Hello sweet friends. I've missed you all so much. It really is another family/group of friends out here in blogland. I hope you each had an amazing Christmas season and the the New Year finds you happy and healthy. Trying to get myself back into the swing of things. My youngest started back to high school last week and the routines have started back up so it's starting to feel like real life again making me realize it's time for Step 3 on my Lovin' on People series. My step three is Keep it Simple Sweetie, or the KISS Method of entertaining. I can't stress enough how VERY important this one is, don't ever think that Lovin' on People has to be complicated, as a matter of fact, the simplier it is, the easier and more enjoyable it will be for everyone involved...guaranteed!
We have family that lives in the Bay Area, or Northern California (we're in Southern California). We are so close to these lovely people and try as hard as we can to get visits in as much as possible. They were able to swing by our house for one night just before Christmas and we were thrilled to have them. We were excited to meet my niece's new fiance (very exciting news) and let the cousins spend time together. The fact that they were here for one 24 hour visit made it even more of a reason to use the KISS method of Lovin' On People. I mean I certainly didn't want to miss anything and the last thing I wanted was to be cooped up in the kitchen all night slaving over the stove and worried that the food would be good. The question is: How do you make a nice Lovin' on People type of menu that everyone will enjoy, but that I don't have to slave over? Answer: Make most of it ahead of time and keep it really simple. So what was the menu you ask? It was...
Pulled BBQ Tri Tip Sandwiches on Rolls
Italian Cole Slaw
Easy, Peasy Cheesy Potatoes
Chocolate Bundt Cake
Sodas, Waters and Beer
I completely apologize that I don't have any pictures of the real food we so eagerly consumed, but while I'm in the middle of Lovin' on People it's just not me to snap pictures. I don't want to miss the moments, and let's face it, I'm not that coordinated, so I'm not able to share any of that evening. These are just pretty photos I found other places that I hope give you the idea of our evening together.
A great way to stay on track of KISSing is to remember: Paper products are perfectly acceptable, especially with a large group. Don't ever feel like everything always has to be fancy, or look like a Martha Stewart dinner party. It absolutely doesn't. I picked up paper goods and that's what we used. I didn't have a fancy centerpiece or name cards or anything extravagant at all. Just some pretty candles burning. The whole idea sometimes is just getting together, catching up and being relaxed. Being relaxed is much easier when the dinner plates are able to go right into the trash can after dinner :)
I was able to make the Easy, Peasy, Cheesy Potatoes and the BBQ Tri Tip the day/night before, the chocolate chip bundt cake the morning of and the coleslaw was mostly premade with the exception of the dressing which was also made the day before. Sometimes the way to KISS is to preplan like I did for this night.
These are all really simple recipes as well and I'm happy to share them with you for your next dinner that you want to be easy and follow the KISS "rules".
Image Paula Deen.com
BBQ Tri Tip Sandwiches
Your Favorite BBQ Sauce
Your favorite Buns to serve it on
Okay, I'm almost embarrased to share this recipe, because quite honestly, it's not really a recipe! I used my slow cooker the day before and put in tri tip, frozen, and then added some beef broth and sliced onions. It slow cooked for about 8 hours and then I take the trip tip out and shred it and add BBQ sauce. I put all the tri tip in a disposable foil pan, covered in foil and refrigerated overnight.
The night of I placed the pan in the oven for about 90 minutes at 350 degrees.
Image Martha Stewart.com
Easy, Peasy, Cheesy Potatoes
You can double or even triple this recipe for a large crowd. I doubled it and it fed 11 of us with plenty of leftovers.
1 Bag of Frozen Potatoes O'Brien (the ones with chopped onion and peppers)
1 can of Cream of Celery Soup
1 can of Cheddar Cheese Soup
1 small container Sour Cream
Salt and Pepper to taste
Okay, the easiest recipe of all...mix all the ingredients together and taDA! That's it really, and trust me people can't believe how good this is!
I mixed all the ingredients together (the potatoes were still frozen) and then put them in another disposable foil pan, covered in foil and refrigerated for the next day as well.
The night of I placed the pan in a 400 degree oven for 2 hours (they were still frozen). I did take off the foil for the last 30 minutes to brown the potatoes.
I just call it Italian because I love Italy, HA! No recipe, just preshredded coleslaw in bags and preshredded carrots and sliced green onions and toasted sliced almonds.
I sliced green onions and toasted the almonds the day before. I also made the dressing which also doesn't have a recipe. It's just:
Salt and Pepper
Apple Cider Vinegar...all to taste
I just assembled this the night of and added the dressing and tossed!
Image Paula Deen.com
Chocolate Bundt Cake
This was made the morning they were coming. You'll find that recipe under my recipes at the right sidebar. I've shared it before. It's really easy and super, duper yummy.
The whole KISS idea is to remember you're enjoying your loved ones and want everyone to feel comfortable. We were able to enjoy our family, eat well and completely relax. I hope I've given you some good ideas and the permission to KISS.
Image Kinfolk Magazine
I'm going to continue the Lovin' On People series, but I'm also excited to start another series called Valerie's House. I guess you could call it a spin off of Sarah's House. It's one of my favorite shows on HGTV. Anyway, hubby and I have decided to work really hard on a few projects around here and I'm really happy to share them with you. So stay tuned. First up, our master bathroom. For the record, we moved into this house 13 years ago and haven't touched it, so overdue for sure and really excited to have you share my journey on Valerie's House!