Make Ahead Good Enough for Company Complete Dinner

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A couple weeks ago, I had some friends over for dinner that I hadn’t seen in ages, so I really didn’t want to spend the whole time they were here cooking and getting dinner ready. I searched for recipes, and came up with a menu where everything could be prepared ahead of time so that by the time they came over, all I had to do was put the food in the oven. I would make it again for sure! It was really great to have the time to sit and talk to my friends rather than be hiding out in the kitchen!
So when grocery shopping, you need the following:
5 pounds of potatoes
cream cheese
sour cream
cheddar cheese
green onions
bacon/ bacon bits
pork tenderloin
balsamic vinegar
garlic
olive oil
Rosemary
various veggies to oven roast (I used peppers, eggplant, zucchini, carrots onion, but you could use just about any vegetables)
Mashed and Baked Potatoes
Start by peeling 5 pounds of potatoes (I know…fun, fun, fun!)

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Cook the potatoes by boiling them for about 15 minutes, then mash them. Then mix in about 1 cup of cream cheese, 1 cup of sour cream, 1 cup of grated cheddar cheese, green onion slices, and as much bacon as you want. Spread it all out in a large pan, sprinkle some cheddar cheese on top, and put into the fridge. It’s ready to put in the oven.

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Balsamic Pork Tenderloin with Rosemary
To prepare the pork, I always use a pair of kitchen scissors to cut off the fatty parts.

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Then, in a bowl I mixed together a couple cloves of garlic, about 1/2 cup of balsamic and olive oil, and I chopped up a few sprigs of rosemary.

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I mixed everything together and poured it over the tenderloin, and made sure the tenderloin was coated. Done. Now to find room in the fridge….

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Olive Oil Roasted Vegetables
I love vegetables cooked in the oven. Maybe it is because I don’t do it that often because I never have the time. But these are simple, once again, prep everything ahead of time. I bought peppers, red onions, asparagus, zucchini, carrots and eggplant.

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I cut everything up into bite sized pieces, drizzled some olive oil, and salt, and a little bit of dried parsley, and italian seasoning, then put aside….

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The best part about this dinner is that it is all ready! I served the dinner with some fresh bread and butter, and I guess I could have made a salad too But I just waited until my guests arrived, turned the oven on to 375 degrees, then enjoyed the time catching up!

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5 responses »

  1. …………………Ah, those are such super ideas, and I am sure that your friends enjoyed the special time with you …………………..Thought I could use some of the same menu for my Xmas dinner – then realized that you would be a guest so I had better make some adaptations…………LOL!!………..Actually though, I do plan to cook the turkey 2 days ahead, slice onto oven ready platters ( add 1/2 cup stock and 350 for 30 min), make soup and have the vegs organized too…………thanks for the inspiration for us all……………..

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