and share my good coffee now. I’ve grown so much.

Are you particular about what kind of coffee you drink?

The Week We NAILED it With Hospitality

I thought you’d appreciate knowing that when it comes to hospitality – we totally nailed it this week. (Nailed rhymes with failed. There might be a connection there.) Details? Oh yes. You do want to know these details. Maybe. 

First, as you recall, we hosted 15 teenage boys last weekend. Crazy as that sounds, having them here was the least eventful of everything else I am about to share with you. Oh yes. The boys all trooped into our house on Friday and Saturday nights after fun times at the church building with youth from four different states. They kicked off their shoes; they crowded into our kitchen where Matt and I stood throwing out cheap junk food for an hour and a half each night; they went outside and played football in the snow at midnight.

By Sunday afternoon when everyone left for their homes – my floors were covered in mud and dirty towels. The sink was overflowing with dishes. I was going on about seven hours of accumulated sleep over the course of three days.

dirty_kitchen_1

This is when our new guests moved in. Sunday afternoon. When I was a zombie and there were no clean sheets or towels.

This time, instead of bunches of teenage boys, we were hosting a young family with two little ones. We’d planned it. I’d warned them about what they’d be walking into. They were extremely gracious. I got them settled (sort of) then excused myself to pass out in bed for a couple hours.

Fast-forward a couple of days. Young Family was still here. Young Husband began feeling a major allergic reaction. Upon checking more thoroughly in our guest room – we realized that mold was becoming a problem on a wall where we had recently had a leak. Oh my stars. We were slowly killing our guests.

Bleach was our friend (even though we hate bleach – we hate mold more). The wall became livable for the time being until we can find a moment to knock it out and replace it. Enter: more guests.

Young Family’s brother moved in along with his girlfriend. YF’s Brother camped out with our boys upstairs in their room. Girlfriend got guest room downstairs. We liked Girlfriend immediately (a good thing too, because YF’s Brother is like a son to us).

Girlfriend is low maintenance and sweet. This is probably why she did not mention the complete lack of hot water for her shower the first morning she was here.

Matt discovered it later that day when he was washing his hands in the downstairs bathroom and the water in the sink never got warm. He went to the basement to investigate. Sure enough. The hot water heater had a leak in the tank. There was nothing that could be done. It had lived its life. Time to buy a new one.

So let’s see. Mold. Cold showers. What else did we offer our guests this week?

On not much. Just a HUGE police investigation next door that revealed a Meth-Lab in the works. Wha??! I am so serious. That place was hopping for hours on Tuesday – with guys in Hazmat suits, firemen standing by in case of explosions, you know – just another day in our quiet neighborhood in small town Nebraska while we sit around sipping hot cocoa with company.

applecrispsm

When all was said and done, I’d say we’ve all still had a wonderful time visiting. Somehow I’ve caught up on sleep and laundry (which of course, doesn’t mean anything because there is no such thing as “caught up on laundry”). If nothing else, I’ve done my best to provide our guests with great food. I mean, if all else fails, feed people Apple Crisp and Blueberry Pancakes, right?

Anything exciting happen in your house or on your block this week? I’m voting for a few laid back days at our house next week. Please??

Company is Coming This Weekend! Here’s What We’ll be Eating…

I super love when people come to visit us! I love planning the meals and preparing the meals and serving the meals and doing all the food up right in an effort to bless our guests while we visit. And of course, I love to visit with our guests.

In summary: Would one of you please come clean my house for me?

Man, I do not like to clean. I do like my house to be clean, but the act of cleaning is low on my fun list. Actually, it’s not even on my fun list. It’s on my do it because it has to be done so get over it list.

Hiring regular cleaning help is not in the budget right now, but I’m seriously thinking about seeing who might want to trade cooking for cleaning. Some people like to clean but not cook, right? Yes, I hear that this is true.

My boys are very helpful with their assigned cleaning chores, which is another reason I’ve not wanted to outsource this task to hired help. But sometimes my idea of clean differs from my boys’ idea of clean. (I probably don’t need to explain this.)

Well anyway. All this talk about cleaning is starting to make me upset. Let’s talk about food!!!! Aaaaahhh yes. Now I’m happy again. :) :) :) :)

Family is coming to town this weekend for our York College Homecoming festivities. I can’t wait to feed see them! This is always a wonderful weekend with people we don’t get to see often enough.

In order to enjoy my guests and avoid having to talk very much while I cook (this is a serious problem for me) – I’m making most of the food ahead of time or at least planning very simple, no-brainer dishes (like this Stir-and-Pour Bread).

Whole Wheat No-Knead Bread

Here are the meals we’ll be having:

Breakfast Foods

chocolatechocolatechipmuffinssm

Lunch Foods

  • Potato Soup
  • Chili (with Fritos – yes really – and shredded cheese)
  • Sub Sandwich Bar
  • Veggie Platter (carrots, cucumbers, sweet peppers, olives, pickles)
  • Fresh Fruit

potato_soup

Dinner Meals

(The Crock Pot Roast Beef recipe was originally written to be used for Roast Beef and Melted Cheese Sandwiches, but we love the flavor of this one so much, and it only takes about 30 seconds to prepare {seriously!!!!}, so we make it frequently to eat as a main dish without the cheese and buns.)

creamy salsa enchiladas

Here’s a picture of Creamy Salsa Enchilada Casseroles I like to serve guests.
So, so, so, so good. And easy.

Snack Foods

sugar cookies 4

Any of these meals sound particularly good to you? What do you like feeding guests when they come visit? Who likes cleaning?!?

How to Set Up an Iced Coffee Bar

Need a party idea? Set up an Iced Coffee Bar!

Monday was my birthday. (Yay, 42!) Since most of my favorite peeps (aka three outa four of my boys) were still at church camp and thus not home to help me celebrate – we instead invited a few friends over. It was such a blessed time.

Not planned or appreciated is the fact that our grill chose to die at the very moment we were ready to begin cooking our meat (for 13 hungry people). I mean the grill didn’t just die. It also became very dead. So, so dead.

One of our friends who had just left her house to come over saved the day by bringing her grill (hi, can you come to my birthday get-together and if it’s not too much to ask can you load up and bring an entire grill when you come? k thanks.) So we ate a little bit late. It made for a longer celebration, and then the food tasted even better than if we’d eaten an hour and a half before during the regularly scheduled program. This is what memories are made of. And also this…

While the men were outside looking under the hood of the grill, and one of my friends was loading up her grill to bring over, and some other friends were outside throwing around a football, and some kids were in the lego room upstairs – this was happening in my kitchen:

birthday bouquet1

birthday bouquet2

I am loved and richly blessed by these dear people.

After we finally ate the most delicious dinner (grilled steak and chicken and amazing side dishes brought by friends), out came a brand new buffet I had been working on for a couple of days. Allow me to introduce you to the very wonderful Iced Coffee Bar. This idea came to me as I was thinking about my favorite foods and drinks while planning the get-together. What did I want for my birthday meal? Steak, for sure. And wouldn’t it be fun to serve iced coffee, thought I. One thing led to another until this:

Iced Coffee Bar

Yes, the White Chocolate and the Caramel are in vases.
What a great way to re-purpose those, don’t ya think?

I brewed/chilled coffee and made coffee ice cubes all day in preparation. I made sweet sauces. I had absolutely wayyyyy too much fun. And then during the party? Let me just say that you must do this sometime. It was a blast seeing what people put together. Some drinks got blended. Some used ice cream. Some mixed all three sauces. Some made fun of me for having to drink decaf. Hey, I wanted to sleep after my party, okay? Caffeine can’t happen after 5pm for this (very young) 42 year old.

How to Make an Iced Coffee Bar

Suggestions for options to include in your Iced Coffee Bar

Explain the options to your guests, then let them have at it.

It was so much fun to see what people came up with for their special drink. We all took turns building our concoction, then we all stood around sipping and saying “yum” over and over while talking and laughing. Bliss.

iced coffee

This Iced Coffee Bar is going to be my new go-to idea for special gatherings. Come winter, we’ll just switch it to a Hot Coffee Bar with fun fixin’s. Do this!!! It is so much fun!

Want to borrow my Coffee Bar Labels? These made it easy for guests and added cuteness to the fun.

coffee bar labels

Download and Print These Free Coffee Bar Labels

What else can you think of to add to this Iced (or hot) Coffee Bar?

P.S. If you are in my local Bunco group, you are not allowed to use this idea until after I host, mmkay?

Easy Dessert to WOW Your Guests: Build a Brownie Sundae Bar

Need a fun but simple dessert? This Brownie Sundae Bar is the way to go!

brownie_fudge_sundae

I didn’t have time to make a fancy dessert for our Easter guests two weeks ago. We’d been out of town, arriving home late the night before. Knowing this ahead of time, I’d bought ice cream. Boring and not very Eastery.  I mean, it wasn’t even homemade. But…

Sunday morning before church, I baked some Brownies and sliced some strawberries. Those two items alone make a dessert pretty special. Once we arrived home from church, I made some Homemade Hot Fudge and whipped some cream. Thus (I like saying “thus”) – after we cleared the table of the wonderful (and also simple) Easter dinner, the boys helped me carry all the fun brownie bar goodies out to the table.

How to Set Up a Brownie Sundae Bar

Set out items like:

As each item appeared on the table, our guests (5 college students) gasped – especially when the hot fudge came out. It was like I had spent hours on a fancy dessert and presented them with a one-of-a-kind treat. Dude, it was just brownies and ice cream. But hey, when you put all these simple treats together, they really do make something special.

Build a Brownie Sundae Bar

So the moral of this story is this: If you need a special dessert for company, but you don’t have a lot of time, consider preparing a Brownie Sundae Bar. Your guests will love it and you will too. It’s simple but fancy and obviously delicious.

What else would you add to your Brownie Sundae Bar? 

P.S. This is not a low sugar dessert. ;)

Trying To Get Ahead So I Can Have Rational Conversations With My Guests

My aunt and uncle are visiting for the weekend – something I’ve been looking forward to for a long time! We’ll be having cousins over for a meal or two while they are here. And you know me. For the life of me, I cannot talk and cook at the same time (more info to follow about my poor, pitiful self).

Because of this issue I have, the boys and I spend some time yesterday prepping food to make it possible for me to have coherent conversations with my loved ones. I think it goes without saying that we will all appreciate this – both the food and the completed sentences.

memorial day food 2

What all did we get done? Well, none of this was difficult, and in fact, much of it didn’t even involve cooking. Still, the more kitchen work done ahead of time the better. Here’s what we did:

  • Prepped tomatoes and lettuce for BLT Wraps. The day before that, we cooked the bacon for the cream cheese mixture. Was it torture to make bacon and not eat it. Yes, just a little bit.
  • Sliced strawberries and whipped cream to top Whole Wheat Waffles for breakfast.
  • Made Creamy Coleslaw
  • Sliced cucumbers and opened a bag of petite carrots (that was exhausting, let me tell you)
  • Ground flour to have on hand for waffles and whatever else I may need it for this weekend.
  • Made Ranch Dip for the veggies.
  • Made Italian Dressing to marinate chicken for the grill.
  • Baked a double batch of Shortbread for snacking.

You may remember the following post I wrote last year. I thought it was worth sharing again, just to help you understand why prepping food ahead of time is so important for me. Enjoy!

Having Company? Prepare Food Ahead of Time (and My Hostess Confessions)

Little known fact about Laura:  I can start a load of laundry, brush my teeth, plan dinner, write a grocery list, and instruct four different children on six different chores all at the same time, but for all of my multi-tasking abilities, I cannot talk and cook simultaneously.

I try to fake it. I’ll stir together cookies while chatting with a friend in the kitchen, and attempt to sound intelligent when answering a question.  This works not at all. She’ll ask how long we’ve lived in this house, and I’ll look lamely up from my cocoa powder and answer, “blue.”  She’ll try again, asking where I got my lovely serving platter. I’ll blink a few times in an effort to pull myself into the conversation, and come up with “last week at a soccer game.”  You think I’m kidding. God bless our house guests. 

Occasionally, I will actually answer questions correctly while cooking (and even ask a few brilliant ones) only to realize later that I forgot to stir important ingredients like oil or eggs into our breakfast muffins. We already know I struggle with remembering to put bananas in my banana bread – and that’s when I’m all alone in the kitchen holding only a conversation with myself (don’t ask). It’s rather scary and a wonder friends and loved ones still eat my food and declare it to be good.

Because I love extending hospitality, but I also love not looking and sounding like a dimwit, I work to prepare as much food ahead of time as possible before guests arrive. It is my number one hospitality survival tactic.  This also helps insure that I will not be working in the kitchen the entire time my company is here. I love to cook, but when guests are here, I’d much rather play games, watch the kids play, or sit around and visit intelligently. (Eleven. We’ve lived in this house for eleven years. It was a wedding gift. The platter, not the house. Try to keep up.)

In addition, prepping food ahead of time means that the worst of the dirty dishes are cleaned up and put away. I’ve also found that when some of the guests are children who eat as much and as frequently as mine, having snacks and meals prepared is helpful in avoiding melt-downs and grumpiness. As we all know, a grumpy hostess melting down in the kitchen is ugly. (Right. You thought I was talking about the kids.)

One more thing to note:  Beyond preparing food ahead of time, I feel it is important to keep meals simple. Guests don’t need gourmet, they just need food served with love. They don’t need fancy, they just need tasty. A fruit platter is beautiful, nourishing, and delicious. A lettuce salad tosses together quickly. Veggies steam in no time. Put those together with a casserole or another main dish you’ve prepared ahead of time, and you’ve got a perfect, simple meal to serve to guests.

So just in case you find yourself like me, with the inability to cook and talk at the same time, do the best you can to prepare food ahead of time. If all else fails, remember to keep a smile on your face at all times. You might respond to your guest with “in the refrigerator behind the peanut butter” when asked where your bathroom is located, but at least you’ll look cute.

Can you talk and cook at the same time?  (If your answer doesn’t make sense, I’ll assume you’re adding spices to your sauce.)

Having Company? Prepare Food Ahead of Time. {And My Hostess Confessions}

Having Company Prepare Food Ahead of Time.

Little known fact about Laura:  I can start a load of laundry, brush my teeth, plan dinner, write a grocery list, and instruct four different children on six different chores all at the same time, but for all of my multi-tasking abilities, I cannot talk and cook simultaneously.

I try to fake it. I’ll stir together cookies while chatting with a friend in the kitchen, and attempt to sound intelligent when answering a question.  This works not at all. She’ll ask how long we’ve lived in this house, and I’ll look lamely up from my cocoa powder and answer, “blue.”  She’ll try again, asking where I got my lovely serving platter. I’ll blink a few times in an effort to pull myself into the conversation, and come up with “last week at a soccer game.”  You think I’m kidding. God bless our house guests. 

Occasionally, I will actually answer questions correctly while cooking (and even ask a few brilliant ones) only to realize later that I forgot to stir important ingredients like oil or eggs into our breakfast muffins. We already know I struggle with remembering to put bananas in my banana bread – and that’s when I’m all alone in the kitchen holding only a conversation with myself (don’t ask). It’s rather scary and a wonder friends and loved ones still eat my food and declare it to be good.

wednesday_1

Because I love extending hospitality, but I also love not looking and sounding like a dimwit, I work to prepare as much food ahead of time as possible before guests arrive. It is my number one hospitality survival tactic.  This also helps insure that I will not be working in the kitchen the entire time my company is here. I love to cook, but when guests are here, I’d much rather play games, watch the kids play, or sit around and visit intelligently. (Eleven. We’ve lived in this house for eleven years. It was a wedding gift. The platter, not the house. Try to keep up.)

In addition, prepping food ahead of time means that the worst of the dirty dishes are cleaned up and put away. I’ve also found that when some of the guests are children who eat as much and as frequently as mine, having snacks and meals prepared is helpful in avoiding melt-downs and grumpiness. As we all know, a grumpy hostess melting down in the kitchen is ugly. (Right. You thought I was talking about the kids.)

One more thing to note:  Beyond preparing food ahead of time, I feel it is important to keep meals simple. Guests don’t need gourmet, they just need food served with love. They don’t need fancy, they just need tasty. A fruit platter is beautiful, nourishing, and delicious. A lettuce salad tosses together quickly. Veggies steam in no time. Put those together with a casserole or another main dish you’ve prepared ahead of time, and you’ve got a perfect, simple meal to serve to guests.

So just in case you find yourself like me, with the inability to cook and talk at the same time, do the best you can to prepare food ahead of time. If all else fails, remember to keep a smile on your face at all times. You might respond to your guest with “in the refrigerator behind the peanut butter” when asked where your bathroom is located, but at least you’ll look cute.

Can you talk and cook at the same time?  (If your answer doesn’t make sense, I’ll assume you’re adding spices to your sauce.)

Gratituesday: Company, Company, and More Company!

Shucks, I don’t even have any pictures to share of our recent events. Ah well, words will have to do…

For the past few days, we have been hosting friends from out of town. My boys have had an extra little boy playmate, I have been able to get a baby-girl fix (Ladies, there are hair bows in my house!), and we adults have been catching up on all the latest.

Today, more friends drove into town. They bring with them even more boy playmates (and another little girl with hairbows). I’m guessing I won’t see my youngest boys for the next several days, until they emerge every few hours with their friends to find a bite to eat.

There is much excitement in our house tonight. Food is abundant. Board games are scattered here and there. We are all having a great time.

We are blessed to have so many wonderful friends in our lives and grateful to be able to bless them in our home.

Share how God is working in your life on your blog, then come link up with us here. If you don’t have a blog, be sure to leave a comment letting us know what you’re grateful for! Please read through the Gratituesday Guidelines so that you understand what kinds of posts you can link up to share here. Posts that are linked but do not fit our Gratituesday theme will be deleted.

If you are linking up a blog post for Gratituesday, please copy and paste the following sentence into your post! Thanks!

Join us for Gratituesday at Heavenly Homemakers!

Cleaning With a Purpose

In case you didn’t know from all the subtle or not so subtle complaints I’ve dropped through the years: I do not like to clean. I do enjoy a clean house, but the work that it takes to make it that way? Ugh. I’d much rather be in the kitchen cooking up a storm or at my computer writing fun articles.

Like many aspects of life that have to be done whether we like it or not, cleaning is necessary. And not just every once in a while. Dishes have to be done daily (hourly?!), floors need to be swept frequently, and please let’s not talk about the bathrooms.

clean_bathroom

Are you kidding? That’s not my bathroom.
I just found the picture online.

I’m not into having a perfect, spotless home. It’s just not my gift, and I am okay with that. I hear God calling me to more important things than using a toothbrush to scrub the crevices around my – actually – I can’t even pretend to know how to finish that sentence. What do people use toothbrushes to scrub around? Well, whatever it is, I’m not into it. If you are, please do go for it! God gives us all different passions and skills.

What I have been recently convicted of, however, is that no longer should my attitude be that of cleaning just to get it done or so that I won’t die of embarrassment when someone comes over and sees the filth. Those really have been my reasons in the past.

While one of my gifts has always been hospitality, recently God has put on my heart that our home is to be open and used more frequently to bless others. He gave us a great, big house with plenty of food and fun to share.

Based on that specific calling from God (because this would never come from me – I’m the one who doesn’t like cleaning, remember?) I have found so much joy recently in preparing my home for the guests God continues to put on our doorstep.

No longer am I cleaning to save myself from embarrassment or so that guests won’t think I’m a big slob. (Can you say, self-focused??)  I am now cleaning my house, preparing our guest room, planning meals, and making comfortable beds so that my guests will feel blessed and comfortable in our home.

Do we all need to feel like our homes are perfect before we open our doors to others? Absolutely not. My guests are not going to walk in and feel like they’ve walked into a show room. Far from it. Nerf bullets may still fly by their faces while we visit, dust will be found in places that I forgot to notice, and someone may likely come across a broken pencil having a party with the crumbs under a couch cushion.  An unapologetic smile and a warm, relaxed welcome absolutely trumps all white glove tested territory in a home. I will not allow myself to feel like a failure when someone drops by and I have to scoot boxes, Lego creations, and folded laundry out of the way so that they can find a place to sit.

But as I scrub toilets, get out clean sheets and towels, and vacuum under beds, I will now be doing it with a new and refreshing purpose: so that my guests will feel peace and joy from being in my home. (As well as the occasional breeze from a nerf bullet whizzing by their face.)

Do you enjoy having people in your home? If not, what is holding you back?

Meals to Feed to a Large Crowd

Meals to Feed a Large Crowd
At the beginning of soccer season each Fall, I have the honor of feeding our York College ladies soccer team 5-6 meals. Why? Because they come to campus a week before classes start for intense training and practices. The cafeteria will feed the team, but they tend to charge a hefty amount, which eats (literally) into the limited soccer budget. I’m able to feed the team for a fraction of the cost, so the head coach is always happy for me to take this challenge on. (My husband is one of the assistant coaches. And yes, we are reimbursed for the food we purchase.)

I was so excited to find these plastic plate packs on clearance for $0.75/4!
I bought 13 packs, giving us 52 plates for $9.75.

Think of what we’ll save on paper plates! Plus, they are BPA free and dishwasher safe. ;)

 

This year, there are around 43 ladies on the team. Therefore, including coaches and our four boys, I’ll be feeding around 50 people one meal each day for an entire week in mid-August.

I always thoroughly look forward to and enjoy this, and without a doubt, I’m always relieved and exhausted by the end of the week. ;)  The ladies on the team really enjoy my home cooked meals. I have found that they feel blessed and loved on by my efforts – making all the hard work well worth it!

 

I still don’t have a finalized menu plan for this year, but decided instead to share my brainstorming session with you and ask you to please participate!  This large crowd meal planning brainstorming session is even more important than before because

 

Beyond the week of soccer team meals, Matt and I have also recently committed to hosting our church’s High School Youth Group each Sunday evening (for at least one year). Our oldest, Asa, will begin high school this year (yowza), so having this group of his peers in our home each week will be a fantastic way to help nurture, guide and be involved in the spiritual growth of these teens.

 

There is typically a meal involved in these group meeting times, and usually between 30-40 teens show up. ;)  They each pitch in $2 to help cover food costs. I’m also pretty sure I’ll ask several of them to “bond” with me as we tackle the dirty dishes after each meal. Youth mentoring at its finest, eh?

 

I would now like to share some ideas we’ve come up with so far for feeding large crowds of people. Our goal is to keep costs down and to keep the meals simple, while at the same time treating the soccer team and the youth group to some great food served with love.
Tip: ALWAYS serve a variety of fresh fruit and veggies with your meals. These are the easiest side dishes, plus they are pretty and nourishing!

Meals to Feed to a Large Crowd

Now your turn! Please share in the comments any and all of your ideas for cooking for a crowd. What are your favorite dishes to make for company? What dishes work well to make for large groups of people? If you have recipe links, share those too. Thanks all!