My parents live in another state, so I make sure I really appreciate the time I spend with them when I visit or when they come over here. This year I was lucky to have Mum and Dad with us in Melbourne for Mum's birthday. As I usually don't get to see her on her birthday I wanted to make it extra special for her, so planned a birthday dinner party with M and I, my sister, her son and Mum and Dad.
As it was a birthday celebration I wanted to make the table look really pretty - I love these red tea light candle holders and I picked up some gorgeous pink roses which looked really stunning with the candles at night.
For starters I did us some finger food that we could nibble on while we talked. I bought some beautiful fresh oysters from our local fishmonger and made rice paper rolls and thai fish cakes. I've made rice paper rolls a few times before and usually serve them with sweet chilli sauce, but this time I wanted to try to replicate the sauce you get with them when you buy them at the vietnamese shops. So I googled online to look at a few recipes and ended up making one from hoisin sauce, peanut butter, vinegar, oil and water and it worked really well! The entrees got gobbled up really quickly - can you believe my 7 year old nephew adores oysters!
For mains I did a squid ink risotto as I thought it'd be something a bit different - I've blogged about it here before (LINK). I served it with a side of roasted garlicky potatoes and roasted eggplant which I tossed together after they baked. I hadn't roasted eggplant before but it turned out really well - I coated it in olive oil, honey and red wine vinegar before roasting and it gave it a lovely sweet flavour.
We had a lovely night and I think the parents really enjoyed themselves - which is what matters!