In part one I made much of planning ahead, list making and multi-tasking ingredients. This means you can knock up some cracker dishes from your leftovers and also have some good ideas for what you want to cook and eat. However, I’m also a fan of having some fully made suppers in the freezer so when you can’t face another minute in the kitchen you know there will be something to curl up on the sofa with.
I will try and find the time to make a soup, chilli and stew over the week. Whilst none of these are ground breaking, they are hugely popular chez May and once defrosted will take little effort on my part. If you have the energy to jazz these up, a garlic bread with one of those baguettes from the freezer would go down a treat, or maybe some of my quick flatbreads or the homemade tortilla chips mentioned in the chilli recipe (Girls’ Night In, February 2014) – and don’t worry, I am not mad enough to suggest MAKING tortillas, this is just a way of jazzing up bought tortillas into crunchy chips.
If you have some extra sausages why not try the Penne con Salsiccia (March 2015) it takes a handful of ingredients, minutes to make and is so cosy and comforting. If you have some greens that need using up and some jaded tastebuds requiring a wake up try the greens with garlic and soy (October 2017) – I could happily have a bowl of these with rice for lunch. You know the lunches and suppers your family love but it is the little extras such as the garlic bread or crunchy seeds strewn over a salad that lift meals from the ordinary to the special Christmas meals – and we all need a bit of special this year.
Talking of which despite not being able to party, either Christmas drinks or a full blown New Year knees up, I will be adding sparkle and glitter to our menus where I can. Treats with drinks in front of the fire is something I love – gougeres (November 2016) and cheese sables with rosemary salt (December 2013) going into the freezer today in readiness. My cherries have been soaking for sometime and I can’t wait to tuck into my spiced cherries in bacon (November 2013), my ultimate Christmas canapé. Along with a Sloe Vespa, prosecco with sloe gin, I shall feel suitably and happily ready for Christmas.
For some last minute presents, anything edible always goes down well. The effort made is much appreciated and it’s also something fun to do with your children. We always make loads of spicy seeds (November 2018) to put in little bags with a festive bow. The Christmas biscotti (November 2012) and grissini with rosemary (May 2015) use mainly store cupboard ingredients so can be made on a whim.
This chocolate pudding cake below (December 2012) can be made ahead and frozen and it will fill you with joy to know you have this waiting to make an appearance, particularly when you have had enough of all the dried fruit based puds we immerse ourselves in at this time of year.
Food has the ability to raise spirits and cheer us all – I hope that some of these suggestions may find their way to your Christmas table and help you enjoy the best Christmas possible. Wishing you all a very Happy Christmas.