Take the Time to Plan

By Christina Collins

The timing of a meal is very important to me. I want everything to get on the table at once, and hot! I also don’t want to have to spend time in the kitchen when my guests are enjoying drinks in the living room. I enjoy myself so much more when I know I have a plan that will ensure everything is timed effortlessly. The trick is to start backwards. Its also important to pick meal items that require the same oven temp to do whatever can possibly be done before guests arrive. I have created a few different menus and coordinating timelines and I recently started to save them so in the future I can refer to them for easy (or easier!) planning.

The Menu


  • Shrimp Cocktail
  • Spicy Crab Dip
  • Meat & Cheese platter

Main Course

  • Filet Mignon with Goat Cheese and Balsamic Reduction
  • Roasted Parmesan Asparagus
  • Roasted Brussel Sprouts
  • Double Stuffed Parsley Potatoes


  • My ‘secret’ Hazelnut Mousse (AKA store bought)

The Plan

  • 5:00 preheat oven
  • 5:20 croutons in oven
  • 5:26 pull croutons
  • 5:30 make platter
  • 5:40 Dip in oven
  • 5:58 put potatoes in
  • 6:00 put out platter & shrimp
  • 6:05 pull dip from oven
  • 6:10 put out dip
  • 6:23 put asparagus in
  • 6:26 start sauce
  • 6:30 start med/well steaks
  • 6:33 start med/rare steaks
  • 6:35 flip med/well steaks
  • 6:36 flip med/rare Steaks
  • 6:38 turn on broiler
  • 6:38 pull potatoes & cover
  • 6:38 pull asparagus & cover
  • 6:39 pull steaks and put on baking sheet
  • 6:39 Put Goat cheese on steaks
  • 6:42 put steaks under broiler
  • 6:43 Pull Steaks
  • 6:44 Sprinkle parmesan on asparagus & place under broiler
  • Plate steak & sauce
  • 6:45 Serve dinner

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