Today I turned 26 – woohoo!
Over the weekend, I celebrated my birthday. I usually spend the whole year planning it – previous years, I have had a ‘G Party’ where everyone came dressed as something starting with the letter ‘G’, a Hawaiian Luau, complete with a pineapple cake, pina coladas, and luau dancing etc, and last year I had a Mexican Fiesta… it was so much fun!
Fast forward to this year, all I wanted to do was go out for breakfast, morning tea, lunch, afternoon tea, dinner and dessert.
Seeing as it just wasn’t practical, I turned to my food blogger friends for advice. Thanks to Bri, she came up with the brilliant idea of holding a buffet style lunch at my house, featuring all my favourite foods. Introducing, Georgie’s Favourite Foods Party.
I am forever grateful for the generous amount of food provided from some of my favourite eateries. Check out what we ate for lunch below, plus something fun we did (DIY ice cream bar), the CAKE, and a fun surprise for my guests at the end.
Judge Bao still remains one of my favourite food trucks to date. Owners, Debbie and Jamie make soft and fluffy Chinese steamed buns filled with mouthwatering tofu, pork or beef (and sometimes fish and chicken), fresh herbs and delicious sauces. Their firecracker chicken is also deliciously spicy and flavoursome! I enjoy trying their new creations and love seeing them at various food festivals and markets.
For my birthday this year, they provided all the ingredients to make 15 Steamed Pork Buns, including Braised pork, Bao, Black vinegar syrup, Spring onions, Roasted sesame seeds and Coriander.
We picked up all these goodies from Judge Bao in the morning and prepared the bao at home during the birthday party.
I absolutely LOVE the rice paper rolls at Hello Mister. They have so many fillings to choose from – pork, tofu, peking duck, beef, prawn, salmon…
I often visit their second branch, located next to the PWC Building in Auckland CBD. The service is always quick, the rolls are fresh and flavoursome and a great price too.
Thanks to Hello Mister for providing a selection of their rice paper rolls for my birthday party: Lemongrass Chicken, Peking Duck, Pork & Prawn, and Salmon & Avocado (Hello Mister’s November Roll Special).
Mexico is one of my favourite eateries in Auckland, for its vibrant and fresh Mexican cuisine, extensive tequila list and super funky and delicious Frida’s margaritas. My favourite dish on their menu is, and always will be, the Mexico Fried Chicken. It is spicy, yet so delicious and is served with the perfect sauces – chipotle mayo and jalapeno mayo. Lip smacking good!
Thanks to Mexico in Britomart for providing their Fried Chicken for my birthday party!
The Rolling Pin
Gordon and his team at The Rolling Pin are some of the loveliest people I have ever met. They are a long time favourite of mine at food truck events, who serve scrumptious handmade dumplings, topped with a delicious slaw.
The Rolling Pin kindly provided me with three boxes of their delicious dumplings:
‘Buddhas Delight’ with tofu, shiitake mushroom, pumpkin, bok choy and cabbage, Tsingtao Spicy Pulled Pork Dumplings and Penang Pulled Beef Cheek with mirepoix and sambal.
&Sushi is my favourite eatery in Auckland, serving beautiful (and almost too pretty to eat) sushi, and a range of Japanese and Korean meals. &Sushi kindly provided me with a discount, on their sushi, so I ordered a selection of their sushi rolls, including:
Beef Sushi Rolls with lettuce, burdock, aspragus, citrus mayo and kumara shavings
Teriyaki Chicken Sushi Rolls with capsicum, avocado and kumara puree
Crispy Salmon Sushi Rolls with asparagus and beetroot mayo
King Salmon Rolls with avocado and cream cheese sauce
I Love Food Co
You will probably recognise the I Love Food Co brand – they make the most delicious pies ever, my favourites being their Free Range Butter Chicken, Free Range Chicken, Leek and Mustard and Spiced Chickpea and Spinach. All of their pies are made with sour cream pastry and of course, with love.
I had not tried their Angus Beef Party Pies yet, so I Love Food Co kindly provided a few boxes of these pies so that we could try them for lunch! They were delicious, and the perfect sized pies for a party.
Photo credit: Bri Dimattina
Regal Malborough King Salmon
Regal Marlborough King Salmon is my favourite salmon brand. Back in October, I was sent their new Double Manuka Smoked Salmon, which I used in soft tacos – delicious.
For my birthday, Regal kindly provided a selection of their beautiful Double Manuka Smoked Salmon and I can say, it was gone in a flash!
A few weeks ago, I received a selection of Hutchinsons Cheeses, including Club Cheddar, Orange & Apricot and Salmon Flavoured Cream Cheeses and Dutch Maasdam, but my favourite so far is definitely their Sweet Chilli Club Cheddar! I saved their Club Cheddar and Orange & Apricot and Salmon Flavoured Cream Cheeses for my birthday party this year, as I thought a cheese platter would be a nice addition to the buffet style lunch and a savoury option for those who did not want to indulge in all the chocolate.
If you’re looking for the perfect morning or afternoon tea treat, then I highly recommend Petal Cupcakes 🌷🌸 My favourite flavours are their Salted Caramel, Espresso, Passionfruit and Hawkes Bay Peach.🍑
Petal Cupcakes kindly gifted me a box of their beautiful Dark Chocolate and Raspberry cupcakes, and in cute mini versions too!
On Saturday morning, I headed down to La Cigale French Market to check out the Hello Delicious stand. Owner, Maddy, is super friendly, and makes delicious slices, cakes and muesli bowls every Saturday and Sunday morning.
I bought four slices of Maddy’s Chocolate Caramel Slice. I didn’t end up serving this slice at my birthday party, because I am saving it to share with my workmates today. It looks absolutely to die for – check out that layer of caramel!!!
My Mum is a great cook… and a great baker! So, I wasn’t surprised when she said she would love to make my cake this year. She made me a cake last year and people still rave about it!
I am a chocoholic, I am not going to lie. So, naturally, I asked for a chocolate cake this year. We found a recipe in the latest MindFood magazine (Christmas edition) for a Whittakers Dark Chocolate and Raspberry Brownie Cake. It was super decadent (think two blocks of Whittakers dark chocolate and loads of other good stuff), rich and chocolate heaven. AMAZING. Also loved the fresh raspberries incorporated into the cake. We served the cake with cream and it went down a treat!
DIY Ice Cream Bar
I recently received the new range of dairy free Kohu Road Ice Cream. The delicious selection includes eight new flavours: Vanilla, Chocolate, Strawberry and Green Tea which are made with coconut cream, and four sorbets – Blackcurrant, Passionfruit, Mango and Dark Chocolate.
With 8 TUBS OF ICE CREAM, I thought, I really don’t want to eat these all by myself, so I have been saving them (very difficult!) and decided to set up a DIY Ice Cream Bar for my birthday party.
Thanks to Kohu Road for providing all the ice cream. We tried the following: Vanilla, Chocolate and Green Tea and Passionfruit Sorbet.
I chopped up some Cadbury Dairy Milk Chocolate to be used as chocolate shavings and Cadbury Freddos were on display… and for eating too!
Plus, various chocolates, like pineapple lumps, dark maltesers, flakes, chocolate fish and M’n’M’s, marshmallows, sliced almonds, sprinkles, sliced strawberries, chocolate and caramel sauces and squirty cream which I purchased from Countdown.
I loved receiving goodie bags as a child, so I thought it would be a fun idea to give my friends foodie related goodie bags at the end of the day. Each included: A bag of Serious Popcorn, a block of Cadbury Chocolate and Freddos and a Giapo voucher (see more below), plus a bouncy ball, party horn, candy cane, confetti and also, a surprise gift (like Lewis Road Orchard Apple Blossom Cider, The Lucky Taco Hot Sauce, Soda Press Co, Karma Cola, Fresh As freeze dried fruit, and Viberi chocolate coated blackcurrants).
Those who are not familiar with Serious Popcorn… they are a NZ company changing the way we snack, by making sustainable popcorn which tastes seriously delicious. Their flavours include: Sea Salt, Sweet & Salty and Coconut & Vanilla (my favourite). I also adore their cute packaging!
Serious Popcorn kindly provided small bags of popcorn (as below) for the goodie bags.
Earlier this year, I received the latest creation from Cadbury – the Marvellous Creations Spider Orange Chocolate Chocolate Block. The chocolate is a full-on taste explosion in your mouth, like fizzing bubbles dancing on your tongue!
A HUGE thanks to Cadbury for sending me a giant box filled with the Marvellous Creations Spider Orange Chocolate Chocolate Block and also packets of their Freddos, which I put in each goodie bag.
Giapo, aka the best ice cream in New Zealand, gave me $5 vouchers to put in each goodie bag – woohoo! If you haven’t tried Giapo yet, check out my blog post here.
And finally, a stroll through the Rose Gardens after eating loads of good food….
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