Friday, 24 November 2017

Hints and Tips for Christmas Entertaining using Frozen Food

Post in collaboration with Iceland Foods


A festive soiree with Luxury Food & Platters combined with hints and tips for using frozen food to make your festive entertaining easier. This Christmas let Iceland and the #PowerOfFrozen take the strain and help give you the best gift you can have: time with family and friends. 


Can I make a confession? As much as I love cooking it's the last thing I want to be doing at Christmas. At the most wonderful time of the year I want to be spending my time making memories with family and friends, not slaving over a hot stove. Does that make me a bad food blogger? I hope Santa doesn't think so! In an ideal world I want to be socialising in my little black dress with a glass of fizz in hand not sweating it out in the kitchen bedecked in a novelty festive apron. So how to help make this happen? The secret is the #PowerOfFrozen. Serving up freezer food to festive guests would once have been considered the ultimate social faux-pas. However times have changed and so has frozen food.


I've been working with Iceland for almost two years now helping to change perceptions of frozen foods and share the #PowerOfFrozen message. Prior to this I'd really only ever shopped there at Christmas for party food (surely we all remember the ubiquitous Kery Katona and the infamous Prawn Ring?!) Over the last two years Iceland have worked hard to up their game, change perceptions and increase their product range and I've been delighted to have been on that journey with them. They've certainly succeeded in changing my own perceptions of both frozen food and themselves as a brand. I reckon that they have surpassed themselves with this year's range of award winning and luxury products which can help you (and me!) create an impressive, elegant and showstopping party spread for whatever the festive occasion.


Even Nigella Lawson says "Your best friend at this time of year is your freezer". I'm not sure if the ultimate domestic goddess means that she'll be shopping at Iceland but I'm going to take her at her word whatever the intention. And if truth be told I will also be making plenty of Christmas food from scratch and popping it in the freezer in advance of the big day. With all that in in mind here's my reasons why you should use frozen food at Christmas and my top tips for doing so.

Why use Frozen Food at Christmas
  • Spend less time in the kitchen and more time with friends and family
  • Frozen food can help reduce food waste as unlike fresh food it does not go off within days.
  • Buying frozen ingredients saves time without breaking the bank.
  • Can help you to cater for all dietary requirements with gluten free, dairy free, vegetarian and vegan options.
  • Ideal for unexpected guests and impromptu get togethers, particularly as many products can be cooked straight from frozen.
  • An extra hand in the kitchen is always welcome (if only frozen food could help with the washing up)
  • With a well stocked freezer you won't have to brave the dreaded Christmas Eve supermarket shop
  • Frozen food can help you access luxury products you'd never consider buying fresh and preparing yourself such as lobster and crab

Top Tips for using Frozen Food at Christmas 
  • Check and double check which foods can be cooked from frozen and which need to be defrosted. 
  • When buying frozen party food check that it can all be cooked at (roughly) the same oven temperature.  
  • Always put an egg wash (or even milk wash) on frozen sausage rolls or similar pastry products before cooking to give them a tempting shine.
  • Avoid serving catastrophes by removing desserts from their packaging whilst they are still frozen and onto the dishes you’ll be serving them on. 
  • For a homemade touch, garnish savoury dishes with with fresh herbs, chutneys and pickles and for sweet treats decorate with fruit, berries or a sifting of icing sugar. 
  • Don't forget to buy Ice Cubes. Your G&T with the Queens Speech just won't be the same without them.
  • If you want to pretend that you made it all yourself from scratch be sure to hide the packaging well!





As an extended family we always have a 'party food' lunch on Christmas Day. This follows breakfast of Smoked Salmon,
Scrambled Eggs, Croissants and Champagne and precedes a traditional Christmas Dinner served late afternoon. I picked up a selection of Iceland Luxury Food & Platters for a trial run. My kids were well impressed with an impromptu midweek festive soiree for just the four of us Those that caught my eye instore within the £3 or any two for £5 range were: 

We tried out the Chicken Nachos with Salsa Dip and the Chicken and Chorizo Cups. Both went down really well with the kids yet were sophisticated enough for adult tastes. Of those yet to try I reckon I've hit gold with the Extra Mature Vintage Cheddar Soufflettes. These were the winner of Best supermarket Christmas canapés in the olive Christmas supermarket awards 2017 with the following comment - You cook these canapés straight from frozen (which is a bonus in our books) and they come out of the oven beautifully light and fluffy, with just the right whack of cheese


Out traditional Christmas Eve meal is a Fish Pie and for starters with we opt for a selection of seafood based nibbles. The Mini Crab Mac and Cheese above would also work really well for this but for for our test run I purchased:

My teenage son is a big sushi fan and given full reign of the kitchen would happily spend a whole day making it. However that ain't going to be happening at this time of year! This sushi platter is a most acceptable substitute, it's not on a par with freshly made but it sure beats the rather dried up offerings found in supermarket chiller cabinets - and it made a fantastic Christmas tree! The smoked Salmon snowflake terrine was so pretty and the creamy mousse delicious. However I should have taken my own (and admittedly the packaging...) advice and popped it out whilst it was still frozen - I'll know for next time. However for me the real factor came from the Coconut Leaf Prawn Parcels. I have quite literally never seen the likes of these! You can either cook them from frozen in a steamer for 10 minutes or pop them in the microwave for a couple of minutes. So unusual, super tasty and a real talking point at only £4 for eight parcels. 




Do let me know in the comments your reasons to have a frozen Christmas plus share any further tips on how to do so. But for now please Eat, Drink and be Merry this Christmas and let the #PowerOfFrozen take the strain. I most certainly will be!



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www.foodiequine.co.uk Top Tips for Christmas entertaining with Frozen Food. A festive soiree with Luxury Food & Platters combined with hints and tips for using frozen food to make your festive entertaining easier. This Christmas let Iceland and the #PowerOfFrozen take the strain and help give you the best gift you can have: time with family and friends.

Disclosure: This is a commissioned post for Iceland Foods. As always, all views expressed are my own.
Thank you for supporting the brands who make it possible for me as a passionate Scottish Food Blogger to continue to share my Edible Food and Travel Adventures with you. I’m super choosy who I work with and promise to bring you only the cream of the crop.

30 comments :

  1. I totally know what you mean - I love cooking too, but it just seems that at Christmas time I spend days and days cooking, with no one else helping, and it's all eaten in a matter of minutes and I don't get to enjoy the festives! I'll definitely be adding some frozen food to my shopping basket this year; what an inspiring post, this! Yum!

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    1. Exactly that! Hours spent on nibbles and canapes and it's gone in a mouthful.

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  2. Have to agree Claire, since getting to know Iceland so well my freezer has had so many yummy treats in it year round, and as the preserving is done with ice, most of the products I find in store are full of 'normal' ingredients that we have in our kitchens anyway.
    Love your pics, the sushi tree is my idea of heaven!

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    1. I even impressed myself with the sushi tree - what a time to be alive!

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  3. What a fab collection of yummy treats, I always have frozen seafood in my freezer... Primarily out of necessity really, I need it and live in a landlocked country ;) :D

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    1. Frozen fish and seafood is so much fresher than 'fresh' as its frozen at source.

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  4. My Christmas is defo being sorted using Iceland Foods party platters. I can't wait to save time in the kitchen - more time for fun.

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    1. There is no way I could make this kind of stuff from fresh without it taking me hours and costing me a small fortune (and probably my sanity...)

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  5. This is such an amazing selection of frozen foods. They really look impressive! I love how handy frozen foods are, particularly for impromptu parties.

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    1. What is it with Christmas and impromptu parties? Friends come round for an afternoon cuppa and you're all still going strong at midnight!!!

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  6. I think your teenage son must be friend my teenage son. When he was little we would sit him far away from Itsu sushi carousel otherwise we would spend a fortune. Frozen sushi from Iceland is a great idea!

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    1. I'm so impressed with the quality of it - as was the teenager!

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  7. I completely agree, good quality frozen food is a boon at any time of year but at this time of year it's an absolute must. I have enjoyed seeing the campaign content these last two years showcasing the range and quality Iceland now offer.

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    1. They really have undergone a revolution in image and content of their freezers. Cant wait to see what's next!

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  8. Sounds like a perfect range for entairtaining this festive season. All food looks totally delicious.

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    1. Makes entertaining absolutely effortless and the quality and selection is top notch.

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  9. Since moving to Australia, Christmas has been all about a BBQ, beach and relaxation. When I return to Scotland at the end of our secondment I will not be going back to slaving in the kitchen. I'm impressed at how good these all look!

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    1. Oh WOW! I would so love to experience a BBQ on the beach Aussie Christmas. At least you know where to go when you are back in Scotland.

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  10. "Your best friend at this time of year is your freezer" - Totally agree. Nothing wrong with frozen food especially around this time of year! Besides, the food looks SO DELICIOUS!!

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    1. You have absolutely nailed it - I really do hope that any snobbery over frozen food has long since gone.

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  11. Great idea to rely on frozen foods at Christmas so you can spend less time cooking and more time eating :D We always have so much party food at Christmas time!

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    1. Best bit is that if you buy too much you can have Party Food meals in January!

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  12. I am truly amazed at how beautiful those spreads are -- can't believe you didn't spend hours making them! Beautiful.

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    1. There really is no point in speanding hours making them as they are gone in a single bite!

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  13. Unfortunately, we have a tiny freezer which can barely fit two tubs of ice-cream! But I admire friends who are able to take full advantage of their freezers to make their meal preparations easier and less stressful - just what you need at this time of the year!

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    1. Oh no - that would be a nightmare for me. I have a HUGE chest freezer in my garage.

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  14. Such a wonderful line of appetizers for this festive season. Everything looks so delicious!

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    1. I was so impressed with the selection available instore - both sweet and savoury

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  15. I'm always stocked up on Iceland's frozen food. These luxury food and platters are great, I'm stocking up again next week!

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    1. Now that I'm a regular Iceland shopper I have a list of items that I stock up with each time I'm instore. Only problem is it's getting bigger and bigger each time!

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