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Preparing for a Full House

Posted on October 24, 2012

apricot chicken

As if cooking the Thanksgiving meal wasn’t enough, these days hosting the holiday weekend (or week as the case may be) means feeding an army for at least a few days in a row. Combine that with the added chaos that accompanies a few extra feet running around the house and scratch cooking seems like its more than most people can handle. Not so, if it’s done well in advance.

Whether you’re providing home base for all of the relatives this year or opening up the house for a few friends, here are our top make ahead dishes to keep the whole crew well fed.

Double The Pot:  Don’t just assemble your favorite soup or stew, double the recipe and freeze til the guests arrive. Heartier recipes like this spicy chicken pozole make for a crowd-pleasing entree . A simple chicken and rice soup is great to have on hand for lunches and kid meals. Freeze in 1-2 serving portions for a quick reheat in the microwave.

Braise For Days: As long as you’re cooking in liquid, your recipe will freeze like a charm. Combining the autumn orange and black color combo with an unusual sweet and savory twist, our Apricot Olive Chicken is particularly delicious a day or two after it’s originally prepared. Of course, held in the freezer, it’s perfect for impromptu entertaining.

Attack Those Snacks: The more people under one roof, the more certain you can be that someone is always hungry. Answer that call with plenty of snacks in the house. This authentic empanada is not only a delicious solution, but also a fun activity to prepare with family.

Casserole With It: From the classic chicken potpie to vegetable and noodle casseroles, fill your ceramic and Pyrex with a variety of fillings and you’ll be ready for anything. Looking for ideas that are a little less traditional? Consider flavors that aren’t likely to be featured on your Thanksgiving table.


Make Breakfast Quick:  You’ll have plenty to do Thanksgiving morning, without worrying about cracking dozens of eggs or flipping endless stacks of pancakes. Of course, providing a hearty breakfast is a snap if you’ve given it a little advanced effort. Toss together this frittata and bake it so that it’s fully cooked. Pull it out of the freezer the morning that you need it most and allow it to cook while you prepare your oven for the biggest day of the year!