Simplified Menu Planning: Day 13 – Plan Potential Hospitality Dinners & Desserts

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31 Days to Simplify Your Menu Planning

31 Easy Steps to Real Foods Planned, Purchased, & Prepared

This month I am focusing on practical, hands-on, and real-life organization and simplification posts! I’m joining up with The Nester’s “31 Days” meme with “31 Days to Simplified Menu Planning.” This series will outline the process I went through to cut back, simplify, and de-stress the meal preparation process, from pantry to grocery store to dinner-on-the-table, and everything in between. Of course, it took me 3 years, and I wasn’t nearly so methodical in figuring it out as this series will be. But it is oh so worth it!

Plan Hospitality Options Ahead of Time

Oftentimes we get ourselves a bit too wound up over hospitality. Having people over should be about sharing life and doing life together, not about impressing others and making ourselves look good.

It’s helpful to have preplanned options for inviting another family over for dinner, for taking a meal to a new mother, or for bringing a dessert to a social function. If it’s preplanned and simply sharing life, the stress that often accompanies having people into our homes can be greatly reduced.

soup and bread dinner

To get you started, here are my own short lists.

Dinner Hospitality

  • pulled pork in the crockpot on buns with coleslaw
  • beef roast, roasted potatoes, salad or roasted veggie
  • taco bar (great for picky eaters or food intolerances, since each person can take what they want)
  • soup, artisan bread, salad

Recipes for all of these can be found in my eBook, Simplified Dinners.

Taking Meals to Others

  • pulled pork, buns, coleslaw
  • soup, bread, salad
  • black bean chili, cornbread or chips, cheese & sour cream, salad
  • not-spaghetti, salad, garlic toast

Recipes for all of these can be found in my eBook, Simplified Dinners.

Easy Desserts for crowds

For more ideas on simplifying hospitality, check out my blog series “5 Days of Organized Hospitality” at my other blog, Simply Convivial.

The next step will be organizing your recipes to make them accessible and useful.


Mystie Winckler began menu planning at 11 years old when her mom delegated one dinner a week to her. Marrying at 19, she’s had a lot of practice over the years. But between growing and homeschooling her family, meal planning often requires brain power that just isn’t there any more. Simplified Dinners is her solution to take the effort and thought out of healthy, frugal cooking. And now it is available for you, too! During the month of October only, while this series is running, use discount code 31days and receive $4 off!

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