hope you're having a wonderful weekend.
playing catch up today; been super busy so please forgive my lack of post!
(via michelle rago)
this past thursday evening i took the girls to a candlelit outdoor jazz concert on the lawn ;
it was heavenly.
adult friends, all our kids, picnic dinner, adult bevvies, live music = brilliance in my book.
and just what i needed to wind down the week.
i plan on going again this coming thursday!
this event, coupled with the gorgeous weather we've been having (in between raging thunderstorms, that is), has got me thinking about picnics.
at the risk of sounding banal,
i love to picnic.
(artist lowell herrero)
(coincidentally, i need to get me one of these)
the very act of sitting down on the earth (on comfy blanket of choice, obvs) to share a meal with friends, family, or a special date is so...forgive me... organic.
simple in principle, yet such fun.
when done right, it can really elevate any meal to new heights... just by sitting down.
my ideal version includes tasty eats either made at home or bought from a delicious local shop:
but what to eat?
cheese is a must; i love a pungent blue, an aged gouda (rank, that one's for you!), a brie piled high w all kinds of nuts & fruity goodness...i could go on.
i am that person who will literally spend hours in whole paychecks' cheese department.
(there are just so many possibilities!)
its borderline embarrassing.
my newly rediscovered favorite thing:
at this point i could honestly grab a baguette,
some fruit & wine, & be done with it--
but if we're planning in advance,
one of my all-time fave picnic meals is
(via james merrell. duh.)
i know, i'm so high maintenance.
shrimp salad means you've got to carry an actual cooler with ice, etc., which is definitely not nearly as elegant as a basket.
but i promise its worth it!
this salad looks beautiful when served in individual chinese takeout containers, but i realize that isn't exactly earth friendly. and since we're doing this the right way, lets be eco-chic, shall we?
or better yet ...
bento box it up!
or go with my newest fave find: the tiffin!
now back to the food.
of course we have to have in-season, local if possible, organic fruit. the best you can find.
i just love champagne grapes.
they seem so perfect for a picnic, don't they?
fancy sammies are something i probably spend entirely too much time thinking about.
the combinations are endless, but some of my faves of late include: brie, prosciutto & fig jam panini (sometimes w spicy greens! so good!); ny strip, blue cheese & arugula on focaccia; and chicken salad with slivered almonds and tarragon on a baguette.
lets see, what else?
as far as green salads &/or veggies go, the salad i mentioned here is one of my faves, as is my go-to salad/snack of sugar snap peas with dark sesame oil, black sesame seeds, & kosher salt. so good. or you could go california classic and make a green bean & potato salad with tarragon dressing. Y-U-M.
now, of course, the coda: dessert.
i do not discriminate when it comes to sweets, but one must be thoughtful in a picnic situation.
(we can't have chocolate gelato dripping all over her mcqueen white crepe trousers, now can we? the answer is no. no boys, we can not.)
therefore, i submit some of my favorite picnic-friendly, spill-proof sweets:
chocolate dipped macaroons
and (fabulously so) finally:
of course the perfect picnic demands delicious drinks. depending on the menu,
some of my favorites:
minted lemonade, sweet tea, sparkling water, & of course there are a zillion other boozy options:
(to name a few)
(images above via flickr)
whichever food and drink end up in your picnic basket, attention to detail is key.
thoughtful touches like fresh flowers in a small vase (hell, a solo cup if that's what you've got),
real linens, and candles will create that special atmosphere to make this meal one to remember.
i hope the weather where you live is nice enough to enjoy a picnic sometime soon; and if outdoors is out of the question, have a picnic in your living room!
its important to treat yourself & your loved one(s) to a special meal that breaks routine & celebrates food, drink, & one another...
whether that means a full blown gourmand's picnic,
or takeout in the backyard.