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.
- Middle Eastern Sausage Rolls – make these in the weeks before and freeze. Defrost and heat on the day.
- Gazpacho – a light refreshing start on what will no doubt be a scorcher. No cooking involved!
- Broad Bean & Feta Salad – this can be made the day before as there is no wilting.
- BBQ’d Spring Vegetable Salad w Honey Miso Dressing – serve warm or cold. Great the next day.
- Spicy Cherry Sauce – make a seasonal cherry sauce for cold meat and have the rest on a cheese plate later in the afternoon.
- Refrigerator Rolls – make the dough a few days ahead and then just bake on the day.
- Toffee Brie – unbelievably quick to make and mightily impressive. Make it whilst the coffee is brewing in the morning.
- Danish Christmas Kringle – a traditional recipe that has been adapated for local Aussie conditions.
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.