One of the simplest pleasures of summertime is going for a picnic. When it comes to relaxing and spending time with our loved ones, nothing beats it! And have you ever noticed how much better the food tastes when you're outside, defending it against the little bugs that come a-calling?
Whether you create a romantic couple's afternoon by the lake or make it a family outing with the kids at the park, one of the best things about planning a picnic is its fluid nature. There is no "proper" way to have a picnic and even utensils may not always be necessary. You can keep it simple with a "loaf of bread and a jug of wine" or make it as elaborate as you want.
When planning your picnic, it's important to consider what foods will hold well without refrigeration for a few hours. Hero or sub sandwiches are always a great option. Try the Antipasta Hero, a refreshing Italian twist to the traditional hero sandwich. With fresh olives, roast beef and mozzarella cheese, this recipe will set the tastbuds a-tinglin'. If you decide on an Italian theme for your picnic, the Italian Pasta Salad should definitely be included in the day's menu. Fresh kalamata olive, mozzarella cheese and pepperoni tossed with tangy Italian dressing - hearty and flavorful.
Nothing pairs better with a picnic than a great batch of potato salad. In fact, potato salad is almost synonymous with picnicking. One wonderful and distinctly New England version of the traditional potato salad is a Maple Roasted Sweet Potato Salad. Talk about a fabulous pairing of flavors! With a hint of maple syrup, fresh apples and New England cranberries, this is a recipe not to be missed.
Cookies or fresh fruit are wonderful choices for the picnicker's dessert. One yummy fresh fruit recipe is Cantaloupe in Lime-Yogurt-Cardamom dressing. With a pinch of fresh honey and fresh-squeezed lime juice, this recipe is an incredible spot-hitter on a hot day. If cookies are more your style, check out the recipe for Brown Sugar Shortbreads. These little treats are simple to make and guaranteed to be a hit with the kids.
No picnic would be complete without a refreshing batch of Homemade Lemonade - the perfect thirst-quencher for those hot and languid days. The secret to making amazing lemonade is lots of fresh lemons. Try tossing a few sprigs of mint into the lemonade for a subtle flavor enhancement.
Whatever you choose for the menu, make sure to take some time out from daily hectic life this summer and picnic with your loved ones. You won't regret it for a minute!