Sunday, August 8, 2010

Picnic recipes for celebrations, jubilation and parties ~ By my Guest Audax Artifex

This is the beginning of my celebrations for reaching 200 blog posts.... A lot of you will wonder, this is not your 200th post, so why the excitement.... Nope it's not... But getting to the 200th post has been a journey full of wonderful people who walked with me in life and some joined me thru the blog world.

So I thought of having an event called 'Celebrations' where I would open out my blog to some of my friends who would share some parts of their journey with me as Guest Posts......

This post features my Daring Baker friend Audax Artifex. He's been a great inspiration in making some of my challenges, if it wasn't for his first day postings, may have sat on the fence. He promptly came over to my blog and wrote very encouraging words which egged me on. With my 3rd daring baker challenge, he's completed 1.5 years of being a Daring Baker. His choice of flavours are amazingly fresh and the pictures on his blog make me want his creation on my table instantly. He's extremely talented, inspiring and helpful. Cheers to our friendship :)

A small something for the indian readers of Audax.... He will select 1 lucky commenter to win complimentary meal vouchers from FrescCo, a healthy eating supporter serving Mediterranean cuisine at Ambience Mall, NH 8, Gurgaon. So be sure to leave a note at the end of this post with your location. Readers in other countries can share the same with anyone in proximity of the restaurant.

Audax writes......

Picnic recipes for celebrations, jubilation and parties
I was surprised when I opened the new email in my in-box and found a message from Nachiketa of The Variable - Crazy Over Desserts wanting me to help her celebrate her (soon to come) 200th posting on her blog-site. I have been to her site a number of times and really enjoyed the wealth of photographs showing her friends and family relishing her fabulous food creations. From the many merry smiles and gleeful grins in the photos it is clear that Nachiketa is a gracious, wonderful and generous hostess and that her recipes are devoured with wild gusto. So it was with extreme pleasure that I accepted her invitation to do a guest posting on her blog.

If you do a quick look-through of Nachiketa's blog the one thing that strikes you is the amazing number of people savouring her food so so many beaming smiles and gleaming grins. I just love her blog what can you say about 47 postings that are labelled 'happy' and 43 postings labelled 'enjoy' that says it all. Marvellous and her friends are accurate in the words they use on her profile “Open, Understanding, Adventure loving person. I love to explore new places, understand new cultures, try new stuff, and am constantly looking to reinvent myself.” everything about her blog is inspiring.

Nachiketa and I have been associated together via the Daring Kitchen challenges where each month a one member chooses a recipe which all the other members do in their own style. The challenge recipes are meant to be outside the comfort zone of most average bakers but not so difficult that people will baulk outright so it is important that the other members are as helpful as possible so much so the Daring Kitchen has won a number of web awards for being the friendliest community of foodies on the internet. It really is a very friendly and supportive forum (with several thousand members!) I have meet so many great bakers and cooks across the globe with the Daring Kitchen. So of course I went to Nachiketa's blog when she was a new member to comment on her creations. I've been with the Daring Kitchen for a year and half and I feel that it is the duty of the long-term members to be as encouraging as possible to the newbies. Nachiketa has mentioned to me that she found my comments very affirmative and that she felt very welcomed to the Daring Kitchen.

So in keeping with Nachiketa's blog's joyous theme I thought what celebrations, jubilation and parties do I like the most and immediately the answer came to me PICNICS I just love picnics they are casual and informal and just inspire joy in people. I have a large horde of simple and delicious recipes for picnics so I thought this would be a great time to share these with Nachiketa and her other readers.
I have tried to include as many Daring Kitchen challenge recipes in the list as possible and I have included some of my own recipes. Daring Kitchen challenge recipes are marked[DB] and my recipes are marked[^AA]. See this link to see the Daring Kitchen recipe archive it is a wonder list of stunning recipes and forum member results.

Picnic Recipes for celebrations, jubilation and parties
The first thing to remember with picnics is to keep it simple – less is more when it comes to the number of recipes served. Keep the number of recipes to a minimum, one or two for each course is more than enough!


Hard boiled eggs – these always go fast at any picnic, I always use quail eggs they are so cute and children love them.
Stuffed hard-boiled eggs – these are so easy a great hit.
Scotch eggs – a hard-boiled egg that is surrounded by force-meat (sausage meat) and deep fried. These are delicious and are always a hit in a picnic.
Tangy Asian Cashew Dipping Sauce[^AA] – with small vegetables such as baby carrots, baby courgettes, strips of red, yellow and green pepper, asparagus tips, celery sticks, radishes, cherry tomatoes etc. all add a bit of crunch and with the dipping sauce this dish will be smash hit.
Pâtés and bread[^DB] - this Daring Kitchen challenge was all about pâtés look at this link for a fabulous selection of vegetable, meat and vegan choices. The chilli chicken liver pâté was to die for astoundingly good.
Provencal Rosemary Almonds – a most unusual combination that is perfect with the rhubarb lemonade below.
Easy Refrigerator Pickles – the best pickles you will never have.
Healthy Dips and spreads -try these on any sort of crisp crusty bread.

Best Ever Potato salad – the most popular salad at any picnic.
Peach, Mozzarella, and Basil Salad – a tasty dish that sings of deliciousness.
Pineapple and black (turtle) bean salad[^AA] – one of my most favourite salads more like a Thai restaurant style dish so simple yet so tasty.
Coronation chicken salad – a creamy delicious salad an oldie but a goodie.
The ultimate picnic salad – The ultimate picnic salad from Nigella Lawson.
Sweet and Tangy Melon Slaw – a great salad for children use celery or fennel if you cannot find jicama in your area.
Jalapeño Poppers – a big hit at any BBQ picnic.

Sandwiches – a selection of sandwiches are always a crowd pleaser.
Pan Bagnat Recipe – This popular tuna salad sandwich is sold from beach-side stands on the French Riviera.
Muffuletta Sandwich on Sourdough Bread – a bread loaf stuffed with all sorts of delicious goodies a main meal in itself.
Brined Roast Chicken[^AA] – simple to make and the brining makes it so juicy.
Spicy Sticky Hot Hot Hot chicken wings[^AA] – hot spicy morsels of juicy crispiness.
Spicy Chilli Bean & Rice Meatloaf[^AA] – a cheap healthy recipe that is great hot or cold and perfect for sandwiches.
Tuna and Corn Rissoles – a tasty treat made from leftovers and a can of tuna yum yum.
Sweet Chilli Octopus[^AA]– for lovers of seafood these are perfect for a beach-side picnic.
Swedish Meatballs with gravy – children just love these treats I make the meatballs very small to suit children tastes.
Asparagus and goat's cheese frittata – a beautiful frittata bursting with flavour and colour.
Baked beans – delicious with the crusty soda bread below.
Fruity Chicken, apple and Cheese pie – These surprising fruity chicken, apple and cheese pies work really well and are great for the picnic hamper.
Spinach and cheese picnic pie[^AA]– a simple and very tasty pie that uses phyllo pastry as the crust.

Sweets and Afters
Oatmeal Raspberry-Jam Bars – crisp jam fingers of oatmeal crunch.
Flapjacks – chewy or crunchy the texture it is up to you.
Honeyed grapes – elegant and perfect of a hot afternoon at the beach or river.
Banana Chocolate Yoghurt Cake[^AA]– so moist and so healthy a perfect combination.
Pear Cakes – simple and elegant and of course you could use another fruit if pears are not in season.
Chocolate and coconut pound cake – a simple cake that the children will love to help bake with you.
Cheese board (maximum of four cheeses) with dried grapes and crackers.
Strudel[AA]– this recipe produces superior results and there so many varieties like apple, cherry and even poppy seed with cream cheese. [NC Says:This is his award winning recipe... :) Do check it out]

Rhubarb Lemonade – a wonderful variation this is tangy and has a glorious colour.
Iced teas – these are perfect for all ages try
peach iced tea it is my favourite. Champagne –always a good choice even for the most humble of celebrations.
Pineapple Cooler - ever so refreshing....
Hot Chilli chocolate – great of cold weather picnics.

Home-made Breads
Simple Brioche Loaf Recipe – The simplicity of the preparation is deceptive, though; the delicate texture and heavenly aroma rival any traditional brioche found in Paris.
Simple Irish soda Bread – The simplest quick bread easy and tasty.
Banquet Focaccia[^AA]– if you have hoards of people to feed this is a clear winner.

How to pack a picnic...Picnic basket packing... Checklist...
101 picnic recipes that are fast and tasty a must see list.
A great site for easy and tasty food is Pioneer woman.
The picnic site a website that is all about picnics.
14 picnic dishes
8 French picnic recipes
Outdoor picnic recipes a whole range of wonderful recipes.
Betty Crocker's picnic recipes
Five star picnic recipes
Top 10 Favourite Picnic Recipes
51 top BBC picnic recipes
39 Country Living picnic recipes
A collection of Australian picnic recipes


Audax said...

Nachiketa I hope your 200th posting celebrations go fantastically for you. A joyous blog is all respects. Cheers from Audax in Sydney Australia.

Sue said...

Congrats on your 200th post...almost:) I, too love the Daring Bakers, and all the encouragement!

It seems Audax has covered everything when planning for a picnic, and a perfectly delicious one at that! I would love to come along on this picnic!

Monica A.Gore said...

"The two biggest sellers in bookstores are the Cookbooks and the Diet Books. The Cookbooks tell you, How to prepare the food and the Diet books tell you, how not to eat any of it." --Andy Rooney
Though I have always believed in Eat, Drink & Be Merry…for tomorrow we may diet but I feel so proud to see you doing both the things beautifully. Cooking comes straight from the heart and a good presentation brings it to life. I may not have tried any of your recipes (You know, how occasionally the cook within me wants to come out ;-)) & not even tasted any of your cakes (coz of distance) but all of them sounded so yummy through your delectable words. All the Best Nachiiii !!!

P.S. AUDAX Rocks ;-)

Namita said...

congrats nachi.........ur doin a gr8 job. keep it up

Shuchi said...

Hey Rockstar! Congratulations on the 200th Post...Keep it going!!!!


Lorraine @ Not Quite Nigella said...

Happy 200th and great post from Audax!

nivritti chandra said...

cant believe, uv made so much stuff......

but lets also give dal roti a lol lol...
dont kill me for this..:)

Meetu said...

First of all congratulations Nachi on reaching to your 200th post so soon. As Audax has already mentioned you have the most amazing collection of smiling people photos on your blogs and now Audax has posted the most comprehensive list of Picnic dishes here making it a amazing combination. The awesome recipes given by Audax are look yumillious and make me wanting to picnic just now. I am hoping that you close your 200th post celebrations with a round of picnic where all of us can meet and enjoy these tasty recipes. Way to go :)

Marisa said...

Wow what a round-up! I'm going to be clicking through to quite a few of those. :-)

Congrats on your 200th post! I recently celebrated mine too. It's a great feeling, isn't it?