...in the final few days before Christmas here are my simple go-to food & cooking tips to keep life easy & keep you calm... plus my recipe for Cracking Christmas Red Cabbage..
Be organised – love your lists!! They are your best friend in the days before Christmas!
Keep it simple – decide what you are cooking (& what you’re not!) & stick to it!
Don’t buy too much – you never run out of food at Christmas time & the shops are only closed for a couple of days! Plus, we want to avoid food waste…
Keep your starters light – a fresh soup like Mint & Pea or pre-cooked fish like smoked salmon / crab always work well especially when served with a simple dressed salad & not much more. Or don’t do any starter & just have a simple grazing board with a couple of dips / cured meats / olives / crackers etc that people can munch on as they are having their pre-dinner drinks…
Dessert can be show-stopping & classic or super simple either – I serve Gingerbread & Orange Tiramisu, but the kids would be just as happy to have ice-cream & toffee sauce! As would my other half!
Prep the veg the day before – if you have kids get them involved too. Christmas is all about teamwork so make it tradition that everyone does their bit!
Make the stuffing the day before (or earlier if you fancy).
Cook the ham the day before – who doesn’t love a ham sambo on Christmas Eve plus it tastes way nicer just heated through on Christmas Day. Frees the hob & oven up too!
Choose to cook 1 or 2 types of potato! Really is there any need to serve mashed potatoes and roast potatoes and potato gratin? No!
Remember to have a look through your equipment: pots, pans, ovenproof dishes, crockery, serving dishes etc just to make sure you can accommodate everything you are cooking – especially important if you are cooking for / entertaining a crowd…
Sharpen your knives – a sharp knife will make light work of carving.
Write out your timings on Christmas Eve & stick them on the fridge – work backwards from what time you want to sit down to Christmas Day dinner. Planning ahead is king!
Remember to rest your turkey for at least an hour – it’s a big bird – it won’t go cold! Plus, it frees up your oven for everything else.
Cheat when you have to & when you want to – ditch any ‘rituals that don’t serve you & don’t feel a single bit guilty about it. I buy shop-bought custard every year & it rocks!
Christmas is not all about the food – spend time with your kids, family & friends. Whether you stay in your jammies, snuggle up & watch movies, or pull on the boots & hit the hills, woods & sea, be sure to laugh loads, make memories & get down-time.
I’ll post my tips on cooking a turkey tomorrow & I’ll be sharing some recipes for my favourite Sausage & Sage Stuffing, Cranberry Sauce & my Moms Dundee Cake that I make every Christmas on social – check them out on @cookaliciousgalway on Facebook & Instagram:
Oh & here is my Festive Red Cabbage recipe that is a staple on my Christmas table every year:
Cracking Christmas Red Cabbage
– the big day dinner wouldn’t be complete without deliciously spiced red cabbage!
A small red cabbage – shred it in your food processor
1 tbsp balsamic vinegar
2 tbsp sugar
2 apples OR 2 pears – peeled
2 tsp ground cumin
1 cinnamon stick
Sea salt & black pepper
Preheat the oven to 180. Shred the cabbage using the grater attachment on your food processor. Pop it into a large roasting dish. Grate the apples/pears & mix them through the red cabbage along with the vinegar, sugar, cumin & plenty of seasoning. Dot the butter on top & pop in the cinnamon stick. Cover with foil & bake in the preheated oven for 1 hour 15 mins until the cabbage is broken down, jammy & smelling totally delicious! Serve alongside the big dinner! Will keep perfectly in the fridge for days & freezes perfectly too!
& don’t forget our Gift Vouchers, available to buy on our website, if you would like to gift fun, learning & food to someone you love this Christmas:
Big love from your little Christmas cooking fairy of fuss-free fabulous food!