It’s 10:00am, you’ve just invited your sister-in-law and your nieces over for the afternoon (since they are in from Tennessee). Your husbands family is throwing your MIL a surprise birthday party that weekend and family is coming in from all over the country. All of a sudden your sister-in-law and nieces stopping by becomes your sister-in-law and cousin, then another cousin shows up, add an uncle or two, a couple aunts (or maybe three), that 2nd cousin once removed shows up (kidding about that one). They just keep coming through your door! Don’t get me wrong, you are SO HAPPY to see everyone, but did you prepare….?
I’m sure you think this scenario seems so far fetched. I’m here to tell you, this exact scenario happened to me less than a couple years ago. Frankly, it’s happened to me several times throughout my adult life. Friends, family, last minute visitors.
I always want people to feel welcome in my house, whether stopping by sporadically or we had four months to plan ahead. Life it too short to miss out on good company!
I’m here to tell you, there is no need to stress when company drops within a moments notice. If you follow some of my pro foodie tips for hosting on the fly, everyone will have a great time…including you!
Always assume your guests are going to be hungry or thirsty
Even if they tell you they just ate and also brought in their YETI cup, still assume they will be hungry or thirsty at some point (because they will be and that’s okay). On top of that, kids are always hungry.
Always keep the fridge and pantry stocked
We are a family that likes to eat meat, cheeses and veggies occasionally for dinner (charcuterie board), so there are certain items I always have around when a plethora of guests might make a last minute appearance.
Packaged Hummus (purchase in a two-pack at Costco and freeze until needed)
Packages of Mini Naan (or if you can’t find the mini, just cut the full size naan into bite sized pieces)
Salami or Pepperoni (purchase in a two-pack at Costco and freeze until needed)
La Croix or Similar
PRO TIP - Many of the items I mention above I purchase at Costco in bulk.
Always assume someone will have a dietary restriction
You don’t want to be caught as the host that had nothing to eat for your celiac, vegan, vegetarian, paleo, keto friend. Don’t assume everyone eats just like you. A lot of the items I mentioned above can meet several dietary needs.
PRO TIP- Buying cracker? Think about buying rice crackers for your celiac friend.
Keep the coffee pot brewing and the coffee bar stocked
A lesson I learn from my husbands family who are big coffee drinkers. There isn’t a time I have been to my MIL’s home that a fresh pot of coffee isn’t brewing (and a FIL that always makes sure everyone has their special creamer).
When company stops by, there is always a fresh pot of coffee for guests to indulge at any time. My husband uses half and half, I use almond milk but I still always keep a couple of creamer options in the fridge for guests who might want something different. Sugar, Splenda, Sweet-N-Low and you now have a fully stocked coffee bar.
PRO TIP- Consider investing in a Nespresso machine and take your coffee barista game to the next level.
To bar or not to bar, that is the question
Truth be told, I have a fully stocked “adult friendly” bar. However, when friends or family stop by last minute I’ve found they tend to enjoy the coffee bar more. But, there is absolutely nothing wrong with keeping your bar ready for that vodka tonic, moscow mule or glass of wine. Cheers!