Meal 12 – Honey Mustard Glazed Ham with Cheddar Au Gratin Potatoes



We had 40 + people out for the week before Christmas.  86 hams were donated along with 4 big Costco pies, and of course toys!

I think the only thing to cook with ham is Au Gratin Potatoes.  They are really easy.  Some people loved this recipe, I thought it was lacking flavor.  An easy fix, just make sure your sauce it the flavor you want, since the potatoes don’t add much.  I did a slow cooker version, since oven space is limited, and I needed it for the ham



  • Baked Ham w/ Mustard Honey Glaze
    • Black Forest Ham
    • Regular
  • Cheddar Potatoes Au Gratin
  • Homemade Bread
  • Pie

Ham Recipe:


1 5.5 lbs ham

1 3 lbs “Black forest” ham

Ham glaze:

1/2 cup packed brown sugar

3 TBS Honey

1 TBS Dijon


One will coat a 6- 10 lbs ham.  I made double for good measure

Heat oven to 325, cook about 30 minutes per pound (or less).  As always, use a temp gauge, not time.  Coat with the glaze a few times during cooking.  Pulling the ham out to glaze is also a great way to stall cook time if the ham is cooking to fast.

Au Gratin Potatoes:


10.5 lbs yukon gold potatoes

1/4 cup oil / fat

1/4 cup flour

2 cups cheddar

1 gallon cream

1 TBS pepper

2 tsp salt

2 heads garlic


Heat cream over low.  Over med- high heat, get oil hot.  Sprinkle in flour while whisking, don’t stop!  Once golden, slowly pour in cream while still whisking.  Let simmer, it will thicken.

Stir in Cheddar.  Cheese adds salt, so I like to mix in the cheese before I salt to taste.

Add salt, pepper, garlic.  Get this gravy tasty!  It is what the entire dish will taste like.

Slice the potatoes paper thin (or use a mandolin).  Make thin layers and add a coating of the gravy on every layer.  Pour remaining gravy over the top.

This took 2 slow cookers for me.  Cook time, about 5 hours on high in the slow cooker.

I hope you enjoy!


Meal 11 – Broccoli Cheddar Soup with real bacon bits



This is an easy one, and everybody loved it.  And it’s cheep.

We had some left over cheddar from the last lunch, and I had a few left over squash, so the cost is low.

Broccoli Cheddar Soup Recipe:

  • 5 Gallon Stock Pot
  • 6 lbs of Brocolli
  • 5 lbs Carrots – Shredded
  • Heavy Cream
  • 1/2 cup flour
  • 1/2 cup oil
  • Veggie stock – very easy to make
  • 1 lbs cheddar

Like most good things, this one starts with a roux.  Set your pot to medium high heat, get the oil hot.  Whisk while sprinkling in flour.  Make sure everything is at hand, if you stop stirring, you ruin it.  I didn’t want a dark roux for this one, so I just got everything combined and bubbling.

Once the roux is the darkness you like, slowly stir in the veggie stock.  Add half of the broccoli and carrots.  Let simmer 1 hour, then hit it with the immersion blender.  If you don’t have an immersion blender, add the broccoli and carrots at the end.  And get an immersion blender.

Stir in cream and cheese.  Add remaining broccoli and carrot.

Top with cut up bacon and serve!



  • Broccoli Cheddar Soup with real bacon bits
  • Bread Rolls
  • Angle Cake


  • Sopa de queso cheddar con brócoli y trocitos de tocino
  • Rollos de pan
  • Pastel de ángulo




Broccoli Cheddar Soup

  • Soup will be in slow cooker and hot!
    • No onion
    • Add bacon bits for anyone who isn’t vegetarian


Dinner Rolls

  • Serve room temp.
  • Toss in oven for 10 minutes if you like


Dessert – Angle Cake

  • Cut to size and serve room temp.

Meal 10 – Braised Pork and Mac and Cheese with Pumpkin Pie


I love cooking meat, and making Mac and Cheese.  Real homemade Mac and Cheese is so easy, and making it for 50 is as easy as making it for 2.  And!  I can make it in as much time as something with powder out of a box.

Also, there is squash everywhere this time of year.  I never cooked with it until about a month ago, but it is so very simple, makes a great bisque, and is awesome as part of a soup stock.

We served about 32 people, and I was told there were plenty of leftovers.

Below is the Menu and directions left for the serving team.  Recipes are at the bottom of the page.



Braised Pork

3 Cheese Mac and Cheese

Winter Squash Bisque (Vegetarian)

Dinner Rolls


Pumpkin Pie


Braised Pork

  • Pork will be in slow cooker and hot!
    • No onion
    • It will be fall apart tender. Use tongs to server, or serving spoon.

3 Cheese Mac and Cheese

  • In trays
  • Put in over until hot. 350 for 30 minutes should do it.

Kabocha Squash Bisque

  • There is enough for a few servings.
  • Two Tupperware are in the fridge.
  • Warm up before serving.


Dinner Rolls

  • Serve room temp.
  • Toss in oven for 10 minutes if you like



  • Lettuce, Cherry Tomato and Cucumber
  • Everything is cut up and in the fridge
  • Just toss


Dessert – Pumpkin Pie

  • Whip Cream in fridge.


Squash Bisque

1 squash

3 – 4 carrots

1 Kabocha squash (any squash works) – Cut in half, sprinkle a pinch of cinnamon and cloves on it, and drizzle some olive oil.

Place in oven at 350 for 30 – 40 minutes.  Its done when a spoon slides through with no resistance.  Crispy edges are good.  Let cool for easy and safe handling.

Heat up a cup of cream or whole milk, either works.  I love the cream, but it is expensive and heavy.  Heat it on low and stir often, it likes to scorch.

Cut the carrots up.  Big discs are fine, you are going to blend it.

Add squash and carrots to pot, and add enough liquid to barley cover, and simmer for an hour.  You will blend this, and you don’t want it watery.

Once everything is soft, hit it with an immersion blender (my favorite tool for big soup batches.

Once blended, slowly add the warm milk while stirring.  When it looks pretty, its right.  Add salt to taste.

Braised Pork Shoulder:

16 lbs Pork Shoulder

1 tbs pepper

1/2 tbs salt

1/8 tsp cinnamon

1/8 tsp cardamon

Cut pork shoulder into 1 – 2 inch cubes.  Sprinkle with seasonings.  Working in batches, sear in hot skillet.

Place seared cubes in slow cooker

Top with stock (beef stock is my favorite for this, water and bullion is fine)

Turn on warm for 8+ hours.  I start it the night before to serve at lunch.

Mac and Cheese:


3 – 17 oz noodle packs – Whatever is handy

2 lbs cheddar cheese

1/2 lbs Velveeta (the secret ingredient to even the fanciest restaurant’s Mac and Cheese!)

1 gallon of mik

Cook noodles per package

Heat half a gallon of the milk, heat on low and stir often so it doesn’t scorch.

Slowly melt cheese (shredded) into milk.  Pour over noodles while they are still hot.

Meal 9 – Harvest Corn Chowder



This was a tough one.  We traveled all weekend, and both had some crude that had been passed around the area.  These are way easier to do when the prep work is spaced out over a couple of days.

Carrie had a genius idea of Banana Sundays, no kitchen prep for us.  We just handed over a couple of bananas and some topping!

We served 32 lunches this week.  Everyone loved the chowder.  Like most good food, it starts with a great roux.  They are easier than the books make it seem, just don’t stop stirring, and have all your ingredients prepped.  And, I suggest you warm any liquid going in.  Milk doesn’t like thermal shock.


Harvest Corn and Potato Chowder with Fixin’s (Shredded Cheddar, Green Onions and Real Bacon Bits)

French Bread


Banana Sunday


Chowder Recipe:

4 cups onion – diced

2 cup carrot – diced

2 cup celery – diced

4 cans of corn – drained

2 cups cream

1/4 cup flour

1/4 cup fat (oil, Crisco, lard, butter, not olive oil)

Green Onion, Shredded Cheddar and Bacon Bits

8 lbs potatoes

stock – I made a squash stock.  Winter squash is everywhere right now.  Cut in half (carefully), cook on 350 for an hour.  Scoop out, add liquid, bring to boil, hit it with an immersion blender (or use your kitchen blender).  It takes a couple of hours, but very little actual work time.

Cooking Directions:

In a 5 gallon stock pot over medium high heat, add oil until hot.  Add onion, carrots and celery.  Stir until soft.  Slowly sprinkle flour while stirring (never stop!).  Add stock to top of mixture. Stir, and add more stock until smoothed out.

Add cream while stirring, bring to a simmer.  The mixture will thicken.

Add corn and potatoes, fill with stock to cover everything, and let simmer for a couple of hours.

You might need to add more potatoes as the potatoes in the pot break down (it’s what makes it so creamy!)

Cook bacon and cut into small pieces.  Cut green onions into small pieces.  Top each dish with Bacon, Cheddar and Green Onion

Serving Directions:

Harvest Corn and Potato Chowder

  • Soup will be in slow cooker and hot!
    • The soup in the slow cooker HAS onions and IS NOT vegetarian.
    • Vegetarian with no onion option in separate container in fridge. Bring up to temp slowly, it will scorch if not stirred often.  You might have to add liquid (milk preferred, water will work) to get the right consistency.
    • Top each plate (if wanted) with the Shredded Cheddar, Chives and Bacon Bits (the real things). They will be in the fridge.

French Bread

  • Toss in oven at 350 for 10 minutes before serving. Or serve room temp.  It’s fresh.
  • Slice before serving.



Dessert – Banana Sunday

  • Cut bananas
  • Serve a scoop of Ice Cream with bananas
  • Drizzle Butterscotch and Chocolate

Meal 8 – Hearty Southwest Soup with Cornbread

I was traveling for this week’s meal, so Carrie did all the work.  Everyone loved it, and the proportions were right for about 30 people, with a little left over.


Hearty Southwest Soup

Southern Cornbread




Sopa abundante del sudoeste

Cornbread del sur



Since the ground pork got a little dry in the marinade, we mixed it 50/50 with ground beef (the good stuff, 80/20 fat).  It fixed the dryness issue.


Here is the recipe for the Southwest Soup:

5 lbs ground pork

5 lbs ground beef

5 cans diced tomatoes

6 cans corn

6 cans pinto beans

6 cans kidney beans

1 – 16 oz veggie stock

5 packs of McCormick Taco Seasoning

Use the juice from all the cans.  Brown the meat, drop the cans in.  Cook on low for as long as you want.

Carrie prepped the soup a couple of days early, then tossed it in the slow cookers that morning to bring up to temp.

The cornbread is a recipe that I always use.  It is sweet, almost like cake.  I typically use it when I make blistering hot chili!  I always find a recipe and adapt it to what I like, but this one I use right off the proverbial box.  It’s a Betty Crocker recipe, and I have never tasted better.

Good luck!

FC Kitchen

October 18, 2017


Hearty Southwest Soup

Southern Cornbread





Sopa abundante del sudoeste

Cornbread del sur





Hearty Southwest Soup

  • Soup will be in slow cooker and hot!
    • No onions
    • Vegetarian option in separate container in fridge

Southern Cornbread

  • Toss in oven at 350 for 10 minutes before serving. Or serve room temp.  It’s fresh.
  • Slice before serving.



  • Serve chilled

Meal 7 – Meaty Bolognese with Fresh Garden Herbs on Penne Pasta




Meaty Marinara with Fresh Garden Herbs on Penne Pasta

Fresh French Bread


Dutch Apple Pie


The Farmhouse Market had a great deal on ground pork.  What do you do with ground pork?  No clue.  So I decided to do a Meaty Bolognese with fresh french bread.  My herb garden is loving the cool weather, so there was plenty of fresh herbs to add to the dish.


I loved this one, easy, hearty, cheap and really really good.  It was quickly devoured.

For these lunches, I also love my slow cookers.  I can get everything ready, and either keep it at temp overnight, or start it early and its hot when needed.  Also, the lids seal for easy transportation.

Bolognese receipt:


I started by browning the pork.  Careful, you can overcook it easy.  Add fat as needed.

Remove browned pork, put onion, celery and carrot over medium with oil.  Saute until soft, remove from pan.  While still on the burner, deglaze with stock (or wine, beer, whatever is on hand), and scrub up all the bit.  Toss the veggies back in, with any herbs, and the diced tomatoes.  Add salt and pepper to taste, plus any other spices on hand (garlic, bay leaves, cinnamon, celery salt)

Let cook for a few hours, toss in the meat for 1 hour, and ready to serve.

  • 1 lbs onion
  • .5 lbs celery
  • .5 lbs carrot
  • 6.7 lbs dough, french.  Minus container
  • 8.72 lbs raw ground pork
  • 8 lbs cooked
  • 4 – 28 oz cans of diced tomatoes
  • Stock as needed

The bread is really cheap and easy.  Its about 4 cups of flour, 1 cup of water, 1 tsp salt and 1 tbs yeast.  I made 8 loaves for about $5.00.  I made the dough a day early, then just tossed is in a 450 degree oven for 20 minutes while I was getting ready in the morning.






Meaty Marinara with Fresh Garden Herbs on Penne Pasta

Fresh French Bread


Dutch Apple Piew



Meaty Marinara con hierbas frescas del jardín en las pastas de Penne

Pan francés fresco


Pastel de manzana holandesa


Meaty Marinara with Fresh Garden Herbs on Penne Pasta

  • Cook noodles per package.
    • Boil water 45 minutes before serving
    • Serve large scoop
  • Marinara will be in slow cooker and hot!
    • Pork Marinara has meat and onion
    • Vegetarian dish will be in separate container in microwave. Reheat before serving.  No Onion in Vegetarian dish.

Fresh French Bread

  • Toss in oven at 350 for 8 minutes before serving. Or serve room temp.  It’s fresh.
  • Slice before serving.



  • Serve room temp


  • If Salad items are available, please include

Meal 6 – Hearty Chicken Noodle Soup

This week was the first cold week since we started this.  We did a big, hearty chicken noodle soup.  The local market – Farmhouse Market  gave us a great deal on Chicken Legs again.  I just threw them on the grill, then shredded them.  I do recommend something other than shredding, it takes more time than anything else we do.

I did make a mistake this week.  I dropped the noodles in the soup, so they sucked up all of the liquid, got mushy, etc.  Basically, everything I knew would happen.  So, going forward, noodles will be cooked separately and the soup will be poured over them.

One other thing, always save the bones!!!  Chicken and Beef stocks are super easy to make, and just cost a pot of water if you freeze all your bones.

Anyway, everyone liked the flavor.

Chicken Soup Recipe – Made almost 5 gallons:

  • 12.5 lbs Chicken w/ bone
  • 7 1/2 lbs cooked weight
  • 2 lbs frozen sweet corn
  • 1 lbs frozen green beans
  • 3  bags of noodles – 16oz packs

Salt and pepper to taste


Hearty Chicken Noodle Soup



Chocolate Cream Pie


Hearty Chicken Noodle Soup

  • One big scoop, there should be plenty. Don’t forget to get to the bottom for all the good stuff!
  • Add pasta 20 minutes before serving.


  • Serve cold
  • Add a small toping of Reddi-wip


*note: NO onion in any dish


Meal 5 – Hickory Smoked Pork Sandwiches with Slaw and Potato Salad

bbq pork sanwichcookie brownie and ice cream

It was nice to get a BBQ in for the last lunch of summer.  We are trying to do better about making the dishes easier to make, and to serve, while still being something special.

It doesn’t get much easier than the slow cooker!  Everyone seemed to enjoy it.

Here is the recipe for the meal.  Below are the directions we provided for the servers.

Pork Shoulder 


Total  – 11.24 lbs raw

7lbs after cooking

38% loss

Rub – 

1tbs kosher salt

2 tbs black pepper

1 tsp cinnemon


2lbs 13 oz carrots after shredding,  weight with bowl

2 lbs 10 oz purple cabbage

4 lbs 10 oz green cabbage

7 lbs total


4 cups mayo

2 cups vinegar

4 tbs sugar

2 tsp salt

Pasta salad 

3 – 17.6 oz bags of pasta

8 lbs cooked

1 – 2.25 oz cans sliced olives

Small box cherry tomatoes


Hickory Smoked BBQ Pork Sandwich

Italian Herb Pasta



Cookie Brownies



Hickory Smoked Sandwich

  • Pork will be in slow cooker to reheat.
  • There are 5 bags of buns (40 total)
  • Stir, shred more if needed
  • One scoop per sandwich
  • There are 2 types of BBQ sauces. Either leave at table, or add to sandwich in kitchen.

Italian Herb Pasta Salad:

  • Mix in bag (total of 3 bags)
  • Serve cold, one scoop per plate


  • Serve cold, one scoop per plate


  • Serve room temp.


*note: NO onion in any dish

Meal 4 – Chicken Legs with Italian Pasta and Potato Salad

It was a hot (for the PNW) summer day, so on August 16th, 2017, we served Chicken Legs.  I have a huge smoker, so 36 big legs was super easy.  And with no shredding this time, it was pretty fast work.  It is also berry season, so Carrie went out and picked a fresh desert!

We had 30 people, and they served leftovers at the evening food pantry session.



Grilled Chicken

Italian Herb Pasta

Potato Salad


Fresh berries in cream


Grilled Chicken:

  • 36 chicken legs
  • Seasoning – 2 parts black pepper to 1 part salt
  • Grilled at 450ish until golden

Italian Herb and Pasta:

2 – 17 oz bags of penne ziti rigate (anything works)

1 can slices black olives

I bottle Italian Herb Dressing

makes 5 lbs of pasta salad

Potato Salad:

6 lbs Potato’s

One dozen eggs

4 stalks celery

salt and pepper

Here are the serving directions:



Grilled Chicken

  • Reheat at 350 for 45 minutes (to 165 degrees F if you have a thermometer).
  • One leg per plate (36 total legs)

Italian Herb Pasta Salad:

  • Mix in bag (total of 3 bags)
  • Serve cold, one scoop per plate

Potato Salad:

  • Serve cold, one scoop per plate


  • Serve cold, one scoop per desert bowl


*note: NO onion in any dish


Meal 3 – Chicken Salad and Lemon Pasta

Meal 3 was served August 2nd, 2017.  Everyone seemed to really like it.  Total attendance was 27 people.  The meat went first, with a couple of PB&J sandwiches for the kids.  Carrie made an amazing berry compote that is one of the best things you have ever tasted

The most time consuming thing was shredding the chicken.  I grilled them, a boil or pressure cook would have saved an hour of shredding time.


Chicken Salad Sandwich

Lemon Pasta

Side Salad


Ice Cream with homemade berry compote

Chicken Salad:

9 lbs of shreaded chicked (1/3 lbs / person)

  • precooked – 16 lbs chicken legs – awesome deal at $.59 / pound.  But for shredding, plan on losing 50% with moisture, skin and bone.

1/4 cup black pepper

2 tbs salt

Salt .5 oz

Onion – 4.5 oz




Cook chicken.  I recommend boil or pressure cook, it shreds easier.  Chill and shred.

Chop onion

Toss celery and onion in the chicken, add salt and pepper, toss

add mayo to the right consistency.

Lemon Pasta:

1 cup per person –

3 – 16 oz. boxes of medium shell pasta (read the directions on the box.  It will say how many cups of cooked pasta you will get per oz. of dried pasta).  This was more than enough for 30 people.

3 lemons – juiced (21.5 oz.)

Vegetable oil 2 oz.


Celery – 11 oz

Parsley – 1 bunch


Cook pasta, wash with cold water to stop the cooking.

Working in batches, add some oil, lemon juice, celery, onion, and salt to a food processor.  Blend thoroughly.

Combine, salt to taste

Berry Compote:

Frozen berries, fresh berries, whichever is handy



bring water to boil, add berries.  simmer until berries break down, add sugar slowly to taste.



Here are the serving directions I provided the serving team:



Tomato and Cucumber already chopped.  Add fresh lettuce.

Chicken Salad Sandwich

  • ½ cup serving of chicken salad per person
    • Small side of Chicken Salad has no onion – servings 1
  • Add fresh lettuce
  • Add 2 slices of pickles
  • 1 cup serving of lemon pasta per person
    • Small side of Lemon Pasta has no onion – servings 2


  • Keep Chilled
  • Serve ice cream with drizzle of berry compote