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Make ahead and freeze for easier holiday meals

If you are reluctant to cut out those time-consuming details that make your holiday meals special, consider than many of these key dishes are easy to make ahead and freeze, with the result just as tasty as if you had spent the entire day in the kitchen. Lessen the work, reduce the stress and enjoy holiday dinners by doing the prepping well ahead of the big day.

A bit of planning is all you need to freeze multiple dishes or just a few. Be sure you have freezer space and containers that you will not need prior to the holiday. Then follow a few tips for a delicious, low-stress meal.

Main dishes

Turkey – Brine the breast before you roast and freeze for a moist bird full of flavor that you can thaw, slice and reheat.

Ham – An easy meal since they are fully cooked and can be served room temperature or heated. For a touch sweetness, try adding a simple honey glaze or brown sugar coating and plan for a little extra time for heating.

Lasagna – Loaded with beef, sausage or cheese, lasagna makes a great main dish for a holiday gathering and it freezes and reheats easily.

Side dishes

Green bean casserole – You don’t have to give up the tradition because this staple freezes well. Be sure to hold the french fried onions to be added when you are ready to reheat.

Cheesy potato casserole – Any cheesy, creamy potato casserole is easy to make ahead. Be sure to use store-bought hash browns rather than fresh potatoes for the best results.

Mashed potatoes – If fresh potatoes are a must, go for mashed—they freeze well as long as you use plenty of butter and cream.

Sweet potatoes – Roasted and pureed into a creamy casserole, they freeze well and are delicious reheated with a topping of chopped pecans or scallions.

Mac and cheese – Along with any other cheesy and veggie casserole, these dishes are easy to make, freeze and reheat, with the addition of crunchy toppings when you are ready to reheat.

Stuffing – Don’t stuff the turkey! Most stuffing recipes can be assembled with bread or cornbread, veggies and/or sausage ahead of time and baked the day of. Follow directions to partially prep, then freeze.

Rolls – Treat your guests to homemade rolls by baking to 75% completion before freezing. You can finish baking the day of with a bit of melted butter brushed on top.

Dessert

Fruit pies – Yes, you can make your secret family recipe and freeze it before baking to get that fresh-baked taste. You will want to use a metal or disposable aluminum pan and don’t overfill your pie to ensure the center bakes evenly without burning the crust. Be sure to make vent holes before freezing and place your pie in a plastic freezer bag.

Short on freezer space? Choose a couple of key dishes to prepare ahead and freeze for your holiday feast and cater to the rest. Special Moments Catering specializes in preparing tasty holiday staples that your family will love so you can relax and enjoy the festivities. With reasonable rates and multiple choices of dishes that will satisfy the pickiest of eaters, you can count on a memorable meal and celebration. Call today for menu options and availability.