Winter Dinner Dates #2

I was so looking for forward to this last Saturday night. After the success of the last dinner date, I knew it would be fun to plan a 3 course meal, decorate the table & enjoy fun times with a  few different friends around the fire.

BUT, I got so carried away with catching up with everyone & tucking in to the delicious starter ( that lead in to the pie & then in to the over-boozy pud...), that I totally forgot to take any photos :(

The menu was a winner though so I definitely want to remember that :

The menu

- Baked Camembert with triangle Pita chips
- Roast chicken pie served with buttered baby carrots & peas
- Kahlua & Choc-Chip Cookie milkshakes

And they were all super easy:

Baked Camembert & Pita Chips

250g Camembert
6 pack of Pita breads
Olive Oil

This is soooo easy but really yummy & is  a great winter starter to share with friends.
Literally you get a Camembert 'round', make a few slits in the top & poke sliced garlic & thyme in to them. Bake for 10 mins until the cheese is melted & fonduey. Mmmmmm!
At the same time, take some pita breads, separate the 2 halves, cut in to quarters, drizzle with olive oil & sprinkle with Molden salt, and bake for 7 - 10 mins.

Chicken Pie

For the pie, we used a Nigella recipe that I've made a few times, but this time Warren added a twist by roasting a whole free range chicken & using that for the filling.

1 x large chicken (I used 1.5kg)
250g bacon
400g brown mushrooms
Frozen Puff Pastry
600ml Stock

Roast a chicken (with seasoning/garlic/onion/herbs or however you dress yours normally).
Meanwhile saute the leeks in a little olive oil, add the bacon until it's cooked & then the mushrooms.
Once the chicken is cooked, take the skin & bones out & roughly chop to add to your bacon mix.
Make sure you keep all your roast chicken juices!
Start the sauce with a basic roux made from 2 tbsp butter & 2 tbsp flour (cook for a  few minutes) & 300 ml milk, slowly whisked in. Add the saved chicken juices & an additional 600ml chicken stock (made with cubes/powder). Stir it altogether until it thickens a little.
Pop the chicken, bacon, leek & mushroom filling in to a large pie dish (I used an A4 sized Le Creuset) & pour over the sauce.
Top with the rolled out puff pastry & cook for 30-40 mins until the pastry looks ready and the filling is bubbling.
Serve with your favourite veggies

Kahlua & Choc Chip Cookie Milkshakes!

Per serving:

1 cup of Coffee or Vanilla ice-cream
3/4 cup milk
60ml Kahlua
1 lrg choc chip cookie
(1 cup Crushed Ice if you have)

Stick them all in an electric mixer, whizz them together & poor in to glasses. Sprinkle extra broken cookie on to & serve with a straw (+ spoon!)

I think I was a bit heavy-handed with the Kahlua when I multiplied the quantities to make 7 servings, so use you discretion when adding that (I guess a tot or 2 at max, per person is plenty thinking about it) so that your guests can still drive home!


To set the ambience Warren plugged in our 10th Anniversary Party playlist - a chilled selection of Amy Winehouse, Melodie, Adele & Ellie Golding followed by my current favourite Mumford & Sons.

And the table decor was kept the same as the last time (mini cheat!) : Protea flower heads in my Chinese supermarket enamel cup find, music sheet place mats & old book pages & doilies as a runner. So pretty - although we have discovered that tea lights dotted in abundance around the table with all these paper accessories & serviettes inevitably results in a mini fire & a 5 min episode of hysteria as we try & stop the whole table catching a light!

Lula was so excited about us hosting another dinner party & whilst she didn't have any little friends to hang out with this time, she felt so special staying up a bit later to chat to the grown ups. Each guest got one of her glo stix on arrival & she was very proud to show off her baby dolls & lego to them all. When she went to bed, my friend Gorge read her a story & we all took turns to tuck her in & say good night (with our then very garlic breath from the cheesy starter!). So sweet.

Wonderful evening with wonderful friends.

Next time I must remember my camera!


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