February … the month of love! For my husband Andrew and I, it really is “our month”, we celebrate both his and my birthday, Valentine’s Day and our dating anniversary, which will mark 10 years this year. Our first Valentine’s together was a picnic on Bakoven Beach. Andrew arranged everything and kept it a surprise – it was very romantic and when he proposed almost 5 years later, it was once again over a picnic blanket.
I’ve been wanting to test out a new picnic menu to surprise Andrew with, the criteria of which had to be refreshingly different, quick & easy and of course, delicious.
After our picnic shoot which I used as a trial to test my menu, Andrew discovered some of the leftover chocolate pot in our fridge while I was napping and when I woke, he said “Here’s a high five!” I thought he was about to tag me for baby duty but he followed with “that was the best dessert, you have ever made!” Ladies, I’m thinking this dessert may just melt your man’s heart! Give it, and the rest of these easy picnic treats a bash this Valentine’s Day.
Melon, Parma Ham & Basil Canapés
- Sweet melon cut into squares
- Parma ham
- Basil leaves
- Cocktail forks
- Olive oil
Wrap a piece of parma ham around each melon square, top with a basil leaf and cocktail fork. For serving, a drizzle of olive oil.
Chilli & Lime Coconut Prawn Skewers:
- 60ml coconut milk
- Juice and zest of 2 limes
- 2tsp crushed garlic
- 2 tsp fresh chilli, finely chopped
- 2 tbsp soya sauce
- 1tsp fish sauce
- 4 basil leaves, finely chopped
- 400 grams prawns, peeled and de-veined
- Olive oil
Place all ingredients except the oil in a bowl & mix well. Allow to marinade in the fridge for a few hours (or for a minimum of 1 hour) before frying quickly in a hot pan with the olive oil, over a high heat. Once cool, insert on skewers for serving.
Brie, Fig, Honey & Pistachio Ciabatta Slices:
- Ciabatta bread (or bread of your choice)
- Brie cheese (Camembert or goat’s cheese will work too)
- Honey for drizzling
- Pistachio nuts
Assemble as desired and enjoy!
Watermelon & Strawberry Fruit Skewers
Use a heart shaped cookie cutter to cut out heart shapes of the fruits. Insert onto lollipop sticks (can be found in most big supermarket bakery isles or at Merrypak). You can refrigerate until required or freeze for an even more refreshing taste.
Oreo & Nutella Chocolate Pot for Two:
Yield: 2 large chocolate pots or 1 x 30cm quiche pan
- 2 packets of Oreo biscuits – blitzed in a food processor to form a crumb like consistency
- 5 tbsp salted butter, melted
- 1 tsp vanilla extract
- 500g cream cheese
- 1/2 cup double thick cream
- 1/2 cup caster sugar
- x 1 350g jar of Nutella
- 2 tbsp cocoa
- 1 cup fresh raspberries (keep a few aside for garnishing)
- For the topping: 3 Ferrero Rocher chocolates crushed and extra fresh raspberries
Combine the Oreo crumbs with the melted butter and pour into bottom of your jar, pressing up the sides. I like to be quite generous with the biscuit base vs. filling ratio. Press with the back of a spoon to smooth down the mixture before refrigerating while you prepare the filling. In a mixer, beat the cream cheese, sugar, vanilla extract, cocoa powder and Nutella until smooth. Add the cream and beat until just combined. Add the raspberries and stir by hand before gently pouring the mixture onto the Oreo base. Refrigerate for approximately 4 hours or overnight. Just before serving, top with the crushed Ferrero Rocher and fresh raspberries. Serve with 2 spoons.