Entertaining Ideas
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Need Recipes for Great Make Ahead Dishes please...

Hi!  This Sat. am entertaining 10-12 adults & 3 babies for dinner and am bored with lasagna.... also while there are no dietary restrictions two of the guests don't like grilled/bbq'd foods or Mexican cuisine (can you imagine - my favorites BTW).

Please share any great make ahead recipes you have.  Am bored with all of mine.


Re: Need Recipes for Great Make Ahead Dishes please...

  • BTW - I have no idea what happened to my picture.  There is a pink pig there now?  (I didn't ask the Nest for that..)
  • Are you thinking make days ahead or make early enough you don't have to mess with things?  Do you crock pot cook?

    This recipe is incredibly easy, but so incredibly good.

    1 2 to 2.5 lb boneless pork shoulder roast
    2 T cooking oil
    1 T quick-cooking tapioca
    1 T snipped fresh thyme; or 1 t dried crushed thyme
    1/2 t pepper
    1 medium onion, sliced
    1 cup dried cherries
    1/2 cup apple juice or apple cider
    3 to 4 cups hot cooked rice or noodles
    -Trim fat from meat.  If necessary, cut roast to fit.  In a large skillet
    brown meat on all sides in hot oil.  Drain off fat
    - Transfer meat to cooker.  Sprinkle tapioca, dried thyme, and pepper
    over meat.  Add onion and dried cherries.  Pour apple juice or cider
    over all.
    - Cover; cook on low for 7-9 hrs of high 3.5-4.5 hrs.  Transfer meat
    to serving platter; cover to keep warm.
    - For sauce, skim fat from cooking juices.  If using, stir fresh thyme
    into juices. 

    When I made it I didn't bother to brown the meat and it was still sooooo good.  Serve it with rice, egg noodles, mashed potatoes, or couscous.  We liked it so much I've added dry cherries to my pantry.

  • This is a side dish but would be great in terms of presentation and flavor...and can be made ahead of time and refrigerated before the party.  It's so good!


  • I have a couple ideas...

    How about picking up a spiral ham, making macaroni and cheese (homemade of course and you could make the noodles ahead of time to save some time if you really need to, though it doesn't take long) and green beans.


    Make something in the crock pot. I was originally thinking short ribs with veggies and mashed potatoes but (now this might sound crazy or random or more 'family' than 'company') how about chili and cornbread? It's a "meal" and just about everyone likes it. You could have toppings like shredded cheese, onions, sour cream, jalepenos, etc.

  • You can make the mac and cheese completely the day before, just top and bake on the day of.  I've done this several times with no issue.  Same with scalloped potatoes, just be sure all of the potatoes are coated.
  • Thank you!  The Cherries with Pork looks awesome.  I have a slow cooker too...   Mac-n-Cheese is a good idea - I've never made before though.  Will start looking for a good recipe. :)
  • If you do the pork, I'd skip the mac and cheese.  The cherries make a lovely sauce that you'll want to put over something like rice, noodles, mashed potatoes, or couscous.  Add a green salad and and you've got a lovely and easy meal.
  • OK - good point. :)
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