I dined with Annabel Langbein last night.
Just me, my Englishman and a few of our good friends – old and new.
Annabel wasn’t there at the table but I used her recipes from A Free Range Life (new and on sale now) so it was like she was there in a way.
Of course in typical Vix fashion, I hadn’t even decided what I was cooking, or how I was going to set the table, at 1 pm yesterday and guests were due at 7pm. Wasn’t it great then that every single thing I attempted to make worked first time.
I’m not incredibly flush at the moment so I was even more chuffed that I could put on a dinner party for 13 for under $100. Cor! I even managed to get the table flowers for a fiver after asking the local florist if she had any flowers on their last legs that she couldn’t sell. Day after dinner and they still look beautiful.
Here’s what was on the menu:Starters
Prawn & Chorizo Skewers with Aioli
Devils on Horseback (an oldie but a goodie that’s enjoying renewed popularity at dinner tables everywhere)Mains
Blackjack Chicken Nibbles (nom, nom, nom)
Orzo Salad (Vicki’s recipe)
Smoky Chili Beans (Vicki’s recipe)
Ice cream sandwiches
Of course our lovely friends bought yummy cheese boards, and strawberries with home grown herbs, delish salads and happy juice (white, red and beery!)
I made everything from scratch, no bought sauces in this casa. The chilli beans is an old recipe I used to make up when I was backpacking. With dried red kidney beans costing only about $0.50 kg (in those days) it was a really cheap meal for me to subsist on in the hostel. I would make a big batch up and then eat it for breakfast, lunch and dinner. In last night’s version I added some cans of baked beans that I washed the sauce off. The soft white beans adds a really nice consistency with the kidney beans.
I also made Annabel’s Miracle Mayo, which I’ll freely admit I started cynically. I’ve been trying to make homemade mayo for decades since University Moosewood Cookbook days, and I’ve always stuffed it up. Was I too impatient to watch the oil and dribble it in sooooo slowly? Know not. But Annabel’s Miracle Mayo calls for everything in one container at the same time and the appropriate application of a wand mixer.
I eat my words. It bloody is a miracle!
For sweetening us up after the main meal I served home made ice cream sandwiches and thought fondly of my Dad as I did. They’re his favourite dessert treat, but I wonder what he’d make of the homemade ginger biscuits instead of the pink wafers? I suspect he would chomp it down happily, as our guests did.
With the icecream sandwiches I served the homemade Kiwifruit Sorbet that I made. Sooo easy.
No faffing around with sugar syrup, I found the recipe here on the F&P site.
I’ll post all recipes and links from the VegemiteVix Facebook page. Have you bought the A Free Range Life cookbook yet and tried any of the recipes? If so, let’s here from you in the comments below. If you’re reading this post from overseas you can buy Annabel’s cookbook here.
This post was another proud participant in the Parents Online NZ Deck Days’ linky. This is how we live our Summers, Down Under!