Picnic basket with food. Back L to R: Lemon verbena and pineapple cooler, BBQ ribs and peanut chicken with noodles. Front L to R: Lemon squares, coleslaw and


Makes 750ml

1 pineapple, peeled and chopped

250ml sugar

500ml water

2 large sprigs of lemon verbena

60ml lemon juice

Put the pineapple into a processor and blend until crushed, but not pureed.

Transfer the pineapple to a pot and add the sugar, water and lemon verbena.

Bring to the boil and simmer for 10 minutes. Remove from the heat and cool.

Press the mixture through a sieve to remove the pineapple and lemon verbena.

Add the lemon juice.

Chill well and serve diluted to taste with still or sparkling water and plenty of ice.


Serves 6-8

150ml brown sugar

100ml chutney

125ml cider vinegar

200ml tomato sauce

15ml paprika

15ml Worcestershire sauce

15ml honey

15ml chopped rosemary

15ml chopped garlic

2kg rack of smoked pork ribs

Combine all the ingredients and mix well.

Pour over the ribs and leave to marinate for a few hours or overnight.

Remove from the marinade and place the ribs on an oven tray lined with tinfoil (this will make cleaning the pan much easier).

Roast at 180°C for 40-50 minutes. Turn and baste ribs with the marinade frequently. When cooked, remove and cool.

Cut the rack into individual ribs between the bones.


Makes 20-25


120g butter

30ml granulated sugar

15ml icing sugar

2ml vanilla extract

500ml cake flour

1ml baking powder

1 egg


200ml fresh lemon juice

10ml lemon rind

250ml sugar

3 eggs

1 egg yolk

3ml vanilla extract

60ml flour

In a large bowl, cream together the butter and both sugars with a hand-held mixer on medium speed until light and fluffy. Beat in the vanilla.

Sift the flour and baking powder. Add to the creamed mixture to form a dough.

Line a 20cm square cake pan with non stick baking paper. Press the dough into the base of the pan. Freeze for 15 minutes.

Bake at 180°C for 15 minutes until pale golden brown. Remove and pour on the filling.

Return to the oven for 15-20 minutes until golden brown and set. Remove and cool. Refrigerate for an hour and cut into squares or bars.

FILLING: Combine all the ingredients and mix well until smooth.


Serves 6-8

250g dried egg noodles

30ml peanut oil

1 red pepper, seeded and sliced

15ml chopped garlic

15ml chopped ginger

1 red chilli, seeded and chopped

3 chicken breast, cooked and diced

half a English cucumber, peeled, seeded and sliced

4 spring onions, sliced

200ml coriander, chopped


125ml coconut milk

60ml smooth peanut butter

15ml rice vinegar

30ml sesame oil

5ml sugar

2ml chilli flakes, optional

Put the noodles in a bowl and pour boiling water over. Set aside to soften.

Heat the oil and fry the red pepper for a minute.

Add the garlic, ginger and chilli and fry for another minute.

Remove from the stove and combine with the chicken, cucumber and spring onions.

Drain the noodles when soft and add to the chicken mixture.

Mix in the sauce and stir in the chopped coriander.

SAUCE: Combine all the ingredients and mix until smooth.


Serves 6-8


45ml sweet chilli sauce

15ml fish sauce

30ml lime juice

15ml honey

5ml chopped garlic


1-2 avocados, peeled and diced

200g cooked prawns, cut into chunks

1 large papino (small paw-paw), peeled and diced

4 spring onions, white part only, finely chopped

60ml chopped coriander

whole butter lettuce leaves for serving, washed and dried

DRESSING: Combine all the ingredients and mix well.

SALAD: Combine the avocados, prawns, papino, spring onion and coriander and toss to combine. Pour over dressing and serve in lettuce cups.

* Transport the salad and the dressing separately to the picnic. Just before serving, pour over the dressing. Serve the salad in the lettuce leaves. If the leaves are big enough, you can wrap the salad in them.


Serves 6-8


150ml condensed milk

60ml sunflower oil

60ml lemon juice or vinegar

5ml dry mustard powder

salt and pepper

30ml chopped chives


2 baby cabbages, shredded

2-3 carrots, peeled and grated

1 green apple, grated

125ml dried cranberries

MAYONNAISE: Combine all the ingredients in a blender and process until well blended.

COLESLAW: Combine the cabbage, carrot, apple and cranberries in a bowl.

Add the mayonnaise and mix well.

Store in the fridge. - The Star