How To Amaze Your Friends with A Dream Dinner Party
If I’d invited a group of friends around for a dinner party eighteen months ago, chances are, my invitation would have been met with a series of lavish excuses. Oh, it’s the day your new sofa is being delivered? Sure! Ah, your grandma’s birthday – no problem. The reality is, they just didn’t want to be put through the agony of having to pretend that my home cooking was edible.
I’ve always loved cooking, but aside from Mac & Cheese, sadly I don’t seem to have many skills in that field, so since living with Charlie (and it’s been over 5 years!) I’ve let him take charge when it comes to cooking. That, however, was until we discovered the Thermomix. If you follow me on Instagram or have watched my What I eat in a Day videos or vlogs, you’re probably already familiar with how much I depend on this multi-tasking kitchen appliance.
The Thermomix can weigh, blend, whip, stir, chop, boil and even make dough – but what I love about it the most, is it’s in-built recipes that give even a novice in the kitchen like myself the ability to be able to cook hundreds of unbelievably tasty dishes. The screen on the device has easy to follow recipes built in and not only does it tell you the steps, but it’s pre-programmed to do it all for you. It’s fool proof – all you have to do is put in the ingredients and follow the instructions (usually this is a case of turning the dial to change the speed of the blades) and the Thermomix does the rest. In the times before we had a Thermomix, it would take me an entire day and no doubt a lot of failed attempts to be able to prepare a three course meal, but in the Thermomix I can cook it with ease and confidence – oh and did I mention the third course is Ice Cream and Pistachio, White Chocolate and Raspberry gooey warm brownies? Yep, the Thermomix does all of that too.
Yep, that’s me making gluten free Popcorn and Chia Seed Bread. It took me 5 minutes.
The Thermomix TM5 (which is the latest model, released in 2014, they release a new model every 15 years) is not an impulse buy. Costing almost a thousand pounds you need to be sure that it’s for you. I wasn’t convinced at first – as someone who wasn’t a good cook why would I spend that much money on a kitchen device? But now, after owning one for just over a year, I can not recommend them enough.
We use our Thermomix almost every day, whether that’s for whizzing up my post-gym breakfast smoothie or cooking a delicious Pea & Mint soup for lunch, already the price per use is far better than any of our other appliances. Speaking of which, you can chuck them out. It replaces pretty much every other gadget in your kitchen so you can get rid of your blender, food processor, slow cooker, steamer, coffee grinder, electric whisk, bread machine, graters etc.
If you find yourself time poor, it’s the greatest investment. The devicehas saved me hours upon hours over the year in terms of both food prep and cooking. I hate chopping onions, crushing garlic or grating parmesan – the Thermomix does it in seconds. A carrot cake mixture take me 30 seconds to prepare, a soup goes from being a pile of ingredients to a warming dish ready to serve in under two minutes, a risotto can be cooked in 15 minutes and even a Creme Brûlée which takes even the most experienced of chefs over an hour to prepare and cook, takes just under 20 minutes from start to finish in the Thermomix.
Who else has been reading those articles about the amount of sugar and salt in those jars of store bought sauces? The Thermomix means you can make your own in a matter of seconds, and let me tell you – home made Pesto is ten times greater than anything you could pick up in the Supermarket aisles AND it’s fresh and far more nutritious than shop bought options that are packed with preservatives and other unhealthy ingredients. With the Thermomix you can eat more healthily, ensuring you know exactly what ingredients are in all of your dishes.
Oh, and cleaning is easy too; cheat the system like me by putting some warm water and fairy liquid into your Thermomix when you’re done, whizz it up for a few seconds, and voila!
Earlier this week, at the studios where Saturday Kitchen is filmed (yes, you did recognise that drift wood table from somewhere!) Thermomix invited me down to discover the Cook-Key. This nifty new addition to the Thermomix (the white device you can see me clipping on to the side of my Thermomix above) means that as well as the ‘Basic Cookbook’ recipes that are built into the device, your Thermomix now connects to the internet so you can download any of tens of thousands of recipes found on the Thermomix online platform; Cookidoo, to use on your device. With a Cook-Key and a wifi connection, your Thermomix is able to assist you in creating a vast range of healthy and hearty recipes; on the menu for next week, we’ve downloaded the recipes for Crispy Chicken Goujons, Asparagus Risotto, Chicken Saag and Green Bean Pizza to name a few!
So that’s the food sorted…
With the Thermomix you can rest assured that your guests will be thrilled with the food; but what about the other details of the evening?
The first thing to consider when throwing a dinner party is of course who to invite. Do your guests all know each other and get along well? Have you invited the right number according to how many you can seat around your dining table? Choose friends that have similar interests and a few things in common to keep the conversation flowing, and when inviting, why not go old school with handwritten invitations? If that’s not your style, an email or a text will do!
Be sure to ask about allergies ahead of the evening. If your guests have any intolerances then make sure you’ve checked the recipe and have at least one dish on the table (aside from a green salad with no dressing – yawn!) that everyone can enjoy.
Even with the Thermomix, I’d recommend cooking something that you’ve whipped up at least once or twice before your dinner party. Practise making your favourite dish with larger portions as sometimes the volume can affect cooking time – don’t worry, the Thermomix will tell you all the details you need to know about timings and portion sizes.
Prepare as much as you can in advance so that when your guests arrive, you can be entertaining and not cooking. If you’re serving a risotto or a soup for starters, you can have the Thermomix heating and stirring slowly until everyone has arrived and you’re ready to serve.
Set the scene by laying the table, lighting candles, and setting off your Spotify playlist before your guests are due to arrive, and give yourself enough time to top up your makeup and change into your evening outfit – you can do all of this while the Thermomix whizzes up all the ingredients for your welcome cocktail!
Discover more about the Thermomix and arrange a free home tutorial and cooking demonstration directly from their website here (it’s not a hard sell, I seriously promise you, and it’s great fun to get friends round so you can enjoy the experience as a group!).
What are your tips for hosting a dream dinner party?
This post has been written in collaboration with Thermomix