Sunday, March 12, 2017

We Bought a Farm: Cooking for a Crowd

We are foreseeing a LOT of guests on the farm. This makes my heart happy. We are excited to provide a place of respite and retreat to those we know and love.

However, it also freaks me out just a LITTLE bit. I have just recently started cooking. Prior to this year my husband did ALL of the cooking. (And I mean ALL!) But with him doing 7am-7pm/7pm-7am shifts, I had to learn.

I learned to cook with What a Godsend that was. I will be eternally grateful to my friend Stebbs for introducing me to the sheer magic of this meal heaven.

But Blue Apron is designed for 4 people. It is not enough food (and honestly, too expensive) to cook when we have guests.

So I turned to my Facebook friends for help. I asked them to send me their best recipes. Here was my plea:

Okay everyone. In our new life on our farm, it appears we are going to be hosting visitors fairly frequently. I have spent the last year learning to cook (via Blue Apron meals) and therefore feel a little more comfortable in the kitchen.
I am looking for recipes to cook for groups of approximately 12-15 people. I want your VERY BEST RECIPE. Don't send me the ones that are okay. Post the recipe that you go to and people just LOVE.

The only rules is that the recipe must adhere to the following stipulations:
1. Not too complicated. Freezer and slow-cooker ideas very welcome. Preferably under 1 hour in prep-time.
2. Egg-free.
3. Kid-friendly.
4. Free (or mostly free -- a little fudging here is okay) of things like processed foods or extra sugar, flour, or corn starch.)

I have compiled a TON of great recipes from my Facebook friends. I have also compiled a ton of Blue Apron meals that I'd like to try to recreate as well. And now, it is time to start trying these and sharing these. I will be updating this post and then republishing it to be current as I try these meals. Stay tuned!
This was a Blue Apron meal that I successfully recreated. I used regular Oregano as I was unable to find the Greek oregano. My only major suggestion is to NOT NOT NOT salt as they suggest. Instead just sprinkle a LITTLE salt on the chicken. I was over-salted the last time.

My mother-in-law actually followed the recipe and did this one for me. It was SCRUMPTIOUS. We made enough to freeze for later. Yum! Recommended by: Briana H.

Yum! We will definitely be making this time and time again. I went ahead and ordered the Ras El Hanout spice online at, and it came the next day. I also skipped the part where you poach the chicken and simply put the raw chicken directly into the crockpot. We served it with Basmati rice, and I even added some Indian Naan as well. Recommended by: Harmony H. 

I actually was off a few ingredients when I made this recipe, and it still came out FANTASTIC! Delicious, easy, and definitely something I will do again. I just did these on the stove top, and I paired it with some spaghetti and bread. But next time, I think I'd like to incorporate a salad. Yum! A definite keeper. Recommended by: Joy Z.

This was super easy and super tasty. I will definitely do it again in the future. Prep time is low and it would be easy to multiply for larger groups. Recommended by: Google

Easy. Tasty. Yum! I just used regular sea salt since I couldn't find any of the Hawaiian kind and it still tasted great. I served it with carrots and Brussel sprouts that I cut up, covered in oil and sprinkled with salt and pepper and then cooked on 400 for about 30 minutes. Meal recommend by: Joy Z. Veggies recommended by: Michelle K.

This was SO easy. Honestly, five minutes of prep. Very healthy. And the chicken came out tasting perfectly done. I really looked like a much better chef than I am. STRONGLY recommend this dish. I will be making this time and time again. Recommended by: Kris G.

This was the first time I tried to recreate a Blue Apron meal -- and I did so with great success! Instead of Vandouvan Curry powder, I just used regular Curry powder, and it came out fantastically. What is great about these is that they are basically a spin on the same old regular burgers, they are very healthy, and they are pretty easy.

This is a GREAT post-Thanksgiving recipe to give new life to your leftovers!

This recipe is a sure hit with kids and adults! 

Summery Chicken Salad

Indian-Spiced Chicken Burgers
We did this with ground turkey and Ras El Hanout instead of the Garam Masala


mom.of.4 said...

my newest fast and easy recipe:

peach chicken quesadilla
thin sliced peaches (necterines, mango, apricot would also work)
pre-cooked chicken, shredded
pepper jack or mexican cheese (i use mexican)
flour tortillas

sour cream
lime juice

lay a tortilla down on a griddle/pan, place chicken, peaches, cilantro and cheese on, top with another tortilla.
cook until just barely brown/a little stiff, flip and cook the other side. it's done when the cheese melts.

top with sour cream mixture

i don't have amounts because i just dump. the honey lime sour cream MAKES this dish!

TAV said...

I am totally following this post and stealing your and your friends' ideas!!

Anonymous said...

This is my go-to recipe for a crowd. You can easily double or triple the recipe or change the ingredients slightly by your on-hand ingredients or preferences. I use 1/2 the sugar listed, and I usually serve it with garlic mashed potatoes and seasonal vegetables. Our kids like it too (some with ketchup of course or they usually like it heavy on the prunes.)

Anonymous said...

I know you're looking for recipe's from friends, but do you ever search pinterest? They have some great crockpot meals and other recipes that you can easily double/triple.

Wendi Kitsteiner said...

I'll be honest, Pinterest totally and completely overwhelms me. I get lost there continually.