Picnic Lunch in the Park

Friday, June 04, 2010

Today Daniel and I went on a picnic in the park with some of our friends.  I love picnicking in the summer!  It is a great way to spend some time outside in the fresh air!  Today we had our picnic at a park with a splash pad, that way if the kids wanted they could either play in the play area, or in the water! 

My group of mommy friends and I will get together often for picnics during the summer time.  We will organize our picnics in different ways, sometimes we will do a bring your own lunch, and sometimes we will do a potluck lunch.  
I have a nifty picnic backpack that is insulated on the inside to keep food cold (or hot) and it also has a set of four forks, spoons, knives, cups, plates and napkins.  You don't need one of these fancy backpacks to have a picnic though- any cooler, or bag for that matter, will do just be sure you don't leave your lunch out in the hot sun for too long! are some ideas for picnicking:

  • When I lived in France, I used to picnic at Versailles and the Jardin de Luxembourg quite a bit.  I would always buy a fresh baguette at the boulangerie, bring some cheese, some fresh tomatoes, and some fresh fruit like grapes and voila!  The perfect picnic!
  • When David and I were still childless and living in Seattle, we used to go down to the beach, or out to the coast.  When we did this we would stop and get some fish and chips at a FABULOUS fish and chip shop called SPUDS on Alki in Seattle  (also there is a location at Juanita Beach in Kirkland), we'd spread out a blanket and watch the sunset.  Aah, how romantic and cheesy, I know!  Also, sometimes if we were going to the coast, I would pack up our backpack with rice or pasta salad, cold poached or grilled salmon, fresh fruit, and a nice hunk of bread.
  • I have a chicken recipe that I will bring on a picnic.  Fried chicken is always a good picnic food because you can eat it hot or cold, but I prefer to bring my Chicken Rollatini.  This chicken is super easy and tastes really delicious cold.  I will usually prepare 4-6 boneless skinless chicken breasts, depending on how many people we have eating with us.  I pound the breasts thin, then I spread one side of them with pesto sauce or tapenade.  I then roll them up and secure them with toothpicks.  I sprinkle them with granulated garlic (or garlic powder), dried italian herbs, salt and pepper and bake them at 350 for about 30 minutes or until the chicken is cooked through.  I then take them out of the oven and allow them to cool, remove the toothpicks and slice them.  Every time I have made these for a picnic, they have disappeared quickly!  Along with this chicken, I also bring a rice or a pasta salad, some fresh fruit and veggies, and sometimes a nice foccacia bread that I have prepared the night before.  This is a great meal if you have a planned picnic.
  • Avoid foods that have mayonnaise or eggs.  Though potato salad is a great picnic and barbecue side, most potato salads contain mayonnaise, which can be dangerous if left in the sun too long.  A great way to get around this is to use Julia Child's cooked egg mayo instead of store bought mayonnaise.
  • Today's picnic was a bring your own lunch, so I packed the backpack full of fresh fruit and vegetables.  I had sliced cucumbers, mini sweet peppers, peas, peaches, strawberries, blueberries, and grapes.  I brought some ranch dressing for dipping.  I also packed some peanut butter and jelly sandwiches on homemade bread.  A simple picnic.  
  • Don't be afraid to barbecue your picnic.  Most parks now have picnic areas with barbecue grills set up right there!  Sometimes it is fun to get together with friends and barbecue at the park!  This is especially true for my family because we don't have a huge yard, so the park is a great place to have a barbecue/picnic get together!  You are not limited to hamburgers and hotdogs either!  Grill brats, ribs, chicken,fish, kebabs, steaks, even grill your vegetables! The sky's the limit!   

As the summer wears on, I will definitely be posting more picnic and barbecue friendly recipes so be sure to come back and visit!  Thanks for reading and until next time, happy and HEALTHY cooking and EATING!


Yenta Mary said...

OMG, a fellow food and French aficionada!!! Thank you for finding me, so I could return the favor and follow along ... :)


Simply Stacie said...

Thanks for joining Fun Follow Friday! I am your newest follower.


frenchieliza said...

Thanks for following my blog ladies! I am also following both of yours! I really enjoy them both and will definitely continue to read! Oh and Mary - France was my first love. I have spoken French since I was little, and lived in France on and off for most of my teenage and adult life! France gave me my passion for food and my mindset around eating. Nice to have you!

Nan said...

Hello, Thank you for follow me on blogfrog,
please join my community and visit my blog if you have chance for exchange our Quality time!


Have a great day.

Clairity said...

Picnics are such fun except we haven't been on one in years LOL.

Thanks for the follow, following you back :)

stash mama said...

Thanks for the follow!!! I am following you back! looove your blog!

MrsPhilipswithoneL said...

I am a new follower, picnics are awesome

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