Sunday, 10 December 2017

Getting Christmas Ready with Hello Fresh

A look at Hello Fresh's tips for planning a great Christmas dinner, plus what I'm doing to gear up for the big day. 

I received a contribution towards the cost of this post, plus had a look at the Cheat Sheets. Thank you Hello Fresh for supporting the blog and allowing me to bring these Christmas tips to you, my lovely readers! 

I don't know about you, but it feels as though time is really flying by this month. I know I seem to say that every year at the beginning of December, but it always feels so manic. 

15 days to Christmas. From today. That's all. Jeez. 

While, when October comes and the nights get darker and colder, I imagine myself in December snuggled up in a blanket on the sofa, writing swirly-inked Christmas cards bathed in the glow of the Christmas tree, the truth is actually quite different. The tree went up on Saturday, the cards sit in a pile on the dining room floor and I've lost my best pen. Christmas shopping is at zero. I only just realised I'll need wrapping paper and sellotape in my next big shop. And I haven't even really planned what I'm cooking for Christmas dinner. I need guidance and direction. And so it's a good job Hello Fresh have come up with a Christmas Dinner Guide that I will be using in the lead up to Christmas. 




The great news, if you're having a similar experience to me, is that you can go and download them for free. There are tips about how to get our spuds all crispy and roasty. There's a lovely recipe (which I've tested out, see the pics) for Brussels Sprouts - and also some beautiful, gnarly roasted veggies with honey and herbs. 


Creamy Brussel's Sprouts, from the Hello Fresh Cheat Sheet

One of the sheets has all the timings too, so you know exactly when you're getting your turkey out of the fridge, sliding the roasties into the oven and dealing with the gravy. I always find that these are the things that make Christmas dinner a bit stressful, making sure all the timings end together, so you're not cutting into a cold turkey and dishing up soggy potatoes. So I think it's a great help. 


Roasted Veg with Honey and Thyme, from the Hello Fresh Cheat Sheet

So I still have some planning to do before Christmas. The timings sheet will help - but I'm planning to get my veggies prepped the night before and stored overnight in pots of cold water on the kitchen worktop so I'll be in the kitchen a little bit less on the big day. I'm busy pinning ideas, and I have a couple of Christmassy cocktails (one's a mocktail) up my sleeve, too. I'm going to try and get most of the food prepped the night before, if I can, except in our house, Christmas Eve is as big a thing as Christmas Day. I think there's always that feeling when the shops shut on Christmas Eve where you go: 'OK, that's it now. Whatever we've got it will have to be it'. It's exciting. I love Christmas, mostly because of the atmosphere and the excitement from the kids. And Christmas dinner is probably my favourite dinner of the year, and we take so long to eat it. No rush, no one has anywhere else to go. Family time.

Lovely. 

For me, a typical Christmas looks a bit like this:

Anytime between 3-7am: Wake up (get woken up by excited children) and head downstairs to open their presents and turn on the Christmas lights. But everyone has to wait until I put the kettle on. Because I need a strong, dark cuppa before I even think about festivities. ☕

7-8am: Breakfast. Usually something light. We might have gluten free croissants or toast. We don't go in for big fry-ups on Christmas morning, we like to pace ourselves. And anyway, chocolates are usually being passed around by 8am in any case. Because Christmas. 

9am: Phone calls to family, texts to friends. My family don't live locally to us, so I always love phoning my sister and listening to my niece and nephew and how excited they are for the day. 

Mid morning: Usually I'm peeling sprouts if I haven't done it the night before, peeling potatoes, carrots and taking the chicken out of the fridge to get to room temperature. No one likes roast turkey in our house, they like a crispy-skinned, juicy chicken. With cranberry sauce. Because it's a lovely bright red against the sprouts and looks festive. 😁

2pm: Dinner. We usually get dinner on the table around 2ish. We get to pulling crackers, while I tell everyone to hurry up and eat their dinner before it gets cold. So they do. We eat with paper hats drooping over our foreheads, sometimes ending up round slipping down to our necks as the dinner goes on, because they're too big. We're stuffing ourselves with veggies and chicken and half-playing with miniature jumping frog toys from the Christmas cracker. We tell rubbish Christmas cracker jokes, clear up dinner and then go for a walk to see all the Christmas lights in the neighbourhood (and burn off some of those Christmas dinner calories). 💪

6-8pm: Snuggle up on the sofa, Christmas film, cup of tea and a treat and we're all done, with smiles on our faces and full tummies. We always say how Christmas seems to go by so quick. And then we end up in bed early (because of the 3am wake up). 


Don't forget to download your Christmas Dinner Guide here to help you get organised for the big day.

How are you planning for Christmas? What does a typical Christmas Day look like for you? Do you have any tried and tested Christmas dinner tips? Share them with me in the comments below!





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