Tag Archives: Limoncello

Make Entertaining Easy

The good weather just begs you to eat outside.  Let’s face it, we eat in the other 363 days of the year.  So as soon as the sun comes out for at least 4 hours, we just want to get the wine chilling and the family over and start entertaining.

Entertaining

The Table outside is the first step

The impromptu get together initially started out as drinks and nibbles.  But we got a little* adventurous.  We had some fresh minced beef that we were going to make into burgers for our own dinner, so we changed that idea and made lots of mini burgers to share.  I had already made the pre-requisite brioche dough to make burger buns, so these were just made a little smaller.  

Mini Burgers

Mini Burgers

I decided to bake these in the oven, so as to avoid the messiness of the BBQ.  They are too small to cook without careful supervision, after all the time my better half spent shaping them, it would not do well to burn them! Course I don’t need an excuse to make the brioche.  One of my favourite breads.  I just love it.  

Brioche

Brioche after it’s first proving

Next on Nigel’s list was the focaccia and grissini. Both are perfect for a party, and went down extremely well.  He loaded the focaccia with lots of garlic and rosemary, which was really tasty, but if we’d been catering for a group that were not family- i may have cut down on the amount of garlic!   We also grilled some asparagus rolled with prosciutto, some sausages were also baked for the smaller members of the family.  

Entertaining

Fresh from the oven, the softest of focaccia

And although Nigel mentioned at one point that there were ALOT of sausages- they all were eaten. I thought I had a bottle of Pimms in the pantry.  But must have used it for entertaining at some other point.  So we went with a limoncello mixed with lemonade and some strawberries for the adults.  And some Naturally Cordial Lemonade mixed with the same white lemonade and strawberries for those not partaking in alcohol.  

Entertaining

Limoncello with strawberries and white lemonade

It’s then simply a matter of putting everything on the table and waiting for your guests to arrive. Something sweet isn’t necessary, but it’s a good way of signalling to the guests that their time is coming to an end, on this occasion I made a lemon scented sponge with a sugar syrup icing, and salted caramel chocolate brownies.  As it happens when I put them both on the table, I went to the other end of the kitchen to whip some cream as an accompaniment- when I cam back they were nearly all gone!

Entertaining

Something Sweet to finish the evening off

If you like entertaining, but don’t have the time to cater, call me for help! I’d be delighted to turn your party into a feast. 

 

Home. The place to practice.

I went home last weekend and was delighted to see everyone, and all the animals. My oldest cat, Percy, ignored me.  Punishment I’d say.

Nicki & Percy

Nicki & Percy

Eile, the collie was delighted to see me, but there again is delighted to see anyone, a true guard dog.

Eile watching it all from her bench

Eile watching it all from her bench

Eddie the donkey was happy to get a visit too, although my beautiful mare was more interested in Nigel’s apples.

Eddie and the stag

Eddie and the stag

Missy in the field

Missy in the field

I am truly lucky to have a wonderful kitchen that we can all be in together, either cooking or just chatting.  But it was a hive of activity as I practised ( and showed off just a little!), my new recipes and skills.

Celeriac soup with Chorizo crumb, served with the Ballymaloe Brown bread

Celeriac soup with Chorizo crumb, served with the Ballymaloe Brown bread

I STILL haven’t got the bread just right, but it’s improving.  Some things we saw in demo, we didn’t get a chance to make during the week, Limoncello – so of course I had to start that process

The start of the limoncello

The start of the limoncello

The chocolate fudge pudding went down a complete treat, but there simply wasn’t enough time to photograph it as it was simply inhaled!

Ballymaloe Cookery Schools Demo photo

Ballymaloe Cookery Schools Demo photo

 

Scones and bread, staples of any good weekend

Scones and bread, staples of any good weekend

I look forward to more practice this weekend.