I admit, I’m completely biased, but we’ve worked hard to fill it up with all the most wonderful, practical and drop-dead useful things to make your Christmas as easy and fabulous as possible.
Let’s start with the cover cake – it couldn’t be easier. Take one 4L tub of Neapolitan ice-cream (the Paul’s was about $7 at the supermarket, and really good quality), separate out the colours, mix in your fave sweeties to provide natty little contrasts in texture, colour and taste, then refreeze it in layers! Super-simple, but really spectacular when served up as the high point of your Christmas feast, and you can set your sweetie budget and bring it in at around $20 for a cake that easily serves 12.
Just be careful with those sparklers if you have marshmallows on top. The marshmallows will catch fire if you let them!
Then we have three great full menus that you can use on the big day, or mix and match according to your favourites. Whether you’re all about the traditional dishes, or trying to keep the calories and fat low this year, or else wanting to bring it all in on a budget – whichever way you want to go, we’re there for you. And don’t for a moment thing that low-fat means low taste. This is family circle – our diet menu has turkey and chocolate mousse, and STILL manages to be good for you. And no one will guess you’re on a budget if you serve up these splendours:
Clever tricks like using a shoulder ham instead of leg ham will save you a mint, while still keeping everyone happily stuffed at the Christmas table. Well, maybe not so happily in the case of the turkey and the chook …
We’ve rounded out our food with loads of nibblies and sides that you can use to pad out any meal when unexpected extras turn up, or else serve them up as finger food when you’d rather have the gang around for a few snacks and drinks than face a full-on sit-down production number.
And desserts. SO MANY desserts, and all so amazing – I’ve had to pull double-duty at the gym for the last few months just to cope with all the food testing that’s been tried out in the offices. The little Hazelnut kisses cakes on page 91 might actually require a little sit-down afterwards, they’re that rich and delish.
But food is only half the story of Christmas, we’re also crammed with beautiful craft projects that you can make up to have your house looking its best. Most require nothing techier than a pair of scissors and a ruler to make, but they’ll transform your home into something really splendid. And you won’t need a fortune in your craft budget, we spent about $20 on materials for testing each set of projects.
These felties were my favourites, partly because they look just so amazing en masse, but mostly because they came together so quickly with scissors and glue. And they’re extra-soft, so no worries about being dropped off the tree by little grasping hands. I think the deco box will be full of these by the time Christmas rocks around.
There’s more, of course: hair, beauty, health tips that really work (and really quickly at that!), a wonderful book extract from the brilliantly talented Rachael Treasure, kids craft kits you can make at home, and loads of amazing prizes you can win. All for just $5.95! AMAZING!