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A great girls night in… plus my foolproof risotto

A great girls night in… plus my foolproof risotto

When the cat’s away the mouse has a supper party with her girlfriends!

With the husband away travelling this week (he’s taken his Mother away for a break at the luxury lodge near Loch Lomond that we holidayed at this Summer), I planned a get together with some of my lovely Mummy friends.

I love these ladies – they’re smart and funny and we always have a great time when we meet up. They welcomed me into our local toddler group when we finally came home from our expat adventure in China and I’m so grateful for their friendship. By the way did you see the guest post about my memories of living in Shanghai that’s over on Circus Mums?

Back to last night!

Supper party dining table

It was lovely to use our dining room for something other than storing boxes of clothes that need to be taken to the charity shop – the Little Man is growing out of everything at the moment thanks to a growth spurt. I dressed up the table a little bit – it’s nice to have a bit of glam when you have guests, isn’t it? I love using my napkins as cutlery holders – smart and practical. You can see how to fold this diamond pouch here.

Supper party napkin

And flowers of course, always flowers. These gorgeous lilies perfumed the air all day and well into the evening.

Pretty lilies

For supper I cooked a salmon, prawn and pea risotto. It’s one of my favourites. I do all the prep before hand, grilling the salmon and cooking the peas and then I can stand at the cooker stirring the rice with a glass of wine in my hand while I chat to my guests! All the ingredients get thrown together at the end. If you’ve always wanted to try making risotto but are worried it’s too time-consuming or complicated… don’t be! Here’s my foolproof recipe:

Michelle’s salmon, prawn and pea risotto

For 4 people you’ll need:

  • Olive oil
  • 300g Arborrio rice
  • 1 litre chicken stock (a stock cube is fine) in a saucepan on a low heat to stay warm
  • 1 onion finely chopped
  • 1 clove garlic (not absolutely necessary but I love the flavour)
  • 1 glass of white wine (wine you’d drink yourself, not cooking wine)
  • a knob of butter
  • freshly grated Parmesan to taste
  • 3/4 fillets of salmon
  • a few handfuls prawns (I used jumbo king prawns)
  • small bowl of frozen peas


  • In a heavy bottomed saucepan sweat the onion (and garlic if using) in olive oil until the onion is soft.
  • Add the rice and coat it well until it becomes a little transparent.
  • Add the wine and stir well until it has evaporated. Add a ladleful of hot stock, stir well and let the rice simmer. IMPORTANT: don’t let the rice stick – you really need to keep an eye on this dish the whole time, but it’s worth it! As the stock is absorbed by the rice it will release starch which makes the risotto lovely and creamy.
  • Keep adding a ladleful of stock at a time when necessary and stirring so the rice doesn’t dry out or stick. This should take about 20 minutes. The rice is ready when it’s soft and creamy but the grains are still a bit firm in the middle.
  • Unless you’ve done it beforehand while the risotto is cooking, grill the salmon, stir fry the prawns and cook the peas. Keep them to warm.
  • When the rice is ready stir in the butter and Parmesan along with the other ingredients and test for seasoning, adding salt and pepper if you need to.
  • Cover and leave it to rest for a couple of minutes to let the salmon, prawns and peas warm through before serving.

I served the risotto with tender stem broccoli and asparagus tips for some fresh, green goodness. And a glass of wine or two of course!

For pudding I whipped together an indulgent treat – Eton Mess. This is probably my favourite pud, I love the different flavours and textures and it’s SO easy to make, the perfect end to a lovely supper party. Here’s my recipe – I left out the blondies this time and it was just as delicious.

Eton mess

What about Noom?

Eton Mess IS a very high calorie desert and if you’re thinking “How could she eat all this when she’s using Noom to stay in shape?” let me put your mind at rest; life is about balance – treats are allowed!

I planned ahead and logged my whole day’s food in Noom in the morning, knowing that with a high calorie dinner I would have porridge for breakfast to keep me full all morning and just a salad for lunch. Even with 2 glasses of wine I was only a few hundred calories over my daily allowance. (If want to read more about Noom and how my husband and I used it to help us lose 60lb read this and this. My story has also been featured in the local press this week – exciting!)

What’s your favourite supper party dish?


Linking up with Welcome to the Weekend over at ClaireJustinePost Comment Love at Verily Victoria Vocalises and Tasty Tuesdays at Honest Mum.

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  1. Ooh thanks for linking up this fab post to #tastytuesdays, now I want to come to yours for dinner! Thanks for linking up to #tastytuesdays

    • You’d be welcome too lovely lady – a birthday supper in Essex perhaps? 😉

  2. Er, next time you have a dinner party, please would you invite me?! Your dining room is AMAZING and your food sounds gorgeous! Perfect :) I hope you had a wonderful time. Fantastic to see you on PoCoLo – thank you so much for linking up and hope to see you again x

    • Ha ha, you’d be welcome Victoria!! We did have fun. And yes, I’m sure you’ll see me again over at PoCoLo soon 😉 x

  3. It looks like a great night ! What a great menu too, I am sure your guests were very happy :) #tastytuesdays

    • It was SUCH a fun night, thank you x (P.S. Can you reply with your blog details? I’d love to pop over and say hi at your place!)

      • Hi Michelle, I must change my Google+ with my blog name! Thanks i’m over at x

        • It’s quite easy to do – yell if you need help! Will pop over to your place and have a good read 😉

  4. Looks delicious! Def will have to give this risotto a try and how pretty does your table look?! Lucky guests! Love lillies too. Beautiful. So glad you had a gorgeous evening and well done on your recent PR! Fabulous! xxx

    • Thanks Kate! It was so lovely to have the girls round for supper – wish we could do it more often. And lillies are my absolute favourite! x

  5. Your girls nights look far more sophisticated than mine! My table still tends to look like a student one sometimes, one day we’ll grow up and I’ll be sophisticated too 😉 The ristotto sounds fab too, I’m mad about risottos! x

    • When we moved hear many years ago I fell in love with the idea of a separate dining room. It isn’t always as pristine as this though – what you don’t see is me scurrying around clearing away the clutter before everyone turns up! P.S. Don’t ever grow up x

  6. Yummy, sounds like a great night. Lovely table and settings :) your menu sounds delicious, who I have a very sweet tooth,I could eat some Eton mess now and its time for bed :) Thanks for linking up #weekendbloghop

    • Thanks Claire, it really is a super easy pud and great for a family get together too as kids love it – and it gets them to eat fruit so it’s ALMOST healthy! x

  7. Fab post, gorgeous dinner, always love to make the table pretty and our house is full of flowers! A have a whole cupboard full of just vases! So lovely meeting up with great friends too, my bestie popped over for dinner last night and just blogged about it! That Eton Mess looks fab, you should link this post up for #tastytuesdays next week if you fancy it and well done for all the press, you look fabulous x

    • Thanks lovely. It’s been a busy week for me! And will definitely be linking up next week! x


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