Janelle Bloom's Summer Entertaining Tips
glass of wineCasual entertaining gets a boost this summer with new and interesting flavour combinations that will really impress, whether you're entertaining guests, hosting a BBQ or having a pre-dinner snack with a glass of wine at home.

"These days people are looking for everyday foods that are a bit more interesting. They love entertaining friends and family but they don't want it to be a chore! You don't need to break the bank or spend hours to prepare exciting dishes that will make your guests feel spoilt," celebrity chef Janelle Bloom said.

  • My number 1 rule for entertaining is never make any dish for the first time when you're entertaining; always have a practice run to make sure it works and lives up to your expectations.
  • Entertaining requires attention to detail not only with food, drinks and music, but also to the guests invited. We're all guilty of overlooking the importance of spending quality time with our guests.
  • Think outside the square! Take a little extra time to prepare fresh and innovative dips and toppings to serve with interesting-flavoured crackers to surprise and delight your guests.
  • If the party is outside, ensure citronella candles and insect repellent are in full view of guests. It's these small things that show attention to detail and make guests feel looked after.
  • The first drink should always be served by the host! But have drinks like punch with frozen fruit or frozen cocktails that can be made ahead so your guests can serve themselves throughout the party. And remember to have delicious non-alcoholic options for designated drivers and plenty of iced water.
  • Keep things cool and casual with an abundance of a few dishes that look and taste great rather than a small amount of many dishes. It's better to create a few taste sensations than many mediocre ones!
  • At least two-thirds of the food you are serving should be recipes prepared completely in advance. Once the party starts, the host needs to be free to entertain and mingle.
  • Don't even think about using paper or plastic plates! It doesn't matter if all the crockery and cutlery don't match. A mix of size, colour and style of plates and glasses adds to the casual summer feel.
  • If you're holding a relatively small party, consider sending guests home with a little goody bag. It can be filled with something homemade, like jam, tapenade, truffles or shortbread, or your home made contribution can be as simple as the name tag and ribbon!



Proscuitto-wrapped_prawns_with_avocadosrevProsciutto-wrapped Prawns with Avocado

125g packet Veri Deli Olive Oil & Sea Salt crackers
2 avocados, peeled, chopped
½ small garlic clove, crushed
2 tbs freshly squeezed lemon juice
2 tbs sour cream
1/4 cup coriander leaves, roughly chopped
½-1 tsp Tabasco sauce
2 tbs extra virgin olive oil
1 lemon, rind finely grated
12 thin slices prosciutto
24 cooked medium king prawns, peeled, deveined

  1. Mash the avocado and garlic together in a bowl with a fork leaving avocado still a little chunky. Add lemon juice, sour cream, coriander and Tabasco to taste. Season with salt and pepper. Press the seed into the centre of the bowl (this prevents dip going brown) and press a piece plastic wrap right onto the surface. Refrigerate until ready to serve.
  2. Combine oil and lemon rind in a bowl, season with salt and pepper. Using a sharp knife or kitchen scissors, cut the prosciutto in half lengthways. Wrap 1 piece around each prawn and add to the oil mixture, turn to coat.
  3. Dollop avocado onto each Veri Deli Olive Oil & Sea Salt cracker, top with one marinated prawn and serve.

Kitchen tip:

To get maximum juice from your citrus, place onto the outer edge of the microwave turntable and microwave 20-30 seconds on High/100%. Alternatively, cut in half and place cut side down onto hot barbecue plate for 1 minute, this softens the cell walls allowing more juice to be released when squeezed.