Tuesday, April 27, 2021

Fair Weather Picnic Fare

We have certainly “turned the corner.” We can begin to meet with others who are vaccinated. With warm weather providing a backdrop for outdoor gatherings, it’s time to get together with family and friends. It’s time to put our hospitality hats on and take our masks off to share a meal. 


We may still observe a bit of social distancing, but we can still gather. 


Eat. Talk. Laugh.


A couple of weeks ago I posted a breakfast menu to wow your guests, be kind to your wallet, and give you the time to enjoy your company. I’ve always been a fan of the simple life. If you missed the “breakfast pizza” post, CLICK HERE. 


The next week I offered an “easy-peasy” lunch menu. Both were intended to be simple and fun and appealing to the eye as well as the taste buds. To find the lunch menu post, CLICK HERE.


That brings us to this week. For the dinner menu I considered a grilling out menu, a pasta dish or one of my favorite casseroles. In the end I landed on picnic fare


Let’s start with the appetizer. The purpose of the appetizer is to stimulate the appetite. It is a small portion of food. Our breakfast appetizer was a fruit cup. The appetizer for the lunch menu was raw veggies. Today’s appetizer takes a bit more prep time…but not much.


Appetizer: Peach Salsa with Bruschetta


I’m sure there are great peach salsa recipes out there but this is one I created when I lived in Kosovo. I like simple and delicious and this recipe meets both criteria. I’m also sure you can make your own bruschetta, but again, I’m into simple so I buy it at the grocery already made and sliced.


For the Salsa you will need ripe peaches, sweet onion, and tomatoes, and a lime. (Some people add cilantro and peppers, but since I didn’t have those, I made it without.) 

1) Simply peel and chop the peaches into small chunks

2) Add a bit of chopped sweet onion (No, I can’t tell you exactly how much. I rarely measure.) 

3) Add diced ripe tomatoes. These I don’t peel because the skin is so thin and if they are really ripe you have a mess on your hands.

4) Squeeze some juice from the lime over it.

5) Mix and pop into the refrigerator until you are ready to serve.


Set your bowl of salsa and bruschetta out for guests to enjoy. This recipe has never failed me. It is fresh and delicious. Every time I serve it guests ask me for the recipe. I hope you’ll try it. Add what you like and let me know how it turns out.


Main Course: Your Favorite Meat with Loaded Baked Potato Salad.


If I’m grilling for my whole family, it’s burgers, hot dogs, or sausages. Having a couple of people over? Steak would be nice. Then again, baked ham is delicious for a picnic. I’m not even opposed to grabbing a bucket of chicken at the drive through. But the potato salad? I like my recipe. Made the day before makes it easy on my social timeline and enhances the flavors.


Loaded Baked Potato Salad


1) Peel, cube, and cook about six large potatoes in salted water (enough to cover them) until tender. (If you use small Yukon Gold or small red potatoes, you may need more but you don’t need to peel them.) Let the potatoes cool before adding the other ingredients.

Loaded Baked Potato Salad
2) While the potatoes are cooking, cook 8oz. of bacon.

3) Mix a package of ranch dressing mix into a 16 oz. tub of sour cream.

4) Chop green onions. (I calculate how many by bunching them up and wrapping my forefinger and thumb around the greens. About two quarter size bunches of green onions is about right.)

5) Pop the cooled potatoes and green onions in a bowl. Add the sour cream mix, a package of shredded cheddar cheese, and the cooked and crumbled bacon.


Dessert: Ice Cream 


No need to make your own…unless of course, you are the Martha Stewart type. 


**Please continue to take safe measures against COVID-19. Get your shot. Continue to wear a mask. Use social distancing when and where you can.**








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