You know those friends who never invited you to their house, but happily accepted every invitation to visit yours? I’ve never been one of them. Quite the opposite really. My house has always been the drop in house of sorts– after school, on weekends when there was nothing to do… I suppose I get it from my Mum who has always encouraged people dropping in, welcoming them with a pot of tea and some freshly baked good she just so happened to have… I guess you could call it a love of entertaining that has been passed down.
For any friends reading this, yes I’d much rather have you over than go out for breakfast and spend $15 on a piece of cheap toast with a quarter of an avocado… Call me a control freak, but at least at home you can control the level of deliciousness of what you eat and for the same price you can feed you and a friend. Never mind inconvenience, I’m really happy about making it, I don’t mind the washing up and i’ll make time– it’s my absolute favourite thing to do. When I think about how I’d like to spend my weekend, it always comes back to being in the kitchen. Even despite the preparation– planning for, shopping for, and the actual cooking part, it’s always worth it when you’re sitting around at the table with friends, enjoying food that you cooked with intention to share. I only wish I could earn a living from organising elaborate brunches for people to join in on and enjoy, so for now I’ll just practice.
My boyfriend Jake lives in an incredible house on the water with his family. It’s perfectly flat stretch of grass on the water’s edge is just screaming for a table strewn with delicious goods, friends and conversation so that’s what we did.
I really love Vietnamese food– the combination of fresh and pungent herbs with crunchy vegetables gets me every time. I’ve never visited Vietnam, but it’s high on my go-to list. In saying that, I feel pretty amateur basing my Vietnamese-inspired recipes on my favourite dishes at Vietnamese restaurants in Australia and on episodes of Luke Nguyen’s traveling Vietnam tv-show. Picking a theme is another really important aspect of entertaining for me– there’s nothing worse than sitting down to a meal of sushi and bolognese. These recipes are inspired by the flavors and ingredients of how I’ve come to know Vietnam (however amateur that is), and incorporate some Thai flavors too. They’re delicious, full of healthful benefits and will make you feel good too.
Mango, dragonfruit and coconut cheezecake
Unfortunately, by the time we were ready to eat dessert, I’d left the cheezecake out of the freezer for too long and the sun was hiding– this dessert really did not want to be photographed, so you’ll have to forgive me with an I.O.U for the recipe.