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Nov 8, 2013 06:25 AM

Make-ahead meals for destination bachelorette

Hello! Long-time lurker, first-time poster here! I've diligently searched the archives for threads on make-ahead freezer meals, cooking for large groups, and family beach week meals, but was hoping to get some more specific recs from the 'hounds.

I'm in charge of the food for a Friday afternoon - Sunday morning destination bachelorette shindig in a beautiful mountain lodge. Guest list is seven lovely ladies, and we'll be dining in exclusively, since the mountain is pretty far-removed from civilization. I'm hoping to do some make-ahead-and-freeze main dishes so that I'm able to celebrate (imbibe) along with the crowd, and would love some advice on how best to streamline things while still making it fun and festive! Specific requirements are:

AVOID: tomatoes, bell peppers, peanuts, melons, bananas, raw onions
INCLUDE: pumpkin recipes, apples, maple, anything autumnal, green chili, baked goods in inappropriate shapes

Would love any thoughts! Thanks a million!

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  1. Sounds fun. I would keep some of the meals simple and then do one big meal Saturday night that might require more work (from all the ladies). Breakfast, I would suggest some type of egg frittata with any seasonal vegetables. We make one with spinach, eggs, and feta. It can be assembled the night before and whoever gets up first can pop it in the oven and get the coffee brewing. I don't really have a recipe but I am certain there are some out there. Dinner Friday, if excluding tomatoes includes tomato sauce, you could opt for prepackaged ravioli with chicken and a light sauce and green salad. Easy Saturday dinners could be roast chickens or beef tenderloin roasted. Throw fingerling potatoes and root vegetables and then a few sides and your golden.

    1. Semi-self-linking over to the CHOW side of the house, I really like this butternut squash lasagna, though I admit I have never been willing to go to the trouble to source the chestnut puree: and I think it really fits your vision of autumnal as well as make-ahead.

      Another thing that's really good and easy for this kind of thing is a baked french toast type thing. I've never tried making it ahead and freezing it, but you could easily slice up all the bread into casserole dish with the sugar and raisins and whatnot already in there, and then all you'd need to do in the moment is whisk together eggs and milk and pour it over the top (you can do that the night before, before you get too celebratory for the evening and throw it in the fridge, and then it's just take it out and bake for the next day).

      1. One really nice thing to do for dessert or a decadent breakfast is baked stuffed apples. This would be make-ahead-and-refrigerate, not freeze, but it might fit the bill. Basically, cut apples in half, take out core, scoop out interior, cube it up, saute with butter and spices and wee bit of brown sugar, add back to the apple halves, and top with a crumble mixture (I highly recommend including nuts in this mixture!) Then line them up in a baking pan, and bake till tender and browned. You can top it with a scoop of maple-sweetened greek yogurt and more toasted nuts.

        One of my favorite lasagna recipes (which freezes well) is a tomato-less lasagna, which involves layering noodles with:
        -rosemary-infused bechamel sauce
        -ricotta mixed with tons of thawed, squeezed spinach and fresh grated parmesan
        -cooked mashed butternut squash/pumpkin (canned pumpkin works fine here), seasoned with rosemary, salt and pepper
        -mozzarella cheese

        Will post more ideas if I think of any. Have a great time!

          1. Love the Frittata idea. You can also do a potato/cheese/ham bake for a breakfast. A couple of dinner ideas would be a pablano corn lasagna
            PW's Chicken Spaghetti (which I find freezes nicely)
            Both of those would keep you out of the kitchen most of the time, with a quick tossed salad and crusty bread.

            Maybe pre-cook some chicken breasts, sliced thin and do a nice chicken caesar salad for lunch (you can even make ahead croutons). Almost everything can be take and bake. The other things can take minimal help with the other lovely ladies.