Why Do Make Ahead Recipes Work So Well To Reduce Your Dinner Party Stress


Why Do Make-Ahead Recipes Work So Well to​ Reduce Your Dinner Party Stress?
One of​ the​ tricks I​ find most useful for hosting stress-free dinner parties is​ to​ make some of​ the​ recipes ahead .​
I​ find that too many last minute jobs can overwhelm me,​ so I​ plan ahead to​ eliminate as​ many as​ possible .​
The more dishes you​ can prepare a​ day or​ some hours before guests ring your doorbell,​ the​ more you​ reduce your stress .​
Here are some reasons:
• you​ avoid a​ last minute crisis if​ preparation takes longer than you​ thought it​ would .​
• If you​ like to​ cook,​ you’ll have the​ leisure to​ enjoy what you’re doing instead of​ feeling frantic about a​ deadline
• you​ have time to​ clean up after you​ cook .​
• If there is​ a​ disaster,​ say you​ burn something,​ you​ have plenty of​ time to​ come up with an​ alternate plan .​
• If you​ have prepared the​ dessert ahead,​ you​ don’t need to​ leave the​ table for a​ long stretch just when the​ conversation is​ getting really interesting .​
Put your imagination to​ work for you! Try to​ imagine your way through the​ last minute jobs you​ will have to​ get dinner on​ the​ table,​ and reduce them to​ a​ minimum you​ feel comfortable with .​
It helps to​ think about what all those last minute jobs are: setting out the​ ice water pitcher,​ lighting the​ candles,​ putting items in​ serving dishes and getting the​ guests to​ the​ table .​
By the​ way,​ many of​ these are jobs that your guests can do .​
What is​ your level of​ tolerance for last minute jobs?
Now ask yourself what your level of​ tolerance is​ for last minute jobs? If it​ is​ low,​ then you​ should think about finding some recipes that absolutely minimize any last minute work .​
This is​ especially true if​ you​ are an​ inexperienced cook .​
Some of​ the​ recipes I​ rely on​ are make-ahead,​ and some are just items that I​ can bring home from the​ store and put out in​ nice serving dishes .​
Some cooks even make everything ahead .​
If you​ love stews,​ lasagna and casseroles,​ then you​ could do that too .​
But I​ often prefer serving a​ delicious roast of​ lamb or​ beef or​ chicken as​ the​ special item on​ the​ menu .​
Luckily these dishes are ones you​ can put in​ the​ oven and leave to​ themselves while you​ do other things .​
If you​ can add potatoes and vegetables to​ the​ roast while it​ cooks you​ have almost all of​ the​ advantages of​ make-ahead .​
Once you​ pop them in​ the​ oven beside the​ roast you​ can pretty well ignore them until they are cooked .​
So I​ tend to​ focus on​ finding appetizers,​ salads,​ side dishes and desserts that I​ can make ahead,​ or​ set out straight from the​ store,​ or​ vegetables I​ can cook alongside a​ roast .​
Then I​ can concentrate on​ the​ last minute items like slicing a​ roast,​ making gravy,​ and getting things on​ the​ table .​
Probably the​ most important category for me is​ appetizers .​
I​ find it​ too stressful to​ be fussing at​ cooking something while the​ doorbell is​ ringing .​
If you​ are hosting by yourself you​ may find the​ same .​
So I​ try to​ have a​ repertoire of​ make-ahead or​ buy-ahead appetizer recipes that work for me .​
Often I​ serve more than one,​ since some of​ my guests like to​ stick to​ very light appetizers,​ and others enjoy heartier ones .​
You can build your repertoire of​ make ahead recipes for your home dinner parties .​
I​ suggest you​ start with appetizers .​
If you​ want to​ see some of​ my favorites,​ just go to​ my Make-Ahead Appetizers page on​ my website .​
Enjoy minimizing your hosting stress and watching your guests’ eyes light up at​ the​ sight of​ your tasty,​ well presented appetizers.



Why Do Make Ahead Recipes Work So Well To Reduce Your Dinner Party Stress



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