Picnic Recipe Ideas (but it isn’t picnic weather).

Plans for today include trying to get my next recipe book finished i.e., ready for its first proof reading. I have really enjoyed writing this book, sourcing my ideas from what my children enjoy on their picnics.

However, yesterday I looked through lots of paperwork which I had kept from my market stall days.  When I ran my stall I kept notes about what I baked, how many I made of each product, how much I sold them each for and so on. Every week, I marked down what I sold along with the weather that day , number of customers etc.  If,  I changed a recipe I would make a copy of the new recipe and write down what I had changed and why?. Looking back through my work which has covered many years, I have managed to find recipes which sold better at different times of the year and followed a pattern, very seasonal indeed, for a little market stall. As well as that I had forgotten about some of the recipes, especially the more old fashioned recipes which I made at the beginning when I first started the stall and was still finding my feet – seeing what would sell and how much people would pay for my baked goods was a long hard battle. From this paperwork I have picked out a few recipes which I am going to share on my blog and some which are heading for the recipe book. There are plenty of recipes in my notes which definitely need experimented with – maybe not for improvement but to produce something a bit different in the long run.

So today I am going to bake some treats for the children as well as something for a picnic involving cake and dried fruit of some description. An easy to pack and carry bake which won’t be squashed easily when packed with the rest of the picnic goodies. I hate when food is squashed especially sandwiches and all the filling is pushed out – my children will not eat sandwiches if this happens. But today is not a sandwich day.

I have nearly finished my baking for the day but I thought while the last two trays of crackers were  in the oven I would share with you what I have baked.

Lemon and Berry Loaf

My first bake was a mini loaf cake using some dried berries. I decided to add lemon curd to the recipe as  lemon compliments the dried berries really well. I often make berry muffins with lemon curd added  so for me there was no other ingredient I wanted to add. Although now whilst sitting here and thinking about it I could have added walnuts, coconut or even chocolate as an alternative ingredient. The recipe for these Lemon & Berry Mini Loaf Cakes is going to be included in my next book. I swirled the berries and lemon curd into the cake batter just before I put them in the oven so that when you cut into one of them there are chunks of lemon curd visible. For these cakes I reduced the amount of sugar in the recipe as there was sugar in the berries  and the lemon curd. I  made the top of the cakes crunchy by coating them with a sugar glaze made from water, granulated sugar and lemon juice which I spread on the cakes as soon as they came out of the oven.

Also, I have made some brownies for the children as a surprise for when they come in from school.  For this recipe I did not have enough plain flour but I decided to use self raising flour as in my original recipe I use baking powder and plain flour which is basically the same as self raising flour. The smell from the kitchen is fantastic and my mouth is actually watering. The resultant brownies came out looking good. The texture is definitely  brownie like rather than cake like – quite close and dense.

Pesto Crackers

The final picnic bake is in the oven as I write. I have made some savoury crackers with two different flavours. These crackers are perfect for a picnic served with cheese or hummus or whatever dip you want. Some of the crackers are flavoured with red pesto (as there was some left in the bottom of a jar in the fridge). The rest are flavoured with gruyere cheese and fresh chives. My daughter will be pleased and I can’t see these crackers lasting the night.  The recipe for these crackers will be available in my new recipe book.

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