Tuesday, October 23, 2012

An Autumn beach picnic

A fiery, misty dawn burned off into a glorious day, still with a hint of the Summer warmth.  A perfect day for a beach visit, to remember, celebrate and enjoy.  But chores first, and play later - and a beach snack to prepare.

Spicy muffins, seemed like a good idea - there are lots of ideas around online for autumnal cakes, which are perfect to pack for a trip outdoors. A quick root around the cupboards and pantry and I
thought that parsnip and courgette spiced muffins sounded perfect.  After a good few hard frosts, the parsnips are just coming into their best just now, and they are often overlooked in favour of their more flamboyantly hued cousin, carrot.
1 large egg
1/2 cup  soft brown sugar (I used UK cups - 1 cup =250ml,)
2-3 T melted butter (you can use sunflower oil if you prefer)
mix these together very well then add
1 medium parsnip - grated
1 medium courgette (zucchini) -grated (aim for around a cup of each)
1/4 cup chopped nuts (I used pecans)
sift together
1 cup wholewheat SR flour ( or 1 cup plain flour and 1 t baking powder)
pinch salt
1.5 t mixed spice (or combination of cinammon, ginger, nutmeg - whatever your favourites are)
Add dry ingredients to the batter, and fold in until just combined.
(The mixture was slightly dry looking)
Divide between 6 muffin tins, (lined with cases or greased as you prefer)

 Bake at 150 deg c for around 20 mins, until light brown and firm. (they don't rise a great deal)
Leave to cool in the tins for 10 mins or so.

And what more autumnal beach picnic accompaniment could be more appropriate than spiced hot chocolate? And for me - it has to be Cardamom and real chocolate (85%!)

Just bash a few green cardamom pods around a bit and add them to enough milk to fill your flask. (I added a generous spash of double cream too) Heat gently, until just coming to the boil, remove from heat and add chocolate and sugar to taste - whisk until frothy and pour into the warmed flask, cardamoms and all (they will infuse away until ready to drink.

Then, find yourself a beach, or other similarly beautiful spot and enjoy.



  1. I cannot tell you how much I would like to go on a picnic like that. May just have to settle for the hot chocolate - it looks amazing.

    1. Oh yes - the chocolate is definitely worth it x

  2. Looks truly stunning... a wonderful day to remember ♥

  3. That does look lovely. I will have to try both.

  4. Oh yes, I think I need to be in touch with my decadent side too! Your hot chocolate looks amazing.
    You do have me stumped and I am going to have to do a Google search since I have never heard of courgette.

    1. Okay, you say courgette, I say zucchini! :)

    2. Lol Tracey - I never thought. I could easily have put that in too ! Will edit for the benefit of American friends xx

  5. Wow, what lovely sounding goodies! And gorgeous pics too, wish I'd been there! xx

  6. Huge hugs to you all, always x
    Fantastic photos

  7. Glad you made the most of the gorgeous day. I don't think I've ever seen a happier dog!

    1. Yes - he was really basking in that last bit of sunshine :)

  8. What a lovely day out. Thank you for sharing such a picture perfect outing.

  9. Oh my, I have left a little piece of my heart on that beach! I can only dream of an Autumn picnic so perfect. Lucky, lucky you!

  10. My dining room felt warmed by your photos. I love parsnips but never would have thought to try them in baked goods. Wow! I can't wait to try your recipe. Thanks you so much for sharing.


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