Posts Tagged With: picnic

Goats cheese, walnut and onion tarts

These were an idea from Mary Berry’s tv programme, and are absolutely delicious for a picnic! I loved them just like this, but chris doesn’t like onion so I’ve said ill try making them with a red pepper based filling… Will blog it when I’ve tried it! Made quite a few changes to suit the available pack sizes etc, but the original recipe is here.


About 400g red onions

2 tbsp balsamic vinegar

1 tbsp sugar (ideally some sort of brown sugar)


175g plain flour

100g butter

1 egg

50g walnuts



250g hard goats cheese (recipe suggested soft but couldn’t get enough of this… This way worked well)

2 eggs

Chop the onions

Fry on high heat for 2 mins. Careful not to burn them

Put run down and cook for 10 mins

Add the oil and vinegar and cook for up to 15 mins more, until you’re happy they’re caramelised


Pulse the flour, butter and seasoning in a food processor until it looks like breadcrumbs

Add the walnuts to chop them up

Beat the egg and add it with a little water and mix so a dough forms

You make these in Yorkshire pudding tins, which are shallow…. You need two tins to make 8. I just sprayed them with spray oil and pushed the pastry down into them. Then place the tray in the fridge for a bit to chill. 

Grate the goats cheese into a bowl

Add the 2 beaten eggs and mix with some seasoning and potentially some parsley

Prick the bases of the tarts with a fork

Add the onion mixture and top with the cheese mixture

Cook for 20 mins. Delicious hot or cold

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GBBO: proper baked Cornish pasty

Made this weeks ago but so behind with my blogging! This recipe is from here. I was looking for a recipe where the meat etc was cooked in the pastry which is apparently the traditional way to do it. We enjoyed these, although they were a bit of a faff at times

450g plain flour
2 tsp baking powder
1tsp salt
125g butter
2 egg yolks
125 ml cold water

Blitz all ingredients except water in food processor until you get breadcrumbs
Pour in the water until a dough forms, you may not need it all
Chill in fridge

450g diced potato
150g diced swede
150g diced onion
300g chopped beef skirt (I used about 400g as that was the pack size. Had to chop it quite a bit more than how it was sold)
Salt and pepper
40g butter

Beaten egg

Mix veg in a bowl and season and season beef in a separate bowl
Divide pastry into 6 and roll each ball into a circle
Place some meat then veg into each one
Fold over to make a D-shaped pasty and use beaten egg to help secure the seal
Brush with beaten egg and cut a steam hole in the top
Bake for 50 mins, leave to cool for 5 mins before eating

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GBBO: butternut squash and onion quiche

I made this for pie week. It was totally delicious and gave you less calories for a bigger portion than most quiche recipes. It comes from Lorraine pascal’s book, a lighter way to bake.

low fat spread wholemeal pastry
225g wholemeal flour (oddly, morrisons didn’t stock this)
100g light spread (mine was can’t believe)
2tbsp water

Blitz all ingredients in food processor until clumps start to form
Add a little more water if very dry
Take out of processor and squid he until it comes together in a ball
Knead a little then wrap and chill for 20 mins

2 large red onions
1/2 butternut squash
1 garlic clove
2 eggs
1 egg white
100g extra low fat creme fraiche
100g semi skimmed milk

Roll pastry out to thickness of £1 coin and drape over greased lined tart tin so it goes over the edges
Put baking parchment over it and put baking beads in
Chill for 20 mins before cooking
Bake for 20 mins
Remove beans and paper and cook for 5 more mins to dry out bottom
Make filling while pastry is cooking
Fry onions for 6-8 mins
Chop butternut squash (no need to peel) into 1cm cubes
Add and cook for 6-8 mins
Add garlic for 1 more minute
Leave to cool for a few minutes
Mix eggs, creme fraiche and milk in a jug and season
Add the cooled veg mixture and mix
Pour into pastry case
Bake for 30-35 mins until set

We served this for lunch with a big salad

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Scotch pancakes

I found these in nigella’s feast cookbook when I was cooking the wedding biscuits last week. I was interested as the ingredients are cheap and things you have in, but in the shops 6 scotch pancakes costs 69p! These were great. I have frozen a fair few so will comment when I defrost them on how they cope. Next time I’m going to try the flavour I actually buy, which is lemon and raisin. If that works it will be brilliant!

1/2 tsp white wine vinegar
150ml milk (great for using it up)
110g plain flour
1/2 tsp bicarb
1 egg
1 tbsp oil
1 tbsp golden syrup

Put the vinegar in the milk to sour it and set aside
Put flour in a jug or bowl and add bicarb
In another bowl put the egg and oil (I measured this quite carefully) then syrup (she suggests you use the oily spoon but I don’t bother with this, I just used a normal tablespoon)
Whisk these wet ingredients then add the milk and whisk
Add this to the dry ingredients and whisk to make a batter
Heat a non-stick pan without oil
Put blobs of about 1/3 ladle in the pan (about 3 fit each time)
When bubbles appear, flip and cook the other side
It gets hard not to burn them as you’ve cooked a few, you might even want to take a break

Nigella reckons you make about 20

I have now tried these out with lemon and raisins and they’re even better. I used lemon essence to make them more lemony and just a big handful of raisins in batter, as the ones you buy are very heavy on the raisins. I also turned the heat right down when cooking them and they didn’t burn at all! Will be making this version next time as they’re even nicer!

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Cheese and mustard scones

I have so many recipes to blog so best just get on with it! I made this one because I’d run out of bread and needed something for a picnic. These are lovely cheesy scones. The recipe is by James Martin in good food magazine, but it was for cheese and sage scones. I thought I had sage to use up but couldn’t find it so substituted mustard. I think so long as you’ve got a flavour alongside the cheese they’d work well. Chris found the mustard a bit much so I might tone it down to one tablespoon next time. The final thing to say is the recipe calls for mustard powder which I haven’t got round to buying as it’s really expensive, so I just used wholegrain mustard, which I rubbed in just after the flour.
207 calories and 11g fat

225g sr flour
1/2 tsp salt
Grind of black pepper
1-2 tablespoons wholegrain mustard
50g butter
100g mature cheddar, grated
1 egg, beaten
100ml milk, soured with a few drops lemon juice for 5 minutes or more

Mix the flour, pepper and salt together
Rub in the butter until it resembles breadcrumbs
Rub in the mustard
Stir in half the cheese
Mix the egg and milk in a jug
Quickly stir the wet mixture into the dry until a dough forms
Line and grease a baking tray
Place the dough on it (it will be very sticky) and push it into a large round disc)
Use a knife to cut out the pieces, but just leave the marks rather than actually separating them
Ate the rest of the cheese on top and spread it around
Bake for 12-14 mins until risen and golden. They sound hollow when tapped apparently

These seemed to last a little longer than normal scones, 2 days not 1. Maybe because of the egg I think. You could freeze these.

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Barbecue bean wrap

Following on from Saturday’s success with the chicken pesto wrap I tried a barbecue bean wrap… We liked it even more! These ingredients were what we had in the house, but they worked pretty well so I’d do the recipe again just like this!

The full can of kidney beans makes 4 large sandwich wraps, so feeding 4.

1 can kidney beans
A few peas/ sweetcorn for variety
Barbecue sauce (from a bottle)
Grated cheese (quite a bit of this!)

4 large sandwich wraps

Mix the top 5 ingredients in a big tub (if you aren’t making all the wraps straight away, this will keep fine in the fridge for a couple of days)
Lay lettuce on a wrap, then a quarter of this mixture
Roll and wrap, then wrap with foil, as per the instructions for the chicken pesto wrap.
Cut in half and enjoy!

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Chicken pesto wrap

We had this for our picnic lunch today and loved it! It comes from a recent good food magazine, the same article as the pea houmous. It is suggested as a good lunch for a child. Panther doesn’t like white sauces that much so I made hers just with pesto, which Chris preferred too in the end, but it liked it as it was, with mayonnaise. I actually used 2 chicken breasts to serve 3, because that’s what we had, but a whole one of these was way too much for Panther, not least because I’d taken tons of other stuff that she ate first. In the magazine this if 356 calories and 15g fat. You need to use the larger sandwich wraps, sold in the bread aisle, rather than the little ones intended for fajitas.

Serves 2

1 cooked chicken breast, snipped into pieces with scissors
2 tbsp mayonnaise (sour cream or yoghurt are also options, but it think they’d be a bit too wet)
2 tsp pesto
2 thin slices mild cheese, eg Edam (I’d probably use grated next time, had to miss this out today as ran out of cheese)
2 flour tortillas
Handful chopped pepper, sweetcorn or cooked peas
Lettuce leaves

Mix the mayonnaise and pesto in a small bowl
Add the chicken and small veg (and cheese, if grated)
On a tortilla, lay half the lettuce leaves (and the sliced cheese if using)
Add the chicken mixture on top
Roll the tortilla. You need to leave quite a gap around the outside for this
Fold the edges under. It’s hard to make your wrap hold together so wrap it tightly in foil at this point
I left the wraps tightly wrapped in foil until the picnic. I took a sharp knife with us to cut through them ready to eat. You could cut them before taking them (although leave them in the foil) but might be a bit riskier for spillage.

We loved these, but we also love wraps in general, so will be trying a few more out!

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Fruit turnovers

I based these on a good food recipe for apple and blueberry turnovers that I will try making again in the autumn as they’re quite autumnal. The idea is pretty basic, cooked fruit in puff pastry, and you can then vary it with your own choice of fruit. I made peach and cardamom which were amazing. I used the majority of a punnet of peaches and the seeds of about 6 cardamom pods, but it could have taken more. We ate these for a yummy breakfast picnic. They aren’t very filling though and they come in at around 300 calories, so be careful when you have them, you don’t want to be starving later!

1 roll of ready rolled puff pastry (these seem to be sold in pairs)
Fruit of your choice

Prepare your fruit. Chop and put into a pan with butter, sugar and spice if needed
Cook until softened (about 10 mins)
Leave until it cools a bit, and gets stickier and more solid. This stops it being too wet when you put it in the pastry cases.
Open up the pastry and cut into 6 equal squares
Put a line of fruit filling diagonally down each pastry square
Brush the 2 empty corners with milk and pull into the centre (the milk helps it stick)
Brush the top with milk and sprinkle with sugar
Bake in oven for about 20-30 mins until brown and puffed up

These are great for picnics and definitely seem autumnal to me!

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Pea houmous

This is the first recipe I’ve tried from the latest good food magazine. It’s suggested as an alternative lunchbox idea for kids, and as I’m trying to get panther to eat dips (and she did try a little houmous last week!) I thought I’d give it a go. Had to use hand blender as processor was being washed up, but will definitely use processor next time to get a smoother texture.

200g cooked peas (next time will just defrost them, don’t see why they have to be cooked!)
1 garlic clove, crushed
1 tbsp tahini
Squeeze lemon
1 tbsp cannellini beans from can (annoying ingredient! I used more than this but tricky to use up rest of can, not sure what they were thinking, might just use full can next time)
2 tbsp olive oil (measure carefully as has a big impact on calories/ fat)

Blitz all ingredients in a processor
Add a little water and blitz again (I didn’t see this bit)
Eat with pitta strips and veg sticks. I bought sandwich thins and really liked them

Serves 4, 133 calories and 9g fat so very healthy and easy! Hope she will start eating it!

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