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Monday, February 3, 2014

MKR Round 3 - Australian Themed Dinner Party

I recently shared with you my Australian inspired menu plan for a My Kitchen Rules dinner party competition we are having with friends.

We were up against some fierce but friendly competition with Round 1 an Italian Fantastico, Round 2 a French Sensation and Round 3 was our MKR -  Aussie Aussie Aussie Oi Oi Oi! We all voted for our favourite MKR dinner party and the winners were ... the French Sensation! 

Sadly, we didn't win but we came a close second and had an awesome night.

The winning couple took home a bottle of wine from each of us.

So this is how our MKR Australian themed dinner party went down just a few weekends ago ....

Let's start with the decorating - I went for these Australian native flowers which were semi dried so would last in our hot balmy weather, especially important as we were dining outside I didn't want a delicate flower that would wilt in the hot weather.

I put the flowers in upcycled vases made from empty sauce jars and decorated them with string,  little Australian flags and stickers with the guests initials so they could take them home as a gift (although they forgot to take them which was just a sign that we were having too much fun!)

For the table I laid a white tablecloth, multi coloured wooden place mats, red napkins with silver napkin rings and silver cutlery.

My centrepieces were the flowers I had made for my guests (which in hindsight were a bit too tall and blocked our view so they ended up being moved out the way!) I will make sure I make lower flower arrangements next time!

A hand carved boab nut and pretty candles finished off the Australian theme.

It was simple and modern and left plenty of room for our drinks and food!

I made menus because we had a few guests with food allergies and this made it easier for them to see what ingredients were in the dishes.

I typed and printed out the menus on coloured paper (similar to what I did for our Indian inspired dinner party you can find here) and laid the menus on each place mat.

Menus are a nice touch if you have the time they are worth the extra effort and a fun keepsake from the night as well!

It was a hot and balmy summer night and perfect to be dining alfresco and once the candles were lit, fairy lights on, music playing our favourite Australian singers, we were set to party!

And then disaster struck 10 minutes before everyone got there the flowers toppled over in the wind and vases full of water ran all over the table and menus, etc. My neighbors must have heard my you've got to be s**ting me expletives as I madly tried to take everything off the table, lay out the table cloth to dry, wipe up the water and then set the table again.

My guests were knocking on the front door and I was out the back running around like a crazy women resetting the table! Phew these things happen to try us I'm sure!

So that was setting the table and decorating now for the cooking which was pretty much as shown in  my Australian Inspired Menu blog post except that I found some of the recipes in books and magazines at home.

I made as much as I could ahead of time earlier that day or the day before so that we spent as little time in the kitchen as possible and spent it enjoying ourselves with our guests instead.

To start with we had a bush tucker cheese board with Australian cheeses, olives, quince paste, outback mixed nuts, beetroot and tomato relish, frozen grapes and crostinis which went down a treat with icy cold ciders for the men and sparkling wine for us women.

Onto the starter we had a Spinach, Beetroot and Fetta Salad with Macadamian Nuts and a side dish of Kangaroo sausage sliced and pan fried served with tomato relish.

We moved onto the wines and served this with semillon sauvignon blanc and Pinot Noir.

We trialled a few different types of kangaroo sausages and in the end liked the Gourmet Game (from Coles) the best but they were sold out when I went to buy them so had to go with the second choice the Macro Meats Bush Tomato Kanga Bangas (from Woolworths) which unfortunately weren't as nice.

We then moved onto our palette cleanser the Mango and Lime Granita that I had made the night before, it took 4 hours to freeze and I stirred it every 30 minutes until it was nice and frozen. A little labour intensive but worth it will definately be making this one again.

I put my Moroccan shot glasses in the freezer to get nice and cold and then shaved the granita with a fork and served it up.

For the main course we had half the food cooking in the BBQ Weber outside making us all hungry with the delicious smells going through the air and the other half I had cooking inside in the oven.

Everything I prepared ahead of time so it was just a matter of timing everything so it was ready together.

In the BBQ Weber we had a whole roast chicken with herb and macadamia nut stuffing and served with gravy, corn on the cob with butter and fresh herbs, hasselback potatoes with fresh tarragon.

In the oven I had cheesy stuffed tomatoes and an Aussie vegetable ratatouille with a variety of vegetables in a tomato and herb sauce.

The final dish of the evening were these mini pavlovas stuffed with passion fruit cream, fresh strawberry's, blueberry's and a cherry on top, dusted with icing sugar and fresh mint.

We served this dessert with a glass of Australian port.

So that was our MKR Australian themed dinner party!

It was a really great night and while there's always a lot of planning, shopping, cleaning, preparing, cooking, for it I really enjoy entertaining and having friends over and trying to live up to my Hostess With The Mostess title!

You can see our first MKR dinner party competition back in 2012 over here

Ironically, Season 5 of the MKR TV show has just started ... if you are a fan of the show why not throw your own MKR Dinner Party with friends, it adds a bit of friendly competitive to your dinner party!

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  1. This is suck a great idea. Nothing like a bit of healthy competition when you get to eat delicious food :)

    1. Thats right it turns an otherwise tame dinner party into a very competitive one! Lots of fun though :)

  2. All of this food looks so good and such beautiful presentation!! What a wonderful party.

    1. It tasted good too! I have added a few recipes to my favourites recipe book and have even made the beetroot salad about 3 times now it was so good :)

  3. What fun! And everything looks so delectable Michelle!

  4. Oh Michelle. I love your Aussie themed menu and decor and now am so inspired to throw my own MKR dinner party!


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