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Old 09-13-2009, 09:55 AM   #1
Assistant Cook
Join Date: Sep 2009
Posts: 1
Cooking for 18, need suggestions

hi, my name is chloe.
i am working at an apple farm in new hampshire.
its harvest time and the pickers are here. we all live in a bunk house together.
my job is the cook.
i cook their meals for them, 3 times a day 6 days a week.
this is my 2nd year doing it. i wasnt a very experienced cook before that.
so i have a couple things id like to hear everyones suggestions on.

first of all... what are some things i could do to be more organized and save time? prep and what not? killing two birds with one stone?
i like to have 6 or 8 onions chopped and in the fridge ready to go. garlic too. maybe i should do it with other vegetables too... im not sure. but i sure would like time saving, and efficient ideas.

i cook breakfast, send with them a packaged lunch and then cook dinner.
im running low on ideas for picnic like items to send with them. it much be able to be in a cooler for about 4 or 5 hours before they eat it. any ideas on what to send with them?

any other ideas on good and delicious meals or desserts to make for 18 are appreciated!

please help me not be so stressed!

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Old 09-13-2009, 02:28 PM   #2
Senior Cook
Join Date: Oct 2008
Location: Portland, Oregon
Posts: 229
This is a great picnic lunch item. Easy to make and you can jsut bake it for easiest preparation. Should last just fine in the cooler. Obviously you'll need to make a larger amount but it should be pretty easy to convert the recipe.

Deviled Chicken

6 chicken drumsticks
1/4 c. Dijon Mustard
1 TB vinegar or lemon juice
1 TB. oil
Cayenne to taste
Salt and Pepper

Mix together and rub under and over drumstick skin.
Let sit for 30 minutes at room temperature or refrigerate up to 2 hours covered.
Grill or bake, turning often, for about 40 minutes or until done.
Serve warm or cold. Great picnic food.
"First we eat, then we do everything else." M.F.K. Fisher
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Old 09-13-2009, 05:17 PM   #3
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Join Date: Mar 2009
Posts: 48
Cooking for 18


Packing a More Healthful School Lunchbox - Well Blog - NYTimes.com

You got a job there, for sure. Take some inspiration from this small article with just a few suggestions and try to run with other links in the health and then in the cooking section. Things can take off from there, all you need is the start of an idea. How about meatloaf for one meal, then meatloaf sandwiches if there is any left over. Pulled pork sandwiches, pita wraps with various stuffings. Whew, I'm making myself hungry. Good luck, sounds like you just need some inspiration, you seem to have prep well in hand. Best,
CHEERS! Pennsy
“Think what a better world it would be if we all, the whole world, had cookies and milk about three o'clock every afternoon and then lay down on our blankets for a nap.”
quoting Robert Fulghum in 1987 at Middlebury College
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Old 09-15-2009, 11:09 PM   #4
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Posts: 3
Thanks for Sharring
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Old 09-16-2009, 02:17 AM   #5
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Join Date: Aug 2009
Posts: 422
WHat i can suggest to you is Chicken Enchilada and Casserole, this is great for feeding lots of people. You can bake this ahead of time, then heat it in the microwave when your ready to serve.
Holly Molly Chicken Enchiladas

2 tablespoons butter
1/2 cup sour cream
1 can cream of chicken soup
1 teaspoon chili powder
1/2 cup chopped onion
1 can chopped green chilies
2 cups diced cooked chicken
1 cup grated cheddar cheese
8 pieces flour tortillas


Oven must be preheated at 375 degrees.

1.In a bowl mix together sour cream and soup

2.Over medium heat melt butter in the pan
and saute onions, add chili powder for seasoning.

3.Add chicken, chilies and 3 tbs of soup and sour cream mixture.

4.In a baking dish pour in the sauce at bottom and spreading it evenly.

5.Roll the tortillas and arrange it in a baking dish.

6.Pour the extra sauce over the tortilla rolls.

7.Bake in the oven for 15 minutes.

8.When enchiladas are baked, grate cheese over it then bake it again for 5 minutes

Extra Cheesy Burrito Casserole Ingredients

1 can re-fried beans
1 can cream of mushroom soup
1 package taco seasoning
1 pound ground beef or ground turkey
6 large flour tortillas
1 1/2 cups grated cheddar cheese
1 1/2 cups Monterey Jack
1/2 medium onion, finely chopped
hot sauce (optional)
4 ounces sour cream


Oven must be preheated to 350 degrees.

1. In a pan saute together ground beef or turkey and onions.

2. Add re-fried beans and taco seasoning in pan.

3.In a separate bowl mix together sour cream and cream of mushroom soup.

4. Pour in half of the sour cream and soup mixture in a casserole dish.

5. Then pile the tortilla over the sauce, add cheddar cheese and Monterey Jack
cheese. You may hot sauce if desired.

6. Repeat steps 3 and 4 until layers are formed.

7. Grate cheese on the top layer.

8. Bake for 30 minutes.

Serve these with salsas and guacamole on the side, a pitcher of Sangria and you have yourself a fiesta.
Mexican Food
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Old 09-20-2009, 05:04 PM   #6
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Join Date: Sep 2009
Location: Nanaimo, BC
Posts: 39
Make it easy on yourself

One thing you can do is for dinner is find a recipe you can pretty well make ahead. You could roast pork ribs for 2 hours covered with a little water and throw in 4 garlic cloves crushed, during the day. For quantity purposes don't forget they will shrink. Let cool for a little while and refrigerate. Then, if you have warm weather make salads etc. In between time make an
Apricot Glazed Sauce or any other rib sauce
1 cup Apricot Jam
1/4 cup chopped onions or 1 tsp or more onion powder
1/4 cup chilli sauce
2 TB brown sugar
1 TB vegetable oil
1 tsp soy sauce
1 tsp ginger
1/2 tsp salt
Now you can cook this a bit to combine the flavors or just refrigerate until dinner time.

For dinner put the ribs in the broiler and baste with sauce off and on but save some and heat it up to put on the ribs when serving or put on the side. Watch carefully, stay with them so they do not burn. You should put them one rack down so the ribs get hot.
If the weather is not hot roast vegetables before the ribs for approx 45 min more or less depending on the quantity. (peppers, red onions sliced in quarters with root intact, little potatoes whole, zucchini, parsnips etc) - large pieces. Cut and put in a bowl with thyme or other spices, drizzle oil on them, mix well and roast in a large sprayed with oil roasting pan in the oven on 400 Degrees. Your quantity might take longer but spread them out. Mix them around every so often so they don't stick. Wrap in tin foil to keep warm, then do your ribs. You'll have to perfect your times but I hope this helps you out. With ribs you can change the sauce so many times and people love them. Not too much of a cleanup!
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Old 09-20-2009, 05:43 PM   #7
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Join Date: May 2009
Location: Chicago Area
Posts: 1,741
When I want to change things up for lunch I pick up a bunch of cheese, sausages and crackers. Pack this up with fresh cherry tomatos and/or cut celery and your talking good, healthy lunch.
No matter how many Bibles he swears on, when a dog tells you he's a vegetarian, he's lying.
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