The Stress Free Christmas Dinner Plan; The List

So you’ve made your menu and you’ve booked marked all the recipes.  Now you need to get all those recipes to hand and make the list. Write down every last ingredient you need, and every piece of equipment. Then like Santa Claus go over that list again. Once you are happy, take your list, and put it in your hand bag or coat pocket and start picking up every item you can. Fill your store cupboards, your freezer, your shed or wherever you keep your food until everything is ticked off the list. Then check the list and your stores to ensure it is all present and accounted for; trust me the last thing you need to be doing Christmas Eve is trying to find a turkey.

When your list is done, then you can grab yourself a glass of your favourite beverage and relax, safe in the knowledge that you are almost ready to conquer Christmas dinner stress free.

The Stress Free Christmas Dinner Plan; The Menu

Christmas is just over a month away, for some of us, this means a slight nagging panic is starting to settle into your bones over preparing the Christmas feast. The rest of you, fortunate enough not to have swerved the responsibility of preparing your Christmas feast; congratulations, you are free to go put your feet up and watch It’s A Wonderful Life. The rest of us have work to do.

For those of you. who have followed this blog since the beginning, you will know that I began this blog when, for reasons I am still unsure of, I agreed to prepare my families Christmas feast a few years ago. Thinking back, it was a bit of a chaotic experience, probably with a soundtrack that would consist of a series of high-pitched bleeps, and Domesticated Mum saying “calm down dear” repeatedly.

It must have been a success though, as I have been asked to repeat the task every year since. It has also become the one meal, I increasingly enjoy preparing every year. The panic and the swearing is gone (mostly), because I have learned the secret to the perfect Christmas… PLANNING!

Now I know it may sound a bit obvious, but in order to create a panic free Christmas feast, planning really is the key. Don’t leave anything to chance. Plan every detail, and follow that plan, and a stress free Christmas dinner will be yours.

Of course not all of us know how to make a plan, which is where I come in. Follow my instructions, do as I say (not as I do) and Christmas dinner bliss, is just over a month away.

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An Apology For My Absence

I was down at the pub the other night and someone asked me; “how is your food blog going?”

Then it came flooding back… Once upon a time I had a food blog, I used to research and then write about food that I love. Once upon a time, I used to try new things in the kitchen, why did I stop?

I suppose I stopped for the same reason I stop most things; I lost my inspiration. Writing about food, and trying new recipes became too much like a job and less like an enjoyable hobby… And I already have a forty plus hour a week job!

Then last night, I was feeling grumpy, and looking miserable, and Domesticated Mum said; “you need a hobby, something to sink your teeth into, take your mind off the other stuff in life.”

Shortly afterwards, the phone rang. It was the mother in-law, wondering who was going to cook this year’s Christmas feast. I agreed it would be me.

So then last night, like a bolt out of the blue, it came to me, like when John Belushi stepped into the light in The Blues Brothers. The blog… you should resurrect the blog man!

And so here I sit, typing away, surrounded by recipe books, old cooking magazines, bringing the blog back to life.

Of course I know now, that I need to take it easy, I don’t want to burn myself out again, I don’t want to spoil the recipe. Yet, the fact that I am writing my first entry on this blog in almost a year is a sign. A sign that I really should never have stopped, I should have just rested a bit, and continued cooking a better dish. Which is what I plan on doing now, cooking when I can, and writing when I want, no gimmicks, no fuss, just good old-fashioned food blogging, which hopefully will benefit us all!

Thank you for reading, and putting up with my extended absence, I hope to be back with some delicious recipes soon.

Wesley

Pork Chops and Apples cooked in Cider.

Pork chops are not what they used to be. Thanks to people trying to be healthy, farmers are now putting their piggies on a diet so they grow up to leaner. Good news if you are planning on buying one to put in one of those novelty pig races, but bad news if you are going to eat it. Sure the reduction of fat in the world’s little piggies means leaner, healthier pork, but sadly it also means they are not as tasty, because as unfortunate as it is, when it comes to pork, the flavour is in the fat.

Fear not though my friends, you can still get some flavour out of your pork by combining it with some  complementing flavours… And what goes better with pork than apples?

This lovely,simple, quick recipe for example takes a simple pork chop and injects it with some lovely apple sweetness, and because it is cooked in cider, it also keeps the meat moist (Domesticated Mum was particularly impressed). Serve it up with some mash, and some sweet carrots and you will have a dinner perfect for these frosty winter days.

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Low Fat Steak Fajita

Now that Christmas is over, and the period of over-indulgence is a distant memory many of us are looking for ways to shed the extra baggage picked up last month. This doesn’t have to mean that we settle for soup and salad for the rest of the winter though does it?

Of course not!

Take this low-fat Mexican style fajita recipe. It delivers all the taste of a traditional Mexican meal but cleverly cuts out a lot of the fat associated with Mexican dishes. And it is dead simple to make, and takes no time at all to prepare.

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