Picnic Recipes and Games

Summer Picnic Recipes

For most of us, it is simply hard to envision summer without a picnic dinner. With more hours of daylight and plenty of warm weather, al fresco dining should be a regular event. And, nothing is as delightful as a "south of the border" picnic with a taco salad, sangria, and homemade chips and guacamole. This deliciously easy meal will have everyone saying, "gracias."

With packaged taco mix, ground turkey, and a few salad fixings, you can throw together a taco salad in little time. For the picnic, keep ingredients separated into zip-lock bags, and have everyone create their own salads. Corn tortillas, quartered and fried in vegetable oil and sprinkled with salt, make the absolute best chips. You may never want another store bought tortilla chip again. And, guacamole is as simple as mashing a couple of avocados with salsa, lime juice, and salt. Haas avocados make the most flavorful guacamole, as the more watery Florida variety tends to be somewhat tasteless. To wash down this Mexican meal, make a quick sangria with sliced fruit and wine.

Picnic Taco Salad
Serves 4

1 lb ground turkey
1 package taco seasoning mix
1 cup cheddar cheese, grated
1 small can sliced olives
1 bunch green onions, sliced
1 head green leaf lettuce, washed
2 tomatoes, chopped
1 small jar salsa (any variety)
1 cup tortilla chips, broken into pieces

On medium-high heat, brown ground turkey in large fry pan. Drain fat and add taco seasoning mix and cup water. Simmer 10 minutes and remove from heat. Combine all ingredients in large salad bowl and toss. For transporting to picnic, keep ingredients in separate plastic zip-lock bags and assemble onsite.

Homemade Tortilla Chips
Serves 4

1 dozen corn tortillas, cut into quarter sections
1 cup vegetable oil

Heat oil on high in large, heavy-duty fry pan. When oil begins to bubble, using tongs place tortillas in a single layer into oil. Cook 1 minute, flip, and cook one additional minute. Chips should be golden brown and crunchy. Remove from pan and blot excess oil on paper towels. Sprinkle with salt.

Serves 4

2 large Haas avocados
1 cup salsa (any variety)
1/8 teaspoon Tabasco sauce
teaspoon lime juice

Cut avocados in half, scoop out inside, and place into a bowl. Mash avocado and add remaining ingredients. Stir gently, and add salt to taste. Keep chilled until ready to serve.

Serves 4

cup sugar
1 cup water
1 orange, thinly sliced
1 lime, thinly sliced
1 750 ml bottle red wine
6 ounces sparkling water
Ice cubes

Dissolve sugar in water in large pitcher. Add wine, fruit, sparkling water, and ice cubes and stir.

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