When I’m cooking for a crowd, I like to use recipes for dishes I can prep ahead of time or put together quickly so they can cook while I finish up getting the rest of the meal ready.

Here’s a collection of 10 tried and true recipes that appeal to a variety of tastes. Most can easily be doubled or tripled to accommodate a group. Send questions to me at info@motherdaughterbookclub(dot)com. — Cindy Hudson, author of
Book by Book: The Complete Guide to Creating Mother-Daughter Book Clubs

Stuffed Bell Peppers

4 red, green, yellow and/or orange bell peppers
1 medium onion, chopped
1 green bell pepper, chopped
2 stalks celery, chopped
1 clove garlic, minced
1 Tblsp. vegetable oil
1 lb. ground beef
1 14-1/2 oz. can diced tomatoes
2 cups cooked rice
Salt and black pepper to taste
Parmesan, or mozzarella cheese for topping

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Cut the tops off bell peppers and scrape out seeds. Put the peppers in a large pot and cover with water. Bring water to boil, then turn off heat and let peppers soak for 10 minutes. Drain water and set peppers aside.
Heat oil in 10-inch skillet. Sauté onion, chopped bell pepper, celery, and garlic until soft,
about 5 minutes. Add ground beef. Continue cooking until beef is well done. Add diced
tomatoes and cooked rice to mixture in the skillet. Season with salt and pepper to taste.
Stuff peppers with mixture from skillet and place them in a glass baking dish. Add a
small amount of water so it just barely covers the bottom of the dish. Sprinkle peppers
with cheese. Bake for 45 to 60 minutes. Serves 4.

Zesty Meat Loaf

½ cup ketchup
1-1/2 Tblsp. deli-style mustard
1 pound ground beef
¾ cup chopped onion
1/4 cup bread crumbs
½ tsp. salt
½ tsp. dried Italian herbs
1/8 tsp. black pepper
Non-stick vegetable oil cooking spray

Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Combine ketchup and mustard in a small bowl, stirring well with a whisk. Set aside 2-1/2 tablespoons of this sauce. Combine the rest with remaining ingredients. Stir to blend.

Spray non-stick cooking spray in an 8 x 8 inch glass cooking pan. Fold meat loaf mixture into pan and top with reserved sauce. Bake for 25 or 30 minutes or until meat loaf is no longer pink in the middle. Serves 4.

Pork Chop Casserole

4 pork chops
¾ cup uncooked rice
1 tomato, sliced
1 onion, sliced
1 green bell pepper, sliced
2 cups beef broth

Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Place raw rice in the bottom of a 13 x 9 inch casserole dish.

Brown pork chops in a skillet, then arrange on tope of the rice. Place one slice each of
onion, tomato and pepper on top of each pork chop. Pour beef broth over chops and rice.

Cover with lid or aluminum foil and bake for about an hour. Check after 30 minutes and
add ½ cup of water if moisture has dried out.

This dish is flexible enough to add other vegetables or fruit, such as squash, carrots, peas and broccoli, or apples and pears. Serves 4

Sausage Pie

1 medium onion, chopped
1 Tblsp. butter or olive oil
¾ cup low-fat milk
¾ cup all-purpose flour
3 large eggs
1-1/4 lbs. pre-cooked sausage such as andouille, chorizo or Italian sausage, cut into 3-
inch chunks
½ cup copped green onions
Salt and black pepper to taste

Preheat oven to 425 degrees. Stir onion and butter in a 10-inch oven-safe skillet on
medium high heat stirring frequently until onion is limp and clear, about 5 minutes.

Arrange chunks of sausage evenly on top of onions.

Mix milk, flour and eggs with a whisk in a large bowl until smooth. Pour milk and egg
mixture over sausages in pan and bake for about 35 to 40 minutes, or until puffed, crisp
and brown. Remove from oven and sprinkle with green onions. Salt to taste and divide
into even portions before serving. Serves 6.

Baked Chicken and Apples

4 chicken thighs
4 chicken legs
1 tsp. salt
¼ tsp. black pepper
¼ tsp. each, ginger, curry powder, and cinnamon
Non-stick vegetable oil cooking spray
¼ cup water
3 apples, cored and sliced

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. In a small bowl mix together salt, pepper, ginger, curry and cinnamon. Set aside about ½ tsp of this mixture. Sprinkle the remainder on the chicken.

Spray non-stick skillet with vegetable oil cooking spray. Heat over medium-high heat.
Add chicken and cook for about 15 minutes, turning as needed until brown on all sides.
Pour off all accumulated oil from skillet; set chicken aside on a separate plate.
Add water and remaining spice mixture to skillet; stir to scrape off browned bits from the bottom of the pan. Arrange slices of two apples in a two-quart baking dish. Top with
browned chicken. Arrange remaining apple slices on top. Pour liquid from frying pan
over all. Cover and bake for about 45 minutes or until fork can be inserted into chicken
with ease. Serves 4.

Chicken Cynthia

4 boneless, skinless chicken breasts
Flour for dredging, plus 1 Tblsp. for thickening sauce
2 Tblsp. olive oil, divided
1 clove garlic, minced
½ green pepper chopped
1 or 2 tomatoes, diced
1 medium lemon, sliced
¼ Tblsp. capers
12 green stuffed olives, sliced
Salt and pepper to taste
½ cup water

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Sprinkle chicken breasts with salt and pepper, then dredge them in flour. In a 10-inch skillet, brown chicken in oil. Place in a glass baking dish.

In the skillet with drippings from the chicken add garlic, green pepper, diced tomatoes,
lemon, capers, olives, salt, and pepper. Add 1 tablespoon oil and 1 tablespoon flour and heat thoroughly. Add ½ cup water. Pour over the chicken and bake for one hour basting occasionally. Serves 4

Can be ladled over cous cous.

Chicken and Broccoli with Rice

1-1/2 cups cooked rice
1 lb. boneless, skinless chicken breasts, cooked and sliced into strips
2 Tblsp. vegetable oil
1 shallot, chopped
Splash of white wine
1 14-1/2 oz. can cream of chicken soup
½ soup can of milk
2 Tblsp. deli-style mustard
½ cup grated Cheddar or Swiss cheese
1-1/2 cups broccoli crowns

Cook and stir chicken in hot oil with shallots and white wine until lightly browned. Stir in
soup, milk, mustard and cheese. Add broccoli. Bring to a full boil. Lower heat and
simmer 10 minutes. Pour over rice. Serves 4.

Peanut‐Butter Chocolate Chip Cookies

2 cups all-purpose flour
1 tsp. baking soda
1 cup chunky peanut butter
¾ cup butter, at room temperature
¾ cup granulated sugar
¾ cup packed light-brown sugar
1 tsp. vanilla extract
12 ounces semisweet chocolate chips

Heat oven to 375 degrees. Mix flour and baking soda. Combine peanut butter, butter,
both sugars and vanilla in a large bowl. Beat with an electric mixer until well blended and fluffy. Add in eggs. With mixer on low speed, add flour a little at a time just until
blended. Fold in chocolate chips.

Drop by teaspoonful about 2 inches apart on ungreased cookie sheets. Bake 8 to 10
minutes or until lightly browned. Cool for 1 minute then move to a rack to continue
cooling. Store in a tightly covered container. Makes about 100 small cookies.

Chocolate Chip Pumpkin Muffins

1-2/3 cup flour
1 cup sugar
1 Tblsp. pumpkin pie spice (or cinnamon)
1 tsp. baking soda
¼ tsp. baking powder
¼ tsp. salt
2 eggs
1 cup pumpkin
½ cup melted butter
1 cup chocolate chips

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Combine all ingredients in a large bowl. Line muffin tin
with cupcake liners and fill ¾ full with batter. Bake 20-25 minutes or until inserted
toothpick comes out clean. Makes 14–16 muffins.

Carrot Banana Bread

½ cup butter
1 cup brown sugar
2 eggs
1 cup mashed bananas (3 medium size)
1 tsp. baking soda
1-1/3 cup flour
½ tsp. baking powder
½ tsp. cinnamon
¼ tsp. salt
1 cup grated carrots
½ cup chopped nuts (optional)

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. In a large bowl, cream butter and sugar; beat in eggs. In a separate bowl, mix flour, baking soda, baking powder, cinnamon, and salt. Alternately
blend flour mixture and mashed bananas into butter and sugar mixture. Stir in carrots and nuts. Pour into greased 13 x 9 inch pan. Bake for about one hour. Cool, cut and serve.
Makes about 16 pieces.