Our dear C turned (Shhh!) over the weekend and we all got together to throw her a little dinner party at my place. Since both CNY and Valentine’s Day are around the corner, I felt inspired to do a peony-pink-red-purple setting. Also, the colours were so readily available everywhere !
Here’s the pre-dinner setup. Again, a little mismatched but I think it’s cute 🙂
For those of you who want to entertain at home, but are worried about having nice cutlery or table settings / cost-sensitive, it actually doesn’t have to set you back by a lot at all! Just be creative 🙂 I buy cloth from the Arab street area which I then hem into table clothes to match the decor – it’s much cheaper than buying a new table cloth. You can also double up paper napkins as place mats! IKEA, of course, is wonderful resource for the cash strapped young couple too!
As for flowers, here’s a tip – just head to the nearest wet market. You’d be surprised at what they have on offer, and at what price. My own neighbourhood florist flies in pale pink peonies for me and even Tulips from Holland if I really want them 🙂
Now, for the feast !
Again, I made Cocktail Prawns with Maryam Zaira sauce for starters. 🙂 It’s devastatingly simple to make, and looks so pretty and chi-chi on the table. Simply buy a bag of pre-cooked frozen shrimp, defrost in your sink. In the mean time, whip up a quick sauce with harissa, lime, honey, and fresh organic mayo. Boil the prawns for just under a minute, then swirl with cold water to stop the cooking. Plate prettily and you have a 5 minute starter everyone will attack and peel with relish at the table.
And then mains !
M made a huge pot of her now-famous White Wine Clams and Mussels. It was absolutely yummy and we loved shucking all that fresh plump shellfish from their shells and then dunking the squid ink baguettes she got from Tiong Bahru Bakery in them. Just a note though – those baguettes were really hard. M was hacking away at them in the kitchen and they still refused to budge. It was J to the rescue – he manfully sawed his way through both rock hard baguettes.
K and I whipped up a grill pan of smoked sausages with my home-made onion relish/marmalade and amazingly fatty melty Wagyu. We bought our beef from Mmmm – a meat specialty shop at Changi City Point. It was really amazing quality and we’ll definitely head back again. They’ve got a great range of meats (I’m eyeing the Kurobuta Pork Collar next!)
Also, I made Potatoes Dauphinoise! So easy, but so scrummy. You can never go wrong with potatoes and cream. Also on the table was my now-ubiquitous cucumber salad in a jar as well as a cocotte of honeyed carrots and sweet butternut pumpkin !
We washed it all down with copious amounts of Lime Lemongrass Cordial and later, Limoncello with Yuzu Juice (It’s the new TREND DRINK YO)
And then, the birthday cake !!
Yes that’s a pig you see – on a luscious Renga Double Chocolate Cake from my favourite bakery, Glace.
C just loves chocolate – I remember her never being without a whole bar of it in her hand when we were kids. And although 15 years have passed, some things stay the same
As for the pig – let’s just say she used to be a big fan of a novelty figurine range called Pork Chop and Friends. Which, sadly, has been discontinued !
HAPPY BIRTHDAY CLAIRE !
The happy husband and wife 🙂
The three of us, again !
Dinner conversation revolved around planning our upcoming trip to Italy – I just can’t wait ! We’re thinking of flying to Milan in May and then spending just over a week soaking in the sun and stuffing ourselves silly in Florence and then Venice. Yes, I’m going back again, yes, I’m atrocious, and no I don’t care 🙂
p/s I’ve been getting quite a few e-mails and formspring questions about the tights I wore in my Instagram post. I’ve answered at length at my Formspring Account (click) about where you can get them 🙂 Also, my comments are all disabled except for people who are registered with WordPress, so if you guys want to leave a message, feel free to do it there instead! Finally, I’ve gotten some e-mails from readers asking whether I am okay with them sharing my personal blog with their friends. Sure! As long as you guys don’t post my blog link on forums or public places, I’m fine 🙂