Our irresistible baked mac n cheese recipe (with a secret ingredient)

Our irresistible baked mac n cheese recipe (with a secret ingredient)

When you’re in need of some comfort food a classic mac n cheese is hard to beat - there’s something about the soft, gooey cheesy goodness that’s almost as warming as a big old hug.

The addition of panko crumbs at the end gives our version a delightful crunch, a wonderful contrast to the smooth, velvety ooze of the cheese and pasta.

And our secret ingredient?  Dijon mustard!  Adding mustard to this super rich dish provides just the right amount of acidity to provide a more well-rounded flavour experience. 

 honeycomb mini loaf pans

Baked mac n cheese

Preparation time : 10 minutes

Cooking time : 25 minutes

Serves 4

INGREDIENTS

1 ½ cups elbow macaroni

25g / 2 tablespoons butter

1 ½ tablespoons plain flour

1 ½ cups milk

1 teaspoon Dijon mustard

½ chicken bouillon cube

¾ cup grated cheddar cheese

2 tablespoons grated parmesan

salt and cracked black pepper

½ cup panko breadcrumbs

1/3 cup grated cheddar cheese, extra

METHOD 

  1. Lightly grease four mini rectangular bakers or ramekins.
  2. Cook the pasta in a medium pan according to packet instructions then drain well and set aside.
  3. Return the pan to the heat and melt the butter over medium heat. When melted add the flour and stir until combined. Allow the mix to bubble for a minute (this takes away the ‘raw’ flavor of the flour) but take care not to brown.
  4. Remove pan from the heat and whisk in milk, mustard and chicken bouillon cube. Return to low heat and stir for 3-4 minutes until thickened. If lumps start to form at any time, whisk the mixture until smooth. It should be the consistency of thin custard.
  5. Stir the grated cheeses into the sauce, cooking until cheese is fully melted.
  6. Stir the mustard into the sauce until combined.
  7. Fold the pasta through the sauce, coating well, then season with salt and pepper.
  8. Transfer mixture to mini bakers / ramekins and sprinkle over breadcrumbs and extra cheese. Place under grill and bake for 2-3 minutes or until golden on top. Serve immediately.

 

NOTES

  • Where possible use freshly grated cheese rather than pre-shredded. Pre-shredded cheese often contains anti-caking agents that can make the sauce grainy
  • You can make this recipe a day or two in advance, all the way up to the addition of breadcrumbs. When you’re ready, add the breadcrumbs, pop in the oven and bake!
  • Looking to pimp out your mac n cheese? Add crispy bacon or shredded chicken for extra texture and protein or add sautéed onion and bell peppers to up your veggie intake.

CLICK HERE to shop our mini ceramic bakers

ciroa mini bakeware

Alexandra Liddy
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A beautiful brunch recipe - bacon and cheese pots

A beautiful brunch recipe - bacon and cheese pots

Sick of cereal? Tired of toast?  Our bacon and cheese pots are the perfect antidote to breakfast blahs. 

These little pots of goodness are halfway between a muffin and a frittata so are light yet satisfying. 

Bake in pretty ramekins to impress your friends and family over brunch, or serve with a salad for a light and tasty lunch. 

You could also cook up a batch on the weekend for a healthy and delicious start to your working week – they’ll keep refrigerated for up to two days.  

Bacon and cheese pots

Preparation time : 15 minutes

Cooking time : 30 minutes

Makes 4

 INGREDIENTS

  • 1 cup self rising flour
  • salt and cracked black pepper
  • 2 tablespoons canola oil
  • 3 eggs, lightly beaten
  • ¼ cup milk
  • 1 rasher bacon, chopped
  • ¾ cup grated cheddar cheese
  • 2 teaspoons chopped chives
  • 1 tablespoon chopped flat leaf parsley
  • 4 cherry tomatoes, halved

METHOD

  1. Preheat oven to 170C / 340F. Lightly grease four ramekins.
  2. Sift the flour into a large bowl, add salt and pepper and set aside.
  3. Place the oil in another bowl with eggs and milk and whisk until combined.
  4. Add the wet ingredients to the flour and when just smooth fold through the bacon, cheese and herbs. Spoon into the ramekins and place cherry tomatoes on top.
  5. Bake for 25-30 minutes or until firm. Remove from oven and serve warm or at room temperature.

CLICK HERE to view our range of ceramic bakeware

ciroa ceramic bakeware

Alexandra Liddy
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Give thanks...with cookies!

Give thanks...with cookies!

Say hello to the harvest season and give thanks with our simple yet oh so pretty embossed sugar cookies.

Placed in a clear gift bag, nestled in a box or simply tied with string, these cookies make a wonderful gift for friends and neighbours over Thanksgiving.  These cookies are simple enough to bake with your children and make a great 'thank you' for teachers.

harvest cookie recipe

Easy harvest cookie recipe

INGREDIENTS

1 2/3 cups plain flour

4oz / 125g chilled butter, chopped

1/4 cup superfine sugar

1 egg

1 teaspoon vanilla essence (1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract)

HARVEST COOKIE RECIPE

METHOD

Place the flour and butter in the bowl of a food processor. Pulse until the consistency of fine breadcrumbs.

Add the sugar, egg and vanilla and pulse until combined. If the dough seems a little dry add a teaspoon or two of cold water whilst the motor is running.

The dough should come together in a ball. Remove from the food processor and knead on a lightly floured board. When smooth roll into a ball, wrap in plastic and chill for 20 minutes. 

Roll out the dough to approximately 4-5mm thick, then roll over firmly with the embossed rolling pin. Cut out cookies and place on a lined tray. Bake at 180C / 350F for 15 minutes or until light golden. Cool.

harvest cookies

CLICK HERE to shop our Harvest collection

ciroa harvest rolling pins

Alexandra Liddy
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Fall entertaining - delicious dips to serve on game day

Fall entertaining - delicious dips to serve on game day

Planning a game day gathering? We have two delicious (and easy) dip recipes that will surely become fan favorites. 

These heartier dips are perfect for when the weather starts to cool down and you're looking for a more substantial appetizer. 

caramelized onion and bacon dip recipe

Caramelized onion, bacon and chive dip

Finely slice a rasher of bacon.

Heat a non-stick skillet over medium heat with a drizzle of oil. Cook the bacon until crisp and golden then drain on paper towel until cooled.

Place 200g sour cream in a bowl. Stir through 2 tablespoons good quality caramelized onion relish/jam.

Season with salt and cracked black pepper. Stir half the bacon through the sour cream mixture and spoon into a ramekin.

Pile the remaining bacon on top and served sprinkled with some chopped chives.

warmed spinach and parmesan dip recipe

Warmed spinach and parmesan dip

Heat a small non-stick skillet over medium heat with a drizzle of oil.

Add ½ cup thawed frozen chopped spinach and cook for 2-3 minutes until liquid is fully evaporated. 

Add a clove of garlic and cook for another minute then remove from the heat.

While still warm, fold the spinach through 7oz / 200g sour cream along with 1 tablespoon finely grated parmesan.  Season with salt and cracked black pepper.

Spoon into a ramekin and serve topped with toasted pinenuts.

 

CLICK HERE to shop our range of ramekins

ramekins

Alexandra Liddy
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Two dip recipes to get your party started

Two dip recipes to get your party started

One of the easiest ways to get a party started is to serve up some delicious dips and wait for everyone to gravitate to the bowl!

Here we have two of our favorites than can be whipped in in a few minutes (but will be remembered by your guests long after the party has ended).

One is a corn-based version which is dairy and gluten free - this is a great option when entertaining vegan friends or those with specific dietary requirements (or anyone who adores a fresh and healthy dip!)

The second option incorporates chorizo, sour cream and chipotle and will appeal to those looking for a heartier, creamy dip. 

vegan dip recipe

Tomato, charred corn and coriander salsa

Cut the kernels off a cob of corn. Place in a small skillet over medium high heat and cook until corn is lightly charred. Remove and allow to cool.

Quarter a punnet of cherry tomatoes and place in a bowl with a tablespoon of finely chopped cilantro.

Add cooled corn kernels, a dash of olive oil and a good squeeze of lime juice.

Season with salt and cracked black pepper. Spoon into a ramekin and serve with corn chips, or as a topping for nachos.

 chorizo dip in ramekin

Smokey chipotle and chorizo dip

Finely dice a chorizo sausage. Heat a non-stick skillet over medium heat and add the chorizo. Cook until golden brown and crisp then drain on paper towel until cooled. 

Place 200g sour cream in a bowl. Add ½ teaspoon smoky paprika and 1 tablespoon smoky chipotle sauce (if unavailable use extra smoky barbecue sauce).

Stir until fully combined, season with salt and cracked black pepper then spoon into a ramekin. 

Pile the chorizo on top and serve sprinkle with a little chopped parsley.

Notes:

Add extra chipotle or smoky barbecue sauce to the sour cream if you prefer the dip spicier.

We recommend using Spanish chorizo but if unavailable, you can substitute with Mexican chorizo.

 

CLICK HERE to shop the ramekins used in these recipes

ciroa ramekins

Alexandra Liddy
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Tis the season to be cherry!  A simply delightful cherry loaf cake recipe

Tis the season to be cherry! A simply delightful cherry loaf cake recipe

Aside from being one of our all-time favorite fruits, cherries are the quintessential taste of Summer! We celebrate them twice in our Cherry Loaf Cake, using canned cherries within the cake then decorating with fresh cherries for that sweet Summer look.

cherry loaf cake recipeThis fresh and simple cake would be perfect for your next gathering, and the beautifully classic shape of our loaf pan will ensure your creation is an absolute summer show stopper.

cherry loaf cake recipe

Cherry Loaf Cake

Preparation time : 15 minutes

Cooking time : 55 minutes

Serves 6-8

CAKE INGREDIENTS

185g / 6.5oz butter, softened
3⁄4 cup / 170g / 6oz superfine sugar
3 eggs
1 1⁄2 cups / 200g / 7oz self rising flour, sifted 1 tablespoon lemon juice
1 cup canned cherries in syrup, drained

METHOD

1. Preheat oven to 170C / 340F. Grease and line a ceramic loaf pan.

2. Beat the butter and sugar in a large bowl with electric hand beaters until pale and fluffy. Add eggs one at a time, beating well between additions.

3. Fold the flour through the mixture with a large spoon or spatula until just combined then lightly fold through the lemon juice and cherries.

4. Spoon the cake mixture into the prepared loaf dish. Bake for 45-55 minutes or until golden brown and cooked through.

KITCHEN TIP

Cover the cake with foil if it starts to brown too much during cooking.

DECORATING IDEAS

If fresh cherries are hard to come by, you can use a combination of other stone fruits - apricots, peaches or plums will work well.

Alternatively, a simple dusting of powdered sugar or chocolate shavings would be a beautiful way to dress up this simple yet delicious cake.

CLICK HERE to shop our ceramic bakeware

ceramic loaf pan

 

Alexandra Liddy
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Earl Grey and Lemon Thyme Butter Cake Recipe - the PERFECT afternoon tea cake

Earl Grey and Lemon Thyme Butter Cake Recipe - the PERFECT afternoon tea cake

These decorative cakes might look traditional, but our version - which pairs Earl Grey and lemon thyme – is anything but.

earl grey bundt cake recipe

Thyme for tea?

This fresh and light cake would be perfect for your next brunch or afternoon tea, and the beautifully intricate shape of our fluted cake pan will ensure your creation is an absolute showstopper.

lemon thyme butter bundt cake recipe

Earl grey and lemon thyme butter cake recipe

Preparation time: 20 minutes
Cooking time: 50 minutes
Serves 8-10

INGREDIENTS
4 Earl Grey teabags
175g / 1½ sticks butter, softened
1 ¼ cups superfine sugar
3 eggs
3 cups self rising flour, sifted
1 teaspoon baking powder
¾ cup milk
1 tablespoon fresh lemon thyme leaves

METHOD

  1. Preheat oven to 175C / 350f. Place teabags in a bowl filled with ½ cup boiling water. Leave to steep until cold. Remove teabags. Generously grease a cake pan (for this recipe we used the Ciroa Swirl Pan). Set aside.
  2. Place the butter and sugar in the bowl of an electric mixer. Beat on low speed for 2-3 minutes then increase speed and beat for 3-4 minutes until pale and fluffy. Add eggs one at a time, beating well between additions.
  3. Transfer mixture to a large bowl. Use a large metal spoon or spatula to fold through flour, milk and cold tea, alternating until just combined. Fold through lemon thyme.
  4. Spoon mixture into grease cake pan. Bake for 45-55 minutes or until cooked through when tested with a skewer. Serve lightly dusted with icing sugar and edible flowers (if desired).

KITCHEN TIPS

  • Once you have poured the cake batter into the pan, tap on your bench top a couple of times to remove any air bubbles and ensure the mixture has reached into all the crevices. This is especially important when the pan has an intricate design.
  • Before putting the pan in the oven, use a spatula and ‘sweep’ the mixture from the centre ring to the edges (so it is slightly higher around the outer edge), this will prevent it from doming too much in the middle and help it to rise evenly.
  • Once the cake is cooked, before inverting onto a wire rack, slice along the base with a large serrated knife to ensure the base is flat when turned out.
  • If you have any issues with the cake sticking to the pan, you can lightly coat the inside of the pan with oil (using a pastry brush) then dust the pan lightly with sugar (you can tip the sugar inside the pan then gently shake the pan around to distribute the sugar evenly). This will help prevent the cake from sticking to the pan and will also give the cake a slightly sweeter flavor.
  • Cakes baked in this style of tin are best baked in the centre of your oven, so make you’re your oven racks are placed appropriately before preheating your oven.

ciroa bundt pan

Decorating ideas

With this style of cake, the form of the cake itself is the focus.  However, there are a number of easy ways to provide some added visual interest co your cake without taking away from the beautiful shape.

A pretty yet simple option is to lightly dust the cake with powdered sugar.  You can do this by sifting the sugar directly over the cake, either with a sifter or a wire mesh strainer.  Make sure the cake is fully cooled before dusting the cake so the sugar doesn’t melt.

After dusting the cake, you could decorate with a sprinkle of non-toxic flowers – we have used pansies but there are many other types that work well such as violas, nasturtiums, chamomile, rose petals and strawberry blossoms. 

Another option for this cake would be to add a lemon glaze by combining confectioners sugar and lemon juice in a small bowl to make a thick but pourable glaze.

Once the cake has cooled you simply spoon the glaze on top of the cake, one spoonful at a time, letting it drizzle down the sides of the cake.

bundt cake recipe

For a more decadent take on this traditional cake, see our recipe for chocolate buttermilk cake with rich caramel sauce.

CLICK HERE to shop our bakeware

ciroa bundt cake pans

 

    Alexandra Liddy
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    Decadent Chocolate Buttermilk Cake Recipe (with caramel sauce!)

    Decadent Chocolate Buttermilk Cake Recipe (with caramel sauce!)

    When you’re in the mood for something decadent, it’s hard to go past the classic pairing of chocolate and caramel.

    Our chocolate buttermilk cake is moist and tender; cooked in a traditional fluted pan it is also a feast for the eyes…especially as you drizzle the delectable caramel sauce over the cake. 

    Alexandra Liddy
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    A delicious and decadent cookie recipe

    A delicious and decadent cookie recipe

    The very talented Marcy Braselton of Community Kitchen recently posted her recipe for Spiced Hot Cocoa Cookies, and aside from looking OMG amazing we were thrilled to see that she used her Liddy Lifestyle utensils to create them!

    Read on to see Marcy’s recipe for these ultra tempting, ultra delicious cookies.

    Spiced Hot Cocoa Cookie Recipe

    spiced hot cocoa cookie recipe

    Ingredients

    • 1 1/4 C all-purpose flour
    • 3/4 C unsweetened dark cocoa powder
    • 1 t ground cinnamon
    • 1/2 t baking powder
    • 1/8 t cayenne pepper
    • dash of salt
    • 1/2 C semisweet chocolate chips
    • 1/2 C extra dark (63% cacao) chips
    • 3/4 C cultured butter, room temperature
    • 1 1/2 C light brown sugar
    • 2 eggs
    • 1 T vanilla bean paste
    • 1 C marshmallows, chopped

    hot cocoa cookie recipe 2

    Method

    1. Preheat oven to 350F degrees (180C). Line a baking sheet with parchment paper and set aside.
    2. In a medium bowl, whisk together the flour, cocoa powder, cinnamon, baking powder, cayenne and salt. Set aside.
    3. In a small saucepan over medium heat, melt the chocolate chips, whisking until smooth. Remove from heat.
    4. In the bowl of a standing mixer, add the butter and brown sugar and beat on medium speed for about 5 minutes or until light and fluffy.
    5. Add the eggs and vanilla bean paste and beat for 2 -3 minutes until creamy. Scrape down the sides as needed.
    6. Reduce mixer speed to low and add the melted chocolate. Beat until combined.
    7. Slowly add the flour mixture and beat until just incorporated.
    8. Remove from the standing mixer. Add the chopped marshmallows and fold into the dough by hand.
    9. Using an ice cream scoop, place cookie dough balls about two inches apart on a parchment lined baking sheet.
    10. Bake for 12 minutes. Remove from oven and cool on wire racks *These are SO good warm!*

    Serves 18 cookies

     

    Alex Liddy
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    Easy (and impressive) recipes to serve up with your next cheese board

    Easy (and impressive) recipes to serve up with your next cheese board

    Everyone loves a cheese board, right? Easy yet eye catching, they’re an essential for any entertainers repertoire.

    But if you’re looking for something different for your next get together, we have some beautiful recipe ideas to kick your cheese serving game up a notch.

    marinated feta recipes

    Marinated feta recipe (serves 4)

    ¾ cup olive oil
    1 teaspoon whole black peppercorns
    ½ teaspoon fennel seeds
    4-5 sprigs thyme or rosemary
    1 clove garlic, thinly sliced
    2 bay leaves (optional)
    pinch of dried chili flakes (optional)
    200g block Danish feta

    In a large bowl place the olive oil, herbs and spices. Mix to combine.

    Break the feta into large pieces and add to the oil mixture, tossing gently to combine. Spoon the oil mixture and cheese into a sterilized jar and refrigerate.

    marinated feta recipe

    Allow 24 hours before serving for flavours to infuse. Serve on rustic bread or crackers. Will keep for up to a week refrigerated.

    Note: Danish feta is much softer than Greek feta. Once you have added it to the oil mixture, toss gently until just combined – don’t over mix or the feta will break up too much.

    warmed brie recipe

    Warmed brie with honey recipe (serves 4-5)

    Preheat oven to 300F / 150C.

    Take a boxed brie or camembert, such as Clarines and remove the lid, keeping the cheese in the box base.

    Place on an oven tray and drizzle with a little honey. Place in the oven for 10 minutes or until warmed through (do not overheat).

    warmed brie with honey

    Place on your cheese board with a palate knife and gently dig in. Alternatively, dollop a little cranberry sauce on top of the cheese before warming.

    marinated olives recipe

    Marinated olives recipe (serves 4)

    ¾ cup olive oil
    1 teaspoon whole black peppercorns
    ½ teaspoon fennel seeds
    4-5 sprigs thyme or rosemary
    1 clove garlic, thinly sliced
    2 bay leaves (optional)
    pinch of dried chilli flakes (optional)
    200g block Danish feta

    In a large bowl place the olive oil, herbs and spices. Mix to combine.

    Break the feta into large pieces and add to the oil mixture, tossing gently to combine.

    Spoon the oil mixture and cheese into a sterilized jar and refrigerate.

     

    Looking for more tips on how to assemble the perfect cheese board? See our post HERE.
     
    CLICK HERE to browse the Liddy Lifestyle collection of entertaining boards, cheese knives and spreaders.

     

    Alex Liddy
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    How to assemble the perfect cheese board

    How to assemble the perfect cheese board

    We LOVE entertaining, and one of our favorite ways to get a party started (whether for 2 or 200) is by creating a cheese board.

    With minimal time, effort and expense, you can easily put together an impressive party appetizer.

    The best part is, aside from a quick trip to the store for a few cheeses, you’re likely to have many accompaniments already in your fridge or pantry.

    Here are our tips for creating the perfect cheese board for your next get together.

    how to assemble cheese board 

    Make your cheese board a feast for the eyes and taste buds

  • When planning, take into consideration balancing different flavours (smooth, sharp, strong, nutty), textures (crumbly, gooey, hard) and colors in both the cheeses and accompaniments.
  • For the cheese itself, when making your selection choose one from each type – aged, soft, firm, blue. A general rule would be 3 cheeses for a smaller board, 4-5 cheeses for larger boards. You’ll need 3-4oz of cheese per person (or around a pound per 5 people). Quality is important here! You don’t need to break the bank, but it would be preferable to pick 3 high quality cheeses than 5 mediocre ones.
  • how to assemble a cheese board

    When selecting the cheeses, select one from each type – aged, soft, firm, blue. Make sure you have a different knife for each type of cheese; you may want to consider pre-cutting harder cheeses to make it even easier for your guests to serve themselves (while juggling a drink!)

  • When it comes to serving cheese with fruit and nuts there are plenty of options. When serving fruit, go for options such as thinly sliced pear or apple (squeeze with a tiny bit of lemon juice to stop browning first). Try grapes (both red and green – leave them on the stem!), figs or stone fruit such as peaches or nectarines (perfect for Summer soirees).
  • Dried fruit is a lovely addition to your cheese board – it’s a good idea to have some of these in the pantry ready to go for impromptu get togethers. Try dates, apricots, figs or muscatels; dried cherries are also a lovely addition.
  • cheese board accompaniments

    A paste or gel such as quince, spiced pear or fig can really bring your board together. Fruit and nut logs are also a good choice.

  • A paste or gel such as quince, spiced pear or fig can really bring your board together. Fruit and nut logs are also a good choice – being made with a firm fruit paste and formed into a log means they can just be cut into slices prior to serving your guests.
  • Nuts that compliment cheese and look great on your cheese board include pistachios, raw almonds, walnuts, pecans and macadamias.
  • It’s always nice to use a variety of crackers and breads alongside the cheeses – bite sized pieces of crusty bread work well, along with rough crackers made with fruit and nuts (think cranberry and almond, or peach and pistachio), mixed grain and seeds (like sesame, linseed or pepitas), gluten free crackers, wafers, water crackers or oatcakes.
  • You might be tempted to use onion or garlic flavoured crackers, but these can be quite strong in flavor, which takes the focus off your beautiful cheese - better to stick with less heavily seasoned and more complimentary crackers.
  • cheese board serving crackers

    It’s always nice to use a variety of crackers and breads alongside the cheeses

  • Use some greenery, whether edible (like arugula) or decorative (dried rosemary or thyme leaves) to bring your board to life (and help fill in any gaps!)
  •  

    Most importantly, serving a delicious and eye-catching cheeseboard is all about helping you relax and enjoy time with your guests – it doesn’t need to be picture perfect, or follow every rule in the book!

    Aim for a variety of flavors and textures and you’ll be well on your way to creating the perfect platter for your next party.

    For more recipes to server with your next cheese board, see our recipe post HERE.

    CLICK HERE to browse our full range of entertaining boards, cheese knives and spreaders.

    Alex Liddy
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    Easy food ideas for a perfect Spring picnic

    Easy food ideas for a perfect Spring picnic

    It’s starting to feel like picnic weather! Time to gather some friends, sort out some tasty treats and find the perfect spot to while away the afternoon.

    And because picnics should be about relaxing, we’ve put together some easy, portable recipes – these can all be made in advance, so you can do your prep the day before and come picnic time all you need to do is pack them in a cooler bag to enjoy at your location of choice.

    Now all you need to think about is where to go!

    Honey soy chicken drumsticks

    • 12 chicken drumsticks
    • 2 tablespoons soy sauce
    • 1/3 cup oyster sauce
    • 2 tablespoons Chinese cooking wine (Shaoxing wine)
    • 2 cloves garlic, crushed
    • 1 ½ tablespoons honey
    • 2 teaspoons sesame oil

    picnic recipe chicken drumsticks

    Method:

    Preheat oven to 180C / 360F.

    Combine the soy, oyster sauce, cooking wine, garlic, honey and sesame oil in a large bowl. Mix together then add the chicken drumsticks.

    Marinate for 15 minutes then place on a baking tray lined with baking paper.

    Bake the drumsticks for 30 minutes, turning and basting a couple of times until golden brown and cooked through. Serve hot or cold.

    Note: drumsticks can be left to marinate overnight if desired

     

    Char grilled marinated vegetables

    • 2 large zucchini
    • 1 eggplant
    • 1 red pepper
    • 1/3 cup olive oil
    • 2 teaspoons white wine vinegar
    • 1 teaspoon dried thyme or oregano
    • 1 clove garlic, crushed
    • salt and cracked black pepper

    chargrilled vegetable recipe picnic

      Method:

      Heat a stovetop grill or barbecue grill plate to high heat.

      Cut the vegetables into thin strips. Combine the oil, thyme, garlic, salt and pepper in a small bowl and mix together. Brush the vegetables on one side with the oil mixture. Place on the heat and grill on one side. Brush with a little more oil mixture and turn.

      Cook for 2-3 minutes each side or until tender. Remove from heat and cool.

      Serve char grilled marinated vegetables in a salad, as a sandwich filling, or part of a mezze plate.

      Note: vegetables can be refrigerated for up to 2 days.

       

      Chicken and quinoa salad

      • 1 large chicken breast fillet
      • 1 English cucumber
      • ½ cup cherry tomatoes
      • ½ cup flat-leaf parsley leaves
      • ½ cup mint leaves
      • ½ cup char grilled marinated capsicum strips
      • 3 cups cooked quinoa
      • 2 tablespoons olive oil
      • 1 tablespoon lemon juice
      • salt and cracked black pepper

      picnic chicken quinoa salad recipe

        Method:

        Poach or grill the chicken breast until cooked through then cool. Shred with your fingers into small pieces.

        Slice the cucumber thinly into half moons, halve the cherry tomatoes and roughly chop the herbs. Place all in a large bowl, along with the capsicum strips, shredded chicken and quinoa.

        Combine the oil with the lemon juice, salt and pepper. Add to the salad and gently toss to coat in the dressing.

        The salad can be transported in a serving container or individual jars.

        When you're ready to head out the door, pop your salads in a cooler bag and they'll be fresh and tasty when it's time for lunch.

        Spiced falafel

        • 2 x 400g cans chickpeas
        • 1 clove garlic, crushed
        • 1 tablespoon tahini
        • ½ cup plain flour
        • 2 teaspoons ground cumin
        • pinch dried ground chilli
        • 2 teaspoons lemon juice
        • ½ cup flat leaf parsley leaves
        • ½ cup cilantro leaves
        • 1 egg
        • salt and cracked black pepper
        • vegetable oil, for deep frying

        spiced falafal picnic recipe 

          Method:

          Drain and rinse the chickpeas. Place in the bowl of a food processor along with the garlic, tahini, flour, cumin, lemon juice, herbs, egg and salt and pepper. Process until fully combined and just smooth.

          Roll the mixture into small balls and chill for 20 minutes. 

          Heat the oil in a large saucepan or deep fryer until hot. Fry the falafels in batches until golden brown. Transfer to paper towel then store in the fridge for up to 3 days. 

          Feeling peckish? 

          Just remember, if you’re packing cheese, meat, seafood or mayo products to pack them in a well-insulated cooler bag next to an ice pack or pre-frozen water bottle, to ensure they’re fresh when it's time to eat.

          For more tips and easy food ideas for your next picnic, see our post The Essential Guide to a Perfect Beach Picnic.

             

            CLICK HERE to browse our collection of cooler bags

            Alex Liddy
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