|Forget the stressful dinner party for twelve. How
home cooks really drag out the china, silver, and linen more than a few
times a year these days? Mom’s very best crowd-cuisine is
fun, relaxed, and informal. From a hungry group of the kids’
friends looking for afternoon munchies to a potluck office farewell
party to a 4th of July barbecue for the neighborhood, today’s
typical gatherings are casual occasions to share hearty, homemade food.
Best Crowd-Pleasers is full of recipes that reflect the
way Mom really cooks today, simply tailored to feed eight or more
people. Cucumber Sandwiches, Quesadillas, and Sweet and Sour Meatballs
are all simple finger foods perfect for after-work get-togethers, book
club meetings, and informal baby showers. Muffalettas, All-American
Hamburgers, and deep bowls of Summer Fruit Salad and Broccoli-Rice
Salad are delicious at backyard cookouts, tailgate parties, and summer
pool parties. And Three-Cheese Noodle Bake, Cuban Black Beans, and
Baked Barbecued Chicken will attract happy fans whenever the potluck
gathering calls for a hearty hot dish.
Most recipes are designed to feed eight hungry people, but author (and
home cook) Andrea Chesman provides advice throughout on expanding
recipes, stretching dishes when the dinner seating unexpectedly grows
from eight to eleven people, using clever shortcuts that make cooking
for a crowd no more difficult than cooking for four, and generally
maintaining a degree of sanity as more people come flooding through the
As always, Chesman’s primary accomplishment is to provide
homey, hearty tastes that satisfy modern palates, yet still bear the
unmistakable stamp of Mom’s Best.
101 No-fuss Recipes for Family
Gatherings, Casual Get-togethers & Surprise Company
by Andrea Chesman
Storey Publishing, 2006.