French Soirée Sept '11

I think it’s about time I shared some of the wonderful party highlights isn’t it? Let’s start with the food, I don’t want to keep you waiting any longer! I prepared mentally for this party for so long, and yet over the weekend I just couldn’t quite seem to get started with the food too early. However, luckily with Sunday & Monday spent preparing I made everything I wanted to and thankfully all of it came out spectacularly. My grandmother rang me up the next day to tell me that it was the best selection of party food she’d had!

French Soirée Sept '11

It looked wonderful with my mum’s antique rustic country dresser behind, with all her jars of dried beans and seeds, decorated with a “bon appetit” banner. I indulged in a few party decorations from talking tables (their selection is incredible! I wish there was a shop that just stocked it all!) but otherwise we managed to get cute spotty paper plates and cups from Poundland!

French Soirée Sept '11
French Soirée Sept '11

We had simple selections of French bread, cheeses and hams and salami on offer, but made a few more sophisticated bite-size buffet ideas too. My mum made delicious filo parcels filled with cheese and spinach, salmon & prawns which went down really well. We would recommend that you bake them in a hot oiled metal tray, not in cake cases like we did though, to get the bottoms nice and crisp. They’re a little fiddly but well worth the effort!

French Soirée Sept '11

Next were my savoury buffet bites. I mixed grated potato, egg, nutmeg & mint from the garden and squished them into cake cases to make a crispy potato base. Once baked, I just spread with wholegrain mustard, cooked beef strips, crème fraiche and green beans! My mum wants to do this with horseradish sometime however, because she wants another go at making home-made horseradish. It might even make a nice dish as a larger version.

French Soirée Sept '11French Soirée Sept '11

One fabulous recipe that I found was a Spinach & Artichoke dip. I tasted artichokes for the first time in Rome this summer, and I like their delicate flavour. This recipe was simple, but it’s a show-stopper because no-one had tasted anything like it before. It’s just a combination of cream cheese, spinach & artichoke hearts mixed with lots of crushed garlic and a couple more types of cheese, topped with (more!) grated cheese & baked until it bubbles. Its SOO good.

French Soirée Sept '11

Other savouries were a cheese & onion tart from Elaine which was hugely popular and classic, and these gorgeous puff pastry & cheese-wrapped green beans, from one of my favourite food blogs.

French Soirée Sept '11

But now for the sweets. Seb & me made macarons, to the Italian method again which continues to baffle me slightly, and I spent a considerable amount of Monday making choux pastry for our pièce montée… the Croquembouche! I finally got to make it hooray! And it went down a storm. We even filmed the making of it… so look forward to more time-lapse filming soon. I also whipped together some lemon drizzle cakes while Seb was nipping to the store for me for more eggs. Which turned out to be rather good. Well, I had to make something to fill these gorgeous pink, scallop-edged mini loaf cases.

French Soirée Sept '11

There’s lots more for me to share, including my home-made decorations and theme ideas, the photo-booth and of course Truffle’s hand made French doggie coat! Look forward to more snippets of film too, I have some fun ones to share – both arty and silly. Hope you enjoyed the photos!

French Soirée Sept '11
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