Tag Archives: picnic food

Chocolate and Avocado Muffins

chocolate-and-avocado-muffins-0740Last week went past so fast that I have realised only today that I was due to write a couple of posts on this blog. I have quite a few recipes to choose from, and I was about to start a new one. However during my visit to the veggie store this morning, my trusty greengrocer commented on the new cover photo on my Facebook page. It also follows nicely from the savoury ones I posted before this one. (Just for my lovely readers to know, you can now also find me on Instagram, where I also happened to post a similar snap almost four months ago to this date.)

They say that practice makes perfect, and I need a lot of practice when it comes to muffins. I cannot complain about the recipes I try, because I know they’re good and so easy to whip up. They are also life-savers when unexpected guests show up for a spot of tea and cake.

Continue reading Chocolate and Avocado Muffins

Sun-dried Tomato and Pesto Muffins

sun-dried-tomato-pesto-muffins-0733Muffins are my weakness. I love them for various reasons, mostly because when I’m feeling lazy there’s nothing to cut: I just take one and stuff my face with it basically. Then a second one beckons. Usually. So the only thing that annoys me here is that they disappear very quickly. Somehow a cake lasts for a good couple of days. Oh well…

Continue reading Sun-dried Tomato and Pesto Muffins

Halloumi, Plum tomato, Mixed Greens and Baby Spinach Salad, and a Mustard Dressing

salad-with-plum-tomatoes-and-halloumi-9112I can’t believe that it’s September already, and I’ve not written anything on C&T since the start of August. There were quite a number of reasons for this – one of which is that frankly I haven’t been trying new recipes or doing any baking. (I feel an updated Coffee Date post is on the horizon…)

Although this blog is practically here to profess my love for the kitchen, our summer months here in the Med are too much, as in there’s way too much heat and humidity in the air already. My adding to it in the house is no help at all. So I’m taking a break.

However this won’t last long now – I know I have to get back into the swing of things very soon, so this simple salad is a good way to start.

Continue reading Halloumi, Plum tomato, Mixed Greens and Baby Spinach Salad, and a Mustard Dressing

Savoury cake variation

Picnic Cake with Dates 2 (7100)Happy Monday! This post will be a short one (I will be back later in the week) but I wanted to post a new pic I should really have published together with Ms. Khoo’s recipe. The picture may seem the same to you, and perhaps to me, however the savoury cake you see here was made with ground almonds (I simply added them to the flour but you could substitute say around 100g from the original flour quantity), walnuts and dates. These reminded me of home. You can read the post before this one for the ingredients. The cake turned out to be a little crumblier than the original one, which is noticable in the way the cubed sausages fall to the side, but tasted just as good, if not a little sweeter. R xx

Rachel Khoo’s Pistachio and Prune Cake

Rachel Khoo Sausage Prune and Pistachio Cake (6872)OK…for the last few weeks the weather drove me insane. On a recent visit to Malta one of my friends said that there is always a grey cloud over the UK. There has been some windy and rainy weather around this Spring, and let me tell you, it can get to you after a pretty dismal winter. J loves stormy weather because it makes photos look good. He’s right of course. But that doesn’t make you want to go out for a picnic, does it? Mmm?

Today though, the Sun’s finally out once more. Great for all those lucky tennis fans in Wimbledon, and also good for the rest of us mere mortals, watching the action on the internet! For a taste of the grass, out with the boots and in with the flip flops, good food, an ice-cream or two, a picnic basket and off we go.

For an outing such as this it’s always good to opt for food which is very easy to make and very portable. I find that simplicity and portability always work well together and the following recipe was just that. While waiting for Rachel Khoo’s next book I made her cured sausage, pistachio and prune cake, from her charming third publication The Little Paris Kitchen, changing absolutely nothing from the original recipe. Removing the pistachio shells was the biggest faff and to be honest their taste got kind of lost in the end. I thought the smoked sausages were quite chewy, but the saltiness was what the cake needed. Mademoiselle Khoo said that salami would work well here and I know for a fact that friends who have tried it with cured chorizo, loved it.

Rachel Khoo Sausage Prune and Pistachio Cake (6863)Rachel Khoo Sausage Prune and Pistachio Cake (6864)Rachel Khoo Sausage Prune and Pistachio Cake (6867)Rachel Khoo Sausage Prune and Pistachio Cake (6869)Jarlsberg Muffins and Savoury Cake (6877)The Little Paris Kitchen (6865)I tried it again with dates and walnuts, two ingredients found perpetually found in my pantry, and I bet it would also work well with whole toasted almonds. That would certainly give it a more Mediterranean feel.

  • 250g plain flour
  • 15g baking powder
  • 150g cured French sausage (or whatever you can find – chorizo or cured Maltese sausages are good options), chopped in little cubes
  • 80g pistachios (or toasted walnuts or almonds), shelled and roughly chopped
  • 100g prunes (or dates), roughly chopped
  • 4 large eggs
  • 100ml milk
  • 150ml olive oil
  • 50g plain runny yoghurt
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • pinch of pepper

Grease and line a loaf tin with parchment paper and preheat your oven to 180 degrees C. Measure out all the the flour, baking powder, cubed sausage, pistachios and prunes, and give them a good mix in a large bowl.

In another large bowl, whisk the eggs until they turn pale. Add the milk, olive oil, yoghurt, salt and pepper and whisk again.

Now, making sure not to overbeat, slowly add and fold the dry flour mixture into the wet ingredients. Remember: some lumps in the batter is a good thing.

Pour this lovely cake mixture into your diligently prepared loaf tin and bake for 30 to 40 minutes, or until a knife inserted in the middle of the cake comes out clean.

I like this best when served with a fresh salad. Picnic anyone? What’s your favourite picnic food?

Rob xx

(Recipe adapted from Rachel Khoo’s The Little Paris Kitchen, Michael Joseph, 2012.)