Stress Free Shortcuts For Christmas Day.

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Am I alone or has this year gone so very quickly?

I feel like it was just weeks ago that I was thinking about last Christmas and yet…here it is again.

As stressful as this time of year can be...I do love everything about the festive season.

I love all the crazy cooking, the tree, the sunset swims and decorating our table with something imaginative.

As I’ve gotten older, I’ve relaxed my stance on making absolutely everything from scratch. It was insane.

There’s much wisdom in taking some simple cooking shortcuts and spending more time eating and laughing with your family.

I’ve put together some simple ideas using clever products from Woolworths. All of them are high on fabulous but will save you lots of precious time on the day..

Remember part of the magic of Christmas is the mystery.

Don’t tell and they’ll never know…

The Pretty Pink Raspberry Drink.

  Now, say that fast three times!    TO MAKE:  Take two cups of   Woolworths Frozen Raspberries   and crush into smooth paste. Place a teaspoon of the mixture in the bottom of a champagne flute and then top with champagne or prosecco. Make it alcohol free by topping with half   Woolworths Raspberry Bottle   and half   Woolworths Coconut Water.

Now, say that fast three times!

TO MAKE: Take two cups of Woolworths Frozen Raspberries and crush into smooth paste. Place a teaspoon of the mixture in the bottom of a champagne flute and then top with champagne or prosecco. Make it alcohol free by topping with half Woolworths Raspberry Bottle and half Woolworths Coconut Water.

The Pavlova Wreath.

I do not understand why I hadn’t thought of this one before?!

Because nothing quite says Christmas in Australia like a Pavlova Berry Wreath.

And it’s three-step simple.

Take the large Woolworths Pavlova Base (1kg) . Remove all packaging and carefully place on a large platter.

Use the outside edge of a bread and butter plate to carefully trace a hole in the centre of the pavlova. Cut around with a knife and remove the inner circle (you could easily make a baby pavlova with this).

Top with whipped Woolworths Thickened Cream and decorate with fresh, strawberries, raspberries, pomegranate seeds and baby mint leaves.

Then watch as you WOW them.

Polenta ParmasAn Chips. The End.

 THESE are my BUY of the season.  Everyone loves them. Everyone.  Ten minutes straight from the freezer and they’re good to go. I pile them in a stack (like Jenga) and cover with fresh rosemary.   CLICK TO BUY:   Woolworths Polenta & Parmesan Chips, $5

THESE are my BUY of the season.

Everyone loves them. Everyone.

Ten minutes straight from the freezer and they’re good to go. I pile them in a stack (like Jenga) and cover with fresh rosemary.

CLICK TO BUY: Woolworths Polenta & Parmesan Chips, $5

Festive Frozen Vegetables.

A great way to save time on Christmas Day is taking a shortcut with your vegetable prep.

For me, Christmas is all about colour and so I choose snap frozen vegetables like carrots, peas and corn cobs that provide a great backdrop for fresh toppings and marinades.

Here, I’ve used Woolworths Julienne Carrots ($2 for ALL that chopping!) and steamed them until just soft. Once drained you can really let your imagination take over with the toppings.

I created a simple dressing using Macro Organic Unhulled Tahini Spread mixed with two tablespoons of lemon juice and salt and pepper.

Then I topped it with fresh pomegranate seeds and lime halves I chargrilled on the BBQ.

Couldn’t be simpler. Or prettier.

The Magic of Christmas Ribbon.

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You have to be committed to make your own Christmas cake.

You also need time. Days in fact. And that’s not for everyone.

So, if you want to nod to Christmas tradition, a great way to add colour and ceremony to the cake (and table) is to wrap it like a present.

Remove all packaging from a large Woolworths Iced Fruit Cake and find a pretty serving board or platter.

Wrap the outside of the cake in colourful Christmas ribbon. I used Woolworths Christmas Retro Fabric Ribbon - which is fantastic because it’s stiff.

For extra prettiness, tie a bow on the knife and add these Woolworths Christmas Glitter Snowflake Decorations to the top of the cake.

Instant centrepiece.

The Easiest Prawn Cocktail You’ll Ever Make.

  YOU’LL NEED :  Woolworths Jumbo Cooked Prawns ;  Woolworths Lebanese Mini Cucumbers ;  Woolworths Whole Egg Mayonnaise ;  Woolworths Tomato Sauce Squeeze ; fresh limes.   HOW TO:  Defrost the cooked prawns. Cut the mini cucumbers in half lengthways - and then in half again. Make cocktail sauce by whisking about two heaped teaspoons of tomato sauce into 3/4 cup of whole egg mayonnaise. Add a generous squeeze of lemon, salt, pepper (and I like a little tabasco or fresh chilli) then mix until smooth.  I’ve assembled in shot glasses with a wedge of lime for ease of holding (and eating) but use your imagination - teacups, mis-matched crystal sherry glasses. I like visiting  Red Cross  stores before Christmas and seeing what serving treasures they hold.

YOU’LL NEED: Woolworths Jumbo Cooked Prawns; Woolworths Lebanese Mini Cucumbers; Woolworths Whole Egg Mayonnaise; Woolworths Tomato Sauce Squeeze; fresh limes.

HOW TO: Defrost the cooked prawns. Cut the mini cucumbers in half lengthways - and then in half again. Make cocktail sauce by whisking about two heaped teaspoons of tomato sauce into 3/4 cup of whole egg mayonnaise. Add a generous squeeze of lemon, salt, pepper (and I like a little tabasco or fresh chilli) then mix until smooth.

I’ve assembled in shot glasses with a wedge of lime for ease of holding (and eating) but use your imagination - teacups, mis-matched crystal sherry glasses. I like visiting Red Cross stores before Christmas and seeing what serving treasures they hold.

Dessert Grazing Platter.

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Dessert grazing boards are perfect because they’re a decoration in themselves and you can build to suit the size your tribe (and their tastes).

This year, I went traditional using lots of old-fashioned favourites and peppering it with golden coins and candy canes for kids.

I can’t stress enough how fun these are to assemble and you could literally buy everything this weekend and just open and assemble on Christmas Day.

And Another Prawn Shortcut.

  YOU’LL NEED:   Woolworths Jumbo Cooked Prawns ;  Woolworths Baby Cos Lettuce;   Woolworths Lebanese Mini Cucumbers ;  Woolworths Whole Egg Mayonnaise ;  Woolworths Tomato Sauce Squeeze ; fresh lemon, fresh chilli.   HOW TO:  Defrost the cooked prawns, and season with salt and pepper. Flash grill on a hot skillet or the BBQ. Separate the cos lettuce leaves and arrange in a fan shape (as above) on a serving platter. Cut the mini cucumbers in half lengthways and lay one on the heart of each leaf. Stack the grilled prawns onto the platter in a generous pile. Then top with fresh parsley, chilli and lemon wedges.   SEAFOOD COCKTAIL SAUCE:  Whisk two tablespoons of tomato sauce into 3/4 cup of whole egg mayonnaise. Add squeeze of lemon, salt, pepper (and I like a little tabasco or fresh chilli) then mix until smooth.

YOU’LL NEED: Woolworths Jumbo Cooked Prawns; Woolworths Baby Cos Lettuce; Woolworths Lebanese Mini Cucumbers; Woolworths Whole Egg Mayonnaise; Woolworths Tomato Sauce Squeeze; fresh lemon, fresh chilli.

HOW TO: Defrost the cooked prawns, and season with salt and pepper. Flash grill on a hot skillet or the BBQ. Separate the cos lettuce leaves and arrange in a fan shape (as above) on a serving platter. Cut the mini cucumbers in half lengthways and lay one on the heart of each leaf. Stack the grilled prawns onto the platter in a generous pile. Then top with fresh parsley, chilli and lemon wedges.

SEAFOOD COCKTAIL SAUCE: Whisk two tablespoons of tomato sauce into 3/4 cup of whole egg mayonnaise. Add squeeze of lemon, salt, pepper (and I like a little tabasco or fresh chilli) then mix until smooth.

 Love and warm wishes for a safe, stress-free and peaceful Christmas and New Year.

Love and warm wishes for a safe, stress-free and peaceful Christmas and New Year.


A PARTNERSHIP WITH WOOLWORTHS