142.0…Make Ahead Entertaining

Dinner was delicious last night. I reheated the last of my Spicy Black Bean and Chicken Tortilla Soup from the freezer and made my family’s favorite cornbread. Along with a glass of wine, I was a satisfied lady.

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To the soup I added raw onions.

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I follow the cornbread recipe exactly except that I add shredded cheddar cheese and frozen corn to the batter. I really like adding pickled jalapenos but my husband doesn’t like them. :(

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This morning’s breakfast was a container of Strawberry Fage yogurt with strawberries and raspberries.

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I took the kids to school and went to Starbucks for a latte and to get some work done.

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Next up was a cooking class at Great News! It had been awhile so I was especially excited! Today’s class was entitled Make Ahead Entertaining taught by my favorite instructor, Phillis Carey. I’m a HUGE “make ahead” fan. I call them ‘Do-Aheads” and my husband thinks it’s hilarious and always asks me if a certain recipe is a “do-ahead.”

It sucks spending all your time in the kitchen when you have guests over. I like to make things that can be done ahead and all I need to do is bake them off. For instance, ALL my Thanksgiving sides are made ahead and baked on the big day. When the turkey comes out of the oven, the sides go in. I don’t have to stress AND I get to spend time with my guests. A win-win situation if you ask me.

But I digress….back to cooking class today. All of these recipes can be made ahead of time. The first one was Baked Greek Shrimp with Tomatoes, Oregano and Feta on Orzo with Fresh Herbs:

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This was really simple to put together and the flavors were great together. It was be especially good with chicken too!

The second recipe was Spinach and Artichoke Sauced Chicken Breasts with Bacon and Parmesan Topping:

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Holy cow. This was so sinful. It’s basically a spinach artichoke dip on top of chicken and baked with a bacon and bread crumb topping. Wow.

The next recipe  was equally sinful and delicious: Four Mushroom, Cheese and Sausage Penne Bake:

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Loved this! There were four cheeses in this! Talk about heart attack! But at least you’d die happy!

The next recipe was Beef and Butternut Squash Stew with Sun-Dried Tomatoes and Rosemary:

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This was so hearty and comforting….the perfect fall/winter stew.

The last recipe was dessert: Fresh Cranberry Orange Cheesecake with Caramel Orange Sauce:

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What’s not to love?? 

I was so full when I left class. Happy and full. I ran a few errands before picking up the kids from school and coming home.

Hubby is taking me out to dinner tonight and I need to pack for my flight to San Francisco for the Foodbuzz festival! Better get to it!

Do you have any tips on how to make entertaining less stressful?