This Oviedo, Florida, reader has loved cooking for crowds since she was in high school. "I began by preparing dinner for my church youth group of about 30 and tried to re-create the feel of an Italian cafe in my family's basement," says Donna Daniel Teague. Later, in college, Donna and her roommates would cook in the tiny hall kitchens. "Everything was made from scratch, including yeast rolls and apple pie," she says with a smile.
Over the years, she has cooked for community projects and school functions. "I immersed myself in Southern Living. Most of the recipes come from the magazine." Donna says her goal in reading the magazine was to become "a good traditional Southern cook and hostess."
As you'll see from the following recipes, she has achieved her goal. The "crowd" Donna is cooking for refers to a group of 100 here, but these recipes can easily be divided for smaller groups. For instructions on how to prepare these recipes to serve eight, visit Donna's Web site at www.sweetsandsavories.com.