Here’s a few things that are nice and to make and pretty indestructable when it comes to serving. Make it all a day or two before the big event so you avoid the stress associated with last minute prep. Also, if yo do happen to eff something up, you still have heaps of time to redo it.

These recipes are kid friendly (except the food processor stuff), so get the kids to help. Or get them to do it all if you want… it is their party after all.

SAUSAGE ROLLS WITH HIDDEN VEGETABLES (for a hoard)

1kg beef mince

1kg pork mince

some bacon (maybe a handful), pancetta or good sausage, blitzed

1 cup fresh breadcrumbs

1 brown onion, fine dice (what we in the ‘industry’ know as brunoise)

1 carrot, grated

1 zucchini, grated

1 Tbsp each dried oregano, dried thyme, tomato chutney, bbq sauce

seasoning

puff pastry to roll

egg wash to egg wash

-mix all ingredients together, omitting pastry and eggwash. Yeah, I know. Omit is a fantastic word.

-roll into a sausage roll type thing. Make sure the pastry over laps  by at least an inch. Put the seam on the bottom.

-brush with eggwash and top with little puff pastry animals cut out with a play dough or pastry cutter.

-rest for 10mins

-cut half way through into 5cm-ish mini sausage rolls, onto a lined baking tray and bake 180C 20-30mins or until golden brown.

PIN WHEELS

Aaah my old mate the pin wheel. Palmiers, as the French would call them, are kinda similar. Why do I call them pin wheels? Good question… Is that what they are actually called? Who knows. That’s what my old boss Pete called them so that’s what I still call them until I learn better.

All you need to do is lay out a square of butter puff pastry and top it with some tomato paste (or left over spaghetti sauce), chopped bacon and grated cheese, much like it was a pizza. Fresh herbs wouldn’t go astray either. Leave at least 2cm of pastry clear on the edge furthest away from you so you can make the seam. Now roll it up, from front to back. Now you should have a cylindrical roll of puff pastry glory that kinda looks like a spriral on the inside. Put that in the fridge to rest for 10 minutes.

10 minutes up? OK. Now put the glorious puff pastry sausage onto a cutting board and slice into 1cm thick rings. Lay down flat onto a lined baking tray and into a preheated oven, 180C, 15-20 minutes or until? That’s right, golden brown.

Try differnet combo’s, such as…

Basil pesto, semi-dried tomatoes and ricotta

Tomato, salami and provolone

Ham, cheese and pineapple

FRUIT SKEWERS WITH HONEY AND YOGHURT

Fruit is available at any fruit and veg shop or supermarket. Use whatever looks and smells the best. This is a good time to listen to your face. Yoghurt and honey are also available at most shops, unless of course you are at a clothes shop or used car retailer….

CORN CHIPS WITH HOMMUS AND GUACAMOLE

Corn chips

You know how to make corn chips, eh? Nope? Me either. Let’s take them straight out of a packet with your favourite corn chip logo on it.

Guacomole

This is essentially chopped, mashed or pureed avocado with a little acid (let’s use lemon or lime juice. We’ll save the other stuff for the grown up parties) and seasoning. Then I like to head down the path of chopped fresh tomato, coriander and chopped pickled tomatilllo*.

Roasted garlic hommus

400g tin of chickpeas

1 Tbls tahini**

3 cloves of roasted garlic

2 Tbls fresh lemon juice

seasoning

2 Tbls olive oil, plus extra to serve

2 Tbls chopped parsley from your herb garden

-Combine everything except oil and parsley in a food processor or blender and blitz. Add a splash of water if you need to get it moving. Just a tablespoon or two though.

-Once it’s moving slowly add oil to emulsify.

-Check seasoning and stir through parsley.

-Serve with a bit of extra olive oil on top.

*tomatillo. A staple in Mexican food.  A plant in the nightshade family. Available at a shop that sells Mexican stuff.

**tahini. Ground sesame seed paste. But you knew that, right?