Christmas can be an overwhelming experience with large groups of family and friends descending upon you for a day of endless eating, drinking and laughs, while you feel as if you are stuck in the kitchen doing all the preparation and hard work. I like to write my plan 4 weeks ahead to ensure I feel calm in the lead up and on the day; really I want to enjoy the watermelon cosmos Scott will be making for me too and not slaving away in the kitchen!

I've included two delicious recipes at the bottom of the page for refreshing watermelon cosmos and a festive peach and brie tartlet that are quick to whip up and sure to impress your guests! As well, our fabulous Vanilla Pod staff at our Ascot Cafe are a wealth of information when it comes to Christmas entertaining and our deli is stocked full of great products and recipe ideas. 

Start a little note listing down who is coming, if they have any food allergies and a plan for how you would like the day to run. I absolutely love cooking and am a busy working Mum, so realistically I need to do a little out sourcing too!

To help you with your own Christmas plans, I've written a list of what I have planned and how I’ll go about it. I’ve highlighted the things I will outsource and need to get from The Pod. I graciously accepted a dish from my Mum and my neighbour, leaving me with a less stressful list to prepare.

Three weeks in advance:

·        order the blini, salads and desserts from Vanilla Pod.

·        order the prawns from Princess Charlotte Seafood & the ham and turducken from Simon’s Butchery in Ascot. 

·        purchase festive napkins, bonbons and dry grocery lines such as festive nuts, crackers, alcohol.

·        do a count on the crockery, cutlery and choose a table cloth.

·        order fresh flowers to the table from our friends at Bouquet Boutique in New Farm or Coddle & Co in Wooloowin. 

One week in advance :

·        make the herb butter roll and garlic croutons.

·        get all your recipes out and make the shopping list. I buy all the non-perishable items now, leaving a much smaller shop just before Christmas.

On the 23rd:

·        crumb the olives and have them in the fridge ready to shallow fry on the day.

·        juice a watermelon for the cosmos and keep in the fridge.

·        do final grocery shop.

On the 24th:

·        collect blini, salads and desserts from Vanilla Pod.

·        collect prawns, ham and turducken.

·        peel the prawns.

On the 25th before everyone arrives:

·        Scott will glaze the ham with the kids on Christmas morning before the guests arrive and get it started in the barbie…it takes about 2 hours to bake.

·        assemble the prawn cocktail (leaving the croutons till just before you serve).

·        pre-mix the watermelon cosmo and have chilled in 1 litre bottles ready for serving.

·        lay the festive table with your gingerbread house taking centre stage.

Once every one arrives:

·        Fry the olives and serve as a starter with the blini and sausage rolls.

Then it’s just a matter of adding croutons to the prawn cocktail, plattering the salads, warming the bread, slicing the meats and it’s all ready to go.

I like to get the kids involved in serving and clearing the table…they look sweet in their little aprons and it makes my job a whole lot easier!

Desserts are ready to go, so sit back and enjoy the afternoon as it unfolds! Merry Christmas!

If you like what you've seen place your order from our Christmas Menu today or enjoy making our refreshing watermelon cosmo and festive peach and brie tartlet - simple, fast and fresh recipes that are sure you wow your Christmas guests!

Our deli is a hive of Christmas inspiration and our staff at our Ascot Cafe are more than happy to assist with all your Christmas entertaining needs.

Christmas Orders close Friday 4th December. Please order now to avoid disappointment.