The last weeks of term have been longer than ever this year… Endoftermitis hit us like a ton of bricks a few weeks ago and we’ve not recovered. You know what it’s like: everyone is overtired, grumpy, short-tempered and ready for the summer holidays. Even cooking dinner became tedious, so when the lovely people at Ciao Gusto asked me to come up with a snack or meal to have while watching Wimbledon, I saw it as an opportunity to have a get-together with friends and cheer everyone up.
I hadn’t had a proper chat with my friend Aimee in weeks and our children were desperate to see each other so I booked a home delivery from Ciao Gusto’s Italian Shop on Ocado and we had a small end of term gathering. Aimee and I are both big cheese eaters, so the first items that made it to my Ocado basket were a selection of crackers and cheeses: Brie, Auricchio Mild Gorgonzola and some Pie d’Angloys.
When summer (finally) comes, I am also keen on sweet, juicy melon served with Negroni Prosciutto di Parma, so the children and I put together small skewers with the fruit and the cured ham: if you haven’t tried this combo yet, try. Just try, seriously: it’s delicious.
I love nibbles. I picked some beautiful little cherry tomatoes on the vine. These babies were tossed in seasoning (olive oil, salt, pepper & mixed herbs) then paired with small cubes of Auricchio Mozzarella di Bufala Campana and basil on toothpicks. We also had Prosciutto di Parma wrapped around the end of gluten—free breadsticks (these were daily requests for lunchboxes after that) and cucumber slices.
The pièce de résistance for our evening with friends was Auricchio’s ready to bake Provolone cheese, which came in its own little baking dish. To go with our small cheese fondue, I simply boiled baby potatoes. The children wanted to dip root veg crisps in the cheese and I thought, “Why not?” I also and made allergy-friendly bread croutons by coating cubes of gluten-free white rolls in a little salt, pepper and olive oil and placing them under the grill with three garlic cloves. Oh. My. Goodness!
We talked. We laughed. We ate.
We did eat a lot of cheese, and it was good. I had planned to go for fancy frozen dessert, but we were too busy chatting and the children had ice cream.
These dairy-free Valsoia soya ice cream sandwiches went down a treat with the children, and their friends asked me to save the last few for their next visit!
Crevette and Beanie started their free Tennis for Kids sessions a couple of weeks ago and I have been really impressed with the way they get taught how to play tennis and enjoy it.
I would have loved it if I had been taught in such an interactive and well-paced way when I was little!
After their session on Sunday, I was peckish and asked the children if they fancied making Wimbledon-inspired Sundaes. Guess what their answer was?
We started by making our ever so popular allergy-friendly strawberry ice cream and got the rest of our ingredients ready: crushed meringue for most of us and popcorn for Jumpy, Valsoia Chocolate and Cream Soya Ice Cream, Fabric Fabbri Amarena Fruit and Syrup, strawberries and sprinkles.
With a teeny bit of help from me, Crevette and Wriggly layered our Eton Mess Sundaes in tall glasses.
Didn’t they do an amazing job?
The Sundaes were a huge hit and they were devoured pretty quickly!
Disclosure: This is a collaborative post. All photos and opinions are my own.