20 August 2017

Sometimes I think that there`s honestly no better thing for my then making delicious food and seeing my loved ones enjoy it. So being able to host any kind of "come over to eat" thing makes me happy every single time. It`s just my weird kind of satisfaction. But to be honest it`s been some time since I`ve last done that. I feel like I`ve been baking a lot more and cooking less, so when I felt the inspiration to cook something I at once knew that it may turn out into a nice dinner. And ooh boy, here we go.... I can just tell that if I think of something like that I don`t do it halfway, I`m an all or nothing type of person I may say, so after planning this for about a week and with a proper menu with loads of snacks, a few salads and a main course I was incredibly excited to ask some friends over for a lovely picnic kinda dinner. Oh, and I forgot to mention - I even made a bloomin` serving board to make it all fancy and Italian(ish) styled, yup that`s how overboard I can go (*no regrets tho*)

So not only I`ve made it look cool I also came up with a few dishes perfect for picnicky dinners like this and, as always, I`ll be happy to share them with you.

Couscous salad with chickpeas and grilled chicken

Oh. My. God. First of all - chickpeas are LIFE. I honestly love them soooo much now and I`m so happy I found this amazing treat, so how couldn`t I incorporate them into a salad too.
And the dish itself is so simple to make, I promise.
Basically, there`s just a few steps: 
Cook the chickpeas. I usually take just regular canned ones or if I have more time I boil them myself (but it just takes ages to do that and the canned ones works perfectly so you really can take the easier way) and then you just mix them with your fave spices (some herbs and a pinch of chili works wonders!), some olive oil and a nice handful of grated parmesan. Then pop the chickpeas in the oven (preheated at 180 degrees) for about 15-20 mins, I should say, until they're nice and golden and crunchy and ooooh god so tasty (*imagines the taste).
Grill some chicken. I think there`s not much to say - just take a chicken breast, add some spices and give it a grill in the barbecue or on a grill pan (or even pop it in the oven if you prefer - I just really like the taste when you grill it)
Roast some cherry tomatoes. Again, vv simple. Just cut those in half, put into a baking pan, drizzle some olive oil and balsamic vinegar, add a pinch of salt and pepper. Bake at 180 degrees for 15 - 20 mins (obvs you can put them at the same time as the chickpeas - quick and simple.
Prepare the couscous. Okay, it`s getting even easier. Start with a nice heatproof dish in which you`ll also serve your salad (yup, preparing and serving in the same dish, cuz I don`t like a lot of dirty plates, lol), put a bit more than a half of the amount of couscous that you want to end up with (cuz you`ll end up with a lot more of it when it sits) add salt and some dried herbs and pour that much boiling water that  there`s about 1-2 centimetres above the couscous (perfect explanation, but I hope you`ll understand). Cover it up with a plate or something and let sit for about 5-7 minutes.
Mix it together. So add the chickpeas to your couscous, put the chicken on top and add those dried tomatoes, pop on a few basil leaves and that`s it!

Tomato - mozzarella salad

Okay, this is soooo basic, but I`m still telling how I make it. Just take some tomatoes (preferably fresh all kinds that you can find in your moms' greenhouse), chop them up, but leave them chunky, believe me, it works perfectly. Add some mozzarella. And pour some homemade pesto oil, which I`ve made just by blending some basil, sage and olive oil with a pinch of salt and pepper. That`s it!


Hummus is another thing that I`m obsessed with and regretting about not trying it earlier. And again, so sooo easy and amazingly good! So the thing you need to do is to put a can of chickpeas into a blender and mix them well, then add a bit of boiling water to make it more like a dip consistency and tune it up with some flavours. Add salt and pepper, add garlic and a bit of chilli (of Tabasco) just for that little kick and FOR SURE add some toasted sesame oil and tahini paste - these two make all the difference and takes your hummus to the next level! I really mean it - it`ll be amazing. Serve it with some tortilla chips and baby carrots or literally anything that you like.

Just take it easy and throw a lovely dinner. Make a cheese board, slice up a fresh watermelon,  make some fruit water and a cheeky lil desert and you`ll see - it will be amazing!

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