Sunday, May 26, 2013

HOW TO: Pack the Perfect Picnic!

I have this kind of creepy obsession with picnics. This is news to nobody. It all started about 4 years ago when I went to Cinespia for the first time. (For those of you who live somewhere with a little more substance and purpose than Los Angeles, Cinespia is summer movie screenings at the Hollywood Cemetery and they are awesome.) Actually, my obsession started the second time I went. The first time that I picnicked with ghosts and tipsy hipsters, my Trader Joe's shopping bag of pre-packaged goodies was put to shame. I went home, purchased a proper picnic basket, educated myself on cheese and the importance of other incredibly yuppy snacks, and the rest is history. Some may be a little embarrassed by my picnic enthusiasm, but those who are lucky enough to be eating out of my basket (hmmm... that could be phrased in a less weirdly sexual way) are nothing less than thrilled. I just really love picnics.

1. My first Pic-Tip (that's a cuter way of saying picnic tip, obviously) is that any outing can be the perfect time for a picnic! Especially this time of year. Rich and recently went sailing and before the boat was booked, I was already thinking of snacks to pack.

2. Pack a pretty basket. It doesn't matter if you pack it heavy, that's what boys are for. If you are a cooler kind of chick, fine, so be it. But I think picnic baskets should be just that.... baskets.

2. Use jars to pack food. They are pretty AND you can eat right out of them. Again, they may be heavy, but see above. Plus, if you have leftovers, they can go right into the fridge when you get home. 

3. Put sauces and dressings on the side. Nobody likes a soggy salad. 

4. SALADS! Nothing better than a crisp snack on a hot day! Plus, salad possibilities are endless. For this picnic I made a roasted beet salad, a Brussels sprout salad with shallots and dijon, and a caprese salad.

5. This kind of goes with the jar tip.... but pack in food in clear containers! That way you can see what is in everything without having to open each container up. Plus, lets be honest.... it looks pretty. 

 6. Pack your plastics! We always use plastic dinnerware and govino glasses! They are not breakable, but they cut down on waste. I do buy disposable flatware, but made from corn, not petroleum. You may as well be friendly to the planet!

7.  Please, please, don't forget the cheese plate! Every good dinner party has one.... so every good picnic should, too! And make sure to pack your cheese knives- plastic ones are less than helpful. A few of my favorite picnic cheese that everyone will enjoy are manchego, camembert, and gorgonzola!

8. Remember some carbs. Salads are great on a hot summer's day, but we all need some carbs..... especially when there is alcohol involved, which, let's be honest.... what's a picnic without a few adult beverages? In this picnic I packed some quinoa tabbouleh, a baguette (key!) some crackers and some strawberry-basil hand pies!

** note- things you can eat with your hands are perfect for a picnic! Cookies are of course wonderful, but try hand pies in your next picnic! They are easy, delicious, and sure to impress!

9. BOOZE! Summer + day drinking are like two little tipsy peas in a pod....just perfect together. (Just remember a wine opener or look for a screw off top.... you don't want to bring the goods and not be able to drink them!)

10. These guys.... are awesome. I want one.

Happy picnicking!

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