Sunday, May 23, 2010

BBQ Season has begun!

We've had some beautiful weather lately, and not just in Morocco! England is sunny and "warm" (although if I were in Okinawa, I'd probably consider these days "winter"!--temps have been in the 60s & 70s).  The sun shines from about 4:30 a.m. until at least 8:30 p.m. and last night, we went to our first bbq of the season. I know there will be at least one more this summer, because we're going to have on July 10 to celebrate David's promotion!

Last night, David's supervisor had a gathering at his house for all of the "leadership" in the office. The e-mail invitation said we didn't have to bring anything, but I can never resist an opportunity to hear how much people like my food, so I made an appetizer and a dessert. Had we not brought anything, we would've been almost the only ones, so I'm glad we did!

I saw this recipe for Congo Bars in my feed reader earlier in the day. I had plenty of chocolate chips (and an updated inventory of them, thanks to the ants that inspired me to clean out all of my cabinets!) I made them almost exactly as the recipe reads, with three exceptions---1. I had to guesstimate the amount of butter because we bought butter here in town and it doesn't have the same markings as my American butter. First I had to do some internet research to figure out what 250 grams of butter would be in cups. I eyeballed 2/3 of the chunk. 2. I didn't have a box of brown sugar, so I didn't know how much  a pound was. I guessed that it would be 2 cups, but then looked at a box of dark brown sugar and decided there were probably 4 cups in there. Only I only had 2 cups of light brown sugar in my canister, so I supplemented with 2 more cups of dark brown sugar. 3. No pecans. I prefer my nuts plain. The result was DELICIOUS! Our friend said, "you've outdone yourself with these"! Only one  row of bars remained at the end of the night and we happily brought them home!

I also made Greek Salsa and took along some multi-grain Club crackers. I used more of almost every ingredient- roasted red peppers (chopped), olives (halved--recipe called for Kalamata but I used black because I'm cheap!), feta (crumbled), cucumbers (chopped). I used a little less chopped fresh mint and chopped red onion than called for. The mint here looks terrible compared to the beautiful fresh mint in Morocco!! I bought the Greek vinaigrette dressing that the recipe called for, but it probably would've been okay with regular vinaigrette or even Italian dressing. This was also very good and got lots of compliments. David and I are snacking on it right now and it's better the second day!

Now to decide what to make for our July bbq.... David has made 2 requests so far: taco salad & pumpkin cupcakes filled with homemade dulce de leche. The cupcakes are labor-intensive, but it's a special occasion!


billb said...

That pesky metric system!!! Go here for some quick and simple conversions I just guess when I'm cooking Thai from recipes! Your aunt completely rewrites so she doesn't measure!!!

Andy said...

So glad the goodies were a hit! Congratulations to David on his promotion!!

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