Christmas Made Easy | Life Love and Hiccups: Christmas Made Easy

Monday, 15 December 2014

Christmas Made Easy

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Brought to you by Coles

Every second year, we play host to our family on Christmas Eve. It’s a big shindig, with pressies, and champagne and way too much food ... you know the whole hog so to speak!

I put so much planning into this one event.

I know I know, it’s just one night of the year and who really needs the added stress at an already stressful time of the year yada yada.

But I like to do it.

In fact I am one of those completely insane people who actually loves doing it all.


To me, Christmas Eve is a celebration of the fact that we made it through the year, together and in one piece.

It’s a night where we talk about our favourite memories of the year; declare our highlights and our wishes for the New Year coming. It’s a night where we laugh and drink and eat and soak up every last bit of that special Christmas magic that comes to a peak on Christmas Eve.


And so I plan everything, and I mean everything.

From the table setting to the menu, the little individual table gifts and even the music.
Hell yeah, I have a playlist of festive tunes with a special guest appearance by Michael Buble.

OK he doesn’t actually grace us with his presence, but you know, he is there in spirit for sure!

Planning it all ahead of time means no stress on the day and more time to actually enjoy the occasion and be a part of the memories… not just the one in the kitchen preparing them.



OK, so we have established that I want this night to be perfect.

What can I say?

I am a complete sucker for traditions and anything Christmassy and I’m beyond thrilled that Christmas Eve dinner is ranked at the top of my kid’s list of all time favourite things about Christmas.
Booyah

Take that Santa!

As we all know, I’m by no means the world’s greatest chef. Not even close.

In fact not even sure that I am technically qualified to use the chef word at all.

Whatever.

But despite this fact, I’ve been giving it a good old go lately when it comes to trying new recipes and I am totally game to try anything… except on Christmas Eve.

Yeah Christmas Eve isn’t really when I want to be attempting to cook something I’ve never tried before because, well… let’s face it - if I stuff it up,  I’ll probably fall to pieces.

YES I am THAT obsessed with pulling off the ultimate Christmas do for my family.

And so every year when it is our turn to host Christmas, I try out the planned menu and recipes on a group of friends first.

I serve up all the very same things that I plan on serving up on Christmas Eve. Call it a trial run if you will…. I call it a damn good excuse to invite some friends around and let our hair down.


Rule number 1 in this game is that the food needs to be easy.

Not too much effort and not too much cooking, because hello… it’s December and it’s typically hot and humid. The last thing I want to be doing on Christmas Eve is playing the role of Sweaty Betty in the kitchen.

Nope, I aint got time for that!

This year given my collaboration with Coles, I decided to try out some recipes from their December Christmas magazine. All the recipes can also be found on the All the recipes can also be found on the Coles  & Taste websites.

They have recipes for everything including traditional hot Christmas dinners and the seafood and salad feasts that my family prefers.

Christmas is all about sharing great food right? So it makes perfect sense to savour the season with festive Christmas recipes, indulgent desserts and light summer meals, and I’m telling you – the Christmas Issue of Coles Magazine has it ALL.

There’s even a fabulous menu planner in this Christmas issue for us control freaks, so we can cherry pick from all the recipes inside the magazine to pull together the perfect Christmas spread based on ingredients that we know our family will love.

Taste also has aChristmas Menu planner on their website that you can use to plan your ultimate Christmas feast and there are over 80 menu plans to choose from.

We are seafood hogs in our house, so of course I chose seafood as our main theme and since all those luscious berries are in season, they featured heavily too.

Here’s what our Christmas menu this year looks like.

The raspberry cocktails were an absolute hit on the test run night.

Honest to God you guys HAVE to get the Coles Magazine for the Raspberry Cordial recipe alone.

In the magazine it is referred to as the Raspberry & Lemonade Cordial… but at our house, it was called a Berry Christmas Raspberry, mineral water and Vodka cocktail.

I served these babies up over ice in cute little mason jars and the kids had their own Orange and Lime mocktail mix.

The Smoked Salmon and Dill Pikelets took next to no time to put together and made for the perfect starter to have with the cocktails. 

They are little bite size pieces that are easy to eat with one hand, leaving the other to hold your glass of bubbly or wave manically through the air in an animated conversation.






Dessert was the Piece de RĂ©sistance.

OK so my White Chocolate Crackle trees I made for the kids didn’t exactly look like the ones in the Coles Magazine… it turns out that trying to stick on mini M&Ms with chocolate was far too fussy for me.

But the Lemon cream, Berry and Macadamia Tart was literally THE EASIEST dessert I have EVER made and it was scoffed down in record time by the troops.



What are your plans for Christmas this year?
Are you hosting it or are you heading somewhere else?
Do you do anything special on Christmas Eve?

Don't forget to enter to win a $1000 Cole Voucher



Entries close 20th December 2014 and the winner will be notified by email/direct message. 
This competition is not exclusive to Life Love and Hiccups and one winner will be chosen from entries submitted across 6 individual blogs.
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