Sun, sun, sun

You may have heard other British bloggers talking about the amazing weather we've been having. I"m sure that if you're not from the UK you'll find it incredibly boring; but if you've ever lived here you'll realise that a spot of sunshine is rare enough!

At the weekend my family and I made the most of the warm sun and had a barbecue. We invited about 40 people and so to save money and time in the kitchen we asked each of them to bring something a salad, pudding or drinks. All we had to do was buy the meat and buns and set up the garden! 

We began just after midday. The tables and chairs were laid, crisps dished out and a very hungry dog thought that he'd like to try them too…

By two o'clock the meat was sizzling on the barbecue. We chose beef burgers, sausages and then made three different types of chicken - plain, tandoori and lemon and rosemary. Before going out in the morning we mixed the chicken pieces into their marinades and then all we had to do was stick them on the barbecue and wait for them to cook! 

Our guests really pulled out all the stops.
Pasta salads, potato salad and many lovely variations on a basic green salad all inspired me to try some different recipes this summer.

As per usual, the desserts were stunning. Cheesecakes and meringues, pies and cakes… some even came with squirty cream for serving! 

We had a lovely sunny day and it didn't rain once. Have you had your barbecue yet? 

This is one of the recipes for the chicken which we used. It's based on Jamie Oliver's herb marinated chicken and is brilliant if you're looking for something with a little flavour! Eat with rolls and salads if you're outside; or if the weather isn't treating you well try it with new potatoes and green veg. 

Lemon and Rosemary Grilled Chicken 
8 Chicken breasts
Juice and zest of 3 lemons 
2 handfuls fresh rosemary
10 dsp olive oil
Freshly ground salt and pepper

These are quantities for a party. You can easily reduce it if you've got a smaller number of people coming over, or cook it all and save for salads and sandwiches the next day! 

1. Strip the rosemary of its leaves and pound them with a mortar and pestle to encourage the flavours out. Put the leave in a large bowl with the lemon, olive oil and salt and pepper. Cut the chicken up into long pieces and place in the marinade.

2. Leave to marinade for at least 3 hours. When ready to eat, remove the chicken from the marinade and barbecue or grill until white all the way through.