Our first proper, grown-up dinner party

Last night we held our first dinner party – it was a small one, just us and Tom’s cousin Marc and his wife Kate, but really our flat can’t fit many more than that in it anyway! It was a lovely, cosy evening, made all the more festive as I have been allowed to put up the christmas tree and lights!

We were all set to make Hugh FW’s baked chicken curry – one of Tom’s specialities – and then we watched the last episode of his River Cottage Veg series and our original menu went out of the window to be replaced with this one:

  • Individual baked pumpkins stuffed with creamy leeks – (River Cottage Veg)
  • My chicken pie with roasted veg – (not from the Veg series but delicious on a cold winter’s night!)
  • White chocolate and cranberry cheesecake – (recipe from Tom’s mum Sue)
  • River Cottage Apple Mojitos

I was really looking forward to cooking a three-course meal – though working out how exactly to rearrange the furniture so that we could actually open up the dining table was interesting – we managed eventually though it was a bit of a squeeze!

I made the cheesecake the night before – and it’s such an easy recipe – just gently melt a bar of white chocolate over a saucepan of hot water and then mix into 500g of marscapone cheese. Add chopped cranberries and a splash of orange juice and combine it all together. Blend digestives and then mix with melted butter to make the base. Chill the base in the fridge and then spread the cheesecake mix on top and chill again in the fridge until ready to serve.

mmm mmm mmmmm! It went down well and there’s still plenty left for the rest of the weekend 🙂

Tom’s starter was delicious – and something we’d never cooked before – roasted pumpkins stuffed with leeks mixed with creme fraiche and mustard – yum! I’d never actually eaten pumpkin before – we’d always just scooped out the filling and carved them for Halloween, all I can say is they’re delicious, especially when filled with melty, creamy leeks!

Chicken pie is one of my all time favourites and I love making it. It’s such a tasty, warming dish to have in the winter and it’s easy to make ahead of time – however, I have to admit I didn’t make the pastry! I’ve never made it before so I didn’t want to risk it when we had people coming over for dinner in case it went wrong on the night! I will give it a go in the future though – this wouldn’t be a baking blog if I didn’t try my hand at pastry at some point!

We had such a nice time – plenty of mojitos, wine, food and lots and lots of laughing – the perfect recipe for a dinner party with friends 🙂


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