Picnic Recipes and Games

Quick and Easy Picnic Recipes

The best part of any picnic is enjoying the great outdoors while socializing and eating. Keeping this in mind, it seems rather contradictory to spend hours in the kitchen planning and preparing a picnic meal when you could be having fun in a park or on the beach. By keeping a few select ingredients on-hand for when you are in the mood for a picnic, you can minimize your planning and time spent cooking. In fact, the following recipes can be made in less than one half an hour. So, why not schedule a picnic for this weekend?

Sandwiches are always smart choices for a picnic. They are portable, easy to prepare, and usually can be assembled with ingredients that you always have in your pantry and refrigerator. This gourmet twist on a traditional tuna sandwich that incorporates beans and fresh herbs will certainly add pizzazz to your next outdoor fest.

Tuna Sandwiches Italiano
Makes 4 sandwiches

Beans
1 15-ounce can great northern beans, drained
3 cloves garlic, minced
1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice
3 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
3 tablespoons fresh basil, chopped
teaspoon salt
teaspoon pepper
Place beans in bowl and mash with a fork. Add garlic, lemon juice, oil, basil, salt, and pepper. Stir until well blended.

Tuna Salad

2 6-ounce cans tuna, packed in oil
2 tablespoons fresh basil, chopped
1 tablespoon fresh parsley, chopped
cup chopped olives (preferably Kalamata)
1 stalk celery, chopped
3 tablespoons red onion, chopped
3 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice
teaspoon salt
teaspoon pepper
Bread
8 -inch slices of Italian bread, such as Ciabatta
1 cup washed lettuce spring mix
Place tuna in a small bowl. Add basil, olives, celery, onion, oil, lemon juice, salt, and pepper. Mix well. Spoon one fourth of the bean mixture on one slice of bread. Top with one fourth of the tuna salad, some lettuce, and a slice of bread. Repeat three more times.

Finish off the meal with a simple fruit dessert. In most of the United States, apricots are plentiful in the summer months. The recipe below for apricots in caramelized brandy sauce is quick to make and easy to transport to a picnic in a plastic, airtight container. Accompany the dessert with a dollop of whip cream or a scoop of vanilla ice cream.

Apricots In Caramelized Brandy Sauce
Serves 4

1 cup sugar
cup water
cup brandy
2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
4 cups firm fresh apricots, quartered lengthwise and pitted

Cook sugar on medium heat in 12-inch skillet until it begins to melt. Stir occasionally until sugar is completely melted and golden brown in appearance (about 10 minutes). Add water, brandy, and lemon juice. Reduce heat to low, stirring constantly until caramel is dissolved. Stir in apricots and simmer for about 10 minutes or when fruit is tender.

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