Dreaming of summer with this Mango Cheesecake

IMG_4288 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. IMG_4293 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. IMG_4294 Nay – we could be taken back to warmer times – when BBQs are favoured over stews, and rekindle memories of being able to dine alfresco . IMG_4295 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?

Burgers & BBQs

I mentioned it yesterday, but part of our long weekend was taken up with an afternoon BBQ. IMG_6843 For Mr BBB’s birthday just happened to fall on a public holiday, and perfect Summer weather was forecast. IMG_6835 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. IMG_6845 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. IMG_6877 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). IMG_6817 And let’s not forget the all-important condiments! IMG_6867 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! IMG_6880 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! IMG_6822 Layered and dressed simply with some lime zest, juice and a drizzle of honey. IMG_6829 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. NEW YEAR _ NEW YOU GIVEAWAY! (2)

Balsamic chicken salad

IMG_6508 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. IMG_6497 Simply – olive oil, garlic and the balsamic vinegar, combined and used to coat some chicken tenderloins – before being grilled until cooked through. IMG_6500 Meanwhile – the salad – using some tomatoes that have been just divine recently. IMG_6501 All together now – IMG_6506 Grilled chicken, lettuce, cucumber and those beautifully sweet tomatoes. IMG_6509 Healthy, simple and delicious. IMG_6510 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?

Mango salsa

IMG_6426 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. IMG_6433 And, as for me, well all I had to do was put together the accompaniments. High on the list…..mango salsa! IMG_6423 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. IMG_6424 Aside from looking rather colourful and vibrant – the flavour was spot on (and had even a mango-hating friend going back for seconds…) IMG_6428 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. IMG_6436 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?

Lemon and herb potato salad

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. salad 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. IMG_5258 The result being a rather tasty “side” dish to some meat we later grilled for dinner. IMG_5259 And the herb + lemon combination worked just beautifully in keeping this dish feeling light and lovely. IMG_5268 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?

Summer berry trifle

Standing proud on our Christmas Day dessert buffet was one of my all time favourite desserts… IMG_5664 Trifle! IMG_5666 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.

IMG_5670IMG_5689 I then placed it in the fridge for a few hours to allow the flavours to develop and combine. IMG_5691 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?

Make mine a salad

I don’t know about you, but this warmer weather has had me reaching in the crisper drawer when it comes to dinner lately. IMG_4258 For I have been loving dinner salads. Lots and lots of dinner salads. IMG_4259 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. IMG_4262 Double win! IMG_4263 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!