As our temperatures soar between 90º to 100º+ I find myself holed up more than ever in the comfort of my air conditioned home. With Christmas in July winding down my thoughts turn to the grand cleaning plans, school starting, and crazy busy schedules to maintain for the rest of the year which will certainly mean less time inside. So, with that being said I ask myself "What can I do now to lessen the stress and time crunch that we all inevitably endure over the next few months while preparing for our wonderful holidays?" Over the past few weeks I've made certain to cook extra when preparing our dinner so that I would have extra meals prepared for the freezer. These are already cooked so it's simply a matter of heat and eat. A few meals I simply assembled and froze such as Sheppard's pie, chicken pot pie and lasagna to name a few that will require the full time of baking but the hard part is basically done. This will be such a nice treat after a day of deep cleaning and organizing, decking the halls or even a day of holiday shopping. I've also focused a lot of attention on "holiday" items that can be made now with a good freezer life of 6 months minimum. My favorite item to make ahead is holiday slice and bake cookies. Tonight I gathered all of my recipes and will hopefully get started on getting all of my cookie dough's made and rolled for the freezer. And let's not forget those items that we can never have enough of during the holiday season such as butter. Start buying extra and storing it in the freezer. Cranberries can be frozen. The internet is filled with cook ahead meals and treats. Post your favorite cook ahead, make ahead items.