Cooking and eating outdoors, in the open air, is far more relaxed and mindful than exactly the same meal prepared and eaten indoors.
It really is high summer, a time for long evenings, barbecues, and alfresco dining. Chill the wine and the beer, and prepare to be relaxed and happy. This week we are going to concentrate on salads and vegetables to go along with whatever meat or fish you have on the grill. Unless you’re vegetarian or vegan, or just like vegetables, in which case a lot of these recipes will make a complete meal for you.
Personally, I just love salads.
From San Diego cook Averie Sunshine we have this dish of grilled vegetables with smoky honey mustard dipping sauce ~ looks fabulous. Averie says this recipe is easy ~ ready in 5 minutes ~ healthy and there’s zero cleanup. Grilling vegetables is so very good.
Grilled Vegetables with Smoky Honey Mustard Dipping Sauce
The Bojon Gourmet has a very elegant looking dish, a summer vegan green goddess salad ~ avocado, crispy lettuce, tomatoes, cucumber, seeds and a cashew herb dressing. I think this salad looks interesting, different, tasty, and refreshing. I also think that most of us could add our own little interesting twist to this recipe.
Summer Vegan Green Goddess Salad
The cool and together Jessica at How Sweet Eats has published a recipe for a 20 minute Thai avocado salad, and you have to admit this looks fantastic, filled with taste and texture. I guess it’s 20 minutes if you can use a chef’s knife.
20 Minute Thai Avocado Salad
Elise Bauer at Simply Recipes has found for us this dish by Summer Miller; lentil salad with summer vegetables. This should take you 35 minutes to make, and is a brilliant side dish, or as a light lunch. Make a lot and take some to work the following day.
Lentil Salad with Summer Vegetables
Heather Christo has a different kind of recipe for a warm summer afternoon, this tomato peach and avocado salad with cilantro vinaigrette. Heather says that this is a beautifully simple 30 minute salad that will totally blow your socks off. I tend to agree. Nice to take to work for lunch too.
Tomato Peach and Avocado Salad with Cilantro Vinaigrette
I very much like the recipes from Cookie + Kate, and this one is no exception. Anyway, what’s not to like about colourful strawberry arugula salad with balsamic vinaigrette?
Colourful Strawberry Arugula Salad with Balsamic Vinaigrette.
Lastly for this week, from Chungah at Damn Delicious we have 15 quick and easy vegetable side dishes. This cool collection includes this 25 minute recipe for baked Parmesan mushrooms ~ I love baked mushrooms. Actually I often like side dishes and appetisers better than the entrée.
Baked Parmesan Mushrooms
Marmaduke also likes salads
The blue sky in July trembles like a butterfly.
It’s high summer. I have just returned from Turkey and the best vacation ever. The food in Turkey was fabulous, and went perfectly with their hot summer sunshine.
These recipes may not all be authentically Turkish, but they are all the kind of dishes you would get in the better Turkish restaurants in the tourist areas, and they will all go perfectly with our long summer days.
First up this week, found by Elise Bauer at Simply Recipes, we have 4 Great Add-Ins for Hummus. Hummus is almost an essential component of a Turkish banquet, and these ideas from Katie Workman are just brilliant. I especially like the roasted red pepper hummus, and Katie even tells us how to make perfect roasted peppers.
Now, from at How Sweet Eats we have summer BBQ Quinoa Salad, which is a perfectly Turkish inspired side dish, or a lighter meal to take to work.
Summer BBQ Quinoa and Chicken Salad
Well now, OK, this recipe for orozo stuffed red peppers with lemony basil tomatoes from Tieghan Gerard at Half Baked Harvest is actually Greek, but I had an exactly similar dish when I was in Turkey. This is a very quick and easy 30 minute vegetarian dish, (other than it has cheese, but you can buy vegan cheese).
Greek Orozo Stuffed Red Peppers with Lemony Basil Tomatoes.
From lovely San Diego girl Averie Sunshine we have this wonderful looking dish of Peach Chili Grilled Chicken, just the kind of thing you could be served in the better Turkish restaurants in the tourist parts of the country. This damn easy 10 minute dish needs no cleanup afterwards ~ how cool is all that?
Peach Chili Grilled Chicken
I almost never feature the same cook twice in one Food on Friday, but here’s another Dish from Tieghan Gerard, at Half Baked Harvest. Turkish fried eggs in herbed yogurt. You could have these at breakfast, lunch, or dinner ~ and the whole thing takes only 30 minutes to prepare.
Turkish Fried Eggs in Herbed Yogurt
For desert, this is another sort-of Greek dish: frozen honey Greek yogurt dipped strawberries, shown to us by Andrea at Cooking with a Wallflower. But, there is nothing to stop you from using Turkish honey and Turkish yogurt to make this guilt free desert recipe.
Frozen Honey Greek Yogurt Dipped Strawberries
Finally for this week we have a great collection of Turkish recipes from Delicious Magazine, including this fabulous Lamb Kofte Tagine. This is an easy 30 minute dish that would make a super mid-week meal, or something fast for a Saturday night in with friends. Buy Turkish beer to go with it.
Lamb Kofte Tagine
we sat in an outdoors restaurant watching the parasailors landing.
how cool was that?
Land is the far greatest of fraudulent perpetual monopolies. ~ Winston Churchill
As it goes, and speaking as a guy with 30 odd years of banking under his belt, in the long term, financially, your beach home / house / apartment is worth less than nothing.
You may say that it’s been valued at $1,350,000 but what does that actually mean?
It means that if you sell the place, then that’s what you’ll get. Less all the bloodsucking bankers, lawyers, and realtors fees.
You’ll probably plough the $1,350,000 into a bigger place that’s notionally worth $1,450,000. And, in human terms that new place is worth even less than nothing. You will work much harder to keep it.
All you are doing is paying rent, and working harder to keep the place….. And, then you’ll die.
The only way your $1,500,000 place is worth anything at all to you is if you sell up and live in a van.
Real Estate is all about cost. Look at your monthly / annual bills and you will see that your house is costing you a fucking fortune. Any bum can have 80% of what you have for nothing. Trust me, I know, I’ve been there.
Any First Nations elder will tell you that property is expensive theft.
Banking and the real estate industry is built on the notion that your property is intrinsically worth something, and it isn’t. You can’t take it with you, and when the next Big One comes it won’t even be there.
But, even though I know that the Wizard is a fraud, I will never persuade you.
For the truth means you have too much to lose.
I thought about a school bus once,
but then I’d want a woman to share it with me,
one of sour, two of sweet, three of strong, and four of weak
And that’s how to make Planters’ Rum Punch, an Englishman’s preferred drink to go along with a summer barbecue. The strong is Caribbean Dark Rum, (or try Woods 100), and the sour is fresh lime juice. You can guess the rest ~ (simple syrup and iced water).
Well now, this coming Monday, the 28th of May, is Memorial Day in the USA. It’s also the Spring Bank Holiday here in Great Britain. For some of us this is the first real day of summer, more or less ~ although the weather in most of England and America hasn’t been very summery of late.
Particularly in the USA, this coming Monday is the time to clean the cobwebs of that old barbecue, dust down the patio furniture, invite some friends overs, and hang out in the yard eating, drinking, and shooting the
So, for this week’s Food on Friday I’m going to feature stuff that goes well with kicking back outdoors.
I know a very nice American girl who really likes cilantro and lime. So, first to the BBQ this week is Jessica Merchant from Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania and her blog How Sweet Eats. Jessica has this cool recipe for Cilantro Lime Flank Steak, and while it will only take you 20 minutes to cook in the broiler, you need to start marinading the steak on Sunday. Make plenty and take the leftovers to work on Tuesday, (if there are any leftovers).
Cilantro Lime Flank Steak
From San Diego we have the sunshine girl Averie with her Grilled Steak Kabobs, (funny we call these things kebabs in England). You will want a good top sirloin steak for these rich looking skewers. Again, these will cook very fast on the grill, but you want to allow at least 4 hours for the marinade to work.
Grilled Steak Kabobs
If you don’t like steak, then what about these Honey BBQ Chicken Kabobs from Chungah at Damn Delicious. Again this dish will only take you 20 minutes to cook on the grill, but you need to allow a couple of extra hours for the marinade to do its work. Looks tasty to me.
Honey BBQ Chicken Kabobs
To go with all this meat you’re going to cook on your freshly cleaned BBQ, you’re going to need some salad, and from Andrea at Cooking with a Wallflower, we have this good looking dish; Avocado Corn Caprese Salad, dressed with a honey balsamic vinaigrette. Looks so delicious and refreshing.
Avocado Corn Caprese Salad
From the Californian White on Rice couple we have a very different Grilled Romaine and Corn Salad, something you can make on your BBQ in under half an hour ~ while you’re grilling your other vegetables too. (If you’re cooking any vegetables…)
Grilled Romaine & Corn Salad
I know that most of you like the recipe collections I feature, and here’s another one. From Olive magazine we have the 32 Best Ever BBQ Recipes to help you enjoy the sunshine this coming Memorial Day. I particularly like this very quick and easy recipe for Miami-Style Blackened Fish Sandwich with Smoked Paprika Mayo ~ ready in just 20 minutes. Me, I’d use salmon, tuna, or swordfish to make a really top-notch blackened fish sandwich.
Miami-Style Blackened Fish Sandwich with Smoked Paprika Mayo
Should you want to make a dessert for your guests, then Elise Bauer at Simply Recipes has found us a collection of 9 Crowd-Pleasing Desserts for Your Memorial Day Party. I particularly like the look of this Lemon Poppy Seed Bundt Cake recipe by Cindy Rahe.
Lemon Poppy Seed Bundt Cake
And finally this Friday, for those of us who aren’t content just to suck back beers, we have another collection from Wide Open Eats, 20 Best Big Batch Cocktails for Backyard BBQs and Lazy Sundays. As a very practiced consumer of alcoholic beverages I particularly like the look of this Pitcher Hurricane Cocktail. this recipe is to make a gallon of the stuff. Personally I’d just tip in a whole bottle of both dark rum and light rum, (and I’d also miss out the metrosexual umbrellas), but that’s me for you.
Pitcher Hurricane Cocktail
the English version of Memorial Day is observed on Remembrance Sunday, as near as possible to November 11th
It’s a solemn occasion.
There is scarcely anything that will drag you down like debt.
Basically there are two ways we can have more cash to spend on the things we really like, want, and desire ~ one is to go out and get more money, earn it, marry it, inherit it, steal it….
The other way to have more cash to spend on the things we really like is to spend less on ‘essentials’ ~ the things we have to buy to survive.
For if we remember our Dickens and what Mr. Micawber said in David Copperfield, happiness lies in spending less than we earn, and unhappiness lies in spending more than we actually have.
There are some tried and tested ways to spend less on the boring essentials. In my quest for minimalistic living, I have personal, (sometimes very bitter), experience of all of these following ideas:
- Live in a smaller place. Smaller homes cost less to buy, attract lower property taxes, and use less utilities; water, gas, electricity.
- If you can, switch your utilities provider to a better and cheaper company. All utilities companies are money-grabbing vultures, but try to choose the best of a bad lot.
- Drive a smaller car. Smaller cars are less expensive to buy and insure, and in general use much less gas than a bigger car with more weight and a bigger engine. If you buy a classic smaller car, as opposed to the latest model, then you won’t even suffer from depreciation.
- Switch your car insurance to a better and cheaper company.
- Learn some DIY skills. You don’t have to use expensive and useless contractors, car mechanics, cleaners, or gardeners. It’s cheaper and better if you do as much as you can for yourself.
- Cut out impulse purchases. On impulse, too many of us buy too much stuff that we don’t actually need, want, or really like. All that stuff clutters up our home and convinces us that we need to move to a bigger place.
- Don’t marry a sexy trophy wife, (or toy boy), who will also want you to move into a bigger place. A trophy wife, (or toy boy), will end up costing you most of your treasure, and you’ll end up with a broken heart.
- Don’t try to buy love. It doesn’t work, it will cost you a fortune, and you’ll end up with a broken heart.
- Control your addictions….. booze, drugs, gambling, pornography, casual sex, smoking….. All of these will all cost you just about everything you have, including your self-respect.
- Resist the urge to have the latest and most expensive technologies. You don’t need a huge TV, costly cable, the newest computer, the best tablet, the most expensive iPhone with the most expensive contract.
- Buy whole foods rather than processed, heavily packaged, and generally bad for you costly crap.
- Buy generic brands. Trust me, I’ve been into factories where the expensive labels and generic brands are actually made on the same production line with exactly the same content. Only the packaging is different.
- If you can, then buy in bulk.
- Stop going out to lunch at work, instead take a packed lunch. Those people you go to lunch with are probably boring and certainly aren’t your real friends anyway. And, if you’re an average guy the women you take to lunch are never going to have sex with you, so you’re wasting your time and money.
- Don’t join a gym. Most of the people who have gym membership never go there. For great exercise take a long walk in the sunshine instead.
- Visit thrift stores, and if you find clothes you like, then save money and buy ‘pre-loved’ stuff.
- Don’t give to a big charity. (Have you any idea how much the bosses of the big charities pay themselves? The average pay across the top 100 charities is more than £250,000 a year, plus huge bonuses.)
- Don’t spend all your time drinking in pubs and bars ~ the booze is expensive there, and nobody in your favourite pub is your real friend anyway.
And finally, don’t spend on borrowed money, especially credit cards which all charge usury rates of interest. Credit cards are NOT money. Really, really, really NEVER use a payday lender, which all charge eye-watering criminal rates of interest.
You can probably think of some other money-saving tips of your own. For a month try making a note of what you actually spend your hard-earned on ~ I guarantee that you will be surprised and shocked. Learn what you actually spend your money on, and then you can start to control your finances.
Some say that money can’t buy happiness. And that a fool and his money are soon parted. All I know is that having money makes misery more bearable.
you can take the idea of living in a tiny home to the extreme…..
Good food is as welcome as the flowers in May.
It must be a couple of months since I last wrote a Food on Friday post so for today I originally decided that I was just going to choose some recipes that I really like the sound of, rather trying to stick to a theme.
Well actually, there will be a bit of a theme, I wanted to feature dishes which are pretty easy, don’t take so long to prepare, and will taste really good on a warm, early summer day. But, quite by accident there’s a lot of avocado this week. Must be something to do with some Mexican festival that happens tomorrow.
First up this week, from Tieghan at Half Baked Harvest, we have these cool baked egg crepes with spring herbs and avocado. You should really make your own crepes, but you can buy crepes at stores like Trader Joe’s, and just assemble the fillings. This 25 minute dish will make a great brunch on any nice early summer’s day.
Baked Egg Crepes with Spring Herbs and Avocado
From Chungah at Damn Delicious we have a nice recipe collection; 8 fast pasta dishes for busy weeknights. Here in England we don’t go much on Mac and Cheese, but from this collection there’s this super looking creamy broccoli mac and cheese. Qucik, easy, healthy, and nutritious.
Creamy Broccoli Mac and Cheese
Joy the Baker has this dangerous sounding dish; mango and jalepeno guacamole. I suspect that you’d want to accompany this with beer, rather than tequila.
Mango and Jalepeno Guacamole
Averie Sunshine at Averie Cooks has this nice and very easy dish; taco stuffed avocados ~ and you couldn’t get much more Cinco de Mayo than that. (Actually, I’m English and I know damn-all about Mexican food, or Cinco de Mayo.)
Taco Stuffed Avocados
And now for something completely different; Heather Christo has this brilliant idea which should appeal to all American men ~ the DIY guacamole bar. (At least it should keep the guys out of trouble for a while.)
DIY Guacamole Bar
And now, to celebrate National Guacamole Day, we give you 10 amazing guacamole recipes, brought to you by Shape magazine. This collection includes the amazing celery-spiked guacamole with chiles from bon appétit.
Celery-Spiked Guacamole with Chiles
Finally for this week, and realising that for those of you in the USA the 5th of May is a bit of a holiday, with a slight Mexican touch. From Elise Bauer at Simply Recipes we have 8 ways to show your love of avocados this Cinco de Mayo. Leaving aside a great recipe for guacamole, this collection also includes this interesting chicken posole salad ~ what a smashing idea, and wouldn’t the leftovers be good for lunch at work the following day?
Chicken Posole Salad
Just in case you’re not already satiated with avocado, check out 52 genius ways to get your avocado fix, from delish magazine. This also has lots of guacamole recipes, including BLT guacamole ~ and how cool is that?
Marmaduke is not a big fan of avocado
Is your lunch at work healthy and nutritious enough?
What do you eat for lunch at work? Leftovers, a packed lunch, a burger, sushi, or do you eat out at some greasy Mexican diner / restaurant? You know what? Whether you sit at a desk all day, work in a factory, or outdoors, your working life is unhealthy enough without you adding junk food into the mixture.
Regularly eating lunch out is just about the unhealthiest thing you can do during your working week. If you want to spend less money and become healthier, there’s one easy way to do it: stop eating lunch out. But, never, ever, eat your lunch at your desk ~ it’s disgusting and very unhealthy too.
Even though taking leftovers, or preparing your own packed lunch may seem healthy, nutritious, and good for you, a lot of the time what you’re eating for your lunch at work probably doesn’t contain what you need for optimal functioning. Dietician Susie Burrell has some ideas for what makes a perfect packed lunch, and so do the cooks we follow on this blog.
First this week we have Chungah at Damn Delicious who offers us 15 quick and easy lunch recipes that you are especially designed to take to work with no hassle, no more ordering out, and no more overspending at some unhealthy restaurant. From Chungah’s list of 15 easy lunch recipes I especially like her steak fajita salad.
Steak Fajita Salad
This is a very healthy, tasty, and nutritious lunch idea from Andrea at Cooking with a Wallflower: roasted asparagus mushroom quiche. This is easy to make and would be perfect for a weeknight dinner as well as something to take to work for lunch~ to be eaten either hot or cold. You can also freeze a quiche.
Roasted Asparagus Mushroom Quiche
If the weather is warm where you are you may want to have a salad at lunchtime, but don’t buy a pre-prepared salad, make your own. San Diego girl Averie Sunshine has 30 best easy healthy salads on her blog Averie Cooks; including this great looking loaded chicken taco salad with creamy lime-cilantro dressing. And, all Averie’s recipes take less than 30 minutes to prepare ~ she says you can make this fabulous salad in 15 minutes.
Loaded Chicken Taco Salad with Creamy Lime-Cilantro Dressing
There is no getting away from it, a sandwich makes a good packed lunch, and this is a good sandwich. From Tieghan Gerard at Half Baked harvest we have this Tuscan tuna sandwich, using ciabatta, tuna in oil, sliced avocado, cucumber, egg, arugula, purple cabbage, and feta ~ it should be nutritious enough, and other than the hard boiled egg, nothing needs to be cooked.
Tuscan Tuna Sandwich
If you have a microwave in your lunch room then a good soup is something you can prepare in advance and take to work for lunch. Jessica Merchant from How Sweet Eats has a recipe for easy lemon chicken soup, that more than fits the bill. If you pick the right ingredients you can have this soup ready in 30 minutes!
Easy Lemon Chicken Soup
Another nourishing soup recipe, this time by Joy Manning at thekitchn.com ; chicken lentil soup. It’s amazing what you can do if you buy a rotisserie chicken.
Chicken Lentil Soup
I have never featured anything from Cosmopolitan before, but there’s always a first time for everything. So, from Cosmo, we have here 17 healthy packed lunch ideas for work. Of this list I quite like #17 the grilled chicken and vegetable bowls, originally from Picky Palate. Allegedly these are less than 500 calories and cost less than $5 per bowl ~ how cool is that?
A big thank you to all the great cooks featured this week.