I have just discovered a kitchen tip that is working quite well and wanted to share.
Cook when you are in the mood and have the time. Reheat and serve the food later. Last night my parent's came for dinner. It seems that when they get here the time is so hectic because I am trying to talk to them and cook and put dinner on the table. Then you have the issue of the mess to deal with afterwards.
This time I did things different. In the morning I prepared the dinner - some nice chicken cutlets with mushrooms, orzo with fresh veggies, salad and blueberry pie. All food went into the refrigerator in shallow dishes right away so it stayed safe.
The kitchen got cleaned up.
And when my parents walked in the door I got to visit with them. The food was reheated quickly in the microwave while we set the table. Cleanup was a snap. And since I cooked a lot of extra food, we just ate more of it for lunch!