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Preparing for Christmas in advance

Naturally You with Jane Logie

It is nearly Christmas again, so this month and next, I’m giving the low-down on what to do and prepare well in advance, to help to take some of the Christmas Day stress out. It is nearly Christmas again, so this month and next, I’m giving the low-down on what to do and prepare well in advance, to help to take some of the Christmas Day stress out.

It’s not much fun running around like a maniac on Christmas Day and can leave us feeling overwhelmed.

There are quite a few dishes that you can prepare in advance and pop into the freezer if it is your turn to host Christmas lunch this year.

With just a small window to get organised and prepared for one day, or one evening, preparing a menu and making some of the food weeks, or days, beforehand could really help to reduce the pressure and stress of Christmas this year.

A few food suggestions to make in advance: 

– CHRISTMAS CAKE can be made three weeks to three months in advance. Freeze Christmas cake un-iced for up to three months, or iced make three weeks ahead and store in airtight container.

– MINI CHRISTMAS MUFFINS can be made two to four weeks in advance, and stored in an airtight container in the freezer.

– CHRISTMAS MINCE PIES can be made two to four weeks in advance and kept in the freezer, in an airtight container.

– CHRISTMAS MERINGUE ROULADE can be made a week in advance and stored wrapped in aluminium foil, and then plastic wrap, and placed in an airtight container served with raspberries thawed, or made fresh the day before.

– CHOCOLATE PARFAIT can be made up to two months in advance and kept in the freezer in an airtight container wrapped in plastic wrap and tinfoil, served with fresh strawberries brought 2-3 days before.

– RASPBERRY CHEESECAKE can be made the day before for a fresh cheesecake, or made up to two week before, and keep in an airtight container in the freezer.

– RASPBERRY COULIS can be made up to two weeks in advance and stored in freezer in an airtight container.

– SALMON MOUSSE served on seaweed rice crackers can be made the day before and only takes about 20 minutes to do. Store in an airtight container.

– RICE PAPER ROLLS: Prawn, vegetable, and chicken filling of your choice can be made the day before, placed on a large plate and covered with plastic wrap. Accompany with a Thai dipping sauce which can be made and kept in the fridge in a sealed jar two to three days before.

– GRILLED OR BBQ LAMB deboned and marinated up to three days before. Keep in the fridge and cookon the day.

– BAKED SALMON: Pre-bought fresh the day before and cooked on the day.

– PRAWN KEBABS: Thaw the day before and cook on the BBQ. Serve with a garlic aioli that can be made up to two days in advance, or serve with a pre-made garlic butter, made two to three days in advance, quickly melted over prawns at the last few minutes of cooking.

– SUSHI: Smoked chicken, vegetable, or smoked salmon, can be made the day before, wrapped up tightly in plastic wrap. A dipping sauce to accompany can be made the day before and stored in a sealed jar.

– VEGETABLES: You can buy the ready-frozen large mixed vegetables and serve with new potatoes and a simple green salad on the day. Make the green salad Christmas morning.

– MULLED WINE is a flash way to enjoy Christmas Day making your home smell of Christmas spices, and makes for something different and indulgent, to serve. Can be made up to a week in advance and stored in an airtight container. Suits well if Christmas is forecast to be cold and rainy.

– FRUIT PUNCH: Brew up the alcohol and then on Christmas Eve throw in the tinned fruit and then add the fizz and bubbles just before serving. Nice if the forecast is for a hot summer’s day.

So here are a variety of options, of food dish choices that you may like to choose from and create for Christmas Day or a Christmas function, depending on the number of guests you plan to have.

Hopefully this will help make hosting any Christmas function a breeze for you and all those involved.

 

Recipes:

  • Christmas mini-cakesChristmas mini-cakes

1 mini muffin tin for 12
18-36 mini-muffin paper liners
1/4 C plain unsweetened Greek yoghurt
1t lemon juice
50ml olive oil
1t whiskey
1 large egg
100g self-raising flour
50g castor sugar
25g chopped (finely) cranberries
4T Christmas mincemeat Pinch of salt

– Preheat oven to 190°C.
– Mix yoghurt and lemon juice in a small bowl and set aside.
– Mix olive oil and whiskey in a small bowl and set aside.
– Measure and mix the caster sugar and flour, sifted in a medium bowl.
– Crack egg into a small bowl and beat slightly with a fork and set aside.
– Sift together the flour and caster sugar.
– In the dry ingredients, make a well in the centre and add the wet ingredients. Whisk together quickly, then add the cranberries and mincemeat and whisk them through.
– Place the paper muffin cases in the mini-muffin tins, and fill with mixture until 3/4 full and bake for 18-20 minutes in the middle of the oven.
– Take out of the oven, allow to completely cool, then ice and decorate with the little balls or whatever you choose to decorate on top.
– Makes 18

Icing:
1C icing sugar
2T boiling water
1t soft butter

– Place icing sugar in a medium bowl with the butter and then pour 2T boiling water over and mix through. Then use a piping bag to pipe on the icing to get a neat round effect and let them set.
– Option two: You could make up mini-Christmas mince pies with a star pastry shape on top and arrange on a serving plate in much the same fashion of the Christmas tree look.

With the compliments of Jane Logie, amedicinal herbalist, clinical nutritionist and chef from Methven

Tuesday, November 14th, 2017

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