The hot weather has officially arrived and everyone has the same thing on their mind; getting outside to enjoy the sun! And what better way to take advantage of the warm weather than by putting together a spring picnic.
Normally I would call up friends to get together but of course that hasn’t been an option lately. Lucky for my family that means they’re getting the cooking, planning and effort I usually reserve for guests.
I wanted the menu to pick up on a lot of the things we’ve been missing for so long now. I’m focusing on fresh bright ingredients like leafy greens, fresh berries and zesty lemon to celebrate the season and welcome summer which no longer feels so far off. I also wanted to make sure that everything I made was low maintenance and easy to transport.
- Raspberry Lemonade
- Strawberry Pecan Salad in a Jar
- Chicken Bacon Avocado Sandwich
- Pesto Flatbread Pizza
- Brown Butter Rice Krispies
- Lemon Raspberry Cheesecake Bars
- Fresh Berries
I started off with drinks; homemade raspberry lemonade! Cool, refreshing and a little bit tangy, just the way I like it. I used this recipe for blueberry lemonade as a starting point, then winged it. I used about two cups of frozen raspberries, and about a tablespoon of sugar then followed the recipe as it’s written, simmering it all in a saucepan to make the sauce. I also did not make the lemonade from scratch and instead used store bought. The results were delicious!
To kick off the picnic I put together a springy salad with peppery arugula, baby spinach, sweet strawberries and creamy goat cheese. The whole thing was topped off with pecans, olive oil and balsamic. This salad is easy to throw together and looks great on the plate with its mix of colours.
For the main course, I couldn’t choose between doing sandwiches or flat bread pizzas so I ended up with both. They are both super easy to assemble, no recipe required. For the flatbread just spread a layer of pesto, sprinkle on some grated mozzarella and top with prosciutto. Other toppings that go really nicely are baby arugula or pickled eggplant if that’s more your taste. The sandwiches have shredded chicken breast, bacon, sliced avocado, tomato, and cheese all on a chewy ciabatta! To make transportation easy I wrapped the sandwiches up with parchment paper and tied it up with twine. Looks great and is functional!
The desserts are easy to transport and easy to eat, meaning no slicing on your picnic and no forks required. These incredible brown butter rice krispy squares are an easy twist on the classic dessert. The brown butter is so simple and adds a nutty caramel flavour. You won’t believe how good it smells when you’re cooking the butter! The cheesecake bars are another perfect on the go dessert, as they can be sliced beforehand and are solid enough that they won’t fall apart in your hands. Plus, the raspberry looks beautiful swirled into the tops of the bars.
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