Tuesday, 28 February 2012


le boy turned 40 a couple of weeks ago. and it was a birthday extravaganza to end all others. we are blessed with numerous friends in this big city and so we started things with a big party at a local pub. it was wonderful to have so many people out to celebrate my guy and as often happens at these events, i learn a few new stories, a little insight into my husband. that night i learned just how much people care about him, and the efforts they'll make to celebrate him with me.

i wanted us to have a birthday cake for the occasion so i enquired at a local bakery, when the price tag came back at £125(!) i decided that there must be a better way - after all cake is only flour and eggs right? and it is, admittedly i might have taken on a bit much that weekend, with our saturday night celebrations but i dove in and this was the result.

hummingbird cake recipe, icing design completely ripped off  inspired by a photo i saw online...the learning from this bad boy - it's always better to go with a fluffy icing under a fondant icing...i may or may not have iced this twice.

and if that wasn't enough we had a dozen of le boy's nearest and dearest for a dinner party the following night.

it started as always with some wine and cheese and gift opening. a good friend of marvellous always starts her dinner parties with crackers and cheese and i've shamelessly stolen the idea.

and it continued with, if i do say so myself, the best roast leg of lamb of all time.

i cannot begin to describe this joy. tender and juicy and so delicious. i used jamie oliver's recipe for the 'best roast lamb' he wasn't lying.

full menu :: pinterest board with links to all recipes

caesar salad

roast leg of lamb with mint sauce 
roasted potatoes and carrots 
spicy butternut squash 
lemony green beans 

chocolate pavolova 

it went incredibly well. except the pavolva which i made three times. the directions by the lovely nigella suggest satin peaks for the meringue before adding sugar - it might have been the humidity in my kitchen, which tends to be high and can have an adverse effect on egg whites but these just became seven-minute frosting, twice. my leiths techniques bible, how i love it! suggested whipping to very stiff peaks before adding sugar and it was a success! sadly the photo in the dark kitchen just didn't come out, but suffice to say it approximates the photo online.

in all the celebrations were a success and we felt so immensely blessed to have our friends celebrate this oh so important entrance into a new decade!


  1. Brie, this dinner looks absolutely amazing! So ambitious - and it seems like everything came out beautifully. And that cake! Happy belated to your sweet husband!

  2. Wow an amazing dinner.. and very Kiwi. Although I have to ask - why was Jamie wearing and Australian flag hat? So wrong!!!:)

    1. Jamie's best friend and best man, Matt, is an Aussie, so that's why the hat, any excuse to make a little fun. Otherwise it was practically a Kiwi ex-pat reunion with all the extra Kiwis around that night :)