I realised as I was preparing the table, that this dinner involved guests with 3 of the best-est & loudest laughs that I know of, so it was bound to be an evening full of silliness & fun. And I wasn't disappointed. We laughed.
Until it hurt - and that is truly the best food for the soul & heart EVER.
Evenings like these, remind me of how lucky I am to have such a wonderful family of friends here in South Africa. I can't imagine not having these special ladies in my world and I really appreciate the happiness that I feel when we're together. There is nothing better than deep uncontrollable, belly-full bouts of laughter.
So the food was kind of irrelevant and as there were a lot of us I kept it simple, with a couple of favourite tried & tested recipes, rotisserie chickens & a selection of salads to balance out the potato wedges.
Nigellas Roasted Nuts!
Roast a couple of cups of mixed nuts in the oven @ 180 degrees for about 10 mins & then toss in this delicious spicy mix : 1/2 Tsp Cayenne Pepper, 2 Tsp sugar, 2 Tsp salt, chopped rosemary & 10g melted butter.
For starters we had one of my favourite dinner party dishes : Butternut Risotto.
The easiest, 1-pot wonder meal to whip up.
* 2 Rotisserie chickens (helps save on time & oven space which can become a problem when catering for a larger group)
* Baked potato wedges - super easy. Cut the potatoes in to quarters, drizzle with a good coating of oil, salt & pepper & back for 40 mins @ 200 degrees, turning a couple of times to ensure even crunch. Finish off with an extra sprinkle of chopped rosemary & Maldon salt.
* A selection of salads
Avo, orange & mixed lettuce salad, dressed with a squeeze of fresh orange, dash of white wine vinegar & glug of good olive oil.
Cucumber, tomato & red onion salad dressed with 1 Tsp white wine vinegar, healthy slosh of olive oil, squeeze of lemon & generous handful of fresh basil.
Celery, apple & grape salad with white wine & olive oil dressing.
|Brownie smartie cake|
I used a ready-to- make Brownie Kit, melted a bar one on top & decorated with Chuckles & Smarties
And some fresh strawberries dotted with delicate little Ladurée meringues all the way from Paris ♥
And the beautiful & rather funny guests (if not a little fuzzy in places)
|Amazing Karin & her (soon to be) twin boys|
The Book Club couch vs The Silly Champagne-drinkers couch
* Angus & Julia Stone
* Ellie Golding iTunes concert
And that, was that.
Winter's over (hopefully) but we really enjoyed hosting these dinner parties to maintain a bit of a social life during the colder months. They don't need to be a big mission & cost loads of money, and the value we got out of having our close friends over was invaluable. So I'm going to endeavour to maintain regular diners, catch-ups, nibbles, drinks or a packet of crisps with those special people we know, to stay connected & work those ab muscles from lots of heavy laughter.