Three Holiday Recipes You Can Make Ahead

Three Holiday Recipes You Can Make Ahead

holiday recipes

The Thanksgiving holiday season brings lots of work to the kitchen! Here are some recipes that are easy to make ahead so you have more time to relax with friends and family.

Roasted Winter Squash
Roasting works well for butternut or acorn squash, both of which are fantastic additions to your fall menu or Thanksgiving meal. Just cut the squash in half. (Well, this task is a tad arduous. Use a bread knife and make long, careful cuts and you’ll do just fine.) Remove the seeds, rub both sides with oil, and sprinkle with salt and pepper. Place flat-side down onto a foil-lined baking sheet and bake at 425 degrees for 45 minutes to an hour.

You can even bake it lower and slower if you want; squash is quite forgiving. You’ll know it’s cooked when a fork goes through smoothly. Remove it from the oven; once cool, scoop out the flesh and mash. Store it in an airtight container or zipper-closing bag. When you’re ready for it, thaw in warm water and warm it back up. (On the stovetop, stirring frequently. In the oven, covered.) Add butter and cinnamon or garlic and thyme.

Cranberry Chutney
Homemade chutney is fantastic with turkey or served with cheese and crackers. It will keep in your fridge for weeks and gets better as the flavors mingle.

Juice and zest of one orange
1 (12 ounce) bag cranberries
3/4 cup sugar
1 cored and chopped apple
1/2 cup raisins
1/4 cup chopped pecans (optional)
1 tablespoon apple cider vinegar
1/2 teaspoon ginger
1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon allspice

Put all ingredients except zest and pecans into a saucepan. Bring to a boil, then reduce to a low simmer. Cook until cranberries pop open, about 15 minutes. Stir in orange zest and pecans and cool.

Pie Crust
Pie crust is simple to make, but it can be scary if you’ve never made it before. King Arthur Flour has a great recipe, but so does the Joy of Cooking or whatever cookbook is on your counter. The key to flaky pie crust is using very cold butter and ice-cold water and leaving the crust a little on the floury side.

Don’t add so much water that your dough becomes sticky. There should be loose flour in your crust. When you roll it out, most of the flour will stick to the butter. (Rolling tip: roll it out between wax paper.) If you have to sprinkle a few drops of ice water while rolling out the crust, go ahead. But only add the tiniest amount of liquid at a time. You can roll the bottom crusts, form them in pie pans, and place them in your freezer. Then just pull them out when you’re ready to make your pies.

Now that you know some make-ahead holiday recipes, all you have to do is gather your ingredients and get in the kitchen!