Category: picnic

Energy Balls (Amazeballs #2)

Energy Balls (Amazeballs #2)

I wasn’t kidding when I said it was impossible to go wrong with the amazeballs, consequently our recipe here at home has morphed with each making and currently it’s proving an easy winner and looking better than ever before.

Lately I have been leaving out the raw cacao powder for some variety and rolling them in a really lovely desiccated coconut I found at The Angry Almond. Rather than weigh the ingredients into the thermomix (food processor), I sit it on the same shelf of the pantry as the jars of ingredients and just throw them in, hence the measurements in handfuls rather than grams.

Energy/Superfood/Bliss AmazeBalls

  • 3 handfuls almonds
  • 1 handful cashews
  • 2 handfuls pitted medjool dates
  • 1 handful each of gogi berries, chia seeds, sunflower seeds, pepitas, shredded coconut
  • Big Tbsp coconut oil, small Tbsp coconut sugar if you want extra sweet.

Grind the nuts a bit first then add everything else, form into balls (or press into a muffin tin) and roll in desiccated coconut.

energy bliss superfood balls





My sister-in-law Claire put me onto this amazingly simple and wonderful recipe a few years ago. It’s one that has never failed to impress the kids and a great one to make for someone you want to drop a meal in to (mainly because it’s not casserole or lasagna).

Pesto or Tomato Parmigiana

Step 1: buy some free range chicken or veal parmigiana (always easy to find Mt Barker chicken parmigiana) and lay it out on a tray covered with baking paper.

chicken parmigiana

Step 2: spread either passata from a jar (pizza tomato paste works very well) or homemade tomato sauce over half the parmigiana’s. Spread homemade pesto over the others.

Step 3 Top with grated cheese or parmesan and bake for 20 mins in a moderate oven.

parmigiana chicken cooked

I wasn’t kidding when I said it would be easy. I severed – I mean served – them with potato fritters and salad and sliced my hand in the process. I haven’t taken a finger off yet but I think even that would be worth working with a good sharp knife.

cooking injury

Happy school holidays to those celebrating the end of endless school lunches and sporting drop off and pickups. I’ll be on the veranda if you need me…

Two Picnics

Two Picnics

Two picnics down by the river on two consecutive evenings? It must be summer holidays. Of course yesterday was Australia Day so we were picnicking with sensible friends and about a million others (many not nearly so sensible) who flocked to the Swan River to see fireworks accompanied to Absolutely Terrible Music. What a come-down from what was in my opinion the hottest Hottest 100 ever. The fireworks crew even played 99 Red Balloons as part of the mix; disgraceful. The fireworks were pretty and apart from nearly getting arrested it was a lovely evening.
photo from:

Alright, not “nearly getting arrested” – we each had opened a Corona and immediately a half dozen police swooped down and made us tip them onto the grass. I was extremely bold and took a little swig before tipping mine out.

Back to Hottest 100 for a moment. Here is a version of Matt Corby’s Brother (which everyone knows) from Like a Version. This version is by an Australian hip hop band called Thundamentals whose lead singer also releases songs under his own name, Tuka. They dwell in the Blue Mountains.

I am a little surprised Tuka’s song Die a Happy Man didn’t make it into the list. It’s so damn catchy:

This evening the family got together down at Chidley Point for Picnic Number Two which included stand up paddling and fishing. We even had a visit from a photographer trailing a bride in seven inch heels and her new husband all in military whites and a beret (army, apparently). The kids caught clear jellyfish but we made them treat them with kindness, unlike back in the seventies when they were shredded with sticks and smeared over rocks the poor creatures.

Rob and Juliet SUP-ing
Rob and Juliet SUP-ing
Picnic at dusk Mosman Park
Picnic at dusk Mosman Park
Fishing for Blowies
Fishing for Blowies

I took what promised to be lovely little chicken rolls to tonight’s picnic – shredded roast chicken with cashews, homemade date paste, and rocket in hollowed out french stick – but they just didn’t work; they were mushy and boring. We did take great biscuits we keep making over and over thanks to one of my favourite food blogs. It’s a fabulous recipe Juliet (6) and I made without screwing up thanks to Lottie and Doof. They do them in 100s&1000s but I love the taste of them rolled in sesame seeds or coconut:


Sugar Saucers (from Piece of Cake: Home Baking Made Simple by David Muniz, David Lesniak and Rachel Allen)

  • 4 cups (600g) all-purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 3/4 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1 1/2 cups (340g) unsalted butter, at room temperature
  • 1/2 cup (120ml) canola oil
  • 1 cup (225g) granulated sugar
  • 1 cup (200g) confectioners’ sugar
  • 2 large eggs
  • 4 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • rainbow sprinkles, for decorating

In a medium bowl, whisk together the flour, baking soda, and salt.

In the bowl of an electric mixer, cream the butter on medium speed for about a minute. With the mixer on low, slowly pour in the oil, and then add the two sugars, the eggs, and the vanilla. Make sure to stir well after each of the additions. Slowly add the flour mixture, about a quarter at a time. Mix just until the flour disappears. The dough will be soft. Refrigerate for at least an hour before proceeding (up to 3 days).

Preheat the oven to 350°F. Line two baking sheets with parchment.

Using a 2-ounce ice cream scoop (or up to a 5 oz scoop), divide the dough into balls. Roll each ball in rainbow sprinkles until thoroughly coated. Place them on baking sheets with enough room for them to spread (if you are making giant cookies you will probably only get 4 per sheet). Use your fingers to flatten each ball slightly.

Bake for 12-20 minutes, depending on the size. Bake until the edges start to turn golden. Cool on baking sheet for a few minutes before transferring to a wire rack to cool completely.


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