Meet my Guest:
Cheryl from Tidy Mom

I’m going to be honest here……I was quite nervous when Sandy asked ME to guest post on her fabulous blog! ME? post about entertaining? Baking? yes! you want ME to bring the dessert to YOUR house?….I’ve got you covered!

But, you see my friends, I’m everything Sandy preaches we shouldn’t be.

I AM RELUCTANT. I’m an introvert, with a little bit of control issues. People like me, don’t like to “entertain.”

I’m one of those women who FREAKS out when my outgoing husband says Lets have people over. My mind races a break neck speed… My house is too small, I have to deep clean like a mad woman, manicure the lawn, buy fresh flowers…..maybe a new sofa?….food? oh gosh I need to buy food, prepare the perfect dishes, will I have enough food? enough drinks…”…..ok you get the idea. I break out in a sweat and my stomach starts to tighten. By the day of the gathering, my family wants NOTHING to do with me….I’m a screaming frantic mess! SNAP OUT of it Cheryl!!

I have learned by reading Sandy’s blog, that it’s not about my “things”. No one cares how big my house is, how clean my hall closet is or that my sofa doesn’t match the recliner! They are coming to spend time with US, my family. Good food and good company is all that’s needed. And I’ve learned a few tricks to make this all less stressful for me.

1. Every inch of my house does NOT have to be spotless. I have several tips that I use on a regular basis “tips for a tidy home” to keep my house in pretty good shape most of the time. By sticking to this routine, I can have the house ready for guests in short notice.

2. Stick with food I know and love and can make ahead of time.

3. Fix a simple dessert that will WOW them. Who doesn’t enjoy a good dessert? Dessert is easy for me, I always have a huge arsenal of dessert recipes. My most recent WOW dessert is Chocolate Chip Cookie Brownies – a boxed brownie mix and cookie mix makes this a simple stress free dessert that fast and east and everyone will love!

4. The rest………doesn’t matter! *I’m still working on this part, but I’m REALLY trying!

One of my VERY favorite “go-to” Three Cheese Baked Mostaccioli. It’s easy, can be made ahead of time, even frozen, and it’s a dish that is always a crowd pleaser with adults and children alike!

Pick up a few bagged salads and some garlic bread to throw in the oven, you can even serve this on paper plates for easy clean up!

Three Cheese Baked Mostaccioli
(approx 10 servings)
1 pound ground beef
1 pound salsitccia (if you can’t find this, you can use Italian sausage)
garlic to taste
45 oz Raghu Old World Style Spaghetti sauce
Italian seasoning to taste
1 box Mostaccioli Noodles
6 slices American Cheese
6 slices Mozzarella Cheese
3 slices Provolone Cheese

Boil your noodles according to the box. Brown the ground beef, salsittcia and garlic. Add Raghu and Italian seasoning and let simmer for about 15-20 mins.

Grease a 9×13 glass dish and layer 1/2 of your noodles; tear up 3 pieces of American Cheese and 3 pieces of Mozzarella Cheese and place on top of noodles (**placing the cheese on the noodles is an VERY important secret step)

Next pour 1/2 of your meat sauce over cheese and noodles

Now add the other 1/2 of your noodles and top with other 3 slices of American cheese and 3 slices of Provolone Cheese

Pour other 1/2 of your sauce over 2nd layer of cheese and noodles and then top with remaining mozzarella cheese

Place in oven on 350 for 45 mins

Enjoy!

Thanks so much for having me Sandy……and reminding me that “I CAN DO THIS!”

What have you done to make entertaining less stressful?

Thank YOU, Cheryl, for being my guest today. Cheryl’s another blogger who writes about practical living.I feel like I’ve met her, like at BlissDom or other blogging conferences, but it hasn’t happened yet. I love her Reluctant Entertaining story and her authenticity. And the recipe on her blog right now for Lemonade Pie! Delish! And I’m also wondering if she’ll be attending the EVO ’10 Social Media Conference the end of this month in Park City, UT?

And are you attending EVO ’10 conference next week? If so, I hope to meet you there!

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