Make-Ahead Meal Shortcuts

Four things to make and freeze when you have time, for days when you don't.

  • Elizabeth Schatz Passarella
  • Nondairy pasta sauces: They keep for up to 2 months.
  • Chicken broth: Frozen in 1-cup portions in plastic bags, it keeps for up to 6 months.
  • Cookie dough: Roll it into a log; wrap it in wax paper, then plastic; and freeze. Later, cut off the portion you want, thaw, slice, and bake for hot, fresh cookies anytime. Keeps up to 2 months.
  • Flavored butter: To a softened stick of butter, add fresh herbs, spices, sun-dried tomatoes, or mushrooms. Form a log; wrap it in wax paper, then plastic; and freeze. A chunk tossed into a soup, dotted on a cutlet or a steak, or slathered on bread will elevate the ordinary. Keeps for 3 to 6 months.