Picnic + Beach = Paradise

If you live in the Los Angeles area you might have been able to sneak away from your responsibilities and soak up a little of this January sunshine that we’ve had this past weekend. Sadly I was too busy to really take full advantage of it… but the weathers supposed to be wonderful next weekend and feeling inspired I’m totally going to rope some friends in for an afternoon at the beach, complete with a picnic!

Picnic cuisine is one that takes a bit of preparation, especially if you’re traveling to your destination. That doesn’t mean that you can’t just throw down a fun blanket and host one in the comfort of your own home! I always imagine them including those cheesy fireplace videos for pure novelty’s sake.

There’s a variety of styles that you can go with for your picnic-pleasure, my favorite is sandwiches but finger foods are also high on my list. I think getting a little funky with sandwiches can be easily achieved by trying a replacement for breads (think pita, lettuce, tortillas) or adding some fun veggies (lately I’ve been lovin’ some grilled zucchini).

Some fun sandwich ideas

BL(A)T W/ Cheese
Bacon, Lettuce, Avocado, & Tomato
Try this with: pita bread and a lite flavored mayo (I like chipotle)

Roasted Veggie Wrap
Choose some of your favorite veggies; for example zucchini, asparagus, thinly sliced carrots (length wise), sprouts.
Grill/heat them up in a pan (I use a panini press) and let them cool. Spread some hummus on a spinach tortilla and
add in your cooled veggies and roll the tortilla, be sure to fold in the edges first. Cut in half, enjoy.

Shredded BBQ Chicken Sandwich
Season (to your liking) and boil a chicken breast 10 minutes on high, lower and let simmer for aprox 30 min. covered with a slight crack so some heat can escape. Most of the liquid should be gone at this point, if not just check back every few minutes. You want the chicken to be tender so that it’s almost falling apart when you poke it. Remove the chicken and shred with a fork. Add some BBQ sauce to the chicken and toss gently. Add the chicken to your carb of choice, I find that hamburger buns work well. Garnish with cheese.

No picnic is complete without some tasty beverages to quench your thirst. Lately I’ve been getting into flavored lemonades. I prefer do more of a lemon-lime-ade with Meyer lemons and Persian limes.

Lemon/Lime-ade Base
4-Persian Limes
5 -Meyer Lemons
3 Cups of sugar

Juice the lemons and limes and pour into a 2-qt pitcher. Fill leaving 2 inches from the top with water. Add sugar cup by cup, tasting as you go to get your desired sweetness.

Flavors: Pomegranate & Blackberry
Simply juice a 1/4 cup of either fruit and add the juice to a 8oz glass of your base.

Also try mixing half sparkling 1/4 sparkling water to 3/4 base mix to get a sparkling lemonade.

A fun way to serve these is in mason jars, garnish with some lemon wedges
(or mint when just using the base, think virgin mojito).

Enjoy!

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