Recipes

Easy entertaining: Thai one on

Plan a quick and simple Asian-themed dinner party for your next girl's night in

So you want to have your girls over for a fabulous night of good eats and gossip, but like the rest of us, you’ve been working all week and don’t have the time to spend on a gourmet feast – or so you thought. We’re here to show you just how easy it is to organize a delicious, Thai-themed dinner party from the make-ahead menu to cocktails, cheap and simple decor ideas and music to get your guests in the mood.
*Menu serves 6-8 people

THE MENU
Nibbles:

Give your guests something to munch on while you wrap up last minute details with our delicious Tropical spiced nuts.
Make ahead: These nuts will keep well in the fridge for up to two weeks – if they last that long!

Starters:

No Thai meal is complete without scrumptious satays, and our version is fast and easy.
Make ahead: Preparing up to two days in advance means more time to marinate. Thread chicken onto skewers and refrigerate until it’s time to eat. Broil them in the oven or throw on the grill for about 6-8 minutes.

Our flavourful and crunchy Thai shrimp cocktail will complement the warm satays. Serve in a Chinese takeaway box or small, coloured plastic cups – which makes for easy clean up!
Make ahead: The dressing can be made up to three days in advance and shrimp can be prepared the night before.

Entrée:

Last-minute entertaining shouldn’t mean less time to spend time with your guests. Our Coconut-Thai shrimp and rice casserole can be prepared the day of the party and you won’t be slaving over a hot stove during appetizers and cocktails. Simply throw it in the oven as you serve your starters.

Dessert:

Nothing says girl’s night or is more fun to share than our Mocha fondue. Prepare the fruit, pound cake or whatever you choose to dip just before your guests arrive then give yourself 10 minutes to make the chocolatey fondue.

Beverages:

To help temper the heat of your Thai menu – and for authenticity – offer a cold, crisp lager like Singha, imported from Thailand. Available at most beer/liquor stores nationwide.

For the ultimate girl’s night cocktails, check out these refreshing tropical blender drinks straight from the pros. Looking for something more traditional? These classic summer cocktails are sure to please a crowd. Make our delicious Herbal iced tea sangria earlier in the day and let it sit. For a non-alcoholic option, try Fresh strawberry lemonade.

THE SETTING
Table:

Transport your guests to a tropical paradise with little effort – think Leonardo diCaprio in The Beach, filmed on the exotic island of Ko Samui.

• Alternate bamboo plants and orchids (real or fake) down the centre of your table
• Arrange a couple of palm plants in tall glass vases
• Use a fresh pineapple as a centrepiece by surrounding it with citrus fruits and kiwis
• Dress the table with a silk table runner (or another flowy fabric) then arrange tea lights in votives or small glasses of water to avoid using bright, overhead lights
• Sprinkle small shells or rocks (found at craft or garden stores) down the centre to amplify that beachy feel
• If you’re dining outside, light bamboo torches around the table or use your white Christmas lights year-round
THE MOOD
Music:

When getting your friends together, count on lots of chatting. The music shouldn’t be overpowering, so set the mood with a mix of light and mellow tracks. Put a few of your favourite CDs on shuffle or create a playlist with your mp3s. If you’re still stumped, we’ve suggested CDs to suit the vibe and a playlist that can be downloaded from the Internet.

CDs:

New Comer – Llorca
Garden State Soundtrack – Various Artists
Come Away With Me – Norah Jones
The Complete Collection – Billie Holiday

Suggested playlist:

Margaritaville – Jimmy Buffett
Sweet Caroline – Neil Diamond
Could You Be Loved – Bob Marley & The Wailers
Cruel Summer – Bananarama
Bohemian Like You – The Dandy Warhols
Drops of Jupiter – Train
One Headlight – The Wallflowers
September – Earth, Wind & Fire
Weather With You – Crowded House
Chasing Cars – Snow Patrol
How to Save a Life – The Fray
The Sea – Morcheeba
Sailing – Christopher Cross
Hey Nineteen – Steely Dan
Don’t Know Why – Norah Jones
In the Waiting Line – Zero 7
Ordinary World – Sade
All I Need – Air
Talkin’ Bout a Revolution – Tracy Chapman
Beautiful Day – U2
Let’s Get It On – Marvin Gaye
Just the Way You Are – Billy Joel
Feeling Good – Michael Bublé
River – Natalie Merchant
Solsbury Hill – Peter Gabriel