Be the host with the most at this year’s Christmas celebration.
If you’ve got the honour of hosting this year’s Christmas celebration, it can be easy to get frazzled at the thought of everything you have to do. But, don’t get overwhelmed, there are a few ways you can approach the planning so you can put on a great spread and still have fun.
Callum Hann, MasterChef runner-up and Philips Kitchen Appliances ambassador, shares a few ways how you can keep your cool this silly season while making sure your guests have an enjoyable time, too.
Have a plan
It goes without saying, but don’t leave everything until the last minute.
“Preparation and breaking down a recipe to make it as simple as possible, are the best ways to keep cool when hosting,” Callum says.
You can start with your shopping list. Take the time to sit down and decide on your menu and plan the right meal for the occasion, he suggests.
“Try and have a mixture of hot and cold dishes to take the pressure off – generally I like to aim for something cool to start, hot mains and then a pre-made dessert,” Callum adds.
Before you even begin cooking, get prepared in the kitchen.
“Chopping, cutting, dicing, peeling and squeezing all ingredients before you start cooking means you can add them as needed and clean up while cooking, rather than desperately chopping each ingredient, watching the food already cooking, and feeling stressed and in a mess,” Callum says.
Make the day even easier by doing this type of prepping in the morning, or the day before so that you can organise the house, knowing the most time-consuming step is finished.
Stick with what you know
Although you want to impress your gurests, remember that you don’t have to plan an elaborate, exciting meal, which takes hours and is completely unfamiliar.
“I always avoid cooking anything too complicated, or anything I haven’t attempted before,” Callum reveals. “Instead, I like to choose something simple but delicious, and I find comfort food is always a success.”
Callum suggests choosing an easy, delicious main, and then wowing your guests with a special dessert.
“These can usually be prepared in advance so you won’t feel time pressured, and the effort you’ve put in will show,” he says.
Create the right vibe
Apart from the food, the ambiance is just as important.
“It’s always good to have a great playlist set-up and some wine or other beverages ready to serve," Callum suggests. "Have all the food prepped, or cooking, so your guests don't feel like they're in the way when they arrive,” Callum suggests.
Since Christmas is such a busy time, your guests will want to relax and have fun, so putting thought into these details is important to keep everyones mood high from the moment they walk through the door.
Callum suggests keeping things ticking along smoothly by making use of handy kitchen appliances to make your life easier.
“An appliance like the Philips Airfryer XXL is perfect for this situation with a range of cooking functions, and it allows you to prepare, set and leave it to do the hard work so you’re free to host properly,” he says.
Now all that's left to do is sit back, relax and enjoy the Christmas cheer.