Today I am very excited to have been asked to create a new recipe for a brand I adore – Opies. I’ve always got several jars of their products in the cupboard, and you’ll see them cropping up in my recipes from time to time, like my delicious Sticky Gingerbread Cupcakes. I also made their Ginger Christmas Cake last year and my family absolutely loved it.
However, it’s not their stem ginger I’m using today; it’s something that’s especially popular at this time of year – Pickled Walnuts.
In my family we’re pretty traditional when it comes to barbecues – burgers, sausages and that’s about it. I’ve been making my own homemade beef burgers for a while, and whilst we love the traditional barbecue foods, I cannot resist an opportunity to try something new.
In order to keep the family happy I couldn’t stray too far away from the traditional burgers. I therefore decided to take some cheese and put it in the middle of the burger so that when you take a bite, it’s perfectly melted and oozes out.
We’ve had a couple of days of glorious warm weather up here in North Wales which got me thinking about barbecues. When it comes to barbecues as a family we’re quite traditional and tend to stick to sausages and burgers (actually I like all sorts of different things – ribs, chicken, kebabs… but I’m in a family of BBQ fussiness so I tend to stick to what everyone else wants!).
What are your favourite barbecue foods?
We love pasta in our house, which is why you’ll see it cropping up on my blog more and more. This pasta with meatballs in tomato sauce is delicious and goes down well every time I make it.
What’s the secret of a good meatball?
Without a doubt the star of this dinner is the meatballs and there are a few things that I think make my meatballs extra yummy…
The great thing about this cottage pie recipe is that it’s so flexible. This is my favourite way to make it, but if I’ve got different vegetables to use up in the fridge then I’ll happily chuck those in instead.
The other great thing is that it’s packed full of healthy vegetables, so gives you two of your five-a-day. Serve it with lots of peas (as I like to do) then you’re up to three.
What’s not to love about this chilli con carne, it tastes delicious, it’s cheap and simple to make, it’s one of your five-a-day, it freezes so you can make a big batch and save some for another day, and best of all it’s under 250 calories so I can have an ice cream for pudding without feeling guilty.