Frozen food can give you a head start for speedy meals. Keep your freezer stocked with meatballs, browned ground beef, cooked and shredded chicken, frozen bread dough, shredded cheese, uncooked ground beef formed into patties, and cubed ham. Most homemade cookies freeze well and there are countless recipes available for frozen ice cream desserts. See below for more freezer tips.
3. No matter what happens, maintain a positive perspective.
When you hear that knock on the door, don't fret if your home isn't immaculate or if you're only planning a simple dinner. It's not fancy food or fine china that will make a lasting impression on your guests. It's the way they feel in your home -- the way you and your family make them feel. They won't remember the toys strewn across the living room floor, the pile of dirty dishes in the sink, or the fact that they didn't receive a four course dinner. They will remember the flood of warmth and love they found within your home. They will remember the willing attitude of the hostess as she welcomed them into her kitchen.
4. Freezer Tips
Allow hot food to cool to room temperature before freezing.
Foods with a high fat content, such as meat and shredded cheese, usually freeze well.
Make a list of food that is in your freezer. Store it in an accessible area and keep it current.
Avoid freezing the following foods. They will change in color and texture, or separate during the freezing or thawing process.
Salads or desserts containing gelatin
Raw salad vegetables such as radishes, lettuce, tomatoes, and carrots
Raw eggs in their shells, or hard-cooked eggs
Raw potatoes or boiled white potatoes (They will blacken.)
Icing made with egg whites, boiled frostings, or cakes with cream fillings
Instant rice (It will dissolve and become mushy. Regular cooked rice can be frozen.)
Custard pies, cream pies, or meringue pies
5. Rapid Recipe
This easy ice cream dessert can be made ahead of time, then pulled out of the freezer 15 minutes before serving.
Frozen Peanut Butter Pie
1 1/2 cups chocolate wafer crumbs, divided
1/4 cup sugar
1/2 cup butter, melted
Filling / Topping:
1 quart softened vanilla ice cream
1/2 cup chunky peanut butter
1 cup whipped topping
1/2 cup peanuts for garnish
To prepare crust, set aside 1 tablespoon of wafer crumbs for garnish. Combine sugar and remaining crumbs. Add butter and stir until combined. Press into the bottom and up the sides of greased 9" pie plate. Refrigerate for 1 hour or until set. (Note: A traditional graham cracker crust can also be used in this recipe.)
Combine ice cream and peanut butter. Fold in whipped topping. Pour into pie shell. Top with reserved crumbs and peanuts if desired. Cover and freeze for at least 2 hours. Remove from the freezer 15 minutes before cutting.
This recipe was submitted by one of our readers and has not been tested by our food editors. We are not responsible for errors in this recipe, but if you find one, please let us know.