I am currently wrestling with a bit of a quandry. Next weekend we have a house full of guests and a family celebration on Sunday for which I want to cook something suitably celebratory - it's Mothers Day here in the UK and Ginger has a Big Birthday following (very) close behind.
But... we have a house full of family all weekend, so I don't want to be doing anything that demands too much time or attention. The more I can do up front or throw together quickly at the last minute, the better.
So: what to cook? Easy, low faff, high impact. And preparable well (as in DAYS) in advance.
I'm thinking roasted marinated meat - chicken? lamb? both? - with lots of dressed green leaves and a huge platter of jewelled couscous so people can dip in and share.
Some good bread. Some unctuous dips...
For pudding maybe big blousy meringues with whipped cream or (as we all seem to be trying to loose a few pounds ahead of various family weddings) more likely greek yogurt with vanilla paste stirred through and a big bowl of decadent out-of-season berries.
And cake. Obviously. Which is another question in itself. I'm itching to try a Pinata cake, but low faff? Easy and effective they may be, but low faff they aint!
The Blueberry and almond cake (pictured) I made last year was pretty simple and popular (not to mention yummy). A classic sponge is always pleasing, but best made on the day... or apple cake. Which I've been itching to make all winter and which has the enormous benefit of actually improving for a few days 'sitting'. So maybe apple cake, stacked, with lightly spiced cinnamon-vanilla butter icing and some sparkly golden cake dust (oh yes, I know all the technical terms) to make it look a bit more special...