4 Moms 35 Kids: Cooking for a Crowd

This is the big day!  All 4 of us will be sharing one big linky event.  Share your Cooking for a Crowd recipe on one of our blogs and the link will show up on all 4 blogs:  The Common Room, Smockity Frocks, Raising Olives, and here on Life in a Shoe.

First things first.  In my last 4 Moms post, I promised you recipes for some of our cooked-from-scratch foods.  Here are the 3 most-requested.  Let me know if I missed one that you wanted.

Vanilla Pudding

I’ve cut down the sugar in this recipe so we can occasionally eat it for breakfast.  Last week, this and 2 loaves of fresh whole wheat bread served as an emergency dinner when regular dinner prep hit an unexpected bump.

Serves a dozen 1950’s housewives or 6 Coghlans.  We double this.

  • 1/2 cup flour or 1/4 cup cornstarch (Cornstarch will give you a smoother pudding but I prefer flour because we’re often out of cornstarch.  That does make it a little hard to use cornstarch, you know?)
  • 1/2  – 3/4 cup sugar
  • 4 1/2 cups milk
  • 6 beaten egg yolks (add extra for richness, or if your chickens got ahead of you)
  • 2 Tbs. butter
  • 2 tsp. vanilla

Combine flour and sugar in a large saucepan.  Stir in milk.  Cook, stirring constantly, over medium heat until thickened.  Remove from heat.  Stir 1-2 cups of hot milk mixture gradually into egg yolks, then stir egg yolk mixture back into saucepan with remaining milk mixture.

Cook and stir over medium heat until mixture returns to a gentle boil.  Cook and stir for 2 minutes.  Cool slightly and add butter and vanilla.  Serve warm or chilled.  (Lay plastic wrap on surface to prevent a skin from forming as it cools.)

Whole Wheat Bread

Makes 3 soft light loaves that even whole-wheat-haters will love.  We use a 6 qt. Kitchenaid stand mixer to make this effortless.

  • 4 cups warm water
  • 3 Tbs. yeast
  • 1 Tbs. salt
  • 1/2 cup honey
  • 1/2 cup oil
  • whole wheat flour (we grind 9 cups of hard white wheat berries)

Combine all ingredients except flour in large mixing bowl.  Let sit 10-20 minutes, until yeast foams and looks alive.  Use dough hook to add flour 1 cup at a time until mixture cleans sides of bowl.

Continue mixing with dough hook for 5 more minutes.  Dough may begin to look sticky again, but do not add more flour.

Cover and let rise 20-60 minutes in mixing bowl, until you look at it from across the room and panic because you totally forgot you were making bread.   Punch down dough and let it rest for another 10 minutes to make it easier to handle.  You’ll probably forget again, but that’s ok.  Your loaves will just rise a little faster.

On a lightly oiled countertop, divide dough into 3 equal portions.  Flatten each into a rectangle and roll up into a loaf shape.  Pinch to seal ends and place in an oiled loaf pan.

Let rise until double, about 30 minutes.  Try not to forget this time.  Maybe you’d better set a timer.

Bake 25 minutes at 350 degrees.  Cool 10 minutes in pans, then 10 minutes on rack.  Wrap while still warm to keep moist, if there’s any left.

Red Enchilada Sauce

I had Deanna measure the ingredients the last time she made this, but it’s the first time we’ve ever measured them.  Feel free to freestyle it, and definitely tweak the seasonings to please your family’s palate.  Don’t be scared.  It’s really just a basic white sauce with a mexican twist.

Makes enough sauce for a 9×13 pan of enchiladas.  We double this.

  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1/2 onion, diced
  • 1/4 cup butter
  • 1/3 cup flour
  • 1 tsp. salt
  • 1/2 tsp. black pepper
  • 1-2 tsp. chili powder
  • 2 1/2  cups milk
  • 1 sm. can tomato paste (6 oz?)

Saute garlic and onion in butter until onion is soft.  Stir in flour and seasonings to make a thick paste.  Whisk in milk and cook a couple of minutes until smooth and thickened.  Add tomato paste and stir until smooth.   Simmer a bit to blend flavors, stirring occasionally.  Use under, inside and on top of your enchiladas, with plenty of cheese.

And now the best part: We’ve been counting down to the recipe swap, and here it is!  Link up, ladies!

Please be sure you link to an individual post on your blog (not the homepage) and your page needs to link back to one this week’s 4 Moms posts.

1. Smockity Frocks
2. Raising Olives – Lentil Chili – Cranberry Roast – Stroganoff
3. Raising Arrows {Lunch for a Bunch}
4. Phoebe @ GettingFreedom(Baked Beans for a Crowd))
5. Amy @ Finer Things (Cavatini and more)
6. Anita (cooking for a crowd or the freezer)
7. DHM, cooking for a crowd
8. Cyndi L. (Inside out turkey cheese burgers)
9. KimC (pudding, bread, enchilada sauce)
10. Cooking for the multitudes (Balancing Beauty/Bedlam)
11. Linda @ Gluten-Free Homemaker (Mexican Lasagna)
12. Plymouth Rock Ranch (Whole Wheat Pumpkin Spice Waffles)
13. Betty-
14. Alicia’s Homemaking–Bean and Sausage Stew
15. Milehimama (Tips to stretch food and Swiss Steak)
16. HoosierHomemade{Homemade Meatballs}
17. Girls and sunflowers (dressing for the masses!)
18. Gwen T
19. Raising a Quiverfull (Shredded pork tacos)
20. Empty the Pantry Casserole
21. Big pot of yummy Lentil Stew @ Every Precious Joy
22. Vickie (Crock Pot Burritos & Lasagna
23. Amber (Plaza III Soup, Potato-Cheese Soup)
24. Dewey’s Treehouse (White Vegetable Lasagna)
25. NerdFamily Food (Chicken, Spinach and Corn Enchiladas)
26. Angela @ Blissfully Single
27. Mrs. Hearts
28. HoosierHomemade{Make-Ahead Meals}
29. Kitchen Stewardship – 4 kinds of Pasta Salad for a Crowd
30. [email protected] Such is the Kingdom (Pasta Salad)
31. [email protected] pursuingtheoldpaths- homemade tomatoe sauce

Powered by… Mister Linky’s Magical Widgets.

Past topics:

  • March 18 Live-blog day, in which all 4 of us live-blog a real day in our home.  Find out what we really do all day.  It’s our own reality show, just for you.  Who needs TV?
  • March 25 – Outings with only little ones.  Mom’s rules of order, and how notto become the poster family for birth control.
  • April 1 – A baker’s dozen for managing the food budget: budgeting in the kitchen to feed a crowd.
  • April 8 – Menu planning, how we plan (or don’t plan) to feed our hungry crewmates.
  • April 15Cooking from Scratch.   What we make from scratch and what we would like to make from scratch.


  1. We were given a Magic Mill electric grinder a few years ago, but there are several other models that will grind wheat berries into flour.

    I measured today when I made bread, and 9 cups of wheat berries makes about 12-13 cups of flour.

    Now I need to shape the loaves. I’m at that stage in the recipe where I keep forgetting the dough. 🙂

  2. What do you use to grind your wheat berries? Especially 9 cups of it and fine enough to make a “soft light loaf”

  3. I have always made my bread in a bread machine. I have been hesitant to try it any other way. Thanks for the step by step recipe. When you grind the wheat berries, how much does it yield? If I just want to use store bought would I use 9 cups?

    Looking forward to trying this recipe!

    • I don’t know how many cups of flour our wheat yields, but I just add flour until the dough cleans the sides of the bowl. I’ll measure next time we make bread – maybe today.

  4. Just found your blogs and am excited to read more. As a mother of 7, I enjoy reading the experiences of others who are in similar situations.
    I love recipes and am relatively new to blogging, and haven’t gotten in the habit of regular posts.

    Started baking bread regularly, and my kids will now complain if the bread isn’t homemade. I look forward to learning more.

  5. Can you tell me how many cups of wheat flour the nine cups of berries produces? Thank you.

  6. Thanks for putting this together, Kim! My recipe is for Bread Pockets to feed a Hungry Crowd. (The usual Thursday children’s book review is up later today!)


  7. “…loaves that even whole-wheat-haters will love” Sounds irresistable! I think I’ll be giving this a try!

  8. Homemade pudding of any kind is a family favorite here.

    Some favorites are:
    vanilla with frozen berries,
    vanilla with ovaltine for the chocolate lovers,
    just plain ol’ vanilla,
    chocolate made w/Dutch cocoa,
    tapioca and above versions thereof.

    My kids prefer it hot off the stove rather than left over cold. They will even heat it up to avoid eating it cold. I like to let it cool some and eat the “skin” that forms on the top of the cooling pudding. This helps me to limit my intake ; )

    During the winter, homemade pudding is a standby dinner on Sunday evenings and in the summer, the cold version of homemade pudding, homemade ice cream, is our standby dinner for many nights a week in the heat of the South Texas Sun!

    And, it’s a great way to use up extra goat or cow milk, whichever we have an abundance of at the time.

  9. Looks good! I have a question….what types of things do you tend to do with all the extra egg whites left from doing the pudding? I’m often scared-off of recipes that just use one part or the other of the egg, ’cause I don’t want to waste, but have a hard time coming up with what to do. 🙂

    I greatly enjoy your blog- it’s one of the few I keep regular tabs on. The 4 Moms posts have been a lot of fun, and provided fresh inspiration and ideas!


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