Wednesday, July 25, 2012

Cooking for a long weekend

My husband and I just returned from a long weekend away with our dear friends from graduate school! 

We rented a “cabin” together and enjoyed bird watching, hiking, playing games, s’more making, staying up late, talking and praying with one another. 

It was a true blessing. 

Of course, I volunteered to do the cooking!  We had a beautiful kitchen with just about everything we needed to prepare some simple meals. 

And, the 6 of us ate 3 dinners, 3 breakfasts, 2 lunches, snacks and desserts for $130! 

Here’s what I learned about cooking for a long weekend:

1) Ask for dietary needs in advance. 

By asking our friends ahead of time, we knew that we needed meals with vegetarian options and that were nut-free.  We also learned our vegetarian friend was not opposed to meat in a dish, which was helpful to know. 

2) Plan a menu where you can re-package leftovers for another meal.

Thinking about our food needs, how many meals we’d need while we were away, I put together a menu from our recipe index.  I chose meals that were easy to prepare, used what we had in season – zucchini, green beans and tomatoes from our garden – and where leftovers could be reused.  For example, we made about 18 potatoes on Saturday, enjoyed them as baked potatoes on Saturday, on the grill on Sunday and in our breakfast on Monday.  Here is our menu:

Friday - Zucchini Mac & Cheese, grilled lake trout, green beans, S’mores

Saturday – Berry Baked Oatmeal, sugar-peppered roasted bacon {new} fresh fruit, OJ; Crockpot Baked Potato Bar, roasted red pepper, salad

Sunday - Cinnamon Oat Pancakes {from a DIY pantry mix}, & fresh fruit BBQ – Burgers & veggie burgers with all the fixings, Buns, corn on the cob, grilled potato & onion packets, S’mores

Monday – Leftover Breakfast Bake {recipe to come!}

*Lunches were simple – sandwiches with salad and fresh fruits.  We brought a loaf of pre-sliced wheat buttermilk bread and my friend made a batch of buns

3) Prepare dry ingredients in advance of your trip.  Buy fresh ingredients there.

I prepared the pancake mix and the berry baked oatmeal dry ingredients before we left.  Tossed those ingredients into a plastic tub and taped to the top the list of the wet ingredients.  Made for easy prep in a kitchen I wasn’t entirely familiar with!

We took a quick shopping trip to the Piggly Wiggly to pick up fresh ingredients and local favorites (e.g., cheese curds!).  Ideally, we would have hit up the farmers market in the town we were staying in, but we arrived too late to do so. 

4) For your last meal, plan a quiche or breakfast egg bake that allows you to clean out the fridge!

Come Monday morning, we had leftover potatoes, broccoli, onion, turkey burgers, avocado, tomatoes, spinach, cheese, eggs, milk, and roasted red pepper.  We tossed those all together in a delicious egg bake.  Yum.  I can’t to share this recipe with you. 

5) Ask everyone to bring a snack and/or beverage to share.

This worked out wonderfully for us – this way each family could bring something they really enjoyed.  We brought some cookies and also no-nut, olive oil chex mix!  Others brought pretzels, cheez-it’s and fruit leathers. 

We all concluded that the weekend was a complete success and that we can’t wait to do it again next year!  Next year, there will be 7 of us… our friends are welcoming their first baby in September. 

How do you cook for a long weekend? 


  1. Hi Sno White,
    Looks like you'al had so much fun and what a beautiful vacation spot. The cabin looks so cute. I am getting ready to have a large crowd this week end and am starting to cook tomorrow. Hope you are having a great week and thanks for sharing.
    Miz Helen

  2. Oh, friend! I'm so happy you got to have a weekend away - what a treat! Looks like you all had a fabulous time, and enjoyed some delicious eats as well!

  3. What a beautiful place! You had everything covered and planned out so well. I bet everyone loved your cooking! Thanks for the tips!

  4. Your blog is always a breathe of fresh air. I broke my knee on the 4th and I've been so stressed about work, home, ect. I can't wait to start cooking again from these menus and it's nice to see a beautiful place east of Utah. (with trees even :))


Thanks for stopping by! I'd love to hear from you; especially how you're finding JOY in your kitchen.

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