Tag Archives: bbq

getting life back on track

I’m back!

It feels like I literally fell off the face of the earth these last 4 weeks, so if that’s what you’ve been thinking then we’ll roll with it. There’s been no casual browsing through the news in the evenings or hours spent ready my favourite blogs, my normal day to day life was pretty non-existent. It has been the craziest yet strangely rewarding month of my life, and hopefully I can reveal my little project to you very soon.

Anyway, back to business… the sun is shining! Well are we not being spoilt in the UK right now? Day after day of uninterrupted sunshine and warmth, with the added bonus of these gloriously long summer days. Whoa, Mr Weather Man, you’re spoiling us.

Day One of project “getting life back on track” started with the obvious. A beach BBQ. Yesterday evening we packed up all the goodies we’d need and headed down the road to the beach.

Fortunately this routine is second nature to us. After work, Scott will stop off at the supermarket to pick up food supplies, while I race home to pack the all important condiments. Almost in unity, we have the BBQ and picnic backpack out of the cupboard and the cool-box filled with goodies within 30 minutes of finishing work. Even luckier, we’re a few minutes walk to the beach.

When we arrive, we mark our territory with our trusty (and very grubby) picnic blanket and Scott fires up the BBQ. I organise the drinks and then all that’s left to do kick back and relax.

One of the best investments we’ve ever made was to buy a Cobb BBQ. You’ve probably established by now that we’re pretty outdoorsy people and this my friends, we could not live without. Forget about the upfront cost, if you’re anything like us, a year down the line you’ll be thinking “why did I not have one of these sooner!”.

The Cobb is a BBQ like no other. Whether you want to roast a leg of lamb, smoke a chicken or grill a pork chop, the Cobb will do it all. The idea is that it’s portable, so even when alight you can just pick it up and move it without scalding your fingers (ideal for the beach and you realise as the sun’s going down that you’re in the shade!). The “moat” allows you to keep typically dry BBQ meat moist and delicious as well as steam vegetables. We put cider in ours and it works a treat every time. As well as being very low maintenance (we generally clean ours when we’re still on the beach!), its cost effective meaning you’ll use less coals and still have ample cooking time. If you think we’re a little bit in love with our BBQ, you’d be right. We love it.

Is there anything better than laying on a beach with a glass of cider watching the world go by? (Ok, it helped a little bit that the local touch rugby team had chosen to practice on the beach!)

We split our BBQ food into what we like to call BBQ tapas. By cooking our food in segments it means it’s always cooked to perfection and, even more importantly,  you don’t fill up too quickly. I guess it helps when you have a boyfriend from New Zealand who learnt to BBQ before he could walk.

With little time for faffing with food before we leave, everything gets transferred into airtight containers, the chicken is marinated with Peri Peri sauce and the steaks rubbed with seasoning just before we leave.

Lamb kebabs, Peri Peri chicken, spicy sausages and a perfectly cooked steak later, the sun had disappeared behind the trees and the rugby team had packed up and left, so we dragged our full bellies back up the hill and spent the rest of the evening like couched potato on the sofa.

I’m starting to feel like “me” again, and it feels so good!

18 Again

My baby brother turned 18 on Saturday and in celebration we took him out for some afternoon drinks in the Bournemouth sunshine (pardon the crude t-shirt!).

We decided on a pub crawl from Boscombe to Bournemouth as the British weather was finally beginning to break. Starting at the Boscombe pier we sat and drank cider’s with the wonderful backdrop of the sea, pier and hunky surfers.

Trying to get a table on a sunny day is more of a mission that we had bargained for. We found ourselves stalking people with half empty drinks, peir-pressuring them to drink faster so we could take their seats.  After a tipple or two, we set off on our stroll along the busy beach.

At the end of our walk we went to one of my favourite beach bars, Aruba. Set over the entrance of Bournemouth pier itself, the views are spectacular and a great place to catch the sun set. With a Californian feel, great cocktails and wooden seat swings you’d be mistaken to think you’re in paradise.

A long session of afternoon drinking left us hungry for a feast so we staggered over to the new and eagerly anticipated buffet restaurant, Days.

A huge buffet of Thai, Indian and Chinese food (and everything in-between) left us huddled up on the sofa, food coma’d.

Day 2 was the Family BBQ. Our local butchers prepared a fantastic Summer BBQ pack which made for a great hang-over feast.

It’s great catching up with cousins, aunties and uncles you only really see at these occasions. We drank Pimms, Corona’s and lime, and drank the afternoon away.

Then a spot of Pavlova.

And White Chocolate Raspberry Cheesecake.

Another “food coma” lingering, we headed to Hamworthy beach to play with the puppy. How cute is my cousin and her boyfriend Patryk?

Back at the party, shots of Midori were been downed from champagne flutes along with competitions of larger-than-life Connect 4. Who said turning 18 meant growing up?

As the evening sun dawned, we lit the candles, sang Happy Birthday at the top of our lungs and gorged on chocolate cake. Even Bella seemed content on having cuddles with mummy!

We all tried to be 18 again. Unfortunately, this just turns into a huge hangover (on a Monday).