entertaining

Summer Sunday Lunch

There is not much I love more than having friends over for lunch or dinner to celebrate a special occasion.  From the initial planning of the menu, researching recipes to try, deciding on a theme for the table and right through to the guests arriving – table set, playlist cued, wine poured and food on its way to being served.  We recently welcomed a very good friend of ours home after six years of living abroad and over the weekend we held a lunch to celebrate his return.  Despite a cracking afternoon storm, the rain and hail did little to dampen our spirits.  We had a wonderful afternoon reminiscing on old times and hearing new stories.  And eating.  Lots of eating.  I’ll share some of the menu items with you later in the week.

Summer Sunday Lunch | brownpaperbelle.comSummer Sunday Lunch | brownpaperbelle.comSummer Sunday Lunch | brownpaperbelle.comSummer Sunday Lunch | brownpaperbelle.comSummer Sunday Lunch | brownpaperbelle.comSummer Sunday Lunch | brownpaperbelle.comSummer Sunday Lunch | brownpaperbelle.com

Summer Sunday Lunch Menu

As promised, the menu from Sunday’s lunch:

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Tuna Sashimi with Sesame Asian Slaw
{Using the same recipe that I used here with salmon}
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Crispy Pork Belly with Soy & Cinnamon Glaze and Apple Ginger Salad 
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Flash Fried Salt & Pepper Calamari with Spring Onion Crunch
{As I’ve made before here}
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Crispy Whole Baked Red Emperor with Steamed Greens & Water Chestnuts 
{Using this recipe}
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Coconut Crème Brulée with Red Papaya Granita and Vanilla Lime Syrup 
{Using a combination of this ‘Not Quite Nigella’ Recipe and this Gourmet Traveller Recipe}
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Welcome Home Lunch Menu | brownpaperbelle.comTuna Sashimi with Sesame Slaw | brownpaperbelle.comCrispy Soy Pork Belly with Apple Crunch Salad | brownpaperbelle.comSalt & Pepper Calamari | brownpaperbelle.comWhole Baked Crispy Skinned Red Emperor | brownpaperbelle.comSteamed Asian Greens with Water Chestnuts | brownpaperbelle.comCoconut Creme Brulee | brownpaperbelle.comRed Papaya Granita with Vanilla Lime Syrup | brownpaperbelle.com

Happy Birthday Jack

On Saturday we had a picnic in the park to celebrate Jack’s 2nd birthday.  The weather was sunny and breezy, the trees in full Spring bloom.  We had hotdogs with all the trimmings, iced tea, birthday cake and lolly bags.  The kids ran around and played on the swings and wore themselves out as only kids can while the adults caught up under the shade of the giant flower-filled trees.  Happy birthday Jack – here’s to another great year.

Jack's 2nd Birthday Party | brownpaperbelle.comJack's 2nd Birthday Party | brownpaperbelle.comJack's 2nd Birthday Party | brownpaperbelle.comJack's 2nd Birthday Party | brownpaperbelle.comJack's 2nd Birthday Party | brownpaperbelle.comJack's 2nd Birthday Party | brownpaperbelle.comJack's 2nd Birthday Party | brownpaperbelle.com

My Happy Place

“It isn’t the big pleasures that count the most; it’s making a great deal out of the little ones.” Jean Webster

I love a bustling house filled with chatter, laughter, good food and glasses of wine – it’s one of my little pleasures.  I feel like on these occasions, taking the time to lay the table nicely is well worth it, as it sets the mood for the events that follow.   We have friends coming for lunch tomorrow and I’m feeling in the mood for something bright and cheerful.  I’ve chosen an aqua striped tablecloth, brown paper placemats, linen napkins and tiny bunches of sunny daffodils all centred around a large glass balloon filled with ice and champagne.  Simple & cheerful – a happy place indeed.

Aqua & Brown Paper Table Setting | brownpaperbelle.com
Aqua & Brown Paper Table Setting | brownpaperbelle.com
Aqua & Brown Paper Table Setting | brownpaperbelle.com
Aqua & Brown Paper Table Setting | brownpaperbelle.com
Aqua & Brown Paper Table Setting | brownpaperbelle.com
Aqua & Brown Paper Table Setting | brownpaperbelle.com

We’ve All Kicked A Goal

Tonight is game one of State of Origin – a state vs state game of rugby league that makes Adam as excited as a school boy.  So, it’s quite fitting that tonight we have a bunch of his school friends coming over to watch the game.  I have to make a confession that I’ve lost interest in state of origin in past years, but I still find it a great excuse to get together with friends you may not have seen in a while and eat tasty, footy food.  I wanted to make substantial finger food that could all be prepared in advance so I can catch up with everyone and not be stuck in the kitchen while they’re watching the game.  These are some of my go-to finger food menu items – so I’ve included the recipes I use if you click on the links below.

{Footy Night Menu}
Individual Lamb Shank Pies with Minted Yoghurt
Individual Margherita Pizzas 
Parmesan and Thyme Chicken Tenders
Pulled Pork Buns with Caramelised Onion and Coleslaw

Lamb Shank Pies with Mint Yoghurt | brownpaperbelle.comIndividual Margherita Pizzas | brownpaperbelle.comParmesan & Thyme Chicken Tenders | brownpaperbelle.comPulled Pork Buns with Caramelised Onion and Coleslaw | brownpaperbelle.com

What a {Wedding} Day

As promised, here are a few snippets of the wedding on Saturday.  It was a perfect day – gorgeous weather, beautiful friends and family together for a wonderful celebration.  I didn’t have a chance to take as many photos as I’d hoped, but here are some of the little details.  The flowers (by Julie Vine) were amazing.  And by amazing, I mean out-of-this-world.  And to see the incredible Jonas Peterson in action was quite a treat for me.  I can’t wait to see how he captured the day.
Letterpress Wedding Invitations | brownpaperbelle.comLetterpress Order of Service | brownpaperbelle.comVintage Wedding Car | brownpaperbelle.comPink Peony Bouquet | brownpaperbelle.comPink Peony Bouquet | brownpaperbelle.comWhite Daisy Wedding Cake | brownpaperbelle.comWedding Flowers | brownpaperbelle.comStokehouse Wedding | brownpaperbelle.com

Here Comes the Bride

I love everything about a wedding.  The event itself, the personal choices a couple make  and the thought that goes into the little details.  But more than that, the joining of two families and the celebration that follows.  It is a beautiful thing to witness.  Tomorrow is my dear friend’s wedding day (remember I wrote of the hens’ night here and here).   Us girls have a very early start so I’ve made a few light and easy to eat breakfast treats to take with us to The Powder Room to make sure out stomachs are full before consuming too much champagne.  I’ll try to sneak a few photos of the details to share with you on Monday.

My menu for tomorrow’s breakfast is:

Individual Bircher Muesli Jars
Trio of melon skewers
White and Dark Chocolate Cups with Berries
Toasts with Fig, Goats Cheese and Honey Dressing
Toasts with Avocado, Goats Cheese and Lemon Sea Salt
Vanilla Raspberry Cupcakes

Individual Bircher Muesli | brownpaperbelle.comTrio of Melon Skewers | brownpaperbelle.comBerry Chocolate Cups | brownpaperbelle.comIndividual Breakfast Toasts | brownpaperbelle.comVanilla Raspberry Cupcakes | brownpaperbelle.comVanilla Raspberry Cupcakes | brownpaperbelle.com