Woman and her BFF's

Woman who is most appreciative...

I am cheating a bit here but it is the only way I could share all these great suggestions with you. I  officially have the best BFF's...thank you one and all for your great suggestions. You made my day, you made my summer! So I am going to suggest that you skip right down to the comments and have a read...who knows you may just find your best summer recipe here, the one that will leave your guests begging for more!!

My guests were equally impressed last night, I did a little bit of this and a little bit of that and now have lots of ideas for my next soiree. I have a few trial runs to do and the first will be the grilled pizza!
Recipe here: 

If you are new to this post or have already commented and want to leave another suggestion,  please do. I will bring all of these to you in a future post. For now, the sun is beckoning and this girl is off the lounge chair with the book she received earlier in the week....

Hope you all are having a wonderful weekend!!

Woman on Verge...

Summer is officially here in our household. My son finished his last day of school yesterday. The kids are sleeping in, Mom (moi) is prancing around in her pj's...the cookbooks are splattered around the table and she is drawing a complete blank. This seems to be happening a lot lately...I hope I am not the only one.
Here is my dilemma...I am barbecued out. This is not a good sign considering it is July 8th!
I need...I need....something new. I need something fresh, I need colour, I need something light and I need it now. We have friends coming for dinner tonight and Mr. H is keen to rev up the BBQ again.
So, I thought of you, I know someone will point me in the right direction. Which salad would you prefer? Do you have a favourite dish that you like to throw on the grill? Do you have a tried and true? Do you want to share??? I'll be your best friend :):):):)

Here is what I have so far. 

Great tables...feeling summer,  feeling relaxed, 
feeling I would like to go back to Italy....

Capsicum, Tomato, Olive and Manchego Chopped Salad
(Manchego is a type of cheese..I did not know that)

Lamb's Lettuce, Radish, Blue Cheese and Sugared Pecan Salad

Caprese Salad

Sliced Tomatoes with Avocado, Red Onion and Parsley

Ice Cream Sundae
Ok, I am going off task here but look at that,
with a cherry on top. That makes me think of 
Banana Splits and thick marshmallow.....

You see...this is what it is like. I have done it again.
I may still be in my pj's when the guests arrive
at this rate....

But, YUM!

So, dear friends, I am open to suggestions. 
Is there a salad here that you would prefer?
Do you have a favourite dish for your BBQ?

Offer to be your BFF still on!

On that note...I wish you the most
wonderful,  fabulous, restful,
creative, astonishing,

(who is still in her pj's and is off for a coffee)

images and recipes can be found here.

I am happy to send along a recipe for one of the above...just drop me a line :)


  1. Morning Jeanne - you sound positively sparky with energy! I am the opposite today! So on summer food - my husband makes this great roasted vegetable thing (red onions, courgettes, peppers, aubergines) with cous cous and a really strong tomato-based sauce on top. You need the sauce to balance the dry of the cous cous. Anyway it goes really well with lamb on the BBQ...a halfway house? Enjoy whatever you do! Lou x

  2. Oh Louise, thank you, I knew I could count on my little sis :) I am tasting all of this and am thinking that it would go really well with the packets of cous cous I have been stocking up on from Waitrose. Lamb is a great idea. We have friends from New Zealand coming over tonight. This could be interesting...a taste test, English vs. New Zealand lamb. Do I dare??? Many thanks from the one who is still in her pj's..9:35am :)

  3. I think you need to buy one of Yotam Ottolenghi's books! His food is absolutely delicious - I gave Mr TNMA the latest vegetarian recipe book 'Plenty' for his birthday. It's fab.

  4. My first choice of salad would definitely be the manchego cheese one (in fact, we just may have that tonight...thank you very much!).
    Okay fair exchange...
    1 bib lettuce, delicately pulled apart and arranged (full leaf) on a plate to look like a flower.
    Add....paper thin slices of red onion, chunks of juice-dripping watermelon, crumbles of salty, fresh feta cheese and slices of ripe avocado. Cover (generously) with poppyseed dressing. I haven't found a recipe (yet) for a homemade one that tastes as good as Renee's or Briana's, so right now we are using the bottled stuff (no preservative-kind).
    As for the bbq...sorry, you're on your own there....good luck!

  5. Tomatoes are so delicious right now. I would go with a Caprese Salad and drizzle with a Balsamic syrup. We had a marinated pork tenderloin last week which we haven't had in ages and it was delicious. And now that I am thinking of it....I make an Orzo,Corn, and Chive Salad all summer long...so light and I serve it with Feta cheese. The recipe is on my blog if you are interested. Have fun with your friends and good luck with your choices!

  6. How exciting, a cookbook I have not heard of yet!!

    Jacqueline, this sounds wonderful too...I love poppyseed dressing and I have blue cheese in the frig..this should be a snap! Thanks :)

  7. Found it Lisa...looks great, thank you!


  8. Hi Jeanne,
    I don't know how many will be around your lovely table but I'd do several of these amazing salads and grill some Mediterranean sardines (simply gutted) on the barb-q to accompany.
    We're eating around our barb-q tonight too so I hope you and I get the right weather!
    Bon weekend

  9. OK Jeanne, your choices look delicious and this note is probably a bit late for tonight's dinner but two salads I'm loving this summer - From Smitten Kitchen- the Carrot salad with harrissa, feta and mint was fantastic. I served it with lamb skewers (marinated in yogurt a la Ina Garten) and a cool Tatziki,,,,

    One of my all time favorite cookbooks is from Bradley Ogden. He has a green bean salad - small french beans quickly blanched with a cucumber, tomato, garlic, basil yumminess on top. Fresh, pretty and summery. I can't find the recipe online but have it in a cookbook if ever it interests you I'll scan and email.

    Oh and I totally agree about the Ottolenghi books.. fabulous and I would so love one of his lemon mascarpone tarts from the Islington shop right about now. ~Susan

  10. WOW!! Sharon and Susan... I can't tell you how excited I am getting by your suggestions!!

    I am out of my pj's (am dressed, don't worry) ...whipping up homemade vanilla gelato in our handy dandy gelato maker and am inspired by all these ideas...keep them rolling in!!

  11. ...And I almost forgot, yet how could I since I'm newly addicted... David Lebovitz recently had a recipe for mint chocolate"chip" ice cream. Never a flavor I would have ordered from an ice cream shop but this one is made by infusing the milk and cream with loads of fresh mint giving it an ever so lovely light light green color. Then drizzles of your favorite dark chocolate are layered into the frozen custard. It threatens to become a freezer staple... Enjoy your friends~Susan

  12. Totally intrigued by Two Maisons suggestions - I am popping over to check her out.
    Relieved to hear that the PJ's were substituted rather than simply discarded!

  13. How about a rustic pizza on the grill? 1 cup flour, 1 tspn baking powder and about a 1/2 cup water will make a small crust, although you could triple the batch. Roll it out thinly (the more rustic the shape, the better) and baste the bottom with olive oil. Top with your favorite cheese, beautiful tomatoes, artichoke hearts, fresh garlic, and basil along with another drizzle of olive oil. Place directly onto the grill heated to medium and shut the lid. Check on it in 5 minutes, look for golden grill marks and a crispness on the bottom of the crust. If it needs a bit more time for the toppings, turn it down to low for another 5 minutes or so. It can be prepared in advance -used as a side dish or the main meal and it will cause ooooohs and aaaaahs. Hope you have a wonderful time!

  14. Hooley Dooley Christina! Pizza on the grill... you have to see my cooking capabilities first, I think the family would run for cover on this one! Sounds amazing...do you put it on a pizza pan? I am thinking you must. If you do...I might just tackle this one. It must taste wonderful with that smoky flavour. My daughter is our pizza maker and she is living in New Zealand. I am going to send her this one..she will love it too!

    Thank you!!

  15. my first time here! I don't do much barbecue...and if you are tired of it, all you have to do is think fresh and local.....the farmer's market could guide your decision!!

    Anne Marie

  16. I was going to suggest pizza on the grill and plates of various topping so the guests can make their own. Always a hit. Or grilled mahi mahi with pineapple-mango salsa. Or grilled loin of pork with grilled pineapple salad. (I marinate mine in a honey-bourbon mix with some other goodies mixed in.) Don't forget the watermelon salad I posted last week. Good luck! xoxo!

  17. We have done the pizzas on the grill ~ once they were amazing and the second time our grill was too hot and we burnt them. (for company - yikes.)It is fun because everyone chooses their own toppings.

    We have been grilling often and our two favorites right now are corn on the cob - we husk them and just throw them on the grill.

    And I slice a fresh pineapple quite thin and throw all those yummy pieces on the grill. First we put them on our burgers and then later use the leftovers for dessert with a scoop of vanilla ice cream.

    P.S. I love staying in pj's and wish that they made clothes as cute and as comfortable as pj's.


  18. I would suggest a sockeye salmon filetted and covered in soya sauce, brown sugar, and lemon slices...grill on a double layer of foil until just cooked...your husband can keep watch on this...maybe 20 minutes.
    The salad would be fresh heirloom tomatoes sliced and drizzled with balsamic vinegar, salt and pepper, with basil leaves torn and randomly arranged with a light sprinkling of crumbled feta cheese.
    An artisan baguette...assorted cheeses and olives.
    Baby new potatoes boiled and topped with butter, salt and pepper and sliced mint leaves (Must be fresh)
    Dessert would be fresh watermelon and ice cream.

    OK I 've gone a bit over the top here but you did ask!

  19. Pizza- I put it right on the grill, sometimes add a little cornmeal to the crust for a different texture. All of the ideas sent in sound sooooo yummy! For dessert I have been eating (way too much of) fresh cantalope and vanilla bean ice cream!

  20. Looks as if your blog friends have come through!!!! I'm without recipes and taking the weekend off after hosting a big birthday party last night.
    Have a great weekend on the Bar-B!!

  21. Anne Marie..yes, agree, Farmers Market is a great start!

    Stephanie and Glenda-there is nothing better than fish and mango salsa and now I am thinking about grilled pineapple. I don't think I have ever had that before..how sad is that!!

    Three people have given the thumbs up on the frilled pizza...maybe I will try this on my own first. Sounds like a Sat. night meal :)

    How lucky can a girl get??? Look at all this great information !!

    Hostess--you can never provide to much information in my books...you have put it together perfectly, just as I would expect :)

  22. Have one for me Becky! Relax and enjoy :)

  23. How about a blend of chopped watermelon and chopped cantaloupe, with a tiny touch of jalapeno? Then a dressing of oil, rice wine vinegar and basil. The fruit is best if chopped small, but it takes time. Chill and top with feta "crumbs".

  24. I've been feeling the same way lately! I have no interest in having another burger.
    We've been doing a lot of grilled sea food, grilled veggies with pasta and grilled pizza's.That Caprese salad looks delicious!

  25. I bet I'm waaaay too late with this comment, but maybe it'll be useful for the future. I'm a total foodie, so these recipes have been tested: chicken breasts (skinless). In the food processor throw a few garlic cloves, two sprigs of fresh rosemary, pepper and oil. Mix until pasty. Pour over chicken. Marinate for two hours at least (overnight is even better). Before throwing on the grill, add salt and lemon juice. Voila. For side dish: Shredded carrots and jicama, mixed with red cabbage cut real thinly, throw in a few pine nuts (topped with your favorite dressing).Enjoy!

  26. Grilled halloumi with baby spinach leaves and roast pine nuts. I hate BBQ food but I like this a lot.

  27. Hi there Jeanne! You could try Nigella's chocolate, raspberry pavlova - it's always a winner in our house and super-duper easy - it's in her Forever Summer book. Also, her watermelon salad is gorgeous. As for BBQ - butterflied lamb? Tandoori chicken? I get a bit stuck when it comes to BBQ's I'm afraid. Hope you have a marvellous time with your friends. Meredy xo.

  28. I am sure by now, you've had your party, and all your suggestions sound so delicious! I am barbequed out, too. When it's hot I crave salad, varieties of it, and cheeses and fresh fruit.

  29. Bit too late I feel for a recipe now - sorry Jeanne but a good one for a future barbeque... Lamb cutlets or small chops left to marinate in plain greek yoghurt into which you have crushed a clove of garlic and salt and pepper also V. Important - a whole tablespoon of crushed cumin... (leave for as long as poss. - 1 day or half a day ok) When barbeque ready grill to your liking but wipe off ALL the marinade before hand.. Serve with a greek salad and pitta breads also some hummous - DELISH!! Hope you had a happy evening.x

  30. Oh Jeanne, I too am with you on pjs and coffee.

    One of my best Italian friends came over last night and we fixed our salads together with a glass of wine. Carpaccio of round yellow courgettes (raw) and cucumber with slivers of parmesan cheese fresh grated black pepper and a drizzle of olive oil.
    Roasted root vegetables (beetroot, sweet potato, potimarron) thrown together with pine nuts and a drizzle ofolive oil/ balsamic vinegar.
    She also had some yummy mozzarella from home so we had baby tomato, shredded basil and fresh mozza salad. It was all so yummy we actually forgot about the meat and ended up throwing in some tuna with the carpaccio.
    I'm with the Ottolenghis comment too - I love their restaurant.

  31. Webb--Yum! now, when you say tiny touch of jalapeno, are we talking 1/4 tsp? I am a bit heavy handed with these things..This all sounds delicious!

    Rachelle-- I have a soul mate..I am on burger burnout at the moment. Wouldn't it be wonderful to be sitting in a little italian cafe eating that Caprese salad!

    Casia Bella-- You are a sweetheart..I imagine this will taste great cold too. I love leftovers!

    Mise--sounds perfect for a hot day!

    Meredith--Oh dear, Nigella has a summer cookbook....and I do not have it?? I will always associate Nigella with Meredy, Susie and Sarah...it is a wonderful thought each time I open her cookbook. Make that plural, I am going too add this one to my list as well.

    Angie--Yes, agree, salads and more salads and wonderful fresh fruit and I have to say I have a weakness for room temperature blue cheese..crumbled over anything!

    Sarah-- Never to late for a recipe! This is the second time yogurt has been mentioned for lamb and I have never heard of it before. You are right, this sounds DELISH!!

    Ange--Yes! lip is still hanging low, drool is running down my shirt and I actually think I have most of these in my pantry. Just the word carpaccio makes me want to book the next plane to Italy!
    Big smile--thank you!

    Off to google Ottolenghis...sounds to good to be true!

  32. Dear Jeanne, I know that I am on your other blog, too - but I just couldn't resist! So I'll follow happily both (and I read them!). Thanks Britta

  33. We had Edward and Apple's wonderful dog sitter over for dinner this week. It was so dreadfully hot that, although I had planned a serious meal, I simply couldn't bring myself to stand over the stove for any length of time. So I marinated some salmon, baked it for about 20 minutes, and plopped it atop a spinach and field green salad tossed in fresh vinaigrette and dotted it with goat cheese and fresh, fat raspberries. Dessert was chunks of cold watermelon. And a cold Riesling wine. We were all happy!

  34. Hi - me again! Just to say I have left you a little mention on my blog for when you get a mo. Lou x


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