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meal planner for the Christmas period (looking for meal ideas for 10 days!)

(11 Posts)
workatemylife Thu 13-Nov-14 17:25:36

We have the folks coming here for about ten days (6 adults, 3 DCs) over Christmas and new year. I have a clear idea of what food to do for Christmas Day and Boxing day, and on Christmas Eve we usually have a pasta / macaroni type meal that can be cooked quickly once everyone is home. For lunches, I reckon bread, crackers, soups, jacket spuds etc would be fine (not all at the same time!) and after Christmas & Boxing Day there will be left over turkey, ham etc to keep us going.

BUT what I could really do with would be some ideas for nice, family mealtime, food that I can prepare in advance and freeze, or is quick and easy to chuck together on the day. Lasagne usually goes down well. Maybe a casserole / pie? Anything with a festive twist maybe?

We'll have Christmas cake, Christmas pudding, mince pies etc ready to go, but some other dessert type things would also be great. Is there anything else I could bung in the freezer or that would store in a tin for a few days? I like cooking and baking, but don't want to be involved in major food prep every day if there is stuff I could do ahead of time.

DH and / or the rellies might chip in with a meal or two, which will help. But your words of wisdom would be much appreciated.

TheWordFactory Thu 13-Nov-14 17:48:04

I always have a houseful for days on end too!

Xmas Eve I always roast a huge pork and serve hot sandwiches.
Xmas Day is taken care of.

Boxing Day will often be a ham cooked in Coke, potatoes, salad, hot bread.

Then a pie made with turkey, ham and cream served with salad.

And dont be ashamed to serve a buffet of cold cuts, a butcher's pork pie, good cheese and pickles. Throw in some crisps and hot bread and it keeps the hordes fed and happy.

I often make soup too for lunch. Cream of butternut squash and sweet potato is lovely. I've never frozen it but suppose you could. Leek and potato always enjoyed or spiced parsnip. Again with some hot bread. Follow with cheeses.

TheWordFactory Thu 13-Nov-14 17:50:46

I don't bother with puddings as I have two christmas cakes, chocolates, mince pies etc. I usually buy in stollen.

New Year's Eve I might make the effort. A lemon tart perhaps.

Blankiefan Thu 13-Nov-14 17:53:03

How about a couple of things you can make ahead and freeze like a huge lasagne and a big cottage pie. Nice and warming and you can just chuck them in the oven. Sorts a couple of evenings.

AugustaGloop Thu 13-Nov-14 17:56:17

I would look up recipes for leftover turkey and ham. I usually do a turkey, leek and ham pie on one of the days after Christmas and a turkey curry another day, but plan to check out some new recipes this year as my turkey curry was not great last year.
My neighbour usually gives me a panattone (sp?) for Christmas and I use some of that to make a bread and butter pudding type thing (Nigella recipe).

BiddyPop Thu 13-Nov-14 20:24:43

Do you have a lot of freezer space, and will the relies eat everything or what restrictions do you have?

A 3rd option (to add to lasagne and cottage pie bakes) would be a smoked haddock and broccoli pie, poach haddock in milk, use milk to make white sauce, cook broc to al dente, put fish and broc into sauce in dish, top with mash, nice sprinkling of breadcrumbs and good handful of mature cheddar. Also freeze able ahead of time.

Chorizo potatoes, which is basically a bag of salad potatoes, a jar of tomato and chilli sauce, and a chorizo sausage sliced into chunks, all mixed together and baked for an hour until spuds are done. I use half a Lidl chorizo to 1 jar sauce and a kilo of spuds, and add a portion of Lidl bacon lardons to it. Stirs together in 5 minutes and ignore for an hour.

Chilli con crane or vegetarian chilli can both be frozen.

Curries. A lamb rogan josh, a chicken bhuna, or whatever your family favourites are. One idea could be to do a double batch of maybe 2/3 family favourites over the next week or 3, to freeze half of each. Then do a curry feast night with a few types, or you have small enough batches for just a few people rather than the whole group.

Spag Bol

Various stews

Or have a pack of chicken legs, thighs, part boned breasts - marinade, freeze, aand then roast v fast. You can do roasted veggies bagged up the same and have a badge of roast potatoes or else pop in potatoes for baking for another fast but easy roast dinner.

tassisssss Thu 13-Nov-14 21:31:52

I would pop a fruity beef casserole or nigellas chocolate chilli (don't be put off by the name) in the freezer.

I would order chinese one night.

If you have freezer space I'd be popping a lasagne or bolognese in the freezer in advance too.

I'd probably make a pavlova on 23rd...these keep for a good while. And I'd maybe have a chocolate torte or chocolate brownies frozen too.

And as you're cooking for days and days I'd be going for some easy meals too like chorizo pasta.

GerrardWinstanley Thu 13-Nov-14 22:37:49

Sausage casserole? Easy and cheap and can cook in the oven alongside the jacket spuds?
Also Aldi and Lidl are doing big 3-fish roasts or salmon Wellington type things cheaply
Slow roast pork and chippy chips?
Pizza night.

TwoNoisyBoys Fri 14-Nov-14 10:33:57

Yy to chilli, curry, shepherds pie, fish pie, lasagne....all can be made ahead and frozen. I'm currently awaiting a recipe from a friend for a venison casserole that she always does in the week between Christmas and new year to feed the masses....it's got cranberries and chestnuts in so should be pretty festive! I'll post the recipe when I get it if you like?

chillychicken Fri 14-Nov-14 10:49:04

For lunches definitely do cheese, biscuits, bread, cold meats, pickles. YUM.

Dinners:

Steak & guinness pie
Fajitas (really quick and easy)
Fish pie
Lasagne
Cottage pie
Chilli
Spag bol
Stew
Chicken and veg curry
Pasta bake

Desserts - I'm not sure I'd bother. You have cake and mince pies. Tin of chocs? Otherwise, I'd make some shortbread or cookies, maybe a sorbet and some brownies.

workatemylife Fri 14-Nov-14 13:13:04

FANTASTIC! Thank you ever so much. Some lovely ideas here, and yes, the casseroles / marinated meat / curries etc prepared ahead sound lovely. Rather than starting from scratch, it would be sensible to just prepare more of what we're eating at the moment and bung chunks in the freezer. If you have the recipe for the casserole with chesnut and cranberries, that sounds interesting. DH would love that potato and chorizo bake - fabulous.

I'm a fan of a decent cold buffet with dishes that change as needed or when more left-overs become available. I'll stock up on cheeses, crackers, and maybe some of those home-bake rolls. I quite like making bread, but that might be best for cold / wet weather as a way of keeping the kids busy.

And yes, I probably am overthinking desserts. Once Christmas Day arrives, there will be cake, pudding, stollen and choccies available, so a batch of brownie in the freezer, and maybe some cookie dough ready to go would be fine. We don't eat hefty puddings every day normally, and with so many snacks and treats around over the holidays we probably shouldn't start. I did a chocolate fondue one year - dead easy and a hit with the adults and DCs. I hadn't thought about pavlova - might try that as well.

Last year I gave DH a panettone (yum yum) and he shared it with the rest of us (or perhaps we stole it from him!) Maybe we need two grin

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