Monday, January 19, 2009

Do Ahead Cooking

Its Kitchen Tip Tuesday at Tammy's Recipes, so be sure to visit Tammy's blog for more tips.

Up until now I've not been a fan of freezer cooking, but would like to do more "Do Ahead Cooking". And, if I can find some foods that I actually like after they've been frozen, I'd love to do some freezer cooking.

I got this book from the library and it has inspired me to get better organized with my cooking.... again. I'd like to try some of the recipes or adapt some of my own. This book tells you how to cook each food, how to store it and how to reheat it for a later meal.

I used some of the concepts in the book to "Do Ahead" my Sunday Dinner this past Sunday. I was having family over for this meal and wanted to have a good meal, while at the same time keep the preparation of it stress free.

My Menu:

Mexican Chicken Casserole (recipe below)
Sweet Potato Clouds (recipe below)
Broccoli and Cheese
Chocolate Cake

The work I did before going to church Sunday morning:

1. Actually, I boiled the chicken breasts on Saturday, cooled them and deboned them. I put the chicken in the fridge until Sunday Morning. Then I completely put the recipe together in the casserole dish, covered it with plastic wrap and placed it in the fridge.

2. I followed the recipe and storage instructions for the Sweet Potato Clouds, which included peeling and boiling them, mixing up the recipe and placing them on the cookie sheet to be completed when I got home from church. The instructions for "Doing Ahead this recipe" is below.

3. I made the cake layers and left them to cool on racks.

4. I made a gallon of tea.

5. Hubby set the table.

The work I did to complete the meal after getting home from church:

1. Put the casserole in the oven for 30 minutes.

2. Brushed the Sweet Potato Clouds with melted butter and baked them for 15 minutes.

3. Put the cake together on a pretty glass cake plate and put the store bought frosting on it.

4. Cooked the steam in the bag broccoli and cheese in the microwave oven.

5. Cooked the frozen, store bought biscuits in the oven.

The meal was great and everyone loved it. Best of all, I got a delicious meal on the table without a lot of stress.

MEXICAN CHICKEN CASSEROLE - Recipe from Paula Deen's The Lady & Sons Cookbook

(Click on picture to make it bigger)

I used two cans of cream of chicken soup instead of the cream of mushroom soup.

Here's what the chicken mixture layer looked like.

I cut my flour tortillas into strips like this. The strips are the first and last layer of the dish.

The last step: The cheese

Then just refrigerate until ready to bake.


(Click on the picture to make it bigger)

I plan to implement more of the recipes in the "Do-Ahead Cookbook" in the near future. I'm bound and determined to start doing some freezer cooking. I think cooking two batches of a meal and freezing one is the most efficient way to do this.


Terri said...

Those recipes look really yummy! My crockpot is my greatest friend for do ahead things. I've kept mashed potatoes warm in them (and they stayed creamy), stuffing, side dishes, casseroles, roasts, and all sorts of things.

Donna said...

Nice job! I'll have to look for the book!

Brooke said...

i want to try that mexican chicken dish - i might even replace the meal i had planned tonight! :)

Elizabeth said...

Hi Debbie,
Great Job. You have been really busy.

Pen Pen said...

I need to look for this cookbook at our library. This is exactly what I'm looking for to make Sunday dinners for my family. I try to do as much as I can on Saturday's, but it still seems like Sunday mornings are awfully busy before church. (of course, if I would drag myself out of the bed at a decent hour, it may not be too hard) Great ideas... the mexican casserole looks yummy.

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