Lifestyle

Perfect winter picnic

Miss Foodie's picnic lunch spread for her mum's birthday.
Miss Foodie's picnic lunch spread for her mum's birthday. Miss Foodie

Miss Foodie just loves all things food and is here to tantilise your taste buds. Join her on her gastronomic adventures each Thursday.

My Mum recently celebrated her birthday. As a gift to her, I decided to put together a yummy picnic lunch for us to enjoy in the park, she was most delighted, I think she actually enjoyed it more than her birthday present.

This got me thinking… do we really need to spend so much money on elaborate gifts for our nearest and dearest?

Everyone gets so caught up in buying presents for people, when really, the person we're usually buying it for would more often than not appreciate a handmade gift. Why? Because you've created something extra special, you've gone out of your way to make something you think they would enjoy, you've cared for them exclusively.

We're all so busy with life nowadays that sadly our personal time is most often sacrificed; therefore it's the most cherished. The fact we can give up that special commodity (time) for someone else certainly shows we care.

Sadly the day was too windy for our liking, so for our new backdrop we chose Mum's beautiful large Queenslander deck; it overlooks a Balinese pool setting so our special day wasn't compromised in any way. I had prepared all the meals for a picnic so it wasn't difficult to pack up everything and venture over to Mums.

The menu…

Winter has arrived, and though the weather is somewhat fresh, please don't feel that you have to succumb to eating stews and soups every day, salads can still be enjoyed.

I made a lovely Apple, Celery and Walnut salad to go with my warm Bacon and Leek Quiche. The sharpness of the cheese was complimented deliciously with the tart apple and crunchy walnuts. My quiche was somewhat of an experimental affair; instead of using pastry for the crust I used cooked brown rice. I thought it was a success!

Others preferred the traditional pastry crust but I like them both, pastry is however easier and less messy, but hey it's good to try these things!

I'm a massive fan of Goats cheese so I wanted to make a yummy hourderve to go with our picnic spread.

I've often enjoyed caramalised onion and Goats cheese when I've dined out, so I thought how easy it would be to buy some cute little tartlets, fill them with creamy Goats cheese and top them with my own sweet, sticky caramalised onion. They were easy, quaintly cute and heavenly tasting. 

For dessert I made a Baked Orange, Ricotta & White Chocolate Cake. I've seen a few ricotta cake recipes but none tantilised me as much as this tasty number. Every mouthful is a surprise, sometimes you get chocolate sometimes you don't. The orange flavour went delightfully well with the fresh ricotta. The gorgeous sprinkle of blueberries and almonds was not only a therapeutic affair but a delicious one at that. This dessert is a new favourite. It's not too sweet but looks as sweet and sultry as any other cake.

All in all our picnic lunch was really special. We all got to sit together in the comfort of home, in the comfort of each other, in the comfort of food.

Next time you book a restaurant for a family member or friends special day, consider getting in the kitchen and whipping up a tasty feast yourself, you can all chip in and help which makes it even more fun.

Remember, giving up your time for someone special shows how much we really care.

Happy eating my foodie friends.

 

Apple, Celery & Walnut salad

Ingredients
1/3 cup apple cider vinegar
2 tablespoons olive oil
1/2 teaspoon ground fennel seeds
4 Pink Lady apples, quartered, cores removed, thinly sliced
2 sticks celery, thinly sliced
1/2 cup walnut halves, chopped
1 large red onion, thinly sliced

Method

Combine vinegar, oil, fennel seeds, and salt and pepper in a small bowl or jug. Whisk until well combined.

Combine apples, celery, walnuts and onion in a large bowl. Drizzle with dressing. Toss gently to combine. Serve.

Recipe inspired by Dixie Elliott - Super Food Ideas

 

Bacon & Leek Quiche with Brown Rice Crust

Ingredients
2 cups cooked brown rice
1 ½ cup cheddar cheese, finely grated
6 eggs
½ cup milk
1/2 cup cream
1 cup sharp cheddar cheese, grated
1 leek cleaned thoroughly and finely sliced
4 rashers of bacon diced
Salt and pepper, to taste

Method

Mix the rice, ¾ cup finely grated cheese and one egg in a bowl. Press the rice mixture into a pie plate, about 1/4 inch thick. (*Tip - keep your hands wet so the rice doesn't stick to your hands).

Bake in a preheated 220 degree oven until the edges and bottom just start turning golden brown, about 5 to 7 minutes.

Meanwhile, over a medium heat, sauté leek and bacon for approximately 5-7 minutes transfer to a bowl to cool.

In a separate bowl, mix the remaining eggs, milk and sharp cheddar cheese, season with salt and pepper. Add sautéed leek and bacon. Pour the egg mixture into the pie crust.

Bake in a preheated 190 degree oven until golden brown and set in the center, about 30 to 35 minutes.

 

Caramalised Onion & Goats Cheese Tartlets

Ingredients
2 tblsp unsalted butter
Olive oil
2-3 brown or red onions
2-3 tblsp dark brown sugar
1 tblsp balsamic vinegar
Salt and pepper to taste
Goats Cheese
2 tblsp thickened cream
Tartlets

Method

Over a low heat, add unsalted butter and a drizzle of olive oil into a pot. Add 2 or more finely sliced brown or red onions and cook for approximately 20 minutes, stirring occasionally until nice and soft. Add brown sugar and balsamic vinegar, pinch of salt & some pepper and cook for 5 minutes more or until onions are nicely caramelized.

Remove from the heat & leave to cool.

Combine Goats cheese and cream in a bowl and stir to combine.

Lay your tartlets on a serving plate.  Spoon Goats cheese mixture into each one and top with cooled caramalised onion.

 

Baked Orange, Ricotta & White Chocolate

Ingredients
1 sheet frozen ready-rolled shortcrust quiche pastry, partially thawed
750g fresh ricotta cheese
1 tblsp finely grated orange rind
2 tblsp orange juice
3/4 cup caster sugar
3 eggs
100g white chocolate, chopped
2/3 cup frozen blueberries (or any berry you like)
1/4 cup flaked almonds

Method

Preheat oven to 180°C/160°C fan-forced. Using the base of a 22cm round spring-form pan as a guide, cut out a circle from pastry. Line base with pastry. Prick pastry all over with a fork. Bake for 20 minutes. Reduce oven temperature to 170°C/150°C fan-forced.

Meanwhile, process ricotta, orange rind, orange juice, sugar and eggs until almost smooth. Stir in chocolate. Pour mixture into prepared pan. Top with blueberries and almonds. Bake for 40 minutes or until just set. Cool. Cover and refrigerate overnight.

Recipe inspired by Liz Macri - Super Food Ideas


 

Topics:  food, miss foodie, picnic, recipes



Council keeps crackdown on illegal vans

WRONG: Illegal camping at Wooyung will continue to be targeted by the Tweed Shire Council.

Council officers will continue missiong against illegal campers

Former boyfriend's tribute to Home Hill stabbing victim

Jamison Stead met Mia Ayliffe-Chung on the Gold Coast in April. Photo: Facebook

"Mia was a beautiful soul who was always looking out for people."

‘Tireless’ principals paid tribute over new Ballina school

School principals thanked for their role in merger

Latest deals and offers

The Hard Word reviews Kyzer Soze

Kyzer Soze are playing Brisbane tomorrow at the Crowbar in Fortitude Valley. Photo Contributed

Kyzer Soze summon the evil for this mighty slab of death metal

Britney Spears 'almost drowned' in Hawaii

Britney Spears has revealed she 'almost drowned' while on holiday

Doco reveals real story behind Black Hawk Down

Former Black Hawk pilot Mike Durant shares his story, which helped to inspire the movie Black Hawk Down, in the TV series No Man Left Behind.

FORMER pilot recounts ordeal which inspired a Hollywood movie.

What's on the big screen this week

Toby Kebbell and Jack Huston in a scene from the movie Ben-Hur.

AN OLD classic returns to the big screen with a new young star.

Bachelor Richie gives bacon-loving Noni the boot

Noni Janur features on this season of The Bachelor.

TOOWOOMBA swimwear designer still single but focusing on her career.

Zumbo's Just Desserts serves up magical dishes

Gigi Falanga, left, joins hosts Adriano Zumbo and Rachel Khoo on the TV series Zumbo's Just Desserts.

ADRIANO Zumbo’s decadent creations have become prime-time viewing.

ISLAND FOR SALE: Cheap Fraser Coast island drops price again

Suna Island in the Great Sandy Strait will be auctioned by Ray White Hervey Bay on Saturday morning.

This is the cheapest island you will find for sale in Australia

How a family home can fit on a 250sq m block

This is what you can build on 250m2.

Here's the floor plan of a home built on 250sq m

Investors eye Gladstone's $4m island with resort approval

UP FOR SALE: Turtle Island is on the market.

CHINESE and Sydney investors flag interest in Gladstone island.

Take a sneak peek at this $19m Whitsunday mansion

Mandalay House features a private helipad.

Mandalay is currently on the market with an asking price of $19m

Guess which Sunshine Coast suburb cracked the million dollar list?

This four-bedroom home at 26 McAnally Dr, Sunshine Beach was for sale for $7 million.

List of Australia's five most-expensive suburbs

Does it get any better than this? Check out this $2M home

LUXURY LIVING: The Coral Cove home built by Steve Coates Constructions that took out the best home over $2 million and the Wide Bay Burnett House of the Year at the Master Builders Wide Bay Burnett Housing and Construction Awards.

Wide Bay's best home is right on our doorstep