Sunday, 22 November 2015

Come Dine With me


'Tis the season of dinner parties and everything festive! A few weeks ago close friends of ours decided that it would be fun to do a 'Come Dine With Me' night! We decided that each couple cooks a three course meal for the others. If you haven't heard of 'Come Dine With Me' it's a UK television show where people each take turns at cooking at each others homes. Everyone gives the chef a score out of 10 and at the end of the dinners the winner wins £1000...now there's no £1000 up for grabs here and we've been slacking off at the scoring each other part too but it's a great excuse to get together for a fancier-than-usual dinner! 


What perfect timing! It also started snowing in London on the weekend so it was the perfect excuse to stay inside and enjoy yummy food. As soon as we decided we were doing 'Come Dine With Me' I has so many idea's running through my head. I think that one of my favourite things to do in life is host a dinner party for my close friends and family. I love doing everything from preparing the meal to picking the perfect centrepiece. I'm all about setting the mood and creating the perfect atmosphere. I guess that's half the reason I become a wedding planner! 

I wanted to create a more relaxed vibe so decided on a low table with lots of rugs and pillows for our guests to perch on. I went to a fresh flower market the day before and brought a few of my favourites to create whimsical and simple flowers arrangements. I was actually inspired by a recent wedding that had the same flowers for their centrepieces. I styled these with fairy lights and tea light candles to created some mood lighting. At each setting I wrapped everyone's napkins with twine and a personalized name tag. This is such an easy look to pull off, but as I’m sure you’ll agree, it looks amazing! Another easy and pretty touch I did was I used brown Kraft paper for the table runner and to write up our menu that I hanged on the wall, I added our custom designed J&J logo for a little personalized touch! 


I created a mini cocktail bar for our guests to enjoy a refreshing drink on arrival. Pomegranate is one of my favorite summer fruits, this cocktail is so easy to make and also a little bit too easy to drink! I also had a jug of water which I used cucumbers, lime, strawberries and fresh mint. The cucumber, mint and lime make the water taste so refreshing and bright! And the strawberries just add a tiny touch of natural sweetness. This combination is one of my favourites, not only because it tastes yummy, but also because it just looks so darn pretty! I’m obviously a visual person, and I really think there is something in my head that says, “Hey, that’s pretty, I want to drink that!” and makes it more appealing to me than just regular old water.

Pomegranate and Mint Cocktail 

Ingredients: 

  • 3 cups pomegranate juice 
  • 1/2 cup lemon juice 
  • 1 1/2 cups vodka 
  • Soda water, to top off 
  • ½ cup fresh mint 
  • Pomegranate seeds, for garnish 

Directions: 
  1. In a large pitcher combine the pomegranate and lemon juice with the vodka. Tear the mint into small pieces and add to the pitcher. Stir to combine. Place in the refrigerator until ready to serve. 
  2. To serve, fill a glasses halfway full with ice. Pour the mixture ¾’s way up, then finish with soda water and a few pomegranate seeds. Serve immediately. 

What We Cooked? 

Starter

Walnut, Pear & Castello Blue cheese Bruschetta ~ See recipe here

Main

Confit De Canard, Creamy Maris Piper mash w Fresh Steamed Asparagus & Red Wine Jus ~ Recipe coming!


Dessert

Molton Dar Chocolate & Salted Caramel Fondant Cake w Madagascan Vanilla Ice Cream w Fresh Strawberries ~ See recipe here


Overall the night was a great success! Great friends, good music, yummy food, fun dinner games and laughter and a few empty bottles of wine later! Can't wait to do it all over again tonight! 

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