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Thinking of summer BBQs…

It’s dreary outside today and I’m dreaming of sunnier days.  That led me to think about what I did in summer, and that led to summer BBQs.  I have a whole whack of photos from a particular crazy weekend of eating.  Why was it a crazy weekend?  Well, my friends and I held another BBQ/hotpot/sleepover, which meant a straight 18 hours or so of eating.  The next day I had brunch at a friend’s and it was my birthday potluck.  Needless to say, all I did was eat (and snap a few photos between bites.)

On the menu for the BBQ: strawberry citrus salad, veggie skewers, burgers, hummus and chips, sangria, and wings (I probably missed an item or two.)

Simple Veggie Skewers

  • peppers, sliced
  • zucchini, sliced
  • mushrooms, halved
  • Montreal steak spice

Take whatever veggies you fancy and toss them with some steak spice.  Thread them onto some skewers and toss on the grill until cooked through.  Easy and delicious!

Veggie skewers.



Strawberry citrus salad.




Summer Fun

I love summer.  Living in Canada means that we get very few months of hot weather; generally it’s 10 months of winter and then 2 months of construction.  But nevertheless, we DO get some nice days, and I try to take advantage of it.  This means grilling and BBQ-ing and chilling outside by a pool.  Lucky for me, plenty of my friends are up for this.  One of my friends, Jordan, has a pool at her parent’s place, and we spent an afternoon hanging out and making lunch.  On the menu included a pear and candied pecan salad, lamb burgers, and apple crisp.

Lamb Burgers

  • 1 lb ground lamb
  • half an onion (we used red, but I’ve also done it with white), diced
  • several cloves of garlic, minced (I don’t remember how many I used, but I love garlic, so a liberal amount)
  • salt and pepper
  • cumin
  • ground coriander
  • 1 egg
  • breadcrumbs

Take all the ingredients and mix well.  You can adjust the seasonings to your taste; we found that lamb really takes spice well and we could really tasted the cumin-it was delicious!  We just eyed it and threw in what we had on hand.  Form the lamb into 4 patties.  We grilled them on the BBQ and didn’t even have to garnish them with anything, they were so tasty.  I did this again a week later and didn’t have coriander, but that was fine.  I just used cumin, and it tasted fabulous!

I hope everyone is enjoying summer as much as I am!



BBQ-Sleepover Part 2

Here are a couple more recipes to try if you’re throwing a summer party: pasta salad and mango salsa (although it does go great with chips, most of us were eating it as a salad, it’s so tasty on its own).

Pasta Salad

  • one red pepper, diced
  • one green pepper, diced
  • 450 grams penne pasta, cooked and drained
  • one bag of Hellmans ancho chipotle sauce

Toss everything together!

Mango Salsa

  • 4 mangoes, diced
  • 1 mango, pureed
  • half a red onion, diced
  • one lime, zested and juiced
  • mint leaves, chopped
  • 1 tablespoon of honey (or to taste)
Toss everything together and add mint leaves to taste.  Serve with your favourite tortilla chips.

The next day we had breakfast on the patio because it was such a gorgeous morning.  We BBQ’d our breakfast and had sausages and bacon.  Just be careful when you do this and have a spray bottle with water nearby because the fat WILL make the flames shoot up, and the flames had to be doused every so often so our breakfast didn’t burn.  The bacon and sausages definitely tasted better grilled on the BBQ rather than cooked on the stove top.  Take advantage of summer weather and get out there and use your grill!







The fun continued for me on the weekend with a BBQ-sleepover with a bunch of friends.  I feel like every time we get together to do this, our gatherings get more and more epic, food-wise (not that I’m complaining).  The menu was quite extensive, and almost everything was homemade!  I’ll have to split the post for recipes as I haven’t gathered everyone’s contributions yet, but here’s what we ate: burgers, wings, roasted veggies, pasta salad, Caesar salad, mango salsa, salmon sashimi, shrimp and veggie skewers, and strawberry citrus salad.  For dessert there was mint chocolate chip ice cream (PC brand-it’s the best for mint chocolate chip ice cream!) and homemade chocolate chip cookies.  There was so much food, we got to have a late night feast at about three in the morning (where we promptly ate up a lot of the leftovers).  So much fun!

The following recipes were provided to me by Abby.

Caesar Salad Dressing

  • 2 g Dijon mustard
  • 150 ml lemon juice
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 5 eggs
  • 30 g anchovy paste
  • 5 tsp capers, chopped
  • 1 tsp Worcestershire sauce
  • 10 garlic cloves, crushed
  • 1 litre olive or canola oil
  • 1 tsp black pepper
  • 100 g Parmesan Cheese (optional)

*This recipe makes 1.5 L of dressing, so make sure to adjust it to what you need.

Whisk mustard, lemon juice, salt, eggs, anchovy paste, capers, Worcestershire sauce, and garlic until frothy.  Slowly drizzle in the oil while whisking.  Once the emulsion forms, add remaining oil in a steady stream.  Add remaining ingredients and adjust seasoning.  Store in a noncorrosive container in the fridge and use within 3-4 days.

Strawberry Citrus Salad

  •  3 cups hulled strawberries, sliced
  • 3 large navel oranges, peeled, thickly sliced crosswise, cut into 3/4 inch pieces
  • 2 tbsp of packed golden brown sugar
  • 2 tsp fresh mint leaves, thinly sliced

Toss all ingredients into a large bowl.  Let stand at room temp for 30 minutes.

This strawberry citrus salad is one of my favourite summer salads.  For some reason, people were not eating very much of it and I think I ended up devouring about a third to a half of it!


Summer BBQ

I love summer-it’s BBQ season!  First BBQ of the year was thrown at Fred’s house, and the spread of food included steaks, burgers, homemade bread sticks, salad, key lime pie, and chocolate chip cookies (see this post for the cookie recipe).  Yes, it was night filled with delicious food.

Look at this delicious salad!

It’s a salad of mixed greens, toasted almonds, grapefruit, and strawberries with a vinaigrette dressing (not made by me, made by Abby and Zabrina).

Salad Dressing

I got this salad dressing recipe from Zabrina, and she said she doesn’t really have recipes for dressings.  The typical recipe is 3:1 (oil:vinegar).  For this salad, she used lime juice and white wine vinegar for the vinegar component and canola oil.  You can also use grapeseed oil for a healthier alternative, but olive oil isn’t recommended because the olive flavour can be overpowering.  Then, just add the following:

  • cayenne pepper
  • black pepper
  • lime zest
  • lime juice
  • ginger
  • honey
  • sugar
  • salt
  • a little bit of shallots

Emulsify the vinegar and oil first, then add the rest of the ingredients and adjust to taste!

Have a fun summer BBQ-ing!


Sunday Roast

After a fun but tiring weekend of dance workshops, I needed to make sure I had something for lunch for the rest of the week.  I like cooking batches of food to save me the trouble of cooking everyday.  So I decided to break out the slow cooker again to make something easy- BBQ Pulled Pork for sandwiches.  I have made this before and had several people try it (including my guinea pig, Andria) who all agreed it was a keeper.  Here it is:


  • 1 can condensed beef broth
  • pork roast (any size, you can just eye this-I had a 1.2 kg roast or something like that).  You can use a cheaper cut of meat as the slow cooker will make this very tender, so don’t waste your money on something expensive
  • salt and pepper
  • BBQ sauce of your liking: I used a hickory smoke BBQ sauce

Rub some salt and pepper all over the roast.  You could probably skip the salt b/c the beef broth will have plenty of sodium.  Place roast in slow cooker.  Pour broth over it.  I added half a can of water as well.  You want to make sure there is enough liquid: my guide is that the liquid should be enough to rise half way up the roast.

Now here is the thing:  I have read that if the temperature is too low then the meat doesn’t cook properly and you can get food poisoning.  I am not a fan of bacteria, and I’m sure if I just Googled this, I could find a chart on what the temp should be on the slow cooker to avoid this.  But this is how I made sure my meat was cooked properly.  I started the roast off on high for 3 hours, then I turned the slow cooker to low for 10 hours.  When I woke up I had a perfectly cooked and tender roast.

Next, I take the roast out and drain the broth.  Alternatively, you could keep it and turn it into gravy for potatoes.  Then, take two forks and shred the roast.  Add some of your favourite BBQ sauce to the shredded meat.  There is no right amount, just add to your taste.  I would estimate that I added somewhere between 1 1/2 cups to 2 cups of sauce.  Mix well.

And that’s it, you have BBQ pulled pork for sandwiches!