It's been a while since Ryan and I have hosted a movie night and it's been a while since we've caught up with some of our mutual friends so we decided to plan a get together. Something inspired by my pancake party blog post though Sunday brunch turned into Saturday lunch. We also wanted to utilised Ryan's back yard/porch before it got too much colder. We had a lot more people over than when we did pancakes but it was alot less than what we did for boxing day a few years ago (think bbq for 50 people organised by just the 2 of us.)
There was no reason behind it, "just because" we wanted to cook and catch up with friends. We ended up with a guest list of 15 (with some people declining the invite due to other commitments). To make it easier on ourselves we asked our guests to bring a plate each. Ryan and I made a few dishes and we provided everything else (drinks, cutlery, bread, etc). It was still alot of hard work to pull it off with 3 whole nights in the kitchen beforehand and then getting up early on Saturday to finish cooking.
We knew all our guests wouldn't arrive at the same time, even when the invitation stated 12:30pm we knew that we were anticipating at least a 1:00pm start (asian timing). I made a thai flavoured pumpkin soup to serve up as a bit of an "amuse bouche" to the guests as they arrived - well that was the plan anyway.
Brasserie Bread - The best loaves of bread that I bought.
On the left we have the caramelised garlic bread and on the right we have the olive and rosemary loaf.
The idea of serving them to guests as they came kind of failed. Ryan was in the shower, tables and chairs hadn't been set up yet, I was still cutting up oranges and fennel and my prawns were still frozen! While my soup was on the heat bubbling away. Thank goodness for great friends willing to help out. Leaving my camera out also meant people playing with my settings. I must admit though that this photo of my pumpkin soup looks mightly delicious!
My intended entree dish to be served as a starter - garlic prawns with fennel and orange. Ended up being served at the table with the rest of the food because people all started digging in due to hunger!
A great contribution - a chorizo, olive and spinach pasta dish. Leftovers were great =D
The garlic bread sliced up, this disappeared rather quickly.
Another great contribution - Can't remember what Di called it in Vietnamese (Mum has also made this before) but it's a steamed rice cake topped with ground shrimps and possibly mince pork too? Served with grated carrot and home made fish sauce. I unfortunately didn't get to try it because there was so much food and I was full.
Just had to take a photo of this contribution! =D It was kind of expected, not all my friends are foodies and can cook. I didn't touch it though =p.
My chocolate tart.
Chocolate tart served with green apple sorbet and pieces of "baked apple".
This was such a beautiful contribution! (And so was the box it came in). Unfortunately though due to food overload this remained untouched. Last time I saw it we put it into Ryan's fridge...
Another dessert contribution. Mixed berry jelly served with condensed milk, I enjoyed this =). Simple things are always good.
We had a "roving" photographer. Hehe, this is what happens when you leave your camera lying around. Unfortunately I didn't get any more photos of this great lunch. There was a lot of food contributed including some Thai dishes such as fried rice and salads, sausages and skewers for the bbq, even ham and cheese croissants which never got assembled due to the mass of food on offer. Totally underestimated how much food there was going to be. We did have a long lunch session too lasting for about 3 hours or more.
I was told I wasn't enjoying the lunch as much as I should have been and shouldn't have been taking so many photos and stressing so much about stuff. "Eat, Angie", "Sit, Angie" is what I head a fair bit of =D . Haha can't help it when you play host though, it's all about your guests and not you. Thank you all for making it a great day, it was nice to see everyone together having a good time. It's going to be a while before I do something like this again.