Christmas holidays are upon us and if you haven’t planned that perfect menu for your guests on Christmas day don’t worry, you still have plenty of time!
It’s the most wonderful time of the year but also the most stressful!
There are a couple of things you can do this year to make Christmas a little more festive and a lot less frenzied. Planning ahead is the keyword, but also making smart decisions and keeping it simple is what will make all the difference.
Keeping it simple doesn’t have to mean serving up a boring, sub-standard Christmas dinner either. If you do it right, everybody will be satisfied – and, what’s more, you’ll stay completely sane, you won’t be exhausted and you’ll be able to enjoy the dinner with your loved ones.
Here is a list with stress free recipes I gathered for you . From appetizers to desserts these recipes are easy to make and as special as the holiday itself.
Although the French insist to have cheese after the meat course and before the dessert, to me a cheeseboard is a great choice to serve as an appetizer. It involves little to no cooking, it’s elegant and by making some unexpected combinations you can impress everybody. I found some excellent tips on how to build the perfect cheese board this year at the Honest Cooking and I’m happily sharing them with you.
Christmas dinner might decent into a face-cramming eating marathon of meat along with some more meat and a few versions of potatoes, but if you start the meal with a bowl of light, creamy, perfectly seasoned soup, your dinner will feel downright elegant, if only for a moment. To me, there can be no Christmas dinner without soup, it’s a family tradition that roots in our Greek origin, and while chicken soup is going to be served in every Greek household as always, this year I’m thinking on breaking the rule and go with this amazing, super easy and super delicious chestnut soup. Did you know that soups always taste better the next day? Prepare this soup the night before and adjust thickness and seasoning one hour before serving.
Yes, there has to be a salad for all the obvious reasons but instead of choosing a heavy dressed salad with eggs and more meat in it, go for something much fresher and lighter. This spinach salad has it all, the apples and cranberries give a festive note and the goat cheese tackiness uplifts it’s flavors. Prepare the dressing the night before and keep it in a jar inside your fridge. Less work and less mess for the next day 😉
The main course
Of course it was going to be lamb!But not just any lamb, a honey glazed roasted leg of lamb which tastes as special as it sounds. Think about it, it’s an excellent choice because people don’t cook lamb very often, we had our turkey less than a month ago and we usually cook pork on most of our dinner parties. A good roast lamb recipe is all you need and about 15 minutes to prepare it, your oven will do the rest. Akis, my favorite Greek chef has a great recipe for the task and what makes it even better is that there is a video in English telling you step by step how to prepare this delicious leg of lamb. Don’t be intimidated with the idea of taking off the bone yourself, you can always ask your butcher to do it or completely skip this step as I did! Find Akis’ recipe with step by step video instructions here.
I know what you’re thinking; Ice-cream at Christmas? and my answer is: Why not? Everybody appreciates homemade ice-cream and when it’s bursting with the aromas and flavors of lavender and honey it fits perfectly after a heavy winter meal such as Christmas dinner. These days our homes will be bursting with all kinds of sweets and probably we’ll be having some kind of cake or sweet bread with our coffee earlier that day, why not lighten things up with the creamy and delicious ice cream my good friends Alix and Hugo from Paris made? Their recipe is as easy as it is inspired and this is exactly the reason why it makes a great choice for the stress free but delicious and festive Christmas dinner.
Remember to make a shopping list a few days ahead to avoid the workload on the last few days. This menu is based on easy and delicious recipes and ideas to save you from all that preparation and success stress but still impress and satisfy your guests.
Tis the most wonderful time of the year…
Remember to enjoy it and save more time for your loved ones rather than spend it on preparations.