Let’s have a picnic! It is a stress-free way to let family and friends take a break from the rigors of daily life. Head outside and soak up nature at a local park while dining al fresco.
A few tips will ensure the perfect picnic –
Keep it casual. Use disposable plates, napkins, and cups so clean up will be a breeze. Don’t forget a trash bag or two to keep the picnic area tidy.
Bring a few big blankets to lounge on when enjoying the picnic fare. They are also the perfect spot to enjoy a late afternoon nap.
Make handheld food. Wrap sandwiches and fruit skewers are easy and fun to eat. Whip up a batch of your favorite cookies and sandwich a scoop of vanilla ice cream between 2 of them. Wrap in plastic and freeze. Pop them in a resealable bag and then in a cooler full of ice to keep them frozen at the picnic. A homemade ice cream sandwich will be a welcome treat.
Put it on ice. Fill a couple coolers with ice to keep the food and drinks cold. Chill the picnic fare before adding it to the coolers.
Include some playtime for everyone. Purchase inexpensive bottles of bubbles and inflatable beach balls for the kids to enjoy. Bocce and Frisbee are easily transported and will be fun entertainment for kids and adults alike.
Be prepared. Bring a bucket filled with bug spray and sunscreen to keep unwanted guests and sunburn from spoiling the fun. Toss in some hand wipes for quick cleanup of stick fingers.
A picnic allows you to unwind from life’s hectic pace. Keep the menu simple but loaded with good food. In less than an hour, the following two recipes can be made and packed for the picnic. With a recipe of good family and friends, good food, and a relaxed atmosphere, your picnic will be a great success.Print
- for Grilled Hoisin Chicken Wraps —
- 4 boneless (skinless chicken breasts, 4 – 6 oz. each)
- 1/3 cup plus 2 tablespoons hoisin sauce
- 1 tablespoon honey
- 2 tablespoons soy sauce
- 1/3 cup mayonnaise
- 4 large whole wheat sandwich wraps or tortillas
- 1 mango (sliced)
- 4 handfuls of baby spinach (about a 7 ounce bag)
- for Asian Triple Bean Salad —
- 1 pound green beans (trimmed and cut in half)
- 2 cups shelled edamame
- 1 15- ounce can black beans (rinsed and drained)
- 4 scallions (thinly sliced)
- 3 tablespoons olive oil
- 2 tablespoons rice wine vinegar
- 1 tablespoons brown sugar
- 1 clove garlic (minced)
- Salt and pepper to taste
- For Grilled Hoisin Chicken Wraps —
- Heat a grill to medium high heat. In a small bowl, combine 1/3 cup hoisin sauce, honey, and soy sauce. Set aside.
- Grill the chicken for about 4 – 5 minutes. Flip and brush with the hoisin mixture and continue grilling for 4 – 5 more minutes or until chicken reaches an internal temperature of 165 degrees. Flip chicken one last time and brush with more of the hoisin mixture. Remove chicken from the grill to a cutting board. Cool the chicken and slice.
- In a small bowl, combine the remaining 2 tablespoons of hoisin sauce and mayonnaise. Set aside.
- To assemble the wraps, place a tortilla on a cutting board. Spread the bottom half of the tortilla with a generous tablespoon or so of the hoisin mayonnaise. Lay a handful of the spinach over the bottom half of the tortilla. Top the spinach with ¼ of the chicken and a few slices of the mango. To roll up the wrap, fold in the two outside edges of the wrap and begin rolling from the edge closest to you. When the wrap is rolled up, slice in a diagonal in the middle and serve.
- For Asian Triple Bean Salad —
- Fill a large pot with water and bring to a boil. Add the green beans and edamame and cook for 4 minutes. Drain into a strainer and cool by running cold water over the green beans and edamame. Let drain.
- In a large bowl, whisk together olive oil, rice wine vinegar, brown sugar, and garlic. Add the cooled green beans, edamame, black beans, and scallions. Toss to coat the vegetables and beans with the dressing. Season to taste with salt and pepper. Serve cold or at room temperature.
Recipe by Amy Casey
© amycaseycooks – 2014
- Prep Time: 30 minutes
- Cook Time: 30 minutes
- Category: entree and side dish