Inspired by the worldwide phenomenon that was Fifty Shades of Grey, I hosted a little “Girls’ Night In” last winter. I invited fifteen friends (+ my Mama & my sister = see, not sordid & sleazy as some of you may be imagining!?) to join me for a sophisticated soiree at my home.
Using Paperless Post I designed and sent this invitation via email to set the tone and make it extra special, and a little bit mysterious!
My husband went out for the night with some friends and my children were staying with their grandparents. I had the house to myself!
I organised for Hayley from Orchid Boutique to come and share the evening with us. Wait, wait, wait a minute! Seriously, it was a sophisticated adult affair. We played question and answer games, learnt a little dance routine with a feather boa, got introduced to some very interesting, but classy, items (and some very cool ones like this hide & seek kit), drank yummy cocktails and ate delicious food. It was a fun night in, full of laughter, great company and to top it all off, I didn’t have to drive home.
I served a few simple savoury items and a selection of individual portions of dessert options. There wasn’t much left by the end of the night. My friends grazed throughout the evening – getting up from the activities of the evening when they felt the need for some distraction or just a little more of something yummy.
I apologise that the quality of photos is not great – I forgot to think about photos for this event and had to rely on friends (and my Mama’s) iPhone snaps.
The drinks station, featuring a choice of Cocktails. One was named after Christian Grey himself and was made using Henricks Gin as referenced in the book, combined with Elderflower Cordial, resulting in a delicious beverage (hence the state of the almost empty dispenser!). The other was a Raspberry Vodka cocktail in honour of innocent and sweet Anastasia.
Roasted Garlic Hummus with pretzel, capsicum, celery & carrot sticks. A healthy option for those that want it – however this was the dish that was the least touched at the end of the night.
This is a show-stopper of an appetiser: The Parmesan Crusted Goats Cheese with Basil Oil. As simple and delicious as can be. Served with crostini but could be paired with crackers or bagel crisps.
As a reference to Ana’s love of granola in the book on which the evening was based, I served these individual portions of Mocha Granola layered with Piako Vanilla Bean yoghurt and strawberries. Perfection in a jar.
These lil’ beauties are perhaps one of my favourite desserts – Honey & Buttermilk Panna Cotta. They are easy to prepare, can be made well in advance and are so smooth, subtle and sophisticated all at once that you will make them again and again. You can serve in ramekins or little jars as seen here, but individual serves really are the key. There is a sweet gem of honey waiting at the bottom of the jar and it is like happening upon gold when you find it. I have recently discovered a new honey that I hadn’t ever heard of before (and because it’s so artisan, chances are you haven’t either). Just wait – when you do – I will share it with you soon, you’ll be in heaven and I just know this dessert will be that much more incredible once I use it in here.
Nigella’s Chocolate and Cinnamon Babycakes are another go-to in my repertoire. The combination of the flavours is warm, rich and soft. Topped with a swirl of rich vanilla buttercream, these mini-sized morsels are delicious popped into your mouth whole.
And to conclude, Sugar cookies featuring Fifty Shades quotes. They didn’t turn out quite as I’d hoped, but they did the trick.