I love getting the family together and eating outdoors. Whether you use the BBQ or cook-up a feast from the oven, there’s nothing quite like sitting in the fresh summer air as you tuck into a meal.
If you have kids in tow, eating outside can be a particularly special experience because it’s something that doesn’t happen all year round. Try and get little ones involved with helping to lay the table, moving sauces outside and even playing chef by preparing some of the food. I’ve always found that the hands-on-approach is best for children and toddlers – the more fun and involved they feel in mealtimes, the better and less fussy they are likely to be.
With the last few days of summer remaining, I wanted to share with you some of my deliciously light bites which are bursting with the flavours and colours of summer. Fingers crossed the weather holds out for us, although we should probably get the umbrellas at the ready!
MINI TURKEY BURGERS
Makes 15 mini burgers
½ onion, peeled and chopped
½ desert apple, peeled and grated
1tbp chopped fresh thyme
250g (9oz) minced turkey
75g (3oz) white breadcrumbs
40g (1 ½ oz) Cheddar cheese, grated
2tbsp tomato ketchup
A few drops of Worcestershire sauce
Olive oil, for drizzling
- Pre heat the oven to 200C/400F/ Gas 6.
- Put the onion, apple and thyme into a food processor and whizz until everything is finely chopped. Add the remaining ingredients and whizz again until they are all combined.
- With damp hands, shape the mixture into 15 mini burgers. Place the burgers on a baking sheet lined with non-stick paper and drizzle over a little oil.
- Bake in the oven for 8-10 minutes, then turn over and cook for another 8-10 minutes until golden and cooked through.
Makes 4 portions
450ml hot chicken or vegetable stock
75g cooked French beans, chopped
75g carrot, grated
6 spring onions, sliced
2 tomatoes, deseeded and diced
75g canned sweetcorn, drained
1 tbsp rice wine vinegar
1 tsp honey
1 ½ tbsp olive oil
- Put the couscous into a bowl and pour over the hot stock.
- Cover the bowl with cling film and leave to stand for 10 minutes or until all of the stock has been absorbed.
- Add the vegetables to the couscous and season.
- Combine the ingredients for the salad dressing and pour over the salad, mixing everything together well.
CAJUN BEEF AND ONION WRAPS
Makes 6 wraps
2 tsp olive oil
250g sirloin steak, thinly sliced
1 tsp honey
1 red onion, thinly sliced
1 red pepper, thinly sliced
100g chestnut mushrooms, sliced
1 clove garlic, crushed
1 ½ tsp ground coriander
½ tsp sweet smoked paprika
1 tsp soy sauce
6 tortilla wraps
50g Cheddar cheese, grated
1 baby gem lettuce, shredded
- Heat the oil in a frying pan. Mix the steak with the honey and fry until brown for 2 – 3 minutes. Transfer to a plate.
- Add the onion and pepper to the pan and fry for 5 minutes. Add the mushrooms and garlic and fry for another 2 minutes, then return the steak to the pan.
- Sprinkle over the coriander and paprika. Add the soy sauce and remove from the heat.
- Warm the wrap in the microwave. Spoon some of the filling in the middle. Sprinkle over a little cheese and lettuce. Fold in the end of the wrap and roll up.
- Using cookie cutters, cut out flower shapes from the various melons and then cut out circles in the centre of each flower.
- Using a small round cutter or a melon baller cut out small circles or balls of melon and insert them in the centre of each flower.
- Push the tip of bamboo skewer through the flower and then cover with a straw and thread a couple of grapes onto each of the straws.
- You can arrange the flowers by pushing the end of the straws / skewers through the skin of an upturned melon.
In a drive to inspire every generation to explore new foods, Annabel has cooked-up a new Family Cooking app. From lunchboxes to light snacks, everyday essentials to prep ahead, it’s packed with more than 120 easy recipes. What’s more, it also includes an interactive kids cooking course where children make a recipe virtually then go on to cook it in the real world. Download Annabel Karmel Family Cooking via the App Store. For more information, visit www.annabelkarmel.com.