How to Cook Your Christmas Dinner

Christmas Dinner

Whether it’s your first time cooking a three course meal for multiple guests or not; preparing Christmas dinner can be a very daunting task! That’s why here at Ovenu we have pulled together a list of top tips and recipes to help you cook a fantastically festive feast this year.

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Christmas Dinner Table

We all know that this time of year can be pandemonium at times; between buying and wrapping the presents and organising the Christmas dinner with your family and friends it can be quite a stressful affair. To help ease the load a little, here at Ovenu we’ve pulled together a useful list of our top tips to help you prepare your kitchen for Christmas this year.

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Do you ever find yourself dreaming of the perfect kitchen accessory? Well here at Ovenu, we certainly do! Below we have pulled together a string of the quirkiest, alternative and downright marvellous kitchen accessories that have made it onto our Christmas wish list this year.

With the holidays approaching nearer and nearer it’s time to start thinking about what would make the perfect gift for you this Christmas. If you’re a popcorn lover, movie and television memorabilia fan or an admirer of the creatively quirky, then these gifts are right up your street!

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We”d like to take this opportunity to wish all Ovenu customers a very merry Christmas and a happy New Year. The tree”s up and shedding needles at an alarming rate, Cliff Richard and Slade are playing non-stop in every store and the frantic rush for last-minute gifts is looming – it truly is the most wonderful time of the year.

In the spirit of the season, we wanted to share some top tips for creating the perfect festive feast and ensure your oven is put to good use throughout Christmas. Of course, it would be remiss of us not to also remind you that it”s not too early to book a valet for 2013 as well – you might well need it after this little lot.

Christmas Dinner

Now everybody has their own interpretation of the perfect Christmas dinner. While there are those that love nothing more than a traditional, plump turkey with all the trimmings, many people are now opting for smaller game birds, including individual partridges and pheasants, as well as joints of beef or a duck. Whatever your choice, don”t hang around when it comes to procuring the meat. It can become something of a titanic supermarket struggle in the days leading up to the main event.

We could attempt to provide you with a comprehensive timing chart for every kind of meat imaginable, but we”d probably still be going at Easter. So it”s important to follow the instructions and recommended timings provided to you by the butcher or on the packaging. If you”ve frozen the turkey, ensure that it is fully defrosted before placing it in the oven; after all, you don”t want your Christmas meal to be memorable for all the wrong reasons.

Space can be an issue, which means that your vegetables generally end up cramped in a single tray or surrounding the meat. Anyone with a smaller oven is likely to have to be a little bit creative in terms of what goes where; however, to add a little extra taste, why not cook your veg in goose fat, or add a little honey to create a sweet glazed finish?

Remember, Christmas may be a time for tradition and family fun, but that”s not to say you can”t try a few new things. Why not infuse meat with rosemary or cover with a flavoured salt rub? Give everybody something new, exciting and different. Just make sure you cover all of it up and you have a big enough tray for it, you don”t want it to be spitting and slopping all over your oven.

Christmas Pudding

An acquired taste, it has to be said, but for many, Christmas wouldn”t be Christmas without a decent pud. So whether it”s shop-bought or home-made, alcohol-free or overflowing with brandy for a little added festive cheer. Of course the joy of Christmas is had mostly in the excessive consumption that would ordinarily be frowned upon at any other time of year,

Anyway, there are some great recipes online if you are feeling brave and want to try your hand at creating your own Christmas pudding this year. You might well choose to adjust certain quantities and measures, but that is entirely up to you.

Nigella: http://www.nigella.com/recipes/view/ultimate-christmas-pudding
Delia:
Hairy Bikers: http://www.hairybikers.com/recipes/christmas-pudding/1225

Mulled Wine

For some, the notion of a warm, spiced wine is nothing short of absurd. However, if you”re looking for a real winter warmer and the spirit of Christmas in a glass, then mulled wine is just the ticket.

In days gone by, you would have had no other choice but to find the various spices, including cinnamon and nutmeg, as well as the various other elements individually. Today, there are various cheats available to make life that little bit easier. From pre-mixed sachets to bundled spice packets, the supermarkets and local retailers are awash with affordable solutions. Indeed, all you may need to do is buy the red wine and an orange to get things started.

Christmas Cocktails

Eggnog isn”t the only cocktail you can serve at a Christmas party this year. Mixologists around the world work hard to get the perfect flavour combinations for all kinds of occasions. Indeed, mixthatdrink.com offer a dozen festive favourites that should really get your party started with a bang.

With all that cooking and entertaining of guests, your kitchen is likely to be a little worn out come the New Year. So if your oven is coughing out a little more smoke than usual, or has developed a turkey-infused scent, don”t forget to book your valet at soon as possible. We”re already taking orders for 2013 and hope to hear from you soon.

If there are any recipes or festive suggestions you”d like to add, please leave a comment below. Maybe you know the perfect yuletide snack or have developed a cocktail so devilish it”ll knock your Christmas stockings off; whatever it is, please share it with us at Ovenu.

Image source Flickr: Image 1, Image 2, Image 3

Well, Christmas is over for another year. You’ve no doubt indulged a little too much, whilst enjoying yourself immensely. Now it’s 2012 and the start of a new year. It is this time of year that we look forward to the next 12 months and get ourselves set, physically and mentally.

A Cleaner Oven For A New Year

Such motivation and behaviour can manifest itself in a number of different ways, but to start a new year, many people will opt to give the house good thorough clean. If you’ve thrown the odd party over the Christmas period, or were busy cooking up a feast on the big day, then your kitchen would’ve been put to good use, especially your oven.

Just imagine all the different types of foods you’ve cooked inside your oven over the Christmas period. Now think about any spillages, fat, grease and food particles that could have built up during this time. It may not be just during the festive season though of course, perhaps you haven’t given your oven a good clean for a while now. Well the start of 2012 is the perfect time for a good cleanout, to start the year afresh.

Whilst cleaning the oven yourself is certainly one option, you shouldn’t just throw caution to the wind as this could be very costly, especially in the long run. Make sure you use the correct types of cleaning products first and foremost. Simply buying the cheapest or strongest oven cleaner on the high street or from supermarket is not the answer.

Most of these products contain Sodium hydroxide or what’s known as caustic-soda. This is a very powerful chemical that can easily corrode your oven, leaving trims, seals and the heating elements damaged. Not only that, but it can ruin the appearance of surfaces by leaving a strong residue or an abrasive feel. Therefore, tip number one would be to specifically use caustic-soda free cleaning products, and to use them carefully when cleaning.

Another tip would be to leave the oven cleaner well alone, after all, it’s been a busy Christmas and you’re now probably back to work, or back in the swing of things at home. Whatever your circumstances, it’s fair to say that nowadays we have less and less time for these manual chores. So, one option would be to use the services of a professional oven cleaning company to do all the hard work for you.

You don’t have to worry about buying the right type of cleaning product, and spending hours giving your oven the thorough clean that it deserves. If you’re busy, let the professionals take care of it. Furthermore, if you’re at home with young children or pets, ensuring they are kept well away from any harsh chemicals can be stressful. With an oven cleaning service you can remove that stress whilst you can spend the time you’ve saved doing something far more productive.

Therefore, the best tip for post Christmas oven cleaning would be to carefully choose your oven cleaning products, or alternatively, take the weight off your shoulders and call on the services of a professional oven cleaning company.

This is the time of year we love. We get to spend quality time with our friends and family, enjoying their company, sharing gifts and most importantly indulging in the good food and drink. For some, it is the good cooked food that they love, and as a result your oven will no doubt be put to good use this Christmas.

When you think about all the Christmas parties you’ll be hosting, as well as the holidays itself including the big day, you can see just how much your oven will be used. Whilst you may not have time get your oven cleaned before or during Christmas, be sure to get it cleaned in the New Year, and here’s why:

  1. Hygiene

 

Ask anyone why they regularly clean their ovens and one of the main reasons they will tell you is that a clean oven is a hygienic one. Many believe that the heat generated in the oven will burn off any bacteria or grime gathered from spillages when using the oven to cook. This is simply untrue as the more grime that builds up, the more vulnerable your oven will be to bacteria build up. Also as more grime accumulates, the less effective your oven will be at cooking, meaning that your food may not be cooked thoroughly.

  1. Save Money

 

As mentioned, with a build up of grease and grime, the less effective your oven will be at doing its job. This may mean having to cook for longer periods of time, or use more gas and electricity, just to have the desired effect. In the long run, this will cost you a lot more in bills.

  1. More Effective Cooking

 

We’ve touched on ensuring your oven is clean to be more effective when cooking, especially for hygiene reasons. However, more effective cooking also means improving the quality, the taste and the overall experience for those consuming it. You’ll be able to judge the timings more accurately, and hence cook the food more effectively than having to account for a slower cooker thanks to the build up of grease and grime.

  1. Taste

 

More effective cooking means improving the taste of your food, but in addition, the removal of burnt food and spillages stuck on the inside of the oven will also aid in making your food taste a lot better. When burnt food is further cooked (and burnt) it generates a lot of smoke, leaving your food with a harsh, bitter and burnt taste.

  1. Save Time

 

Cleaning your oven will save you time in the long run. Many people will put off thoroughly cleaning their oven based on the time it takes. However there are ways to get around this. Using an oven cleaning service means that a professional oven cleaner can do the hard work for you, leaving you do spend your time as you wish.

So you see there are many reasons why you should get your oven cleaned after the busy Christmas period. Kick off 2012 in style and get some sparkle back into your oven.

As the Christmas season is fast approaching and you begin to turn your attention to all the things you need to buy in preparation for celebrating, you probably haven’t thought about cleaning your kitchen oven and in all fairness why would you?

During this time of year you won’t have thought about cleaning your oven, probably because you’re so focused on getting everything ready in time before the relatives arrive; but in truth you should be thinking about getting your oven cleaned. Why? Well Christmas is a time of the year when a lot of food is prepared in the kitchen and you will no doubt be using the oven on a regular basis, just like you have in previous years during the festive period.

Regular use of your oven during the festive season can cause a build-up of excessive dirt, grime and bacteria which can be a nightmare to clean. The situation is even worse if you do not regularly clean the oven as mould can grow on old food remains left over time.

In this instance it would be wise to call on the services of a professional oven cleaning company, and more importantly during a busy time of the year like Christmas it’s best to call them in advance.  A lot of people will be using professional cleaning services at this time of the year for a number of reasons but mainly to make sure their oven is completely germ free what with the amount of cooking that needs to be done over this time period.

Using a professional oven cleaning services will not only improve the cleanliness of your oven, but they will also save you the time of having to carry out this chore yourself. Cleaning an oven thoroughly can take time, time which you won’t necessarily have over the festive period. This way it makes sense to take advantage of an oven cleaning company to do the hard work for you, allowing you the time to get on with other much needed chores.

With a number of things on your mind such as buying the right presents for people, purchasing decorations, food and drink and working out where to buy your food from, it’s great to be able to tick the ‘cleaning the oven’ chore off your list by leaving this to the professionals. Sometimes you just can’t find the time and this option saves you the stress of another routine chore you have been meaning to do for quite a while.

If you leave this till after Christmas and then try to book a suitable time with the oven cleaning company you might find that there are no spaces available for a few months, and in the mean time you are left with a dirty oven which is not going to do your health any good. Booking in advance means that your oven will be clean and free of germs, ready to be used for the coming months.