bits and pieces / photography

Pink Summer Days

We have had some lovely summer weather lately, starting last weekend. Summer temperatures usually mean that around dinner time a certain smell starts to dominate the air: BBQ! Not just at our place, the entire neighbourhood seems to light up the fire then. I like that kind of cooking as it requires little effort: some veggies and/or salad and some meat or fish (a barbequed dinner usually is not a vegetarian one at our place I have to admit…). We had some simple chicken thigh meat, roasted vegetables and a salad.

I’d like to share two simple side dishes with you. Both can easily be prepared while the barbeque is heating up, so no stress of big preparations!

A very easy side dish that you can prepare on the BBQ is this roasted aubergine and paprika salad with feta cheese.

Cut an aubergine and a yellow paprika in chunks (roughly 1 x 1 cm). Sprinkle with olive oil and put on the grill (I use a special stir-fry basket for that). Season along the way with salt and pepper. When the vegetables are done, keep them warm in a pre-heated oven (about 80-100°C). Add some crumbled feta cheese and fresh parsley just before serving.

Another very simple side dish is this avocado and tomato salad.

I have used two small and ripe avocados and some small red, yellow and orange tomatoes. Cut the avocado into small cubes and quarter the little tomatoes. Put in a bowl and add some lime juice (and a bit of zest if you like), season with salt and pepper and sprinkle with olive oil.

What are your favourite BBQ recipes?

When browsing Youtube, I stumbled over a scone recipe by Jamie Oliver. Perfect for the weekend, especially since we had a jar of clotted cream left in the fridge waiting to be used. So that was my Sunday bake!

I bought some lemon curd and I had some cherry jam, which I made earlier.

Of course, served with tea.

Monday promised to be a very sunny and warm day and we spontaneously decided to go to one of the islands along the northern coast of the Netherlands. Let me show you a map:

The island that the arrow is pointing at is called Ameland. We have to drive about an hour to reach te ferry that takes you to the island, so we easily do this as a day trip. Being on the island outside of the main tourist season and on a weekday means that it is not crowded at all. It was a great day!

We arrived around noon, so we started with lunch before heading to the beach. Last Autumn we visited the same island as well and we stayed in Hollum (on the west side of the island). It takes about fifteen minutes by bus from the harbour to reach that it. There are a few restaurants and Tante A’n is our favourite! They have a lovely pulled pork sandwich!

Time to head to the beach now! I like that point on the top of the dunes where you see the sea in front of you and the little town of Hollum in the back.

Of course, Bono was with us as well! Usually, he’s not very keen on going in the water. He will try to drink the water from the sea, only to come to the conclusion that it doesn’t taste good and you can’t actually drink that. This time, however, it was so warm that he immediately followed us into the water and walked belly deep in the water with us. Brave dog!

Time for some refreshments!

The beach here has some lovely photo spots! I must have about a million shots of these ones on my hard drive by now…

I’d like to take you on a short tour around our garden… These lovely pink flowers are on our garden table. I have no clue what they’re called…  I simply couldn’t resist them when I saw them at the garden centre.

The hydrangea is about to get its pink colour! Both of the plants have a lot of flowers this year! I’m happy about that since this one only had about three flowers last year!

I’m growing purple basil in my herb garden this year! I foresee a lot of pesto… it’s growing well!

Also on the garden table: beautiful lavender. You might have seen some photos of it with the bumblebees in the elderflower cordial post. I like them so much! They don’t smell very strong, but they have these cute leaves on top. When I’m sitting at the table there is a constant buzzing going on here!

I had cut out the older flowers… and this is the result when my camera is lying nearby! They simply are great photo subjects too!

We really had some great summer weather with temperatures reaching 30°C at the end of the week. I didn’t do a lot of things, to be honest. It actually was perfect to write my Hotel of Bees blog post!

I did do some knitting! I’m finishing my knitted stripey top here by picking up stitches along the sleeve for a small border. And someone is keeping me company!

This cutie was either lying outside in the shade of the garden table or inside at one of his favourite spots.

I did do some knitting! I am not going to show you more of this one yet, that’ll be a surprise for later! But don’t you like the coloured stitches on my needle? Oh, the pink yarn in the picture above is featured in it too…

Tomorrow starts a new week with milder temperatures and some rain too… I hope this isn’t the start of a typical Dutch summer!

I hope you all have a good week!





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