Christmas Lunch On $150 Budget.
A COLLABORATION WITH WOOLWORTHS
You don’t have to spend a fortune to create a delicious a luxurious Christmas Day feast on a budget.
This year Woolworths gave me $150 to spend on food and decorations.
And…with a little prepartion, some clever DIY and shopping the seasonal specials you can enjoy a special Christmas on a budget.
Pretty Pavlova Tower.
Regular readers know just how fond I am of baking.
I may go a little overboard but if not Christmas…when?!
You don’t have to be a great cook or love baking to make a sensational Christmas Day dessert.
Here I’ve made a pretty pavlova tower which requires zero baking and minimum prep for $20
3 x Woolworths Pavalova Base
Whip the cream and set aside.
Unpack the pavlova bases. Cut two into slightly smaller circles than the bottom and the middle. The shells are very soft so a sharp long knife (used gently) will work best. Stack the bases on top of each other to form a tower.
Cover the bases in whipped cream and decorate with the nectarines and anything else that takes your imagination such as flowers, Christmas ornaments, chocolate etc.
250 gms dried cranberries
8 tablespoons sugar
1-3/4 cups all-purpose flour
2-1/2 teaspoons baking powder
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 large egg, room temperature
3/4 cup whole milk
1/3 cup vegetable oil
1 teaspoon grated lemon zest, optional
METHOD (makes 12)
Sprinkle cranberries with 2 tablespoons sugar; set aside. Sift remaining sugar, flour, baking powder and salt into large bowl.
In another bowl, beat egg, milk and oil. Make a hole in centre of dry ingredients; pour in liquid ingredients. Stir just until moistened. Add berries and, if desired, lemon zest. Fill 12 greased standard or 6 greased jumbo muffin cups. Sprinkle with cinnamon sugar.
Bake at 200° for 18 minutes for standard-size muffins or for 22 minutes for jumbo muffins.
Perfect Pork & Apple Sauce.
When you’re cooking Christmas on a budget the most affordable and delicious roast option is pork.
I opted for a Woolworths Roast Pork Leg Boneless ($20) which is generous in size and flavour. The trick to cooking pork is to blast it for 25 minutes in a very hot (250 degree) oven. This will crisp the crackling. Then turn the heat down and allow to slow roast.
Keep pork from drying out by elevating it on a layer of chopped potato and add a little bit of boiling water to the base pan. TIP: Make your own apple sauce by adding cored, whole apples to the roasting pan. I used Woolworths Odd Bunch Apples and served them falling and naturally sweet next to the pork.
Simple Affordable Sides.
Woolworths Potato Mini Microwavable White Potato boiled, drained and then cooked again until crisp and golden in the over. The secret is melted butter which gives a soft centre and a crispy skin.
Mini Prawn Cocktails could not be simpler and are a great way to add seafood without blowing the budget. Assemble a couple of Woolworths Baby Cos Lettuce Leaves; one quarter skinned of Woolworths Odd Bunch Avocados (these are great value just buy them a few days ahead to ripen); a wedge of lemon or lime and three peeled and deveined Woolworths Cooked Tiger Prawns.
Two Minute Cocktail Sauce.
1/4 cup) whole-egg mayonnaise
1/4 cup tomato sauce2 teaspoons Woolworths Worcestershire Sauce
1/4 teaspoon red Tabasco pepper sauce
1/4 teaspoon lemon juice
Combine mayonnaise, lemon, Worcestershire, tomato and Tabasco sauce in a bowl. Season with pepper. Cover. Place in the fridge for 1 hour to chill before use.
Making The Moment Magical.
The easiest way to set a beautiful Christmas table its to mix textures – fabric, glass, ceramic and colours. Choose a hero colour – this year it’s gold – and then find three other shades to complement (red, white and green).
Then have fun incorporating the colours across your tableware.
Woolworths has a really beautiful selection of Christmas ornaments and table ware that wont break the bank. My shopping list: Christmas Woodland Rose Clip On, $3.20 (2 pack); Christmas Safari Bauble, $8;Christmas Woodland Bird Clip On, $3; Woolworths Gold Christmas Placemats, $3 (each); Christmas Entertaining Bon Bons 12 pack, $12
Sensational Stand Alone Stuffing.
Salt and Pepper to taste
Blitz bread in a food processor until a medium crumb is formed and place in mixing bowl. Combine currants, cranberries, seasoning, fresh herbs, nuts with the bread in a large mixing bowl.
Melt the butter and use a wooden spoon to softly fold through the mix. Transfer to an oven safe tray and pour stock over the top. Cover with foil and bake on 160 for half an hour. Remove foil and bake until golden brown.
And With My Last $10….
I bought Woolworths Rich Fruit & Nut Christmas Cake. Brand new and you’ll find it fresh in the bakery section.