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Make dishes ahead to enjoy festivities


Published: Wed, November 28, 2012 @ 12:00 a.m.

Family Features

During the hectic holidays, the last thing you want is to be stuck in the kitchen. When you’re planning holiday menus, be sure to plan some make-ahead dishes that you can freeze or refrigerate. That way, all you have to do is pop them in the oven and you have more time to enjoy the holiday fun.

Here are some easy make-ahead ideas:

Breakfast or brunch: Muffins and quick breads, such as banana bread or pumpkin bread, can be made up to one month ahead of time, wrapped in foil, then placed in a freezer bag. To thaw, set them out overnight.

Side dishes: Sides such as stuffing and cranberry sauce can be made several days in advance and stored in the refrigerator. Another classic holiday side dish that you can make ahead is Cheesy Potato Casserole. Using Ore-Ida Country Style Hash Browns cuts down on prep time, so you can have the casserole ready to bake in about 10 minutes. Cover with foil and keep refrigerated until the big day, then bake for the perfect side dish for either brunch or dinner.

Desserts: Cheesecakes, cookies and cakes can all be made in advance. Freeze these kinds of desserts without garnishes or toppings, then add after thawing. Wrap them in a double layer of plastic wrap, then aluminum foil or a freezer bag. You can also freeze cookie dough in individual balls or slice-and-bake logs.

You can find more easy recipes for your holiday entertaining at www.oreida.com/recipes.

Cheesy Potato Casserole

Prep Time: 10 minutes

Cook Time: 50 minutes

Total Time: 60 minutes

Makes 8 servings

1 can cream of chicken soup

2 cups sour cream

1/2 teaspoon salt

1/4 teaspoon black pepper, ground

2 cups cheddar cheese, shredded

1/3 cup green onions, sliced

1 bag Ore-Ida Country Style Hash Browns, thawed

2 cups corn flakes, crushed

1/4 cup butter, melted

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Coat 13x9-inch baking dish with nonstick cooking spray.

In large bowl, whisk together soup, sour cream, salt and pepper. Stir in cheese, onion and hash browns until well mixed. Spoon evenly into baking dish.

In a medium bowl, mix together cereal and butter. Sprinkle evenly on top of hash brown mixture.

Bake uncovered for about 50 minutes, or until hot and bubbly. Allow to rest for 5 minutes before serving. Garnish with additional sliced green onion if desired.

Tips: If desired, substitute Ore-Ida Country Style Hash Browns with Ore-Ida Southern Style Hash Browns or Potatoes O’Brien. If desired, substitute condensed cream of chicken soup with condensed cream of turkey soup.


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