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Mum Chantel Mila shares the three festive food hacks you need to know

A mum-of-two who has built a name for herself for organisation has shared the three festive food hacks you need to know this Christmas, and what makes your tree look tacky and stylish.

Chantel Mila – who is the brains behind the viral Mama Mila social media accounts in Melbourne – said there are a few foodie things she does year in and year out that everyone loves.

Her tricks include making a festive charcuterie wreath, making Grinch-inspired fruit skewers and using baking stencils to dust cocoa.

‘Bring a smile to your loved ones’ faces with these simple entertaining hacks,’ Chantel posted on Instagram. 

A mum-of-two who has built a name for herself for organisation has shared the three festive food hacks you need to know this Christmas (Chantel Mila and her children pictured)

Chantel's (pictured) first trick is to make a festive charcuterie wreath as a delicious centrepiece. She recommends using whatever cured meats, fruits, cheeses, dips and herbs to accessorise it

Chantel's first trick is to make a festive charcuterie wreath as a delicious centrepiece (pictured). She recommends using whatever cured meats, fruits, cheeses, dips and herbs to accessorise it

Chantel’s first trick is to make a festive charcuterie wreath as a delicious centrepiece (pictured). She recommends using whatever cured meats, fruits, cheeses, dips and herbs to accessorise it

1. Make a festive charcuterie wreath

Chantel’s first trick is to make a festive charcuterie wreath as a delicious centrepiece.

‘Get a bread board and make a festive charcuterie board by arranging meats, cheeses and olives in a circle,’ Chantel said.

The mum-of-two opted for salami, hard cheeses, olives and cherries on this particular wreath, but all sorts of cured meats, cheeses, seasonal fruits, honey, olives, nuts, gingerbread cookies and crackers will work.

Chantel then decorated her wreath with rosemary around the edges so that it looks like holly.

For those keen to make their own charcuterie wreath at home, foodies and home experts recommend starting with a greenery base and then adding your charcuterie meats diagonal from each other.

Then, add your cheeses via the same method, filling it out with fruit, nuts and filler.

The finishing touches are the garnishes: think fresh herbs, flowers and small decorative items.

Some even add things like Christmas biscuits or gingerbread men to give an extra festive flourish.

If you have kids in your household this Christmas, then Grinch fruit skewers are a great idea to get them to eat healthily while also doing something fun (pictured)

If you have kids in your household this Christmas, then Grinch fruit skewers are a great idea to get them to eat healthily while also doing something fun (pictured)

2. Make Grinch fruit skewers

If you have kids in your household this Christmas, then Grinch fruit skewers are a great idea to get them to eat healthily while also doing something fun.

Chantel always makes ‘Grinch fruit skewers’ out of grapes, marshmallows and strawberries.

The grapes serve as the Grinch’s face, while the strawberries serve as a Santa hat lined either side with white marshmallow.

To make the skewers all you’ll need is some wooden skewers, a bunch of green grapes, a punnet of strawberries and some large and mini marshmallows.

Thousands who saw the idea said they looked ‘delicious’ and ‘perfect for entertaining a crowd’.

Chantel's final trick was to use baking paper stencils around the edge of your desserts before dusting any cocoa powder

Chantel’s final trick was to use baking paper stencils around the edge of your desserts before dusting any cocoa powder

3. Use baking paper stencils before dusting

Chantel’s final trick was to use baking paper stencils around the edge of your desserts before dusting any cocoa powder.

She uses a Christmas tree and candy cane stencil around the edges of her dessert to give pretty cut outs around her pudding. 

Previously, Chantel shared how to make your Christmas tree look stylish, including using two to three colours as a palette as a general rule (her tree pictured)

Previously, Chantel shared how to make your Christmas tree look stylish, including using two to three colours as a palette as a general rule (her tree pictured)

Previously, Chantel shared how to make your Christmas tree look stylish, including using two to three colours as a palette as a general rule (her tree pictured)

What to do with your Christmas tree 

What to do with your Christmas tree 

* DO opt for a traditional green tree.

* DO fluff the branches before you start decorating if it has come from the box.

* DO only go for two to three colours for decorations.

* DO add tinsel that is the same colour as the tree to make it look fuller.

* DO opt for pre-lit to take the fuss out of detangling lights.

* DO add interest through mixing in different shapes and textures. 

Previously, Chantel shared exactly how a stylish Christmas tree should look – and what makes it look tacky.

‘A great tree is one that complements your home and makes it look even more beautiful,’ Chantel told FEMAIL.

‘I love the look of traditional, green, full trees, but Alpine stick trees and flocked trees are trending a bit this year. They are a great way to bring a Scandi vibe to your festive styling.’

Mum-of-two Chantel is also a fan of a pre-lit Christmas tree, as it ‘takes the hard work and time out of detangling lights’.

Once you have assembled and ‘fluffed’ your tree to make it look fuller, Chantel said it’s important to think about the overall theme.

‘You can choose the traditional colours of red, gold and green, or opt for a more Scandi look of whites and neutrals,’ she said.

‘You can even go navy and purples for a more regal look, but as a rule of thumb I recommend a palette of two to three colours.’

She added: ‘You can then add interest through mixing in different shapes and textures.’

Chantel said even though many think tinsel is tacky, it doesn’t have to be.

One of her top tips is to mix through tinsel that is the same colour as your tree, as this will make it look fuller and more expensive.

One of Chantel's pet hates is when a tree looks too threadbare and the branches haven't been fluffed when you get it out of the box (stock image)

One of Chantel’s pet hates is when a tree looks too threadbare and the branches haven’t been fluffed when you get it out of the box (stock image)

What not to do with your Christmas tree

When it comes to the other side of what not to do, often people have many rules around exactly how a Christmas tree should look, and Chantel is no exception.

What not to do with your Christmas tree 

* DON’T forget to fluff the Christmas tree as otherwise it will look threadbare.

* DON’T go for too many colours or patterns as it will look overdone.

* DON’T leave unsightly gaps with your decorating as this can make a tree look cheaper. 

* DON’T forget to add variation through different textures and shapes.

Her big no-no is artificial trees that don’t look lush because they haven’t been ‘fluffed’ when you get them out of the box.

‘When a tree is stored in its box all year, it’s packed tightly and the branches are squished,’ she said.

‘The trick is to fluff it properly to make it look as full and realistic as possible.’

To do this, the mum-of-two said you need to start from the bottom, fan each branch outwards and spread ‘the branches up and down to create fullness and cover any gaps’.

‘You may want to wear gloves while you’re doing this, as it can take a while, but it makes the biggest difference to the overall look and feel of your tree,’ Chantel said.

Elsewhere, the stylist advised against too many colours, particularly colours which clash with one another, and said you don’t want to leave any gaps.

‘I religiously go with two or three colours, and then cluster my baubles or add pinecones to my tree to help fill the gaps and give the tree a fuller look,’ she said.

Anything that looks too threadbare is likely to look cheap.



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Read more at DailyMail.co.uk



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