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Festive Menu Ideas – It’s Not Too Late!

Christmas is coming,
The goose is getting fat.
 I need to create a menu,
But can’t be bothered with that…

I’m sure that’s how that old Christmas rhyme goes. Doesn’t it? Well maybe not. Christmas is coming though, there’s no two ways about it. It’s absolutely rushing towards us. You may well be organised and know exactly how your festive season will unfold. Or perhaps you are still organising a hat for the Melbourne Cup party that happened a month or so ago. In the interests of everyone’s sanity and in the spirit of good will, I’ve done your planning and made you a list.

The Lead Up
It seemed like such a good idea at the time. Organise a drinks party so you can all get together in the one place instead of meeting up in various expensive bars around town. But you didn’t count on having to do that extra interstate trip for work did you? Or the extra presents you needed to buy for the kid’s teachers? Where did that time go? These recipes will have everyone jingling all the way.

  • #Gin20 Cocktail – drinks all round!
  • Honey Soy Walnuts – something to nibble on while your pouring welcome drinks. These are very moreish so make sure you do a double batch.
  • Parmesan Bites – speaking of moreish… make and freeze these logs up to a month beforehand, ready to cut and bake on the day.
  • Little Potato Pancakes – cook up to 1 day in advance. Top with sour cream and smoked salmon or horseradish cream and beetroot.
  • Smoky Eggplant Croquettes – prepare the croquettes the day before, chill and cook as guests arrive. A umami explosion.
  • Chocolate Iced Wine – make it a few days before and serve in small shot glasses. A very grown up dessert.

The Main Event
It’s here. It’s finally here. Christmas Day! After an easy start over coffee, summer fruit and pastries, it’s time to get serious. It doesn’t have to be complicated though. Maybe it’s turkey or ham or prawns. I’ve left the centrepiece for you to decide upon but have planned all the accompaniments. Many of these can be made in the days leading up to December 25th so perhaps there is time for that 2nd cup of coffee and a slice of Lion’s Club fruitcake afterall.

The Day After
We like to imagine that on Boxing Day we can take it easy but inevitably there are people to visit or who are visiting. Then there are the leftovers….

  • Savoury Scone Ring – add leftover ham or cheese from yesterday for a delicious start to the day.
  • Roasted Tomato & Cheese Tart – use up leftover cheese, salad tomatos, roasted onions or baked veggies in this quick tart.
  • Pearl Barley Salad – light and refreshing. Serve alongside prawns (as if there would be any left over) or cold roast chicken.
  • Black Bean Brownies – Simple chocolate brownies that have a surprise inside. Include any leftover nuts or the chocolate sultanas that everyone leaves in the bowl.
  • Mango Sorbet – so easy to make. A refreshing scoop in your Boxing Day cocktail.

I hope you can create some or all of these goodies to make your Christmas and New Year a success.

14 comments… add one
  • Jan Rhoades December 12, 2015, 11:25 am

    Thank you for all of that Ms Tiffin. Very thoughtful and tempting all round. And as today is a rainy one (and not so warm), I might just do some of my own cooking using some of your ideas.

    • Fiona Ryan December 14, 2015, 7:28 pm

      It would be well received at TIFFIN central.

  • Tandy | Lavender and Lime December 12, 2015, 3:25 pm

    I think I will just make the chocolate iced wine and be done with it 😉

    • Fiona Ryan December 14, 2015, 7:29 pm

      It’s a very interesting and refreshing dessert – perfect for our weather.

  • Mandy December 13, 2015, 1:48 am

    Everything looks fantastic!
    Have a happy day.
    🙂 Mandy xo

  • Francesca December 13, 2015, 6:31 am

    Thanks Fiona for all these links. You’ve inspired me to get organised. I might start with those parmesan biscuits and get a batch frozen.

    • Fiona Ryan December 14, 2015, 7:30 pm

      I adore those biscuits. I can’t wait to make some.

  • Liz (Good Things) December 15, 2015, 5:40 pm

    What a delicious round up, Fiona… you’ll have us all prepared for the season. For some reason I am no longer receiving your posts! Must check why. x

    • Fiona Ryan December 16, 2015, 1:18 pm

      Thanks Liz – I wondered where you’d been : )

  • Amanda (@lambsearshoney) December 21, 2015, 8:26 am

    What a great roundup of idea. Having successfully delegated the turkey and part of the dessert all I have to come up with is some seafood, ham and salads on the day. Plus all the table dressing and the extra bits and pieces in bowls around the house. Plus the booze. Oh – and there’s breakfast, too.
    Actually, it’s not looking like such a doddle now.

    • Fiona Ryan December 28, 2015, 2:44 pm

      We had a very low key event. I did the ham + cheese bites, broad bean salad and sausage rolls and a pav. Everyone else was responsible for the rest. No hot dishes except the sausage rolls.

      • Amanda December 4, 2016, 7:42 am

        Actually, our Xmas day in 2015 turned into a disaster. The paddock next to our house caught fire when a power line fell. The temp was 38C and the north wind was blowing. We had 4 aircraft bombers and 14 Country Fire Service units on our property all day. The eventually left at 4, but came back for a couple of hours at 8. No lunch for us – or them – just a very twitchy time.

        • Fiona Ryan December 5, 2016, 3:01 pm

          Dear, dear – the perils of summer in Australia. I have been following along this year and see that it has been very wet so hopefully you won’t have similar issues but I know how quickly the landscape can become tinder dry.

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