June 2023

BBQ Season - Sweets And Cocktails

BBQ Season: Sweets & Cocktails

If you have been following our BBQ series you are hopefully looking forward to our final installment, BBQ Season: Sweets & Cocktails. In our previous blogs, we explored the art of grilling juicy meats and creating delicious side dishes to accompany them. But, in my view, no BBQ experience would be complete without a grande finale. Yes, desserts and refreshing cocktails are definitely a must have for any successful BBQ. As always, we make it easy for you with these simple but delicious recipes. And, since nobody wants to spend time in a boiling kitchen in the summer, these desserts are also no bake. BBQ Desserts Pineapple Wedges With Rum Butter And Toasted Coconut If your family is anything like ours, it is likely that you will have little to no space for dessert following a BBQ. A vast amount of delicious meat often results in food comas at our house! That said, Evan and I ALWAYS have a special pocket for dessert regardless of how full we feel. This first dessert is an ideal dish in that it is refreshing and light however, given the addition of rum you may wish to have an alcohol-free version for the kids. Serves 4 Ingredients Directions White Chocolate Limoncello Tiramisu I made this recipe a few weeks ago for a family get-together and it was an absolute hit. I’m sure it will soon become a favourite at your summer BBQs or family meals. Filling Soak Drizzle Directions White Chocolate Mousse If you are making the limoncello tiramisu, use the leftover Rosselle Cream to make a non-alcoholic mousse for the kids. Ingredients Directions S’mores For those of you who have been, or currently are, Brownies, Girl Guides or Scouts (or are just American!) there can be no better ending to a BBQ than a good old S’more. The origins of s’mores can be traced back to the early 20th century when they first appeared in the Girl Scouts handbook in 1927. The name “s’more” is a contraction of the phrase “some more.” And, in our opinion, “some more” perfectly encapsulates the irresistible nature of this indulgent treat. Traditionally made with Graham Crackers we make ours with plain Digestives since Graham Crackers are hard to find in Gibraltar. Directions While the classic s’more holds a special place in our hearts, experimenting with different flavors can be a delightful adventure. Here are a few tantalizing variations to try: Want to receive exclusive recipes straight to your inbox? Then join the T.O.M tribe. It’s fun, it’s free and we won’t spam you! Perfect BBQ/Summer Drinks We guarantee you will have the perfect BBQ party if you make some of these for your guests. There’s definitely something for all tastes with our cocktails, mocktails, lemonades and smoothie options. Word of warning though, if you are having our cocktails, these are strong and VERY moreish. You might want to take it easy or stock up on the paracetamol! And that’s a wrap! We hope you have enjoyed our BBQ series and that you have a fabulous BBQ season. If you’ve missed any of our other BBQ posts be sure to check them out from Safety to Starters and Mains. Happy grilling. Sharing Is Caring: Related Articles:

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Cruising With Children

Cruising With Children

Having been avid cruise lovers for a number of years we have recently been vacationing at Disney or various cities across the US.  However, this year our family has decided that it is time to once again experience cruising with children.  Why Choose Cruising With Children Cruising with children is a fantastic way to create lasting memories and explore many countries over a short period of time.  Previous Cruising With Children Experience Mediterranean Cruise Our first experience of cruising with children was when Evan was just seven months old.  Let me tell you, that holiday required military precision planning!   Evan was bottle fed so we had to be sure that we took enough bottles and formula to last the holiday with extras in case of emergency.  Then there’s the nappies, medication, and spare dummies.  Travel bottle steriliser.  Plenty of vests and change of clothing. Favourite soft toy… It seemed like the list went on and on!  But despite this, our first experience of cruising with children around the Mediterranean was absolutely fantastic. Norwegian Fjords Having caught the bug of cruising with children, we ventured a bit further afield on our next cruise.  Travelling as a party of 12, our family explored the beautiful Norwegian Fjords.  At this time Evan was now about eighteen months old and he thoroughly enjoyed the sites, the kids’ club, eating some amazing food and the entertainment onboard.  He even insisted on going into the disco in the evening to dance along to ABBA!!!. Caribbean Linking a visit to Orlando with a cruise of the Mediterranean is our last cruising with children experience to date.  Whilst such a cruise offers some amazing snorkelling and adventure opportunities, this is of course more limited when travelling with young children.  That said, I would highly encourage you to consider a cruise of the Caribbean even if travelling with children.  There is a totally chilled vibe and you will be able to easily adapt activities to ensure that a fun time is had by the whole family. Cruising Tips Whether you are a seasoned cruiser or embarking on your first voyage, here are some helpful tips to ensure a smooth and enjoyable experience for the whole family. 1. Choose a family-friendly cruise line.  Look for amenities such as kid’s clubs, babysitting services, age-appropriate activities and family-friendly dining options. Some popular family-friendly cruise lines include Disney Cruise Line, Royal Caribbean (RC) and  Norwegian Cruise Line  (NCL). This July, having cruised with both RC and Celebrity Cruises in the past, we will be travelling with NCL. Be sure to check back in for a rundown on our experience in due course. 2. Plan ahead and book early.  Cruises are a very popular way to travel and they tend to fill up quickly.  By booking early you will also have more options when it comes to selecting your cabins especially if you need to secure adjacent rooms. Be sure to check if the cruise offers family cabins or suites for added space and comfort. 3. Pack Carefully Remember that space in your cabin will be limited so be sure to plan your outfits carefully so as not to overpack.  That said, even if you are travelling to a warm climate, you should definitely pack a lightweight jacket or throw as it can be chilly out on deck in the evenings.  The air conditioning on board is always cranked up high too! Also, do not forget to pack essentials such as swimwear, sunscreen, medications and documentation (especially travel insurance!) Another good packing idea is to include a small first aid kit for minor injuries. 4. Familiarise Yourself With the Ship’s Facilities Once on board, take some time to explore the ship and get your bearings.  Locate the kids’ club, pools, dining areas, gym, spa and entertainment venues.  This way you will be able to plan your days and activities accordingly.  However, if you are like me, you will still be getting lost on your last day! 5. Take Advantage Of Kids’ Programs Most cruise lines offer diverse kids’ programs and activities which children love.  From arts and crafts to treasure hunts or arcade games there is something for everyone.  Your children will be entertained and you will be able to enjoy some free time at the spa, bar or poolside. 6. Establish Safety Rules Before setting sail, talk to your children about keeping safe onboard the ship.  Remind them of the importance of staying together and not wandering off on their own.  Teach them how to contact you or a member of staff in an emergency. 7. Plan Shore Excursions Carefully There are plenty of shore excursions on offer which cater for all tastes.  Be sure to research the ports of call thoroughly to ensure that you are able to cram in as much as possible.  Check age limits on activities as there will be some excursions which will have a minimum age limit.  Also, be sure to consider that children will get very grouchy if you make them traipse around cities and ruins for hours on end in the blazing heat of summer.  As such, be sure to include child friendly activities and attractions as much as possible. 8. Maintain A Routine Whilst it is difficult to keep to a strict routine whilst on vacation if you have babies or young children, it is important to at least try to stick to their usual meal and nap times.  This will ensure that they are well-rested and will avoid unnecessary meltdowns. Do be aware that even if your children normally eat at a set time and are happy to have baby food, this can all change whilst on holiday. During our second cruise with Evan, I informed the family of Evan’s sleep and eating routine. All of it went out the window! Evan was having his normal baby food and then after managing to engrace himself with the server being fed his favourite snacks of bread, strawberries and tomatoes. Sleep routine was also

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10 Ways To Show Up For Yourself

10 Ways To Show Up For Yourself

‘Show up for yourself’. Lately, it has become a popular phrase. But what does it really mean? I guess we all hit a time in our lives when we are searching deep inside for what is real and what we stand for. For me, showing up for myself is: Trusting that I am capable of doing hard things and overcoming challenges. Loving myself enough to know when to step away from a situation or a person that no longer serves my greatest good.  Accepting that life is full of curveballs and that I am doing the best I can with what I have. Placing gratitude at the forefront of my principles. Living each and every day with grace and compassion. Walking through the journey of life as my true self, with no mimics, 10 Ways To Show Up For Yourself As an Amazon Associate, we earn a commission from qualifying purchases.  Some of the links on this post are affiliate links.  This means that if you click on the link and make a purchase we may earn a commission at no extra cost to you. Learn more here. 1. It’s Time To Forgive Yourself The thing with us humans is, we tend to find it easier to forgive others than to forgive ourselves. It took a lot of therapy and reflection for me to forgive myself for past mistakes and failures. Accepting that at each stage of my life, I have done the best I could whilst dealing with hard and often heartbreaking situations, has not been an easy feat. However, I’m in a good place now.  We are all human, and we all make mistakes. It is part of living, part of learning. Find a way to make peace with your past. Forgive yourself. You didn’t know any better. And make a promise to yourself that from here onwards you will strive to be the best version of yourself. You deserve forgiveness. Set yourself free and start healing.  2. Put A Stop To The Negative Self-Talk Hands up if at any point in your life, you have called yourself stupid? Or, I can’t do that, I’m not good enough. Aye, my hand is way up. The last thing we need is to be constantly diminishing our value and our light. We live in a cruel world, filled with cruel societies that are already doing their best to put us down and keep us down. No need for us to add fuel to the fire. The way I stopped negative self-talk was to ask myself, “Would I talk like this to my child?” NO. NEVER. Why? Because I love my kids, because words can cause irreparable damage. Why then I’m I capable of talking like this to myself? Simple, because somewhere along the line I forgot what it means to love and respect myself.  Eliminating negative self-talk will only happen when you become aware of what comes out of your mouth. Sometimes I stop myself mid-sentence, thinking….” Do I really want to say this to myself?” The answer is always NO. Stay present, and develop an awareness of your thoughts. Love yourself enough to accept that you too deserve praise.  3. Don’t Hide Away From The Hard Feelings For years I cultivated and nurtured a gift. The ability to numb myself. The thing with numbing is that sooner or later those feelings will catch up with you.  Not only that, the longer you keep them inside, the harder the hit.  I’m going to keep it real, pasting a brave face and a smile came very easily to me. Years down the line I found myself with a lot of unhealed trauma, which enhanced my anxiety and almost destroyed my mental health.  I have learned that the greatest gift you can give yourself is to sit with the scary, hard, upsetting feelings. Open yourself up, be vulnerable and acknowledge that what you are feeling now, isn’t necessarily how you will feel in a week, a month or a year’s time.  Being vulnerable is not a sign of weakness, in fact, it’s a sign of strength. Sit with it, breathe and allow yourself to feel. 4. Learn How To Set Healthy Boundaries Are you a people pleaser? Yep me too, or rather I am a recovering people pleaser. The fact is, when you don’t set up healthy boundaries, you are sending a message to your mind and body that everyone else is more important than you are. Saying No is not selfish. Don’t let anyone make you believe that.  Overextending yourself and placing yourself in situations you rather not be in, will drain you. Don’t lose yourself to the expectations of others. Learn to say NO instead of Yes. 5. Indulge In Self-Care, You Deserve It If I had a penny for every time I have heard the phrase, “Self-care is just an excuse to be lazy”, I’d be rich. Self-care is NOT being lazy and it’s certainly not being selfish.  We lead busy hectic lives, constantly ticking things off our to-do lists, in an attempt to live organised and full lives. However, the best way to honour yourself is by taking a time out.  Yes, working hard is important, but taking the time to practise self-care is of equal importance. Take a break, and recharge your batteries. Lately, I have found myself having to switch off my phone.  Building a successful blog is not easy, and at times I have craved time for myself, away from the ten thousand things I need to get done. A day at the beach, a quiet afternoon with a good book, a walk in the countryside, anything that will allow me to quiet my mind and stay present.  Join Our Tribe, Don’t Miss Out On Fun Content! 6. Do More Of The Things That Make You Happy This one comes hand in hand with self-care. Do you love reading? Make time for it, if it brings you joy. Maybe you love the gym, or

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BBQ Season: The Main Event

Welcome back, fellow barbecue lovers.  In our previous post we delved into the world of BBQ starters and appetisers.  We hope that your taste buds were sufficiently tantalised and you are eager for more delicious BBQ food as we turn our attention to the main event.  Cooking Up A Primal Feast Standing before a roaring fire cooking up a primal feast has a certain allure.   Whether it is its appeal to our inner caveman or the simple fact that BBQ food is just plain AMAZING!  In this post we explore the cooking of meat (and fish) over an open fire providing you with the ultimate food guide for the main event. The Ultimate Summer Social Event BBQs bring people together in an informal and relaxed environment.  Unlike the confines of a kitchen which are often removed from the main gathering, BBQs provide an open place where guests and hosts can mingle and enjoy good conversation, food, drink and fun. For me, BBQs definitely become a social event as Dani will take over the entire cooking of the main meal.  Whilst Dani at least loves cooking normally, during BBQ season he really is in his element.  And, if our conversations with our neighbours are anything to go by, it seems that most of the men in our block relish the prospect of cooking up a feast over the open flames. This leaves me free to concentrate on preparing the starters and desserts (my favourite) and being the hostess with the mostess! On BBQ day, I become the sous chef.  Dani is in charge of the main event and I become the gofer!  But, I also have another very important role.  I make sure that everyone’s glass is full and that there is a delicious and refreshing cocktail or two for our guests. The Perfect BBQ Menu I apologise in advance to all our vegan and vegetarian followers but this post is a BBQ post and in my mind the perfect BBQ food is simply meat and fish.  So without further ado, let’s dive into the perfect BBQ menu for the main event. Juicy Rib Eye Steak A thick, marbled ribeye steak is an absolute must have for a successful BBQ.  You can choose to season it simply with salt and pepper.  Alternatively, prepare a marinade with your favourite herbs and spices or a delicious chimichurri. Chimichurri Directions Crush the dry ingredients using a pestle and mortar and then add the oil and vinegar. That’s it! Smoky Barbecue Ribs Ribs are the epitome of BBQ perfection as long as they are cooked properly.  Tender, succulent and falling off the bone!  Whilst you can achieve this result by solely cooking your ribs on the BBQ, you need to make sure that you are able to control the temperature throughout.  For easy to follow instructions and a delicious rib rub recipe, check out this blog by Bowl Me Over. If you are going to cook your ribs on a charcoal BBQ where it can be difficult to control the temperature, our top tip for the perfect ribs is to slow cook them in the oven before finishing them off on the BBQ for the ultimate smoky taste. Another must do with ribs is to baste them with tangy barbecue sauce during the cooking process. We recommend heating up a ready made BBQ sauce such as this for a deliciously sweet and smoky taste. Smoked Brisket A brisket is a huge amount of meat so, if you choose to cook this meat at your next BBQ you may want to have this as the sole main. Cooking a brisket on the BBQ requires patience as the cooking will take place over several hours (even overnight including the prep).  That said, the end result will be absolutely worth your efforts as your brisket transforms into a masterpiece.  Follow this guide with the ingredients below for perfectly cooked juicy tender meat that melts in your mouth. Ingredients Cedar-Planked Salmon Whilst meat often takes centre stage in most BBQs, you should not overlook fish as a delicious alternative.  Cedar-planked salmon would be a perfect choice  when barbecuing fish.  Note that cooking the fish on the cedar wood will result in a very smoky taste.  If you are not keen on the same just follow the instructions and cook on the grill without the wood. This simple rub is so easy to prepare and will guarantee a deliciously sweet tang to your smoky salmon. Ingredients (for 4 people) Special Equipment Directions Burgers Makes 6-8 Mix all the ingredients together and then divide into burger shaped patties. Cook as desired. Chicken Pinchitos What would a Gibraltarian BBQ be without chicken (although you can also use beef, lamp or pork if preferred) pinchitos?  Surely, this is a guaranteed staple dish at any BBQ, right?  So whilst we can easily buy Moroccan spiced chicken pinchitos at any local market, if you want to make your own pinchito spice rub just follow these steps Ingredients Directions Bacon Wrapped Pork Chops With Bourbon Sauce These juicy and tangy pork chops will be an absolute hit at any BBQ get together. Ingredients Sauce Rub Directions Previously food safety guidelines advised that pork should be cooked to 160℉ however nowadays, the guidelines provide for an internal temperature of 63℃ (or 145℉). Want to receive exclusive recipes straight to your inbox? Join our tribe. It’s free, it’s fun and we won’t spam! Prawn Kebabs With Pistachio Tarragon Pesto Ingredients Special Equipment Directions Sharing Is Caring: Unleash Your Inner Caveman Indulging in these mouthwatering main BBQ meals will surely get your inner caveman roaring with delight!  Next time we’ll share cocktail and dessert ideas to help you finish off your BBQ in style. Happy barbecuing! For more barbecue ideas check out our safety guide and starters. Check Out Our Food & Drink Section – Yummy!!

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Summer Safety Equal Summer Fun

With summer just around the corner, many of us are eagerly awaiting some fun at the beach or pool.  Summertime offers endless opportunities for adventure and fun.  However, it is crucial to prioritise safety to make sure that we remember summer for all the right reasons.  In this summer safety blog, we will explore some essential tips for a safe and enjoyable summer. Be Water Aware Water awareness is the foundation for summer safety in any aquatic environment.  It is important to understand the potential risks and educate yourself, and especially your children, about water safety. All too often swimmers get themselves into difficulties by not adhering to warning signs and flags.  Understanding currents and tides and being aware of potential dangers such as rocks and marine life is also important. Swim In Designated Areas Following on from adhering to warning signs, always be sure that you swim within designated swimming areas where lifeguards are present. Avoid swimming out to deep waters or areas with strong currents especially around rocks. Partner Up Always swim with a partner to keep an eye out for each other should you get into difficulties.   Even experienced swimmers can get into trouble so it’s best not to swim alone. Sun Protection Protecting your skin from the harmful effects of the sun is another crucial summer safety consideration.  And, using sunscreen is one of the most effective ways to do so. Choose a broad-spectrum sunscreen with an SPF of at least 30, and apply it liberally to all exposed areas of the skin. Reapply every two hours, or more frequently if you’re sweating or swimming.  With children, apply sunscreen before leaving the house.  Your skin takes half an hour to absorb sunscreen meaning that by applying sunscreen upon arrival at the beach your little ones are exposed to the harmful effects of the sun for half an hour.  Not only this, but, by applying sunscreen at home you avoid one of the first battles you face upon arrival at the beach.  Check out these recommendations when deciding on which sunscreen to buy for your kids this year. Cover up Wearing protective clothing is another effective way to protect your skin from the sun. Opt for light, loose-fitting clothing that covers as much skin as possible, especially during the hottest parts of the day.   UV tops are also a great way to protect little ones from both UV rays and skin rashes caused by hours of surfing.   Don’t forget to wear hats and sunglasses too in order to protect your face and eyes from the sun.  This type of sun hat is especially good for little ones as they shield their face and neck from the sun and has 50+ UPF.  UPF stands for Ultraviolet Protection Factor and is the measure used to measure sunburn protection.  Whilst we are all no doubt familiar with SPF which is the measure used to measure sunscreen protection, UPF is the equivalent measure for the protection offered by fabrics. Stay Hydrated With all the excitement that comes with the beach and pool, it is easy to become dehydrated.  Keep a bottle of water handy and make sure to drink plenty of liquids throughout the day.  Avoid caffeinated drinks and alcohol as they will make dehydration worse. Supervise Children Surely this one goes without saying but keeping a close eye on children is paramount when thinking of summer safety.  Never leave children unattended near the water and designate an adult to supervise them at all times.  Make sure that your children know never to get into the water without telling you first. Be Mindful Of Sea Life Avoid touching any unfamiliar sea creatures as some can be dangerous or possess venomous stingers. Follow The Pool Rules If you are enjoying a pool day be sure to follow the rules.  Do not dive into shallow areas as this can lead to serious injuries.  Be sure to check signage for height restrictions or age restrictions, especially at water parks. Be Prepared As a former Brownie and Girl Guide (as well as mum to a Cub Scout and Scout), “Be prepared” is a motto we know well.  Always be prepared. Do your research if visiting a new beach and look for beaches which are family-friendly.  By being prepared and following these summer safety tips you will ensure that you have an amazing summer. Check out our post for ideas on the perfect sandwiches to pack for your day at the beach or pool. Related Articles

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Dad, My Hero: A Father’s Day Tribute

Two years ago I lost my father. He was 88 years old, and up until the day he passed on, I thought he was indestructible. How? You might ask, could I believe that when he was so old? Well, because my Dad was a lion and he was bigger than life. For four years before his passing, he kept proving doctors wrong. ‘He won’t last the night’, ‘There is nothing more we can do for him’ or ‘His organs are shutting down’. We were told this consistently every time he was admitted to the hospital (which was a lot)  Yet, over and over again, he walked out of that hospital on his own two feet and with a smile on his face.  Father’s Day Without My Dad This will be my third Father’s Day without him and it does not get any easier. It feels as though my body, heart and soul have adapted to the loss and the heartbreaking miss. An acceptance of sorts, deep-rooted into my being. But, there are times when the grief still hits me hard, straight to my chest with the strength of a tsunami. Because grief doesn’t have an expiry date, it lingers on. Where there was great love, there is an immeasurable amount of grief. I wasn’t ready to live in a world where my father no longer existed. Losing him brought about one of the darkest seasons of my life. One day he was smiling, the next he was gone. Just like that, in the blink of an eye, I lost the human being who loved me most. More than anyone else in this world. Mi Viejo. Honouring All The Dads In My Life On Father’s Day In the past, I never gave much thought to Father’s Day. I showed up for my Dad daily. I told him how much I loved him all the time. He was my world and he knew it. I was his princess. So on Father’s Day, there wasn’t much more I could do to prove to him how much he meant to me. However, now that he is gone, I see the importance of expressing my love and appreciation for the other fathers in my life. My husband, my father-in-law, my brother and my kids’ father. So in honour of Father’s Day, we have compiled a list of inspiring fatherhood quotes. Whether you are celebrating Father’s Day or just remembering those incredible fathers no longer with you, we hope these quotes about fatherhood bring a smile to your face. Quotes – To Inspire And Uplift Check out our blog post on Father’s Day Treats. To Those Fathers In Heaven Final Thoughts Father’s Day can be a hard day for some. For those lucky ones, it remains a day of celebration. But regardless if it’s a hard day or a day to celebrate, it still remains a day of love. For me, my Dad remains with me in everything I do and everything I am, not just on Father’s Day but every day. So hug those father figures tighter and let them know how much they are loved and appreciated. Related Articles:

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Father’s Day Treats Fit For Your King

This Sunday we celebrate our fathers, granddads and father figures in our lives.  Dads, like mums, take on many roles and Father’s Day is the perfect time to show our gratitude.  A Father’s Day meal fit for your King will certainly be appreciated. Role Models Dads serve as role models by helping to guide our children. They instil values, work ethic and integrity and help our children learn by sharing their life lessons.  They are also always willing to listen and provide support and help with homework.  Dads are there for us in the good times and the difficult times. Sports Coaches Some dads also take on the role of sports coaches.  Dedicating their free time and energy to teaching the values and skills acquired through sport such as teamwork, discipline and perseverance.  They teach our children how to win, and just as importantly, how to lose.  Our youngest, Jamie certainly benefits from his dad’s footballing and coaching experience as a goalie, even if he sometimes thinks he knows best! BBQ Kings Dads often become the masters of the BBQ.  This is certainly true in our household and every summer we are lucky enough to enjoy many mouthwatering meals cooked to perfection by Dani on the grill. Mr Fix-It Dads are our go to Mr Fix-It.  From fixing a broken toy to unclogging drains to building IKEA furniture and everything in between. Adventure Heroes Dads help plan the ultimate adventure holidays.  From exciting road trips around the US, to hiking or a simple day at the countryside or beach.  Dads are always up for a fun day out creating memories. Unconditional Love There are countless more ways in which dads are here for us but, perhaps the most important one of all is their unconditional love.  Let’s Celebrate So, for their unwavering support and for being our biggest cheerleaders and our forever heroes, let’s make sure that this Father’s Day is a truly memorable one.  As a simple thank you, why not make the dads in our lives a delicious breakfast, scrumptious dinner or a simple tea time treat?  Whatever food option you choose this year, we have you covered. Breakfast/Brunch What better way to start the Father’s Day celebrations than with a delicious breakfast or brunch?  These ideas will certainly put a smile on Dad’s face. Pancakes Whether you prefer thin crepe-type pancakes or thick and fluffy American pancakes, these recipes and topping suggestions are guaranteed to be a hit. Eggs Benedict Perfectly gooey eggs with salty, deliciously tasty parma ham served on a warm muffin and hollandaise sauce?  What’s not to like?  This recipe by Gordon Ramsey will go down a treat.  Get the recipe here French Toast Delicious French toast made with brioche bread and topped with berries is another treat which is perfect for Father’s Day.  Try this version Avocado Toast With Feta Cheese You can upgrade your usual avocado toast breakfast by adding some new toppings.  Toast some thick crusty bread and top with mashed avocado, cherry tomatoes, crumbled feta cheese, a drizzle of balsamic glaze, some chilli flakes and fresh herbs. English Breakfast The ultimate of breakfast treats guaranteed to keep Dad happy until at least tea time.  Use good-quality bacon, sausages, eggs, baked beans, black pudding, hash browns and grilled tomatoes.  Teatime Treats If it’s teatime treats which Dad will prefer then you can’t go wrong with any of these super easy-to-make loaf cakes.  One basic cake mix with seven different flavour choices Dinner Celebratory dinners don’t have to mean slaving away in a kitchen for hours. These dishes will provide a tasty, comforting and easy-to-make meal for any Father’s Day dinner. Steak For our meat-loving dads, a thick, marbled ribeye steak will be an absolute must for any celebratory dinner.  You can choose to season it simply with salt and pepper.  Alternatively, prepare a marinade with your favourite herbs and spices or a delicious chimichurri. Honey-Glazed Salmon Another great alternative for the more health-conscious could be a delicious honey-glazed salmon.  Simply marinate the salmon fillets in a mixture of honey, soy sauce, garlic and ginger and bake or grill until perfectly glazed and flaky.  Serve with a side salad or noodles. Mac and Cheese Perhaps the easiest of all the recipes you will find in this blog post.  Equally, though it may also be the most indulgent and comforting.  Find the recipe here Meatballs and Spaghetti We absolutely love spaghetti meatballs smothered with a mountain of cheese at our house. This version made with minced beef and sausage meat is divine. Desserts After all this delicious food, if you still have room for dessert why not try our amazing apple pie with some vanilla ice cream or our equally as good carrot cake? We are sure these will not disappoint. Thank you However you choose to celebrate this Father’s Day, the main thing is to show your dads, partners or father figures how much they are loved and appreciated for everything that they do.  Happy Father’s Day and have a fantastic day with your loved ones. Related Articles:

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Delicious Starters For Your Next BBQ

Delicious Starters For Your Next BBQ

Even though it’s still only spring we have been experiencing proper summer weather for some weeks now.  In our house, this can only mean the start of BBQ season!  It’s time to dust off those tongs, ignite those flames and enjoy delicious alfresco dining. Starters, mains and even desserts, you can make them all on your BBQ. Over the next few weeks, we will be embarking on a BBQ lover’s dream journey as we share some mouth-watering recipes to kick-start your outdoor culinary festivities with a bang. This week we start at the beginning, with delicious BBQ starters, appetisers and side dishes. Seared Calamari with Chili Sauce and Mint (serves 4) Calamari is not something you generally find at your typical BBQ.  But trust me, once you try this it will become one of your go to starters and you will make it time and again. Instructions Chicken Wings with Sweet Balsamic Glaze (Serves 4-6) These sticky and sweet chicken wings will definitely have your guests impatiently anticipating the next courses. One of our favourite BBQ starters. Glaze Rub 12 chicken wings, each cut in half at the joint Instructions When ready the skin should be crispy at the edges and the meat should no longer be pink at the bone.  Grilled Vegetable Skewers For a healthy starter, thread colourful bell peppers, courgettes, mushrooms and cherry tomatoes onto skewers and place on the BBQ until cooked. Smokey Bacon-Wrapped Jalapeño Poppers If you are a fan of bold, spicy flavours, these are a must try. I mean, who doesn’t love bacon and gooey cheese? We think this is a perfect BBQ starter. Halve fresh jalapeños and remove the seeds and membranes.  Stuff them with a Philadelphia cheese and then wrap each half with a slice of smoky bacon.  Secure with a toothpick.  Cook until the bacon is crispy and the cheese is gooey. Alioli Potato Salad (serves 4) Instructions Sweetcorn, Tomato & Avocado Salad This delicious salad with a fresh lime dressing by Cafe Delites will be perfect with any main course. Salad Dressing Assemble the salad ingredients in a bowl and make the dressing in a small jug.  Drizzle the dressing over the salad and enjoy a delicious side salad. Halloumi Fries With Honey and Sesame We guarantee that this starter will be an absolute hit at your next BBQ. Instructions We hope that these starters whet your appetite for what promises to be a fantastic BBQ season.  Be sure to check back in over the coming weeks for ideas for your main course, desserts and cocktails that will make your BBQ the best in town.  Don’t forget to follow our BBQ Safety tips for a delicious, fun and safe BBQ season. In need of more recipes? Check out our food section:

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BBQ Safety – Your Ultimate Guide

As the days get longer and the temperature starts to rise, it’s time to start thinking about al fresco dining. But before you fire up the BBQ it’s important to make sure that you can do this safely. By taking a few simple precautions, you can ensure that your BBQs remain fun and accident-free. So, let’s dive into some essential BBQ safety tips to keep your flames high and the risks low! Location, Location, Location Cleaning Before each BBQ, make sure to clean your grill thoroughly. Remove grease buildup from the grates and trays to prevent flare-ups and reduce the risk of fire. Regular maintenance will not only enhance the safety of your grill but also improve its performance and longevity. Fire Up Those Flames! If you’re using a charcoal BBQ be sure to follow proper lighting methods. Avoid using lighter fluid once the coals are lit as this can cause sudden flare-ups. Instead, use charcoal chimney starters or electric starters for a safer and more controlled ignition. For gas grills, always follow the manufacturer’s instructions for lighting and ignition. Be Alert Never leave your BBQ unattended while it’s in use. Flare-ups can happen suddenly, so have a spray bottle of water, a fire extinguisher, or a bucket of sand nearby to quickly extinguish any small fires that may arise. Keep flammable materials such as lighter fluid, gasoline, and other combustible substances away from the grill. Store them in a safe location, preferably in a cool and well-ventilated area. Food Safety For best results be sure to let your BBQ fire up fully.  Let the coals heat up for at least 10-15 minutes before attempting to cook any food. Avoid food poisoning by following good hygiene practices.  The Centre for Disease Control and Prevention advise as follows:  1. When shopping for your meat products, pick up meat, chicken and other poultry first.  Any seafood should be picked last to ensure it is kept on ice for the longest time possible. Do not mix your meat products with other shopping and avoid cross-contamination by packing raw meat and poultry into individual plastic bags. 2. Be sure to keep all meat and seafood in an insulated cooler on the journey home and keep refrigerated until you are ready to use the same. 3. If you need to thaw any food do so in the refrigerator, cold water or microwave to prevent harmful germs from breeding. 4. Always marinate food in the refrigerator. 5. Wash your hands with soap before and after handling raw meat, poultry and seafood.  Clean work surfaces thoroughly before cooking. 6. Make sure you clean the grill surface before cooking. If you use a wire bristle brush to clean, be sure to check the grills for any bristles.  This can become dislodged and stick to the food you are cooking! 7. Throw out any marinades or sauces that have touched raw meat juice. 8. Use clean utensils and a clean plate to transfer cooked meat to the table.  NEVER place cooked meat back onto a plate that has held raw meat. 9. Use a food thermometer to make sure that the food has been cooked to a temperature which kills harmful germs. 10 Store any leftovers in the refrigerator within 2 hours of cooking (or within 1 hour if the outside temperature is above 30℃. Cool Down Once your BBQ is over, make sure to turn off the burners if using gas or properly extinguish the coals. A Safe BBQ Is Happy BBQ Remember, BBQ cooking safety should never be overlooked. By following these guidelines you can enjoy the amazing flavours of BBQ cooking while keeping your loved ones and property safe. So, fire up those grills and have a memorable BBQ season Check out our food and drink section for some great BBQ accompaniment ideas. Summer is coming! Read our summer-related articles:

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20 Summer Romance Reads

20 Summer Romance Reads 2023

It’s June, which means summer is upon us. I am a winter kinda gal, but I can’t deny that during the summer I get a lot of reading done. I spend many hours at the beach, which gives me the perfect excuse to be unsociable and lose myself in a book, or two. So right now is the ideal time to start planning our summer reading lists. With that in mind let us dive into these 20 summer romance reads. As an Amazon Associate, we earn a commission from qualifying purchases.  Some of the links on this post are affiliate links.  This means that if you click on the link and make a purchase we may earn a commission at no extra cost to you. Learn more here. 20 Summer Reads – The Romance Edition I have divided these book recommendations into two lists. The rom-com list is light, funny and witty with some sexual tension thrown in the mix. Followed by the contemporary romance list. With these books, you can expect, slow burn romance, drama, more sexual tension and at times a whole lot of heartbreak.  Out of the twenty books on this post, I’ve read sixteen of them. The ones I haven’t are listed at the bottom of each list with a note, to let you know that they are the ones on my TBR (to be read) list for the summer. RomComs, The Laugh Out Loud Food For My Soul 1. It Happened One Summer – Tessa Bailey Piper has a perfect life. Or so it seems on her social accounts. Step-daughter to a successful businessman, she has everything she wants and then some. One night one of her wild shenanigans gets out of hand and lands her in jail.  When Piper gets home after being bailed out by her younger (and much more sensible) sister Hannah,  she is in for a shock.  Her step-father has had enough and is sending her away to her birth town, to run a local dive bar left to her by her late father. In other words, Piper needs to fend for herself. But how is she supposed to pull it off? After all, it’s not like she has had to work a day in her life.  When she arrives at the fishing village of Westport, with Hannah by her side, Piper is appalled by her new living quarters. How is she supposed to sleep in a bunk bed, in a flat that is smaller than her walk-in closet in LA? And is she going to have to cook? Luckily most of the local townspeople are welcoming except for the hot grumpy fisherman who just doesn’t seem to like her…..at all!!! He obviously has a problem with Piper, and all she can do is count down the days until she can go back to LA and her high-profile life. 2. Things We Never Got Over – Lucy Score Naomi Witt arrives in the rough-around-the-edges town of Knockemout, Virginia after escaping her seemingly ‘perfect’ wedding. Her excuse? She is running to the rescue of her estranged twin, Tina.  Unfortunately for Naomi, she soon realises that her evil twin hasn’t changed at all. Tina steals Naomi’s car and cash and also leaves her to provide and care for her 11-year-old daughter. A niece, Naomi had no idea existed. She finds herself stuck in this town with no job, no plans, no home and a big bundle of extra responsibility. Local barber Knox likes the simple life. He stays away from complications or high-maintenance women, especially romantic ones. But when the new girl in town Naomi runs into him, with her life out of control, he feels he has no choice but to help her out of her jam. Once she gets back on her feet, he can leave her alone and get back to his simple life. Right? 3. Love On The Brain- Ali Hazelwood Bee finds herself in an impossible situation. She has been offered the opportunity of a lifetime. A chance to work on a neuro-engineering project, a dream come true. Downside? She has to work along with her nemesis Levi, a NASA engineer with whom she doesn’t exactly share a good history. Not wanting to give up on her dream job, Bee accepts the offer. But when her equipment starts to go missing, the staff ignore her and her emails are never answered, she swears she can feel Levi softening into an ally.  It doesn’t take long for their relationship to evolve into more than just work colleagues. Bee will question everything she has ever believed about the handsome Levi Ward. 4. The Unhoneymooners – Christina Lauren It seems to Olive she always ends up with the short end of the stick. Unlucky is how she best describes herself. On the other hand, her identical twin Ami seems to have all the luck in the world. So much so, that she manages to win a series of competitions that ultimately provide her with her dream wedding.  Although Olive couldn’t be happier for her sister, she isn’t exactly thrilled about having to spend time with the best man, Ethan. She doesn’t like him and he doesn’t like her.  As luck would have it, or not, everyone who attends the wedding ends up with food poisoning from eating shellfish, everyone that is except Olive and Ethan.  An expensive (although free) honeymoon is us for grabs and seeing as the bride and groom are currently indisposed, Olive and Ethan reluctantly take up the offer to go in their stead. However, when they arrive in paradise, Olive runs into her future boss. In an attempt to impress him, she tells him a little white lie, one that ultimately spirals out of control. As she and Ethan play the role of newlyweds, Olive finds herself enjoying the forced proximity of their well-schemed lie. Could it be that there is more to Ethan than she thought? Or is he a pro at the pretending game?

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