Bringing Christmas to Life with Shaynna and Poh

Bringing Christmas to Life with Shaynna and Poh

Poh takes the time to give us her handy hints for less time in the kitchen and more time with your loved ones.

Christmas day cooking can be very hectic, are there any tips you can give to help the day run smoothly?

I think keeping it simple and fresh and executing a smaller amount of dishes well, rather than trying to do too much. One year I was getting so overwhelmed I just made a trifle and paella in a giant pan and my family loved it. Also, seeing as our Aussie summers are usually very warm - think light, zingy flavours with cold seafood.

What order do you follow to get your Christmas Day meal ready and on the table? Do you have an easy step-by-step guide you follow?

Sweets are strictly a couple days up to a week before, ham, complex salad dressings and any veg that can be washed and pre-cut night before, then on the day all I want to do is grilling or assembling cold seafood and salads.

What is your favourite dish to eat on Christmas day?

Cold prawns.

?Are you a traditionalist when it comes to the Christmas meal, or do you prefer something else?

Being migrants, our Christmas buffets are always hilariously eclectic which I used to hate as a child but now celebrate. It would not be unusual to find fresh oysters next to Hokkien noodles and baked ham next to a Nyonya chicken curry.

?Do you have any other tips for everyone cooking the Christmas Day meal?

I think always remember it's about the company - family and friends. Focus on designing your menu so you are stress free and able to socialise rather than getting stuck in the kitchen with your knickers in a knot!

Bringing Christmas To Life With Shaynna And Poh

Shaynna shares her best ways to have the most stylish Christmas to date

Bringing Christmas To Life With Shaynna And Poh

What are the key rooms you should decorate in your house?

The entry and the lounge room are the essential. Whether you decorate beyond them is really up to your end-of-year energy levels, and whether you're capable of making it happen.

Any tips for decorating the outside of your house?

If you are time poor and want to keep Christmas simple, feature topiary pot plants adorned with fairy lights either side of a front door dressed with a standout wreath, are a beautiful way to guide 'Santa' to your home. Beyond that, you have free reign depending on how far you want to take the decorative festivities. You have the freedom to create an exterior that is a hot mess of lights, snow and Santa. Ultimately, it's about putting a smile on the faces of people passing by. That's the Christmas spirit.

Any other comments of quotes you would like to make about Christmas

Christmas is about sharing you home, your heart, and a childlike sense of joy. Fill your home with Christmas cheer and it will come return to you tenfold.

What are your five top tips to decorate a Christmas Table?

  1. Don't over stuff your table like the Christmas turkey so that you can't see the person opposite you. Save that for the tree, and leave room for the food.
  2. If you're going for a formal look, select a simple, crisp, colour palette. Keep all your china, your table cloth and even your cutlery white and add hints of one colour (gold, silver or whatever your theme colour is) in your chargers, serviettes and decorations.
  3. For a casual look alternate the colour of your china at every second place setting and use a mixture of plain and coloured glassware.
  4. Use greenery en masse (boughs of rosemary or ivy vines are great options) and add small woodland creature tree decorations to create a hide-and-seek feel and give your table a sense of adventure.
  5. Hero the food. Chances are you've spent hours slaving over a hot stove or barbecue, so put some love into the presentation of your food. Choose boards or platters that complement your theme and colour palette, and layer mains, sides, nibbles and condiments generously. And don't forget to check that your serving implements complement your overall look and feel, and are also functional.