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I am very organized. Not bragging at all. I come from a very large family and I am very used to having very large holiday dinners. I'm also good at finding many short-cuts to make my life easier. It works. Trust me! It works!
I am having a Christmas party on the 11th, and 10 days before I started cooking. I am serving all Italian food and much more. I have already made my fresh Italian meatballs, all made, rolled, cooked on a cookie sheet, cooled and put into a freezer bag and put into the freezer. Same with Italian sausage, cooked, drained, sliced in bite sized pieces, cooled and put in a freezer bag and in the freezer.
I made 2 very large Calzones filled with all deli meats and cheese, then chopped fresh tomato, pickles, basil, oil and vinegar, cooked, cooled, wrapped very tight and into the freezer. The Calzone are great to freeze, because when you start to thaw them, you can slice them before they are thawed, and you get wonderful thin neat slices. You just reheat on a cookie sheet and they come out great. The meatballs and sausage just get put in your sauce. All my desserts are made and in the freezer.
This is such a big stress relief for me and leaves me with so much less to do.
One other tip: I bought all pre-sliced block cheese for cheese and crackers and found the price exactly the same. Shop and compare! I just want to enjoy my own party! :)
Every day my husband and I have a homemade vegetable salad. Most of the time I serve it for dinner but once in a while, depending on what's going on we have it for lunch. To save time I have most of it prepared ahead of time. Here is what I do.
After tidying up the kitchen after breakfast I take all of my greens, romaine lettuce, iceberg lettuce, spinach, shredded cabbage, etc. and break it into pieces and place it in my salad spinner. After washing it well I spin it until it is dry. I then refrigerate it in a large bowl and cover tightly with plastic wrap.
Then when it is time to serve it all I have to do is add tomatoes, cucumbers, olives, etc. and of course, homemade salad dressing. If I didn't do this in the morning I may not have time to do it later. Happy salad eating.
A good time saver when you just don't feel like cooking. Make ahead of time, a good hearty pot of soup with chunky vegetables that will freeze well. Then when you have no time to prepare a meal or you just don't feel like it, just defrost the soup add a wholegrain bun. Voila, supper is ready. A filling meal in a hurry.
By pennypacer from Ontario, Canada
I always cook more chicken than I need at that meal for later in the week. It's just as easy to cook more, and serve it in a chicken salad, tacos, or on a bun or roll later in the week for a good, quick meal.
I do not have much time for cooking in the evening after work. So I try to cook some things ahead, like ground round and chicken.
When visiting the wholesale club, I buy 90% lean in quantities of 10 pounds. When I get home I make a few patties, then cook the remaining meat in a Dutch oven on top of the stove. When the meat is thoroughly cooked, I drain it, cook it, then separate into freezer bags in quantities of 1 to 1 1/2 pounds. When I am ready to cook, I simply put a bag of beef into the microwave to thaw and my meal prep time is cut down dramatically.
With chicken, I shred the cooked chicken and freeze in bags to use in soups and casseroles.
By Lori from Fishers, IN
This is a guide about making lasagne noodles ahead of time. Sometimes it is more convenient to prepare portions of a meal in advance, but save the assembly until the day you are going to complete and serve it.