Stock Up: These locally prepared meals can mean hassle-free holidays

With all the things you have to do between now and the end of the year, it can be a great comfort to have a few prepared meals stored away. Here are three suggestions, made locally:

Poppy-seed chicken casserole

When we heard the poppy-seed chicken was one of A Peach of a Party’s bestsellers, we had to give it a try. We bought a frozen, 35-ounce, family-size casserole, thawed it in the refrigerator and baked it for just under an hour. A connoisseur of poppy-seed chicken tried it and said it was the best she’d ever had. She raved about the moist chicken, the creamy, perfectly seasoned sauce; and the “just right” topping of Parmesan and buttery crackers. The casserole was more than enough for a family of four. After almost four decades as one of Atlanta’s premier catering companies, A Peach of a Party now has switched to offering a wide range of packaged casseroles, salads, soups, snacks and desserts at its Roswell store, as well as at local farmers markets and retailers.

$28 per 35-ounce poppy-seed chicken casserole. Prices for casseroles are $26-$52 for four to eight servings. Available at North Main Street Farmers Market, Floral Park Market, the Front Porch Market and at A Peach of a Party, 108 Oak St., Roswell.

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Credit: Kenan Hill

Credit: Kenan Hill

Dinner delivered to you

Atlanta-based Whisked Away was founded when Nicole Bernier was facing the shutdown of the hospitality industry in 2020. Bernier transitioned from her work as a pastry chef at some of Atlanta’s best restaurants to running this meal delivery service, offering entrees, desserts and side dishes in individual and family-size portions, with a new menu published every Monday. We ordered the lemon grass chicken, butternut squash and feta couscous, and baked ziti with turkey meatballs. Everything arrived carefully packaged, and we immediately dug into the couscous, enjoying the dill-seasoned salad right from its container. The lemon grass chicken, with its Thai flavors, was a big hit, and the ziti was comfort food at its finest, while also being a healthful variation. Next time, we’ll also order the baklava and take-and-bake cookies!

$10-$12.50 for individual entrees, $30-$45 for family-size portions; $5 for individual side dishes, $8-$16 for family-size portions; $2-$5 for desserts. Order online by 9 p.m. Friday for Tuesday delivery within an 18-mile radius of Atlanta’s Old Fourth Ward neighborhood.

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Credit: Handout

Credit: Handout

Prepared Persian meals

Perhaps Persian food is so popular because the dishes reflect the influence of many different countries. Now, Persian Basket Kitchen & Bar in Johns Creek is making it possible for us to enjoy authentically prepared Persian food at home, through its new prepared meals program. Each week, you can choose from a list of a dozen dishes, ranging from Persian herb stew ghormeh sabzi to grilled meat kebabs served over flavorful rice. There are five menus that rotate weekly. We love that our favorite dish, albaloo polo (sour cherry rice with meatballs), is one of the dishes in rotation, and that you can order extra rice dishes, sauteed and caramelized vegetables, and walnut baklava.

Prices range from $10.99 for a selection of mezza to $52.99 for a family pack of 10 kebabs. Shipping is free for seven or more meals. Meals are shipped Mondays-Wednesdays. Meals ordered Wednesdays-Saturdays will ship the following week.

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