Affordable picnic treats

Keeping the cost down is a driving factor when choosing to holiday near home. Rustling up a luxury picnic is one way of making your travels special.

Spicy Chicken Rolls

2 sheets of butter puff pastry
500g chicken mince
1/2 cup shredded tasty cheese
1 x 35g packet of taco seasoning mix
1/4 cup cold water
1 tablespoon parsley
1 egg

Preheat oven to 220C. Now combine the mince, cheese, water, seasoning and finely chopped parsley in a large bowl and mix well. Now cut your puff pastry sheets in half. Along one edge of each pastry shape, place a quarter of the mince mix into a sausage shape. Combine the egg and milk to make a wash and brush the other edge of the pastry with it. Roll up with the seam underneath. Now cut each log into eight separate rolls about 3cm long without cutting all the way through (similar to garlic bread).

Now place on a lined baking tray and brush with egg glaze and sprinkle paprika on top. Place in the oven to bake for 15 minutes, remove and cut the rolls all the way through and then cook for a further 5 minutes until golden brown.

Crustless Spinach and Feta Quiche

250g ricotta cheese
100g bacon
100g onion
250g spinach
250g feta cheese
3 eggs
1/2 teaspoon nutmeg
1/2 teaspoon black pepper
olive oil

Start by finely chopping the onion and bacon. Lightly beat your eggs in a bowl. Pre-heat oven 180C.
In large frypan, brown the onion and then add the bacon. Add spinach and heat through. Crumble the feta cheese into the frypan and add the ricotta cheese, nutmeg and pepper. Mix well and cook for a few minutes (get most of the lumps out of the cheese). Add the eggs and mix well. Take off the heat and put in a baking dish and cook for 30-40 minutes.

Honey and Pine Nut Tart


225g plain flour
115g butter
2 tablespoons icing sugar
1 egg

115g unsalted butter, diced
115g caster sugar
3 eggs, beaten
175g flower honey
1 lemon
225g pine nuts
pinch of salt
icing sugar for dusting

Preheat over to 180C. Prepare the mixture for the filling by dicing the butter and placing it to the side. In a bowl, beat the 3 eggs and, in separate bowl, grate the rind of the lemon, and juice the lemon into a cup.

Now sift the flour into a bowl and add the butter, working it in with your fingertips until it resembles breadcrumbs. Stir in the icing sugar and add the egg and 15ml of water. Work the mixture until it is a firm dough.

Now roll out the pastry on a floured board and use it to line a tart tin (23cm is appropriate). Prick the base of the pastry with a fork and chill for 10 minutes. Now line with foil or greaseproof paper and fill with rice or dried beans. Bake the tart shell for 10 minutes.

Now we need to make the filling. Cream together the caster sugar and butter. Beat in the eggs by adding a third of the mixture at a time. In a small saucepan, heat the honey on low until runny and then add to the butter mixture with the lemon juice and rinds. Stir in your pine nuts and add a pinch of salt. Remove the rice/dried beans from the shell and pour the filling into the pastry case.

Bake for about 45 minutes, until the filling is lightly browned and set. Leave to cool slightly in the tin, then dust generously with icing sugar. Serve warm, or at room temperature, with vanilla ice cream.