Planning easy and delicious meals for house guests can sometimes be a challenge, but I have a helper for just such an occasion - a hefty computer file of my go-to recipes. Fast. Easy. Crowd-pleasers. Oh, and delicious! First and foremost -- everything must be delicious.
You know the recipes I'm talking about, don't you? They are on wrinkled bits of paper or stained recipe cards in your files. Most have someone's name scribbled on them to identify the person who gave you the recipe. These are the good ones you bring out for parties, a night with the girls, the neighborhood block party, holidays, a friend in need of comfort food and ... house guests. They are the best worry-free, no-brainer, everybody-likes-this recipes that never let me down.
With company expected next week, I clicked through my favorite, signature, go-to recipes - Cora's Classics. I had a difficult time choosing - there were so many yummy choices. Today, I ended up making a list of ingredients for some dishes for next week and a couple of good ones we would enjoy anytime - even without company.
Because no trip to the grocery store is complete without forgetting something, I didn't think of this recipe for Boursin until after I returned home. Not to worry though, I actually had these ingredients on hand. Just add crackers, crisp apple or pear slices and a glass of wine -- perfect!
I'm kind of excited now that the sorting, choosing and planning are finished. I love that I've taken a little time to put all these recipe favorites together in one place. Now I'll be ready for a relaxing visit with friends.
Do you have a file of favorites that help you plan meals for house guests? What about breakfast ideas? I could use a couple of new breakfast recipes in my file, if you have some to share.
4 ounces unsalted butter, softened
8 ounces cream cheese OR goat cheese, softened
1 clove garlic, mashed to a paste with a bit of salt
1/2 teaspoon dried oregano
1/8 teaspoon dried thyme*
1/8 teaspoon dried marjoram*
1/8 teaspoon dried dill
1/8 teaspoon dried basil
1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
Mix ingredients together with mixer, food processor (pulse) or by hand with fork. Spoon into a small bowl; cover tightly and refrigerate. Bring to room temperature and serve with crackers and sliced fresh fruit.
These herbs (in the ribbon-tied cellophane bags in the photo) are some I ordered from Spartan Table, an Etsy shop owned by Jehny Koniditsioti of Sparta, Greece. Her family grows olives there and they also harvest the herbs that grow wild. They offer sea salt, olives, olive oil and new items being added all the time.
Boursin makes a cute gift basket with crackers, a small spreader and perhaps a packet of mixed herbs.