Free Fun Week 4 – Friends for Dinner

7 02 2010

This weekend was quite a busy one, I had to do the usual chores – as we all do – such as the housework. I also do a swimming squad class on Saturday morning, then we wanted to go to a house auction and I also had some work to do.

So where was the fun? Well we had invited some friends for dinner who had just spent 5 weeks in the US over Christmas and New Years; we were keen to hear all about their trip. It’s always fun to catch up with friends however, sometimes the thought of hosting a dinner party can be (a) overwhelming and (b) expensive.

As a professional organiser I highly recommend planning for such events in advance; it goes a long way to deal with both these issues. In addition, I had to plan a healthy menu as one of my guests was in the middle of a 12 week “boot camp” programme, and I didn’t want to sabotage her efforts. I have included the two main dishes I prepared so you might be able to use them for your own events.

It is definitely possible to have fun with friends at a dinner party on a very limited budget – you could even take it one step further and invite a larger group but ask everyone to bring their “signature dish” and bring the recipe to share with the other guests – this is loads of fun too!

Vietnamese Chicken and Prawn Salad (Main)

200g Chicken Breast Fillet

12 Cooked Prawns (Peeled)


1 long red chilli, deseeded and chopped

½ garlic clove

3 teaspoons of shaved palm sugar (I just use soft brown sugar if you don’t have palm sugar)

1 ½ tablespoons of lime juice

2 tablespoons of fish sauce 2 tablespoons of rice vinegar


100 g of finely shredded white cabbage

1small carrot, finely julienned

1 cucumber (deseeded and julienned)

1 large handful of Vietnamese mint leaves

1 handful of coriander leaves

1 long red chilli, deseeded and julienned

To Serve

2tablespoons ground roasted peanuts

2 tablespoons friend shallots’

4 lime wedges


Steam the chicken, allow to cool and shred or finely slice

To make the dressing, combine all ingredients and work together with a mortar and pestle or simply add to a food processor and blend.

To make the salad, combine all the ingredients in a bowl and toss together, add the sliced chicken and prawns, drizzle with dressing and then gently toss together.

To serve, divide the salad among four plats and sprinkle with the peanuts and fried shallots and serve with a lime wedge.

This is about $5.00 per serve! And oh so delicious

Fruit Salad and Moroccan Dressing (Dessert)

Seasonal colourful fruit, can be anything!










1 cup water

1 cinnamon stick

2 teaspoons of Orange Blossom Water

3 tablespoons sugar

2 teaspoons lemon juice

10 mint leaves


Combine all dressing ingredients (except the mint leaves) in a saucepan, bring to the boil and simmer for 5 minutes and allow to cool and place in the fridge for about an hour Cut all the fruit in to chunks or slices, and then gently toss with dressing. Top with mint leaves and serve. I also served with a dollop of cream.

This is about $5.00 per serve which includes the Orange Blossom Water which is about $7 a bottle but lasts for ages!

Adele Blair- Green Apple Organising




One response

7 02 2010

This is such a fabulous idea! I think we’ve all become too accustomed to things that were once considered a luxury eg going out to dinner. If you can afford to do it great – but I bet the joy and satisfaction you’ll get out of doing something like this will far outweigh the other!…Michelle

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