Sunday, June 30, 2013

Refreshing Ginger Lemonade

When it's summertime and the living is easy, what nicer way to cool down than with a glass of homemade lemonade!! I've added freshly grated ginger to give the lemonade a burst of zing and extra freshness. It's super retro and perfect for serving at tea parties, kids parties and barbecues.


  • 4 lemons
  • 4 tbsp of caster sugar
  • 1 thumb size peeled and grated ginger
  • 2 litres of soda or sparkling water
  • Lots of ice


  1. Squeeze the juice of 2 lemons into a saucepan and add the sugar and ginger.
  2. Bring to the boil and allow to bubble for 10 minutes for the liquid to reduce to a syrup ( do not stir when sugar is on the heat)
  3. Allow the syrup to cool completely.
  4. Thinly slice 2 lemons and add to a jug of iced sparkling water/soda water.
  5. Pour in half the syrup, reserving the rest for a refill.

This would make a terrific vodka cocktail also, for those of us who would be inclined...

Tuesday, June 11, 2013

Thai BBQ Prawns

This is a quick and easy recipe for Thai BBQ prawns. All you need is some metal skewers and sunshine, and then you're ready to throw some shrimp on the barbie!!!

Although sunshine is preferred, it is rarely guaranteed, so this recipe is just as good cooked on a griddle pan.

Makes 2 skewers


  • 8 Crevettes (prawns, uncooked, unshelled)
  • 2 metal skewers
  • Thai marinade

  • 1 inch piece of ginger, peeled and finely diced
  • 1 garlic clove, peeled and finely diced
  • 1/2 a red chilli, finely diced
  • 1 stick of lemongrass, peeled and finely diced
  • 3 tbsp of diced fresh coriander
  • Zest and juice of 1 lime
  • 1 tbsp of oil


  1. Mix all the marinade ingredients together.
  2. Add the prawns to the marinade and leave for 3 minutes.
  3. Place 4 prawns on each metal skewer (starting with the 'neck' and push the skewer out again at the 'tail')
  4. Either place the skewers on a hot BBQ or Griddle pan and cook for 2 minutes and turn them and cook for a further minute.
Deshelling prawns can be quite messy so be prepared to get your fingers messy, though after you can lick them clean!!! Have a small bowl of lemon water and napkins handy to de-prawn.

Thursday, June 6, 2013

Quick Rustic Basil & Almond Pesto

I promised my husband some pesto pasta this evening for dinner, and it was only at the last minute I realised my pesto jar was finished. I have no Parmesan nor pine nuts; but I do have great whole almonds and a particularly awesome bottle of olive oil from olive farmers we stayed with in Sicily in October.

The olive oil is from the groves of a Bed and Breakfast we stayed at in Ciuci's Manor near Agrigento in Sicily. If you are ever going to Sicily then a stay in this B&B should be top of the list. Fabulous hosts in such amazing surroundings, and the breakfast was outstanding.

 So figure I would make an almond & basil pesto instead, very rustic. This is not an authentic pesto recipe, but by using fantastic high quality ingredients, the result is a pesto bursting with flavour. (in particular by using the best oil you can get your hands on)


  • 2 large handfuls of fresh basil leaves
  • 100g of toasted whole almonds (dry fry in a pan for a few minutes, and cooled)
  • 1 garlic clove, grated
  • Salt and pepper
  • 150mls olive oil.


  1. In a food processor, add all the ingredients and pulse, adding a little oil at a time. ( I try not to over-process the pesto, as I like a little bit of texture and this is what gives it a wonderful rustic feel.

Serving Suggestion

Mix a few spoons of pesto through cooked pasta and garnish with extra basil leaves (torn).

Wednesday, June 5, 2013

Harissa Spiked BBQ Chicken Kebabs

We have got to make the most out of this glorious summer heatwave we have at the moment, as going by previous summers lately, it could be short lived! So we'll be dining alfresco and having dinner from the bbq grill for as long as we possibly can.
Its not a weekend, so we are trying to keep the dinners low fat where possible. These spicy and smoky harissa spiked chicken kebabs are so tasty, you don't even realise that they are really low fat and very healthy!
I'm pairing the kebabs with a simple green salad and some couscous salad for the hubbie.


  • 2 chicken breasts, cut into strips
  • 2 tbsp of harissa paste
  • 1 lemon, zest and juice
  • 1/2 garlic clove
  • 1 tsp of orange marmalade
  • Pepper

To Serve (optional extras)

  • Greek yogurt
  • Salad
  • Flat breads


  1. In a bowl add the chicken and the remaining ingredients. 
  2. Mix well and leave to marinade for an hour or so.
  3. Fire up the BBQ or preheat a grill to medium
  4. Thread a metal/wooden skewer with the chicken and grill, until cooked, turning often.

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