Personal Note: Cooking for Guests

When I was about 13 years old, my mom instituted a summer ritual for me.  She gave me the family’s grocery money for the week, had me make out a weekly menu and shopping list, then took me to the grocery store to buy all of the ingredients needed.  I was responsible for cooking meals for the family for one week.  As a “child” I loved that. I fixed all of my favorite meals. Tacos, hamburgers… things like that.

When I got married, and had to cook more than 2 or 3 things, I told my mother than I didn’t like to cook.  She said I “would learn to like it.” I never have.

I can look at a recipe, follow it to the tiniest detail; and, with great regularity,  it (1) won’t look like the picture in the cookbook, or (2) taste like it should.

This week we have 3 friends visiting us for a week.  Doug and Deanna, and Mary, are friends we have had since our college days, 50 years ago.  Deanna and Mary are both gourmet cooks.  They are the kind of women who can receive a phone call that 30 people are “dropping by” in an hour, and when guests arrive, they will have a beautifully set table, appetizers ready, and a meal, if not already prepared, almost completed. All with a smile.  If I received a call like that, I would be headed down to the local deli, after I called in an order for pick-up.

What do you cook for and serve to such talented ladies? I admit I was concerned about this.

Deanna and Mary know me. They know the “kitchen” is not one of my “gifts.” The stress placed on me was all mine. But still….

I needn’t have worried.  They have both pitched in, and happily cooked meals when necessary.  (Deanna even brought some of her favorite recipes! See? She knows me!) We’ve gone out to dinner twice. My husband has barbecued once.

I DID fix their favorite breakfast!  Deanna’s recipe, of course!  I have to say it was easy, and actually turned out great. Maybe I should just get all of her recipes and “try” to like cooking one more time!


You can download this recipe for this yummy Baked Oatmeal HERE.



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Comments (17)

  1. Sheryl Hardin

    I can relate to a lack of skills (desire) in the kitchen! With a hubby that doesn’t eat chicken, fish, lamb, pork, beef with a bone and fruits/veggies are iffy, it’s not very rewarding to spend time in the kitchen.The good news is you make up for a lack of kitchen skills with so many more amazing talents <3

    October 13, 2016 at 8:36 am
  2. Joleen Sytsma

    I LOVE oatmeal!! Can’t wait to try the recipe!! (Maybe I’ll even add a few chocolate chips…) Thanks for sharing!

    October 13, 2016 at 8:55 am
    • Karen

      My goodness. That does sound like a wonderful option! I think I’ll try that myself!

      October 14, 2016 at 4:55 pm
  3. This is a keeper and I WILL make it, I love everything in this. Thank you! <3

    October 14, 2016 at 12:12 am
    • Karen

      Let me know how you like it, Lisa!

      October 14, 2016 at 4:54 pm
  4. […] Personal Note: Cooking for Guests – 2 freebie(s) […]

    October 14, 2016 at 6:20 am
  5. Thank you for this recipe! This looks sooo good. I love oatmeal too! I use to be a good cook, now I mess anything I am making up.This is a simple recipe and hopefully, I can make it and it come out right. Hugs, DeLoris

    October 15, 2016 at 6:57 am
  6. Steph

    Sounds good! My husband does not like oatmeal so I may have to find a way to downsize the recipe for one.

    October 15, 2016 at 6:59 am
  7. suruha

    There are some good recipes on Campbell’s soup cans. I have used them a lot. My mom had a few recipes for easy dishes, like Hamburger Pie, or Shepherd’s Pie, maybe. It’s just browned ground beef and tomato sauce cooked together, then, topped with mashed potatoes and baked until brown on top. Easy-peasy, hearty and filling!
    When I was younger, I might have been able to pull off a sudden notice dinner, but, these days, the guests would go hungry! LOL
    I have learned, through the years, however, to be very resourceful with what I do have on hand. With 3 children you have to! Left over chicken? Tear or cut into small pieces, add a bottle of barbeque sauce and heat. Serve on toast or buns. Ta-da! Barbeque chicken sandwiches! LOL
    I am with you, though. It is nice to have friends who can cook! When I was first married and learning to cook, I was fortunate to have a neighbor who was well-traveled and very into cooking dishes from the places she visited. THAT was an awesome experience!
    I love oatmeal, too! I might have to try baked oatmeal!
    Thank you!

    October 15, 2016 at 7:19 am
  8. Yeah, I’d MUCH rather go out to eat than do it myself but if I do make a meal I love those nice BBQ Rib pkgs where all I need to do is heat them up! It’s not hard to bake a few potatoes, buy some fruit and veggies and serve Schwans ice cream for dessert!! lol Dang, that baked oatmeal does look good!! I may have to try it, too!! Does it make a lot and do the leftovers stay good in the fridge for a few days…you see, I’d be the only one eating it! I’ll probably 1/2 the recipe to start! Thanks for sharing the recipe and your life as it has been these past couple weeks!! Cherish those kinds of visits!

    October 15, 2016 at 12:32 pm
  9. Kathy A

    I always loved to bake even as a teenager. Didn’t cook thing until I got married and over the years have done pretty well for myself. After 40 years of cooking and a retired husband, I let him take over!?

    October 15, 2016 at 2:06 pm
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