Cooking for a Crowd

The new issue The Ozarks Mountaineer Magazine has arrived!  I may not be ready for winter, but the articles in here are sure to get me in the mood.



My Ozarks Cookery Column this issue (page 36 & 37)  features recipes geared for large gatherings.  I’m all for doing it easy, and the Bacon-Cheddar Pinwheels and Sausage & Cheese Dip definitely fit the bill!  The Broccoli-Cranberry Salad makes a colorful presentation, and I’m always a sucker for Sweet Potatoes…this time in a Sweet-Sweet Potato Casserole!


An attractive dinner setting


There’s much more to be found in this collection of recipes, but be sure to refer to the “Guest-imate” Portions Guide (how much soup DO you need for 12 people?), so you can purchase enough ingredients for whatever size group you plan to host, and have a fun, delicious event!


As a bonus on my blog, here’s one of my favorite crowd-pleasing recipes (not found in the article – it’s a family favorite!)…


English: A dish of funeral potatoes






Potatoes for a Crowd



1 pkg. frozen Hashbrowns, thawed
1 – 8 oz. container sour cream
1 can cream of potato soup
1 can cream of chicken soup
2 cups shredded cheddar cheese
Parmesan cheese and/or seasoned bread crumbs for garnish



In a large bowl, combine all the ingredients.  Place mixture in a shallow baking pan, top with garnish if desired.  Bake at 400 degrees for 40-45 minutes, or until golden brown.  Serve hot!

Have a wonderful family-filled winter season, and be sure to pick up the latest Ozarks Mountaineer Magazine!

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Life Cycle of a Pumpkin, or How I Ate Audrey’s Last Baby for Breakfast

It wasn’t too long ago that my favorite Uncle Fred was puzzling his FaceBook followers with photos of a mysterious volunteer plant on his compost pile.  What was first speculated to be a sweet potato plant or a weed, turned out to be a pumpkin vine.

But not just any pumpkin vine… a monstrous, overlord-of-the-neighborhood kind of vine that was quickly dubbed “Audrey”.  You know, “Feed me, Seymour!”

Most of us chuckled as the Accidental Gardener kept us updated on the illegal growth of the plant that soon covered at least 100 square feet.  Audrey’s “children” were given away one by one, until finally, I was awarded the last of her progeny – a good-sized pumpkin I could just get my arms around.

I buckled Junior into the backseat and away we went, destined for many slices of spicy, whipped-topped goodness ahead of us.  A day or two gracing my countertop – and more than a few amused smirks from my husband – had me rethinking exactly how many pies I thought I could eat.

So what do you do with an excess of fruit or vegetables?  You can it, of course!  I didn’t want just plain pumpkin puree, so I found a tasty-sounding recipe for pumpkin butter – which has a lot of uses in other recipes.  And now I can spend the rest of the year nibbling on pumpkin butter pie, pumpkin butter bread, or just pumpkin butter on my morning toast.

 Scooped Out Pumpkin  Baked, Peeled, & Quartered  Spiced & Simmered!
Finished Jars ofPumpkin Butter Nothing Goes to Waste…Spiced Pumpkin Juice!

Thanks to Audrey, and Uncle Fred, for a project that went from volunteer plant to Autumn harvest in a pint-size jar!

Back To School… In the Kitchen

The latest edition of The Ozarks Mountaineer Magazine has hit the stands – and subscriber mailboxes!  Check out my Cookery Column inside for great tips on cooking for kids as they head back to school.  My personal favorite?  Try the Waffle Grills…amazing, fast, and flexible (and I may not even save them for the kids!).   The recipe is below:

Get your magazine at the nearest newsstand or bookstore, or better yet, subscribe and SAVE!

Waffle Grills

   4 teaspoons butter

   4 frozen waffles, thawed

   4 slices American cheese

   1 medium tart apple, thinly sliced

In a large skillet, melt butter over medium heat.  Add two waffles; top each with one cheese slice, apple slices, and remaining cheese and waffles.  When bottom is lightly browned, flip and cook on the other side.  Cook until waffles are lightly toasted and cheese is melted.

These can also be cooked in a Panini maker or grill press.  Cut in halves or fourths when cooled for a palm-sized treat!  (Serve with syrup, or make a pizza version and have fun dipping in marinara!)

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Now We’re Cookin’