Thursday, November 15, 2012

Taking Care of Family and Holiday Guests

Thanksgiving is right around the corner, and that means family and friends will soon be traveling back home to spend the Holidays with their loved ones.  This is the Season for opening up our homes to guests and being surrounded with the special people in our lives.

The best hosts and hostesses know how to make their guests feel taken care of and special.  We set up the guest room with cozy linens and comforters, special touches like a carafe of water and a glass, a scented candle, and a box of chocolates by the bedside table.  Little things that make your guests feel loved and welcomed.

Food is another way we take care of our loved ones.  Whether it's cooking up a storm of favorite dishes for the Thanksgiving feast, a special night out at a favorite restaurant, or pizza delivery and popcorn for a Holiday movie night spent at home, the meals we share together during this time of year create the memories that will last a lifetime.

The one meal we will probably share most often with our family and house guests is breakfast.  Even if we're out all day at work, school, shopping or other activities during this busy time of year, we usually still have breakfast at home.  As we head into the season of entertaining, overnight guests and weekends at the ski lodge, having a few tricks up our sleeve to add a special touch to breakfast or brunch will help make the time memorable and your family, friends and guests feel loved and spoiled.

Making breakfast special is so easy.  A big weekend breakfast of bacon, eggs, potatoes and sausages is classic, of course.  But how do you follow that act the next morning?

When we moved to Colorado, we discovered the amazing versatility of the burrito.  We had had burritos before, of course, but never the infinite variations we found here.  Literally almost any leftover tastes incredible when wrapped in a burrito.  So now, whenever I have leftover eggs, bacon, sausage, ham and/or potatoes from breakfast, instead of putting it all away into plastic containers, I give it all a quick rough chop, mix it together with a sprinkle of shredded Cheddar or Jack cheese (completely optional), and wrap it all up into individual burritos.

The next morning, I can microwave one of them for a quick breakfast on the run,  or serve a crowd by lining up a number of breakfast burritos into a 9"x13" baking dish.  Smother them with green chili and/or shredded cheese, bake until heated through and bubbling, and serve with sour cream, sliced fresh avocado and salsa.  It's an amazingly delicious and flavor-packed breakfast everyone will enjoy!

I always try to deliberately make an excess amount of breakfast items for my guests so I can plan on breakfast burritos the next day.  You can use them now or freeze them for later.  And you don't have to just use breakfast foods.  Leftover chicken, steak, beans and veggies from last night's dinner also make fantastic burritos, of course, and can be enjoyed for breakfast, lunch or dinner the next day, as well.

One year, when I was a guest at a friends' house, she put together a burrito of the previous night's grilled steak, potatoes, onions and mushrooms wrapped in foil to take with me to the airport.  There was nothing nicer than sitting at the gate waiting to board my plane, enjoying a still warm burrito of the fabulous meal we had shared the night before, and thinking about how well I had been taken care of during my visit.

My sister is also one of those people who never sends folks off without a box of homemade cookies, bread or pie to take home with them.  Friends and family do that for each other, and food is a big way we demonstrate our love and how much we care.

Here's to a fabulous Holiday Season spent with those we love!

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