If you do stuff, stuff gets done.......

If you do stuff, stuff gets done.......

Sunday, November 12, 2017

Meal prep for a crowd

Hello everyone. 
Last weekend was a big football game in our town.  Some of our family members went to the game and quite a few of them were at our home for entire day, and a few spent the night. 
I needed to have meals planned ahead because complicated cooking just doesn’t happen when 6 young kiddos are here and doing restaurant food is not an option on game day.  Our town is not big and when 70000 football fans come,  all the streets, stores and restaurants are just full to capacity.  

So, first thing I did was write out a plan.  
We used food we already had so I didn’t need to spend any time shopping.  

The day before,  I cooked the ground beef for the taco salad and the sausage patties for breakfast.  I stored them in the fridge in zipper bags so there would 2 less containers to wash as meal clean up time.  
I made extra ice 

I set out ingredients we would be using over the weekend

And the crockpots that would be used for heating. 
I had never used the crockpot liners but I’m so glad we had them,  the Velveeta Rotel tomato dip is a family favorite but it makes a cooked on mess.  I won’t use the liners everytime I crockpot cook but I plan to always use them for Rotel dip.  

I had older eggs and newer eggs.  
The older eggs were cracked into 1 container to make sheet pan eggs for Sunday, which were OK but I prefer Stovetop cooked eggs.  The rest of the older eggs were hard boiled and we enjoyed them this past week on salads.  

Fixings ready for the taco salads- stored in plastic dishes with lids keeps them fresh.  

Fresh fruit and carrot sticks- stored the same way.  
The top right container is grapefruit, which is not the ruby red grapefruit that I thought I was buying.  

Orange jello with mandarin oranges and plain cherry jello- made in 5 ounce portion cups I buy from Amazon

It took planning to get everything to fit in our fridge but I did it. 

We use throw away dishes only when we have a big group for a meal. 

On Saturday, before everyone got here,  I put the taco meat and Rotel dip in their crockpots with liners to heat. 

Unsweetened tea and lemonade were put in these dispensers with an assortment of cups right beside them 

I don’t have photos of the actual meals except for this one as it was getting set up. 
It was just too busy a time to set up photos.  

Granddaughter Elizabeth is always happy with fresh fruit.  

Here are the 4 littlest grands-  all enjoyed their meals and playing with their cousins. 

Granddaughters Elizabeth and Andie- eating their favorite food- fruit and nachos.  

I took a few photos of the adults but they were not good and I have a rule that I never post unflattering photos of anyone.  

I’ve been cooking big meals for a long time, first for my family and then at church and at the 2 fraternity houses I worked at while we had 2 children in college.  
My advice is plan ahead, when possible use what you already have, and then be flexible because no matter how much you prep and plan,  things can get a little crazy.  


  1. I love all the sippy cups in the basket !

  2. I always like to read your food preparation posts as you are so organized and know how to feed a crowd. I like to use the big baggies myself and resort to using them when the refrigerators is too full for the glass and plastic containers holding leftovers.

  3. GREAT JOB!!!!!! Plan, plan, plan. Use the pantry - all words of wisdom.
    I bet everyone had a fantastic time. It sure looked like good eating!

  4. I can attest to your last sentence. I had made a list of things I planned to make and other extras for all the family that was coming last weekend. I prepped as much as I could a day or two ahead but ran out of energy before I got it all done. I kept things simple and just had cereal, toast, fruit and OJ for breakfast except I made 2 tubes of Grands cinnamon rolls for Sunday morning. They were a hit, by the way. The plan was loose enough that things could be moved around, and they were, but no one went hungry.

  5. I agree planning is the key. It sounds like your planning made for less stess and more time to visit with family.

  6. Love the meal prep! It's always so fun to see what you do. I love getting things ready ahead, as well. I'm going to have some company over Christmas for a few days, and I'm already figuring out what I'm going to do for meals and have already frozen 1 casserole towards the project.

    I see some OSU gear! My niece would be so excited! She's a true Beaver fan:) I'm glad you had a great time.

    1. It actually occurred to me after I wrote that comment that those shirts may not refer to the Oregon State Beavers! Are your family members rooting for Oregon State, or somewhere else? It would be funny if it was somewhere else, as the Beavers are Orange and Black, with white occasionally as well.

    2. We live in OSU Country, but it’s Oklahoma State University, not Oregon.
      Our OSU played OU, Oklahoma Univeristy that day and many of the adults in our family root for team as by brother teaches there.
      I didn’t see much if this game but I understand it was a great one and both teams played exceptional.

  7. I love how organized you are and everything looks delicious. Those grandkids are adorable!

  8. This is timely for me as I am having 23 people over for Thanksgiving. :) Its a little overwhelming. I need to make a good plan and implement it the best I can, but also be flexible to know that people are always more important than my "projects".

  9. You are a great organizer! I too love the sippy cups that were included. It all looks delicious and I wish I lived closer!

  10. I always forget about liners for the crockpots. Smart idea! We are having our Thanksgiving this coming Sunday, and even though it's just the seven (or 8) of us, I'm cooking ahead this week. It just helps to not have the pots and pans to clutter the kitchen and have to be cleaned up after we eat. More time for games/crafts/playing outside with the grands.

  11. You are so organized and I'm sure your guests loved it all! Your grandchildren are absolutely adorable! Glad you all had a great time!

  12. Rhonda, you have so many wonderful tips. I think I will look into getting some of the portion cups from Amazon. Thanks for the reminder about having extra ice on hand. I need to do that ahead of Thanksgiving.

  13. Well done!!! That all looks delicious and oh-so-organized. Feel free to drive me up any leftovers!

  14. Looks great! So organized. And delicious--I wish I was there!

  15. Great organizing! We are hoping to do some entertaining at our house next year, and I will sure be using several of your ideas.


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Jeff and Rhonda

Jeff and Rhonda