Hosting a proper dinner party for the first time since we got here. Sure we've had the odd couple or two over but those meals have been thrown together rather than really planned.
This one is ten people - the exact number that will fit around our door -turned - table. And I've thought through a dinner menu that doesn't require me to slave away in the kitchen all day. With a bit of planning it's taken me 2 hours to create:
1. Chicken in lime and chilli marinade - took 6 minutes to marinate. I'll pop it into oven at 7 and it'll be ready for the table at 8.10.
2. Garlic ciabattas x 6. Made the butter last night. Slathered it on this morning and wrapped each of the six loaves individually to be popped in a hot oven 20 minutes before we eat.
3. Giant salad - radish, cucumber, cherry tomatos, lettuce and brocoli and alfalfa sprouts. Took about 8 minutes to wash, cut, assemble. Will dress and serve.
4. Baby new potatoes, scrubbed, tossed in olive oil, sliced garlic and sliced lemon. Roasted them this afternoon and chopped up the dill. I'll toss this in after it's warmed and just before serving.
5. Spinach lasagna - this was the most time consuming. Popped on a pot of tomato sauce before I began on the salad and marinating. Got the ricotta - spinach - nutmeg - herb mix and grated cheese ready. Then used the ready sheets of lasagna to layer up everything. I didn't use a white sauce, instead using the 'one cup of water around the edges' method - covering with parchment and then sealing with foil and baking for just over an hour. Moist and smelling heavenly, it's sat on my kitchen counter waiting to be lightly grilled for 5 minutes just before we eat.
6. This final one is for my friend Broom, whom I miss dearly and think of every time I attempt a new vegetarian recipe. I made quinoa cauliflower cakes/ patties adapting a recipe from a blog. I added in a bunch of spices, fresh chillies and corriander and have just fried 30 of these babies in record time. It took about 40 minutes (without the time it needed to rest in the fridge) but so worth it! They smell and taste amazing! She is one of the few people that makes me miss my London life.
I'm wierdly excited about this dinner, even though the friends are not really mine. It might have to do with a bunch of good things finally coming to fruition after a year and a bit of waiting watching fretting stressing.
Anyway, tidying to do and a little person to feed and put through his evening routine before our guests arrive. I leave you with the table which has inadvertently turned into a white, green and yellow fest. Bon appetit!