The other day She Who Must Be Obeyed was talking at work about the 5 course meal I prepared last weekend.  Ann suggested I should write about how to time a meal so everything ends at the right time.  Good idea. 

What I like to do is buy the groceries the day before.  Next, early on the event day I slice, dice and cut everything I can for each recipe. That allows me the opportunity to put the recipes together very quickly at the right time.  Some foods discolor, or are too delicate to withstand the passage of time in the refrigerator.  But most can be prepared early. 

Next, use a timeline that if followed throughout the day should bring you to plating at the designated time.   Make as much as you can that will refrigerate  early in the day. The key is following the timeline.  You don’t have a timeline form? Well let’s fix that. Try my Easy Recipes And Stuff Event Planner  


Event Date:  _____________

Event Time: _____________

# of Guests: _____________


Hors d’evours:                                                            Recipe Cooking Time: ____

Soup:                                                                            Recipe Cooking Time: ____   

Salad:                                                                           Recipe Cooking Time: ____

Entree:                                                                         Recipe Cooking Time: ____

Side Dish(es):                                                              Recipe Cooking Time: ____   

Dessert:                                                                       Recipe Cooking Time: ____

From the above menu total the amount of each ingredient your meal will require and list totals in each category below.  By listing items as totals you will avoid multiple trips around the grocery store stocking each recipe separately.   

1.            Beverages: 

2.            Meat/Poultry/Fish: 

3.            Vegetables/herbs: 

4.            Spices: 

5.            Fruit: 

6.            Cheese/Hors d’evours: 

7.            Dessert 

8.           Other: 

Timing for Cooking and Preparation:

For all components that will not spoil or discolor I recommend doing prep work like dicing and chopping for each menu item earlier in event day.  Place each component in a separate baggy or bowl and refrigerate.  Also, consider preparing soups early in day.  You can then refrigerate the soup (along with final delicate components if any in a baggy) for fast final assembly when you heat it up. 

You need the menu items to be ready at the proper point along the event timeline. Take into consideration at what point in the event a particular menu item will be required and record your best estimate for  preparation and cook time on the Event Timeline. 


Time set for Meal: _______

-0   minutes                   plate and serve

-15 minutes     (example) remove tenderloins from oven, cover with foil and let them setup; start steaming vegetables; drain and mash potatoes.

 -30 minutes    (example) brown pork tenderloins, add vegetables  and broth, place in 450 degree oven

-45 minutes     (example) serve hors d’evours, begin to heat water potatoes are in

-60 minutes     (example) take pork tenderloins from refrigerator to bring to room temp.

-75 minutes     (example) skin potatoes and place in pan with water so they do not to discolor

-90 minutes

-105 minutes

-120 minutes    (example) make cold hors’ devours – refrigerate

-135 minutes

-150 minutes    

-165 minutes  

-180 minutes    (example) – dice/ slice vegetables etc., refrigerate for later assembly with recipe

-195 minutes

-210 minutes   

-225 minutes

-240 minutes


So there you go, an easy to follow Event Planner to help you make the perfect easy recipes meal for family or friends.   


Man time flies.  Here it is December 8 and you know what that means is just around the corner?  That’s right, the Mammoth Ski Resort Night of Lights!

My youngest son I have had season passes at Mammoth for 3 years now.   The rational for a season pass is if you ski 8.8 days the rest of your ski days are free.  Also, having the pass allows us to ski (board in my son’s case) the morning and then drive home without feeling dumb for purchasing a day pass and only going up for a couple of hours.

Every year we can’t wait for our first trip up.  She Who Must Be Obeyed doesn’t ski or board.  So two years ago she wasn’t to keen on my idea to drive up for just one night to ski and see the light show. She thought it better to send us off while she enjoyed some well earned down time reading her book and taking it easy.  My son and I blasteded out of the house around 4:40 a.m. and were on our way to the Mammoth Night of Lights.  

First thing unusual we noticed at Canyon Lodge was a huge stage at the base of the run, pumping recorded music all day.  Nice.  Later in the day while cruising down Canyon I spied something that looked very good.  I waived for my son to stop, and then I pointed out to him all the massive firework tubes running along both sides of the ski run.  Either a war was about to breakout or one heck of a fireworks show was coming.

Around 5:00 p.m. we bundled up and walked up to Canyon Lodge.  Music rocking, bonfire blazing, fire dancers dancing, and hundreds and hundreds of people partying.  Finally it was show time. And in the dark of night, at 0ver 9000′ elevation we were advised to look over our shoulder, and we could just see lights way up in the sky descending. The lights grew brighter as they got closer, and then above us was the Red Bull sky diving team all lit up with lights.  They skimmed over us and landed maybe 20 yards away on the up sloping ski run.  Very Cool!

And then what followed can only be described as one of the best fireworks shows I have ever seen.  Wanna see it?  Follow this link to YouTube and you will see it http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YsFhmUYtC9s&feature=related

The next year we stayed a couple nights and  She Who Must Be Obeyed came with us.  She loved the event also, even though it was hard to see the fireworks because the snow never stopped all weekend. Total snow for the three day weekend was way over 12 feet (really). This year the show goes off on December 17. Thin air, skiing, fireworks, and rock bands.  What’s not to like!     

Good Eating and Table Talk,



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