Category Archives for Summer

Summer Party Food – Cheesy Prosciutto Puffs

Doesn’t that title just lure you in? I really love a summer party.  It summons images of warm evenings, lively chatter, soft music, fruity Pimms and of course, wonderful food. Light and colourful, packed with flavour and to allow for mingling, in nibble form. 

Just the word ‘nibble’ fills me with a kind of girlish glee. I love the guilt free abandon of it all.  Nothing that can be described as a ‘nibble’ can possibly be bad for you for goodness sake! Plus, nibbles tend to come in groups and I’m all for variety in my food.  I love nuts for sure, but I also enjoy a good olive, perhaps some blini or even a crostini. Perhaps a Cheesy Prosciutto Puff?

Cheesy Prosciutto Puffs

So read on my little vol-au-vents and I shall share with you the secret (or now, not so secret) recipe for Cheesy Prosciutto Puffs (squeee!) They’re bite-sized pieces of puffy heaven that really pack a Mediterranean punch.  Flaky pastry; as light as air, a slight tang of pesto with beautiful Prosciutto adding depth and Grana Padano cheese, an extra richness that makes them really elegant and completely indulgent.

I’m confident that you’ll want to make some of these little babies for your next summer gathering…and that your guests will thank you for it!

Cheesy Prosciutto Puffs

Cheesy Prosciutto Puffs

Ingredients

1 x 320 g packet of ready-rolled puff pastry
4 tbs pesto
1 pack of prosciutto
75 g grated Grana Padano Cheese
1 egg, beaten

  • Pre-heat the oven to 200 C Fan
  • Line a couple of baking trays with grease proof paper
  • Now, carefully lay out the pastry and roll it gently until it is more of a square shape (approx 35cm per side)
  • Spoon the pesto on to the pastry and spread it out so it covers it completely – right to the edges!
  • Using a sharp knife, cut the pastry into 16 squares (so, start by cutting into quarters and then cut each quarter into quarters.)
  • Cut the prosciutto so you have 16 pieces and a bit on each square
  • Now sprinkle over the grated cheese and season well. Go steady with the salt as the Prosciutto and Grana Padano are both quite salty. Plenty of black pepper though!
  • Gently roll each square into a sausage shape and then brush the fold with the beaten egg to help seal it
  • Cover them all in clingfilm and refrigerate for at least 10 mins
  • Remove from the fridge and using a sharp knife, slice each sausage into 8 small discs and place them on the baking trays, allowing enough space for them to puff up a little when cooked
  • Bake in the oven for around 10 minutes, until golden brown.

 Recipe Inspiration

Cheesy Prosciutto Puffs

I was recently sent some beautiful samples of Grana Padano cheese and Prosciutto di San Daniele. To be honest, they were both so good that very little would beat just eating them au naturel (no, I’m not being paid to say that – promise!) but that would have made for rather a dull post so I tried to come up with a recipe that would show off the beautiful flavours and allow them to compliment each other.  I hope that’s what I’ve done… 🙂

I also had help from Mary Berry and her fantastic book Mary Berry Absolute Favourites, where her Cheesy Cheese Spirals gave me the idea for the recipe above.

What are your favourite summer party nibbles? Let me know in the comments below!

Drink: Grapefruit Gin & Tonic Slushie

A sip or two of this citrus slushie will start your spring BBQ with a swing. A great twist on the classic gin & tonic, this drink is sharp and refreshing with more buzz than a bumblebee in a sunflower….

gin and tonic slushie

A friend of mine recently posted a picture on Facebook of their first BBQ of the year (yes, I’m looking at you Matt!) and I have to say, much as I love a good BBQ, I have found the weather a little too much on the chilly side to be tempted to the dust off the grill and fire-lighters just yet (and by that, of COURSE I mean, get hubby to dust off the grill and fire-lighters).  That being said, I definitely feel like the season of outside eating is just around the corner, and it’s definitely not too early to start planning that first spring or summer BBQ with friends…or to start taste testing this fabulous Grapefruit Gin and Tonic Slushie to make sure it’s up to scratch.  You’re such a good friend to care so much about getting it just right! 😉

gin and tonic slushie

Apart from the fact that it’s just more pleasant to eat a meal in the garden, the warmth of the sun on your skin, the sound of birds singing in the trees; it also makes entertaining so much easier and somehow less formal.  People can be ushered quickly through the house (before they notice you haven’t hoovered) and out into the garden, where you welcome them with a little drinky…

gin and tonic slushie

Slushie the Campfire Slayer

(I’m sorry.  I had to.  It was just too good).

…Which brings me to the purpose of this post.  Assuming you’re not as brave as my friend Matt and you haven’t yet had your first BBQ of the year then I urge you to include these as an aperitif when you do.. They’re a (ahem) ‘citrus’ twist on an old classic and they’re both refreshing and just alcoholic enough to kick your afternoon or evening off with a pleasant buzz.

Grapefruit Gin and Tonic Slushie

Grapefruit Gin and Tonic Slushie
Serves 4
Write a review
Print
Ingredients
  1. 100 ml gin
  2. 300 ml tonic water
  3. Juice of 1/2 a grapefruit
  4. 2 tsp sugar
Instructions
  1. Mix your ingredients in a jug and then pour into a shallow baking tray - I use the disposable foil ones
  2. Pop your tray in the freezer for 2 hours
  3. Now break up the forming ice with a fork and spoon into the glasses of your choice
  4. Grate a bit of grapefruit, lime or lemon zest over and serve with a straw
Notes
  1. For an extra twist, add a splash of elderflower cordial to the glass once you've spooned in the ice.
Eat Drink Cook http://www.eatdrinkcook.co.uk/
 In a party mood?  Then try one of these great drinks too!

Chai Baileys

Sangria

sangria

Recipe: Tandoori Chicken Burgers

…all the great flavours of tandoori chicken, with a minty raita – but in burger form!

I started to write this post right at the start of BBQ season, and have only just got around to finishing it! Sadly, the time for BBQ’s is nearly at an end for another year (at least for us folk in the UK), but I urge you to sneak at least one more in, just so you can eat these burgers at their very best.  They’re fab done in a frying pan or a griddle pan, but ALL burgers were meant to be cooked over an open flame. FACT.

Tandoori Chicken Burgers

There’s nothing better than the smell of your food as it cooks over hot coals – and there’s nothing worse than smelling it when it’s coming from someone else’s grill!

Growing up, we never had burgers at our family BBQ’s and I never questioned it. In fact I never really realised there was anything unusual in a burger-less BBQ. Only when I left home and started to go to other people’s BBQ’s did I realise that the burger is pretty much a staple .  I must confess, that I’d still go for a good snorker over a burger any day, but I have recently realised the endless variety of burgers that are possible and that rather ignited (pardon the pun) a passion in the experimental cook in me!

Tandoori Chicken Burgers

Other BBQ recipes to try

Spicy Mint Lamb Kebabs

50 Most Mouthwatering BBQ Recipes

These particular burgers were inspired by Mary Berry’s Chilli Burgers from her latest book Mary Berry’s Absolute Favourites She adds chilli and Thai red curry paste to her minced beef (with wonderful results I might add!) and it occurred to me, that I could do something similar to put a new twist on one of my all-time BBQ faves – Tandoori Chicken.

The results, despite a shaky start where I processed chicken breasts to create my own mince (not the right texture at all), were a triumph!  Think all the great flavours of tandoori chicken, with a minty raita – but in burger form!

tandoori chicken burgers

Tandoori Chicken Burgers
Yields 2
Write a review
Print
Ingredients
  1. 250 g chicken (or turkey) mince
  2. 1 large spring onion, finely sliced
  3. 1 red chilli, finely chopped
  4. 1 tbs tandoori paste
  5. 1 tbs chopped, fresh mint
Instructions
  1. Mix together all of the ingredients in a bowl & season
  2. Using wet hands, split the mixture in half and form 2 balls which you can then flatten into burger patties
  3. Brush both sides with oil
  4. Place both burgers on a hot frying pan, griddle or bbq grill
  5. Leave for 3-4 minutes (don't be tempted to turn it before, or to squish it with a spatula!)
  6. Turn and cook for a further 3-4 minutes until cooked through
  7. Leave to rest while you prepare your buns (notes on serving, below)
Notes
  1. First of all - I've found turkey mince much easier to find than chicken - so go with this if you can't find chicken. If you can tell a difference, then you have more sophisticated taste buds than I!
  2. To serve, I spread a dollop of Greek yoghurt on my buns and then add some chopped lettuce and slices of tomato.
Eat Drink Cook http://www.eatdrinkcook.co.uk/
 Love this recipe? Be a doll and tweet it out!

Simple Summer Gazpacho

Tomatoes, full of flavour, form the base of this fresh, light, chilled Gazpacho. Each sip will cool, calm and nourish you…

You know those days when it’s oppressively hot and you just don’t feel like eating much?  To be honest, living in the UK, I’m not that familiar with them, but if there’s a nation who totally gets it, it’s the Spanish. Their solution is both simple and delicious…

Simple Summer Gazpacho

Gazpacho is a chilled soup which is both light and fresh and can be whizzed up in flash – because let’s face it, the last thing you want to be doing is slaving in the kitchen when you could be relaxing and sipping something cool under the shade of a tree.

Like soups?

Here are a couple more for you to try…

Carrot & Mint Soup

Winter Vegetable Soup

Jamie’s Tomato Soup

Simple Summer Gazpacho

If you’re a fan of shows like Masterchef, then you’ll know that one of the latest foodie trends is to ‘de-construct’ classic dishes.  You know the kind of thing I mean – Apple crumble becomes a pile of biscuit crumbs, a smear of apple purée and a vanilla ice cream foam.  To de-construct Gazpacho, would be to serve a simple, dressed salad, so you see what a truly virtuous little soup it is!

So get out your blender and your fresh, seasonal veg and enjoy this beautiful, soup.  It’s so full of goodness that you just can’t help feel better for it.

Simple Summer Gazpacho

Simple Summer Gazpacho
Serves 2
Write a review
Print
Ingredients
  1. 3 large ripe tomatoes
  2. 1 spring onion
  3. 1/3 cucumber
  4. 1/2 green pepper
  5. 1 clove garlic
  6. 200 ml water
  7. 1 slice bread
  8. 2 tbs extra virgin olive oil
  9. 1 tbs white wine vinegar
  10. seasoning
Instructions
  1. Roughly chop all of the vegetables and add them to the blender with half of the water
  2. Blitz until smooth and then tear up the bread and add this too
  3. Drizzle in the oil and then the vinegar
  4. Add more water to get the consistency you want
  5. Season and chill in the fridge
Notes
  1. This will serve 2 as a light lunch or more as a little starter. If you have a lot of guests, then why not serve in shot glasses to add a bit of fun to proceedings!
  2. I add ice cubes to serve, but other toppings you could try include, hard boiled egg, black olives, melon or chopped tomatoes
Eat Drink Cook http://www.eatdrinkcook.co.uk/

 Enjoyed this post? Then be a pal and tweet it out!

Recipe: Crayfish Cocktail in a Jar

Sweet, succulent crayfish & creamy avocado, served on a bed of crisp, fresh lettuce with a light, zingy herb dressing…

We’re going a little bit retro today – but (as all the cool kids say), with a modern twist…

crayfish cocktail

Do you have a go-to meal that you ALWAYS chose when you went out for a meal as a kid? For me, it was prawn cocktail starter, followed by scampi and chips and then some form of ice cream.

(PS. If anyone can name the 1980’s frozen ice cream loaf thing that people bought for special occasions then I will love you for ever – I’ve been trying to think of it for ages and am having a mental block..)

crayfish salad

Anyhoo, this recipe is a little bit inspired by ye olde prawn cocktail, but using crayfish because, well, it’s in season now y’all! Plus I’ve switched out the Marie Rose (much as I love a good Marie Rose), for something a little lighter and fresher.

(PS. When I was little, I wrote a poem about the Mary Rose which began:

‘The Mary Rose was a fine, fine ship,

the heart of Henry’s navy,

if you had told him she was going to sink,

he would have said you were crazy!’

As you can see, I was destined to write…)

crayfish cocktail

This little beaut works as a starter or a light lunch and if you don’t have any crayfish to hand, then it will work just as well with prawns, crab or even chicken.

It is super summery and light. The crayfish are all sweet and perfect at this time of year. The lettuce adds crunch and bite, the avocado adds mellow creaminess and the dressing is fresh, zingy and finishes it off perfectly. Go on – give it a go – you’re gonna want that dressing on everything!

herb dressing

Oh – and I’ve put the crayfish cocktails in jars – that way you can pack them up and take them for lunch to work. Ingenious, no?

crayfish cocktail

Crayfish Cocktail in a Jar

Serves 2 as a light lunch (or 4 as a starter – using smaller jars!)

You will need:

2 x 500 ml jars (optional!)

Approx. 1/4 Cos lettuce (or any other crisp lettuce – eg. iceberg or little gem)

1 avocado

140 g prepared crayfish

For the dressing:

200 ml Greek yoghurt

1 handful of basil leaves

1 handful of mint leaves

1 anchovy fillet (from a jar)

Juice of 1/2 lemon

1 tbs cider vinegar

Seasoning

  • Blitz all the dressing ingredients in a blender (you will probably end up with more than you need, but it makes a great dip or dressing for a green salad)
  • Fill your jars about halfway with chopped lettuce and then add the sliced avocado
  • Add a spoonful of dressing and some crayfish in layers until you’re out of crayfish – NB – if you’re putting these in jars to take to work, add the dressing and crayfish FIRST with the salad on top (you will also want to put some lemon juice on the avocado to stop it browning if you’re not going to eat it straight away)
  • Just in case you were wondering – this recipe DOES work as well on plates or in bowls 😉

crayfish salad

BBQ Recipe: Spicy Mint Lamb Kebabs

A combination of chilli, honey, yoghurt and mint makes these lamb kebabs spicy, sweet and cool all in one mouthful. With only 10 minutes preparation time, they are the perfect dish for your next BBQ…

I’m assuming that as you’ve clicked on this post, you’re at least mildly into BBQ‘s. What’s not to love, right? Chances are (unless you’re British), that it’s a hot, sunny day or a warm, balmy evening.  Chances are, that you’re with friends or family and, chances are, you’ve got some great food cooking on the grill and some even better smells wafting over to you as you sit and sip your favourite summer drink.

lamb  kebabs

Getting all up in your grill…

Sorry – I was so pleased when I came up with that heading, I just had to get it in there.  I mean, come on, that’s pretty funny right? (Mum, I’ll explain when we speak next).  Anyway, before getting down to the recipe, I wanted to go through some barbecue do’s and don’ts.  This is serious stuff people.

(I make no mention of things like ‘don’t touch the grill while it’s hot’ or ‘don’t barbecue the cat’ – please assume all that stuff is implied…)

lamb kebabs

The Right Way to BBQ

We have a very strict family tradition that ALL BBQ’s must start with sausages (or ‘snorkers‘ as they’re more commonly referred to in our house).  After that, the rules become a bit more flexible.  There is a second meat course (usually ribs or kebabs) and then a final, main course which is usually chicken, steak or lamb. This course is when we break out the sides – salads, potatoes, rice and the like.

lamb kebabs

Last, comes the inevitable post-BBQ snooze.  If it’s a lunchtime affair then this preferably takes place in some sort of hammock or homemade ‘nest’ made from an assortment of cushions.  If it’s the evening, then bed is the more likely (and sensible) location for the post-meal snooze. No one wants to wake up at 4 am in the middle of the garden and covered with cushions…

The wrong way to BBQ

I don’t want to labour this point too much but BBQ’s are about relaxation, spending time with loved ones and fun. They are not about spending hours in the kitchen and missing all of the above.  That is why I urge you to give these lamb kebabs a go.  They are so quick to prepare, but they taste soooo goooood that all your fellow BBQ-ees will assume you’ve been slaving for hours and offer to do all the clearing up. Boom! (that was an exclamation of triumph rather than your BBQ exploding – don’t panic).

lamb kebabs

Spicy Mint Lamb Kebabs

(Serves 4)

You will need:

400 g diced lamb

200 ml Greek yoghurt

1 tbs mint sauce

1 tbs runny honey

1 tsp chilli flakes

1 clove garlic, crushed

  • Place the ingredients for the marinade into a bowl and give a good stir to mix
  • Add the lamb and cover completely with the marinade
  • Cover and leave in the fridge for as long as you can (ideally at least 3 hours, preferably overnight)
  • When you are almost ready to BBQ, thread the pieces of lamb (carefully!) on to some skewers. If you’re using wooden ones then you’ll need to soak them first so that they don’t burn on the grill
  • Place the skewers on to the grill and turn occasionally until they are done 

Before you head off for your snooze…

If you’ve enjoyed this post, then why not subscribe to my blog to make sure you never miss another one? 🙂

 

The 50 Most Mouthwatering BBQ Recipes

Well, by my reckoning we’ve got about one more month before the weather starts to turn and Autumn raises its red and golden head.  So, while there’s still time to sit outside without a jumper, why not invite over some friends, dust off that grill and make the most of these amazing BBQ recipes? 

Burgers & Beef

Barbecue recipes

People go to BBQ’s with certain expectations and burgers are one of them.  Failing that, a big juicy steak makes a very satisfactory alternative.  Omit both at your peril…

1- Grilled London Broil Recipe – Spicy Southern Kitchen

2 – Skirt Steak with Chimichurri Sauce Recipe – Food52

3 – Burgers with Sautéd Mushrooms, Arugula and Dijon Aioli – How Sweet It Is

4 – Summer’s Best Burger? – A Spicy Perspective

5 – Roasted Jalapeno Cheddar Turkey Burgers with Smoky BBQ Aioli – How Sweet It Is

6 – Southwestern pulled brisket – smitten kitchen

Chicken

bbq recipes

For those of you watching your weight, chicken tends be more on the lighter side – but what it lacks in calories, it makes up for in taste.  Winner, winner, chicken dinner…

7 – Chilli Garlic Chicken Skewers with Yoghurt Sauce – How Sweet It Is

8 – Grilled Chicken Breasts with Chive Herb Butter – foodiecrush

9 – Coconut Honey Lime Filipino Chicken Adobo Skewers – Half Baked Harvest

10 – Grilled Jerk Chicken Skewers with fresh summer peaches – Feasting at Home

11 – Grilled Buffalo Chicken Caesar Salad – How Sweet It Is

12 – Corinne Trang’s Korean Barbecued Chicken – The Wednesday Chef

13 – Peach-Whiskey Barbecue Chicken – The Pioneer Woman Cooks/Ree Drummond

14 – Lemon and Sweet Pepper Chicken Kebabs – Lavender and Lovage

Pork & Ribs
bbq recipes

A well marinated spare rib is a beautiful thing. Now is the time to grab the kitchen roll, lose your inhibitions and get stuck in!

15 – Grilled Pork Chops with Spicy Balsamic Grilled Peaches – foodiecrush

16 – Grilled Spareribs with Cherry Cola Glaze – Spicy Southern Kitchen

17 – Secret to Barbecue Baby Back Ribs – foodiecrush

18 – Barbecued Pork Shoulder – Simply Recipes

19 – Apple Spice Baby Backs – BarbecueBible.com

20 – Vermont Maple Glazed Pig Candy Ribs – AmazingRibs.com

Fish

bbq recipes

Certainly in the UK, it’s quite rare to get fish on the BBQ – which is a shame because it’s really rather wonderful.  The delicate flavour of the fish is complimented so well by the smoky, char-grilling. Well,  smoked salmon for goodness’ sake!

21 – Grilled Salmon with Cucumber and Dill Sauce – foodiecrush

22 – Chinese Grilled Shrimp – Steamy Kitchen Recipes

23 – Grilled Branzino with Rosemary Vinaigrette – Simply Recipes

24 – Grilled Swordfish with Lemon and Caper Sauce -Food52

25 – Grilled Tuna Kebabs – Simply Recipes

26 – Salmon Skewers with Cucumber Yoghurt Sauce – Sprouted Kitchen

Vegetarian

bbq recipes

You didn’t think I’d forgotten you did you? Actually, even for those non-veggies among you, I’d recommend giving some of these a go.  It’s a wonderful way to bring out the beautiful flavours of the great seasonal produce that’s available in summer.

27 – Grilled Halloumi Cheese Skewers – foodiecrush

28 – Grilled Brie with Blackberry Basil Smash Salsa & Grilled Bread – Half Baked Harvest

29 – Grilled Artichokes – Simply Recipes

30 – Charred Corn with Rosemary Grilled Pizza and Crushing On Naturally Ella – foodiecrush

31 – Grilled Sweet Potato Skewers with Halloumi – Naturally Ella

32 – Grilled Romaine with Toasted Almonds and Caesar Dressing – Slim Palate

33 – Barbecued Eggplant (Aubergine) – Saveur

34 – Cajun Spiced Black Bean and Sweet Potato Burgers – Tinned Tomatoes

Starters/Sides

bbq recipes

Now I’m all for a big slab of barbecued meat, but I do like a little something else besides. My husband would disagree, but that’s his loss!

35 – Grilled Corn with Bacon Butter and Cotija Cheese. – How Sweet It Is

36 – Bacon Wrapped Grilled Peaches with Balsamic Glaze – foodiecrush

37 – Grilled Pineapple and Corn Salsa – Bev Cooks

38 – Grilled Watermelon Salad plus a Watermelon Margarita – Verses From My Kitchen

39 – The Best Barbecue Beans – Serious Eats

40 – Grilled Vegetables with Za’atar Vinaigrette – David Lebovitz

 Dessert

bbq recipes

Isn’t it annoying when you finish grilling all your food and the charcoal still has loads of cooking time left in it?  Feels like such a waste.  Fear not! There’s always pud…

41 – Campfire Grilled Smore Calzones – Half Baked Harvest

42 – Toasted Marshmallow Charred Bread and Banana Sticks with Chocolate Fondue – Martha Stewart

43 – Grilled Shortcake Skewers – betsylife

Other

These recipes were too good to leave out but too abstract to fit in any of my other categories. ‘Lambypops’? Greatest name ever. Plus, that BBQ sauce sounds so easy and so delicious that it’s almost a crime not to make some for every BBQ…

44 – Marinated Greek Lamb Souvlaki recipe (Skewers) with Pita and Tzatziki – My Greek Dish

45 – Grilled Leg of Lamb – not without salt

46 – Szechuan Lambypops with Cilantro Chimichurri – Food52

47 – Apple Cider BBQ Sauce – Amuse Your Bouche

Drink

Strawberry Peach Cordial

I couldn’t do a list of BBQ recipes without including a few drinks.  There’s something about eating outdoors that inspires a bit more creativity – plus it’s a great excuse to use more of those wonderful seasonal ingredients… This time, I’ve chosen a few of my own – didn’t want to leave ALL the work to the guys in the posts above!

48 – Strawberry Peach Iced Tea – Eat Drink Cook

49 – My Perfect Sangria – Eat Drink Cook

50 – Pimms

bbq recipes

Now, I was going to include a recipe for My Perfect Pimms here but as luck would have it, the lovely people at Pimms have sent me a selection of Pimms Drinks to try so I thought I’d tell you about those instead (my Pimms recipe coming soon though!)

Pictured above is Pimms Summer Crush, which combines the frozen taste of Pimms with hints of strawberry and cucumber.

bbq recipes

Or what about Pimms Cider Cup? 

This is a wonderfully British combination of the crisp taste of English cider and the glorious flavours of Pimm’s. It wouldn’t be the same without a hint of strawberry and cucumber, so the makers of Pimm’s have kindly added that in too. There’s no need for chopping – it’s a union made in heaven.

Fig & Goat’s Cheese Crostini with a Honey, Orange & Basil Dressing

Crisp toasts, topped with creamy goats cheese, sweet, soft figs and a delicate honey, orange and basil dressing…

You know those meals that are are really special? The ones you spend hours preparing but it’s totally worth it because they’re such a treat?

Well this isn’t one of those.

fig and goats cheese crostini

Instead, do you know those dishes which can be whipped up in a flash but when presented to your eager diners, will be met with ‘ooohs’ and ‘aaaaahs’ and ‘how lovelys!’ The reason being that sometimes the food just speaks for itself.  Sometimes, beautiful, fresh and perhaps unusual ingredients can make a dish just as special (if not more so), without the need for endless toiling.

Happy days dear readers! This recipe, is one of those.

fig and goats cheese crostini

Fig & Goat’s Cheese Crostini with a Honey, Orange & Basil Dressing

Makes 18

You will need:

50 ml extra virgin olive oil

Juice of 1/2 orange

1 tbs runny honey

1 tbs chopped fresh basil

1 stale small baguette, thinly sliced along the diagonal (approx 1/2 cm thick)

1 x 120 g soft, round goats cheese

3 small figs, finely sliced lengthways (you should get about 6 slices per fig)

fig and goats cheese crostini

  •  Mix together the oil, orange juice, honey and chopped basil and then season.
  • Now heat up a griddle pan and then paint both sides of each of your bread slices with the dressing
  • Toast them on the griddle pan until golden on each side (a couple of mins per side)
  • Now remove to a plate and put a small bit of goats cheese on each, finally topping with a slice of fig
  • Lastly, drizzle over more of the dressing and season to taste
  • Easy-peasy! Think you’ve got time for a sneaky G&T before your guests arrive…

 

Strawberry Peach Iced Tea

You know those really hot, oppressive summer days when the air feels heavy and no matter what you do, you just can’t get cool?

Doing anything feels like wading through water and that’s just emphasised by the dampness of your clothing and brow…

What you need is my Strawberry and Peach Iced Tea – sweet, refreshing summer in a glass…

Strawberry Peach Iced Tea

Fruit teas, herbal teas and green teas are a bit like blue cheese, caviar and olives. I’m not comparing them taste-wise (although in the case of some green teas, I’m not sure that comparison would be far off the mark..) What I’m saying is, you feel like you really ought to like them because, well they’re super cool right?  Only, try as you might, you just don’t get it.

(Actually, truth be told, I TOTALLY dig olives – not literally – they’re picked from trees dontcha know? … but you get the idea.)

Strawberry Peach Cordial

Maybe it’s just me, but there’s something about fruit teas, iced tea and all that malarky, which just isn’t British.  We have our tea steaming hot and in a mug (or teacup) thank you very much.  A teapot is preferred, a biscuit to dunk is a treat – and don’t get me started on when the milk should be added.… it’s a steaming hot topic and no mistake.

Strawberry Peach Iced Tea

I briefly dabbled with mint tea just after the birth of my second son – but more because of its supposed ability to settle an upset tummy than because I thought it sounded particularly tasty. I must confess, I was pleasantly surprised.  It wasn’t awful.  That’s as far as I’d go. Put it this way, I had my son in February 2014 and I haven’t managed to finish that box of tea bags yet…

Seth

More recently, a friend enticed me to try more of a spiced tea – with cloves, cardamom and cinnamon.  It was pretty tasty.  I haven’t finished that box either.

For more of my musings on tea, check out these posts..

Food Hugs

My Chai

strawberry peach iced tea

This year, I thought I’d have a go at making my own version – Peach and Strawberry Iced Tea.  I mean, iced teas are a pretty big deal in a lot of places so there must be something to them right?

As it turns out – YES! 

The first step was to make a Peach & Strawberry Syrup, which by the way, makes your whole house smell amazing so if your home is on the market, then the time to  make this is just before you have people coming for a viewing. Guaranteed sale. 🙂

stawberry peach cordial

Peach & Strawberry Syrup

(Makes approx 700 ml)

2 peaches, chopped

200 g strawberries

200 g caster sugar (if you have vanilla sugar then use half this and half normal caster)

500 ml water

  • Bung everything in a saucepan on a medium heat and stir until the sugar has dissolved.
  • Bring to a gentle simmer and then turn off the heat
  • Using a fork, mush up all the fruit to get out as much of the juice
  • Leave to cool completely
  • Push through a fine sieve or muslin cloth (depending on just how pure you want it) and then funnel into a bottle.

Strawberry Peach Iced Tea

strawberry peach iced tea

You will need

tea bags

water

Strawberry Peach Cordial

I haven’t put amounts here – it really depends on whether you want to just make a glass for you or a jug. The basic directions are:

  • Make tea – leaving to brew as long as your personal taste desires (I find, if left too long though, it makes the drink a touch bitter – you’ve been warned!)
  • Leave to cool completely
  • Pour 1/3 cordial and 2/3 tea and then add ice
  • Go outside in the sun and feel refreshed!

PS – I don’t own one (yet) but if I did, I would absolutely serve this Peach Tea in one of these amazing clear teapots!

Strawberry Peach Cordial

The fantastic thing about the Strawberry Peach Cordial that you’ve just made is that it will keep in the fridge for a week or so and can also be used for these gorgeous drinks..

Strawberry Peach Prosecco

Just a splash of cordial at the bottom of the glass before pouring your Prosecco and hey presto 🙂

Strawberry Peach Prosecco

Sparkling Strawberry Peach Cordial

A great one for the kids this one.  Just add sparkling water.

Sparkling Strawberry Peach Cordial

One last thing…

If you’ve enjoyed this post or this recipe then please do share it with your chums and let me know in the comments.  I’d love to hear from you!

What’s in season in August?

August has a lot of pressure on it in my book.  I always consider it to be the heart of the British summer and the sultriest month of the year.  So when it isn’t, then that’s summer ruined.  August is the last chance for a heatwave – next stop, Autumn, so it had better be good!

With clement conditions, August brings forth yet more wonderful seasonal produce for us to drool over, dribble down our fronts and delight in…

Fruit & Vegetables in season in August

Blackberries

Figs

Plums

Celery

Sweetcorn

Marrow

Figs always remind me of wonderful childhood holidays in Malaga, with my Auntie and Uncle.  They grow figs and at this time of year, there is always an absolute glut (if that’s possible – not sure there is such a thing as too many figs!) so we would have them for breakfast with Greek yoghurt & honey,  for lunch with salad, Serrano ham and goats cheese and for snacks whenever the mood took us…which it often did.

Fig Recipes from Martha Stewart

Sweetcorn is one of those wonderful vegetables which is so simple to  prepare but so wonderful to experience – emphasis on the word ‘experience’ and not just ‘eat’.  Who isn’t taken back to childhood BBQ’s or summer meals, where you’d gnaw at the cob to get every last kernel, buttery goodness all over your face but you really don’t care because it’s just so good?

As for plums and blackberries, these always signal the first signs of Autumn to me (alert! alert!) but what sweeter, juicier signals could you ask for?  They’re just begging to be picked and turned into all manner of wonderful jams and puddings – all of which will make you feel much better about the impending arrival of colder weather and darker evenings.

Plum Recipes from BBC food 

Meat & Fish in season in August

Grouse

Crayfish

I love all shellfish.  My son often asks me what my favourite food is and after much tortuous soul searching, I nearly always tell him that it’s crab.  

The crayfish which is native to our waters is actually protected, but luckily, our waters are teeming with the Signal Crayfish, originating from North America. These are fair game and even fairer eating. 

Barbecued Lime and Chilli Crayfish – Nadia Lim

Foraging

 Samphire

Early damsons

Wild mushrooms

I’ve always dreamed of living by the sea.  I even have my own ‘Dream Beach House‘ board on Pinterest for goodness sake!  I long for romantic candlelit dinners on the beach and long, barefoot walks with my big, shaggy (currently non-existent) dog, first thing in the morning as the sun just starts to rise on another perfect, blue skied day….. ahem, anyway, one of the OTHER reasons, is that I rather like the idea of foraging for wonderful seaside goodies like sea purslane and samphire.  If you’ve never tasted samphire, then the best way that I can describe it is to say that it tastes of the sea and (not surprisingly), goes best with other seafood.

Wild mushrooms are another goodie, which signal the start of Autumn.  While crab is probably my favourite food (I can’t bring myself to commit 100%), then Wild Mushroom Risotto (done well) is probably among my favourite meals (again, notice the lack of real commitment – afterall, there are just so many others!)

1 2 3