cheaters guide to christmas

AB-Hero-Xmas-4-cheats-940x250My top five tips for Christmas

You have suddenly discovered the family is coming for Xmas and you have to whip something up as well as finish a desk of duties, attend a series of events and care for children out of school – what do you do ? Use your Kitchen appliances  (my Kenwood cake mixer and food processor are in full action every day till Xmas ! ) and get savvy with your supermarket shopping.

Spend more time planning and with a few little tips your Christmas will be spectacular! here are my top five tips;


1. Invest in white platters and bowls – everything looks better on a white platter and serve the food that way for ease of service and dealing with fussy eaters – you select what you want and how much you want – note to host – being generous with plenty of a narrow menu makes life so much easier.


2. Stop trying to do 10 different desserts – just do a couple and have a good supply – always have vanilla ice cream in freezer and big bowls of fresh cherries and strawberries.  Meringues with whipped cream are a must  – buy or make the recipe is so easy. Another delicious cheat’s dessert is to simply combine Meadow Fresh creme fraiche with a few generous tablespoons of Barker’s of Geraldine or Anathoth lemon curd and Tasti passionfruit pulp.  AMAZING and any left-over can be frozen and it becomes ice cream.


3. Cluster food together in a platter – don’t get arty, keep it simple.  Have a pottle of the easy dill dressing made with ease in your food processor to serve with salmon and prawns/ mussels.


4. Have a seafood option and a meat option – sliced ham, cooked rotisserie chicken drizzled with fresh herb dressing  and a few craisins scattered around looks very festive with roasted potatoes and a salad.  The ever popular pea and feta dip looks great on any festive platter.


5. Use a commercial pudding if need be – just drizzle with a little extra brandy before re-heating and use commercial custard and serve whipped cream.  A cheat’s dessert is to soften vanilla ice-cream and add Xmas fruit mince combined with stewed apple or thin down with a little brandy (don’t use too much or ice cream will not freeze) or any crumbled xmas cake added to the softened ice cream and then freeze – YUM !