Curb the Christmas dinner chaos with our time-saving tips
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Curb the Christmas dinner chaos with our time-saving tips

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As if Christmas wasn’t stressful enough, having to prepare a whole meal can be a struggle when you’re cooking for lots of people and under pressure to serve up an amazing festive spread. So here are a few simple ways to prepare in advance, save some time, and still produce the WOW!

1. Prepare in advance what you can

You’ll have enough going on the big day, so make sure you’re saving time while preparing what you can in advance. Making elements of your Christmas dinner ahead of time can not only help save time, but it can also help to spread the financial costs if you’re feeling the pinch around the festive season.

Up to three months in advance, you can look at making the classic Christmas cake or pudding that we all love (or loathe). But did you know, you could also make a lip-smackingly good gravy ahead of time that you can freeze until the big day? Add a couple of tbsps. of one of our chutneys for a gravy your guests will never forget. Delicious and now there’s no need to find the only corner shop open Christmas Day when you run out of the instant stuff!

With one month until the big day, this is when things can kick up a notch. You can prepare and freeze some key players in your dinner. Just think, stuffing, roast potatoes, pigs in blankets, Yorkshire puddings – even bread sauce – all there ready and waiting for you on Christmas morning. You might even make the whole day look a little too easy!

2. Make the most of our delicious, high quality prepared sauces.

We know you’re out to impress but no one’s got time to be making their own sauces. When the supermarket stuff just won’t cut it, opt for something slightly more special. It’s Christmas after all!

At Cottage Delight, we take sauces seriously. Our range of Classic Condiments are all made with the highest quality ingredients for a truly authentic, homemade taste. Here are a few of our favourites, all made to compliment a crackin’ Christmas dinner:

Cottage Delight Juicy Redcurrant Jelly

Elevate your Christmas culinary creations with our Juicy Redcurrant Jelly, a temptingly tangy ruby jelly packed full of fruity redcurrant that’s designed to be the ideal partner for your favourite meats and cheeses.

Cottage Delight Classic Horseradish Sauce

Add an extra kick to your Christmas meal with our Classic Horseradish Sauce, a luxuriously smooth sauce that’s packed with flavour. The perfect accompaniment to succulent, thinly sliced beef.

Cottage Delight Smooth English Mustard

Our French Dijon Mustard is a classic condiment that’s bursting with flavour and a harmonious balance of heat, in a luxuriously smooth texture.

3. Serve up a centrepiece platter of antipasti and save time on starters

Save time on starters and serve up a selection of suitably festive cheeses and meats for a relaxed start to dinner that’s easy to prepare and requires no cooking time. The beauty of this starter is you can go as big (or little) as you’d like! Prepare a true festive feast and add fruit, chutneys and your favourite snacking bits for a range of exciting textures and flavours.

Here are some of our favourites to add to your Christmas platter:

Farmhouse Pâté with Pork Liver and Mustard

Our Farmhouse Pâté with Pork Liver and Mustard, is an authentic French Pâté made using traditional methods and recipes. Produced by an artisan family company in France. This coarse-textured Pâté is ideal served with warm crusty country-style bread.

Tomato & Basil Mini Breadsticks

Our Grissini style Tomato & Basil Mini Breadsticks have been created by an Italian artisan producer using traditional Piedmontese craft methods for a truly authentic flavour.

The beauty is, any leftovers can be kept and enjoyed over Christmas. Or you can find delicious recipes that use Christmas leftovers. Why not give your leftovers a new life and try our brilliant Boxing Day Pickle Pie?

4. Make dessert ahead of time

This one seems obvious but in the chaos of Christmas preparing pudding in advance is a must! You’ll save precious time on the day and, quite frankly, after eating your dinner the last thing you’ll be wanting to do is assemble a seven-tier raspberry pavlova from scratch.

We’ve compiled our favourite delicious desserts that will be the perfect final act of your Christmas dinner – all that can be made in the days leading up to the big day:

Our Mince Pie Bundt Show Stopper

This deliciously spiced showstopper is sure to wow your guests.

Not only does it look impressive, but it tastes amazing! Even mince pie haters will be converted by this reinvention of a classic.

Chocolate Mulled Orange Cheesecake

Perfect for those wishing for a chocolate orange in their stocking, our Chocolate Mulled Orange Cheesecake is a festive take on a classic citrus cheesecake.

Mulled Wine Trifle

A festive twist on a classic, the Mulled Wine Trifle has something for all the family. It’s a truly delightful combination of all your favourite Christmas flavours.

5. Try to wash up as you go, and even better, rope in a few volunteers.

Keep on top of dirty dishes and wash as you go. Not only will this help to keep your kitchen sides clear for your next bit of prep, but it will also make that final clear up all the more tolerable. No one wants to be deep in a pile of washing when there’s post-dinner games happening!

Make sure you delegate out cleaning duties to others if you can. Christmas dinner is a big undertaking and any grateful guests will be more than happy to roll up their sleeves for a bit of washing.

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Find more festive inspiration at Cottage Delight, including Christmas recipes and gifting ideas. Whatever you’re planning for your Christmas dinner this year, just remember to take time to spend time doing what you love most and enjoy the day.

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