Every year in our household we spend hundreds of pounds on our Christmas feast. The last thing we want is for anyone to go hungry or for glasses to go dry. And we always try to cater for individual tastes which means buying in extra desserts, having a variety of meat options, different alcoholic drinks (including non alcoholic) and loads of condiments.
So when Mumsnet challenged me to work with Lidl on a budget of £70 to feed an entire family breakfast, lunch and dinner for Christmas, I have to admit I thought they were barking up the wrong tree. I just didn’t think it was possible.
Turns out I managed to feed an entire family on £65. And there was copious food left over.
One of the stipulations was for each of us involved in the campaign to come up with different menus to showcase a variety of Christmas inspired meals.
So thinking about Christmas day I decided to go with gingerbread pancakes for breakfast- the smell is just incredible when cooking. A buffet with smoked salmon for lunch and a red wine venison dish for dinner- I’m pregnant so needed to slip the wine flavour in somewhere to keep me happy 😉 Although the non alcoholic mulled punch did go down a treat for me!
1 1/4 cups plain flour
1/4 cup of muscavado sugar
1 teaspoon of baking power
1/2 teaspoon of bicarbonate of soda
1/2 teaspoon of salt
1 teaspoon of ground cinnamon
3/4 teaspoon ground ginger
1/2 teaspoon of ground cloves
1/2 teaspoon of ground nutmeg
2 tablespoons of black treacle
3/4 cup of milk
4 tablespoons of melted butter (added after dry ingredients are mixed in)
Maple syrup infused with cinnamon, ground cloves and ginger. (Gently heat the maple syrup and add the spices)
1. Mix together all the dry ingredients.
2. Mix together all the wet ingredients. Except for the melted butter.
3. Add the dry ingredients into the wet ingredients and mix together. Now add the melted butter.
4. Using a low/medium heat, melt some butter in a frying pan and cook the pancakes one by one. Before flipping make sure the pancake base is fully cooked.
Smoked salmon lunch
There are no specific ingredients needed really for a buffet, it’s simply a spread of delicious food. I was pleased to know that Lidl sell rye bread which is an essential for smoked salmon in my books as well as bagels for those that hate the taste of rye bread.
The smoked salmon also came with a sachet of horseradish dressing which was delicious. I also picked up a selection of six individual pates along with little crostini’s and lots of side extras such as olives and tomatoes on the vine.
In fact Lidl have a great variety of fresh vegetables, herbs and fruit, which was perfect for a buffet lunch.
In terms of desserts I couldn’t help but be wowed by variety! Such as the delicious sounding Christmas pudding infused with champagne and sloe gin.
For those of you that don’t like Christmas pudding, the pandoro bread was so moreish and very reminiscent of a delicious brioche or why not try the macarons- literally amazing!
The gingerbread house and the gingerbread men were also must buy purchases to enjoy with Little London (the gingerbread men come with everything needed, but you will need an egg white, icing sugar and cocktail sticks for the gingerbread house). Or for more traditional gingerbread try the lebkuchen biscuits. I went for a variety of three different types of lebkuchen because they remind me so much of my childhood in Denmark.
While the solid chocolate blocks on sticks made the most delicious hot chocolate as well when melted into hot milk. And the marzipan log just couldn’t be resisted!
Red wine and port sauce venison, served with mulled red cabbage and mash
With frozen venison I couldn’t not take advantage, so I just had to make a lovely warming venison dish.
So using a slow cooker I put in two packs of the the defrosted venison and poured over the Lidl Rioja I picked up.
I have no measurements I’m very much a chuck it all in type of person. I also popped in some sprigs of rosemary and two big tablespoons of Lidl’s own cranberry and port sauce and left the slow cooker to do it’s magic. The meat was beautifully cooked and so tender and flavoursome.
I made my own mash to go with the venison and I also decided to make my own mulled red cabbage to serve alongside it. Which came out amazingly!
1x whole red cabbage
3/4 cup of muscavado sugar
200ml of balsamic vinegar
Juice of 3 clementines
Sprinkle of ground cinnamon
Sprinkle of ground ginger
1 whole clementine studded with 15 whole cloves (literally just push the cloves into the tangerine skin).
1. Put all the ingredients except the studded clementine into a lidded saucepan and cook for 30 mins.
2. After 30 minutes put the whole clementine into the middle of the red cabbage and cook for a further 30 minutes.
And there you have it. Three seperate Christmas meals made using products picked up from my local Lidl supermarket.
As a supermarket I was so impressed by their range which includes a fabulous fresh food selection as well as the easy to use frozen options. With the products I bought I could easily have fed a large Christmas party and still had leftovers to either freeze for a later date or to use up across subsequent days. All for £65.00.
Can’t really argue with that!
Disclosure: In collaboration with Lidl and Mumsnet.