Picnic Platter

Picnic Platter

A great sharing platter for children on sunny afternoons. I find that it is much easier to present all the food on one big board than serving up several individual plates of food (which usually means a tonne of washing up after). This is a stress free and easy to produce option for feeding the whole family on those sunny days in the garden.

You Will Need

One of the best things about sharing platters is that you can fill them with whatever you like. The platter in this image was created for three children and requires the following.

3 Turkey sandwiches on wholemeal bread (cut into triangles)

3 large rice cakes

3 cheese triangles

2 pork pies (cut into quarters)

6 cocktail sausages

1 salad pepper (cut into batons)

½ cucumber (cut into batons)

2 kiwi fruits (cut into quarters)

2 satsumas (peeled and segmented)

1 apple (chopped into slices)

3 kids tube yogurts

3 pepperoni snack sticks

Method

Make the sandwiches (removing the crusts if you prefer) and place them on the board in a line down one side.

Quarter the pies and position these next to the sandwiches, next to this add the sausages.

Chop the pepper and the cucumber half into batons and positions these on the board.

Slice the apple and kiwi and peel and segment the satsumas. Place all fruit together on the board near to the pepper and cucumber.

Place the cheese triangles next to the rice cakes on the opposite side to the sandwiches.

Finally add to the board the pepperoni sticks and tube yogurts.

Serve immediately.

Other Ideas

As I have said, the best part about these platters is that you can fill them with anything. If you have more adults than children, try substituting the cheese triangles for a selection of cheese slices, cured meats and crackers. You could even incorporate some chutneys and pickles to make it into more of a Ploughman’s platter.

If you prefer you could also add a larger selection of vegetable sticks, including celery and carrots and serve some dip alongside them.

Another easy ay to change it up is a wider selection of sandwiches. Try adding some egg and cress, tuna and sweetcorn, cucumber or even jam. This will give it more of a traditional afternoon tea feel. You could even throw on some scones and really make a show of it!

Rocky Road

Rocky Road

This is a great recipe if you’re in need of a sweet treat or a rainy day activity. It requires few ingredients and is easy enough that you can get the kids involved.

You Will Need

200g plain digestive biscuits (you can use rich tea if you prefer)

200g milk chocolate

100g mini marshmallows (you can chop normal sized marshmallows into smaller chunks if you can’t find mini marshmallows)

100g raisins (optional)

Method

Break the digestive biscuits into small chunks. To do this place the biscuits into a food bag and bash with a rolling pin (this is great for if you’re having a stressful day). You’re looking for your biscuits to be anywhere between dust and chunks that are about the size of a 2p.

Break the chocolate into small pieces in a heat proof dish and melt over a pan of boiling hot water. Stir the chocolate continuously until there are no lumps. Set aside and leave to cool slightly. If you prefer you can microwave your chocolate at 10-30 second intervals, however I prefer to use the boiling water method as I have had a few bad luck moments where my chocolate has burnt in the microwave.

Once the chocolate has cooled slightly, add all of the remaining ingredients and mix until everything is coated in the chocolate.

Pour the mixture into a lined baking tin and sprinkle with a few extra marshmallows. Allow to cool for at least 3 hours.

Once the chocolate has set, cut into squares or slices.

Other Ideas

You could mix up the flavours by adding ½ tsp peppermint essence to the melted chocolate and crushing some mint aero on the top before you allow it to set.

Another alternative is to use white chocolate instead of milk chocolate and substitute the raisins for dried raspberries or cranberries.

Cinnamon Swirls

Cinnamon Swirls

These are a great as a weekend breakfast treat or as an addition to your morning cuppa. With only a few ingredients, they are really cheap to produce and so easy to make. An added bonus is that as they bake, they make your house smell AMAZING!

You Will Need

1 packet ready rolled puff pastry

2 tbsp soft brown sugar

2 tsp cinnamon

1 tbsp Icing sugar

2-3 tsp water to mix

Method

Mix the soft brown sugar and cinnamon together.

Lay the sheet of pastry onto a flat surface lined with parchment paper.

Sprinkle the cinnamon sugar mix onto the pastry.

Roll up the pastry lengthways until you have a long sausage shape.

Cut the party into 2-3cm thick slices and lay each piece onto a lined baking tray.

Bake in the oven at 200C/180C fan/gas 6 for 10-15 minutes or until golden in colour.

Mix the icing sugar with the water until you have icing with a consistency that you can drizzle.

Once the pastries have cooled, drizzle with the icing and leave to set for 10 minutes.

Other Ideas

If cinnamon isn’t your thing, try substituting the cinnamon sugar for Nutella for a whole new flavour!