I baked three dozen chewy gooey cookies with hazelnuts, wrapped them in festive ribbons and sent them to three UK based food bloggers as part of the international Great Cookie Swap. I made a donation to Cookies for Kids Cancer and in return I received 3 boxes of cookies from another 3 UK food bloggers. It was so exciting to get cookies through the post, I'll definitely be taking part again next year.
Christmas dinner doesn't need to be an overwhelming or expensive meal to prepare. My toes curl when I see the exorbitant prices that restaurants charge for what essentially is a Sunday roast with a few extras. With this step by step by guide I aim to walk you through the process of preparing a three course Christmas dinner on a budget. By doing most of the preparation the day before you won't need to spend hours and hours in the kitchen on Christmas day either.
A Christmas feast
Your Christmas Dinner Menu
This menu assumes you already have salt, pepper, cooking oil and coffee in your store cupboard.
Plan your shopping list
I used My SuperMarket to find out which store had sold the items I needed for the lowest price. In this case it was Asda. However, the refrigerated items did not arrive with the order. They refunded the money for these items but if I had ordered for delivery in time for Christmas day I would have been left with no turkey for Christmas dinner. I found their customer service staff to be very dismissive too. The minimum price for an online order is £25 and the missing items cost £11 odd so I couldn't reorder them without adding a money to make a second delivery up to the minimum order price and I would also then have to pay a further delivery charge. The customer service agent agreed this was the case and there was nothing they could do about it. It's fair to say I was not impressed. I mention this experience because I use Asda products in these recipes, the ingredients are good quality but I would caution against their online delivery service.
Copy of Asda receipt total £25.08 shopped 27.11.14
Your Shopping List
Sausages 8 pack
Whole Milk 1 pint
Extra Thick Cream
Medium Free range eggs
Chicken gravy granules
Chocolate swiss roll
A large Orange
A stalk of Sprouts
4 baking potatoes
Sage and onion stuffing Mix
Honey and mustard dressing
I filmed the whole process of preparing and cooking Christmas dinner. There is a check list below to keep you on track. You can also use the links to jump to the part of the video that relates to each step.
The day before
Prepare the trifle base
Prepare the luxury Stuffing
Jazz up the cranberry sauce
Wrap the sausages in bacon
Prepare the potatoes to be roasted and mashed
Slice the carrots and parsnips
Wash the sprouts and dice their toppings
Christmas Day Morning
Make the trifle custard
Assemble the prawn cocktails
An hour before
Put the cream on the trifle 40 mins before
Prepare the turkey
Put the potatoes on to boil
30 mins before
Put they turkey and roast potatoes in the oven
Put the carrots and parsnips
Put the sausages in the oven
Put the stuffing in the oven
Fry the sprout toppings
After the potatoes have boiled for 20 minutes drain and mash them
Drain the sprouts
Make the gravy
Top the sprouts
Take everything out of the oven
Serve the prawn cocktails
Plate up the Christmas dinner and enjoy
Serve the trifle
Follow with coffee and mints
I love a Christmas hamper filled with special treats and it's even better when they are homemade. After the New Year celebrations are over, a treat from a Christmas hamper can brighten many cold wintry January evenings. On my YouTube channel this week I've been taking about edible gift ideas.
Here's a collection of homemade food gifts that make great hamper fillers.
This year I'm putting up a video on YouTube everyday in the run up to Christmas. Today I was answering questions about Christmas dinner and the traditions our family have, you can watch that video below.
The Christmas Dinner Video Tag
These are the questions, I'd love to hear about your Christmas dinner celebrations.
1. Traditional turkey or something alternative?
2. Who cooks? Who does the dishes?
3. With family or friends?
4. What are you drinking?
5. Cranberry sauce or cranberry jelly?
6. Sprouts love them or loath them?
7. Presents before or after dinner?
8. What's for dessert?
9. Christmas cracker hats, mandatory attire or throw them on the fire?