I am sitting up in bed with my laptop thinking ‘what should I write about today. If you are in Melbourne, what would you want to read about today..?’ and then I realised its grand final day! Haha! Everyone is going to be going to or watching the AFL on TV today. So today I wanted to share some ideas on hosting an easy and entertaining Grand Final BBQ Lunch – so that even the non-footy goers will have a great time.
Drink Tips and Recipes
As the weather warms up we all enjoy a cool drink. And when being social most Australians enjoy a beer or some wine. Even though you are drinking you may not be hydrating yourself. There is nothing wrong with enjoying a few social drinks, but remember that you also need to drink plenty of water to stay hydrated, especially in the warm weather.
Watermelon Agua Fresca
This refreshing mocktail is served by roadside vendors all over Mexico. Not too much fruit, not too much sugar, just a beautiful way to quench your thirst on a summer day. And for you spirit lovers you can simply add your favourite liquor when serving.
- 8 cups cubed seeded watermelon, (about 6 pounds with the rind)
- 1 cup water
- 1/3 cup sugar
- 1/4 cup fresh lime juice
- 1 litre (4 cups) club soda, or seltzer water, well chilled
- Lime slices, for garnish
Combine half the watermelon, half the water and half the sugar in a blender; puree. Pour through a coarse strainer into a large container. Repeat with the remaining watermelon, water and sugar. Stir in lime juice. Refrigerate until well chilled, about 4 hours.
To serve, stir in club soda (or seltzer) and garnish with lime.
- 1 cup ice
- 500ml (2 cups) chilled orange juice
- 1 1/2 tablespoons grenadine (or raspberry cordial)
- Optional: 125ml (1/2 cup) tequila
Divide the ice among serving glasses. Pour over the orange juice (and top with tequila if you want). Pour grenadine into the centre of each glass so it sinks to the bottom. Serve immediately.
BBQ Food Tips and Recipes
Everyone I know loves a BBQ. Whether you eat meat or not there are plenty of options for filling your plate with delicious foods. A quick tip for adding some extra benefits to your meal – when marinating try adding turmeric powder to the mix. It has a mild flavour and tones of health benefits.
BBQ kebabs with cucumber & couscous salad
- 2/3 cup (140g) couscous
- 8 BBQ deli chicken kebabs
- Olive oil, to grease
- 4 Lebanese cucumbers, diced
- 2 tomatoes, diced
- 1/2 red onion, diced
- 2 tablespoons chopped fresh coriander
- Lemon wedges, to serve
Place the couscous in a large bowl. Add 2/3 cup (160ml) of cold water and stir to combine. Set aside for 5 minutes to soak.
Cook the chicken kebabs on a lightly greased barbeque plate or large frying pan over a medium heat for 10 minutes or until cooked through.
Use a fork to separate the couscous grains. Add the cucumber, tomato, red onion and coriander and fold through until well combined. Serve the chicken kebabs with the couscous salad and lemon wedges.
Classic Aussie Burgers
- 500g lean beef mince (alternatively you can use Turkey mince, Chicken mince, tofu, or chickpeas and lentils)
- 1 small carrot, grated
- 1 small red onion, grated
- 1/2 cup grated cheese
- 1 zucchini, grated
- 1 egg, lightly beaten
- 2 Weetbix, crushed (or 1 cup bread crumbs)
- 1 tablespoon tomato sauce
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- Bread or rolls to serve
- butter lettuce
- 4 cherry tomatoes, halved
Combine mince, carrot, onion, cheese, zucchini, egg, Weetbix and sauce in a bowl. Mix well. Form into balls and press flat with the palm of your hand.
Heat oil in a large non-stick frying pan over medium heat. Cook rissoles, in batches, for 3 to 4 minutes on each side or until cooked through.
Toast bread or rolls on one side. Top with lettuce, tomato and any other toppings you like. Serve.
Snack Tips and Recipes
Chips, salted nuts, pretzels, and lollies, all seem to find their way into our hands when we’re engrossed in watching a game. An easy way to avoid the pre-lunch munch is to start your event with lunch. If the food is ready as people arrive everyone can feel satisfied before the munchies hit. It is a long game though and you’re bound to want to have a few things served up for snacking. Why not try making your own salsa and serving it with some baked pita bread? Or plain corn chips? If you have a sweet tooth there are a few tasty tips below to help you serve up some yummy snacks without blowing your calorie count for the weekend.
Cheese, cucumber, and tomato snack sticks
- You need 4 bamboo skewers for this recipe.
- 4, cubed pieces of cheese (1.5 cm2-ish)
- 1 small Lebanese cucumber cut lengthways into 5mm-thick slices
- 8 cherry tomatoes
- hummus, to serve
Use a knife to cut your cheese into squares (you can also buy this re-cubbed if you prefer). Cut 8 shapes from the cucumber. Alternately thread 2 cherry tomatoes, 2 cucumber shapes and 1 cheddar shape onto 1 bamboo skewer. Repeat with 6 more cherry tomatoes and the remaining cucumber shapes and cheddar shapes. Serve with bought hummus.
Banana raspberry pikelets
- 1 cup self-raising flour
- 1 teaspoon baking powder
- 1 tablespoon caster sugar
- 3/4 cup milk
- 1 egg, lightly beaten
- 2 large bananas, mashed (see note)
- Olive oil cooking spray
- 1 cup frozen raspberries
Sift flour and baking powder into a bowl. Stir in sugar. Make a well in centre.
Whisk milk and egg together in a bowl. Add banana. Stir to combine. Add to well in the centre of your bowl. Using a wooden spoon, stir to combine.
Lightly spray a non-stick frying pan with oil. Heat over medium heat. Using 1 tablespoon batter at a time, cook pikelets, in batches, for 1 minute or until pikelets have just set. Carefully drop 3 raspberries on each pikelet. Cook for 1 minute or until bubbles form on surface. Carefully turn. Cook for 1 to 2 minutes or until golden and cooked through. Transfer to a wire rack to cool. Repeat with remaining batter and raspberries to make 20 pikelets. Serve.
- 1 medium tomato
- 12 yellow cherry tomatoes
- 1 shallot
- 1 large jalapeno chilli, minced (optional)
- 2 tablespoons fresh coriander, chopped
- 2 tablespoons fresh lime juice
- Salt and pepper
Finely dice the vegetables. Tomatoes need to be deseeded to reduce the moisture.
Combine ingredients in bowl and season to taste with salt and pepper.
Cover with plastic wrap and set aside for the flavours to develop.
Serve the salsa as an accompaniment to barbequed meats, corn chips, or with crusty bread.
Have a fab Grand Final day everyone!