What a wonderful family weekend we’ve just had. My mum was in town, as were some of Mr BBB’s extended family. We had 12 (!) people around for dinner on Saturday night, where I sang the praises of our slow cooker (it was Irish stew on the menu, with olive sourdough and garlic-lemon beans). And there was cake. Of course there was cake. A summery ‘completely out of season’ mango cheesecake, to be precise. For, just a moment, we could pretend that it wasn’t freezing outside, and ignore the piles of jackets, scarves and gloves that inevitably clutter the hooks by the front door whenever Winter strikes. Nay – we could be taken back to warmer times – when BBQs are favoured over stews, and rekindle memories of being able to dine alfresco . For thanks to the abundance of tinned fruit, I was able to create this summery dessert – even though a fresh mango was nowhere to be seen. You can find the recipe here noting I substituted tinned mango for fresh, and also added a little mango puree to the cheesecake batter itself. What about you? What is your favourite cheesecake flavour?
I mentioned it yesterday, but part of our long weekend was taken up with an afternoon BBQ. For Mr BBB’s birthday just happened to fall on a public holiday, and perfect Summer weather was forecast. So we couldn’t resist having some family and friends around to enjoy a few drinks, some delicious food, and a relaxing afternoon in the Sun. Rather than a traditional BBQ, we decided to hold a little “build your own burger” party. I made some homemade patties (ground topside, onion, dijon mustard, garlic powder and S&P), and while Mr BBB got to grilling – I set out the rest of the ingredients – a selection of rolls, grilled onion, bacon, cheeses, salads, beetroot, pineapple, tomato, lettuce and pickles. We also had a range of salads – potato salad, mango and avocado – and a lovely little tahini coleslaw that I pulled together (recipe to come). And let’s not forget the all-important condiments! I must have been so busy eating, that I didn’t even get a picture of my burger creation – although Charlotte certainly wolfed hers down with gusto! As for dessert – I cheated and bought a sachertorte from our local patisserie (unpictured) – but decided last minute to make a lighter option too. And nothing says Summer better than a big bowl of fruit salad! Layered and dressed simply with some lime zest, juice and a drizzle of honey. Overall, we had a lovely time with our nearest and dearest, and spent the afternoon (and evening!)enjoying this beautiful season that is Summer. Boy how I am not looking forward to Winter! What about you? How did you spend this recent long weekend? PS – Entries close soon for my recent giveaway! Don’t forget to enter here.
How is everyone faring in this rather testing January heatwave? I am far happier in the heat, than in the cold, but even I must confess that the days have been quite draining lately. Tis’ perfect weather to keep my salad obsession going though! On this particular occasion – the star of the show was this gorgeous caramelised balsamic vinegar that I came across at the shops a while ago. Simply – olive oil, garlic and the balsamic vinegar, combined and used to coat some chicken tenderloins – before being grilled until cooked through. Meanwhile – the salad – using some tomatoes that have been just divine recently. All together now – Grilled chicken, lettuce, cucumber and those beautifully sweet tomatoes. Healthy, simple and delicious. And the perfect end to a rather hot day indeed! What about you? Are you a ‘heat’ person – or do you prefer the cooler weather?
I realise it has been a little quiet on the ‘food’ aspect of this blog for a while now, but rest assured that the BBB kitchen has been in full swing this Summer. Lots of salads, BBQs and fresh ingredients – and lots of meals spent with friends and family. Recently, we hosted a “Pre” New Years Eve dinner with some dear friends, where my aim was to keep the cooking outside given the temperature forecast of 34C. I marinated some pork tenderloin in a “jerk” marinade, and Mr BBB was tasked with basted and BBQing it throughout the afternoon. And, as for me, well all I had to do was put together the accompaniments. High on the list…..mango salsa! Simply, diced mango, red onion, chilli, capsicum, spring onions, mint and lime zest / juice. Thrown together, given a good stir, with the flavours allowed to develop over an hour or so. Aside from looking rather colourful and vibrant – the flavour was spot on (and had even a mango-hating friend going back for seconds…) Served on the sliced pork, with a simple rocket salad and some basmati rice that I had mixed with black beans, lime juice and a little butter. And our Summer dinner was complete (with not an oven in sight!) Mango salsa
- 1 mango, peeled and diced
- 1/2 red onion, diced
- 1 red capsicum, diced
- 2 spring onions, sliced thinly
- 1/4 cup shredded mint leaves
- 1 lime, zest and juice
- 1 red chilli, deseeded and diced
- salt and pepper to taste
Combine all ingredients and set aside in the fridge for an hour for the flavour to develop. What about you? Cooked anything fun on the BBQ lately?
One vegetable that I struggle to use when the warmer months arrive is potatoes. In Winter I wont hesitate in cranking up the oven and roasting some potatoes to perfection. Or creating a creamy mash to serve alongside a rich and hearty casserole. But in Summer, I tend to crave salads and lighter meals, to which potatoes do not generally lend themselves. Or do they? Feeling particularly inspired a few weeks ago, I came up with a use for the bag of potatoes that was feeling rather lonely in our pantry. Potatoes – peeled and boiled until tender – then combined with olive oil, a wee bit of yoghurt, lemon juice and zest – and lots of mint, parsley and pepper. The result being a rather tasty “side” dish to some meat we later grilled for dinner. And the herb + lemon combination worked just beautifully in keeping this dish feeling light and lovely. So it seems potatoes do have a place on our menu this Summer! What about you? Any fun Summer potato dishes you’d care to share?
Standing proud on our Christmas Day dessert buffet was one of my all time favourite desserts… Trifle! But not just any trifle….a trifle making the most of all the gorgeous summer berries available at the moment. And despite its relatively grand appearance, it was super easy to make (with the help of a few cheats, that is!) Using what I discovered was a super large trifle bowl, I layered the following ingredients:
- Sponge cake (purchased)
- Splash of madeira to soak the cake
- Raspberry jelly (that I made the night before)
- Fresh berries (strawberries, raspberries, blackberries and blueberries)
- Custard (purchased)
- Whipped cream (that I piped onto the top)
- And then finished, with a good pile of more fresh berries.
I then placed it in the fridge for a few hours to allow the flavours to develop and combine. I read somewhere that trifle originated as a way of using up leftover ingredients. And, to be honest, it is a rather odd combination of flavours and textures. However, despite the oddity, it works. And I think it is pretty darn delicious – particularly when smothered in fresh summer berries! What about you? Are you a fan of trifle?
I don’t know about you, but this warmer weather has had me reaching in the crisper drawer when it comes to dinner lately. For I have been loving dinner salads. Lots and lots of dinner salads. And, with a brand new BBQ for Mr BBB, I haven’t even had to turn the oven on when creating dinners like this - spiced chicken and asparagus salad. Double win! Greens, carrots, capsicum, mushrooms, asparagus, grilled chicken and a sprinkle of cashews. Drizzled with a lemon vinaigrette, and dinner was done. Delish! What about you? Are you a “salad” person when the weather warms up? PS – I loved reading all your ‘favourite’ potato salad ideas! What a versatile salad indeed!