But before you go pouring cashew nuts into a bowl or -*shudders at the thought* - actually buy a prawn ring, take a second to see what you can make in the comfort of your own home. After all, Christmas parties aren’t only about friends and family, they’re about showing off a little bit as well.
Follow my 10 simple tips and you’ll be on your way to creating a truly memorable Christmas party
1. Say no to freezer food
Cooking is all about the time and effort you put in, as well the craft of lovingly preparing something you made yourself. Not only do you know where the ingredients come from (no artificial preservatives here), but you’ll get the praise from your wonderful guests. Trust me, they will be able to tell the difference from a soggy microwaved samosa and fresh one.
No one wants to be running around decorating the table while chopping onions and trying to apply their lipstick. Especially my husband – ha! It’s all about making your life as easy as it can be this time of year. I think everyone deserves to enjoy the party, and the key is to prepare everything you can beforehand so the evening is left for finishing touches and having some fun.
It might seem obvious, but having the tools to hand when you’re ready to begin is one of the most important things you can do. I hate the times when I start to cook then realise my favourite saucepan is still in the dishwasher, or I’ve run out of chilli. Remember that lists are your friends (just look at Santa’s).
4. Cater for all
Along with the gathering of family and friends comes a range of tastes and dietary requirements. Trust me, you don’t want to be serving naan bread to someone with a gluten allergy or meat to a vegan (not that I’ve ever done that). So don’t worry, I’ve got a few fab recipes to keep everyone happy.
5. Show off your skills
Homemade food is always best and you can so tell the difference between something that’s freshly prepared as opposed to a processed thing that’s been pulled out of a packet. A Christmas party is your chance to show off your cooking skills, as well as your shining personality.
6. Don’t forget dessert
Finger food is great, but do remember the sweet treats afterwards. These don’t need to be too extravagant, after all, you might be catering to a lot of people. That’s why a Lassi or Chocolate Barfi are just perfect.
Once you’ve prepared the food, the presentation is just the fun part so get creative by using spices that really bring out the colour of the food. Then you can experiment with serving food in different containers, like Lassis in tall glasses or even Martini glasses.
8. Keep it manageable
If you’ve got a list as long as your arm and a hundred pounds worth of ingredients to buy then it’s probably too much. A handful of carefully selected starter platters will be much easier to prepare and you’ll be able to enjoy a bit of a Christmas boogie.
9. Finishing touches
I love to garnish my dishes with a sprig of mint or herbs. Sometimes I even use a squirt of cream or chocolate shaving on a dessert… just get creative and have some fun. It’s the little things that count.
10. Enjoy yourself
The most important thing of all is to enjoy yourself. It’s a party for a reason and even the best host can’t be managing all the guests all the time. So grab yourself a glass of mulled wine and mingle with the family, the food will look after itself!Back to Blog