In beginning to update my blog again, it would seem to make sense to start at the beginning of what I missed. But that seems too hard. So I’m starting at the end.

Two days ago to be precise.

(you’ll just have to wait a little longer for those wedding photos!)

Tuesday I declared girls night in at my home*.

I have an amazing group of girlfriends from my church “expression” and we have developed something of a tradition of having regular dinner parties at each other’s houses. It started with that Belorussian meal at Larysa’s and so this week’s dinner was rather poignant because it was both a hello and a goodbye – hello amazing flat that is now half mine (well, the rent is), goodbye lovely friend Larysa who is moving to the Netherlands…

There is not a lot of things in life that I enjoy more than cooking for friends. So I spent the last half hour of my working day searching through all my recently bookmarked recipes for something good to serve up. Finally I spotted an email from my cousin Allie earlier this week when she sent me a recipe link for mushroom stuffed chicken with lemon thyme risotto that she had cooked last weekend and loved.

Well, a recommendation from Allie should be listened to (my dessert-reluctant husband is in love with her malteser tray bake) so I printed off the recipe and headed via the supermarket on the way home.

I had told the girls that dinner was on the table at 8pm but they could come anytime from 6pm, and turn up early they did! Which was good because I had also decided to make chocolate pudding and chocolate aztec cookies for dessert so it was all hands on deck to prepare it…

Sarah got given the cookies to make. Turns out she is a follow-the-recipe-exactly kinda girl, so didn’t like my “well I don’t have a tablespoon, just heap up a dessert spoon” approach. But she coped admirably well and they came out amazingly!

I had everyone else chopping, slicing, setting the table, and generally keeping me amused while I pretended that I stuff chicken every day and isn’t this easy… only one went wrong, and i just turned it upside down so you couldn’t see and made sure it ended up on my plate :)

In case you’re straining your eyes to see, my apron reads: “if it’s broon it’s cooked, an’ if it’s black it’s buggert” – and needs to be read in an appropriately thick Scottish accent. I persuaded my dad to buy it for me in the gift shop of a Scottish castle a few years ago

After about two hours of cooking and chatting and giggling, dinner was ready…

I know. Please excuse the terible bad quality of the photo, I realise the darkness and the blurring do not contribute to your immediately scrolling down to find the recipe and try it, but I swear this is GOOD chicken and risotto. Mmmm… *hopeful smiley face*

Also, spot one of Rasmus’ favourite wedding presents in the photo.

In the course of the evening, I was having so much fun that I completely forgot to take pictures of dessert. I even made the chocolate pudding in my dainty tea cups and saucers that used to be my Granny’s, which my Grandpa gave me a few years ago (apparently he doesn’t have much use for TWO dainty tea sets). And then we set the cookies on the saucer and used the loooong handled teaspoons to eat the pudding and also discovered that dipping the cookie in to the pudding was pretty much divine. So forgive me for being too distracted to take photos!

Instead I’ll leave you with a photo of Sarah and I looking so fetching in our aprons :)

Want the recipes?

  • Mushroom stuffed chicken with lemon-thyme risotto, from BBC Good Food – I used lemon juice, not fresh, and didn’t have thyme, so decided to use boirson (sp?!) cheese instead of parmesan which has the garlic and herbs in and makes the risotto amazingly creamy. Oh, and also, I used their tip of substituting bacon for the porcini mushrooms.
  • Chocolate Pudding from Smitten Kitchen – who else?! I am in love with everything she makes – this recipe was simplicity personified and so very delicious!
  • Aztec Chocolate Cookies from Savour Fare – these are super yummy, chocolate with a kick! And the good news is there wasn’t room for them all on the baking sheet (Fancy, we used your wedding gift!) so I still have six I can bake whenever I get the urge… which may be very soon.

*Rasmus wisely chose to disappear and watch the champions league football game at a bar with some friends :)

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