Recipes for an Impromptu Picnic

It can be rather difficult to plan for a picnic with the unpredictable weather we've come to associate with an Irish summer. Once the summer holidays are upon us, hail, rain or shine, my little lady, Millie, will throw a blanket onto the grass and declare it to be an appropriate day for her, and her teddies, to eat al-fresco. The rest us, however, prefer to have the heat of the sun on our backs before we're lured into lunch in the outdoors. As we're never too sure from one day to the next if the sun will shine, picnics of the impromptu kind are most common in my house. Therefore, normally, whatever is served at the picnic must be conjured up from whatever is in the fridge or press at that time. A few easy to create dishes, along with some fruit and something to drink has often been turned into a portable feast fit for a king or queen, as any meal is special when surrounded by loved ones.

Peanut Butter & Banana Wraps

Peanut butter and banana make a super combination. It's one I love on brown bread, but these made-in-minutes wraps have a great appeal to little ones. So easy to put together, they'll be able to make these wraps all by themselves.


4 tbsp peanut butter
4 wholemeal flour tortilla wraps
2 small bananas, thinly sliced
2 tbsp honey

  1. Spread a tablespoon of peanut butter evenly over each tortilla wrap. Top with the banana slices and drizzle each one with a little honey.
  2. Roll up the tortillas tight. Cut in half and serve.

Cheese & Apple Lunch Kebabs

Children will love the sight of these lunch kebabs in their picnic hamper. Chunks of cheese along with some apple is a good combination, but cubed cucumber, chicken and grapes work well too.


2 apples, cut into small chunks
Squeeze of lemon
100g cheddar cheese, cut into cubes
Handful of lettuce leaves

  1. Place the chunks of apple into a bowl. Add a squeeze of lemon and stir to combine. This will help to keep the apple from browning.
  2. Using 8 short wooden skewers, layer the apple, cheese and lettuce onto each one.
  3. Serve straight away or wrap with cling film and place in a cooled lunchbox for your picnic.

Fairy Bread Jam Sandwiches

When my children were younger each one of them loved the children's television show Hi-5. It was the Hi-5 crew who introduced my little ones to this colourful treat, Fairy Bread. It's quite sugary, so certainly not for every day, but when an impromptu picnic is on the cards fairy bread jam sandwiches are ideal. They can be rustled up in seconds and make a super cute addition to the picnic feast.

4 slices of white sliced bread
2 tbsp jam of choice
2 tbsp hundreds & thousands

  1. Cut the crusts from the bread and spread the jam on one side of each slice of bread. Press the slices of bread together. Cut each sandwich into quarters, making eight triangles.
  2. Spread a little butter on the outside of each sandwich, on both sides. Generously sprinkle over the hundreds & thousands and serve.

No Bake Oaty Bites

These scrumptious oaty bites can be prepared in minutes, using everyday store ingredients. I love the flavour of the peanut butter with the oats, but any nut butter, such as cashew or almond would work well in its place.

makes about 15
100g peanut butter
50g honey
2tbsp coconut oil
1 tsp vanilla extract
75g porridge oats
50g Rice Krispies

  1. In a small saucepan over a low heat gently melt the peanut butter, honey, coconut oil and vanilla extract together. Remove from the heat and allow to cool slightly. Pour the oats and Rice Krispies into a large bowl. 
  2. Pour over the melted mixture and stir well to combine. Pop into the fridge for 30 minutes. This will set the mixture a little, making it easier to handle. 
  3. Line a freezer-proof tray with parchment paper. Take a spoonful of the mixture at a time. Using your hands, scrunch together to form a ball. Place on the tray. Repeat until all the mixture has been used. 
  4. Place the tray into the freezer for 30 minutes. Once set, they're ready to be served or pop the oaty bites into an airtight container and store in the fridge for up to three days.

This 'Impromptu Picnic' is taken from my Easy Parenting column, summer 2016.


Donna OShaughnessy said...

So love this web page Nessa and your posts. Of course now I'm quite hungry and its midnight here in Illinois. Guess I'll scope out my kitchen. Thanks for the recipes and the beautiful photos. Can't wait to try the fairy sandwiches with my little grandchildren.

Unknown said...

Sugar, sugar, sugar! Lovely recipes but way too much sugar!