Tag Archives: Cheese

Party Foods Ideas

23 Aug
It must be party season as I’ve had two lovely readers of my blog ask me for some ideas for party food/nibbles in the last 24 hours. I am no expert but I was flattered to be asked so here are some ideas, hope you like them.
I always endeavour to have party food as relaxed as possible .. so lots of helping yourself and different tastes keeps everyone interested and can be good to break the ice without interrupting the flow of conversation!
 – Hummus is always a winner, the recipe on my blog is my favourite and lately I’ve been adding extra smoked paprika and cayenne pepper for a new dimension! Serve with crackers, toasted sourdough or veggies (sticks of carrots, celery, red capsicums/peppers are very appealing on the eye and great to munch on!)
 – Roasted chickpeas are so tasty and crunchy, a great nibble to have with drinks and chats – soak more chickpeas than you need for the hummus, dry them off and pop on a tray in the oven with some oil (I use coconut but olive is good) and spices. Here’s what Martha Stewart says but don’t be afraid to play around with the spices, you can’t go wrong.
 – Creamy Salmon Dip – this is a recipe my lovely Aunty Sally makes for parties & its gorgeous! 1 tin red salmon, 1 foil packet full fat philidelphia – whizz together then add juice of a lemon and 5/6 drops tabasco. Whizz again and serve with crackers!
 – Smoked salmon on brown bread – Always a winner and a stable of the Hurley homestead! Finger size slices of good brown bread (or your favourite type), real butter, smoked salmon with wedges of lemon on the side and sprinkle over some capers if you like those little fellas! Very easy to assemble.
 – Guacamole / Pico de Gallo – The key with avocados is plenty of salt, fresh coriander and lime juice! My Aussie cousin adds cherry tomato halves to her guac and its really good for picnics and parties. There is no definite recipe for this but as a guide try mixing together 2 avocados (mashed), 1 chilli sliced, handful coriander chopped, clove garlic squished, juice of 2 limes, 2 pinches of salt and 5 cherry tomatoes halved! For me, the more rustic the better but its totally up to you. Tip: If making in advance leave the stone from the avocado in the bowl, it will prevent it going brown/discolouring.
 – Cheese board – I use a wooden chopping board, 3 cheeses (don’t stress about the types but a cheddar, a brie and a blue work well. There are no rules!), sliced pear/apple, some grapes/strawberries and some nuts will look fab and there’ll be something for everyone. Place a few knives on the board, some crackers nearby and let everyone help themselves. Its real DIY nibbly food and people will go back time and time again.
Salted Caramel Haloumi and Apple – this recipe is on my blog and is so simple to make its always a shock how tasty it is! Cut the haloumi and apple smaller than usual and serve with toothpicks on the side to everyone can spear a bit of each and get the full yummy effect!
Caprese on a stick! – I love these as they look pretty. On a toothpick put one small mozzerella ball , one cherry tomato and a leaf of basil in between. A mouthful of beautiful fresh caprese salad.

Lots of colour to attract the eyes and simple flavours to satisfy the tastebuds!

What are your favourite party foods?

Enjoy x

Salted Caramel Halloumi & Apple

24 Apr

Halloumi is a food that I have known about for years, eaten once or twice in restaurants but never prepared at home until I moved here.

Never heard of it or don’t know what it is … here’s the spiel:

Halloumi or Hallumi is a Cypriot semi-hard, unripened brined cheese made from a mixture of goats’ and sheep milk, and sometimes also cows’ milk. It has a high melting point and so can easily be fried or grilled. Halloumi is set with rennet and is unusual in that no acid or acid-producing bacterium is used in its preparation.


If you’ve never tried it then do, its different to other cheeses in texture and makes a great meaty addition to salads. The only way I have ever eaten it is sliced and fried or grilled …and my friend tells me its great done on the BBQ so I must try that soon!  Trust me its delish!

This recipe is from Sarah Wilson and is a really handy and quick snack when you’re hungry but trying not to reach for sweet or unhealthy food.


1 apple sliced into 5mm wedges
6 slices haloumi cheese (cut 5mm thick)
sprinkle of cinnamon (optional but reccomended by me)

Place the haloumi and apple slices in a hot non-stick pan.

Shake the pan a little so the haloumi juice spreads and coats the apple.

Cook both sides (until both apple and haloumi are a lovely caramel colour).

Toss cinnamon and salt over the lot and serve.

Beware you are going to want to lick the plate!


Salad Season: Minty Peas with Feta & Warm Potato Salad

1 Nov

These make a great side for BBQs or even as a lunch in its own right with a crunchy green salad!

Warm Potato Salad 


800g baby potatoes – well cooked in salted water

2 spring onions – sliced, use it all right up to the dark green part

1/2 chilli – sliced (this is optional if you’re not a chilli lover)

handful of fresh coriander – chopped including stalks

1 clove of garlic – crushed

squeeze of lemon juice

2 dessert spoons of mayonnaise

1 dessert spoon of yoghurt – I used full fat greek as its the only decent sugar free yoghurt I can find in my local supermarket but any good creamy yoghurt will work

1/2 teaspoon wholegrain mustard – I didn’t have any today so used dijon instead and it was differnt but still good

When potatoes are cooked run a knife through them in the pot roughly, aiming to halve most but not all of them, we want a rustic look!

Chop the spring onions, chilli & coriander together add the garlic and squeeze over the lemon juice .. give this another chop together mainly to get the gorgeous smell from all the herbs then add to the hot potatoes.

Followed by the mayo, yoghurt and mustard.

Mix it all gently together, you want all the potatoes well coated but not pulverised…

The hot potatoes sort of drink in all the dressing,

Season with salt and pepper, taste, season, taste …Yum? Yes!

Personally I think they are best eaten immediately, from the pot! But are really good as a cold salad too.

This australian garlic is quite large so I just used half this clove.

Any excuse to use this massive cleaver …

Can be eaten still warm or cold.

Minty Peas with Feta 

I serve this as a vegetable with dinner alot as its so simple and tasty


400g Frozen peas – cooked as normal

40g Feta cheese – good stuff chopped up or crumbled, don’t bother with the fake or “light” stuff you might as well be eating styrofoam for all the pleasure or nourishment you’ll get!

1 small clove of garlic – crushed

5 fresh mint leaves

When peas are cooked, strain and add in the crushed garlic immediately – stir around and pop the lid back on for a minute. This will “cook” the garlic so its not too overpowering.

Then add in the feta and mint .. Stir…  Smell .. Taste and season, taste and again and .. YUM!

The feta melts and becomes a salty creamy dressing of sorts .. the mint adding a lovely summery freshness.

Check out my home grown mint!

Delish with some decent pork sausages from the bar-bie!

(Apologies for the photos, the place is very shadowy today and I am without skills..)


SJ x