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It’s Summer!

01 January 2013 Natalie Darnell

It’s Summer!

It’s summer!

A perfect time to entertain by the pool

Aussies are well known for their laid back nature; there’s nothing we love more than a backyard gathering by the pool and BBQ, complete with simple but delicious food and drink!

The festive season gives us a chance to invite our loved ones around for a good meal and some good fun, so why not plan a little gathering around your pool over the Christmas break? The pool is perfect entertainment for the kids and adults alike, and will provide an escape from the hot weather as well!

The trick to having a relaxed Christmas is to keep things simple. Here a few easy ideas for you to make entertaining a breeze.

Main courses
For the main meal, having a few different things that you can throw onto the BBQ always makes things Food_super simple. Marinated salmon, beef steak, prawns or a variety of flavoured sausages and vegetables will give everyone plenty of choice.

A great idea that adds some colour to your plate is to make some festive salsa to pair with your BBQ meat; simply mix chopped tomatoes, coriander, red onion and red chilli together in a bowl and throw in some lime juice and spices.

An even simpler idea for those wanting to be able to prepare everything prior to the occasion is to put together a traditional cold meat and cheese platter; this allows guests to choose which meat takes their fancy, whether that be ham, turkey, beef, lamb or chicken.

Pair this with some mixed roast vegetables, and you’ve got yourself one easy and delicious meal!

Salads are always a great side dish for any meal. A simple crunchy garden salad is perfect for a hot summer’s day; or for those wanting to try something different, a quinoa or rice salad will also give everyone their dose of vegetables.

Roast pumpkin and quinoa salad

  • 500g butternut pumpkin, peeled, cut into 2.5cm cubes
  • 1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
  • 2 teaspoons Moroccan seasoning
  • 3/4 cup quinoa, rinsed, drained
  • 2 tablespoons lemon juice
  • 1 tablespoon finely chopped preserved lemon
  • 1/2 cup fresh coriander leaves
  1. Preheat oven to 220C/200C fan-forced. Place pumpkin, oil and seasoning in a bowl. Toss to coat. Transfer to a baking tray lined with baking paper. Roast for 20 to 25 minutes, turning once, or until golden and tender.
  2. Meanwhile, place quinoa and 1 1/2 cups cold water in a saucepan over high heat. Cover and bring to the boil. Reduce heat to low. Simmer for 10 to 12 minutes or until liquid is absorbed.
  3. Place quinoa in a heatproof bowl. Add pumpkin, lemon juice, preserved lemon and coriander. Season with salt and pepper. Toss gently to combine. Serve.


Desserts
Now for the sweet stuff! The options with dessert are endless…
For the kids, you could make your own icy pops filled with fruit. Simply pour fruit juice and a handful of chopped fruit into moulds and pop in the freezer a few days before. Easy!

Other fruity ideas include an Aussie pavlova, or a traditional fruit salad with ice cream or yoghurt for the health conscious.

If you are more of a chocolate fan, a mars bar slice, chocolate soufflé or salted caramel and chocolate tart will go down a treat with your guests.

Drinks
What a great occasion to crack open a bottle of some of the best Aussie wine! We have some great wineries in Australia, including:

  • Cape Mentelle
  • Yalumba
  • Temple Bruer
  • Tamburlaine
  • Wynns Connawarra Estate
  • Penfolds

Check out their range of wines and take your pick for the big day!

And of course a cold beer or cider never goes amiss. Pull out the esky and chuck a case of your favourite brew inside for added convenience! For those preferring a non-alcoholic beverage, see the fantastic and refreshing recipe below:

Iced apple and citrus tea

  • slices of apple, orange, lime and lemonFood_drink
  • 750mL bottle sparkling apple juice
  • ice cubes
  • 6 cinnamon apple tea bags
  1. Place tea bags in a large bowl filled with 6 cups of cold water. Place in fridge to chill for one hour.
  2. Remove the tea bags and add slices of fruit. Put back in the fridge for another 30 mins.
  3. Put ice cubes in a large serving jug, followed by the tea and fruit mixture and sparkling apple juice.

Recipes from taste.com