CarolCooks2…Friday Food Reviews…National Picnic Month in the Uk…


Welcome to Friday Food Reviews where I will be covering a different food or product each week and looking at… what are they?  where do they grow, what can we substitute them for in a recipe, are they safe to eat, how to store them, how to use them, cook them, anything connected to that food. or product..all the why’s and the wherefores…it will, of course, be mainly my own opinion or a known fact…good or bad…there may even be a tried and tested recipe…or three…

This month it’s National Picnic Month in the Uk…going for a picnic is a very British thing as kids we would love to just have a picnic in our back garden just eating outside makes the food taste wonderful so different from eating indoors…my wish is that my parents had taken more photos of this but alas they didn’t I only have the memories…of a blanket on the grass, egg sandwiches, never crisps(were) they invented then? Of course, they were “Smiths Crisps with a little blue bag of salt…

But a rare treat for us…

Egg sandwiches with cress, an apple and a piece of my mum’s homemade cake or little butterfly cakes plus some homemade lemonade or ginger beer made up our picnic fare…BUT at home or over the fields we had to take our rubbish home or wait until we found a bin…not so now in some of the picnic areas I have visited..people are slobs…I often wonder what their homes are like…Please dispose of your rubbish correctly…

It is also Plastic Free July…please choose your food wisely and think about how it can be disposed of remembering that black plastic although technically can be recycled needs specialist equipment to do so and more often than not goes to landfills…

How to pack a healthy and delicious picnic…

Scotch eggs are easy to transport and always a crowd pleaser…just bake them instead of deep-frying to reduce the fat and calories…To make them even lighter this recipe using lentils sounds just the thing…not been tested by me yet( I am ) still on my holibobs… but BBC recipes are normally good and reliable…

Who doesn’t love potato salad? although I never use much mayo and make my own it can still be made healthier and less calorific by using a delicious basil, parsley and garlic dressing…


  • 1large bunch basil
  • 1large bunch parsley
  • 1kg new potatoes, larger potatoes halved
  • 100ml extra virgin olive oil
  • 2 tbsp white wine vinegar
  • 1 small garlic clove

Cook your potatoes until just tender and allow them to steam dry once you have drained them I just cover the pan with a clean cloth which then absorbs all the steam…

While the potatoes are cooking make the basil oil by washing your basil then squeeze out the water from the basil over the sink, then put in a blender along with the oil, vinegar, garlic and a good pinch of seasoning. Blitz until you have a vibrant green oil.

When ready to serve chop the parsley and tip the potatoes and parsley into a bowl then dress with the basil oil…if you are going on a picnic then put the potatoes and parsley in a bowl and the basil oil in a separate pot and dress when ready to serve.

Tuna and pasta salad is always a good picnic dish…


  • 3 cups uncooked pasta (I used bows)
  • 1 (6 ounces) can tuna drained
  • 2 tablespoons red onion chopped
  • 1 cup little tomatoes halved
  • 2 sticks of celery chopped small
  • 1 mini cucumber (or 1/4 English cucumber) chopped
  • 1 tablespoon fresh parsley chopped
  • 1 tablespoon balsamic vinegar
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • Salt & pepper to taste

Let’s Cook!

Put a large pot of salted water on to boil for your pasta and cook as per the packet instructions.

We like our al dente…meanwhile prepare all your ingredients and add them to a large bowl then once the pasta is cooked and drained add it to the bowl of your chopped ingredients.

Add the vinegar and olive oil and season…you can serve straight away but we like the flavours to infuse…

Picnic Dessert…a nice tray bake always goes down well, a bowl of macerated strawberries or a fresh fruit salad is also a crowd pleaser and I always take a tub of my homemade vegan non-dairy- cream it is guaranteed not to spoil if the sun is hot, unlike fresh cream…

Muffins travel well as do pots of yoghurt cheesecake…they are easy to transport in reusable pots…this moreish dessert with a toasted oat flapjack crumble topping and juicy raspberries add extra crunch and sweetness to these mini cheesecake pots…


  • 2 tbsp unsalted butter
  • 75g jumbo oats
  • 1 tbsp runny honey
  • 200g raspberries
  • 125g pot vanilla yoghurt
  • 120g soft cheese
  • 2 tbsp whole milk or milk of your choice

Melt the butter in a frying pan and cook the oats for 5 minutes or until golden and smelling toasty. Stir in the honey, cook for 1 minute, then cool completely.

Tip the raspberries and 2 tbsp of water into a small pan and cook for 2 minutes until the raspberries are saucy and have softened slightly. Cool.

Whisk together the yoghurt and soft cheese, adding enough milk to make it spoonable.

To serve, fill 4 reusable pots with lids with alternating spoonfuls of crumble, raspberries and cheesecake mixture…Enjoy!

Thank you for joining me today…if your weather is sunny how about packing a picnic…if you have a favourite picnic dish you would like to share then please let me know…as always I will link to your blog…

11 thoughts on “CarolCooks2…Friday Food Reviews…National Picnic Month in the Uk…

  1. Pingback: CarolCooks2 weekly roundup… 4th -9th July 2022-Monday Musings, Health, Food Review “Real food v Processed Food” and Saturday Snippets where “Glow” is my one word prompt.… | Retired? No one told me!

  2. Norah

    Picnics were fun when I was a child or had young children. Now I’d rather go to a cafe for lunch and let someone else do the prep and clean up. 🙂


  3. Rebecca Budd

    I wish I could fly over to join you on your picnics, Carol. Celebrating national picnic month with you on my side of the world. Eating food in nature seems to add flavour to food. Hugs!

    Liked by 1 person

  4. beetleypete

    Aother rather ‘pointless’ month. I will definitely not be having a picnic. Too many flies, and the first wasps of the season. There is zero enjoyment for me in eating outside, Carol.
    Best wishes, Pete. x

    Liked by 1 person

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