Rightly or wrongly, Christmas adverts clearly place the responsibility of Christmas on mums. Being organised in the kitchen and preparing then sticking to a plan can keep you upbeat no matter what your circumstances. If you are upbeat everything falls into place.
 
This year Sian, a home economist, home management and cookery teacher, was asked by her cookery school students to compile a recipe book with ideas for Christmas family meal times. ’12 Days of Stress Free Christmas Cooking’ is much more than 40 of her favourite Christmas recipes. The eBook also includes a 12 day menu plan and calendar, a shopping list for those meals as well as my top tips to ensure that Christmas time is family time rather than just stressing about the food. Here are a few of her top tips to help mum’s over the festive period.
 
Tips to help Mums over the Festive Period
1. Be Organised
Organise the housekeeping chores to be completed by mid December. Take stock of what food you have in your fridge, freezer and storecupboard before you add any Christmas food.
 
2. Plan
Take 30 minutes and plan as many meals as possible for the Christmas period. I tend to plan all the meals for the days between 20th December and 1st January inclusive. This reduces your time wasted deciding what to cook each day and allows you extra quality time.
 
3. Shopping List
Create a shopping list from your planned meals (using Siansplan.com if you wish) or prepare your own. I recommend adding a few extra staple items for your store cupboard and fridge. This will reduce your shopping bill as your shopping is more accurate.
 
4. Shop early
I like to shop for store food items early in December then go back intermittantly for fresh ingredients as required. Never shop when you’re hungry and always with your shopping list.
 
5. Store foods properly
When storing in cupboards rotate on a 1st in 1st out rule. Store lettuce and herbs in damp kitchen roll and place in air tight containers in the fridge. These will last well over 10 days this way. Less food waste = extra money in your pocket!
 
6. Prepare early
Christmas day can be stressfull at the best of times but you can make it much easier by baking and prepping pastry, Madeira cake, breadcrumbs, stuffing, cranberry and port sauce. I find my favourite Sticky Toffee Pudding a real winner in my family and better still it can be prepped well in advance. Serve warm as a pudding or topped with white glace icing and served as mini Christmas Cakes. Wrap and freeze, ready to use.
 
7. Plan to Cook
Use a simple plan for work to cook Christmas dinner. Start with the time you want to serve dinner and work backwards. The turkey takes the longest time to cook so this will determine the time you start the work plan. Ensuring that there is time to relax and to spend with the family is far more important than worrying about the food
 
Sian’s Plan for Christmas eBook has over 40 Christmas recipes and a 12 day Christmas Meal Plan and shopping list. You can find it at siansplan.com/site/ebook.
 
Sian has been a home economist, home management and cookery teacher for over 25 years. Her food blogs and meal plans are read by thousands in the UK and Ireland. She has a young grown up family of three boys. More recently Sian has created a Siansplan.com to help home cooks plan, shop and cook healthy meals within their budget and without wasting food.

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