Friday, June 21, 2019

Perfect picnic with sandwich skewers

I will always be a proponent of dining al fresco. Some people view eating as just a way to sustain life. But for me, dining is an experience. I find dining outside to be more relaxing and liberating. I find food tastes better and fresher outdoors.

That being said, I love picnics!

Packing a picnic shouldn’t be complicated. Instagram makes us think we need an adorable basket, an elaborate cheeseboard, a vase filled with beautiful flowers, and champagne. 

But that’s not real life.

Personally, I think the best picnics are the most simple ones. I don’t want to do a lot of work. I just want to dine outdoors and enjoy the Indiana summer.

To start off, here are the essentials…
  1. A good picnic blanket. I use a big thick blanket that I don’t care about getting dirty. You can always check second-hand stores or make your own if you don’t have one. Make sure the blanket isn’t too thin or you’ll feel every rock and stick and piece of grass through it.
  2. A cooler. Sure, wooden baskets are adorable, but I’m not sure they’re the most practical. I use a cooler bag instead. It’s much more functional (food won’t spoil) and easily foldable so you can store it in a backpack when you’re finished. I like to freeze water bottles instead of using ice packs, so you can drink them after they’ve served their purpose.

Now, let’s discuss what foods to pack. There are three things I like to focus on when packing for a picnic.
  1. Focus on finger foods. Have you ever tried sitting on the ground and trying to eat with utensils?mIt’s not that easy. If you focus on only packing finger foods, you don’t have to worry about packing utensils from home or buying plastic utensils. For example, I avoid packing fruit salad, and instead, I just stick with plain fruit in a bowl or fruit skewers. I also love the idea of sandwich skewers.
  2. Focus on food that will last and not get soggy. I try to avoid lettuce because it can wilt, fruits like melons because they must be refrigerate, and dairy dips because they don’t last long outdoors. Instead, I opt for berries because they do not need to be refrigerated, and I prefer to use hummus for a dip because it lasts longer in the sun.
  3. Focus on desserts that won’t melt in the sun. Everyone loves chocolate chip cookies, but the chips may melt and get messy. Try rice krispie treats, shortbread cookies, or other easily transportable non-chocolate desserts instead. Also, I find dried fruit to be a sweet enough treat that’s the perfect dessert substitute.

Sandwich skewers
Add any or all of the following ingredients to a kebab for a portable, non-messy sandwich that won’t get soggy and you can make in advance.

  • Baguette, cubed
  • Whole wheat bread, cubed
  • Pita bread, cut in triangles
  • Deli turkey
  • Deli ham
  • Salami
  • Bacon
  • Thick cheddar cheese, cut in squares
  • Mozzarella balls
  • Cheese cubes
Other toppings
  • Mini dill pickles
  • Cherry tomatoes
  • Peppers
  • Olives
  • Pepperocinis
  • Hummus
  • Black bean dip

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