Friends, Barbecue, Australia.

January 30, 2012

How was everyone’s Australia Day? This year Ben and I decided to take true advantage of the public holiday and host an Australia Day Barbecue. We absolutely love having friends over, and I can tell we’re going to be doing a lot of hosting in the future. With themes. Themes are good.

Our theme on this day, despite it being Australia Day, appeared to be deliciousness, as opposed to the more topical ‘all things Australiana’. But that was fine, people were happy. Plus, there was certainly some Australia love going on…

Nothing says you’re proud to be Australian like balloons, let’s be honest.

It was a load of fun hanging out in our little backyard with friends, feasting and drinking, and eagerly counting down the Triple J Hottest 100. It was nice, really nice.


Salty Dogs to start, which are made of grapefruit juice and vodka, plus a salt-rimmed glass (recipe link). Usually I do enjoy a rimmed glass, however I wasn’t in love with the salt addition here. I think I’d prefer a plain glass, an unseasoned dog, if you will. A salt-rim is so pretty, though, like delicate little crystals hanging from your glass.

Sometimes aesthetics outweigh taste…

We also nibbled on sliced Watermelon,

Chicnuts (love),

and Olives.


After a little while it was time to cook, starting with…

Mushrooms and Meat!

We also had Corn. Favourite.

We slathered the corn in Ben’s Chilli Butter, which was highly praised. He simply melted light dairy spread in a pan then added diced birdseye chilli. It certainly packed a punch. We agreed that some fresh lime juice would have been nice too.


Potato Prep. I had three trays of these babies on my kitchen floor, raised by bricks – pre-cooked, ready to be re-heated, which worked quite well.

Salt and Vinegar Potatoes (recipe link). Favourite.

Peta’s beautiful Rocket, Pear and Walnut Salad.

My Farro, Chickpea and Kale Salad with Roasted Purple Carrots and Goats Cheese (recipe to come!).


Yeah, feeling a little guilty that we didn’t buy VB, but sometimes taste outweighs patriotism…


I was quite happy with how the countdown turned out, especially with the large number of local acts highlighted. Go Australian music! It was nice to reminisce on the music of this past year and hear so many fabulous songs in one looooong hit.

It’s a humble little space we have out back, and I’m quite in love with it. It was really lovely spending the evening chilling out there.

Hang on, what’s that you say? It’s time for something sweet? Sure thing.

Watermelon, Raspberry and Mint Popsicles. Well, more like little popsicle niblets. I had trouble releasing these icy babies from their kung-fu grip casings. I suppose it serves me right for grabbing super cheap moulds at the last minute. And clearly I need to research ‘popsicle releasing techniques’. No-body likes a popsicle niblet. Although my friends were still complimentary, enjoying the refreshing, fruity flavour. I’ll post a recipe shortly, once I figure out how to release them nicely and get a pretty picture. Everyone likes a pretty picture.

We also snacked on Dark Chocolate-Dipped Strawberries. Mmmmmm, such a winner, thanks, Amy.

And lastly, Lamingtons. I’m so pleased that Jess brought these Patriotic Poppets. They went down a treat and I felt very Australian indeed.

Friends, Barbecue, Australia. All things wonderful.

Heidi xo
  • Lisa (bakebikeblog) January 30, 2012 at 7:44 am

    What a wonderful BBQ!!!

    and perhaps a sugar rim would be a good alternative to a salt rim?

  • Marita January 30, 2012 at 7:52 am

    Yum ๐Ÿ™‚ we run our Popsicles under cold water until they slip out of their cases. I usually have a large bowl underneath to collect the water as I feel guilty about the waste – use it to water the garden.

    Looking forward to the recipe.

  • Heavenly Ingredients January 30, 2012 at 8:56 am

    great post, looked like the perfect Australia day

  • Cass @foodmyfriend January 30, 2012 at 9:54 am

    That sounds perfect! Don't blame you for the VB change over, although I would have had pure blondes ๐Ÿ˜›

  • Michelle Chin January 30, 2012 at 12:27 pm

    I love lamingtons. They are probably one of the things I love about Australia. ๐Ÿ˜€

  • Yasmeen January 30, 2012 at 1:44 pm

    Now that is a perfect outdoor menu. Looks like a lovely time! We had a pretty relaxed Australia Day roaming around, nibbling here and there. Love your lamingtons, must admit they're quite tempting as an at-work-after-lunch snack.

  • Sophie January 30, 2012 at 1:51 pm

    So trying those potatos! I just realise I follow you on instagram and I never comment on your blog! Naughty me! ๐Ÿ™ But Hello !

  • Leah January 30, 2012 at 4:03 pm

    I love all these recipes, looks like a great day.

    I have to try these potatoes!!!!

  • Lisa January 30, 2012 at 5:39 pm

    I have BBQ envy. I'm dying to own my own BBQ so that I can have these kinds of parties, one day I'm sure it will happen (and then I will steal your menu!).

    However I did have an awesome Australia Day with a suitably Aussie meal – prawn ravioli, rack of lamb and a pav for dessert. I love 26 January.

  • Heidi January 30, 2012 at 5:41 pm

    Lisa – thanks ๐Ÿ™‚ & yes I usually do prefer a sugar rim!!

    Marita – thanks for the tip! We tried warm water so will definitely give cool water a try.

    Laura – thank you, it was ๐Ÿ™‚

    Cass – yeah, VB's kinda gross ๐Ÿ˜‰

    MIchelle – they're quite light too, which is nice!

    Yasmeen – relaxed and roaming sounds lovely too ๐Ÿ™‚

    Sophie – why hello, so nice to hear from you ๐Ÿ™‚

    Leah – you must!!!!! they're awesome.

    Lisa – your menu sounds divine and very aussie indeed ๐Ÿ™‚ yes a BBQ is a glorious thing, hopefully you get one soon!

    Heidi xo

  • Lorraine @ Not Quite Nigella January 30, 2012 at 7:08 pm

    The popsicles look great because they look packed full of real fruit flavour! And chilli butter on corn? I'm so there!

  • Hannah January 30, 2012 at 8:45 pm

    You're right, these are absolutely the perfect ingredients for a wonderful Australia Day. The only thing I would add from the shindig I attended was a waterfight. Particularly when you and a few others spend the time hiding in the "safe tent" (a hills hist covered in blankets and towels), laughing hysterically at the people chasing each other around and around and around the house in a neverending circle of water guns, ballons, and hoses…


  • Hannah January 30, 2012 at 10:27 pm

    Can't wait for the popsicle recipe! I made coconut "icecream" today- can't wait till it's ready ๐Ÿ™‚ Oooh and the faro recipe sounds amazing, kale is my fav vege atm!!

  • Heidi January 31, 2012 at 6:27 am

    Lorraine – thanks! yep so much fruit in there. And the butter was gooooood!

    Hannah – awe, man! we totally should have had a water fight! that's the ultimate Australian BBQ activity… & your safe tent sounds functional and fun ๐Ÿ˜›

    Hannah – high five for kale ๐Ÿ™‚ your ice-cream sounds awesome!

    Heidi xo

  • xoCATox January 31, 2012 at 10:32 am

    What a spread! Looks amazing ๐Ÿ™‚

  • Ashley January 31, 2012 at 9:07 pm

    What an awesome meal! Looks like perfect BBQ food, the corn with that chilli butter sounds AWESOME! ๐Ÿ™‚

  • The InTolerant Chef February 1, 2012 at 3:21 pm

    What a great day! I love the sound of that corn too, Yumm…

  • Heidi February 1, 2012 at 4:17 pm

    Cat – thanks! It was might tasty ๐Ÿ™‚

    Ashley – totally was ๐Ÿ™‚

    InTolerant Chef – the corn is winning all round! Love it.

    Heidi xo

  • CC11 February 3, 2012 at 11:25 am

    You guys do the best feasts!

  • Iron Chef Shellie February 3, 2012 at 1:23 pm

    yay for BBQs with friends ๐Ÿ™‚

    We found that Sol beer to lack flavour. Haven't tried VB and don't really plan to ๐Ÿ˜›

  • Heidi February 3, 2012 at 6:09 pm

    CC11 – awe thanks! we had fun ๐Ÿ™‚

    Michele – I'm not a huge beer fan, I need it to be quite mild. & no, don't bother with VB ๐Ÿ˜‰

    Heidi xo

  • Salt and Vinegar Potatoes – Apples Under My Bed January 17, 2015 at 1:38 pm

    […] good stuff)ย on Heidi Swanson’s blog, 101 Cookbooks. And I have spoken of these potatoes before, and made them on numerous occasions. But Iย only recently perfected theย method and I’m […]