Menu Plan Monday ~ June 20th Birthday Week!!

It’s my birthday in FOUR sleeps!!  I’m so excited, I love birthdays!  I can’t wait.  This year is a big one too because it includes both a 4 and an 0, whoot!  And like I said in an earlier post I’m throwing my own party this year, an Ugly Dress Party!!  One of my best girlfriends from BC asked me if my new friends here in AB know how wacky I am and I said no but they are about to!  Hahaha, we’ll see how many stick around after this 🙂   So I’ve got a ton that still needs to be done but it seems to be all coming together nicely.  Yay!!

So our church got together last week to do some baking for a few groups in our town to say thank you to them for all the hard work they do.  It was such a fun time and I so enjoyed putting the “baskets” together 🙂


When my mom was here at Christmas she was horrified (well she thought it was really strange anyway) that we don’t serve dinner at the table as was our tradition growing up.  Instead we serve buffet style at the counter similar to the way my husband did it when he was a kid.  Everyone fills their plate and then sits down at the table.  I just think it’s easier.  So I’m totally curious about how others do it.  Do you dish dinner at the table or at the kitchen counter?


I may have linked to this one before but it’s just so darn cute – EZ Menu Planner Free Printable

Another cute chalkboard idea – What’s For Dinner?

My Weekly Plan:

It’s a crazy busy last week of school here so I’m pulling out the slow cooker for a couple of the days!

Monday: Whole Wheat Baked Penne with Vegetables

Tuesday: Slow Cooker BBQ Pork Sandwiches

Wednesday: Chicken Parmesan in the Slow Cooker served over rice with broccoli

Thursday: Leftover buffet

Friday: Birthday Day!!  Dinner out and party night 🙂

Saturday: Homemade pizza, trying a new dough ~ Perfect Parmesan Pizza Dough

Sunday: YOYO (you’re on your own)


Menu Plan Monday guidelines and banner selections are here.

Filed under: Menu Plan Monday


117 Responses to Menu Plan Monday ~ June 20th Birthday Week!!

  1. 1
    Rita says

    40’s not so bad; I’m getting closer to 50 and am nearly panicking! I hope you have a wonderful birthday!

  2. 2
    FoodontheTable says

    Happy Birthday! The question about dinner – we serve family style at the table. Works for us!

  3. 3
    Jackie says

    We do it at the counter too….our house is just so tiny, it’s much easier that way. 😉

  4. 4
    The Happy Housewife says

    Happy Birthday! I hope you have a great week.
    Whenever we have a big group of people I always serve buffet style, it is so much easier. But if it just our family I put everything on the table.


  5. 5
    Beverly says

    ooh, that pizza dough might be perfect for a copy cat zesty veggie pizza I want to try and recreate. Happy early birthday hope everything is perfect.

  6. 6
    Marsha says

    We do buffet style for big dinners, too. It gives us more room on the table. Also, if you want seconds you can get them yourself instead of someone having to stop what they’re doing to pass a dish to you.

  7. 7
    Lindsey says

    It depends on the day, but I usually dish it up to monitor portion control! (Otherwise there aren’t enough leftovers for later ….) Plus I read that you’re less likely to get up for seconds if the food isn’t right there on the table.

  8. 8
    Lynn says

    I hope you have a great birthday week! We do dinner both ways. Sometimes buffet and sometimes at the table. It just depends on what I we are having.

  9. 9
    Char @ Raising a Healthy Family says

    Happy 4-0!! I was so happy to say goodbye to my 30’s – and so far, my 40’s are FABULOUS! Your’s will be, too.

    Anyhow, we serve buffet style on the counter too – 99.9% of the time. There is obviously no right or wrong, rather what works for your family.

    I have posted my visual menu plan with breakfast, lunch and snack options along with the kids’ chore charts again this week.

    Have a great one!

  10. 10
    Angela says

    How we serve depends on what we’re eating. For instance, yesterday, Hubz requested spaghetti for his Father’s Day meal. That gets dished from the stove, and everyone takes their plate to the table. That way, the noodles, etc. stay hot. Often, if it’s just me, Hubz & ds#3, I’ll dish from the kitchen and we eat at the table. But if we have a crowd (big boys are home, my parents are over, etc) I bring everything to the table.

    BTW, the big 4-0 was tough for me…sounds like you’re handling it MUCH better. (I scheduled minor surgery for myself – it was necessary – so that I didn’t have to have a party!!)

  11. 11
    Lisa @ Cents To Save says

    I love the Ugly dress Party Idea!! Hope you have a great birthday!! And we do it buffet style too. It is easier 🙂

  12. 12
    Amy @ Finer Things says

    An ugly dress party — LOVE that idea! You will ROCK the 4-0, Laura. 🙂

    Growing up, all the food was on the table. But, like you, I now serve it up buffet-style. 1) Keeps the mess in the kitchen, 2) Easier to serve up for the kids, 3) Harder for me to go back for seconds, which is a GOOD thing. 😉

    I do often leave a bowl of fruit or something on the table so it’s easy to grab during the meal.

  13. 13
    Jen @ A Heart Full of Love says

    Happy Birthday! We serve family style at the table. However, I think I am going to give buffet-style a try this week. Sounds easier.

  14. 14
    Crftysahm says

    My mom was just in total disbelief at first too that I served buffet style from the stove. When we have large family dinners with all the kids such as holiday meals I put it all on the kitchen bar and everyone just lines up. What was even a worse offense was the fact that I serve out of the pan much of the time. I don’t like doing dishes and just can’t see the point in making extra work, especially if it is a holiday meal with lots of dishes.

    She is thankfully use to it now.

  15. 15
    Nony (A Slob Comes Clean) says

    Happy birthday! Stretch the celebration over as many days as possible!!!

    We eat at the table, but hubby’s family does the buffet style. It was quite an adjustment for him when we got married to have a set “we all sit down at the exact same time and start eating” time.

  16. 16
    Sherry says

    Happy birthday! Woohoo on turning 40! I’ve got a couple of months and I’m dreading it, although dh turned 40 in February and he says he doesn’t feel any different. LOL!

    I usually serve up on the counter and we sit down and other times we do have the food on the table and pass around.

  17. 17
    Miz Helen says

    Happy Birthday Laura, your party sounds like so much fun. We always have a family style when children are here, and other times it can be from the counter, I would say we do both. I thinks it is important for children to have both. Thanks for hosting and have a wonderful week!
    Miz Helen

  18. 18
    Jenne says

    We serve on the counter and/or the stove. I’m not one to dirty another dish so my food gets served in the pot/pan it got cooked in. Then we all sit down at the table. Every so often I will put the veggies on the table to try to enforce my children eating them but that doesn’t always work.

  19. 19
    Jackie Lee says

    Happy Birthday Laura~

    For every night dinners we dish it all up in the kitchen and go to the table. But for special occasions we serve at the table. Which kind of seems a little backwards, since there’s usually more food and people trying to fit around the table on those special days lol.

  20. 20
    Cathy @ Chief Family Officer says

    Happy early Birthday! Love the Ugly Dress party theme 🙂

    As for dinner, I plate in the kitchen and we all sit at the table. Maybe when the kids are older I would put the food out, but it’s just easier this way.

  21. 21
    Nickeletta says

    I will either put serving dishes on the table… or I will dish up plates for everyone and set them on the table. I do serve in the pots/pans that I cook in, I don’t normally transfer to dishes specifically for serving… that would mean more dishes to wash and that’s no good.

  22. 22
    Rachel says

    Happy 40th!! I hope you have a wonderful birthday!

    We dish the food out on the countertop too, so you’re not alone! 🙂

  23. 23
    Rosemamie says

    We are birthday mates! 🙂 Happy 40th! I’ll be turning 41 this Friday, so I can say with confidence that 40 is nothing to worry about 😉

    We (actually, usually I) fill our plates in the kitchen from the ‘buffet’ then place them on the table when we’re ready to eat. Our table isn’t big enough to hold everything anyway. If we have a Sunday ‘special’ dinner like a turkey dinner or roast with fixings I may put them out on plates and crowd the table but as a rule we just fill up and go. It is much easier.

  24. 24
    Paula says

    I turned 40 back in May. Somehow it doesn’t feel as old as when Mom and Dad turned 40 🙂

    In our house I dish up supper at the stove. That way I can portion out anything that needs it (for planned leftovers, etc). If I serve from the table, that requires dirtying serving dishes and means more washing for me (no dishwasher). The odd time I’ll serve from the table, to make it special.

  25. 25
    Charla @ Healthy Home Blog says

    We usually have it at the table. Sometimes when something is really hot then we’ll do buffet style from the stove (if we have salad then it’s always on the table). A lot of times when it’s just us, I’ll serve from the pans, too, because the food stays warm longer and there are less dirty dishes. I don’t do that if we have guests, though!! I like to serve buffet style when we have several guests. It’s just easier that way. So, I think either way of serving is fine. There’s no right or wrong way, just whatever works best.
    Happy Birthday!! Hope your birthday week is awesome! We tend to stretch our celebrating out over a week’s time. 🙂 I’m in my 50’s now and think the 40’s are a great time of one’s life. May God bless you with many happy years!

  26. 26
    Cindy says

    Happy Birthday Laura! Great party idea, should be tons of fun. I have a few ugly dresses in my closet, including a very old pageant dress, LOL.

    As for dinner, we usually do family style, on the table, unless there is too much food to fit the table, or too many guests. Then it’s buffet style.

  27. 27
    [email protected] says

    Happy Birthday!

    I must get back on track with menu planning. Though this time of year it is usually BBQ if it’s not raining!

  28. 28
    Prototype Mama says

    Our family is a buffet style family– I’ve tried the traditional option but having 6 people (4 really messy boys) trying to reach and grab food is just a headache all in its self— so I stick with just serving out all the plates at the counter and they come and get them. It works for us!

  29. 29
    Charla @ Healthy Home Blog says

    I meant to say what a great idea that is to bake and put the goodies in a basket with a homemade card to say thank you. Very sweet gift!

  30. 30
    Betty says

    Happy Birthday!! I hope it is wonderful! And answering you “timely” question, we serve at the table only because I have a very small kitchen and by the time I’m done cooking dinner, the counter is covered in dirty pots and pans. No, I don’t make that big of a mess. My kitchen is just that small! Have a spectacular and unforgettable Birthday Week!!

  31. 31
    Chele' says

    Happy almost birthday! I hope you have a spectacular week.

    In regards to the serving of dinner, sometimes we do it buffet style, sometimes we put it all on the table. I think it depends on (1) what we’re eating (sometimes it’s just easier to dish from the pots/pans rather than find serving dishes, of which I have very few), (2) whether or not we have company (always served at the table with company, a proper hostess does not make her guests fetch their meal from the kitchen), and (3) how much space I have cleared on the dining room table (which serves as my work area and their catch-all space, probably because it’s very centralized) when dinner is done cooking.

    Also? Forty is just another number. Something funny for you (or anyone) to consider when fretting about turning any age. My husband and I are just about 6 months apart in age. People always… ALWAYS… guess his age to be 6-10 years older than we are while guessing my age to be 6-10 (or more – one of our 14 yo daughter’s friends actually said I was about 25! She wouldn’t believe I was 40 until I showed her my drivers license) younger than we are.


  32. 32
    Crystal & Co says

    Great question.

    With five kids, I plate it up from the counter and then we all eat at the table. We need all the room at the table we can get without more dishes in the way.

    However, I do love family style eating where we all pass the peas and potatoes, but my three youngest are just too little, IMO. What a mess that could be.

  33. 33
    kat says

    Growing up it was always at the table. Now it is just my husband & I so I plate our meals in the kitchen & we take them in the other room to eat.

    Happy Birthday!

  34. 34
    Marishannon says

    I like to dish our food out at the table, but sometimes we do a combination of both. I am sure we will move towards all buffet style in the future as our family grows.

  35. 35
    Lulu says

    Have a fantastic birthday!

    I definitely want to try some of the slow cooker meals that you link too- they always sound amazing!

  36. 36
    Marcia Francois, Organising Queen says

    woohooo – I can’t WAIT to hear about your party and wacky is good, right? 🙂

    We serve at the counter – in fact I serve the food onto plates so I can apportion it correctly 🙂

    We only serve at the table when we have people over 🙂

  37. 37
    Charli says

    I turned the big 4-0 in February and it’s not bad at all. Happy Birthday and Enjoy!

  38. 38
    Lisa says

    Thank you so much for hosting Menu Plan Monday! I am getting alot of great menu ideas. 🙂

    Happy birthday to you! Sounds likeyou are going to have a fantastic party. I’m turning 40 this year too. Woohoo!!

    We usually eat buffett style here too. Neither my husband or son mind so it works for us. We will even do this if we have company. It’s easier to get the table cleared and start some board games. 🙂

  39. 39
    Queen of the House says

    Happy Birthday Week! I’ve been in the forties for a few years now….and I’ve survived! You will too! LOL! Enjoy! 🙂

  40. 40
    Carolyn says

    We serve dinner from the stove/counter and then head to the couch. Our table is always cluttered with hobby/craft “toys”.

  41. 41
    Janice says

    Thanks for hosting this hop. 🙂 I shared my salsa and guac recipes – great for summer gatherings.

    I usually serve the plates with food on them straight to the table, although sometimes we do it buffet style from the counter. 2 reasons:

    1. Our table is small.
    2. I think having the food on the table contributes to overeating.

    Celebrating Family

  42. 42
    Amy @ A Little Nosh says

    We make our plates up in the kitchen, as my husband’s family typically does. Growing up, my mom put everything on platters and bowls, and we scooped and passed at the table. I’m too lazy to clean all those dishes!

  43. 43
    Tammy @ Skinny Mom's Kitchen says

    I put together and serve everyone’s plate at my house. I am really big on appropriate portion sizes and I want to make sure everyone gets what they should be getting. Sometimes I will put the salad on the table but I have found keeping the meals in the kitchen and not on the table helps us from overeating.

  44. 45
    shannon says

    I make the plates and put them on the table. Then everyone can go back for seconds themselves if they want. The table isn’t large enough to do it family style and if I do true buffet style the big kids take WAY more than they can eat. This causes them to throw away large amounts of food and on a few occassions has resulted in there not being enough food for everyone.

    • 45.1
      Janet says

      I do it this way too. I line them up according to age prepare the plate hand them the plate and they go sit down. I also notify them 15 minutes before I serve and they fill their glass with what they want to drink at that time. Then after they fill the glass they basically go to the bathroom wash hands and get in line.

      This is what works for us.

  45. 46
    Tina says

    Happy Birthday!

    Food is almost always served from the stove & island & condiments or garnishes are on the table. Serving from the table makes it too crowded!

  46. 47
    Kate @ Teaching What Is Good says

    Our table is large, but so is our family, but our kitchen is small in comparison with about 4 feet of total counter space. It doesn’t often work for us to fill up our plates buffet style as there is no place to walk around the table once Dad is sitting down. So mostly we put it on the table. But sometimes there isn’t room for that either! ;-D

  47. 48
    Kim @ Homesteader's Heart says

    If it’s just our family. I dish out everyone’s plate in the kitchen. If we have company I put the food on the table. So I guess it depends on the situation.
    Have a great day.

  48. 49
    Lisa says

    Most nights we put the food on the table, some nights I dish it out at the stove…like when we have pasta since everyone likes to have different amounts of sauce, and some nights we just do a buffet on the island. Just depends on the food that is being served. We do all sit together to eat whether it is on the patio, at the dining table or in the lr for a movie night.

  49. 51
    Storm says

    Happy Early Birthday! 🙂

    We do a combo – some dishes at the table, some buffet style. I would do all at the time, because that is how I grew up as well, but we just don’t have enough room on the table – maybe when we get a bigger table one day.

  50. 52
    Julie says

    We always did Family Style at the table growing up but my husband and I have been trying to do the Buffet Style because it reduces our serving sizes. You don’t keep dipping into the dishes for second and third helpings if it’s not on the table right in front of you!

  51. 53
    Lara says

    Happy birthday to you! You and my husband are almost exactly the same age….he turns 40 this Saturday! Thanks for the recipe shout-out. Hope you enjoy the Chicken Parmesan. 🙂

  52. 54
    Karen J says

    Happy Belated Birthday to you…..!!! Enjoy 40 just as you’ve enjoyed 1 to 39. Mine was June 15 and my oldest daughter’s was June 16. I’m 42 now and don’t feel a day over sweet 16 ;0)

  53. 55
    Kitchen and Kids says

    I hope you have a fabulous birthday. The party sounds great! My big 4-0 is in two months, I am not overly concerned about it. I have kids to keep me young.

    We do dinner different ways. We typically put the food on the island serve ourselves and sit down, but occasionally I will put the food on the table and we will eat that way. It is easier to clean up if we do it buffet style and we don’t eat as much (because it isn’t as handy.)


  54. 56
    Gretchen says

    Happy Birthday! We do buffet style. It is just easier and the table isn’t as cluttered.

  55. 57
    Elizabeth @ MomCooks says

    I usually take the plates to the stove to fill them with the entree, then we put the side dishes on the table and everyone helps themselves from those.

    Happy Birthday! 4-0 is really not so bad, trust me 🙂

  56. 58
    Heather says

    Happy Birthday, Laura! Hope you have a great week…and a great year!
    Serving meals? Like so many have said already, we do it both ways depending on what we’re eating — whatever’s easiest.

  57. 59
    Rebekah @ Making Miracles says

    Happy birthday! I just had mine on June 12th – the big 30!! 🙂 Our menu plan this week includes lasagna roll-ups, barbecued beef sandwices with sweet slaw, Shepherd’s Pie and Spaghetti and Meatballs! 🙂

  58. 60
    Elizabeth says

    We usually dish in the kitchen. We even leave the pots on the stove…it makes it easier, there are no serving dishes to wash, and things like sauces and soups can stay and low and simmer to keep them hot in case anyone comes late or wants seconds. When I was little, we used to dish at the table; I think habits and patterns just change over time. And now that my siblings and I are adults, mealtimes with my parents usually take place in the living room because there’s often a project or something spread out on the table.

    • 60.1
      Elizabeth says

      P.S. I forgot to say, happy birthday!! 🙂

  59. 61
    PW says

    We serve buffet style, and it works fine. For those of us that work, it just saves a step and usually less dirty dishes.

    I am heading to my 70th and can’t complain. Doing everything I did at 40, 50, 60 so it really doesn’t matter, other then I am older and wiser. Still work full time, bike, roller blade, hike, work in my massively landscaped yard, cut grass. Life is good, so don’t freak out about the birthdays. It all depends on how you accept them. If you think you are getting old–you will and if you stop doing the things you enjoy then you will get old. Otherwise, the years make no difference.

    And I have to say I am still struggling with menu planning, it is a struggle because I just don’t always take the time. But I try.

  60. 62
    Jana says

    Loved this post!
    1. Happy birthday!
    2. I love the Ugly Dress party idea! I’m having a Halfway to Christmas party this Friday, so I totally don’t think you are weird. I love giving themed parties about once a month!
    3. WHO did you make the thank you gifts for? I think this is a great idea, and I’m totally going to steal it!
    4. We do a combo. If it is something that is messy, then we do buffet style. I have three kids who are 6, 5, and 2.5, so that’s why we do it that way, but otherwise, I try to set the table.

    Thank’s for your ideas!

  61. 63
    Leslie says

    Oh my goodness I have to say that I’ve never even considered buffet for my family on a regular basis. Once in a blue moon I will actually clear off the buffet of all the crap it gathers and use it as it was meant to be used, but that’s usually when company is over and we can’t all fit around the table. I’m quite intrigued by the idea though….it would cut down a little on the clean up, but I think the hassle of helping my younger children balance a plate and carry it from the kitchen to dining room might curtail my intrigue rather quickly…..

  62. 64
    Tracey M says

    I just turned the big 4-0 last Oct. I think it’s a great milestone. I love the gift baskets of all the yummy goodies you made. What a wonderful way to say thank you. So, we are just a family of 3 and we serve at the table. When we have lots of folks over for dinner though, I do like the buffet style serving up at the kitchen! Much easier with a crowd!

  63. 65
    Megan says

    There’s only two of us, but we still dish up our plates at the stove/counter and take them to the table. We think it’s easier to clean up that way. But growing up, Mom always moved the food to the table to serve. Hope you enjoy your birthday!!!

  64. 67
    Tracy P. says

    We put the main dish on the counter, along with any bread. All the veggies and the water pitcher go on the table, though. My kids and hubbie were forever hopping up and down to refill their water glasses, so that got moved to the table awhile ago. I also discovered that if the veggies were right in front of everyone, they got eaten up!

  65. 68
    Rene @ Budget Saving Mom says

    I live the pots of food right on the stove, and we serve from there, and then sit down at the table. With a family of six, and not a huge kitchen table, there really isn’t room. It seems to make cleanup a little easier as well since the main dishes are still on the stove or on the counter.

    Happy birthday to you! I hope that you have a great one!!

  66. 69
    Amber W. says

    First MPM looks kind of forlorn compared to others. Wasn’t sure how much detail I wanted to go into. Might go more in depth next week.

    Dinner – Served in the kitchen from the pans on the stove or all placed on counter. Table isn’t large enough for everything and since it is only two of us and have such odd schedules sometimes we don’t even get to eat dinner together and if that’s the case I’ll eat mine and put the rest away for Daniel to eat when he comes home.

  67. 70
    Stephanie @ Confessions of a Trophy Wife says

    Growing up we always at “family style” (I guess you’d call it), with all the food at the table. My husband and I have always eaten more “buffet style” like you talked about with sitting the food out on the counter, filling our plates, and then taking it where ever. This probably had a lot to do with the fact that for the first years we lived together we ate on our family room coffee table (oops!). Now that we eat at the table as a family we still do the buffet style thing. We do bring things like condiments, etc. to the table often, but most of the food stays on the counter. It works easier this way because we don’t have a very large table to begin with AND our kitchen is small anyway, so it’s not exactly far to get food 😀 As my child gets older, and/or as our family gets bigger I don’t know if we’ll change the way we do dinner or not!

    Also, to be honest, I know that “family style” dining definitely encourages me to pick or take a second helping, neither of which I need to do!

  68. 71
    Jen says

    Dish at the table most of the time. It’s my 39th bday on 6/24–if I am reading right, say as yours! Enjoy your blog–have never commented before:)

  69. 72
    Jenna @ NeatFreakWannabe says

    Happy Early Birthday! Mine is on Saturday 🙂

    Right now whoever is cooking will dish out dinner before we sit down to eat. We’ll do buffet style if we have some type of make-your-own dish (like tacos), but otherwise “the chef” just plates it up. Come to think of it, this is what I grew up with.

  70. 73
    sara d says

    Make our plates and take them to the table…
    🙂 Happy Birthday Week!

  71. 74
    Shelley (@momma_oz) says

    I’m new so thanks for the link up 🙂 I’ve been a fan for a while though thanks to Lori at My Kinda Rain 🙂

    Also – HAPPY BIRTHDAY! mine’s on Wedbesday – Don’t you love having a June Birthday? Presents every six months 🙂

  72. 75
    Vanessa says

    We fix our plates at the kitchen counter and eat at the table. With two small children it is MUCH easier for me to fix their plates at the counter. We also have a small kitchen table and it would be too crowded with extra food on the table.

    Happy B-day! 🙂

  73. 76
    Gina says

    I just liked up for the first time to Menu Plan Monday! Thanks!

  74. 77
    HereWeGoAJen says

    I leave the food in the kitchen, usually in the pots it was cooked in, and we serve ourselves in there. Actually, since the baby is still little and I have to fix her plate and mine, I usually just fix my husband’s too and hand them out. It makes less dishes since you don’t have to also wash serving dishes.

  75. 78
    Janet says

    Happy Birthday!

    We serve from the stove/counter and then sit at the table.

  76. 79
    Zaira @ Living, Loving, Learning Naturally says

    I generally serve most of it, I know how much my husband and son will eat but then will put the big bowl of salad, dressing, sauces etc on the table. I find we eat more salad if it’s on the table!

  77. 80
    Jackie Brown says

    Wow, 40, you don’t look it at all. I’m approaching that number, too. And your ministry baking looks fantastic. I sharing the gift of baking also. Have a blessed week and birthday and thanks for hosting!

  78. 81
    Adriana says

    I serve everyone’s plates from the stove/counter. 1) less dishes for clean-up and 2) our table is so small that we don’t have room for serving dishes.

  79. 82
    Beth says

    We serve buffet style also! Happy Birthday!!!!

  80. 83
    Keri says

    We usually serve supper from the kitchen because the kids are young and I’d be horrified if one of them touched a hot pot. I do usually put something – like bread in a basket – on the table.

  81. 84
    ~~Rhonda says

    Happy birthday, Laura! I hope your birthday party is great fun!

    Re: serving dinner….when it’s “just us” we put everything on the kitchen table family style. If there are two or more tables being used for a larger group, we put the dishes on the kitchen table, buffet style, and everyone dishes out his/her plate, then finds a place to sit in the dining room or at another table set up in the living room or family room


  82. 85
    Breana says

    I agree with some of the others… it really just depends! For us depends on a few things: what the meal is, how much time we’ll be sitting socializing or is it an eat & run meal, how large the meal is – is there room on the table for everything, are we eating in the dining room or the kitchen…

    I remember my mom & Grandma seem surprised that I will just put the food out in what it was cooked in & not a “serving dish”… Looks pretty, but I don’t have time for extra dishes! Maybe one day, when my kids are older. Lol

  83. 87
    Christina @ Working WAHM says

    Usually I dish out the food from the stove to the plates. My youngest likes playing waitress and delivers all the plates to the correct people. Last night I tried family style with it all on the table and it was a jam of plates…too crowded for me.

  84. 88
    Becky L. says

    We serve big dinners, like Christmas and Thanksgiving, in the kitchen on the counter and small table (desserts) so people take what they want. Not enough room on table to have it all and our drinks and plates.
    This week is “broke” week for us. I’m thankful I’ve stocked up on meats and veg and canned items I need. So all I bought today at grocery store was 5 oranges for $1 and orange juice which I like in the a.m. with my cereal. Oranges are for hubby’s lunches. Cash only this week for needs only but I think it’s taken care of!

    • 88.1
      Becky L. says

      Happy 40th Birthday to you.Been there, done that, would do it again if I could know what I already know! Hugs to you and God’s blessings!

  85. 89
    Suzanne says

    Happy birthday! Life will get really interesting from here on out…

    We are a buffet-style family, although we both grew up with dinner served on the table for the most part. Even when we have company, we generally stick with the buffet (I just might put things in prettier dishes). I think we moved to this when it dawned on me that I could spend time washing dishes and pots and pans, or I could just wash a few pots and pans and spend more time with the family. It was unanimous.

    Hubby went to grocery store with me today, so lots of grilling and fresh fruit. And since he’s the one who grills, and my daughter cuts up the fruit, it works for me!

  86. 90
    Danielle says

    Happy Early Birthday!

    Buffet style all the way. I hate having the food on the table. It just makes everything so crowded. My in-laws do the whole food on the table thing for thanksgiving. Add the entire set of dishes, glassware and silverware, OMG. I have this huge desire to bolt from the table cause of the chaos. And I really hate having to stop eating to pass a bowl. Seriously, if you want more get up and get yourself. LOL

  87. 91
    Lisa says

    I would have to say Buffet Style 90 % of the time. Other 10% right from stove onto the plate or bowls. I don’t really know why. I grew up doing it “family style”- hmmm. If i had to guess it would be because we got a big square table that seats 8 if we had to and reaching into the middle and passing things is just too hard.

  88. 92
    Martha (MM) says

    Happy 40th a little in advance! Your party sounds like so much fun!! I love things like that and makes for great photos and wonderful memories. Can’t wait to hear how it goes!

    I’m working 10 hour days this week so I didn’t even do a menu plan – dinners are all up to hubby and the boys this week.

    We serve buffet style too and even a little more casual since we eat right at our breakfast bar and often on paper plates when we can, depending on the food we are having. Even on holidays I put all the food out along the breakfast bar, but at least I do set a pretty table then. I say it’s whatever works best for each individual family – although my mother was always mortified by this too.

  89. 93
    Absentminded Mother says

    I usually put the food on the plates and put any left overs on the table so if anyone wants seconds I don’t have to get up. If it’s something that they need to add on their own toppings, like tacos, its a fix your own plate deal. When we have company we do the buffet style.

    I love your YOYO dinner day. :0)

  90. 94
    Diane says

    Hope you have a wonderful birthday!

  91. 95
    Andrea R. says

    We do it buffet style at the counter ~ right from the cooking pans. If we have company, I put it in nicer serving dishes, but it’s still buffet style. A lot of time, I just go ahead and make everyone’s plate too. It’s a habit I learned from my mom. Now that the kids are older, I’m trying to let them serve themselves so they learn portion control.

  92. 96
    Sarah Bailey says

    We have a table but since we can’t all sit at it at one time we eat in the living room (we have a tiny house) at tray tables which means I’m dishing the food from the oven (also lack counter space). One of these days I’d love to be able to serve everyone in the kitchen or dining room from the table.

  93. 97
    Janet R says

    We serve up the buffet in the kitchen. The habit started this summer in our new house where we eat on the deck almost every evening; there’s no point in carrying out all the food just so the bugs can enjoy it! It also helps with our recent weight loss efforts *no picking as we linger over conversation) so I think I’ll stick to this approach even when we transfer back indoors. I grew up eating ‘family style’ with dishes at the table.

  94. 98
    Janet R says

    Laughing at YOYO (you’re on your own); in our house we’ve adopted FFY – Fend For Yourself !

  95. 99
    Sandy says

    Happy Birthday!

    My husband and I are retired and we like our main meal around 2 pm. We serve from the stove and sit down together. When our kids were growing up, I put the food on the table. I am impressed with all the above comments. To me both styles…family and buffet…are fine. How I am impressed is that there are families still sitting around the table together. I thought that was a thing of the past. It seems everyone is filling their plates at the stove and going to eat at their own place of interest…before the TV or video games. Family togetherness is valuable in this day. How glad I am that there are still children who get to experience it.

  96. 100
    bee says

    Happy Birthday!
    Answering your question. We have a very big family, but its mostly family style for the immediate family. Buffet when the relatives are over!

    We serve buffet mostly because seating is limited at the diner table lol

  97. 101
    Cynthia says

    Many happy returns of the day, dear Laura!

  98. 102
    Andrea @ Clipping Makes Cents says

    Happy Birthday, Laura! I hope it’s a wonderful one. 🙂

    We do a little of both…mostly counter, but sometimes I bring our favorite dish to the table for 2nd servings. 🙂

  99. 103
    kewkew says

    Happy Birthday!!
    I usually serve the food at the kitchen counter and bring the plates into the dining room. Occasionally I bring the food to the table.

  100. 104
    Anna says

    Happy Birthday!

    And guess what? My birthday is Friday too! I’ve thought it was the perfect day for a birthday since it is halfway through the year and means presents come every six months! (i.e. birthday & Christmas). I’m planning to spend the day with a college friend who lives far, far away but just happens to be visiting this week!

  101. 105
    Shannon says

    We usually serve the food in the kitchen – we have a toddler and this makes that easier. But growing up both my husband and I remember food being served in the kitchen and brought to the table. The exceptions would be the raw veggies (both our moms made sure there were raw veggie every night) and maybe a salad. In the summer we ate in the backyard at the picnic table and those meals the food was on the table and we helped ourselves.

  102. 106
    Mindy says

    We do buffet style. I agree it is easier and I think I would use lots more dishes if I tried to always put everything on the table.

  103. 107
    Suzanne says

    Happy 40th, Laura! Yours sounds a lot more fun than mine was. Like one of your other readers, I had surgery that day. As for dinner, it’s always buffet style. The one time I actually put dinner on the table, my husband actually asked me why it was there instead of on the counter/stove! My daughter’s friends have gotten used to the buffet style at our house and some like it better.

    Can’t wait to hear about your party!

  104. 108
    Domestiç Reclusë says

    Hi everyone! I just joined Menu Plan Monday; I hope I’ve linked to it correctly! 🙂 This will certainly help me stick to a routine when it comes to meal planning & groceries. 😉

  105. 109
    Meal Plan Mom (Brenda) says

    Happy Birthday Laura! And welcome to the over 40 club too! 🙂 As far as serving dinner, that is an interesting question as I’ve often thought about it myself. We do the buffet style from the kitchen counter similar to you. I agree, it is much easier and usually requires less clean up. But I think doing it at the table provides a little more together time as when someone might want seconds they do not need to leave the table.

  106. 110
    Summer @ Well-rounded Hippie says

    We prep plates in the kitchen and then carry them to the table where we eat. I think it’s silly top put food into serving dishes except on special occasions. AND, it makes you think twice before getting seconds!

  107. 111
    Mary says

    I’m visiting from Karen Ehman’s Book studies site. Thank yo for the great ideas. I serve all the plates from the stove and then put them on the table for everybody. With 2 young kids its a lot easier for us.

  108. 112
    Rhonda says

    For meals, it depends on what we are having, but we usually put serving dishes on the table. With two 5-year-olds who can serve themselves from the table, but not the counter/stove, putting the food on the table minimizes the number of times an adult has to get up and get something for someone else.

  109. 113
    Trina @ Joy And Contentment says

    Except for special occassions and guests, we usually serve from the counter, except for the salad which always goes on the table. I figure, the fewer dishes to wash, the more family time we will have after supper. There is always another game of Skip-Bo to be had, and that’s way more important to me than fancier dishes.


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