Sunday 27 June 2010

Marie's Sunday Six

Welcome to my weekly Sunday Six Smile Makers post . . . the day where I get to share with you some of my smiles and the things in my life that make me happy. Since this is the first Sunday of the summer, I thought it would be fun to share with you my Sunday Summer Smile Makers!!

Days out in the car make me smile! When the sun is shining and the days are long, it's fun to go out driving on a summer adventure. Sometimes there may be a destination, other days you just go where the mood and inspiration take you! The fun part is doing it together . . . the "Are we there yets!", the "I have to go . . . 's", the "I'm bored's, " all add to the fun of the adventure. It's just a great time to do something together as a family.

Playing outdoor games in the sun and warmth. Croquet, badminton, frisby . . . it doesn't matter what the game is . .. it's just fun being together and playing a game out in the fresh air and sunshine!! That makes me smile big time!

Days at the seaside! Sun, sand and surf! This makes me smile. Donkey rides, piers, seagulls, fish and chips, sand between your toes . . . happy holiday makers. It's all good!!

Relaxing afternoons . . . a place to lay down, a good book, some shade in the sunshine . . . nothing to do but just be . . . there is something pretty special about having nothing to do on a summer's afternoon, don't you think? That thought makes me smile!

Picnics make me smile!! There is something about eating out of doors, stretched out on a blanket in a park, in your own little patch of shade, with the people you love, that is so very special!! It doesn't have to be elaborate . . . even a sandwich from Marks and Spencers and a cold bottle of water can be a feast, just so long as you are with the people you truly care about. Heck, it doesn't even have to be outdoors and in a park. Some of my nicest picnics have been spent on rainy days on a blanket in the living room, with my little chicks all gathered around me!

Ice creams!! There is something about a summer ice cream cone that you just can't experience any other time of the year. Soft, cold and melting . . . and studded with a chocolate flake, it is the ultimate summer pastime! The rush to get it eaten before it melts all down your arm . . . that cold sweetness on your tongue . . . sharing with the one you love . . . it's all good!

Ice Cold Lemonade!! Nothing is more refreshing or tasty than a tall frosty glass of Ice Cold Lemonade on a hot summer's day. It makes me smile, and the colder the better!!! Somehow it doesn't taste the same at any other time of the year . . . it has to be summer for a lemonade to taste really, really good!

It's been quite a few years since I have done this, but can anything be more exciting or wonderful than running through the sprinkler on a hot summer's day??? I don't think so!! I think this afternoon when we get back from church, I am going to get Todd to hook the sprinkler up and I am going to run through it. Maybe he will even join me, now that's a happy thought!! Why didn't I think of this before!!! Happy days!!!

Long walks together in the evening . . . after the heat of the day begins to dissapate, and a cooler breeze starts to blow . . . holding hands as we walk along the sun dappled pavement . . . there is nothing more heart swelling, or a more pleasant occupation I don't think . . . the perfect end to perfect days . . . can you feel my smile? I sure hope so.

When it all boils down to it, I just think that summer makes me smile full stop!! No matter how hot it gets, or how dry . . . it's just nice to see the warmer, sunnier weather . . . and it special to share it with my Todd, and with you. I hope my summer thoughts brought a smile to your faces today!

Another great thing about summer is the barbeques!! We finally got our barbeque put together yesterday and it was the perfect day to grill some chicken. This tasted some good beneath our outdoor umbrella last evening . . . sitting together at our outdoor table with the sounds of summer playing around us . . . mmmm . . . mmmm . . . good!!

*Barbeque Chicken with a Sweet Chili Glaze*
Serves 4
Printable Recipe

You can do this with chicken pieces or with a whole chicken which you have spatchcocked**. The end result is a deliciously moist chicken with a finger licking spicy glaze that will have them coming back for more. Plan ahead as it needs to marinate for a bit before cooking.

8 pieces of bone in chicken (thighs, drumsticks, quarter breasts)
or 16 wings (trimmed) or one (1 1/2 pound) chicken, spatchcocked**

For the marinade and glaze:
1/2 cup sweet chili sauce
4 TBS soy sauce
4 tsp dark sesame oil
2 tsp freshly grated gingerroot
sea salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste

Combine all of the marinade and glaze ingredients and mix together really well. Divide the mixture in half, using half to marinate your chicken and the other half for when you cook it.

Place the chicken pieces into a non-metallic, non-reactive flat dish and pour half of the marinade/glaze over it all, rubbing it in and making sure it is well coated. Cover and refrigerate for at least 30 minutes, or up to 2 hours.

Fire up your grill and remove the chicken from the fridge. Place the chicken pieces on the grill, cooking over medium heat, until the skin begins to crisp, about 10 minutes, turning once or twice during that time. Brush with the remaining glaze and continue to cook, until the meat is no longer pink at the bone, turning and brushing with the glaze as required for at least another 15 to 20 minutes. Serve.

Sometimes I get a head start on the grilling by pre-cooking the chicken in my oven for about 15 minutes. Just preheat your oven to 160*C/350*F/ gas mark 4 and place the chicken onto an oven tray. Cook it for 15 minutes before removing it and finishing it off on the grill. If you don't have a grill you can still cook this delicious chicken in your oven. Once you have finished the intitial cooking, continue to cook it in the oven, brushing it with the glaze occasionally for a further 30 minutes or so longer, until the juices run clean when the chicken is pierced with a fork and the skin is crispy and sweetly glazed.

**To Spatchcock a chicken: Spatchcocking a whole chicken is an easy way to impress your guests. You basically butterfly a whole fresh young chicken. You wil want to buy a chicken that has the cavity cleaned out, if not, you will first clean out all the giblets. Take your chicken and using a sharp pair of kitchen shears, cut down all along the side of the back bone on each side from front to rear to remove it. Once you have the backbone removed, place the chicken on the counter, right side up and give it a sharp tap down with the base of your hand to flatten it out. Your chicken is now spatchcocked.

There's a tasty Broccoli Salad over on The English Kitchen today!


  1. Summertime is just full of SMILES. I seem to have many more of them now than in the Winter. I hope your Sunday is a wonderful one!

  2. I'll run through the sprinklers if you will. Well, maybe I'll stroll, but it is a great idea. Sometimes I just go outside and turn the hose on myself if it particularly hot and sticky out. It is very refreshing. You have captured the essence of summer very well in your post, Marie. Made me want some lemonade too!

  3. I love each of the things you have listed for your summer smiles.... here in SoCal we have lots of warm or hot days so we can do those things much of the year. I suppose we are spoiled in a way. Sometimes I envy your cooler days and rain.... but then...each of the things you listed today do make me smile. However, I could only run through the sprinklers in the front yard so I don't think I will do that. However, I would love to see you and Todd doing it.

    I am going to make my recipe again today and see if it will fit into a 9X13 pan. I will let you know.

    I wish I were there to have that chicken with you for dinner. The roast I have in the crock pot doesn't seem near as interesting and fun on a summer day.... but it was easy to put in before it won out.

    I send love, Hugs, Lura


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