Monday, April 1, 2013


Spring has sprung, and with the warmer weather comes the innate desire to get outdoors. Many of us will be dusting off our bicycles, breaking out our shorts and packing up family picnic baskets in an effort to enjoy as much of this beautiful season as possible.

Below are three picnic-friendly recipes the whole family can enjoy.  Cheers!


APPETIZER

This Smoked Salmon Spread is a fabulous appetizer for any outdoor meal. Its earthy yet light flavor is comforting and refreshing all at the same time. Whenever we're holding an al fresco dinner party we love to include a bowl of this served with crackers, bread slices, or carrots and celery for the carb- conscious guest.

1 tin of smoked salmon
1/2 package of cream cheese
1 tbsp lemon juice
1/4 cup of green onion
1 tsp fresh chopped dill
1/2 tsp sea salt
1/2 tsp white pepper
1/4 tsp garlic powder

  • Remove the cream cheese from the fridge and allow it to come to room temperature before mixing
  • Drain the two tins of smoked salmon and mix with the cream cheese
  • Add the lemon juice, green onions, dill and remaining ingredients and mix together until smooth
  • Serve with a lemon wedge and dill sprig to garnish


MAIN COURSE

Our Greek lettuce wraps make an excellent picnic main course. Kids love putting them together and mom and dad will enjoy the easy clean up.  The sophisticated flavors will transport you to a Mediterranean coastline while never leaving the comfort of your backyard.

3 boneless skinless grilled chicken breasts
1 box of orzo pasta
2 tbsp olive oil
1/4 cup Greek salad dressing
1/2 cup chopped fresh tomatoes
1/2 cup diced feta cheese
1/4 cup diced, pitted Kalamata olives,
1 tbsp chopped fresh parsley
1 large head of romaine lettuce
  • Grill the chicken, season with salt and pepper, dice into cubes and set aside
  • Cook the pasta until al dente then remove from heat and rinse under cold water
  • In a large mixing bowl add the olive oil, dressing, tomatoes, cheese, olives and mix together
  • Add the pasta and parsley to the mixing bowl and toss
  • Transport pasta in a covered container
  • Peel the individual leaves off of the head of romaine, rinse them , then pat dry with a paper towel
  • Add the Romaine leaves to a Ziploc bag and take along with the pasta salad.


DESSERT

Nothing says spring like fresh fruit. Strawberries are the perfect finish for an outdoor picnic, especially when they come stuffed with cheesecake!

1 carton of large fresh strawberries
2 cups of cheesecake filling
1 box of vanilla wafers
1 tbsp powdered sugar
  • Hull each strawberry so that the leaves, caps and centers are cored out.
  • Fill a pastry bag with cheesecake filling. **TIP: If you don't have a pastry bag use a Ziploc bag and simply cut the corner tip off and leave the top open to encourage air flow.
  • Place a vanilla wafer on to the base of each strawberry and sprinkle the platter with powdered sugar.


DRINKS

A mild white wine, Sauvignon Blanc for example, would be an excellent accompaniment to the meal we've laid out for you above. For those looking for a non-alcoholic option the kids will love, we're very fond of mixing 1 part lemonade with 1 part sparkling water and adding a few mint leaves. 


So shake off those winter coats, break out those picnic baskets and break in those picnic blankets. Time to take this party to park!


Be sure to check out our "How to Pack a Picnic Basket" article in the April issue of www.splurgemag.com.


Image courtesy of caremytrip.com





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