Wednesday, May 2, 2018

Picnic in the Park

Last Friday, I hosted a "Picnic in the Park" as part of Share-A-Plate Cincinnati - a citywide collection of community hosted dinner parties with the mission of raising awareness and funds for Cincinnati Children's Cancer and Blood Diseases Institute Build-It Bites program. (Build-it Bites is a culinary health education program for children going through cancer treatment.)

I put together gourmet picnic baskets that my family and friends purchased, and we met up at a local park for dinner. Many others friends and family also generously donated money. Click here if you would like to make a donation to Share-A-Plate Cincinnati!

I used my favorite picnic menu from a 1998 Better Homes and Gardens Annual Recipes cookbook that I have. (Some of these recipes also appear in one of my previous posts, "On the Go.")









1.
Roast Beef & Red Pepper Sandwiches (adapted from Better Homes and Gardens, June 1998)
Serves 1
INGREDIENTS


1 T. olive oil mayo
1 T. Dijon mustard
1 t. prepared horseradish (optional)
4 thin slices cooked roast beef
2 oz. sliced roasted red peppers

1 slice Monterey Jack cheese

1/3 cup baby spinach leaves

DIRECTIONS

Spread mayo, mustard and horseradish (if using) on one flatbread. Top with next four ingredients and the other flatbread. Slice in half and serve.


2.
Turkey & Chutney Sandwiches (adapted from Better Homes and Gardens, June 1998)

Serves 1
INGREDIENTS


1 T. olive oil mayo
1 T. chutney (a spiced fruit jelly found in the Indian section of the supermarket)

4 thin slices cooked turkey
1 thin slice gouda cheese
1 T. shredded carrots

1 large romaine leaf

1 fresh tarragon sprig

DIRECTIONS

Spread mayo and chutney on one flatbread. Top with next five ingredients and the other flatbread. Slice in half.

3.
Pineapple & Cream Cheese Sandwiches (adapted from Better Homes and Gardens, June 1998) - V
Serves 6
INGREDIENTS
12 Stonefire Mini Naan Flatbreads
16 oz. whipped cream cheese
16 oz. crushed pineapple, drained
1/3 cup dried cranberries
1/4 cup shelled sunflower seeds
6 T. shredded carrots
DIRECTIONS
Combine cream cheese and pineapple and spread evenly on all 12 flatbreads. Sprinkle cranberries and sunflower seeds on 6 flatbreads. Sprinkle carrots on the other 6 flatbreads. Top the 6 cranberry and sunflower seed flatbreads with a carrot flatbread. Slice in half.


4.
Gazpacho (adapted from Better Homes and Gardens, June 1998)

Serves 7
INGREDIENTS
15 oz. can Italian-style tomatoes
2 cups yellow cherry tomatoes
15 oz. can chickpeas, drained and rinsed
1 1/4 cups vegetable juice
1 cup beef broth
1/2 cup chopped English cucumber
1/2 cup chopped orange bell pepper
1/4 cup chopped red onion
1/4 cup chopped cilantro
Juice of 1 lime
2 cloves garlic, minced
Hot sauce and baguettes for serving (optional)
DIRECTIONS
Combine all ingredients and serve with hot sauce and baguettes if using.


5.
Coconut Mango Parfaits (adapted from Better Homes and Gardens, June 1998) - V
Serves 6
INGREDIENTS
16 oz. lemon yogurt
4 oz. fat-free whipped dessert topping (such as Cool Whip)
2 t. lime zest, divided
3 cups Coconut Macaroon Granola (or 12 soft coconut macaroons)

3 mangoes, peeled and chopped (or 2 cups canned)

DIRECTIONS

In a medium bowl, combine yogurt, whipped topping and 1 t. lime zest. In six 8-10 oz. cups, spoon 1/4 cup of granola or 1 crumbled cookie in the bottom. Top each with a heaping tablespoon of the yogurt mixture. Divide the mango evenly between the cups. Top with another 1/4 cup of granola or 1 crumbled cookie. Top each jar with the remaining yogurt mixture. Garnish with reserved lime zest.


And just in case you were wondering what picnic fare for 40 people looks like... 😂