Christmas, the most wonderful time of the year. Unless you have to cook lunch for 20 people, then just insert scream emoji *here*. If you’re cooking for the family this Christmas, listen up. I have 9 totally cool Christmas kitchen cheats, to make cooking easier. That means you can focus less on the kitchen and more on the champagne (ahem) fun this Christmas.
1. Chop chop
Get yourself ahead of the game, by chopping up your vegetables Christmas eve. Take it from me this will save you soooooo much time. I pop chopped carrots, beans and pumpkin in sealed containers, and potatoes in a bowl of water, and store them in the fridge overnight. Don’t worry everything is still perfectly fresh the next day, and you’ve saved yourself at least 30 minutes right there – woo-hoo!
2. Be a chef
Most restaurant chefs do loads of prep in advance, so they can cook things quickly. This Christmas, get your chef on and do some cooking ahead of time. Parboil potatoes for 7 minutes Christmas eve, and you will cut their roasting time by half. Plus if you shake them around the saucepan after they’ve been parboiled to rough up the surface, they’ll go super crispy in the oven– YUM! You could even roast a piece of beef or pork the day before, store it in the fridge and simply slice and serve on a bed of mixed leaves, with pomegranate sprinkled over the top. It will look totally festive and save you time when you really need it!
3. Ready, set, go!
Set the table the night before, so it’s ready to go when your guests arrive. It’s also a great way to make sure that you haven’t forgotten anything, before the shops close for Christmas.
4. Set and forget
Leave room in your oven for those super crispy roast potatos, by using your slow cooker to cook a melt in your mouth leg of lamb or pork. Looking for inspiration? Get Taste Australia’s top 50 slow cooker recipes here.
5. Space Saver
Save space on your stove by cooking things together. I always do my beans and carrots in the same pot to make sure there is room on the hot plates for other stuff like sauces and gravy.
6. Stack Em’ Up
No room in the oven? Wrap veggies like carrots and parsnips in aluminum foil packages with a little olive oil, then stack them on top of each other so they cook without taking up precious tray space. I know, it’s genius!
7. Do your warm up?
It’s not Christmas, without a warm plate for your roast. No room in the oven? No worries. Just pop your plates in the dishwasher on a cycle that finishes 5 minutes before you’re ready to serve up, and wal-ah! Toasty warm plates for that special Christmas touch.
8. Get some help from the supermarket shELF
Take some hassle out of Christmas by getting some help from the supermarket. Whether it’s buying a precooked chicken or turkey, instead of roasting your own, or using ready made custard. Just do it. Everybody needs a little bit of help from the shELF at Christmas.
9. Serve Yo’self
The last thing you want to be doing is fixing drinks while you’re cooking Christmas lunch. Set up a self serve bar so your guests can get themselves merry. Pop everything you need on a small table like glasses, spirits, mixers, garnishes, along side a tub of ice filled with the chilled drinks like beer, champagne, white wine and soft drinks. Guaranteed no one will go thirsty…tis’ the season to be jolly after all!
Do you find Christmas day cooking stressful? I’d love to hear if you have any Christmas kitchen cheats of your own. If you do, let me know in the comments below.
Image credit: <a href=’http://www.123rf.com/profile_timolina’>timolina / 123RF Stock Photo</a>