Wednesday, July 22, 2009

I love picnics – grabbing a basket stocked with goodies, getting together some friends and enjoying a beautiful day outside. I think that food is one of the most important and fun parts of a picnic – you can do something as simple as a couple of snacks for an afternoon, or a full meal out under the stars.

For a full meal, I love to grill – hot dogs, hamburgers, chicken, kabobs, and fish are all options that are easy and perfect for this time of year. There are lots of great marinades available to make a good dish great. Classic sides include antipasto/pasta salads, dips and cut up veggies, and potato and macaroni salads. Grilled fruit (peaches, pineapple, nectarine, etc.) is great sprinkled with brown sugar and served on top of a bed of creamy, cold vanilla ice cream, perfect for my favorite part – dessert! Of course, you can’t go wrong with fresh fruit – it always tastes a little better when you’re on the beach, in the park, or relaxing in your backyard. To quench that thirst, go for lemonades and limeades, throw in some blueberries or cherries to mix it up, or check out my recipe for a fantastic Arnold Palmer – I blogged about it on June 25th. For something more adult, try a chilled Rosé wine or a nice dry white – both are perfect for summer. Pack everything in a willow picnic basket – I love the ones that are insulated to keep everything nice and cold – grab a blanket and you’re on your way!