I have recently decided that it's time to invite more people to our house. It feels like it's been a good couple of years since we've done any serious entertaining. I guess I got pregnant (couldn't drink, felt extremely fat and tired), we had the baby (still fat, still couldn't drink and even more tired), then we moved (twice in less than 4 months, so really, really, really tired), and now we've been in our new house for a year, our baby is sociable and sleeps through the night (I am also back to my pre-pregnancy weight and can drink again), so it feels like it's the perfect time to make a semi-return to our pre-baby lifestyle.
We had friends over for wine last Sunday night, I had a lovely cheese board ready and cooked up some pot stickers and spring rolls with a sweet soy chilli dipping sauce. And, it was a success. Tired on Monday, but our first "event" went well.
This week we invited 3 couples and their kids for Sunday brunch. It really reminded me not to EVER have more than 2 kids....they just make too much noise on a Sunday morning, and it reminded me that I really should pay more attention as to who my husband is inviting over. I counted 6 and in the end there were 8 adults and 5 kids. I can't even find an excuse for making such a huge mistake. Thank goodness it was brunch, and we have a toaster!
Sunday rolls around quite quickly for me. I generally work Saturdays, so some serious planning was necessary. I did all my shopping on Saturday and Sunday I was up early getting ready.
I cooked 2lbs of bacon and 2lbs of breakfast sausage in the oven, roasted 2 big bunches of lovely fat asparagus with tomatoes and garlic as well. I made a simple arugula salad and a cheese quiche, pancakes, sliced baguette and cooked up about 5lbs of home fries. I also baked a Banana Cranberry Bread, which was so moist, but not too sweet. And then, we finished off with a pavlova topped with fresh cherries (pitted), strawberries and raspberries.
Champagne was chilled for the Mimosas and cranberry juice on hand for the kids.
What a delightful way to start the day!
Banana Cranberry Bread
Recipe adapted slightly from Simply Recipes
3 ripe bananas, mashed with a fork
1/3 cup melted butter
3/4 cup sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 & 1/2 cups flour
1 cup fresh (or frozen) cranberries
Preheat oven to 350F.
Lightly grease a loaf pan, making sure you get into all the corners.
In a large bowl, combine the mashed bananas with the melted butter. Add the sugar, egg and vanilla. Mix in the baking soda, salt and flour, stirring until just combined. Fold through the cranberries and pour mixture into prepared loaf pan.
Bake for approximately 1 hour, cool on a rack for 30 minutes, then turn loaf out. It stays really moist if you leave it in the pan to cool.
And, it lasts for about 5 days wrapped tightly on the counter. Don't refrigerate (or if you do, make sure you bring it back to room temperature, or warm it slightly, before serving).