This is a Sponsored post written by me on behalf of American Frozen Foods Institute and the Frozen Food Roundtable for SocialSpark. All opinions are 100% mine. I hope that it gives you some great tips on how to plan the perfect menu for a family reunion.
This week, our family of 21 people, gathered together for a week long family reunion in Hilton Head, South Carolina.
By the way, if you go to Hilton Head, you have to check out the 11-mile-long canoe tours given by Palmetto Dunes. They were awesome!
And another picture :
This is where our first family reunion was held over 25 years ago, as it was the home to my late grandparents. This reunion was just as much fun as the first! It was filled with memories, laughter and great food!
In order to make things easier, each couple was in charge of two meals. We each picked one day and we were in charge of making breakfast in the morning and dinner for that evening.
I wanted to share my two meals for you, because they were easy, they feed a crowd, and they are loved by everyone.
PS- my meals consist of mostly frozen foods. For 21 people, I knew that I was going to go with frozen foods to help me out! They are so much easier and I love the benefits of frozen foods. I tend to go towards foods that are Frozen: How Fresh Stays Fresh.
I started out with a warm, filling, ‘reminds me of family’ type of breakfast: Hashbrown Casserole
Hashbrown Breakfast Casserole:
Schwan’s Frozen Hashbrown Shreds (I buy the frozen and let it thaw before using)
8 ounce sour cream
one stick of butter
1 can cream of mushroom soup
2 cups of shredded cheese
You can customize it by adding some frozen veggies, too. (Onion & peppers would be great)
Mix all of these ingredients together.
Spray a baking dish with cooking spray
Add the ingredients
Bake this at 350 for 30 minutes.
It was really good & it was a hit. I served it with bacon and little dishes of yogurt with frozen fruit on top (I also put out a little dish of fresh granola, made by my sister-in-law).
After we spent the day together… (here are some of our pictures from our day):
It was time for dinner!
The kids were all tired after a day of swimming and playing on the beach…
So we gave them a quick dinner of frozen chicken nuggets and fruit, before they were tucked into bed for the night:
Later, after we put the kids to bed, we sat down to have a meal together. It was my night to cook. (There were so many of us that we had to split it up into three tables- one in the dining room, one in the kitchen and outside by the pool… overlooking the ocean.)
Here are a few pictures from the dining room group:
So, for dinner, I made Italian Wedding Soup. I made it using frozen meatballs (I am in favor of anything to make a dinner party easier!) It made it so much easier and they tasted the same. Freezing is just nature’s pause button, so it keeps in all of the taste & nutrition. If you aren’t sure about using frozen foods, I would suggest this article: fresh vs frozen.
So- Onto the Italian Wedding Soup:
ITALIAN WEDDING SOUP:
1 bag frozen meatballs.
1 tablespoon olive oil
2 cloves diced garlic
2 carrots, sliced.
1 large celery stalk, diced
6 c. chicken broth
1/2 cup orzo, uncooked
1/2 teaspoon oregano
2 cups frozen (thawed) spinach
salt & pepper (to taste)
grated Parmesan cheese for topping
The zest of one lemon
Let your meatballs thaw.
2.In a large pot, turn it to medium heat. Add olive oil, carrots and garlic. Heat it for a couple of minutes (two) and then stir in celery and cook for two more minutes.
3. Turn the heat to high. Stir in the lemon zest and orzo. Add a little oregano (just add in a teaspoon and taste it).
Boil for a few minutes and then turn the heat to medium. Cook at a slow boil for ten minutes. Stir often to keep orzo from sticking.
Add in spinach and heat until the spinach is cooked.
Remove from heat.
Add salt, pepper and 1 tablespoon grated Parmesan cheese.
To end our night, we had frozen cake that I just thawed and it was SO GOOD! We topped it with a scoop of vanilla ice cream.
Ps- not to worry… we saved some for the kids to eat the following day, after lunch!
Our vacation was so much fun, we even celebrated our daughter’s second birthday while we were there and we can’t wait to do it again in another year… when this little one is THREE!
I’m Becky, a former elementary school teacher turned certified child development therapist and blogger. I work at home with my husband and together we are raising (and partially homeschooling) our four children in the Carolinas. I love diet coke, ice cream, and spending time with my family.