Last week I was in charge of organizing the holiday dinner for the women’s organization at church. I have done enough large group cooking that cooking for 100 doesn’t scare me any more. I have cooked for 400 before – now that’s scary!
I have learned lots of great tips for feeding a crowd over the years of large group cooking. The top tip though is – have a great group of people to help you. I had that this week. I had a wonderful group of women who were so willing to help cook pork, make desserts, fix green beans, rice and salad dressing. I also had an amazing group of men helping serve and clean up in the kitchen!
I always gauge the success of a dinner by how many requests I get for the recipes and based on the requests from last week’s dinner it was a huge success! So as promised, here are the recipes I used for the dinner.
A short story first – if you are a frequent visitor to my blog you know that I like to include pretty pictures of the food I make. Unfortunately, I don’t have any pretty pictures of the food we served at the dinner - when you are in the middle of cooking and prepping food for 100 you forget to take pictures!
About the time we were serving dessert I did remember so I found a “pretty” piece of dessert and set it aside inside my roaster in the kitchen to take home and take a picture of.
After dessert was served and on the tables I came back into the kitchen and discovered that my “pretty” piece of dessert was GONE! Yes, someone had taken my “pretty,” picture worthy piece of dessert. By this time the majority of people had already eaten their dessert. I went back out to the cultural hall and searched through the tables looking for an uneaten “pretty” piece of dessert – I found one that was somewhat “pretty”, not as “pretty” as the STOLEN piece of dessert and I stole it right off the table from someones place! I brought them back a “not so pretty” piece!
I got the piece of dessert home and put it in the refrigerator until I could take a picture of it the next morning in the light. By the time I got around to taking a picture of it, it wasn’t so “pretty” anymore. But I promise you, the dessert is so YUMMY that you won’t care that the picture isn’t “pretty” In fact it is so YUMMY I couldn’t resist and had to take a bite before I took the picture!!
Since I believe in the motto “Life’s short, eat dessert first” here’s the dessert recipe first!
The dessert recipe came from my friend Melanie over at My Kitchen Cafe. After I was asked to be in charge of the dinner and a “decadent chocolate dessert” was requested, I emailed Melanie right away to ask her for some great ideas. As always, Melanie came through for me and sent me the recipe for Raspberry Tuxedo Brownie Squares. She was right – they were wonderful!
The other recipes will follow in another post.
Raspberry Tuxedo Brownie Squares
1 package (21 oz.) brownie mix (9 x 13 size)
1/2 C seedless raspberry jam (I used jam with seeds!)
2 C fresh raspberries, or frozen whole raspberries without syrup, thawed and drained, divided (I used 1 1/2 cups frozen for the dessert and then used 1/2 cup fresh to garnish the top)
3 squares (1 ounce each) white chocolate, melted and cooled slightly
2 packages (8oz.) cream cheese, softened
1/2 C powdered sugar
1/4 C milk
1 C heavy whipping cream, wh ipped to stiff peaks
Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Lightly spray bottom of a 9 x 13 pan with nonstick cooking spray. Prepare and bake brownie mix according to package. Cool completely. Spread jam onto brownies. Reserve 1/2 cup of raspberries for the garnish, arrange the remaining 1 1/2 cups raspberries evenly over jam. Combine cream cheese and powdered sugar in medium bowl, mix well. Gradually whisk in melted chocolate and milk. Fold in whipped cream. Spread carefully over raspberries. Refrigerate 1 hour or until firm. Cut into squares. Garnish with reserved raspberries or chocolate curls. Store, covered in the refrigerator. Yields: 15 servings