The Christmas holidays are almost upon on and by now most people have a guest list and know how many people to expect for Christmas dinner and over the bank holidays. Planning a sit down meal for a large number of people can be very stressful. The trick to get every thing to work to clockwork is:
1. Plan your shopping list well in advance, this is really important so that you do not end up with things falling short at last minute. Start buying non perishables ahead so you can spread the cost of the shopping bill.
2. Prepare a time schedule which includes preparation and cooking times for Christmas dinner.
3. Prepare what ever will keep well in advance such as peeling vegetables making desserts and starters and also freezing things.
4. Delegate some tasks to family members, remember every little help will mean less stress for you.
5. Set the Christmas dinner table the day before is a great time saver.
6. Have plenty of disposable crockery that you can use in case of unexpected guests. Plastic cups and plates and foil trays are very useful.
7. Cheat!!! Buy some desserts and treats no one will mind or really judge you. They will be too busy enjoying them selves to notice!!
In my family we always welcome unexpected guests, to ensure I have plenty of food to go around I always keep extra vegetables and a couple of vegetarian pies in the freezer that can be easily prepared to accommodate extra friends. I also keep plenty of ready desserts in my fridge and freezer. Not every one likes mince pies and Christmas cake so to have some alternate desserts are always a good idea.
This year I have been checking my local Aldi store that only opened 5 months ago in a near by town. Its great to have the store within a 15 minute drive away as I find that all the food is high quality and of exceptional taste.The choice is vast and Aldi offer great value for money and luxury items at unbeatable prices.
Aldi have introduced the specially selected Exquisite Christmas desserts range. They are beautifully packaged in a turquoise and gold packaging and look very luxurious. Some of the items in the range are:
- Specially Selected Exquisite Christmas Cake
- Specially Selected Exquisite Vintage Christmas Pudding
- Specially Selected Exquisite Yule Log
- Specially Selected Exquisite Mince Pies
- Specially Selected Exquisite Handcrafted Truffles
- Specially Selected Exquisite Handcrafted Chocolate Slabs
- Specially Selected Large Fondant Macaroons
- Specially Selected Croquembouche
- Specially Selected Melt In The Middle Puddings
- Gluten Free Christmas Pudding
- Gluten Free Mince Pies
I have stocked up on few of these items and I can vouch that they are really delicious. You may ask how I know this since we have not had Christmas dinner yet!!!! The secret is that when I bought the desserts my family could not resist them so we have sampled out a few so that we can select our favourites to stock up for Christmas. They are so irresistable it is going to be really hard to make them last till Christmas and I can see my self making frequent visits to stock up.
Our family favourites were:
Specially Selected Exquisite Mince Pies- These mince pies have a light airy pastry (They are suitable for vegetarians too) and the ratio of the mincemeat to pastry is perfect. They are garnished with flaked almonds making them look lavish and enjoyable with a glass of mulled wine. The pies retail at £2.99 for a box of 6 and they are already available in all stores at the moment.
Specially Selected 6 Chocolate & Fruit Dessert Shots- These mini desserts are perfect for ending an elaborate Christmas meal. Simply satisfying they come in three flavours; Exotic fruit meringue, Raspberry and whipped mascarpone and White and dark chocolate mousse. Each mini dessert is beautifully presented in distinct layers in mini shot glasses. Rich and decadent you might find your self reaching out for a second shot!!!! These retail at £2.99 for a box of 6 and can be found in the freezer section.
Specially Selected Exquisite Handcrafted Chocolate Slabs- These beautifully made chocolates come in three different flavours, White chocolate with Raspberries and Peach, Dark chocolate and Sparkling Wine and Milk Chocolate and Blackcurrant. These enticing flavours make them the perfect for gifting or for after dinner treats. You will also be surprised that they are only£2.49 each and all the three flavours can be found in the confectionery section of all the stores.
Specially Selected Exquisite Handcrafted Truffles - These truffles are perfect to serve with coffee to end the Christmas meal. Daintily packaged in a beautiful box with gold ribbon trims, these individually glazed and hand decorated chocolates come in mouth watering flavours such as Cranberry, Fig and Cognac, Mango and basil, Royal Marc de champagne, Apricot, Cherry, Bitter chocolate, Coconut and Gingerbread. These distinct flavours are unique and simply sensuous! A box of these amazing truffles are only £4.99 and they too are found in the confectionery section.
This Christmas you can do your complete Christmas shopping at Aldi. Apart from desserts I have featured, Aldi also have amazing appetisers, starters, cheeses, crackers, luxury biscuits, sweet treats confectionery, fruit and vegetables, all types of meats together with wines and spirits. Why not make Aldi your one stop shop for Christmas this year.
I would love to hear about your Christmas stories, tricks and tips to help make Christmas less stressful in the kitchen. Please do share them in the comments below. Have a wonderful foodie filled festive Christmas.
*This is a collaborative post with Aldi