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Old 07-18-2011, 05:57 PM   #1
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GCC Summer Picnic - Kathleen

Summertime! Summertime! SumSumSummertime!

I had planned on a waterside picnic, but time did not work out well for us. Still, I loved having a picnic even if it was in our backyard.

The menu:

Snacks/Fingerfoods: Fresh Bing Cherries.

Salad: Garden-Fresh Salad - Using what came out of the garden...except for the tomatoes.

Main: Chicken Caesar Wraps

Beverage: Splenda Lemonade

Dessert: Mini Banana Puddings

All was very portable and really was delightful for a summer evening. Recipes follow.
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Old 07-18-2011, 06:00 PM   #2
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Finger-food/Snack: Fresh Bing Cherries

I wish I had gotten a picture of them. They were bright, deep red, and so very sweet. I did nothing but rinse and put them in a bowl with a lid. Totally yummy. Somethings simply cannot be improved!


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Old 07-18-2011, 06:03 PM   #3
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Beverage: Splenda Lemonade

This turned out better than I had hoped. I feel that I could have served it without apology to anyone - even those who do not avoid sugar!

In a quart-sized Ball jar, I squeezed two large lemons and added 1/4 cup Splenda. Then added ice and filled it with water. After shaking furiously, I put a screw cap on it and packed it. It went really well with the entree.


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Old 07-18-2011, 06:13 PM   #4
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Salad: Fresh Garden Salad

I got the basic idea for this from my Clean Eating Magazine. The key to the dish is to use VERY fresh veggies that are on the less mature size. Unfortunately, I had picked the beans prior to making the salad....three days prior. And I used more mature beans, which seemed too fibrous for my liking. If my beans had been fresher, it would have rocked though.

Ingredients:
1 ear of corn on the cob
8 ounces of mixed Dragon's Tongue beans & Contender green beans
1 Jalapeno pepper, minced
Fresh Dill, Cilantro, or Basil - depending on taste (I used dill, but like cilantro or basil better.)
Fresh tomatoes
Kosher Salt
Fresh Pepper
1 teaspoon of olive oil

Par-boil the beans until tender-crisp (about five minutes) and submerge in an ice bath. Microwave corn until tender crisp and submerge in an ice bath. Mince herb(s) and Jalapeno. Cut tomatoes into bite-sized pieces. Cut corn from cob. Toss all with olive oil, salt (about 1/3 teaspoon) and a few grinds of fresh pepper. Serve!



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Old 07-18-2011, 06:19 PM   #5
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Main Dish: Chicken-Caesar Wraps

Okay, so I would have preferred some red or green tortillas, but I had plain ones in the refrigerator. To me, "picnic" means little fuss.

Ingredients:
Leftover Rotisserie Chicken
Romaine Lettuce, ripped in bite-sized pieces
Caesar Dressing, about 1 tablespoon and a dash
*I meant to add avocado, but forgot it.
Small Tortillas

Shred the chicken and drizzles a bit of dressing over it. Toss well to coat. (Do not put too much on it. It should just moisten...not soak the chicken.) Add lettuce. (Don't forget avocado slices!) Roll the wraps tightly and secure with toothpick. Wrap in paper.

These were yummy and easy to eat.


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Old 07-18-2011, 06:25 PM   #6
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Dessert: Mini Banana Puddings

We have been trying to eat healthier, so again, I used a sugar-free product. My take on sugar-free items is that it cannot taste like a sugar-free or diet product. The banana pudding turned out better than I hoped. Not as good as the traditional one that Momma makes but I'll never turn it down!

Ingredients:
A ripe banana, brown speckles but not mushy
Mini-Vanilla Wafers
Sugar-free Jello-brand Instant Vanilla Pudding
2 cups of skim milk

Mix up the pudding with the milk according to the package. Using cup-sized containers, layer: wafers, pudding, bananas, wafers, pudding, bananas, pudding, wafers. Refrigerate for 1 to 2 hours minimum to soften the wafers. (Overnight is fine.)
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Old 07-18-2011, 06:37 PM   #7
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Concept:

I really wanted to accomplish a few things with my menu. One was portability. Everything was easy to pack in a simple recyclable grocery sack.

I wanted my picnic to be "green" in that there would be little trash. By using a few washables, such as the cups, spoons, jar, and containers, I was able to do this. Really the only "trash" were two paper towels, lemon seeds and rinds, a few toothpicks, and some brown non-waxed paper.

This one thing I do not like about picnics is when I feel that people cannot eat without getting items all over them. (I know that is half of the fun for some, but not for me.) The food was really good, but it was also really clean. My menu could have been a good choice for a romantic picnic prior to another event.

Last of all, I wanted it to be relatively healthy, but yet be really tasty. I loved the food! The dressing gave the wraps a bit of zest and the lettuce gave it a nice crunch. I would have preferred a flavored tortilla for esthetic purposes, but flavor-wise, it was not needed. The sizes were small so the wraps made for easy dining.

Similarly, the cherries were yummy and easy to eat. A small, Rubbermaid dish with a lid for the pits and stems made for easy clean up.

The veggies were good. I used some beans that were too mature for the recipe though, so I will keep that in mind next time I make them...and I will make them again! This may be my new "salad" recipe for when I need to bring a dish to share!

The lemonade was wonderful! Refreshing and completely yummy. I plan to drink this all summer!

The banana puddings were not only cute, but they packed really well. Even though the packed picnic was jostled, they arrived cute and were wonderfully tasty.

Well, that's it. Hope you enjoy!
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Old 07-18-2011, 07:49 PM   #8
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Looks good. I'd gladly invite you to any potluck picnic I was having.
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Old 07-18-2011, 09:53 PM   #9
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Fantastic, Kathleen! It all looks great!
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Old 07-18-2011, 11:38 PM   #10
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Thanks to both of you! It was simple, but really tasty. :)
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