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Your fave make-aheads to keep on hand for whenever? (Stocks, glazed nuts, salad dressings, spice blends, cut veggies, etc.)

So what do you make ahead in order to have easier, quicker, delicious snacks and meals?

I started wondering this while eating a Trader Joe's walnut-gorgonzola salad. I'd be tempted to make same myself if I happened to have glazed nuts on hand already, I thought. So if I got a bunch and glazed them, I wondered, how long would they keep and how should I keep them?

What other such things do you do to keep for whenever?

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  1. Slow-roasted tomatoes. Along your line of thinking, glazed nuts (I typically keep a month's worth in the fridge in an airtight container). Granola. Chicken stock. Croutons.

    4 Replies
    1. re: 4Snisl

      What do you use the slow-roasted tomatoes for? (And how long do they keep?)

      1. re: Cinnamon

        Quick bruschetta. Flavoring for soup. Addition to pasta dishes. Topping for protein (usually for chicken or fish. I often use it for making a quick relish with fresh herbs and chopped olives). Stirred into beans. I'm sure I haven't found all its uses yet!

        They usually haven't lasted more than a week for me. I stick 'em in a glass jar in the fridge.

        I should add that I usually have roasted garlic paste on hand. Recently started adding garlic cloves to the tomatoes as they roast, so it almost is 1/3 garlic, 2/3 tomato after the water has roasted out of the tomatoes..

          1. re: Cinnamon

            Slow roasted tomatoes are great. There life can be expanded by chopping them up and putting them in the freezer. I store them in snack size bags so there are ideal portion sizes. I do the same with roasted red peppers. At the end of the season last summer I bought a bushel each of tomatoes and peppers. I roasted them and froze them. They're just now being finished up. If I had more freezer space, I would consider doing two bushels so that they would last until tomatoes and peppers were cheap again.

    2. In the freezer- chicken stock, all different kinds of homemade ravioli, gnocchi, spaghetti or fetuccine, potstickers, all different kinds of cookie dough. I have some actual whole meals or parts of meals, but those are the components to meals that I have in the freezer. I haven't really had a spiced nut recipe/ method that I like at home, but otherwise, I would probably keep those in the freezer too. Oh, I also keep fresh bread crumbs and toasted bread crumbs in the freezer too.

      1. Will Owen mentioned keeping already buttered bread crumbs in the fridge for topping things. I thought that was very smart.

        1. I like to roast a big pan of chiles - jalapenos, poblanos, Anaheims-- and freeze them flat in zip seal bags. It's easy to cut off a piece if you don't need the whole bag, and they thaw quickly. I do roasted red peppers that way too.

          Since I prefer legumes cooked from scratch, I make a big pot and portion them out in 1 cup batches for the freezer.

          Also, things like filo turnovers, sausage cheese balls, cheese straws - it's great to be able to pull out just a few from the freezer and pop them in the toaster oven as needed.

          1. I have found that brown rice freezes and reheats really well. I make several cups and freeze in zip-lock bags and have enough for a couple of weeks.