Incase you ever find yourself cooking for twelve offensive lineman, I thought I would share my experience and what I got out of it. First of all, understand I really didn’t mind. It was definitely a challenge but this team has slowly become our Kansas City family and we were more than happy to open our home to them. Jeff didn’t provide many parameters or suggestions, he just told me to make it good and you HAVE to make my mom’s macaroni and cheese recipe. Unfortunately, I won’t be sharing that one today but I will share one of my favorites!
In all, I made about four trips to the store: Sams, Costco, Target, and Hyvee. Thank goodness I was armed with my list otherwise I would have been clueless. I have never fed this many people all by myself so I made many calls to my sweet nana, mother, and soon to be mother-in-law asking for advice. They all were confident I could get the job done so I pressed on.
Because we did the Sam’s Trip the evening before, we went ahead and started marinating the steaks so they would be tender and delicious the next day when we were ready to throw everything on the grill.
My mama taught me well and by 22, I finally understand that a meal is NOT complete with just meat, macaroni and cheese, and a roll. That being said, I needed to prepare some vegetables. One of my good friend’s mom sent me over a delicious recipe for fresh green beans, mushrooms, and bacon. I also wanted to be cognizant of those who might not like cheese so I made some creamy mashed potatoes. Jeff, my lovely fiancé thought it wouldn’t hurt to go ahead and grill some asparagus and sauté some spinach. Thank goodness I had everything under control when he texted me this the morning of ; ).
My saving grace in all of this was Chef Steve. We are very fortunate that a restaurant chef visits our condo building twice a week and will cook up anything you bring him. He was going to be in charge of our steaks and chicken breasts.
I started with the Mac and Cheese, got that all whipped up and set it aside. Next, I peeled and boiled 14 russet potatoes with a little chicken bouillon and minced garlic. When those were fork tender, I drained them, mashed them, and added a little butter, cream cheese, salt and pepper. I find mashed potatoes a little difficult to reheat especially considering oven space was going to be limited. After a little Pinterest research, I discovered a crockpot was the way to go. I just dumped them in, set it on low, and placed a towel on top so the condensation from the lid didn’t make them watery. They sat there for about 3 ½ hours with no problems; they were just as fluffy when I went to serve them for dinner.
Now I really enjoyed the green beans. Jeff expressed to me later that he only likes the canned version and basically picked out the bacon. Now I know. If you’re interested, you can find a similar recipe here at Just a Pinch.
All that was left to do at this point was prepare my spinach dip, fruit dip, and cut up some vegetables.
I hate mayonnaise. I don’t remember ever trying it, but I just can’t bring myself to do it. That is why I was so eager to develop my own spinach dip recipe sans mayo!
[yumprint-recipe id=’11’] It was definitely a hit. I should have made a larger tray because as soon as I put it on the table, the fruit and vegetables were immediately neglected. Some guys didn’t even get a taste.
Just to recap, the menu included:
A vegetable tray with a ranch dip
Cut fruit with a cream cheese fruit dip
Wheat Thins and Cheese Cubes
Spinach Dip and Tortilla Chips
14 Ribeys and Filets (About 20 pounds worth!)
12 Pesto Chicken Breasts
Grilled Garlic Asparagus
2 pounds of Mac and Cheese
Green Beans with Mushrooms and Bacon
50 Dinner Rolls
Homemade Butterscotch Cookies
TJ’s Pumpkin Cheesecake
Overall, the dinner was a success. So much so, that they are already planning another! It was such a personal accomplishment to complete this meal and serve it to some pretty tough critics. If anyone knows about a good meal, it’s a lineman. They were so quick to dig in, I didn’t get many quality photos of the completed product. Just know the kitchen did get cleaned up and afterwards I slept like a baby!
Despite this tempting meal full of some of my favorites, I kept my goals in mind and didn’t stray too much. My next post will detail my journey thus far!