Feeding a Crowd – Holiday Dinner, Part One

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 brownies - Page 206

Feeding a Crowd – Holiday Dinner, Part One
 
Ingredients
  • 1 package (21 oz.) brownie mix (9 x 13 size)
  • ½ 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 1½ cups frozen for the dessert and then used ½ cup fresh to garnish the top)
  • 3 squares (1 ounce each) white chocolate, melted and cooled slightly
  • 2 packages (8oz.) cream cheese, softened
  • ½ C powdered sugar
  • ¼ C milk
  • 1 C heavy whipping cream, wh ipped to stiff peaks
Instructions
  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees
  2. Lightly spray bottom of a 9 x 13 pan with nonstick cooking spray
  3. Prepare and bake brownie mix according to package
  4. Cool completely
  5. Spread jam onto brownies
  6. Reserve ½ cup of raspberries for the garnish, arrange the remaining 1½ cups raspberries evenly over jam
  7. Combine cream cheese and powdered sugar in medium bowl, mix well
  8. Gradually whisk in melted chocolate and milk
  9. Fold in whipped cream
  10. Spread carefully over raspberries
  11. Refrigerate 1 hour or until firm
  12. Cut into squares
  13. Garnish with reserved raspberries or chocolate curls
  14. Store, covered in the refrigerator
  15. Yields: 15 servings
Leigh Anne
Hi – I’m Leigh Anne! I have been a homebased mom for 30 years since my first baby boy was born! I love working with women and helping to inspire them to achieve their goals and dreams while still maintaining motherhood and family as their number one priority. I blog about everything I enjoy – creating treats and meals in my kitchen, spending time in my garden, entertaining and party planning, reading, self improvement and tips and ideas on style and fashion.
Leigh Anne
Leigh Anne

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Comments

  1. says

    For your sake, I’m glad this big event is over. I hope you find time to relax! Thanks for sharing all your tips. And I think the picture of the brownie still turned out fabulous, despite your concerns. It definitely makes me want to make these again!

  2. Teri says

    Leigh Anne, you AMAZE ME! (Therefore, it would be only natural to assume that you ARE AMAZING!) ;0)
    just thought you could stand to hear that in the midst of the FA-LA-LA!

  3. Cindy says

    I just made these to take to school tomorrow for our end of the year luncheon. My son just came home from work and asked if he could have one. I hesitated because I hate for a big hunk to be missing. I gave in since he is graduating with honors from high school Saturday. I thought he deserves it. So it may not look as pretty but my boy sure did LOVE it. I took a bite and I think it is the best dessert I’ve ever made! Can’t wait for all my teacher friends to try it tomorrow. I’ll report back with the verdict.

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