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Christmas cooking made simple

17th December 2011 Print

Christmas With Sainsbury’s celebrity chef guest blogger demonstrates how you can enjoy some affordable culinary luxury this Christmas with delicious ideas to take the stress out of entertaining at home.

The countdown to Christmas has begun, and Christmas With Sainsbury’s on Yahoo! Lifestyle is here to make your festivities relaxed, straightforward and scrumptious with an online weekly selection of easy-to-prepare Christmas dishes, inexpensive present ideas and creative use of those inevitable left-overs from Masterchef winner and co-founder of the Wahaca group of restaurants Thomasina Miers.

Each week during advent, guest blogger Thomasina will cover all Christmas catering eventualities - stumped as to what to cook for the descending hordes? Need to keep the kids entertained in the kitchen? Looking for inspiration for an impressive New Year’s Eve Feast? Thomasina’s got it covered. Each original and unique recipe has been created to ensure you won’t spend hours slaving over a hot stove when there are presents to be opened and Christmas films to be viewed.

The series kicks off with a devilishly good and very simple boozy ‘not quite Christmas’ cake which doesn’t require weeks of feeding with brandy and painstaking icing, followed by a dish bearing Thomasina’s trademark Mexican stamp - a celebration chilli con carne to make ahead of Christmas and freeze to be enjoyed on Boxing Day.

Follow Thomasina’s blog at in the weeks leading up to New Year’s Eve and you’ll find mince pies with a twist, a mouthwatering pilau to rustle up for hungry visitors and the perfect way to use up those leftover scraps of cheese from the cheese board.

Thomasina said: “At Christmas, the most important thing is that we spend time together as a family enjoying ourselves so I try to plan in advance easy, fun recipes that are a little bit different but that are going to taste incredible. With a little preparation, a few cheats and clever planning you can avoid spending the whole time chained to the stove and relax instead. I don't believe Christmas is about spending a fortune either; good food doesn't have to cost a lot, it is easy to feed lots of people without spending too much, and as a lovely and inexpensive alternative to buying presents I love to make delicious, home-made treats that friends and family are really going to enjoy.”

Thomasina’s seven weeks of Christmas culinary treats

Week one: Stir Up Sunday – an easy ‘not quite’ Christmas cake
Week two: Chilli con carne for Boxing Day to stick in the freezer
Week three: Edible Christmas decorations to make with the kids – shortbread surprises
Week four: Making the perfect mince pies
Week five: Feeding the hordes with ease – chicken liver and spiced winter vegetable pilau
Week six: New Year’s Eve Feast – whole sea bream on a bed of baked potatoes
Week seven: What to do with the leftovers – a delicious Christmas rarebit