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Perfect Picnic

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The sun is starting to come out again and its arrival heralds the beginning of what I hope will be a very warm, pleasant summer. With that in mind, I have decided to focus this week on dining al fresco.

People love picnics and barbecues, so hopefully these recipes will assist your summer culinary endeavours.

For some, picnics rekindle the memory of soggy sandwiches and warm lemonade, but I'm sharing some great recipes that will both excite the palate and travel well. I have suggested using storage jars to transport the salads and pots of paté, which look very quirky and can be divided and portioned on site.

I love lemon-flavoured desserts, so I have included the recipe for my favourite lemon drizzle slices – the perfect accompaniment to the obligatory flask of tea.

Entertaining family and friends does not have to be very formal, and this approach to casual dining will help to build life-long memories. When I am writing recipes, it is to this concept of entertaining that I cater.

My latest cookery book, 'Food For Friends', contains a variety of specially designed chapters, each one focusing on a different facet of home entertaining, such as barbecues, informal suppers, food for romance, as well as plotting and planning a dinner party.

I hope that you enjoy my recipes (see left related articles ) and I wish you happy hours cooking your way through them.

'Food for Friends' published by O'Brien Press

Irish Independent