March 28, 2013

I’ve been told I’m intimidating. This kind of cracks me up because it truly is the last thing I would want to be. I want to be super welcoming and make people feel comfortable. The funny thing about this is I am super intimidated when it comes to certain things. Dinner for example. It intimidates me, not really cooking for just me and Andrew, but cooking for other people. I would have people over for dinner every night of the week if I either didn’t have to cook or if I was a good cook. And then there are are all these dietary restrictions, vegetarian, vegan, celiac, the list goes on and on. I have to get over this, absolutely must, and I plan to. Susie Davis is inspiring me with her 52 Sunday Suppers. She makes a “simple” meal and has great conversation with different people every week. I put simple in quotes because some of her meals are more complicated than I would put in the simple category. Andrew and I love having people over so we want to do this more often.

Today when I got home from the grocery store our neighbor across the street was outside working in his yard. He is probably in his late 80s, he told me about how he was a fighter pilot in World War II the first time we met so I’m guessing that’s about his age. I’ve always assumed his wife just didn’t get out much, he is pretty active, still drives and honestly probably leaves the house more than I do. He called me over today and asked if he could see our baby. I stood and chatted with him for awhile and came to the conclusion that he lives alone. And my heart just felt sad, I know his kids live here, at least his daughter, but I don’t know if I’ve ever seen them at his house. If I wasn’t so intimidated to cook for people I would march right over there and invite him for dinner tonight. I highly doubt he would want textured vegetable protein tacos which is what’s on the menu for tonight, but he would probably enjoy the company. I guess I assume he is from a time where dinners were formal, you cooked all day and had a fresh pie for dessert afterwards. Is this a crazy weird assumption that I’ve created that intimidates me to invite people over or is it true?

So I am asking for suggestions. Are any of you really good at having people over on a whim for casual dinners? If so do you have a go to meal? Does anyone have a fabulous story where they invited someone over last minute and it ended up awesome?

6 Responses to “Intimidated”

  1. Lisa Campbell said

    For me, I love to cook, but don’t eat much…. a few options are lasagna (prepared before, and can even be veggie if needed), Shephard’s Pie, could do a pot luck…. but bottom line…. it is the company (meaning you and Andrew) that matters… they will only go if they want to spend time with you, food is a bonus… can always do a couple of apps just in case some have restricted diets…. crock pots meals are always good, and so easy to find online!!! Good luck!!! Love the pics by the way!!!

  2. You are way too hard on yourself my dear! A couple things I have found that help with the last minute dinner invites.

    1. I have Kevin grill up several chicken breasts and maybe a sirloin steak that I have marinated. Slice and put in small freezer containers. Take out when you need for salads, tacos, sandwiches etc. We expesially love to use these for impromptu sald bars. Just lay out whatever is in the fridge for salad toppings and it’s game on.
    2. I try to hardboil a dozen eggs at the beginning of the week. These are great for the salad bar or to make egg salad quickly. And they are a great little complete protien all in one miracle package.
    3. We’ve grown fond of the Pacifica organic soups, especially the tomato bisque and squash (two different soups). Dump in pan, add water or milk and heat. Add bread and/or salad

    These usually satisy the vegans, vegitarians, gluten free, adkins, dairy free crowd.

    I like to keep a big bag of salad in the fridge and a french bread in
    the freezer.

    I’m looking forward to other ideas from your followers!

  3. Jill said

    We love having people over, and do at least once a week, usually more. At first I was nervous too, but once I realized that people don’t really care what they eat, that helped 🙂 its all about the company!

    But, you do still have to feed them, lol. Some of our easy go to’s involve the crock pot. It is sooo easy to throw frozen meat and some veggies in there, and have a great dinner ready six hours later. Check out for some great, easy recipes.

    I also agree with the above commenter that having stuff for fast salads is great, especially for last minute get togethers.

    Another quick go to for us is home made soup. We keep veggie and chicken broth on hand, and soup is sooo easy. Throw some rice and the broth in a pot, then start cleaning out your fridge and freezer! Veggies about to go bad, left over chicken or ground beef, frozen veggies…you can throw just about anything in a pot and make good soup In an hour or less.

    When all else fails, order pizza 🙂

    • campbell2008 said

      Thanks Jill :). Pizza will definitely happen sometimes! I’ve never actually made soup, chili yes, soup no, I’ll have to try it out.

  4. This post has been stuck in the back of my head since reading it — just kind of simmering there.
    We have food allergy stuff now, so I was processing it from that end.
    What it came down to was that, I’m just happy to hear that someone wants to spend time with us ( especially since we’ve moved and don’t really know anyone.) I really don’t care what we are eating. It does matters what J eats, and we are figuring out how to deal with that as we go. (It still feels really new.) But since she’s young its really easy for us to bring food for her with us — we don’t even really mention it, we just bring it and tell them why when we get there. Or sometimes we’ve been invited over and we end up saying we’d love to, but maybe you could come over to our place (its actually a lot more to do with bed times than food issues) but that way we can have something safe too.
    I’ve had people ask us just right off the bat when they asked us over, if we had any food allergies or anything (that was back before we had kids so we didn’t have any) but that’s easy enough to do.
    Honestly, I think Pinterest makes us feel like people are more picky about food than they actually are. (I think 80% of the stuff people pin never gets made.)
    Just invite people and they will be happy. If there is some difficulty in food for them just be understanding in your attitude and they will just be happy to be hanging out.

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