They say the silly season begins on Melbourne Cup day, so we're well and truly in the swing of it now! There are so many fun things happening at this time of year, and lots of opportunities to let your hair down and relax as another big year comes to an end. Here are our tips for surviving the season with grace and minimal stress - and with a happy tummy.

The Office Christmas Party

While the new movie OFFICE CHRISTMAS PARTY (in cinemas 8 December) follows the story of two colleagues who throw a raucous party to try and make a big sale and save their jobs, the regular office Christmas party is often a little more relaxed! However, when too much Christmas punch and a year of stress combine, the Christmas party often brings out some bad behaviour (terrible drunken dancing and embarrassing omissions come to mind). Keep the following in mind: - Eat before you get there - not only will this help when you are drinking, but it also means that you won't find yourself hanging around the snacks table like a loser.

  • Avoid taking or being in photos after a few drinks - these photos will only do harm!
  • Put your phone away and get off social media - be present at the party and enjoy your colleagues' company. Surfing social media in company is very anti-social.
  • Loose lips sink...careers - alcohol can cause people to bring up some scandalous information, and getting involved can create some very awkward situations back in the office!

We're giving away 2-for-1 vouchers to all our members this week - check out the trailer below! https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KCXlNekmDC0&t=4s ### Late Night Shopping

Buy Presents written on a calender for Christmas eve.A lot of department stores and shopping precincts hold special sales nights to bring in the crowds ahead of Santa's visit. There are a couple of major rules to adhere to on these nights: -

  • Avoid too much free champagne - we all know why stores offer you free champagne. It's a sure fire way to bring in sales! Eat before attending, and limit yourself to 1 drink per hour at a maximum. Stay on task!
  • Don't be blinded by the discount - think long and hard about the presents your family and friends want and need. Just because something is on sale, does not mean it's a good gift!

Christmas Day

The key for Christmas? Relax and enjoy yourself! It is the best day of the year, with food, friends, family and lots of opportunities to celebrate the year that was. Here are some great dishes to take to Christmas lunch this year:

Cranberry Moscow Mule

http://blackberrybabe.com/2015/11/11/cranberry-moscow-mules/ Photo by: Blackberry BabeRecipe at Blackberry Babe

You can't go wrong with a refreshing cranberry cocktail and you certainly won’t disappoint any guests with this tasty take on the classic Moscow Mule cocktail. Originating back in the 1940’s, the Moscow Mule is traditionally served in a copper mug which keeps the beverage extra cold for a better drinking experience. The addition of cranberry juice and fresh (or frozen) whole cranberries not only makes this a delicious variation, but with its festive ruby red colour, it ties into the holiday season perfectly. ### Festive Baked Stuffed Salmon - available to order now!

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Ingredients:

  • 1 garlic clove
  • 20g slivered almonds
  • 1 lemon
  • 10g dill
  • 50g baby rocket
  • Salmon fillet, skin on
  • 1 Lebanese cucumber

Method:

  1. Prepare ingredients

Preheat the oven to 200C. Finely chop the garlic. Cook the almonds in a small frypan over medium heat for 2-3 mins until toasted. 2. Zest the lemon

Pick the dill sprigs (discard stems) and finely chop. Coarsely chop two thirds of the rocket and finely chop the remaining. Finely chop the almonds. 3. Make stuffing

Combine the garlic, almonds, dill, 2 tsp lemon rind, finely chopped rocket, 2 tsp oil and salt and pepper in a bowl. 4. Stuff salmon

Lay the salmon on a lined oven tray, skin-side down and season with salt and pepper. Spoon over the rocket mixture on one fillet, then top with the other fillet, skin-side up. 5. Truss salmon

Truss the salmon to hold it in place. Drizzle with 2 tsp oil on both sides to coat, then season with salt and pepper. Place on an oven tray lined with baking paper. 6. Bake salmon

Bake the salmon for 10-12 mins until just cooked through. Cooking time will depend on the thickness of the fish fillets. 7. Get ready to serve

Meanwhile, Cut half of the lemon into wedges. Coarsely chop the cucumber and combine in a bowl with the coarsely chopped rocket, 2 tsp oil and salt and pepper. Squeeze over 1 tbs lemon juice to taste and toss to combine. Serve the salmon with the cucumber salad.