Don't get me wrong, my friends had no expectations that I cook for them, but when you come to my house, I'm gonna feed you. That's just how I was raised and its a little bit of southern hospitality transplanted from the roots of my mother and grandmother.
For this post I am simply focusing on 2 awesome big family breakfasts that I did, these would work well for anyone feeding a crew at breakfast and they ended up being pretty cost effective, so read on and let me share some wisdom with you.
1. PLANNING IS KEY
You have to have a plan. You can't wing feeding that many people so plan ahead. My planning included baking 3 loaves of Zucchini bread and 24 banana muffins the day before my guests arrived. Luckily both the Zucchini and the fruit were things I already had on hand as well as the ingredients for making the bread and muffins so it was easy, it just required planning. The grocery list and menu for the meals I prepared were also key to plan for and shop ahead, you can't just feed 15 people on a whim without a plan.
2. ORGANIZATION IS IMPORTANT
I not only planned a menu but organized when I would be making the meals up. For the breakfast casserole, that was easy, it is made the night before and just popped in the oven the morning of. The fruit needed a creative flair so I just arranged it on a plate and made it look pretty but I did wash it ahead of time as all those little tasks.
3. PAPER PRODUCTS MAKE LIFE SIMPLER
I know it can be seen as wasteful but with many guests I am not going to put out my best dishes, or even my breakable dishes, or even dishes I have to wash for that matter! It was paper and plastic all the way.
4. EVERY FARMGIRL SHOULD BE A GOOD HOSTESS
I learned years ago that being a good hostess is not about showing off your immaculate and magazine ready home for entertainment purposes (I would so fail in this area!) it is about making your guests feel comfortable and at home.
This was the easiest breakfast because I had made the banana muffins and zucchini bread (recipes linked) the day before so when my guests were here I had little more to do than scramble 2 dozen eggs, arrange some fruit and pull the muffins out of the ziplock bag. This breakfast was on the breakfast bar in about 25 minutes flat because of that prep work. Interesting fact, when you make your scrambled eggs up simply put your crockpot on low while you are making them so it is warming up, after you add all the eggs add 1 tsp warm water to keep the eggs from drying out and you can keep the eggs with the lid on for 2-3 hours this way. I usually do turn the crockpot off after about 1 hour so as not to dry out the eggs.
Cleanup was simple too, I had a skillet and spatula from scrambling the eggs but since I used paper ware I only had the three items you see in the picture to take care of, no big deal.
I almost forgot, there was orange juice for both days, it didn't break the bank either as I used frozen concentrate and made it up right before serving, no one was the wiser!
These are some staple recipes around here: Overnight breakfast casserole (though I use 12 eggs instead of 4 and only 1-1/2 cups milk) and Baked Oatmeal.
extra fresh fruit
frozen OJ concentrate
and the budget could remain fully intact.
What are some of your favorite recipes to feed a large group?