Mama Life || Review AD
I've never cooked a Christmas dinner by myself and having a chef wannabe husband means that I rarely need to cook either, with the exception of a few easy family meals. I've always wanted to make a Christmas dinner though but I know timings and organisation aren't my strong point in the kitchen, so I worry I'd ruin it on the day. Just recently, we were contacted by Cook to review their Christmas range with a supplied voucher and after looking at all the delicious looking pre prepared products on their site, I was itching to get my hand on the supplies and have a go at a practise Christmas dinner all by myself.
If you've not heard of Cook, then you need to check them out. Cook pre prepare all three courses of meals and side dishes, that you simply warm up at home with no fuss, no messy prep, supplying creative well thought out tasty meals delivered to your door. In terms of Christmas, this takes out a HUGE amount of stress and they offer a great selection of dishes for you to pick and choose. You can buy set meals such as the Christmas dinner for eight etc along with all the sides and veggies you could wish for at Christmas. The idea is that you have the taste of really good home cooking, without spending hours in the kitchen. This means that on special days you can spend more time with the ones you love and less time standing over the oven! Cook create 'remarkable food for your freezer' and have built up to having more than 90 Cook shops around the UK!
Our (practise!) Christmas Dinner
With me at the helm, I ventured on cooking our Christmas dinner on Sunday and I thought I'd share the process along the way, with a few tips that may help if you too choose to order from cook (and you totally should!). Ordering on the Cook site couldn't be easier, you'll find heaps of inspiration from the off, with set meals and everything available individually so you can opt for the things you love to create your perfect festive feast. It's not just the meal itself, but starters, puddings, buffets and treats too.
The delivery came by courier in two large boxes. The box itself tells the story of the brand and instantly screams quality, I love that there are also instructions for recycling or reusing the packaging which felt perfect for the contents and not over the top like some companies. The delivery had a few hour time slot, so I made sure to be in, though they can leave it in a safe place. Inside the box you'll find wool packaging with many ice packs to keep the food super fresh. Ours was crisply frozen, not soggy and all looking perfectly ready for the freezer.
You can tell from the off that this is no ordinary freezer food! Even frozen, the food looked utterly delicious. After playing a bit of freezer Tetris we got everything away all ready for cooking. It's well worth taking a look at the instructions before you freeze though as some do need to go in the fridge if they are thawed and our turkey for example needed defrosting for 12 hours, so don't be caught out and have a quick check before you freeze. After defrosting our turkey over night, I was all ready to write down my timings for the meal and get started.
Our practise Christmas dinner!
The website has a selection of starters, though some aren't available in some areas, there is something for everyone. We opted to start with a French Onion Tart from the party food section and oh my, it was so tasty! It was a little strong on the onion for the kids, but for us grown ups it was the perfect mix of rich yummy cheese and soft flavoursome onions, a beautiful starter and a simple 45 minutes in the oven.
For our mains, we opted for the dinner for eight, with a whopping great bacon wrapped, stuffed turkey crown, which feeds 8 (at least!), so we have lots rest for turkey stuffing sandwiches in the week as there was just the four of us in the end. The set meal includes everything for your main meal such as;
1 x Stuffed Crown of Turkey (Serves 8)
2 x Pigs in Blankets (8 sausages)
2 x Brussels Sprouts with Sage and Red Onion (Serves 4)
2 x Roast Potatoes (Serves 4 )
2 x Turkey Gravy (Serves 4)
1 x Pork & Apricot Stuffing (Serves 8)
2 x Buttered Roast Carrots (Serves 4)
We also added some bacon wrapped stuffing for an extra tasty lunch and all together it made for the most perfect Christmas dinner, loved by us all and cost approx. £13.88 per head which is pretty reasonable, especially considering it's far nicer than anything we could make at home. If we'd been to a restaurant for this meal I would have been more than happy, and I actually made it myself - it's a miracle! Here's some photos of my first ever 'Christmas' dinner, I was so happy!
The main course was SO good, I'm a real foodie and have honestly been very impressed with the meals provided. This was a super easy way of making the ultimate dinner, without the stress. To prepare food to this standard from scratch would take hours and on Christmas day, there's much more important things to do, so letting Cook do all the hard work for you is a really good idea and I would really recommend giving it a try. (Please note that the pictures above are pre gravy, the gravy was very delicious but I thought the food would be clearer in pics without it!).
As we knew we would have a large main and a starter, we opted for a light pudding of simple chocolate brownie, with a little added spray cream that we had already. The brownie just needs defrosting for a couple of hours before eating, so once it had thawed I sliced it up to make sure it was defrosted well throughout. This was the best brownie we've ever had and as much as we were stuffed full already, we couldn't bring ourselves to save any for the next day, so we ate the lot in one sitting - SO.GOOD. Again, some puddings aren't available in some areas, but the brownie is well worth adding to your shopping basket when you buy from Cook.
I can quite honestly say that our Cook order has well exceeded our expectations. We love proper good food and this was all so tasty. Whether you're a good cook or a hopeless one like me, this is a fool proof way of making a wow dinner, that you can buy now, pop away in the freezer and take the stress away from cooking for your family this Christmas. The portions are very generous and from our £150 voucher, we unintentionally managed to get enough for around three Christmas dinners for us four, a spare pudding in the freezer and lots of extras that felt a real treat. It's worth thinking of how much we realistically spend on a Christmas feast in the super market, for all the ingredients and seasoning, not to mention all the added extras we'd throw into our trolley. With that in mind, this is actually great value and something a little special. This made us all very happy and I felt really satisfied that I had managed to create a proper delicious dinner for my family with zero stress. All the cooking times were pretty similar, so just make sure you have freezer/oven space and make a little plan of times to keep you on track, though you probably won't need it.
If you're interested in an amazing Christmas dinner with no stress, I'd highly recommend booking in your slot with Cook asap to get stocked up in time for this year festivities. Your order can go straight in the freezer leaving you free to sort everything else that comes along this time of year. This is an awesome service that I'll be recommending to friends and family. I can't wait to try more food from Cook!
Have you ordered from Cook before?