GATHER | A BOHEMIAN INTIMATE HENS PARTY

Just on the last Good Friday, I had the pleasure to collaborate with several talented, and incredible vendors on a hens party Morrocan Boho style shoot. I've been dreaming about styling a beautiful food spread for a long time! This boho theme party was largely inspired by a Morrocan Inspired Elopement shoot from Nicole Ashley when I was looking for a wedding photographer for my own wedding. From hanging a floating floral sponge foam covered with baby's breath on the ceiling to donning models with a spectrum of blush bridal robes- it was absolutely amazing to feel and see how everything came together delicately. This is definitely one of my highlights in March😌

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Planning a memorable hens party for the bride is one of the most significant duties for the bridesmaids. Recently, there's a shift from having lavish party; whereby over-spending is a first-world disaster, to having a cost-effective, cheerful, and comfortable stay-home party. We all might be money rich, but we are time poor today. Therefore, an intimate, stay home hens party also serves as an opportunity for ladies to own their space, and pick up where they left off. 

Essentially, the bride certainly wants to enjoy a hella good time with all her closest girl pals over a gorgeous spread of food and drinks. To prepare for a party, we are expecting that someone will be late, and nobody prefers to indulge in a dish that turns cold. With this in mind, the recipes I am going to share with you are communal and ideal to consume at room temperature. They are quick and easy for both amateur and experienced ladies in the kitchen!  

Here's the spread that caters to 4-6 servings, three of which are showcased in my video above:

1. Beetroot Hummus with wholegrain crackers:

It's pink and feminine, especially for a girly-girl affair. Hummus is a great protein source in this spread, when you have friends who are vegan or vegetarian. This savoury dip is irresistible and the most popular dish during the shoot😻. By the looks of it, there's nothing intricate but simple ingredients to make hummus every day- with chickpeas, olive oil, garlic, salt, lemon juice as your base ingredients. Then spice it up with beetroot, coriander, cumin and paprika to expand the antioxidants content in this humble dip. 

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2. Rice cakes in 2 ways:

I was first introduced to rice cakes by my beloved veggiebeast fiance. We regard them as one of our staple, healthy snack because they are fat-free and low calorie. For those that are salt-free and sugar-free, they are inevitably tasteless. Fret not, because these rice cakes balance out your palate nicely against any sweet or savoury toppings on them. After much experimenting, avocado with hot peri peri sauce is my final top choice, followed by strawberries on cacao almond butter with bits of cacao nibs. 

* Be sure to prepare rice cakes just before the party starts as they soften and lost its crunch within a short period of time. Upon buying rice cakes, do look out for the "wholegrain" stamp to ascertain that they are made from brown rice, with no added sugar, salt or flavourings. 

3. Glowy fruit 🍓🍉🍋🌿 infused water:

You can prepare this a night before the party. Hydrate away with this effortless fruit infused water to a fabulous, smooth and glowing skin. Watermelon is rich is lycopene, an antioxidant to get us soft and glowing skin. With its topical Vitamin C content that is also found in strawberries and lemon, it helps to promote collagen production, protection from our daily exposure to UVA and UVB rays. In addition, it helps lightening pigmentation too. I love the cooling sensation from mint leaves, and I recommended adding at least 2 sprigs in each carafe, let it sit for at least 20 minutes or overnight for a richer sweet tone. Mint allows our body to improve digestion, relieve our fatigue and headache from a bad night sleep. This can be a morning drink after a mandatory glass of water. 

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4. DIY simple cheeseboard:

Get a good quality spread of different types of cheese: soft, aged, and funky. In this style shoot, brie, aged cheddar and blue cheese were selected to fit the categories. They are inexpensive and readily available at any large supermarket. In addition, lay some rice crackers, salami, grapes, figs, dried apricots and any nuts of your choice to complete this perfect cheeseboard. Last but not least, pour a glass of wine each for a little fanciness. 

Wine and Cheese pairing examples:

  • Brie & Charddonay

  • Cheddar & Cabernet Sauvignon

  • Blue & Riesling

5. Roasted Pumpkin Salad with White Miso Tahini Dressing:

Salads are one of the less intimidating meals to prepare ever. They are versatile, colourful and satisfying to crunch into a forkful of freshly dressed ingredients at any occasion. In this salad, Japanese pumpkin cubes are tossed with a pinch of Himalayan pink salt and coated with coconut oil before heading to the oven. A thick, dense white miso tahini combination is as versatile as a thousand island dressing for any shredded veggies or greens. Of course the guilt-free version, haha. Now that its spring time, or summer all year long in Singapore, this light appetiser mirrors the freshness of the weather outdoors, which makes it ideal choice as part of this spread. 

Ingredients (serves 4)

  • 1 medium squash/pumpkin, deseed and cut in cubes

  • 3 tbsp extra virgin coconut oil

  • 2 tbsp toasted black sesame seeds

  • 250g napa cabbage, shredded

  • 250g red cabbage, shredded

  • 1 medium carrot

  • 10g coriander, finely chopped

  • 10g scallion, finely chopped

  • ¼ cup croutons

  • Himalayan pink sea salt

Dressing

  • 1½ organic white miso paste

  • 1 tbsp tahini sauce

  • Juice of ½ lemon

  • 1 tbsp sesame oil

  • 1 tbsp water

  • 1 tbsp fried shallots

Directions

  • Remove skin from carrot using a vegetable peeler, shred it thinly.

  • Pour coconut oil over squash cubes, toss lightly and sprinkle with sea salt.

  • Preheat oven to 425°F.. Lay a baking sheet on a baking tray. Arrange squash cubes on the tray with a little gap in between. Pour remaining coconut oil over squash, place it o the middle rack and roast it for 15 minutes. Remove tray from oven, flip squash cubes on the other side and roast for another 10 minutes or until golden brown.

  • To make the salad dressing, whisk all dressing ingredients in a bowl until it forms a smooth consistency. Add 1 tsp of water to the dressing each time and whisk the sauce if it is too thick for your preference.

  • Assemble all the salad ingredients and roasted squash into a huge salad bowl. Drizzle white miso tahini dressing over salad and toss to combine.

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Photography: Antelopestudios

Prop Styling: Wulalaaa

Food Styling: Poutandchow

Robes: Bellsandbirds

Makeup: iheartblooms yuhui_aw

Blooms: windflowerflorist

With lots of love,

Ally