Father’s Day Gifts: A hamper fit for a barbecue king!

With Father’s Day being in June, it’s a bit of a tradition for us to mark the occasion with a barbecue in the sunshine. The whole family come together, grill some meat, eat huge salads and just hang out together. It’s a lovely relaxed way to spend the day in celebration of the Dads in the family. This year, in a nod to family tradition I’ve ordered an Australian Indulgence hamper for my other half.

The Australian Indulgence hamper is described as “the ultimate hamper for Aussie food lovers”; or just a great thing to bring along to a barbecue. The hamper includes all the things you’d associate with Australia – a jar of Vegemite, a packet of Tim Tams, some Australian Red and White Wine, Bundaberg drinks, a Cherry Ripe bar, Arnotts barbecue shapes, caramelised onion chutney, and of course a bottle of barbecue Sauce.

Father's Day Gifts: A hamper fit for a barbecue king!

The hamper comes in an open wicker gift basket which is a handy thing to have once you’ve finished all the goodies inside. Delivery was free and you can choose next or named day delivery too. I always like it when I can choose the delivery date. You can add a gift message too.

We’ve ordered ours early and it’s been put away ready for Father’s Day. The boy will be making a nice gift card of his own to go with it and I need to pop to the butchers and order some sausages; but otherwise that’s Father’s Day pretty much sorted in one lovely hamper!

The products in this Australian Indulgence Hamper are really recognisable; especially if you’ve been brought up on a TV diet of Home and Away and Neighbours.

Father's Day Gifts: A hamper fit for a barbecue king!

We’ve had a few different hampers before, what I liked about this was it was most definitely a hamper and not just a cardboard box of stuff. Everything was well chosen and I know he will really enjoy the contents. My other half literally has everything he could ever want or need. These days we tend to buy food and drink gifts for him and this really hits the mark.

This hamper cost £79 but hamper.com have a really good range of Father”s Day hampers from £25 and to suit all kinds of tastes. Personally I’d be very happy with the whisky and cheese hamper, but I guess I’ll have to drop some hints closer to my birthday.

I know this Australian Indulgence Hamper will go down a storm at our Father’s Day barbecue; with wine and Tim Tams for pudding how could it not?

What are you doing for Father’s Day? What kid of hamper would your Dad enjoy?

Disclosure: We were sent this hamper for review purposes. All images and opinions are our own.

Review: Jack Daniel’s Tennessee Honey Barbecue Glaze

One of my favourite things about summer is getting the barbecue out, knocking up a few salads and inviting some people round for a feast. It is casual dining at its best. There’s not a lot in life that’s better than relaxing with a glass of something chilled while the men debate about when to put the steaks on the barbecue.

As a veggie my barbecue experience is often a bit meh. I usually have barbecued corn on the cob, a pile of nice salad and a veggie burger, which is fine, but my meal is usually cooked first so they can get on with the important business of burning meat, so I do feel a bit left out of the main scoffing. Moan moan moan!

What I do love is a nice barbecue sauce, I actually prefer a barbecue sauce to a dollop of ketchup. Barbecue sauce seems to have really come on in leaps and bounds these last few years, with lots of new recipes and flavours flooding the market. About 6 years ago I first discovered the Jack Daniel’s Barbecue sauces, at the time I think they only did one, but it was by far the nicest one I’d found. These days there are a lot more sauces on the market, but I was sent the Jack Daniel’s Tennessee Honey Barbecue Glaze to try out.

We waited until the sun came out, and by ‘eck the sun came out last week. So we invited some people round. I knocked up some salads and him indoors got busy burning some meat. I casually left the bottle of Jack Daniel’s Tennessee Honey Barbecue Glaze on the table next to the ketchups and relishes to see what people thought.

Jack Daniel's Tennessee Honey Barbecue Glaze

I was first to give it a try, mainly because my food was ready about an hour before everyone else. I liberally dosed my veggie burger with the Jack Daniel’s Tennessee Honey Barbecue Glaze and tucked in.

The Jack Daniel’s Tennessee Honey Barbecue Glaze is based on the Jack Daniel’s Tennessee Honey liqueur, which I’m a big fan of, the drink is sweet and smooth so I suspected the sauce would be good too. The glaze is slightly runnier than a traditional barbecue sauce, sweet but not too sweet, with a little gentle barbecue heat. It was so good I poured some more on my plate to dip my burger in.

The barbecue carnivores soon took an interest, when their burgers were ready they tried it too, and did exactly the same thing as me, adding extra to their plate for dipping purposes. Even hubs who doesn’t really like barbecue sauce went back for seconds. This is a sauce which will definitely find its way into our shopping trolley again.

You can marinate chicken or meat in it prior to barbecuing, but we didn’t, not this time. I reckon it’d also be pretty good in a bacon butty or to dip your chips or wedges in. It’s a very definite thumbs up from us!

Note: We were sent a bottle of Jack Daniel’s Tennessee Honey Barbecue Glaze free of charge for review purposes. All images and opinions are our own.

Review: Jack Daniel’s BBQ Hot & Spicy Sauces

I was asked to try out a couple of the new limited edition Jack Daniel’s Barbecue Sauces; the Jack Daniel’s Extra Hot Habanero and the Jack Daniel’s Hot Pepper Steak Sauce. I decided to celebrate a sunny weekend by having a barbecue at home with friends and family.

I don’t know about your home town but where I live in Manchester, a decent percentage of new restaurants opening are serving American style barbecue; food inspired by programmes like Man V Food and Diners, Drive ins & Dives. It’s tempting, especially during the summer barbecue season to try to recreate some of those Deep South tastes at home.

We picked up some ribeye steaks from our local butchers, and marinaded them in the Jack Daniel’s Hot Pepper Steak Sauce for an hour or so before they went on the barbecue. The sauce is blended with jalapeño peppers and is supposed to be a sweet but spicy sauce. We tried it before the steak was cooked and it was both very sweet and very spicy.

Once the steaks were cooked to perfection the boys rigorously taste tested both the sauce (and steaks). The husband loved the sauce and said the barbecue had burnt off a lot of the heat and helped enhance the smokey sweetness of the sauce, my Dad who had the second steak, found it a bit on the hot side for him, but both steaks were polished off quickly and efficiently.

Review: Jack Daniel's BBQ Hot & Spicy Sauces

I rather brazenly drizzled a large amount of the Jack Daniel’s Extra Hot Habanero sauce on my veggie burger. It was a bold move given the spice level, but I managed to eat it and enjoy it. Yes, it was most definitely at the hottest end of my tolerance scale, but I still enjoyed the smokey undertones and the hint of barbecue sweetness in the sauce.

These sauces are not for the faint hearted. They make a fairly large range of Jack Daniel’s barbecue sauces, and some aren’t face meltingly hot. Some are spicy, some are sweet and some are smokey; so it’s worth having a look and seeing what might float your boat if you’re after buying a barbecue sauce. The Jack Daniel’s Smooth Original Barbecue sauce and the Jack Daniel’s Tennessee Honey Barbecue Glaze have both been a standard condiment in our fridge. I tend to smother almost anything with them, but they are for those who don’t want a sauce that will blow their head off.

Jack Daniel’s barbecue sauces are available from most major supermarkets. More information is available on their website.

Disclaimer: I was sent the two bottles of Jack Daniel’s barbecue sauce for review purposes. All images and opinions are my own.

Review: Testing a BBQ Burger Maker – The Results

I’m a veggie but the boys eat meat. Where possible I like to know where our meat comes from; make sure it’s been treated right and it’s good quality. We like to cook from scratch, and whilst it’s easy to buy ready made burgers for the barbeque, it’s also pretty darn easy to make them yourself. We were sent a burger maker to try out, but did it make great burgers?

We like to buy good quality steak mince from our local butcher; season it with salt and pepper, shape them into patties and barbecue or grill to perfection. The only part of this process which tends to fall down is my pattie shaping. I often end up with quite lumpy burgers, which then cook unevenly, which isn’t ideal.

I was sent this Kleeneze Burger Maker and Store to try. It’s a simple piece of kit, you just make up your burger mixture, pop it in the maker and press. It squashes and shapes it into a uniform burger shape and size ready for cooking. It’s really simple to use and easy to clean.

Burger maker

It comes with a plastic tube which you can stack your burgers in to keep them fresh ready for your barbecue. The burger marker is ideal to use to bulk make burgers. You can then freeze them in batches for use at a later date.

The Kleeneze burger maker costs only £6.99 and is worth getting if you like cooking and preparing food from scratch. If like me you’re not very good at hand shaping a burger, then this burger making kit is really useful.

I would add that it’s not just for making meat burgers. I’ve made veggie burgers in this burger maker too and it really helps form a firm veggie burger that won’t easily fall apart when it’s being cooked.

Disclaimer: I was sent a burger maker kit by Kleeneze for review purposes.