How to Create the Ultimate Canapé Party….

So we decided to invite a few people over for lunch, by We I mean me and Afsha, by few people I mean my friends and her friends, and when I say lunch I mean…………..its time for a …..partaaaaaay! because that what we do best!

We have a problem, me and Afsha that is, a really big problem, not a bad problem…. well not for the people we invite anyway, but for us it usually ends up being a hair tearing, ideas all over the board, running around and stressing each other all through the night, and waking up at silly o clock to entertain our loved ones. And…. we wouldn’t want it any other way!!!

So we decided to invite our select few for lunch, and we wanted to do something a bit different, a bit niche, a bit glamorous, a bit memorable….. and we ended up with this:

Welcome to our Canape Party.

A What party? …….I heard you! A Canape Party, because what could be more niche than this?

We decided on Canapes only, because lets face it, us women we love picking on food, we love trialling, and we love pretty looking food and we love……. a photo opportunity, and I do think we ticked off all the boxes.

So what did we do and how did we create this?

Firstly we listed off a few canapes. We had to make sure that no one goes home empty stomached so our canapes consisted of some light canapes and some of the more heavier and filling canapes….

…………and drinks- we decided on Pina Coloda, I mean who is going to say not to a Pina Colada? Not me!

and now to make it Insta worthy:

Well here is our set up, we used a backdrop with white flowers. A backdrop always make anything look so much better and it gets people guessing whether your at home or out. we used a dining table covered with a white sheet and we went for the rustic look, so used crates, wooden logs, ivy and more floral decorations. We placed logs and trays according to the canapes we had, and just kept topping up as required throughout the day.

Now lets take a closer look at the Canapes:

Prawn Cocktail, drizzled with salt and red chilli flakes….just pick one up and pop it in your mouth…..

Mini Fish and Chips served with Tartar sauce in individual dessert bowls (don’t forget the lemon slice). Don’t they look a picture? It’s literally a bitesized amount….

Mini Gourmet burgers. These fit in the palm of your hand, They were the cutest. The burger and the bun were both home made. Contact Afsha for more.

Mini Pizza and Quiches. How adorable are these? Once again Contact Afsha for these.

How delighful do these nachos look in the cups with salsa. This was my favourite by far…

Our favourite! Bruschetta, and see if you can spot the springroll in the cup with the tangy chilli sauce?

Olive Tails- basically tomato, olives and feta cheese on a cocktail stick! Yum

and lastly the Pina Colada. We did a few in the pineapples for the photos, the rest were in wine glasses (it is hard work. Maybe for another blog post one day? hmmmm…… there is an idea)

and here is a video of the whole thing

And thats an extremely chuffed and tired us! and we had the best time.

And how did we do? You tell me?

If you are after a canape party in Leicester, give Afsha a follow for your canape needs. I promise shes worth it. I cant host anything without her.

Afsha when we doing the next one??

Love and regards

M11bna

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Ertugrul Themed Charity Event for The City Retreat

10 days before Boris grounded us, we were planning a charity event due to last years success. We had our pens and papers out, put our thinking caps on, and started thinking of themes, who we would choose to sponser us, ticket prices, how much we were aiming to make for the charity, how much we would need from our own pockets. It was crazy because now the pressure was worse. We had to beat last year’s event to keep our status.

The event would have been on this weekend coming. However God had another plan for us

For our initial trial we put up a post on instagram to ask our followers if they would be interested, the response was crazy, it would be silly of us not to do anything….. and evan more silly if we didn’t go all out again.

I was sopposed to write a post about the organising and planning of our new upcoming event…. instead I am left to tell you a little of the madness that happened last year….

The venue we used is the City Retreat, as this was who we were raising money for. The City Retreat is a model centre located in the heart of Leicester city providing a warm, inviting and vibrant space to bring people from all walks of life together to explore, discuss and share faith, values and common humanity. More information on the retreat can be found here http://cityretreat.org/

The theme we decided on last year was ‘Ertugrul’ because we ourselves are Ertugrul crazy- and we can only put passion into something we love. Ertugrul for all the people that dont know (seriously how do you guys sleep at night?!) is a turkish series on netflix on the founders of the Ottoman Empire. It is the life of Osman’s ( the founder) father – Ertrugul and grandfather Suleyman Shah. It has a lot of real life events in it aswell as fictational as you gotta keep the viewers entertained right? But damn is it Good! and Addictive! and Obsessive. For all the Game of Thrones fan- Ertugrul is for you- it is Game of Thrones -Halalified! (meaning minus the nudity).

This was actually our first time hosting a full on party. We are event planners and we have catered for weddings with 1000 plus people…. but this was different. This wasnt just putting up a display that wowed people and walking away…. we had to keep our guests entertained throughout. And that is something I cant do….. I can write, ill carry on for years writing, but speaking to people, a group of people. Looking at me. Waiting for me to speak. Looking at me. Speaking Out loud. Looking at me…….. (*Breathes*) …..I go blank.

For the event we needed Guest speakers, we needed ‘Insta Famous’/ or Influencers to pull the crowd in and we needed Food! Tick those 3 boxes and Hey Presto- we had a sucessful charity event!

And heres a little of how it went:

Our poster went out 3 weeks before the event, just to get the engagement and curiosity in. We stuck Halime Sultan on the front because she is a warrior and Ertugruls one and only true love. We knew this would attract all Ertugrul fans, and we were right.

We initially were looking at round tables for people to sit and eat on, but that really wasnt working for us. In the series people eat whilst sitting on the floor, and they sit on cushions…. I wanted that look and thankfully a shisha place- Bukhoor Lounge, offered us there cushions for our event for free….. without this we never would have pulled off our vision…. A big thankyou Bukhoor Lounge for the seatings.

For Guest speakers we had Ustad Davina Kanani who spoke to us about the coming of Ramadhan and how to make the most of our time, this was a very enriching talk, and very informative because in a week ramadhan was starting. This was followed by Nafisha Kara from the Islamic History Project who spoke about the Ottoman Empire (the non fictational part) once again it was informative and educational. And for the influencers we invited Farah Ferrero who is a leicester blogger and a huge Ertugrul fan, and Flawless by Sumaiyah, another leicester blogger and PA to Zukreat the make up artist, both of whom were delighted to come and also speak at the event. And they did not dissapoint. Thankyou so much ladies. You guys were amazing.

The beautiful Flawless in Action

We also had a suprise visit from Sakina Aleem which was such a delight. My god is this woman a gem, and she evan dressed up for the Part. Thankyou so much for your attendance Sakina Aleem. It was so lovely to meet you and your speech was so beautiful and heartwarming.

Here’s the whole gang starting from left- Me, Afsha, Farah Ferrero, Flawless, Sakina Aleem and Banu.

What is a charity event without food? as the ticket sales started flying, so did our anxiety. We needed food… turkish food to keep up with the theme, we couldnt possibly cook, dress up, set up, and entertain in one day… it was not possible, and Id like to say a huge huge Thankyou to all our sponsers:

We had Nazar bbq house (the best Turkish food in leicester without a shadow of a doubt) who gave us nans and all the delicious mezes including olives.

Wrap and Roll, with there sheesh kebabs in nan! I ate one before event and Yum!

Chaiiwala forever helping out in any events- with their signiture tea

Mother Hubbards– those chicken bites were delicious…

and lastly the LoveCake.co team (aka:Me) and Made by Afsha with the set up of all the food which included mocktails, canapes, turkish delight, fruit display and dessert display, as well as the set up of the whole event.

And here’s a short video of the set up before event started,

And a picture of the turnout….

Id just like to say a huge thankyou to each and everyone of You, You all made this possible! (also a big thankyou to my lovely friends who turned up at sillyoclock in the morning to help with the chopping. Would not have done any of this without you)

There are more pics on my instagram highlights. Have a look see how it all went. Just here.

And heres hoping for another event soon.

Love and Regards

M11bna

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High Chaii

Another day to entertain. My friend Afreen was coming from Dubai. She works in Dubai for a broker firm, and pops over once or twice a year to catch up with her family and children. And US.

She lives in Dubai, I really can’t compete with that place to take her anywhere fantastic to spend time with her. Dubai is the hotspot of dining and wining. Also our weather is terrible. Yep she’s from UK, so is aware of this, but generally runs off to Dubai to get away from the weather here.

So I decided instead of taking her out, I would throw her a High Chaii party at mine. (High Chaii is the Indian equivalent to the british Afternoon tea). and that way I can make it that extra special.

So I invited a few of our friends over and I created this

Well firstly, I’m sure you know by now I have a love for cups- I’m talking about tea cups here. So I had a chance to show case my new teacups. I got these from my trip in India- and it goes so well with the theme.

Aren’t they soo pretty? (Smiling widely)

And now ill break down what I made.

This is something I improvised with. I don’t have a name for it, so please feel free. I basically chopped up onions and tomatoes and added salt, chilli powder, lemon juice, and ready made salsa. I deep fried poppadoms and put the onion mixture in the middle. And boy was it divine. Do try it. It’s mouthwatering.

A Fruit Platter. Always a must. Always pretty. Always colourful. Always in my parties!

Khaman. I ordered these, they are a yellow steamed cake made out of chick pea flour. It has a tangy and sweet flavour and goes soo well with green chutney.

Dahi Vada. These are deep fried lentil balls soaked in yoghurt topped with spicy and tangy chutneys, like green chutney and tamarind sauce. And then finished off with spice powders ( I can see you salivating). This is a traditional Indian street food. I served these up in cocktail glasses to give it a grandeur look.

Kheema pockets and Omelette rolls. The Omelette rolls are basically masala omelettes wrapped around a chappati. And I split this into two.

And the Kheema pockets, is minced meat cooked with Indian masalas, and then put into halved pitta nan’s with lettuce, cucumbers and tomatoes. (Definately the biggest hits of the day. I may need to do a step by step blog on this).

Next up we had Punjabi vegetable samosas (which I bought) and home made mango puree and puris. The puris was made by a dear friend, they are an Indian deep fried bread which we dunk into the mango puree.

I also added some croissants, tea cakes, scones and marmalade.

And lastly

We had Tea, orange Juice and drinks because my dear guest does not like Tea. So I served her up some Pepsi in my wonderful tea cup.

And here is the beauty herself. Hope you enjoyed you High Chaii.

And to end it all we had to do our selfies. I mean what even is a party if there are no selfies right?

I hope you guys got some ideas for your next high chaii. Don’t forget to send me pics or tag me on social media.

Until the next one,

Love and Regards

M11bna

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‘Pancakes and Pyjamas Pamper Party'(Part 2)

My ‘Pancakes and Pyjamas Pamper Party’ kicked off perfectly. In my last post I showed what I made, and the random invite I sent off. Most of the girls turned up and we had such a good catch up. It was so nice to have so many of us together.

Minus a few latecomers…How good do they look in the morning? Me in the back with the ‘I woke up too Early face’.

So what did we do?

I chose to do a early morning party because I knew I’d have the house to myself. The hubby would be at work, the elder Boy at college and the younger Boi at school. So no disturbances. Also the parents with elder kids would also be free of their children. A time out we all needed. Because it was a pyjama party I kept aside some blankets and water bottles, so that we could all get cosied up.

Is it Evan called a party without Shishas?. I arranged for 2 to be delivered early morning. Yes. Who does Shisha for breakfast? Urm…. Me! Because it wouldnt be a party otherwise…. I would say Shishas is the equivalent of Alcohol for us. It ain’t a party without it.

Getting the coal started.

We had a cute little visitor come to our party- it was ladies only- but he’s too cute to say no to. So in he came charming us all and breaking our hearts. And because of this shisha was confined to the kitchen area. Bonus is- I wasn’t too worried about my carpets getting burnt!

For the “Pamper” part of the party. I had arranged for a masseuse to come in and give the girls 20 minute mini treatments. Definately the highlight of the party.

And the extremely happy birthday girl got to cut her cake.

Did it Evan happen if there’s no selfies?

(all cosied up)

And Monopoly throughout the day. There’s no greater bonding then around a board game, especially monopoly. Admittedly this is one game that can bring out the best and the worst in people, and that In itself is the best part. It gave us alot of laughs, and tears. And just to put it out there- there was no clear winner! (Inside joke)

And after all was done, I was left alone in my house with leftovers and memories and still loads of time to myself. I must get use to this!

Can’t wait to arrange another one soon. I’ll have to try and beat this one though….

Let’s think themes?

Love and regards

Don’t forget to like and follow…

Love M11bna

“Pancakes and Pyjamas Pamper Party'”

It was my first Retirement weekend off, (from the event planning) and I was getting all anxious over it. With the work load reducing throughout the weeks before this, I was finding myself with quite a bit of spare time, and a Friday all to myself…In my house… Alone…With nothing to do …..is scaring me.

So I sent a message out to one of my girly groups

(excuse the typo…)

I wasn’t anticipating alot of us as it’s a Friday morning, everyone’s at work, appointments, childcare etc. I thought Evan if their’s one or two people, it’ll be a nice catch up and my day will pass- and hopefully I’ll have to start to get use to …. Doing nothing on Fridays from now on?!

Well what happened? You can see from some messages above, It ended up being a full house.

Initially it was just going to be a Fry up – Eggs, Beans, Toast, Sausages… But the more people that confirmed, the more my brain started ticking…. And when my brain starts ticking…. I go into Overdrive.

At the same time it was one of the girlies birthday, and having just had given birth to a beautiful baby- she was very much looking forward to some time out and the invite couldn’t have come at a better time for her.

The initial small and quick fry up ended up being a full blown “Pancake and Pyjama Pamper Party”

And here is a pic:

So what did I do?

Before I start can I just share this Cup and Saucer set with you? How beautiful are they? I have an obsession with cups and saucers (and Tea) you’ll definately be seeing more as I go along. But this is my favourite set to date. Mine are actually from a trip to Africa (Malawi- my birth country) and they were gifted to me.

If you are interested you can get these in John Lewis or Debenhams or evan online. They are by Villeroy & Boch and cost £24 for one set.

From the above picture I’m sure you have already worked out eggs beans and sausages were ruled out. Instead I decided to do a Mediterranean style breakfast party with…. Well… Pancakes- because I wanted to call it “Pancakes and Pyjamas Pamper Party”

We had Gronola with vanilla yoghurt topped with raspberries, strawberries and blueberries.
I bought a selection of Mini Cereal boxes, and made Bruschetta with Omelette. Also Mini Pancakes stacked with strawberries and banana were a hit.
I sliced up a few fruits and presented it on a fruit board., And in the background I also made a small cheeseboard with different cheeses and crackers.
I bought loads of fresh cakes, croissants, tea cakes, fruit loaves, scones. All from the Lidl Bakery on the day and stacked them up. I also bought mini jams and marmalades from BnM store.
And this has to be my Favourite. The Mediterranean board, full of Falafel, houmous of different flavours, cheese and chives, tomatoes, cucumbers, olives, pitta breads and wraps.
I brought fruit juice from Iceland and added in sliced lemons, limes, strawberries and mint. (Doesn’t it look a picture?)
And then the Birthday girls cake. I kept to the theme of the party and made a Pancake… Cake. (See earlier Post for a step to step guide on how I made this)

And lastly the teas and coffees. Here’s a final video….


So how did you find my party and set up? Did you spot the shishas? Yup. You did. Wait for my next blog on what we got upto.

Give a quick like and a follow.

Love and regards

M11bna