To celebrate Poppy’s 22nd Birthday, we decided to throw her a casual lunch filled with yummy food on a lazy Saturday afternoon. My group of friends are great in the sense that we all have large appetites and love to eat good food. We always go overboard and ended up having a mini feast. Each of us come from a diverse mix of backgrounds, so you will see a cross over of Italian, Greek and Lebanese food. Poppy herself is Australian, but I am set that she was a European in her past life!!!

Nothing beats crunchy bread rolls before a meal. Isi picked these up from the Italian Deli in Habberfield. They were great with all the share food at the beginning, and also to dip into the sauce at the end.

Trio of Hummus (chickpea), tarama (fish roe) and tzatziki (cucumber & garlic) dips.

Cheese and crackers to also get the lunch rolling. We had a blue cheese, camembert and the slice in the top right corner is a triple cream brie. I like to call it the triple fat brie and don’t even want to know how much fat is actually in it. At that point in time it tasted too good to even care.

Selection of shaved meats with some prosciutto, ham and two types of salami (one was spicy). I went straight for the plump figs in the middle, and my were they good.

Mixed antipasto plate with seme dried tomatoes, artichokes, marinated eggplant and black kalamata olives.

Falafel balls which were the perfect size to pick up and eat or dip into the hummus.

If you though that was enough food then you were sadly mistaken. Isi was a good sport and headed up to Habberfield that morning to by the ingredients for her vegetarian ravioli. She waited in the lines at the deli to pick up the fresh spinach and ricotta pasta, and then headed home to make the sauce with her mumma. I love the nickname of the sauce (mind my language) which is prostitute sauce as its quick and easy….to make of course. It was extremely filling but definitely one of the best pasta dishes I have had in a long time. It always tastes better when it’s home cooked by somebody else.

We also did a large pot of mussels in a white wine, chilli and tomato sauce. The mussels were big and meaty and we used the bread to scoop up the sauce they were cooking in. These were so simple and quick to cook up as well and were nothing short of flavour.

No birthday is a celebration without a cake. Ana cooked up a gooey chocolate brownie with almonds which was the perfect chocolate hit after the meal. The cake was rich, but the nuts mellowed it out and the gooey insides were addictive.

Too ensure we got our recommended intake of fruit for the day, Ana had also cut up a lovely fruit salad of grapes, pineapple, rock melon, honey dew, kiwi fruit, strawberries, passionfruit, figs and pomegranate. I am a fruit addict so this was definitely my haven after our lunch.

My lovely group of friends. Big Happy Birthday to Poppy (Blondie with the head band =D). I hope you have a fantastic year as it will certainly be a big one.