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Christmas cooking: Make it or fake it!

Christmas cooking: Make it or fake it!

Want it all home-made but don’t have the time? We’ll help show you how to fake it this Christmas.  That’s right, but shhhhh now…. it’s our top tips on how to order in this festive season and pass it all off as your own.  Truly, your guests will think you’re rocking a 5 star restaurant.  And why not, it’s just working smarter not harder, isn’t it?

1. The number one rule of faking it is stylish assembly.  Absolutely everything you serve can be bought but it’s up to you to artfully lay it out on your prettiest serving plates, cutting boards and dishes.  And make sure you remove the evidence (packaging) before the guests arrive!

2. H2-gO - add citrus slices to jugs or water for a simple but effective way to give extravagance.

3. Herb up – buy bunches of fresh herbs and sprinkle on top of the various meals and salads.  You’d be surprised how appetising this can make a dish look.  Herbs also make great garnishes on cheese and antipasto platters.

4. Special seafood – if you’re tucking into fresh tiger prawns, oysters, gravlax or lobster this Christmas, make sure you throw a bunch of fresh cut lemon wedges onto to the serving platter.  Works well with hot seafood dishes too.

5. Go nutty – for a more lavish look on your vegetable dishes and salads, sprinkle some sliced almonds, crumbled walnuts or sesame seeds.

6. Drizzle – a little olive oil, vinegar or lemon juice onto any meat dishes that tend to get dried out; this will add some sheen and moisture.  Top with fresh herbs for added flavour and zshush.

7. Dessert decadence – take your sweets from zero to hero, by dressing bought cakes with fresh berries, or other treats such as Maltesers or choc covered almonds.  Lift it further by dusting icing sugar on top for a snowy patisserie effect.  This trick can be used on any biscuit, brownie or cake.  Coconut and Milo make excellent dessert toppers too.

8. Table décor – nothing says style like a beautifully laid out table.  Use lots of gorgeous glassware, crockery and cutlery and decorate with candles, fresh flowers or Christmas baubles.

9. Top up – keep the wine and bubbles flowing and your guests are sure to have fun; they’ll be falling over themselves to compliment you on your outstanding menu!

And last but not least, have some confidence.  Hold your head up high and own it.  Don’t breathe a word and they’ll never know you didn’t make it yourself.  You did after all have the smarts to conceptualise this faux home-made luncheon so give yourself a pat on the back and enjoy!