I recently read a Forbes article about Lauren Bush Lauren’s work with the FEED foundation and their FEED dinner initiative and decided to host my own. The FEED foundation has provided over 84 million meals to families in need in the U.S. and all over the world. In lieu of bringing anything, FEED dinners encourage guests to make a small donation. In the invitation I told guests that there was no need to give much – even $1 is appreciated.
I chose a ‘friendsgiving’ theme for the menu and made two roast chickens, crockpot mac and cheese, asparagus, and an apple cake for dessert. I baked the apple cake the night before and I also prepped the mac and cheese, so that I could just plug it in when I got home from work. The night of the dinner, I roasted the chicken and the asparagus. Add a baguette and a simple salad to the table and you’re set!
I never take photos of the finished meal once my guests have arrived since I want to enjoy their company and not focus on the food, but I can tell you the chicken gets a crispy skin and the mac and cheese gets creamier and cheesier. I was also really pleased with the apple cake – large chunks of apple and the cinnamon in the cake paired nicely with the cinnamon ice cream.
Recipe via How Sweet Eats
Unwrap your chicken(s) and use tongs to remove the stuff inside. Then dry the entire thing with paper towels thoroughly. Coat the chicken with lots of salt and pepper inside and out. Rub generously with olive oil, place in a roasting pan, with cut white onions in the bottom. Roast for about an hour and a half at 425 degrees. Wiggle the chicken’s leg and the juices should run clear when it is done.
Crockpot Mac and Cheese
Recipe via Southern Food
2 packages (16 ounces) macaroni
2 tablespoons vegetable oil
2 (13 oz.) cans evaporated milk
3 cups milk
2 teaspoons salt
8 cups shredded cheddar cheese (get creative and mix several varieties of cheese)
1 cup melted butter
Cook macaroni in boiling salted water, following package directions. Drain well. Grease bottom and sides of 3 1/2 to 5-quart crockpot. Toss hot macaroni in slow cooker with the vegetable oil then add all remaining ingredients. Stir gently to combine then cover and cook on low for 3 to 4 hours, stirring occasionally. *Note: I doubled the recipe to serve 8 people.
Apple bundt cake
Recipe via Sally’s Baking Addiction
- 3 cups all-purpose flour
- 1 teaspoon baking soda
- 3 teaspoons ground cinnamon
- 1/2 teaspoon ground nutmeg
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 1 and 1/4 cups canola or vegetable oil
- 1/2 cup plain Greek yogurt (I used vanilla)
- 1 and 1/4 cups dark brown sugar
- 1/2 cup sugar
- 3 large eggs
- 1 Tablespoon vanilla extract
- 3 medium apples, peeled and chopped into small chunks
Preheat oven to 325F degrees. Spray a bundt pan with nonstick spray.
In a large bowl, toss the flour, baking soda, cinnamon, nutmeg, and salt together until combined. Set aside. In a medium bowl, whisk the oil, yogurt, brown sugar, granulated sugar, eggs, and vanilla together until combined and creamy. Pour the wet ingredients into the dry ingredients and slowly whisk until no large lumps remain. Using a rubber spatula, carefully fold in the apple chunks.
Spoon/pour the thick batter into the prepared bundt pan. Bake for 55-75 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in the cake comes out clean.
Allow the cake to cool in the pan set on a wire rack, then invert onto a serving plate once cooled and ready to serve. I didn’t make the glaze for the cake and served it with cinnamon ice cream instead, but the recipe for the glaze is in the link above (on Sally’s Baking Addiction’s website).