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Dinner Party: Spring Country Farmhouse

Filed in: savoury, sweet

A country farmhouse spring dinner party – featuring chicken and tarragon pot pies, farmhouse salads, light and fluffy lemon souffles and homemade ginger ale. The perfect Spring meal to enjoy alfresco! 

Country Farmhouse Spring Dinner Party Anisa Sabet The Macadames-26

I was inspired to create this menu by finally setting up our outdoor area. It’s amazing how an outdoor table, a handful of plants and some new dining-wear makes me want to eat outdoors as much as possible. What do you think?

As daylight savings has kicked in, it’s nice to make the most of the light-filled balmy evenings enjoying alfresco dining with friends.

The weather has well and truly warmed up so it’s nice to serve light meals that are not too heavy but still hit the spot. We are not quite in the sweltering Canberra summer yet so a mixture of warm and cold dishes works well.

I’ve chosen these recipes because they can all be made ahead making entertaining a breeze. The chicken tarragon pie can be made the night before and popped into the oven at the right time. The lemon souffle can be made up to a week before (how cool is that!), frozen and pulled out moments before baking. The salads can be made in the morning, popped into the fridge and served either cold or oven-warmed. All this means less time in the kitchen and more time enjoying your guests. No one wants to be chained to the kitchen while their guests enjoy their hospitality!

I hope you enjoy this dinner party menu and please pop any questions into the comments.

~ Main: Chicken Tarragon Pie ~

Country Farmhouse Spring Dinner Party | Anisa Sabet | The Macadames-4-3

A country farmhouse dinner menu doesn’t call for the traditional (can I say stuffy?) entree, main + dessert set up. Hence why we are skipping straight to mains; which is a delicious and hearty chicken and tarragon pie. Fluffy pastry filled with creamy chicken and tarragon – it’s a light but filling Spring recipe!

~ Sides: Farmhouse Salads ~

Country Farmhouse Spring Dinner Party | Anisa Sabet | The Macadames-23

Given the warmer climate, I decided to serve my chicken pie with an array of light and Spring-style salads.

Pea, Bean + Mint Salad

A light and nutritious salad of fresh sweet green peas, snow peas + green beans in a light olive oil and mint dressing.

Rocket, Fennel + Walnut Salad

A crunchy salad made from rocket, fennel and toasted walnuts in a olive oil and lemon dressing.

Roast Potato Salad

A warm roast potato salad tossed in fresh herbs and olive oil.

~ Dessert: Lemon Souffle ~

Country Farmhouse Spring Dinner Party | Anisa Sabet | The Macadames-21-2

What could be more perfect that a light, fluffy and cloud-like lemon souffle? Served with fresh cream and dusted with icing sugar, it’s the perfect way to end the meal.

~ Drinks ~

Country Farmhouse Spring Dinner Party | Anisa Sabet | The Macadames-5

Homemade Ginger Beer

Make this store-bought favourite even better by making it at home and cutting out the processed nasties. Using fresh ginger, maple and lemon – it’s a light, refreshing and delicious drink perfect to serve with my country farmhouse dinner party menu.

Wine Suggestions

Being a Spring affair, I suggest light and fresh whites and crisp and cool roses as the ideal pairing to this menu. If you are a red-drinker through and through, go for lighter options like Pinot Noir or sparkling reds, served chilled.

Don’t forget to hashtag #cookwiththemacadames when making my recipes. I love to see how you went and get a peek at your kitchen table.

What you need:

For the Chicken Tarragon Pies

  • 4 oven safe pie dishes – I used 10cm x 7cm
  • Deep set fry pan

For the Pea, Bean + Mint Salad

  • Saucepan + strainer
  • Mixing bowl
  • Dressing jug

For the Rocket, Fennel + Walnut Salad

  • Mixing bowl
  • Dressing jug

For the Roast Potato Salad

  • Roasting tray

For the Lemon Souffle

  • 4 oven-safe ramekins

For the Homemade Ginger Ale

  • Saucepan
  • Mixing bowl
  • 1L jar
  • Serving jug


For the Chicken Tarragon Pies (makes 4 pot pies)

  • 1 leek, finely sliced
  • 1/3 cup cream
  • Sea salt + pepper

For the Pea, Bean + Mint Salad (serves 4)

  • 200g sweet green peas, trimmed

For the Rocket, Fennel + Walnut Salad (serves 4)

For the Roast Potato Salad (serves 4)

For the Lemon Souffle (makes 4 soufflés)

  • Butter + sugar for ramekins
  • 4 large egg yolks
  • 1 tablespoons all-purpose flour
  • 1 tablespoons lemon rind, finely chopped (rind from 1 lemons)
  • 1/4 cup granulated sugar
  • 1/2 cup whole milk
  • 1 tablespoon unsalted butter
  • Juice from 2 lemons
  • 4 large egg whites, room temperature
  • 1/4 teaspoon cream of tartar
  • To serve: icing sugar and double cream

For the Homemade Ginger Ale 

  • To make the ginger syrup: 1 1/2 cups peeled ginger, chopped
  • 2 cups water
  • 3/4 cup sugar
  • Pinch of sea salt
  • To make the ginger ale: 1 part ginger syrup, 2 parts soda water + lime juice to taste
  • To serve: lime slices and fresh mint leaves


For the Chicken Tarragon Pies

1. Preheat oven to 200°C. Butter your pie dishes generously. Set aside.

2. Chop the onions and leeks finely.

3. Melt the butter in your frying pan over medium heat. Add the onions and leeks and cook for 3 minutes. Add mushrooms with a splash of water cook for 5 minutes or until the water evaporates. Add chicken and cook for 5 minutes or until browned.

4. Add the chicken stock and tarragon. Bring to the boil. Reduce heat and simmer for 3 minutes. Combine cornflour and 2 tablespooons of hot water. Pour into pan slowly, stirring constantly to prevent lumps from forming. Simmer for 2 minutes or until thick. Stir through the cream. Season with salt and pepper. Set aside to cool completely.

5. Using the top of ramekin as a guide, cut a disc the same size from each sheet of pastry. Cut thin strips of pastry (about 1cm wide) to line the top edge of each ramekin.

6. Spoon filling into ramekins. Line the ramekin edges with strips of pastry. Top with pastry rounds, pressing edges onto the strips of pastry to seal (you can use a fork for this). Spray with olive oil spray. Sprinkle with salt flakes and freshly ground black pepper. Cut a small cross in pie tops. Bake for 30 to 35 minutes or until pastry is light golden and puffed.

Storage: the pies will keep in an airtight container in the fridge for up to 3 days or can be frozen (cooked or uncooked).

For the Pea, Bean + Mint Salad

1. Cook the beans, snow peas and sweet peas in a saucepan of boiling water until al dente. Set aside to cool.

2. Whisk together the dressing ingredients in a dressing jug.

3. Serve the cooked vegetables in a bowl, topped with mint leaves and freshly grated parmesan and the dressing on the side.

Storage: the salad will keep in an airtight container in the fridge for up to 2 days.

For the Rocket, Fennel + Walnut Salad

1. Combine all the salad ingredients in a bowl.

2. Whisk together the dressing ingredients in a dressing jug.

3. Serve the salad in a bowl with the dressing on the side.

Storage: the salad will keep in an airtight container in the fridge for up to 2 days.

For the Roast Potato Salad

1. Preheat oven to 180°C.

2. Place the potatoes on a large baking tray. Drizzle over half the oil. Season with salt and pepper. Toss to coat. Roast for 25 minutes.

3.  Add the onion to the tray. Roast for a further 30 minutes or until potato and onion are tender and golden. Set aside for 10 minutes to cool.

4. Put the celery, garlic, parsley and oregano in a large bowl with the potato and onion mixture. Season with salt and pepper. Drizzle over the remaining olive oil. Toss until well combined.

Storage: the salad will keep in an airtight container in the fridge for up to 3 days.

For the Lemon Soufflés

1. Preheat oven to 175°C.

2. Butter your ramekins, and then dust with sugar – this helps the souffles not to stick and to rise properly.

3. Whisk together yolks, flour, zest, and 2 tablespoons of the sugar.

4. Bring the milk to a boil in a small saucepan. Slowly pour milk into yolk mixture, whisking constantly to prevent yolks from cooking. Return mixture to pan, and whisk until thick like a pudding, 1 to 2 minutes. Strain through a sieve, and whisk in butter and lemon juice.

5. Using a very clean steel or glass bowl, beat the egg whites until foamy.  Gradually add remaining sugar and cream of tartar, and continue beating until stiff peaks form. Stir 1/4 of the egg whites into the yolk mixture. Then GENTLY fold the rest in using a rubber spatula.

6. Fill each souffle ramekin to the top, and smooth. Run your thumb around edges to remove batter from rims. Put into the freezer if you’re making ahead.

7. Bake on a rimmed baking sheet until souffles rise and are golden, about 16 minutes. Add 4-5 minutes of cooking if using frozen souffles.

8. To serve: Dust with icing sugar, and serve immediately with or without double cream.


If this is your first time at making souffles, read this handy tip guide.

To make ahead, pop the prepared ramekins straight into the freezer after finishing. You can bake them straight from the freezer – just add 4-5 minutes of extra cooking time.

Recipe adapted from Martha Stewart.

For the Homemade Ginger Ale

1. Bring the water and chopped ginger to the boil in your saucepan, covered partially for 45 minutes. Remove from heat and allow to steep for 30 minutes.

2. Strain into a bowl, being sure to squeeze the ginger to extract the flavour. Return the mixture to the saucepan, add the sugar and salt and heat over a medium heat until the sugar has dissolved. Pop into a jar and put into the fridge to cool.

3. To make the ginger ale: mix the ginger syrup with the soda water and and lime juice (1 part syrup, 3 parts soda water and lime juice to taste). Garnish with lime slices and fresh mint leaves.

Storage: the syrup will keep in the fridge for up to a week.

Bon appétit!

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For another “Dinner Party” menu, try my Chilean Spring Dinner Party.

Chilean Spring Dinner Party Anisa Sabet The Macadames-6

Anisa – The Macadames. xx

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