Oh, the joys of the English summer’s unpredictable weather!
We recently spent a lovely evening at the Botanic Gardens listening to live music and picnicking in the company of several hundred like-minded folks. Our decision to go had been a bit last minute though, and the picnic reflected our haste – humous, crudités, wraps, fishballs etc. Just whatever I’d been able to forage from the fridge.
So when we decided to go to another, similar event a week later, I had a much better run-up. I decided to make some savoury picnic muffins, packed with tasty olives and tangy cheese. You can put any cheese in, but I suggest using a crumbly, flavoursome cheese such as Cheshire, Lancashire or even feta, which compliments the olives wonderfully. (This is also a great opportunity to use up odds and ends of cheese.)
I am quite fond of a savoury muffin, and DH likes them too – he can’t eat bread, so any picnic food that doesn’t involve a sandwich is always going to get a nod of approval. Kipper loves them because it’s basically CAKE with OLIVES – two of her favourite things!
Of course, once these muffins were mixed up and in the oven, the heavens opened and it poured with rain. Although it had stopped before the concert was due to begin, in the end we decided to abandon our picnic plan on the basis that it would be uncomfortably soggy under-bottom 🙁
Still, we put our most picnic-y tablecloth on the table, and at Kipper’s insistence put the radio on to provide the music. There was a little less fresh air (we did open the window) and a lot less rain, but we had fun nonetheless. She even had a little dance around the kitchen 🙂
The muffin recipe is super easy to make. Weigh out the dry ingredients, whisk up the wet ingredients, and then mix the lot together. Bob’s your uncle. I spent a few minutes arranging olive slices decoratively on the tops, but you could skip that step if you’re in a hurry (or just can’t be bothered).
The picnic muffins were wonderful – eaten slightly warm, with a pile of fresh salad. Yum. Try taking a bite of muffin with a piece of tomato or some leaves of baby spinach. Delicious!
Do you like to eat al fresco? What’s your favourite picnic food?
There are more picnic opportunities coming soon. Fingers crossed for better weather!
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- 125g plain flour
- 1 tbsp baking powder
- 0.25 tsp ground black pepper
- 1 tsp mixed herbs
- 60ml milk
- 60ml natural yogurt
- 1 egg
- 2 tbsp olive oil
- 1 clove garlic, crushed
- 65g pitted olives, sliced
- 50g crumbled tangy cheese e.g. Cheshire, Lancashire, feta etc.
- Preheat the oven to 200C and prepare a 6-hole muffin tin with silicon or paper cases.
- In a large mixing bowl, combine the flour, baking powder, pepper and herbs.
- Separately, whisk together the milk, yogurt, egg, oil and garlic.
- Add the milk mixture to the flour, together with the olives and cheese - reserve some olive slices for the tops of the muffins if desired.
- Gently stir the mixture until just combined - do not overmix.
- Divide between the muffin cases - they will be quite full. Decorate with the reserved olive slices if using.
- Bake at 200C for 20-25 minutes until risen and golden, and a toothpick inserted into the centre of a muffin comes out clean.
- Cool on a wire rack and serve slightly warm or cold.
- For a really golden top, brush the muffins with a little extra olive oil or melted butter after 18 minutes of baking, then return to the oven for the last 2-7 minutes.
Treat Petite, hosted this month by Cakeyboi and co-organised by The Baking Explorer, with the theme ‘anything goes’.
Cook Once Eat Twice, hosted by Searching for Spice.
Love Cake, hosted by JibberJabber, on the theme of ‘it’s a mystery’ – because olives are a bit of an unusual ingredient in a cake, plus it’s just how I feel trying to predict the weather this summer!