Often, hospitality can revolve around sharing food. Food can be a great ice breaker both for adults and kids. As we’ve talked about the last few days, this doesn’t always have to to be fancy or expensive, but rather the recipes you prepare should flow out of a heart wanting to love and bless your guest(s).
Snacks are certainly not required for a successful play date but they break up the time well, especially if you save them for when the kids need some time out from playing and interacting with one another. I usually opt for super simple snacks of fresh fruit, cut cheese, and/or crackers — all things that I regularly keep around. I’ve also never met a kid who would refuse fresh fruit. And, it’s usually allergy friendly.
One thing to remember before offering food (especially to children) is to ask about any allergies. When planning the day and time of your get-together it is simple and considerate to ask if their are any dietary preferences or restrictions.
Here are two of our favorite recipes to share.
Katie likes to use hospitality as an excuse to bake with her kids. One of their favorite recipes to prepare for play dates is banana bread. They use a simple recipe (found long ago on allrecipes.com) that uses sour cream which keeps the bread moist and really yummy. The recipe makes 3 loaves of bread, but Katie and her kids like to throw some batter into mini muffin pans because it’s fun for the kids. You can also mix it up a little by adding chocolate chips or walnuts.
Sour Cream Banana Bread
- ¾ cup butter
- 3 cups white sugar (plus some for dusting the pans)
- 3 eggs
- 4 to 6 very ripe bananas, mashed (have your kids do the mashing, they’ll love it!)
- 1 16oz. Container of sour cream
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 2 teaspoons ground cinnamon (plus some for dusting the pans)
- ½ teaspoon salt
- 3 teaspoons baking soda
- 4 ½ cups all purpose flour
- Chocolate Chips
- Preheat your oven to 300 degrees F.
- Set your butter out so that it is room temp by the time you need to cream it.
- Grease your loaf or muffin pans.
- In a small bowl, mix together some sugar and cinnamon and then dust the loaf pans with the cinnamon sugar mixture.
- In a large bowl or mixer, cream butter and sugar. Mix in eggs, bananas, sour cream, vanilla and cinnamon. Next, mix in salt, baking soda and flour. Finally, add in your nuts or chocolate chips.
- Bake for one hour or until toothpick inserted in the middle comes out clean. You may have to alter the time for the muffins, usually a half hour does the trick.
I’d like to share a super simple meal idea– Rotisserie chicken (Costco), roasted veggies and mashed potatoes (I like the dehydrated ones from Costco). I’m looking forward to a season when my hospitality may take on a more polished air, but during this season one way to keep hospitality doable and enjoyable is to keep the meals super simple. If you feel like this isn’t “good enough for company” I’d ask you to examine why you feel that way–are you trying to impress someone or prove something to yourself? Or maybe you enjoy cooking and you really would like to serve something fancier in order to bless your guests’ taste buds in a way this meal won’t.
These roast veggies are one of my favorite recipes for quickly preparing vegetables. The prep work is super simple since you start with a bag of frozen vegetables, but since they’re roasted in the oven they don’t have the “soggy” taste typical of frozen vegetable.
Roasted Frozen Vegetables
- Frozen vegetable blend of broccoli, cauliflower, and carrots
- Olive oil
- Salt and Pepper (or other seasoning. We really like some of the seasoning blends from Penzeys, particularly Ruth Ann’s Muskego Ave and Northwoods Seasoning)
- Preheat oven to 425 degrees F.
- Line a large baking sheet with foil
- Pour frozen vegetables into a single layer on the baking sheet. (Pour more on than you think you’ll want, they shrink a significant amount during cooking.)
- Drizzle with olive oil and season to taste
- Cook for 45-55 minutes, stirring once to rotate vegetable.
- For best flavor serve immediately
We hope we encouraged you this week as we shared about some of the joys and challenges of hospitality– something that is close to both of our hearts. If hospitality is something you’ve shied away from in the past, we’d encourage you to try again. We’d love to hear any of your tips or stories below!