Entertaining doesn’t have to mean formal, complicated or tortuous
Create exciting dishes to be shared using simple, fresh and seasonal produce. This will make your event so much easier as it will save time and stress!
Plan your menu in advance and create a timeline
Your plan should include list items such as; ingredients required, when and where you will shop for them and types of serving ware that will be used. Make sure your plan also details key timings of when you will prepare and cook certain elements of your dishes. Start talking about your Christmas menu early to make sure you include everyone’s favourite!
Head to the MiNDFOOD Christmas section for a range of great recipes and gift ideas, including out edible gifts, such as Chocolate Ganache Truffles and Homemade Christmas dukkah. The perfect gifts for unexpected guests!
Select recipes that you can mostly prepare in advance
The actual event is always stressful, no matter how prepared you are. Try and choose dishes that only need to be assembled, or simply cooked or reheated on the day. And make sure you have enough room in your oven and fridge! You don’t want to be stuck in the kitchen all day whilst everyone else is enjoying the labours of your hard work! Prepare some veggies sticks and have a selection of fresh, real ingredient dips at hand so your guests have something to nibble on between meals – they’ll love them and they won’t ruin their appetite for the main course!
We have created the perfect fuss-free Christmas menu here.
Create separate areas so that your guests can roam and mingle
You can divide your area by course or by activity. Perhaps try creating different areas for:
- Drinks and punch
- Cheese and dips, dried fruit, chips & crackers
- Shared main dishes
Recipe suggestion: Get creative with our delicious Cherry Champagne Bellinis and Cherry Spiders, perfect for adults and children alike. Click here for the recipe.
Create separate seating areas for your guests
Think creatively about your space. Move beyond the dining room table. What about your back yard? Or front patio? Make the area more inviting with throw rugs and cushions, and even indoor furniture, like side tables. This area is perfect for kids as well, they can enjoy a picnic lunch without feeling left out.
Consider the weather
During the summer months, when we see the temperature rise, your guests will appreciate light bites and icy cold drinks. Think, delectable homemade fruit punches, ginger beer or lemonade and light, fresh and healthy finger food – all will be sure to impress your guests!
Recipe suggestion: One of my favourite dishes to serve up is a Crostini served with a smear of Obela Spicy Harissa Hummus, topped with a perfectly cooked prawn and garnished with thinly sliced fennel and coriander that has been dressed in a light vinaigrette! So delicious!
Consider dietary requirements
Make sure to check in with all of your guests ahead of time to ask after special dietary requirements. There are so many delicious and innovative dishes that are gluten free, nut free or vegan these days. You will not be stuck for choice and all of your guests will love them!
Recipe suggestion: We have compiled our favourite gluten free festive recipes here, including the delicious Brined Turkey Breasts with Spiced Rice & Almond Stuffing.
Create a festive mood
You can do this with beautiful table settings and decorations, bunches of fresh flowers, lighting, candles, incense and of course music. Although plan ahead too, make sure you have the right size vases and pick a colour theme and stick to it!
Don’t forget about the children!
Have a think about how you can create activities to keep the kids entertained. If it’s a warm hot night, a simple blow up swimming pool will keep the little ones entertained for hours!
Always accept offers of help when asked
As a host you feel like you should have everything in hand but this is simply not true. Always accept offers of help from guests, even if its simple things like serving drinks or clearing away empty plates at the end of a course. A little help will go a long way and will make your night so much more relaxed and enjoyable. This will help ease the pressure off you so you can enjoy the evening too….that can’t be a bad thing right?