7 Simple Christmas dinner hacks so you can spend more time with baby
If you’ve hosted a Christmas dinner before you know all too well the stresses that come with it! Spending all day in the kitchen slaving away over countless dishes to prepare and then top it all off with a huge pile of washing up.
MumShape strives to find a blissful balance in everything we do, so we’ve come up with a few simple hacks to help you spend less time in the kitchen this Christmas and more time with your family, friends and your little bubba!
Organisation is the key to a stress-free Christmas
We know all too well the effects of baby brain, supposedly it lasts even after you’ve given birth. Avoid multiple runs to the store each time you realise you’ve forgotten to buy something by writing a list of the dishes you will cook, keeping them nice and simple, along with the ingredients you will need for each dish. Take this along to the shop, this will make the shop quicker and easier but keep this list out of reach of little hands as you’ll also need it whilst cooking. Cross off the dishes you’ve made as you go along so as to not forget anything off the list this year.
Employ helping hands
Whether it be the kids, partner or your dog get as many helping hands as you can. They can help you peel, stir and be your food tasters - make it fun!
Also, don’t be afraid of employing your guests to bring a side dish or dessert, they’ll most likely be happy to help out after all Christmas is for giving, so give away those extra responsibilities it will take a load off your shoulders I promise.
Roast all your veggies in the same dish
Don’t spend hours boiling your veggies over different hobs, chuck your sprouts, carrots, parsnips and even your halved potatoes onto a lined baking tray, season with salt, pepper, mixed herbs and your choice of oil or butter. Cook for about 40 minutes, then in the last 20 minutes add in some broccoli florets and Tada! Your spread is ready. You can easily make these in advance and then microwave before serving (no-one will ever know).
For the keen master chef Mama’s - If you want to cook your roast potato separately, we have a trick for that too! Add quartered potatoes to a baking tray with some garlic and seasoning of choice, pour in 200ml of vegetable stock and some oil and cook for 40-50 minutes at about 200 degrees. Once the water is gone add some butter and cook for another 10 minutes or until they are nice and crispy. This hassle-free method saves hob space, means less washing up and gives you crispy potatoes that are soft and fluffy on the inside.
Ditch the Turkey
Every year people spend hours defrosting, brining and cooking their whole turkeys, why not change it up this year for something simpler and quicker, like duck or goose or even roast pork or beef, the alternatives are endless with even delicious vegan options, check out these recipes for inspiration. All equally as tasty and much less hassle to cook, not to mention the space you will save in the fridge and oven!
Have a vote with your guests on what the main dish should be, you might be surprised.
However, if you still decide to stick with turkey traditions, think about doing a spatchcocked turkey or even just turkey crowns, As well as cooking more evenly both methods reduce cooking time significantly.
Don’t stuff the stuffing
Stuffing a turkey adds 40 minutes to the cooking time and soaks up all the juices leaving it very dry, as an alternative make stuffing balls instead, they are perfect portion sizes and have the best of both crispy and soft bits.
Make a no-bake dessert or freeze pre-batched cookies
Pre batch cookie dough and freeze so when dessert time comes around you can lay them out and bake in minutes. Prep advice: Scoop out the cookie dough in little balls on a tray and freeze, once they are completely frozen, you can pop them into a freezer bag to save space. Once it's dessert time just pop them in the oven and your cookies will be ready in no time.
Or you can even make a dessert that requires no baking at all, preparing a Christmas trifle the night before and keep it in the fridge overnight, all that is left to do is serve when the time comes.
Distraction is key
If your guests arrive and you’re not quite ready, you can keep everyone distracted with some mulled wine and appetisers, if possible set them up in a different room away from all the mess in the kitchen. Neither have to be a hassle to make and no one has to know if you take a shortcut. We promise we won't tell!
Christmas is about spending quality time with your loved ones and the memories you create around the table rather than the food you eat. Whether you will host or attend as a guest this Christmas remember to be kind and have a Merry Christmas!