I really believe summer should be easy and fun. By the time you emerge from winter, you're ready for a bit of laughter in your life and lightness in the food you cook and eat!
Wherever you live in the world, spring and summer are a time for celebration – for enjoying holidays, outings and balmy evenings with family and friends. But down here in New Zealand and Australia we've got even more to celebrate in summer, with Christmas and New Year giving us extra excuses for getting together with family and friends.
When I was planning my new summer annual I tried to imagine all the occasions you might be needing to cook for, and then do all the thinking for you. So I've come up with recipes, menus and even shopping lists and printable invitations, menus and placecards to help you cook, eat and entertain in style. It’s a celebration of wonderful fresh summer produce, prepared simply so you’ll have plenty of time to relax and party.
- Planning a family barbecue? Choose one of my delicious grill and salad combos, or spice up your summer with something new like fiery sriracha beef, jerk chicken or banh mi burgers.
- Getting your workmates over for end-of-year drinks? Wow them with my Mexican-inspired nibbles and cocktails, including the perfect margarita and spicy meatballs.
- Just found a crumpled notice about the school bake sale or shared lunch tomorrow? My quick and easy baking recipes use affordable ingredients you’re sure to have on hand, and don't forget to print my handy tags!
- Hosting Christmas lunch? My special-occasion menu features all the recipes you’re looking for, including my modern updates of the Kiwi classics – turkey, ham, pavlova and trifle.
At the forefront of current food trends, Celebrate Summer offers something for everyone, with recipes for a raw vegan cheesecake, egg-free mayonnaise and gluten-free goodies, as well as home baking favourites and easy and affordable family meals.
I've also included my tips for planning a stress-free menu and matching food with drinks, my foodie’s guide to San Francisco and step-by-step instructions for making the hottest garden craze – kokedama bonsai balls – and prettying up your meals with edible petals. It’s supported by shopping lists, how-to instructions, blogs and videos on my website – click the tiles below to access all the bonus content!
A Free Range Life: Celebrate Summer! (Annabel Langbein Media, RRP $24.95) is available at supermarkets, Paper Plus, The Warehouse, good bookstores nationwide and on my website shop, and makes a great Christmas gift or treat for yourself.