The cosiest time of the year is here again! The end-of-year period always has something magical about it. Lights everywhere, buying presents, decorating your home, burning candles, pine scent,...and the preparations for Christmas! Whether we live in a booming economy or on the brink of a recession, Christmas and New Year is what you make of it. A fancy dinner doesn't have to be expensive, we give you tips to celebrate the end of the year deliciously cheaply! Use our practical tips for affordable dishes that capitalise on current trends! Plus, we'll send you on a search in your own kitchen cupboards, fridge and freezer. You will be amazed at what you can still prepare with leftovers. Leftovers as a feast? Certainly!
Tip 1: Take it slow and steal the show!
Leave the turkey running this year and try something different: use a Slow Cooker. In the Slow Cooker, you can make the most delicious stews from vegetables and leftover meat. Above all, the ingredients don't have to be the most expensive, because even the toughest meat (which is also the tastiest) becomes tender in the Slow Cooker. So dive into your freezer. What else can you use? You'll be amazed at the possibilities! Above all, the best thing about Slow Cooking is that you prepare everything in advance! Your visitor comes in smelling all your delicious stews and all you have to do is prepare some vegetables and croquettes. And the Slow Cooker uses very little energy! That, in turn, is a nice bonus.
You will also enjoy a Slow Cooker for the rest of the year. Perhaps a nice gift idea? After all, it is the very best fridge cleaner. You can really use it for all your leftovers. Thanks to the slow and long processing, all the flavours melt together perfectly. On top of that, the slow cooker is just about the most convenient in the house. After all, once the ingredients have been added, you don't have to look after them anymore. No need to stir or check for burning. If you still like a little bite of fresh vegetables, then add some more vegetables half an hour before the end, so they are still nice and crunchy.
Tip 2: Food sharing
Food sharing is hotter than ever. You can do this in all sorts of ways!
For a 'sharing apero', an airfryeris the best kitchen assistant. Bake crispy toasts (you can even use old bread), and put them on the table with bowls of homemade pesto. Another great idea are pizza rolls or pesto sticks. You prepare these in advance and just need to bake them when the guests arrive. The appliance gives a signal when it is ready and switches itself off automatically. So you as host or hostess can enjoy every conversation without any time stress!
Bagna Cauda is also a hit. Serve it as a dip with chicory leaves, cucumber, carrot strips, etc...
For the main course, make about 4 different stews and divide them into separate smaller dishes scattered around the party table. Also put some bowls of croquettes on the table and your guests can go wild. As you could read above, stews in the Slow Cooker can be very budget-friendly!
Or bring out the traditional raclette grill. However, be more creative than usual when choosing your ingredients. It doesn't have to be all meat. After all, vegetables (pepper, mushroom,...) can also do, why not cook an egg or a tortilla in the pans? And how about nachos with a bit of cheese on top. Because delicious doesn't always have to be expensive. Need inspiration? Check our recipe page!
More of a stone grill fan? Bring out that creative spirit in you and put some pasta, tomato sauce, cheese sauce, eggs, precooked potato cubes, peas, diced ham... on the table and prepare the most delicious pasta, huevos rancheros, tortilla, nachos with cheese,... in the pans. In addition to meat or fish, put mushrooms, peppers, courgettes, aubergines, chicory, beans, etc. on the table. Wan delicious and tasty certainly does not always have to be expensive.
Healthy and original: a Japanese fondue with the FG 2970 Culinary Fondue & Grill. Japanese or Oriental fondue, also known as hotpot, is a Fun Cooking activity that is both very tasty and healthy. Flavourful because you use uncommon spices and ingredients, very enriching for the taste buds. And healthy because you don't use oil but you do use broth.
Tip 3: Home-made dessert
It doesn't always have to be an expensive Christmas treat. Enjoy delicious home-made ice cream, sorbet or scroppino. Prepare pancake dough in advance and fry pancakes in raclette pans. If you want to completely surprise your guests, put the WA 2224 Top Fill Waffle maker on the table. You prepare the (liquid) dough in advance and bake the waffles together at the table. Delicious with a scoop of ice cream!
Maybe you have a lot of chocolate left over? Make a delicious chocolate fudge in the Slow Cooker! Always a hit as a dessert for the kids. Or how about a chocolate fondue?
Tip 4: The day after
Do you have some vegetables, potatoes or rice, sauce left over after partying? Put everything together in the blender, add water and a stock cube. Blend and you have another few delicious bowls of soup for the next day or days. Leftover cooking can be really delicious.