Psst... We're working on the next generation of Chowhound! View >

Maggiethecat's Profile

Title Last Reply

Have you ever lost . . . .

I have two to add here...

The first is fairly mundane and has been resolved. I fairly recently lost my most excellent pairing knife. I couldn't imagine what happened to it. We do occasionally go over to a friend's house and bring food, and sometimes I bring utensils with us as well and I thought perhaps I'd brought it there one time and left it, but they checked for me and couldn't find it either. I finally uncovered it just last weekend when I got our waffle iron out to make waffles; apparently I had left the knife on the drip tray for the waffle iron, which I usually stash in the back of my pantry when not using, and never would have thought to check there for the knife.

The second is much more unusual and still unresolved many years later. I make polymer clay charms and jewelry. Among other things, I make miniature cakes, about the size of a quarter, and make cake slices into things like earrings. This is done largely like how you would make a regular cake; I make layers of round polymer clay, stack them together, cover them with polymer clay "icing" or "fondant", then slice them into individual slices to make jewelry. After assembling the cake, but before slicing it, I find it best to stash it in the fridge for a few minutes. This firms up the clay and makes it easier to get clean slices without smashing or distorting the clay when cutting through the layers. So one time, several years ago, I had made several mini cakes and threw them in the fridge for a few minutes. I went to retrieve them, and dropped one of them in the process, and it just...disappeared. I looked everywhere. On the floor around and under the fridge. On all the shelves of the fridge. In the crisper drawers of the fridge. To this day, we still haven't found that little polymer clay cake.

Aug 28, 2015
Maggiethecat in Not About Food

Need dairy-free entree and side dish ideas

I can't eat dairy either. I actually am not 100% sure if it's lactose intolerance, or an allergy, or something else; I haven't been officially tested for anything, I just learned through elimination diet trial and error that dairy was the big culprit in causing huge GI distress about a year and a half ago, and after I cut it completely, I started feeling a lot better.

So if your husband is willing to give it a shot, I actually find cheeseless pizza to be pretty dang good. You can easily make small, individual-sized pizzas for everyone and you and the kids can load up on cheese all you want, and everyone can do their own toppings. The same applies for calzones. I just did that this week for my husband and I. Alternately, you can try dairy-free cheese alternatives, but I don't particularly like most of them, myself. Daiya is the only one I can eat, since I also can't eat soy, but if he can do soy-based cheese you might experiment and see if there's one he does like.

I also do a lot of curries. If you have a grocery store that has a decent Asian section, or an Asian market nearby, look around for curry sauces. A lot of them will be dairy-free, except some of the Indian ones, which may contain cream and/or butter, just check the ingredient labels. You can do them pretty similar to stir-fries; meat or other protein of choice, vegetables of choice, add prepared sauce, let simmer for a few minutes, serve with rice.

Have you ever made homemade spaetzle?
Most recipes call for milk, but I replace it with water or chicken stock and it works out fine. You will probably want a spaetzle maker to make it, they look like a cheese grater with really large holes, but they are pretty cheap. I got mine off Amazon for like $10. I make this pretty often as a side dish to go with roasts or chicken fried anything or steak, etc.

As a general rule, I find that subbing coconut milk (I use Thai Kitchen brand lite coconut milk) for regular milk works out pretty well most of the time. I have successfully made baked goods, sauces (including gravy), pudding, french toast, and more with coconut milk. (As I said, I can't eat soy, and I also can't eat almonds, so I haven't experimented with any other kinds of milks.) I use coconut oil and EarthBalance coconut oil based spread in place of butter/fat in many recipes, with good results. I make the world's best dang cinnamon rolls with coconut milk and coconut spread.

So while I don't really promote pre-packaged stuff, I do like to keep a few frozen things on hand for nights when I don't feel like cooking (or cooking a full meal, anyway.) Here are a few things that are tried and true in my freezer:
Garden Lites:
Ian's Natural:
Sweet Earth: (the Tiger Curry and the Anasazi Bean are the only ones I've tried since they don't contain cheese
)Boomerang Pot Pies: (the curry vegetable and the steak and potato are both dairy free
)NadaMoo: (if you want ice cream


I'm sure I can think of more later if you want more suggestions. :)

Jul 23, 2015
Maggiethecat in Special Diets

Hypothesis: A high fiber diet will always lead to good health, disprove please

Thank you, and you as well, I hope every sip and bit sits well with you. :)

Jul 21, 2015
Maggiethecat in Special Diets

Hypothesis: A high fiber diet will always lead to good health, disprove please

I too have gastroparesis (GP) and I too, have to watch my fiber intake. I don't have as severe a case as NiW; I don't have IVs or feeding tubes, but it did take me over a year, after my diagnosis, to figure out what my trigger foods are, which would cause attacks which could lay me up for days at a time. After my diagnosis, I lost about 100lbs in a year. I was overweight so I could "afford" to lose the weight, but this was not how I wanted to lose the weight. I was losing upwards of 5lbs a week some weeks because I could not eat, or keep food down. There have been cases of other people with this disease getting down to dangerously low weights and even dying from not being able to keep proper nutrients in their system. I feel very fortunate that my case is not that severe.

It's no surprise that most people have not heard of the disease. Many doctors have not even heard of it; if you mention it to the average ER nurse or doctor, they will look at you as if you have a third eyeball. I knew a woman who was in rehab for another disease that she was recovering from (guillain barre syndrome). While in rehab, she developed terrible and chronic nausea and vomiting; she could keep very little food down and lost a lot of weight. The staff at the rehab facility had no idea what GP was and diagnosed her with anorexia, and sent her to a psych ward, where they basically force fed her food, which she promptly threw up because she couldn't digest it properly. Bare in mind that she herself had no idea she had GP at this point, and was trying to convince them that she was not anorexic, but they would not believe her or look for alternate explanations for her condition. Eventually her mother managed to get her out of that facility and she did get properly diagnosed by a different doctor, but I believe it took the involvement of a lawyer and the threat of filing a lawsuit against the rehab facility to do so.

Jul 21, 2015
Maggiethecat in Special Diets

The Etiquette of Bringing Your Own Meal on a Plane

In regards to bringing rice balls with kimchi, which does indeed have a strong smell -- that is why I also recommend 1) making them small so they can be eaten in one bite and 2) wrapping them individually in plastic. They won't small at all until you unwrap them, they won't smell much after you unwrap them until you bite into them, and if you eat them in one bite, the smell shouldn't be that offensive or linger that long.
Or you could, you know, come up with your own fillings that you find less offensive.

The Etiquette of Bringing Your Own Meal on a Plane

I have to say, I really am appalled by some of the comments this thread has generated. So many people so concerned about their own well-being, and not giving a second thought to anyone around them.

I discussed the nut allergy issue in an earlier reply, but in case anyone missed it -- yes, people can be so allergic to nuts (or anything else, for that matter, but nuts are most often served on planes so probably the best example here) that just being in close proximity to them can set off their allergy, sometimes with an anaphylactic reaction. This is even worse when you are trapped in an airtight cylinder flying at 50,000+ feet with no easy access to medical attention. Something as simple as someone who just handled or ate nuts walking past or brushing by a person who is allergic, can set off their reaction.

These people can make arrangements with the airlines ahead of time to have no nuts served on board their flight(s), and the airlines will then also make a general announcement as people are boarding the flight and as the flight is getting ready to take off, requesting that no one open or consume anything with nuts in it due to a passenger on board with a severe allergy. But that still will not stop someone who either doesn't give a crap, or wasn't paying attention, who brought their own bag of nuts from opening them anyway.

As for everyone who says that people shouldn't eat around them because it will make them hungry, or that people who bring food should bring enough for everyone...maybe you folks should learn to think ahead like your seatmates do. You have no idea what those peoples' situations are. They could have any number of medical conditions in which they need to eat at specific times or specific amounts, and maybe bringing their own food is the only safe option if they have allergies or intolerances. They may have been traveling for hours before you already and haven't had time to grab a meal at one of the airport restaurants.

And families with screaming babies and kids? Yeah, I get it. Annoying. Unpleasant. Guess who it's even more annoying to? The parents. They are the ones who have to deal with both the screaming kids, and the death glares and whispers and nasty remarks they are getting from everyone around them. And they really have no recourse; it's not like in a restaurant or a grocery store, where they can take the child outside to calm them down, or even just leave. What are they supposed to do? Take the kid into the bathroom? Then someone would complain that they are hogging the bathroom (and I doubt a screaming child would calm down in a cramped plane bathroom, anyway.) I don't have kids, but I try to be as sympathetic as I can to these families when I fly.

Okay, so as far as portable, easy to eat food goes, my personal recommendation for the king of them all:

Rice balls
aka onigiri

Super easy to make. Super customizable. Fill them with protein (leftover meat or even jerky) or pickled vegetables (kimchi or saurkraut are great) or even sweet stuff like fruit or jam. Or just leave them plain. Make them small so they are one or two bite affairs. Wrap them individually in plastic wrap so they don't dry out and you can eat what you want when you want. Done.

The Etiquette of Bringing Your Own Meal on a Plane

I also should have added that in the case of someone coordinating with the airlines to serve no nuts on their flight, the airline will also make a general announcement as people are boarding and as the flight is getting ready to take off, requesting that no one on the flight open or consume anything with nuts (or whatever the specific allergen is) in it. So they do pretty much take as many precautions as they can. They can't stop someone who brought nuts with them from being an absolute dick and still opening them even after the announcement has been made.

The Etiquette of Bringing Your Own Meal on a Plane

Just to clarify, there are people who have allergies so severe (not just to nuts, but in this case, nuts are probably the best example) that just being in proximity to their allergen will set off their allergy, sometimes with an anaphylactic reaction. In some cases, those people make special arrangements with the airline to have absolutely no nuts served on board their flight, as they cannot risk being in an enclosed environment and having someone accidentally walk past them, touch them, etc. after having eaten nuts.

As to how those people eat in restaurants -- often times they don't. At least not in restaurants that serve nuts.

What is your weirdest kitchen experience?

We get little lizards in our house in the summer here in central Texas, as well. I've never had a kitchen-specific incident, but there was one involving guests coming over, a new kitten, a lizard following a guest in, and said kitten who was pretty satisfied with his pre-meal appetizer.

Jun 12, 2015
Maggiethecat in Not About Food

Feeding Your Pet After Its Upset Stomach

Cat food is also richer than dog food, being higher in protein and fat, and some dogs don't digest it well. My parents have two dogs and a cat, and both dogs love the cat's food, but one of the dogs gets really sick when she eats it -- it comes out one or both ends pretty quickly. So they have to be pretty careful to feed the pets separately, and not leave any of the cat food laying around for the dogs to get into.

May 01, 2015
Maggiethecat in Not About Food

Two nights in San Antonio, possible lunches

No problem, I hope you enjoy your stay and whatever event you are attending at the convention center! Despite not getting downtown very often, when we do go downtown, it is usually to attend a convention at that same convention center, so I am fairly familiar with the area immediately surrounding it, even if I haven't actually eaten at a lot of the restaurants there.

Apr 30, 2015
Maggiethecat in Texas

Two nights in San Antonio, possible lunches

I will start by saying that I have not been to most of these restaurants, mainly because we don't live near downtown and we don't go downtown very often, and I have a food allergy that prevents me from eating out very often. But I have heard good things about most of them from friends who have been there.

Schilo's Deli is right next to the convention center and is really popular for lunch, especially among people who are attending events at the convention center. Pretty standard deli fare from what I understand, sandwiches along with classic German fare like bratwurst and schnitzel.

Luke's is a bit further away so maybe best for dinner. Kind of a modern French/German menu.

Lulu's Cafe is pretty renown for its giant cinnamon rolls. It's definitely not in walking distance but about a 10~ minute drive away from where you're staying. We have friends who make the trip specially downtown just for the cinnamon rolls. It is open 24hr so you could do a late dinner or early breakfast.

Lula's Mexican Cafe is a bit closer than Lulu's and is supposedly pretty good Texmex for breakfast/lunch.

The Granary is supposed to be among the best BBQ in San Antonio, but it is not traditional BBQ, I think it is some kind of...fusion. I think their menu changes often so not really sure what kind of examples to give but I have heard really excellent things about it and of all the places I've listed that I haven't been to, this is the one I would want to try the most. They also are probably not within walking distances and I hear they also get a pretty long line once they open since they are so popular.

It looks like there is a County Line BBQ right on the Riverwalk within walking distance from the convention center. We have not eaten at that location, but we have eaten at a different one in town. They are a much more...conventional Texas BBQ place. The food is good but not amazing. But it is the closest BBQ place to the convention center.

If you don't mind chain restaurants, there's both a Fogo de Chao and a Texas de Brazil very close to the convention center. Fogo is right across the street, Texas de Brazil is about two blocks away. I have not personally been to Fogo but of the people I know who have been to both, they say Texas de Brazil is better.

There's also Whataburger and Bill Miller's, both fast food standards in Texas, if you just want a quick bite for lunch and don't want to eat convention center food (seriously...don't eat the food at the convention center. They will be selling things like "nachos" (chips and day-glo cheese) for $10 a plate.)

As a very last resort, if you walk outside the convention center and across Market Street, there is a mall and a food court with several fast and easy options available, stuff like Dairy Queen and mall Chinese food.

Apr 30, 2015
Maggiethecat in Texas

Problems with ice cream maker -- Cuisinart Ice-20

Here is the coconut milk ice cream recipe that I have been meaning to try:
If you read the actual blog post that goes into more detail about the recipe, the author explains that the problem with most vegan ice cream recipes is their lack of fat, and that this recipe incorporates coconut cream (not creamed coconut or cream of coconut) to help boost the fat content and thicken the ice cream. I haven't actually tried this recipe, but it's the only one I've seen that uses coconut cream and the explanation seems reasonable. You could probably try maple syrup instead of corn syrup to keep it paleo.

Not sure why the recipe out of the book wouldn't have worked. Longer chilling may have helped. Most ice cream makers that I've seen do require the overnight chilling for the bowl and several hours chilling for the ice cream base, so that's not really a limitation to this particular ice cream maker.

Apr 28, 2015
Maggiethecat in Cookware

Problems with ice cream maker -- Cuisinart Ice-20

To anyone who is reading this thread looking for advice on this ice cream maker, I am the OP and I unfortunately never did find a solution to my issues with this particular ice cream maker. I ended up getting the Kitchen Aid ice cream attachment and really loved it -- it churns ice cream (same recipes I had tried with the Cuisinart) much better than the one I was having problems with. Alas, I have developed a dairy allergy so I don't do much ice cream making these days either way. I was just thinking about making some coconut milk ice cream last week, though, and have all the ingredients and a good-looking recipe for some.

Susandiann, could you post what kind of recipe you're using? It sounds like one possibility for your problems could be that there is not enough fat in your recipe. If an ice cream recipe doesn't have enough fat, it can freeze harder than desired. More eggs, or cream may be necessary (are you subbing milk for cream or anything like that? or does the recipe have more milk than cream to begin with?) Also, make sure both your ice cream base and your ice cream maker are cold (the maker should be set in the freezer overnight) before you try churning it, or else it will not churn properly, and when you try to freeze it, it will just freeze into a solid lump.

Do you hold Grudges against Restaurants? And for how long?

No kidding. That is really poor business practice on their part in the end because if they had taken care of you, I'm sure you would at least consider going back there in the future, both for personal and business outings. Now...not so much. Sorry to hear you had such a horrible experience. I also try not to make a big fuss with my allergies and do the same as you, just try to find something that can be eaten as is or with minor modifications if possible.

Apr 14, 2015
Maggiethecat in Not About Food

Do you hold Grudges against Restaurants? And for how long?

I'm totally curious as to the details of how all of this went down, since I have food allergies myself. Did you tell them you'd called and spoken with someone in advance who told you they'd be able to accommodate you, and they just told you sorry, that person was wrong, or what?

Should this party have been canceled?

What the hell does the wife's appearance have to do with anything?

Do you hold Grudges against Restaurants? And for how long?

I think my husband and I are generally pretty forgiving, especially of places that we've been to and like for the most part. As others have said, everyone/every business has a bad day occasionally.

However, if it's our first visit and something goes wrong, there's a good chance we won't return. We live in a large city, there is certainly no shortage of good restaurants to eat at.

One story in particular...

We were young (well, younger than we are now, in our early 20s) and had just started dating. It was our first Valentine's Day together. I was new to the city but my husband had lived here for a couple of years and wanted to take me to a nice, locally owned Italian restaurant. So we have enough presence of mind to call to make a reservation, and are told we wouldn't need one for the time we were requesting (Valentine's Day evening around 5pm.) That should have been our first red-flag...

So we get there and of course the place is packed. There's over an hour wait but we decide to tough it out. We sit in the overly-crowded lobby with a bunch of other couples, and watch as several parties come in, state they have reservations, and get seated immediately.

Finally we get a seat over an hour later -- at a table that was obviously added last-minute to help accommodate the crowd, as it was set in the middle of the walk-way between the lobby and the dining room. So we constantly had people walking back and forth past us and bumping into our chairs.

We never actually saw a server. We had our drinks and dinner orders taken by the person who was acting as hostess, who I suspect was also the owner, as when she wasn't up front dealing with the crowd, she was prowling the dining room schmoozing with the folks who had reservations.

She took our drink order, left, dropped off our drinks and took our meal order, dropped off our meals, and we never saw her or anyone else again. My meal was not right -- I had asked for cheese ravioli and gotten meat -- but by that point we were so fed up and tired and were late for a movie so we just left, after tracking down the hostess/owner at the front to give us our check.

My husband had been there a couple of times on weekday nights when it was much quieter and said the food was really good and service was usually fine. I even suggested that we could try it again someday if he wanted, on a not-holiday, but we never bothered. It looks like they're still in business...sadly. I like supporting small, local businesses, but not when they treat half their clients like crap.

Mar 31, 2015
Maggiethecat in Not About Food

Your go to fat?

I can't eat dairy, am allergic to soy and most nuts, and don't like the taste of canola oil. So for me:

Coconut oil
Corn oil
Lard & bacon fat
Olive Oil
Safflower Oil

I know people who are allergic to nuts are usually supposed to still be okay with refined nut oils and to be honest, I used to cook with peanut and vegetable (soybean) oil, but I used to get terrible skin rashes that cleared up after I cut both of those out of my diet. So I avoid them when possible now.

Mar 24, 2015
Maggiethecat in General Topics

Why is Sonic so bad?

Very occasionally (maybe once a year) my husband and I will stop at a Sonic when we are on the road late at night and don't want to stop at a sit-down place or diner to eat, just looking for something fast, and there either isn't a Whataburger around or we just recently had Whataburger and are looking for something different. Without fail, the food 1) gives me an upset stomach, despite what I order and 2) takes forever to get to us, no matter which location we go to. You would think when it is midnight or later and there are only 2 or 3 cars in the drive-thru, service would be relatively quick, but we have waited upwards of 20 minutes for food before in such situations -- and just for simple orders like a hot dog, chicken strips, and accompanying fries and drinks. This always reminds us why we don't go there any more often than we do.

Feb 06, 2015
Maggiethecat in Chains

Wisconsin "Pizza Fries"?

Interesting! Yours almost looks like a hybrid of what I know of as pizza fries and what I think of as standard cheesy bread. Pizza fries from where I'm from were always just mozzarella and maybe parmesan, there was never the option for other cheeses that I remember, and the dough was always pretty thin and crispy, like a thin crust pizza dough.

Feb 06, 2015
Maggiethecat in Great Lakes

Wisconsin "Pizza Fries"?

That is exactly what pizza fries looks like, although not 100% sure what the sauce in the middle is (more garlic butter?) Pizza fries are pizza dough, rolled out relatively thin, topped with some kind of garlic butter sauce in place of tomato sauce, then cheese, then dried herbs, and served with tomato or marinara sauce to dip in. Cut into strips or "fries" as shown for dipping. The only difference is the sauce shown in the above picture.

Feb 06, 2015
Maggiethecat in Great Lakes

Wisconsin "Pizza Fries"?

Pizza fries were a big thing in my small hometown in Wisconsin. The difference between them and standard cheesy bread that you'd see at your average pizza place is that pizza fries are made on pizza dough, not bread dough. Cheesy bread is usually thicker and fluffier, whereas pizza fries are thinner and crispier. We always had them with pizza sauce/marinara sauce. I live in Texas now and no place down here serves anything like them. Cheesy bread is just not the same.
Edit to add: I think I have only ever tried making them once and I was winging it since I didn't have a recipe for them, but I did use a garlic butter sauce in place of where the tomato sauce would normally go on a standard pizza, and sprinkled dried Italian herbs on top of the cheese. It was pretty close to what I remember getting in Wisconsin so I assume they use some kind of garlic sauce in their recipes as well.

Feb 05, 2015
Maggiethecat in Great Lakes

What is my vegan pizza missing?

And I don't think goat cheese is vegan.

Feb 05, 2015
Maggiethecat in Home Cooking

Texas Itinerary Help

I will just say that San Antonio has a ton of good little hole in the wall Thai joints. Since you are going to be getting a lot of BBQ, steaks, etc. at your other destinations, you may consider switching it up a bit when you get here if you're looking for some variety.

Jan 16, 2015
Maggiethecat in Texas

Difference between coconut cream and milk?

Thai Kitchen's brand of full-fat coconut milk is what I use as well but only about half of the cans separate properly. When they don't, I still try to skim off the thicker, creamier portion of the milk, which will still rise to the top even though it doesn't solidify. If you start spooning it out about a tablespoon at a time (don't dip your spoon in too far), you will eventually skim off most of the white portion and the rest will be lighter/clearer, and I leave that behind (use it in other cooking or baking recipes.) I also sometimes add a little bit of unflavored gelatin that I bloom in cold water and then dissolve in hot water (only about a tsp of unflavored gelatin granules, and a tbs each of cold water and hot water. I don't measure it.) This helps it stabilize and whip to stiffer peaks like regular whipped cream.

Dec 15, 2014
Maggiethecat in General Topics

I too need help on uninvited guests.

A couple of points about your reply that I thought were amusing/ironic.

My brother and his family (wife and two kids) were very indecisive about what they were ever going to do for the holidays or any kind of family get-together. We literally wouldn't know until the day before or sometimes the day of, whether they were coming. This started well before the kids were born and continues to this day (oldest is 19 now.) We would always be wondering whether the reservation should be for 10, or just 6 because they weren't showing up, or if we should wait for them to start dinner (if it was being hosted at my parents' house.) They would use everything from the weather to her family's gathering plans to the football game as excuses to why they wouldn't be able to commit until the last minute.

Also, while I was always (well, usually) happy to play with my niece and nephew when they were little, my husband is the exact opposite. If you would have suggested to him, when he was a teenager, that he babysit a random relative's toddler while everyone else enjoyed dinner, he not only would have been insulted, he would have said no to your face, no matter how much you offered to pay him (and that's if you offered to pay him at all -- I imagine a lot of families shove this responsibility onto teenagers and expect them to comply without any sort of payment, as I was, although like I said, I was usually happy to take care of the kids. Usually.)

Not trying to be critical, just pointing out that not all families are alike.

Dec 03, 2014
Maggiethecat in Not About Food

Do you give out your recipes at thanksgiving?

Copyright law doesn't cover the actual recipe itself, anyway. You can't copyright the actual list of ingredients. You can copyright your method of putting those ingredients together, and any pictures you may provide of the finished product, but the actual list of ingredients can't be copyrighted.

It's very easy to just re-word the description or method for a recipe into your own words. This is how so many food bloggers can take recipes from "copyrighted" sources like cookbooks and put them on their blogs or even in their own cookbooks without breaking any copyright laws.

Dec 02, 2014
Maggiethecat in Not About Food

The Crockpot Holiday Dinner? First Timer Needs Help!

I didn't read all the replies so maybe some or all of this has been suggested, but here is my advice. I host a party that sounds similar to what you are aiming for every year. Mine is pretty informal; we don't have family in the area, so we get about 20-25 good friends together once a year for a big dinner. We eat off disposable plates and people sit around the living room since we don't have a table big enough to seat that many people. I serve a lot of my side dishes out of crock pots.

I do start a couple of days in advance but the majority of the prepping and cooking is done the day of. Stuff you can do in advance that isn't too labor intensive includes:
-Chop vegetables (that won't spoil or discolor from being chopped in advance; I wouldn't do apples in advance, but stuff like onions/celery/carrots would be fine)
-Make pie crust (or use store-bought, that is one of the few things I don't make myself since I hate making pie crust)
-Make any yeast dough for rolls and let it rise slowly overnight in the fridge
-Make stuffing (When I make stuffing, I make it the day before, up to just before baking it, and then bake it the day of the dinner)
-Deviled eggs (keep the filling and the whites separate and fill right before serving)
-Bake potatoes for twice baked potatoes (obviously not applicable if you're doing mashed potatoes and I wouldn't do mashed in advance; but I usually do twice baked since people are just coming off a load of mashed potatoes from Thanksgiving and like the variety, so baking them a day in advance and making the filling, then filling the skins and baking them the second time on the day of the event is a big time-saver)

As for stuff to do the day of the're going to have to get up early to start. Nothing you can do about that. I'm usually up by about 6-7am to get my dinner going on the day of my party. I also have a schedule of when I should be doing things; something like this:
8am: Frost cakes
10am: Make sweet potatoes, keep warm in crock pot
Noon: Make cream corn, keep warm in crock pot
1:30pm: Take roll dough out of fridge, form rolls
2pm: Spice-rub & brown pork
2:30pm: Rolls rise 2nd time
3pm: Pork in oven; Make bacon dressing for spinach salad, keep warm in crock pot
3:30pm: Twice baked potatoes in oven
4pm: Rolls in oven
Dinner @ 5pm

I usually start at the end, with when I want dinner to be served, and work my way backwards. What do I want to be done right as dinner is being served? Usually the meat, so I figure out when that has to go in the oven and how much time is required to prep it, and go from there, fitting in the side-dishes as necessary (the sweet potatoes and corn, in this example, can be done at any time and kept warm throughout the day.)

Nov 26, 2014
Maggiethecat in Home Cooking

The Crockpot Holiday Dinner? First Timer Needs Help!

I agree with the others that there is nothing wrong with using crock pots, or doing the majority of the cooking the day of the meal. I host a holiday party every year that sounds very similar to this; it is fairly informal compared to what some people may consider a dinner party (we eat off disposable plates and people sit around our living room during dinner; with 20+ people we simply don't have the space or the dinnerware to serve that many people all at once for a formal sit-down setting at a table.) The food is serve-yourself style, set out on my kitchen table and counter tops and people are free to come back for more as much as they want, I always make plenty for seconds and thirds. I usually make a roast meat of some kind in the oven, along with homemade baked rolls, but many of my side dishes, anything from creamed corn to candied yams to even the dressing for my wilted spinach salad, are kept warm in crock pots. No one has ever once complained to my face (and these are people who would tell you if they thought something sucked) and everyone who has attended once, has eagerly awaited their invitation to come back the next year; I send out invites 2 months in advance so people can plan accordingly to take time off work if necessary, which several people do.

Please don't insult those of us who have different traditions than yours, just because they don't meet your standards.