Thank god we live in sunny Queensland, because we’ve come out of Winter early and can enjoy outdoor entertaining again on these beautiful weekends we’ve been blessed to have lately! Get inspired to entertain your friends and family with our easy recipes everyone who comes over will love, because after all, calories don’t count on Sunday right?! 

Recipe 1: Garlic and cheese pull-apart bread

INGREDIENTS
1 x 500g pane di casa loaf
75g butter, melted
4 garlic cloves, crushed
1 tablespoon finely chopped flat-leaf parsley
125g bacon, finely chopped
100g cream cheese, at room temperature
1 cup grated cheddar
1 cup grated mozzarella
METHOD

Step 1: Preheat oven to 200C or 180C fan-forced. Line a baking tray with foil.

Step 2: Using a serrated knife, cut bread in a criss-cross pattern (about 3-4cm wide), without cutting all the way through. Combine butter, garlic and parsley in a small bowl. Spoon butter into bread cracks.

Step 3: Combine bacon, cream cheese, cheddar and mozzarella in a large bowl. Season with pepper. Push mixture into bread cracks. Loosely cover with foil. Bake for 15 minutes or until cheese has melted. Remove foil and bake for 15 minutes or until bread is crisp and cheese is golden. Serve immediately.

Recipe 2: Layered lasagne cob dip

INGREDIENTS
2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
1 small brown onion, chopped
2 garlic cloves, crushed
350g beef mince
400g jar tomato pasta sauce
1/4 cup chopped fresh basil leaves, plus extra leaves to serve
200g cream cheese, softened
3/4 cup sour cream
1 cup grated mozzarella
1 large cob loaf
2 tablespoons finely grated parmesan

METHOD

Step 1: Preheat oven to 180C/160C fan-forced. Line a large baking tray with baking paper.

Step 2: Heat 1/2 the oil in a large frying pan over medium-high heat. Add onion. Cook, stirring, for 5 minutes or until softened. Add garlic. Cook, stirring, for 1 minute or until fragrant. Add mince. Cook, breaking up lumps with a wooden spoon, for 5 minutes or until browned and cooked through. Add pasta sauce and 1/2 cup water. Bring to the boil. Reduce heat to low. Simmer for 15 minutes or until thickened slightly. Remove from heat. Set aside for 10 minutes. Stir in basil. Season with salt and pepper.

Step 3: Meanwhile, place cream cheese, sour cream and 1/2 the mozzarella in a bowl. Stir until well combined.

Step 4: Trim 4cm off the top of cob loaf. Leaving a 1cm thick edge, remove bread from centre of cob. Cut bread and bread top into large cubes. Place cob on prepared tray. Arrange chopped bread around cob and drizzle with remaining oil.

Step 5: Spoon 1/2 the mince mixture into cob, spreading to level. Top with 1/2 the cream cheese mixture, spreading to level. Repeat with remaining mince mixture and cheese mixture. Sprinkle with parmesan and remaining mozzarella. Season with pepper. Bake for 20 to 25 minutes or until cheese is melted and golden. Stand for 5 minutes. Serve, sprinkled with extra basil.

If you are thinking about renovating your outdoor area, we’d love to discuss how we can help bring your vision to life and improve your  outdoor area into a beautiful alfresco living space that suits your lifestyle and entertaining needs! Call us on 5472 7272 for a non-obligatory chat.