How to prepare delicious summer meals at home and everything you need to get started.
“There’s no better way to welcome the warm weather than a garden party with family and friends,” said Tina Barkway of the Aldiss Department Store in Norfolk. “This season is the perfect time to put your cooking skills to the test, try new recipes and make the most of outdoor dining.”
Below, Tina shares her favorite summer BBQ chicken and asparagus salad recipe, along with the kitchen staples you need to make it.
1. Herb scissors
“The secret to great summer cooking is to make the dishes fragrant and refreshing,” says Tina. “The easiest way to do this is to use fresh herbs like basil, chives, and lemongrass.”
“One of my favorite gadgets is herb scissors. Herbs can be finely chopped to sprinkle over pasta dishes, salads and chicken.”
“The scissors are light, thin and easy to use,” Tina adds. “The included brush makes for an effortless clean, which is helpful when preparing a variety of spices.”
2. Salter Electronic Scale
Handy for both baking and cooking, an electronic scale can ensure pinpoint accuracy, allowing you to tackle more complicated recipes with ease.
“You can save washing up by measuring out multiple ingredients in the same bowl,” says Tina. “The scale is easy to use and takes up little space on your counter. This is ideal for efficient food preparation.
3. Kilner storage jars
Summer is the best time to get busy in the garden. When you grow fruits and vegetables, you can use them to make delicious jams, chutneys and marinades, adding flavor to your breakfast, lunch and dinner recipes.
“You can store your marinades in a Pot de Four to ensure they last longer and retain their potent flavor,” suggests Tina.
4. Rate the stainless steel three-layer steamer
“Fresh vegetables are the best side dishes for summer dinners,” Tina adds.
Using a three-level steamer makes it possible to cook several vegetable sides at once, healthy and without taking up the entire hob.
“The steamer works on all hobs and is dishwasher safe,” reveals Tina. “The double-sided handles make it easy to lift each stack and the bottom of the bowl has a thermal bottom that can be used as a bain-marie to steam the asparagus to perfection.”
5. KitchenAid range kitchenware
One of the most important steps for any aspiring home cook is having a well-equipped kitchen.
“Check out the new KitchenAid range to discover all the essential utensils, including spatulas, gourmet knife blocks and colanders, you must try new dishes,” says Tina. “Additions like a digital mini timer and prep bowls help bring recipes to life.”
6. Soft sheets from the Sophie Allport Haas set
It’s also important to stay safe in the kitchen.
“The Sophie Allport range includes matching oven gloves, cooking pans, baking trays and aprons,” says Tina. “The special hare and bee designs will add a touch of elegance to your kitchen decor.”
For a beautiful outdoor dining table, you will find napkins and table runners in the same print.
“Each piece is machine washable at 30 degrees, so it’s easy to keep your laundry fresh,” Tina adds.
7. Pieces from the Mary Berry Signature Collection
Food should not only taste good, but also be tasty.
“We eat with our eyes, so finding nice dishes to serve your food on can only make your meal better,” Tina says. “The delicate and sophisticated Mary Berry Signature Dinner Set is perfect for everyday wear and special occasions.
“The elegant design accessories with flowers and birds will add a natural charm to your home and will provide you with all the pieces you need for a beautiful summer party.”
8. Mason Cash Heirloom Pie Pans
“A silky smooth cake is a great way to round out your outdoor menu and is guaranteed to be a crowd pleaser,” says Tina. “Two of my favorite dishes to cook in the summer are Strawberry Sponge or Lemon Elderflower Cake.”
To keep your bake fresh and moist, store it in a Mason Cash Heirloom Cake Pan. The heavy-duty set includes a six-litre and four-litre box for small and large desserts.
To outfit your kitchen in time for summer, head over to aldiss.com or pop into one of Aldiss’ Norwich or Fakenham stores.