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IMG_1577A month has gone by since the very special dinner by Mr MWCED for my birthday treat.  Spoilt by the friends who came great distances to share the day (and week) I was a lucky woman.  Mr MWCED and i spent some time planning the menu, it was a small plates dinner and we had 8 courses planned.  Fortunately the numbers were intimate, there were a lucky 13 of us, so it was manageable – though at some times of the evening my dear son had to work as gatekeeper to the kitchen so Mr MWCED wasn’t overwhelmed with helpers.  It was a mammoth task, everything was made either a day or so before or on the day/night.  Food made with love, what more could one ask?

The menu consisted of:
Prawns with Tamarind on Watermelon


I was immediately attracted to this when I saw it in a Taste magazine (NZ, December 2009) and thought it would made an ideal start to the dinner.  It definitely had the wow factor, and for a lot of the guests it was an introduction to using watermelon with prawns.   Here is the link to that recipe:


Haloumi, Beetroot and Pomegranate Molasses


I just loved all these flavours, and the addition of a few pinenuts sealed the deal.  No real recipe,  just a delicious combination of fresh ingredients – rocket from the garden, fresh sour dough from the local bakery, lemon off the tree.  Mmmmmm……….

Pork Dumplings


OMG, Mr MWCED went all out here.  Making the wrappers and experimenting with the best way to serve, the end result was perfection.  The filling was slightly spicy and oh so more-ish.  These were boiled then pan fried.  Definitely a repeater.   These were made taking inspiration from a number of recipes across the net.   Search for dumplings, pot stickers………

Champagne Sorbet


The theme of the party was ‘Champagne’, so this was perfect.  Made with Champagne, of course, and stressed Mr MWCED to the max as it just wouldn’t freeze up to his expectations – so was more slushy than sorbet.  Who cared?  Not me!

Oops,  only remembered to take a photo after the sorbet had been out for awhile,  so also looking a little melted here?  Well, we had imbibed a few champagnes by this time….

Duck Terrine with Pistachio 


Well this dinner was all about me,  so I got to choose one of my favorite meats, duck.  Not a favourite of Mr MWCED’s, so I felt spoilt that he made this for me.  it was simply delicious – and even had homemade flat bread to accompany.  The recipe was another one from December 2009 Taste magazine:


Fried Ravioli Caprese Stacks
IMG_2890I saw these on domesticfits.com and just knew I wanted them.  A very hard time to convince Mr MWCED that they would work.  I think we got there in the end.  They were definitely different, but not 100% sure I would use again.

Thai Beef Salad 

By this time of the evening it was getting late,  kitchen tensions were high, so the chef made an executive decision not to plate this one up.  Damn,  I was looking forward to it,  but I trusted his choice.

Butterscotch Brulee


After having a creme brulee on Boxing Day this was top of my list of requests for the dinner.  And it didn’t disappoint.  The salted caramel/butterscotch complemented the creamy brulee perfectly.   Ahh, totally spoilt.