I have been dreaming of sunny days and picnics with family and friends. The joy and anticipation of gathering with friends and family has been missing for most of us for many months. Laying on a picnic rug in a sunny park, kites flying, threatening air balls from games in the distance, screams of joy from children, all sorts of scents in the air from groups barbecuing and, flies wanting my food as much as I do. 

It is a gathering of family and friends without all the stress of entertaining and preparation but rather a relaxed 'come as you are' atmosphere. A place where random strangers are welcome and much as your family are..... which is also reflected in the food. It can be food that is pre-prepared and relaxed, leftovers or even bought on the way from the supermarket. No judgement from anyone because it is a ... picnic. It's is exactly this kind of gathering that many of us love.

I know many of you will love going all out and marinating meats and making beautiful salads but that is not my thing as I don't want to wait in the line for the BBQ at the park and to be honest I do not want to go home with baskets of dirty plates. I am more of a finger food type of a person - with as much preparation beforehand, then arrive and lay it out on the rug and the job is done with the only thing left is to enjoy good conversation, games and the sunshine.

Ideas for easy prepared picnic food:-

  • Try quiches and frittatas (can be served cold or hot)
  • Pressed or pita pockets, flatbread sandwiches willings all laid out on a platter
  • Mixed platters including vegetables, fruits, crackers, breads, dips and cheeses
  • Biscuits and slices - they are portable to transport and to serve in bit size portions

Here is my favourite recipe for Chocolate Fudgy Mixup Brownies (that are great for a sweet end to a lovely day)

This is adapted from my favourite Classic Chocolate Brownie Recipe from Donna Hay

Chocolate Fudgy Mixup Brownies

  • 200G DARK CHOCOLATE, CHOPPED
  • 250G BUTTER, CHOPPED 
  • 1¾ CUPS (310G) BROWN SUGAR 
  • 4 EGGS
  • ⅓ CUP (35G) COCOA POWDER, SIFTED  
  • 1¼ CUPS (185G) PLAIN (ALL-PURPOSE) FLOUR, SIFTED 
  • ¼ TEASPOON BAKING POWDER
  • 2 cups of pecans, macadamias, cream cheese, marshmallows, preztels, berries, choc chips and anything that you would like
  1. Preheat oven to 160°C (325ºF). Place the chocolate and butter in a saucepan over low heat and stir until smooth. Allow to cool slightly.
  2. Place the sugar, eggs, cocoa, flour and baking powder in a bowl. Add the chocolate mixture and mix until combined. Pour half of the mixture into a 20cm-square slice tin lined with non-stick baking paper.  Scatter your favourite toppings and then top with the remaining mixture and smooth the top.
  3. Bake for 50 minutes or until an inserted skewer withdraws clean. Allow to cool slightly in the tin before slicing. Take to your picnic, Serve warm or cold. Makes 16 slices.