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Make Ahead Meals for Visiting Family & Friends

Posted on October 31, 2012 by Webdev

With the hustle and bustle of the holidays rapidly approaching it is always nice to have some great meals on hand in either the freezer or refrigerator. Even though I have a passion for cooking and enjoy nothing better than spending my time in the kitchen preparing wonderful dishes and treats for those I love, I do, at times, enjoy the ease of popping something already prepared into the oven or re-heating something I know is going to be just as good as the day I made it. By having meals, such as these on hand, I too can spend time during the holidays catching up on family and friends — and still know that the food is going to be fantastic!

With a little prior planning and some extra plastic containers or heat-safe, sealable, plastic bags you and your family can eat wonderful meals throughout the holidays with little effort whatsoever. Spend some time before the holiday madness hits and make a few one dish meals. Freeze or refrigerate your meals for later on in the month when things get “nuts”. Here are some of our favorite meals that can be easily made ahead of time:

Meals that can be made and refrigerated for up to 2 days:

Braised Beef Shanks & Macaroni — Make the beef shanks ahead of time. Right before serving make the macaroni.

Sausage Stuffed Chicken — Prepare the chicken. Remove from the braising liquid, reserving liquid and refrigerate until ready to eat.

Asian Chicken Casserole

Braised Beef Shanks & Macaroni

Louisiana Meatloaf — Make the meatloaf ahead of time, when cool refrigerate. On the day you will be serving, re-heat meatloaf slices and serve with fresh-made mashed potatoes.

Beef & Onion Casserole

Beef Stroganoff — Make Stroganoff ahead of time. Right before serving make noodles or rice to accompany.

Fennel Pork Roast

Meals that can be frozen for up to 2 weeks:

(Note: To freeze these meals, place in a heat-safe, sealable bag, remove all the air and seal. To defrost, place bag in cold water — rotate the bag periodically until the food is defrosted — then reheat. Alternatively, open the bag and defrost in the microwave — be sure to place the bag in a bowl to prevent spillage as it defrosts.)

Santa Fe Lasagna

Beef Ragout

Minestrone Soup

Hurricane Chili

Old Fashioned Lasagna

Country Stew

Chicken Chili

Turkey & Rice Soup

Santa Fe Lasagna

Cheese Ravioli with Tomato-Meat Sauce



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