Chocolate Pudding for 40 kids

Cooking at the Hayground school with the students

The annual Hayground school visit is a highlight on my winter schedule. This year the class was all boys. We started in the classroom and watched the riverside video demonstration for our main course recipe from Estia’s American Rivers Tour website.

Cooking class at the Hayground school

Both situations were a first in my experience cooking with the students in that school. I think the kids were excited and better informed going into the kitchen after watching recipe demo in the classroom.

Our menu included corn bread crusted chicken pot pie, cranberry sauce, a salad of spinach, arugula and cabbage in a tangerine, mustard vinaigrette, and for dessert, chocolate pudding.

Hayground school student with her helping of chocolate pudding for dessert

This recipe serves 40 – 3 oz servings.
It can be reduced as needed for smaller groups.


  • 1.5 gallon milk
  • 2.5 cups sugar
  • 1 cup cup coco powder
  • 12 cups chocolate chips
  • 1/4 cup corn starch

Start by bringing the milk to a simmer over low heat, then add the coco powder, sugar, corn starch and sugar a little at a time stirring constantly, raise heat to medium flame and stir for 8-10 minutes until pudding begins to thicken and reduce.

Fill cups carefully and chill over night. Top with whipped cream and serve.

Hayground school student adding whipped cream to the chocolate pudding servings

Measuring chocolate chips for pudding - Hayground school cooking class

Melting and stirring the chocolate pudding ingerients

40 servings of chocolate pudding with whipped cream

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Chewy Brownies for the Holidays

Estia's Fudgy Brownie recipe


  • 1 cup (2 sticks) unsalted butter
  • 2  1/4 cups granulated sugar
  • 1  1/4 cup cocoa
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 4 large eggs
  • 1  1/2 cup all purpose flour
  • 2 cups chocolate chips

Melt chocolate chips and butter together over low heat in a double boiler. Combine all ingredients in a mixer. Pour into buttered 1/2 sheet pan & place in preheated 375°F oven for 25 minutes.

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Lemon Squares

Lemon Squares

Ingredients for crust:

  • 1 pound butter – cold – cut into pieces
  • 2 cups AP flour
  • 1 cup white sugar
  • 2 cups gram cracker meal
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • ½ cup corn starch

Combine flour, gram cracker meal & butter in a food processor, pulse for 30 seconds.

Add the rest and run until it starts to turn into a ball.

Line a ½ sheet pan with parchment. Roll the crust dough out to flat with a rolling pin and line the bottom of the sheet pan with the dough. Place in a 350°F oven for 25 minutes. Read More »

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Big party pound cake with rhubarb & orange

Rhubarb and Orange Pound Cake

Makes 2 cakes – 12 x 5 ½ inch baking pans


  • 1 ¼ pounds unsalted butter – room temperature
  • 3 cups brown sugar
  • 10 extra large eggs (separate 5 for whites only)
  • 5 cups sifted AP flour
  • 2 tablespoons vanilla
  • 1 cup buttermilk
  • ¼ teaspoon baking soda
  • ¼ teaspoon baking powder
  • 2 cups rhubarb, chopped
  • 1 cup orange, chopped (rind and flesh)
  • 10 slices orange
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 1 cup water
  • 1 cup powdered sugar

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Apple Oatmeal Bars for the kids at the Hayground School

Apple Oatmeal Bars for the Hayground School

Yield: 90 cookies

Ingredients for oatmeal cookie mix:

  • 3 cups butter (soft)
  • 2 cups white sugar
  • 4 cups brown sugar
  • 8 eggs
  • 4 tablespoons vanilla
  • 4 tablespoons water
  • 2 teaspoons salt
  • 4 teaspoons baking soda
  • 8 cups a/p flour
  • 12 cups rolled oats

Cream the butter, eggs and sugars until smooth

Add vanilla, warm water, salt & baking soda

Add flour and mix completely

Add oats gently Read More »

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