Everyone knows that make-ahead recipes are the secret to entertaining success. Just as I demonstrated in my "Easy Weekday Entertaining" post, if everything is made before the party, you can enjoy your guests and relax instead of running around like crazy. I like to take it a step further and prepare entertaining worthy recipes that can go in the freezer to get out for any last minute gathering.
Sometimes I just get the itch to be in the kitchen, even if I happen to not have anyone or anything specific to cook for. So, when I have extra time I take advantage of urge and whip of a few favorites to put in the freezer. Of course, casseroles and soup work great in the freezer, but I also make appetizers, marinade meats and breads. The freezer is really one of my favorite tools. I am always putting our leftovers in individual containers for my husband to grab for lunch during the week or making twice as many mashed potatoes for dinner so I have another batch for the freezer. I love being able to get out when we're ready for a quick dinner of seared steaks or grilled fish.
One of my favorite recipes to make for the freezer is a warm and comforting Apple Cranberry Crumble. It is quick to put together, great for a crowd and the cinnamon, orange zest and apples make my kitchen smell amazing when baking in the oven. Everyone thinks I've been slaving away in the kitchen, when really I've just pulled it out of the freezer. Dessert seems to be the last thing I think about when I'm planning a party. It is so nice to have one of these waiting for me in the freezer for a last minute party or if we go out to dinner with friends and decide to invite everyone over for dessert.