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Easy Christmas Party food: please share your top tips with Lidl #SchoolofChristmas: chance to win one of 5 £50 vouchers NOW CLOSED

(197 Posts)
ZaneMumsnet (MNHQ) Mon 16-Nov-15 12:13:42

Ahead of the festive season the Lidl team at #SchoolofChristmas would love to hear your top tips for tip top Christmas party food - what lessons have you learnt for hosting parties at Christmas that you can share with Lidl and MN?



Please share your tips which can help make hosting a Christmas party (for kids or adults) a dream - whether an amazing recipe, short-cut, or your nod-and-a-wink trick to ensure you get to spend less time in the kitchen, and more time enjoying the party.

Everyone who posts their tip on this thread will be entered into a prize draw where 5 Mumsnetters will each win a £50 Lidl voucher.

Thanks and good luck
MNHQ

Standard Insight T&Cs apply

MissFitt68 Mon 16-Nov-15 12:31:53

I use 'outside' as a second fridge for bulky drinks bottles/cans/jugs etc. Usually up on the patio garden table with an upside down plastic storage box over it! Works well as its never hot a Xmas here!!

CopperPan Mon 16-Nov-15 16:20:15

I try to do what I can in advance. I make mince pies a few weeks before and freeze them ready to bake on the day. I do a trifle on Christmas Eve, and make up the brandy butter, and prep most of the veg in front of the TV.

CheeseAtFourpence Mon 16-Nov-15 17:55:22

Lists lists and lists! I aim to prep as much as possible. I eat up everything in my spare freezer in the run up to Christmas so I have plenty of space to fill up.

I usually host Christmas Day and then a day or two later so have Christmas Day things in the main fridge and use the other fridge for the later day.

I start buying early as I spot things - my Lidl Christmas puddings are in the cupboard, although I've eaten the lovely fudge I bought - oops!

Cookingongas Mon 16-Nov-15 18:09:59

Whenever I host dc for a party I ways roll out a load gingerbread and leave cutters out. Children can then all cut 2 or 3 biscuits out each, before shoving them all in the oven. Children love it, it limits the crap they eat, and makes the house smell Christmassy.

A couple of punch bowls of cocktail surrounded by glasses is also a godsend - as host I then don't worry about pouring for guests- they just help themselves .

Maiyakat Mon 16-Nov-15 18:15:50

DD loves helping with the baking, and it doesn't matter if my decorating skills aren't up too much because no-one can criticise a 3 year old's icing artwork!

CMOTDibbler Mon 16-Nov-15 18:20:17

I'm gluten free, as is one of my nephews, which does make doing party food more tricky.
It sounds poncey, but sushi rolls are very easy to do, and you can do loads of non fish fillings. A favourite is to buy a chinese duck thing, shred, and then put in the rolls with plum sauce. Or cold roast beef and horseradish.

sharond101 Mon 16-Nov-15 18:25:40

Prepare everything in advance and choose an easy starter and freezeable pudding so the main meal is really all that needs alot of thought. We do soup (from freezer made in advance) or pate (assembly job), turkey/chicken and trimmings then sticky toffee pudding (from freezer made in advance.) Do vegetables beforehand on Xmas Eve so as a quick nuke or roast will finish them off. Make up a time chart so you know what time everything needs switching on and off. Use gravy made from a previous cooked chicken/turkey to save waiting for the fat to skim.

Theimpossiblegirl Mon 16-Nov-15 18:35:26

I bought a Panini maker from Lidl last year and used it on boxing day to make delicious paninis with the leftover meat, stuffing, some cheese and cranberry sauce. Last year they went down a treat following our traditional family dog walk.

Littlemousewithcloggson Mon 16-Nov-15 18:37:17

Keep it simple. Serve a good quality selection rather than lots of different things. Much easier to prepare and refill.
Paper plates cut down on washing up and you can get some lovely disposable platter dishes.
Think about party in advance, plan meals using contents of freezer so free up enough space. Cook and freeze party dishes in advance - or buy frozen party food. Easy to chuck in oven and reduces waste.
If numbers warrant it do a separate kids buffet table. Things like Baby potatoes cut in half with a cheese slice on a cocktail stick stuck into it to make sail boats, sandwiches cut into shapes, half tomatoes with faces go down well along with the traditional mini sausages, sausage rolls etc
Have craft tables or a simple treasure hunt to entertain the kids.
If only adults a simple hot buffet works well but consider doing a few main dishes rather than lots of fiddly things - eg bowl of chilli, bowl of curry, bowl of rice etc especially if the event will take up the majority of an evening and this will be the main meal! Whatever you serve, remember vegetarians and dietary needs.
Remember the non alcoholic drinks. There are a lot of great alcohol free cocktails that can be easily made in jugs

BrandNewAndImproved Mon 16-Nov-15 19:04:23

Cheesy pinwheels or cheese parcels are really good to make in advance without cooking the pastry and freezing. I brush egg over before freezing as well. They always go down really well at parties.

Lidls do nice part baked rolls, it's always good to have loads of those and you can buy them in advance.

Keep it simple. A nice joint of meat, a few trays of party food, rolls, salads and black forest gateaux.

TheSpottedZebra Mon 16-Nov-15 19:34:22

Mine is don't be proud. If people ask if they can bring anything, let them. If people if there is anything they can do, suggest something.

Bert2e Mon 16-Nov-15 19:43:54

Baked Camenbert with bread sticks - looks fab and is very easy!

SwedeDreams Mon 16-Nov-15 20:24:12

Make sausage rolls and mince pies and freeze to bake on the day. Slice up stollen. Roast a load of baby potatoes and serve in foil with sea salt and rosemary. Lots of crisp in bowls! The aim is everyone gets a bit to eat and to talk to you, not watch you cook all night!

BrendaandEddie Mon 16-Nov-15 20:57:17

best canape
cocktail stick +Cherry tom +tiny ball of mozarella +leaf of basil>shove in gob

AND those herby prawns on top of smoked salmon pate, on an oatcake

WiryElevator Mon 16-Nov-15 20:58:37

I don't do anything that involves the oven on the night - I want to be talking to people, not a slave to the oven. I make stuff ahead and just assemble with people there.

I make a big bowl of chicken liver pate a few days before - it's dead easy and tastes so much better homemade. I serve it on toasted pugliese bread cut up small.

I also make a delicious feta cucumber canape, scooping out the innards of cucumber having sliced a whole one lengthways, then filling the groove with a feta ricotta garlic and dill mix, then cut up small for a canape.

I often do various canapés with a cheese, a veg/fruit and a carb - eg Stilton, pear and walnut on rye, or mozzarella, chilli and basil on crostini, or goats cheese, sunblush tomato on crispbreads.

Maximum flavour, no cooking on the night, minimum fuss, and LOTS of jugs of cocktails and Prosecco.

FeelingSmurfy Mon 16-Nov-15 21:20:48

Cranberry sauce goes well with a cheese board, in homemade sausage rolls and sandwiches - making normal foods festive

Its so quick and easy to make that I will never buy it again! It lasts for around a week, so can be made in advance when you have more time and then just kept in the fridge

Themadcleaner Mon 16-Nov-15 21:30:46

I make really good little sausage rolls using readymade pastry and sausage meat from the butchers. Delicious warm from the oven.
Keep it simple using disposable tablewear.
Kids always seem to enjoy things they can assemble themselves, threading fruit onto bamboo sticks for fruit kebabs or a hot chocolate or ice cream 'station' go down well
Lastly if people ask what they can bring , accept the offer and spread the workload a bit.

TattieHowkerz Mon 16-Nov-15 21:34:47

I buy as much ready made stuff as possible. If it cooks in the tray, even better.

AnneElliott Mon 16-Nov-15 21:43:41

Lots of warm bread always goes down well, and is helpful if the rest of the buffet is cold.

Accept any offers of food/ drink from your guests.

purplepandas Mon 16-Nov-15 21:50:06

I am withTattie on the ready made stuff. I am not a natural cook. I do make a mean leaf, ciabatta and red wine vinegar salad though with mozzarella.

CointreauVersial Mon 16-Nov-15 23:09:50

Last Christmas, to keep the DDs and their cousins occupied on Christmas morning I set them to work making canapes for Christmas lunch.

I set up a table with everything they needed - blinis, cream cheese, pate, smoked salmon, cherry toms etc. and they had a great time putting everything together and laying it out on platters. Saved me lots of time!

putthePuffindown Mon 16-Nov-15 23:32:12

Preparation is key! Choose things that you can prepare in advance and freeze (Delia has a brilliant chocolate lava cake recipe for dessert that can even be cooked from frozen if you make in silicon muffin trays).

hesterton Tue 17-Nov-15 06:09:11

Even something as simple as having the makings of a lovely 3 cheese board can make things much simpler when you have a ton of guests for a few days - a blue, a soft brie and a sharp cheddar type plus some half baked baguettes. Serve with home made soup for a very easy supper after a big lunch or lunch before a big dinner.

InMySpareTime Tue 17-Nov-15 07:35:24

Decant tubs of dips into ramekins and add chopped chives or parsley on top to pass off as homemade.
Add cinnamon and ginger to plain popcorn for a big looking, low effort dish that makes the room smell of Christmas.

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