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Old 07-19-2011, 02:03 PM   #1
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GCC Summer Picnic- BetterthanaBox

Picnics are something that are very close to my heart. My husband and I have been meeting for picnics weekly since we got married and several times a month prior to that. We have had romantic picnics overlooking waterfalls, sandwiches in the car when our picnic was rained out, and a lot of picnics in between. We even have winter picnics with hot chicken soup.

Here is my take on the summer picnic theme.
Finger food- BLT Bites
Beverage- Sweet Tea
Main Meal- Chicken Pesto Sandwich
Dessert- Fruit Kabobs

Finger Foods

To me, the perfect summer sandwich is the BLT. Fresh tomatoes hot off the vine, Crispy lettuce, and smokey bacon come together between two pieces of fresh toasted bread. These appetizers are really fresh and taste just like a BLT.



BLT Bites
2 heads of butter lettuce
2 Tomatoes, diced
1/4 pound of crumbled bacon, divided
Mayo
Salt
Pepper
Croutons

Separate the smaller inside lettuce leaves from the larger outside leaves. These will serve as our cups.

Roughly chop the outer leaves and place in a small bowl. Add mayo a table spoon at a time until the mixture is creamy. Add half of the bacon, season with salt and pepper, and stir to combine.

To Assemble: Place the small leaves on a platter, fill with lettuce mixture and top with diced tomatoes, the rest of the bacon, and croutons. Place in an airtight container and pack on ice.

Beverage
I love the fruity flavor of the watermelon and the lightness of this summer drink. Make it at home, and give it a shake before you pour it.

Watermelon Champagne Cocktail
2 1/2 cups of seedless watermelon cubes
1 Bottle of Champagne, divided
1 teaspoon fresh rosemary
2 teaspoons of sugar

Combine a half cup of the champagne with the rest of the ingredients in a blender. Blend until smooth and frothy. Pour watermelon mixture into glasses and fill with champagne.

Garnish with watermelon slices and sprigs of rosemary.

Main
Crunchy bread, juicy tomatoes, pesto and tender chicken are featured in this Italian inspired sandwich. It's perfect for an easy summer meal.

Chicken Pesto Sandwich with Garlic Mayo
1 loaf of Italian Bread
2 large tomatoes
Lettuce (optional)
1 bunch of Basil
1/4 cup Pesto
2 Fresh Mozerella balls, or 1/4 pound of sliced Mozerella
1 1/2 pounds chicken breast tenders or 3 breasts cut into strips

Garlic Mayo
2 Tablespoons mayo
1 teaspoon (or more) garlic powder

Place chicken in a pan over medium heat, season with salt and pepper, and cook until chicken reaches a temperature of 165 degrees. Remove from heat.

Preheat oven to broiler setting, or high heat if you don't have a broiler.
Cut Italian bread in half, brush with pesto, and place under the broiler until toasted. Remove bread from oven and allow to cool slightly.

While your bread is cooling and chicken is cooking, slice tomatoes, cheese, and remove basil leaves from the stalk.

Layer cheese, tomatoes, and basil on the bottom half of the bread loaf. Top with Chicken and lettuce if desired.

Combine ingredients of garlic mayo and spread over top half of bread and place on top.


I like to assemble this sandwich when the chicken, and bread are just slightly warm. This sandwich is great when you have an excess amount of basil, and tomatoes in your garden. I like to serve this sandwich with some pickled onions and mushrooms, or some giardiniera.

Dessert

Summer fruit is so delicious right now! There are melons, peaches, strawberries, blueberries, raspberries and cherries at the market. Light, easy, and highly portable, these are perfect for a summer picnic.

Fruit Kabobs

2 Kiwis
2 peaches
1 pint of strawberries
1/2 pint of blueberries
1/2 pint of cherries, pitted

Slice the fruit into thick slices and skewer. Serve fruit kabobs with vanilla yogurt mixed with a little cinnamon for dipping.


I hope you enjoyed my summer picnic!

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Old 07-19-2011, 06:49 PM   #2
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I'm on my way--can you send me directions so I don't get lost--I'll arrive by canoe!
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Old 07-19-2011, 06:54 PM   #3
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Looks and sounds wonderful, btab. Great pix!
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Old 07-19-2011, 07:14 PM   #4
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My oh my. (licks screen). Looks fabulous!
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Old 07-19-2011, 08:34 PM   #5
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i will picnic with you and husband anytime.
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Old 07-19-2011, 10:16 PM   #6
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Thank you, you are welcome to head on over anytime!
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Old 07-20-2011, 12:23 AM   #7
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It looks fabulous! I especially liked the sandwich! YUM!
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Old 07-20-2011, 08:16 AM   #8
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Thanks Kathleen!
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Old 07-20-2011, 11:46 AM   #9
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Everything looks yummy! Good Job~!
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Old 07-20-2011, 01:19 PM   #10
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It all looks great, and so refreshing!
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