Sides for a "Big Feed"

Sides for a "Big Feed"

When entertaining large groups, we have a favorite go-to comfort food: smoked pulled pork. To be honest, THAT is a secret recipe but I will tell you that it involves, brine, rub, and about 14 hours in the smoker.  However, I am happy to share two of our favorite side dishes which help make this meal a real feast.

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Creating Community at the Table

Creating Community at the Table

When I was in high school, I had the privilege of being an exchange student in Munich for a month. My host family, the Pfeifer’s, introduced me to what became my favorite meal there, raclette. It was so simple that it was genius. It consisted of boiled potatoes, sliced cheeses, seasoned salt and the essential raclette maker. So, what is it, exactly? A raclette machine is a two-tiered electric appliance. The top has a griddle that can be used for cooking or just keeping things warm. The lower tier has a heating element and individual non-stick trays. You simply put slices of cheese on your tray, melt them in the machine, pour that over your potatoes, then sprinkle it all with seasoned salt. A certain someone in my life thinks you could just stand next to a microwave and get the same result. If your desired outcome is melted cheese, of course he is right. But I don’t get the same sense of community by waiting in line at the Radar Range. (Yeah, that dates me.)

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Chocolate Covered Strawberries

Chocolate Covered Strawberries

Who doesn’t like chocolate covered strawberries? They are pretty, delicious, romantic, and impressive. If you buy them in the store or from an online vendor, you can pay a fortune for them. But what if I told you that you can make them yourself in a matter of minutes? Seriously! You can make them as simple or embellished as you want but no matter what you choose, they will make you proud.

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Grandmama's Mayonnaise Biscuits

Grandmama's Mayonnaise Biscuits

My husband’s tribe of English, Irish, Welsh, and Scottish lineage settled in rural Georgia. Southern cooking is what is all about on this side of the tree. I have loved embracing this genre. It’s not the healthiest, but boy is it good! On a recent visit to their house, my mother-in-law made her usual feast that most people would reserve for Thanksgiving. To accompany the already ample offerings, she whipped up a quick batch of her Mayonnaise Biscuits so I thought I would share them with you.

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For the Entertaining Arsenal

For the Entertaining Arsenal

“You learn something new every day.” As much as we have entertained guests, I am always gaining new insight, adding "weapons" to my entertaining arsenal. We recently had eight overnight visitors in addition to our family of six. We do have dedicated guest spaces and four EZ beds which makes such a venture doable. But at times, we require one or two kids to give up their rooms. My first lessons come from this.

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Custom Quiches

Custom Quiches

Do you get tired of the same old, same old when it comes to breakfast, especially when entertaining? One issue is that having something tried and true is less stressful than experimenting every time someone comes to visit. But the other thing is that you don’t always want to wake up before dawn on a weekend to make a meal. I have a couple of fan favorites that I alternate between. But the one I am going to share is so versatile that it can be adjusted for just about any flavor combination.

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Family Sushi Night

Family Sushi Night

When I discovered sushi several years ago, I was thrilled! A whole range of foods that included seaweed? What could be better? The problem with sushi, however, is the price tag. We have a family of six, all of whom know how to eat, which makes going out for this delicious dish extremely rare. But a few years ago, our Ukrainian friends (actually, their 11-year-old daughter) showed us that mere mortals can indeed make their own. With inspiration from our local spot, we get to enjoy one of our favorites on a regular basis while creating a family tradition.

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