I love to eat outdoors, this you will already know, especially if you have read my recent posts about Al Fresco dining and I really enjoy a nice picnic. The British weather doesn’t play along too often and planning one only to be let down by a surprise rain shower is a bit disappointing..even more so when you have small sad faces looking up at you. We have indoor picnics quite a lot, normally on a day where it’s just me and the girls after Izzy finishes school. We spread a picnic blanket across the floor and just eat sandwiches, fruits and treats spread out on small dishes in front of us.. we then have them in our garden when the sun decides to shine on us or in the conservatory on slightly gloomier days. Impromptu. Spontaneous. Guaranteed to bring a smile to their faces.
When Higgidy got in touch recently and asked if I would like to try their new quiche on one of our picnics – I said yes of course! The quiche we tried out was the new ham hock and petit pois flavour… and it was delicious. It has a seeded shortcrust pastry with slow cooked ham hock in a free range egg custard, topped with a turmeric and mustard crumb. This is not your typical cheese and ham quiche. I love the pea and ham combo in general – I think it stems from my childhood when my mum would make huge pans of pea & ham soup. The quiche can be eaten hot or cold although I have a preference for it hot but it is perfectly good when cold too and super handy to have in the fridge to grab and go. On that note we also tried the Veggie Feta & Red Pepper rolls which come in packs of six and are just the right size for a grazing style picnic. They contain crushed chickpeas, red peppers, feta and chia seeds encased in puff pastry and a crunchy tomato crumb – they have a really interesting and appealing contrast of textures and flavours.
Higgidy currently have an on pack promotion where you can enter a code from the inside of the packaging on their website for a chance to win a selection of Joules picnic goodies. I really like Joules products from their summer dresses to their funky wellies and they have some seriously stylish outdoor dining gear including the sea shell bowl below. Although we often just throw some bits in a cool bag and head off but I do like a proper picnic at times with the basket, various bits of crockery and maybe even a jug of Pimms? A flask of tea at the very least.
But it would be wrong to have a picnic with just savoury snacks right?? I had a large bowl of bananas that needed to be used up and rather than make my usual banana bread I came up with these Bananatella Muffins.. yes Bananatella.. a truly delicious combo of Nutella with bananas. Not just good for picnics, these work perfectly as an on the go breakfast and can be frozen too. The recipe below makes 18 very generously sized muffins.
400g Self Raising Flour
100g Golden Caster Sugar
2 large eggs ( beaten )
3 over ripe bananas
200ml semi skimmed milk
30ml Rapeseed oil
pinch of salt
Preheat oven to 180c. Combine your flour and salt together in one bowl and set aside. In a separate bowl, mash your banana well and then add your sugar, eggs, Nutella and oil and beat until smooth before adding your milk. Now add your wet mixture to your dry mixture and combine but don’t overbeat. Spoon into muffin cases and bake for approximately 18-20 minutes. They should bounce back when pressed lightly on top.
These muffins remain moist for a little longer than typical muffins due to the banana and oil combination. If you can keep them for longer than a day or so that is. I know they do not last very long here.
*This post is in collaboration with Higgidy and I have been compensated for my time.