Wednesday, 19 December 2012

Christmas Catering Cheats

Christmas is a great time for getting everyone together for a lovely meal or a spot of party food, but it’s more enjoyable if you don’t have to spend all your time in the kitchen sorting everything out, so that you can participate in all the fun.

There are several great products that I always buy to help cut-down on festive food preparation.

I always cook our turkey crown on Christmas Eve to avoid making an early start on Christmas Day. Cooking, cooling and carving the turkey (or other joints) on Christmas Eve, and wrapping the meat in foil parcels and storing in the fridge is a great time-saver.

On the big day itself, I minimise vegetable preparation by buying Tesco Finest Orange Blossom Honey Glazed Parsnips (£1.95 for 680g) to roast in the oven, as they are delicious as well as labour-saving, and Iceland Button Sprouts with Chestnuts (£1.50) to pop in a pan. I do like to make my own roast potatoes, although if you really want to make it easy buy Tesco (frozen) Roasting Potatoes (£1 for 1kg bag). I make stuffing balls using Sainsbury’s Taste The Difference Cranberry, Orange and Roasted Chestnut Stuffing Mix (currently £1.04), bread sauce using a Colman’s packet mix and I buy Tesco Sausage and Bacon Wraps (£2) to serve on the side.

I used to make my own mince pies, but very few of us eat them in our house, so I now opt for shop-bought ones. The nicest mince pies that I have found are Asda Extra Special Mince Pies (£2 for a box of 6), containing port and brandy in the succulent fruit filling, which are absolutely delicious. We are a Christmas Pudding-free house, as none of us like it, so we choose yummy, creamy desserts such as gateaux and pavlovas instead – Tesco and Sainsburys both do a good range.

A great range of party foods are available in the freezer cabinets of most supermarkets including Tesco, Sainsburys and Iceland. Choose from traditional sausage rolls and mini quiches, spicy mexican and tasty chinese bites and a host of savoury platters and desserts. Why makes things difficult for yourself?

Have a very yummy Christmas!

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