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With Christmas only 15 days away (YIKES!), the time to start planning your dinner is near. While some of us may respond to the Christmas gathering with excitement and joy, others may feel totally stressed, especially if you are the one preparing everything.
But it does not have to be stressful! With a little thought out planning and, the Christmas gathering can be a time of excitement and glee for everyone, even if you are the one hosting.
So what are my tips for a stress-free Christmas feast?
1. Start thinking now. More time equals more planning, and then hopefully less stress. Don’t get stuck leaving your menu planning to the last minute.
2. Keep your recipes simple. Now is probably not the best time to go and start producing ravish new and exotic recipes. Keep it simple.
3. Spend some quiet time going through your recipes. Whether it online, or through recipe books, dedicate some time to your menu planning.
4. Plan for leftovers. If there is one thing I have learnt in my years of cooking, planning for leftovers is the biggest money and time saver. Thankfully Maggie Beer knows all about this and has meticulously thought about this.
5. Think about what you can make now and then freeze! I am a big believer in freezing! And often I find that with some recipes, they actually taste better once frozen and then thawed. The flavour just has more time to soak through, as opposed to being made on the day of the feast. Cakes are the perfect freezing option. Maybe stewed fruits can be on your menu? Perfect to be frozen and then thawed the day before.
6. Make a list of all the ingredients you will need. No doubt, we have all experienced the “ohh damm, I ran out of eggs!” situation, or having to go to your neighbour for a cup of sugar. Try and avoid these last minute hassles by checking your pantry, making a list and stocking up.
7. Don’t forget to have fun. It is one of those times in the year that is all about festive fun, joy, celebration, good company and good food. Don’t forget to enjoy your moments. Don’t forget to take notice of all the little moments around you.
If you are however feeling game and adventurous to try new simple Christmas recipes, be sure to check out Maggie Beer’s latest book, Maggie’s Christmas. The perfect addition to any kitchen, Christmas or not! I just love this women. She has so much soul and warmth in her kitchen.
But tell me, I want to know… Do you have a very handy tip to creating the perfect stress-free Christmas?