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It’s Picnic Season: 5 Easy Recipes and 1 Perfect Outfit

Alice Huang

Posted on July 10 2018

Summer is here. The birds are chirping, the flowers are blooming and the smell of freshly cut grass fills the air. And what better way to celebrate than with a picnic? Family, friends, food and sunshine is the perfect recipe for a good time. Once you've located the best spot and packed the checkered blanket and rosé (don’t forget a corkscrew) all that's left is finding the perfect outfit. Considering it’s a pretty relaxed activity, we like to aim for ‘comfy chic’. Take inspiration from this one:

Summer Picnic Outfit

 Outfits: Christy Dawn Dress, Warby Parker Sunglasses, Mei Vintage Moon Bag, Madewell Bandana, Crate & Barrel Basket, Eileen Fisher Espadrille

A floral maxi dress or jumper will allow you some flexibility, breathability and of course style. Pair it with some oversized sunnies and a fun small bag to carry along. Wrap a silk scarf around your neck or wrist for extra flair and to double as a hair tie should it become a windy day. Slip on some espadrilles, grab your basket and you’ll be ready to hit the door!

Picnic food should be easy to transport, easy to eat and keep well in the warm outside temperatures for an extended period of time. That doesn’t mean you have to sacrifice taste, however! Give a few of these simple, outing-approved recipes a try: 

1.) Broccoli Pesto Pasta

Extra hidden greens give this pasta dish a nutritional boost, and it all comes together in under twenty minutes. It’s light, it’s summery, and it’s sure to be a hit. Fell free to serve it warm or cold.

Broccoli Pesto Pasta Salad

Recipe Credit

  • 1 head of broccoli (about 8 oz.)
  • Kosher salt
  • 6 ounces orecchiette or other short pasta
  • ½ cup grated Parmesan
  • ½ cup (packed) fresh basil leaves
  • 3 tablespoons olive oil
  • 2 teaspoons fresh lemon juice
  • Freshly ground black pepper
  1. Separate broccoli stalk from florets and finely chop florets. Trim woody end of stalk, then peel and finely chop. Cook stalk in a large pot of boiling salted water until bright green, about 3 minutes. Add florets and cook until crisp-tender, about 3 minutes more. Using a slotted spoon or mesh spider, transfer broccoli to a large bowl of ice water, then drain on paper towels.
  2. Add pasta to same pot of boiling water and cook until al dente. Drain pasta, reserving 1 cup pasta cooking liquid, and return to pot.
  3. While pasta cooks, transfer broccoli (reserve a handful of florets) to a food processor and add Parmesan, basil, oil, and lemon juice. Season with salt and pepper, then process until smooth.
  4. Toss pasta with broccoli pesto, adding more pasta cooking liquid as needed to coat evenly. Toss in reserved broccoli florets and season with salt and pepper.

2.) Cucumber Cream Cheese Sandwiches

These classic tea sandwiches are the perfect finger food. They’re simple, yet elegant, and surprisingly refreshing. Feel free to get creative with the type of bread you use and make as many or as few as you’d like!

Cucmber Creamcheese Sandwich

Recipe Credit

  • 4 oz. cream cheese, softened slightly
  • 2 tablespoons fresh dill, chopped
  • 1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice
  • Salt and pepper, to taste
  • 4 slices wheat bread
  • 1/2 of a medium cucumber, peeled and sliced
  • Seasoning salt, such as Lawry's
  1. In a small bowl, combine the cream cheese, dill, lemon juice, salt and pepper. Mix well.
  2. Place the bread on a flat surface. Divide the cream cheese mixture evenly between them, spreading evenly. Divide cucumbers between two slices and sprinkle seasoning salt over the tops. Top with the remaining bread slices, cream cheese face down. Cut sandwiches in half and serve!

3.) Italian Pinwheels

These Italian inspired pinwheels are perfect for on-the-go and sharing. The best part is that they’re super customizable, too. Think of it as your favorite pizza toppings all rolled up into a bite-sized snack.

Italian Pinwheel

Recipe Credit

  • 3 flour tortillas
  • 1 (8 oz) pkg genoa salami
  • 30 small Pepperoni slices
  • 9 slices Provolone cheese
  • Romaine lettuce
  • 1 (8 oz) pkg cream cheese, softened
  • 1/4 cup Italian bread crumbs
  • 1/4 cup parmesan cheese
  • 2/3 cup roasted or sweet red peppers (we used jarred), chopped small
  • 2/3 cup banana peppers (we used jarred), chopped small
  1. Mix all your pepper spread ingredients in bowl until well combined.
  2. Spread 1/3 of the mix onto tortilla.
  3. In center of tortilla place 3 slices of cheese next to one another.
  4. Next layer enough salami to cover tortilla.
  5. After that layer pepperoni covering the salami.
  6. Then lastly add your romaine lettuce on top of that.
  7. Roll up tightly and refrigerate until cool, about 1 hour.
  8. Slice into pinwheels and enjoy!

 

4.) Strawberry Salsa

Nothing says summer quite like fresh strawberries do. This salsa is light, with a bit of a kick, and can be served over meats or scooped up with tortilla chips. The longer it marinades the better it gets.

Recipe Credit

  • 1 pint strawberries, hulled and finely diced
  • 1 jalapeno, stem and seeds removed, finely diced
  • half of a small red onion, peeled and finely diced (about 1/2 cup)
  • 2/3 cup finely-chopped fresh cilantro, loosely-packed
  • juice of 1 lime, about 2 tablespoons
  • (pinch of salt and black pepper)
  1. Toss all ingredients together until combined.  Season with extra salt and pepper, if needed.

5.) Apple Hand Pies

It is pie season after all, and this recipe puts a modern twist on a classic. They’re just as flakey, sweet and comforting as the real deal, but way more portable. In fact, no pans, plates or cutlery needed!

Recipe Credit

  • 1 pound prepared pie dough, cut into 4 pieces
  • 2 large green apples, peeled and cored
  • 2 tablespoons butter
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 cup white sugar
  • 2 tablespoons brown sugar
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons ground cinnamon, or to taste
  • 1 teaspoon water, or more if needed (optional)
  • 1 egg
  • 2 teaspoons milk
  • 1 teaspoon white sugar, or as needed – divided
  1. Line a baking sheet with a silicone mat or parchment paper.
  2. Cut peeled and cored apples into quarters, cut each quarter into 3 wedges, and cut wedges into chunks.
  3. Melt butter in a large skillet over medium heat; let butter brown to a light golden color and until butter smells toasted, about 1 minute. Stir apples into hot butter; sprinkle with salt, white sugar, and brown sugar. Cook and stir apple mixture until apples are softened, about 5 minutes. Mix in cinnamon and water; continue cooking until apples are soft and sticky, 1 to 2 more minutes. Spread apple filling onto a plate to cool.
  4. Preheat oven to 400 degrees F (200 degrees C).
  5. Form a dough piece into a ball, place on a floured work surface, and roll into a circle about 8 inches in diameter. Spoon 1/3 to 1/2 cup apple filling in the center. Fold dough over filling, leaving about 1 inch of dough on the bottom side visible below the top side. Gently press dough closed around filling, using your fingertips.
  6. Fold the overhanging bottom part of the dough up over the top edge, working your way around the crust, and pinch the overhang tightly to the top part of the crust.
  7. Crimp the edge tightly closed, pinching a little bit of dough with the thumb and forefinger of one hand and using your index finger on the other hand to push a small notch into the pinched dough. Continue pinching and notching all the way around until the crust is tightly crimped together. Repeat with remaining dough and filling. Transfer pies onto prepared baking sheet.
  8. Whisk egg with milk in a small bowl until thoroughly combined. Brush top of each hand pie with egg mixture and sprinkle with about 1/4 teaspoon white sugar. Cut 3 small vent holes in the top of each pie.
  9. Bake in the preheated oven until pies are golden brown and filling is bubbling, 25 to 30 minutes. Let cool for at least 15 minutes before serving.

Other items to consider bringing along:

  1. A gallon of lemonade or tea
  2. Wine
  3. Guacamole (store bought or homemade) and tortilla chips
  4. Pre-sliced fruit
  5. A baguette and a variety of cheeses (such as brie, pepperjack and goat cheese)

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