What could be more blissful or dreamy than lying on white sands next to crystal blue water enjoying all the colours and flavours of the Caribbean? Drinking fresh coconut water from a coconut on the island of Aruba is firmly on my "40 things before 40" list and will hopefully be something we can make happen sooner rather than later.
In the meantime I love to try new things and get creative in the kitchen so when Aruba Tourism sent over a little package to help me capture that happy island feeling at home I couldn't wait to get stuck in. If you visit my home you will quickly realise I have somewhat an obsession with cook books, especially for world food, so this beautiful book by Shivi Ramoutar with its delicious modern takes on Caribbean classics that capture all he flavours of the rum islands is going to be well used in my house.
We have been pretty lucky with the weather lately and decided eating Al fresco would be perfect for Aruba inspired evening. For the boys it was pretty easy, I knew Jerk chicken on the bbq with some spiced corn on the cob would go down a storm but I wanted to explore the vegetarian options so inspired by Shivi's book I decided to make myself some quick and easy Tomato Choka and avocado Zaboca to serve with some warm flatbread and a large salad.
4 overripe tomatoes
1/4 onion finely chopped
2tbsp olive oil
2 large garlic gloves crushed
Salt and pepper
1. Quarter the tomatoes and pop into a frying pan and cook for around 5 mins until starting to blacken and blister. Once nice and soft remove and allow to cool.
2. Peel off the blackened skin and in a large bowl crush the tomatoes with a fork and add the onion.
3. To finish off lightly fry the garlic with oil in a pan until golden, then tip into the crushed tomato and season with salt and pepper.
2 soft, ripe avocado's
2 tbsp Olive oil
1 garlic glove crushed
1/2 chilli, seeded and chopped
juice of 1 lime
1. In a large bowl mash the avocado with a fork, don't over mash as you want it to be a fairly chucky consistency.
2. Mix in the olive oil, garlic and chilli and slowly adding the lime juice and season to taste.
Use warm pitta, flatbread or corn chips to scoop up these tasty dips.
It may be a bit of a surprise but Aruba is apart of The Kingdom of Netherlands and the citizens are Dutch and therefore there is a big Dutch influence in their culture. Apparently Stroopwafel is a popular dessert and something that we love as a treat and was the perfect way to finish a beautiful warm evening in the garden with he kids running around and the smell of spices surrounding us, for a moment it felt like we could of been eating street food in Aruba.
If you like me would love to spend some much needed down time relaxing in the Caribbean sunshine eating amazing food then you need to pop over to Aruba Tourism Facebook page which is currently running an amazing competition to win a luxury holiday to Aruba to celebrate Aruba's Eat Local Week this October