Kicking off summerSummer officially starts tomorrow and I'm primed ready to roll. There's nothing better than a gorgeous lunch with friends enjoyed with a glass or two of wine, especially when the dish is as easy to put together as the little haloumi number here. Sizzle haloumi in butter until golden and serve with juicy cubes of watermelon and a squeeze of lime. Can't be beat. Rosé, Sav, Chardonnay, Riesling, Albarino, Arneis ... your choice. If you like the wine, you'll like it with this salad. Finding time for a catch-up with friends before Christmas can be tricky. Brunch is a great option, but save your cash for pressies, and cook brunch at home. Hash. Yep, that's the thing. Potato hash, smoked fish and eggs. 'Tis the season of giving, so give you must. To help you out, we've got a lovely range of Shared Kitchen goodies: Remo's Olives and Feta – you'll be pretty popular if you turn up at a drinks party with these instead of a bottle of wine – and pretty jars of Preserved Lemons, and bags of Chocolate Fudge Brownies and Chocolate & Walnut Truffles to pop under the tree. See all the details here Shared Kitchen Gifts I've also got my cookbook Julie Biuso At Home available as a Christmas gift (happy to sign a dedication for you), and a great line of FURI knives. The FURI knife sharpener is the easiest sharpener to use – even a novice cook can keep their knives sharp as a blade. FURI As far as my Christmas goes, I will be receiving the best Christmas gift of all – my lovely daughter Ilaria is home for Christmas! I will have to see if I can persuade her to give me a hand on Shared Kitchen cooking classes, then those of you coming along will get to meet her and to enjoy her tales of travelling and eating around Europe. There are just a few spaces left in December classes, and I'll have the January schedule out soon. I can also organise gift vouchers – I send out a lovely card to the recipient, or I can send it direct to you to hand over on Christmas day. Cooking Classes We've had heaps of enquiries about the trip I am taking to Puglia in May next year – just a reminder that the fabulous travel concession offered by Cathay Pacific ends 15th December, so you will need to commit before then to take advantage of it. Phew, the sun is peeping out at my place, and I'm off out in the garden to get some more vegetables planted in time for the summer months ahead. I've got sprouting broccoli popping out and now it's a daily race to pick it before very large and very green caterpillars attempt to mow it down.
Have a good one – and don't forget, if you are in the northern hemisphere, simply go into the side bar categories on the right of the Home page of Shared kitchen and look under Autumn or Winter, for suitable recipes.