If you’re hosting guests this Christmas, it can sometimes feel like you’ve got a lot on your plate, but don’t let festive fatigue set in before the fun has even begun! These simple shortcuts will transform your table and leave guests wondering whether you’ve got an army of elves helping out in the kitchen.
No cook canapés
Oven and hob space can become critical at Christmas so it’s much easier to serve up canapés that don’t require cooking. What’s more, these recipes provide much more potential for packing in fresh fruit and veg, which can be a big relief for everyone during such a period of over-indulgence...
Skewer feta, tomatoes and basil using cocktail sticks to turn your cheese board into party food
Use crackers as a canapés base - fill mini poppadoms with mango, onion and prawns, or try with a variety of other toppings!
Speedy chilling and extra sparkle
If neither you or your fizz are feeling particularly chilled, take note of this amazing shortcut which will transform you both from hot and bothered to ice cool.
Add salt to an ice bucket to cool the bottle much faster
Or wrap a damp tea towel around the bottle in the freezer for fast chilling
Fizz fallen flat? A raisin will bring the bubbles back
Make out it’s homemade
Shhhh, can we let you in on a little secret? Shop bought mince pies and other pre-prepared goodies can be easily passed off as homemade, especially if you jazz them up with a few sparkly flourishes. While we don’t condone fibbing, this little white Christmas lie will give you more mingling time, ultimately making you a better host. Win win!
Display shop bought mince pies on a beautiful cake stand or server - dust with icing sugar and add sprigs of redcurrants
Decant condiments into decorated jars
Add sparkle with edible glitter and berries
Fill your freezer
If all you’re dreaming of this Christmas is the chance to put your feet up, say hello to your old friend the freezer! With just a little advance planning, you can shave at least twenty minutes off cooking time on the actual day, giving you more time to sip on your mulled wine.
Shake parboiled potatoes, then freeze. Cook straight from frozen
Red cabbage can be reheated from the freezer - so can gravy
Freeze mulled wine in suitable cups or trays - microwave from frozen
Cut down the cleaning
Tidy kitchen, tidy mind. That’s the dream anyway. While it would take a Christmas miracle to keep everything pristine, you can protect your hob from splatter with this nifty hack...
Cut burner holes in foil and cover the surround. Discard foil responsibly
Speedy sausages and simple stuffing
Because everyone loves pigging out and feeling stuffed at Christmas, you don’t want to scrimp on the sides. Here’s an easy way to prepare them without too much hassle...
Skewer pigs in blankets onto kebab sticks for easy turning and even cooking
Cook stuffing in a muffin tin for even cooking - and even portions, so no one can complain they’ve got less than others
Butter in an instant
This great tip will make everyone’s life much easier…
Butter too hard? Grate to soften it
Prep your plates
Your oven might be more packed than Santa’s sack, but doesn’t mean you have to leave your plates out in the cold...
Warm plates in the dishwasher or microwave
Tempted by some of the products featured in the hacks? You can purchase these and much more from Very.co.uk: Christmas dinner set