The Busy Mum's Guide to Creating a Pinterest-Worthy Festive Feast (Even When Your Culinary Skills Leave a Lot to be Desired) | Modern Mummy

Tuesday, 20 December 2016

The Busy Mum's Guide to Creating a Pinterest-Worthy Festive Feast (Even When Your Culinary Skills Leave a Lot to be Desired)

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I'm not, never have been, and never will be one of those Pinterest-mums. You know the ones, they bake with their kids, and do crafts with them, and prepare amazing meals every night and then hand make costumes for school plays and dress up days. I'm crap in the kitchen, when the kids get the glitter, paints, and play doh out I start to twitch, and I have absolutely no idea how to use a sewing machine. I might like clutter, but I can't abide mess. And anything that involves cutting or chopping, and glueing or painting, or mixing sends my OCD into overdrive.

I'm not a mean mum, promise! But I am a very busy, single, working mum. And besides, we have other ways in which we prefer to spend our time together, and more often than not it involves a road trip to the coast, or a train trip into town. Generally we like to get out and about, and to explore new places.

One way we like to spend slightly more relaxing, quality family time together though, is with our weekly movie nights. On Fridays we usually watch an 80s or 90s classic and order Dominos for dinner, but last week I threw caution to the wind, searched for things I've never searched for before on Pinterest and decided to prepare the kids a festive feast to accompany the festive film we planned to watch (Home Alone 2, if you're interested ;))

Being the antithesis of a Pinterest-mom, and more than aware of my limited capabilities in the kitchen, I decided to cut as many corners as possible when creating my edible Christmassy masterpieces.

Evie and I set off for Waitrose while Daisy was at school and bought all manner of goodies in order to recreate a few ideas we'd seen on Pinterest; reindeer sandwiches, cheesy puff pastry stars, banana penguins, strawberry Santas, Christmas pudding biscuits and marshmallow snowmen!

This ended up being our favourite movie night of the year! The girls LOVED their teatime treats, and I may have shot myself in the foot a bit because they've asked me to do it again next week (!)

So without further ado, here are a few ways to create a seriously simple, entirely Pinterest-worthy, festive feast of your very own!

Top Tips:
Before you start, make loads and loads and loads of little eyeballs using ready made white and black icing (for sugar crafts).
Smarties are notoriously stingy with the orange ones! Next time (if there is one, ha) I will try M&Ms.

ps It took me an hour and twenty minutes to prepare this spread in its entirety.

Reindeer Sandwiches
Use a cookie cutter to make festive shaped sandwiches. You could go for a Christmas tree or an angel, but we went for a heart shape and turned it into a reindeer using pretzels for the antlers and a cherry tomato for a red nose. (I used more black icing for the eyes, which we picked off before we ate them - you could use olives or capers or similar if you have any).

Cheesy Puff Pastry Stars
Oh, hello ready rolled puff pastry and pre-grated cheese! Nice to meet you.
All you need for these tasty morsels is a baking sheet and a suitably shaped cookie cutter. Cut out your pastry, lay on a baking tray and sprinkle with cheese (not much - just a tiny bit so that it crisps up. Too much will make your pastry soggy). Ten mins in the oven at 200 degrees, et voila!

Banana Penguins
These are my favourite!
Halve your bananas. Melt some chocolate. Dip the tips of your bananas in said chocolate. Lay on a plate. Add your pre-made eye balls. Make small incisions and insert orange smarties as the beaks and feet. Spoon more chocolate over any dodgy looking bits. Freeze until the chocolate hardens (this also stops the bananas going brown if you're not going to eat them for a while).

Strawberry Santas
Now these were the hardest of the lot! I probably should have whipped my own cream so that it was thicker but I opted for lazy squirty cream which melted almost straight away and resulted in a plate of collapsing Santas that had to be eaten quickly!
Pick the biggest strawberries you can find. Chop off the stalks to create a flat base, the chop the points off too, to create the hat. Squirt a little cream onto the strawberry, add the hat and I used a skewer to dollop a tiny bit more cream on the hat as a bobble. The eyes were teeny tiny bits of black icing.

Christmas Pudding Biscuits
Pinterest told me to make my own biscuits - but what's the point in that when there are ready made and ready to buy dark chocolate digestives?! A packet is cheaper than the ingredients you need to make said biscuits, you save yourself heaps of time, plus they are guaranteed to be tasty (which is more than can be said whenever I bake anything!)
Whip up some thick white icing (icing sugar and water). It needs to be thick to stop it running off the biscuits (I learnt this the hard way). Put in the fridge to harden - once set use icing pens to draw on little sprigs of holly.

Marshmallow Snowmen
These were so easy to make and the kids liked them the best. All you need is white marshmallows, little icing eyeballs, ready made sugar carrots for the nose and a little icing to hold them in place. I used one of the pens from the set I used to draw the holly onto the Christmas pudding biscuits.

Merry Christmas everyone!

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