GCC - Summer Picnic - CWS4322

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Chef Extraordinaire
Jan 2, 2011
Rural Ottawa, Ontario
Here goes:

Finger food: Katirina's Catch a Groom Dolmatas
Beverage: Paddler's Punch
Main: Northwoods Chicken Wraps
Side: Shaken not stirred Cass River Pasta Salad
Dessert: Scandinavian Almond Cake like my Grandma Never Made

I just have to make the wraps and do the dessert. Otherwise, everything is done.
Shaken not stirred Cass River Pasta Salad

900 gr pasta (I use fusilli)
2 tsp celery seed
2 T Italian seaoning
8-10 qts water
4 FRESH eggs

1. Put the eggs in the cold water. Bring to a boil, add pasta and seasoning.
2. Boil for about 10 minutes (until pasta is al dente).
3. Drain and put eggs in cold water for 5 minutes.
4. Peel eggs and slice.
5. Put pasta in a bowl of ice water to chill.

Put the following in a LARGE tupperware container:

1/2 c diced celery
1 onion (I use a red onion from the garden, about the size of an egg)
1-2 sweet peppers, diced
1/2 c chopped pepperoni
1/2 c chopped black olives
1/2 c chopped green olives with pimentos
3 c black or pinto beans
1-2 jalepeno peppers, seeded and chopped
2 T fresh purple basil
1 T fresh oregano
1-2 T fresh parsley
(finely chop the herbs)
4-5 grated carrots
1 c fresh peas (blanched for 3-4 minutes)
1 c fresh beans (blanched 2-4 minutes)
1 c blanched corn kernels (fresh from the garden)
1-3 diced tomatoes
1/2 c fresh greens--baby swiss chard or arugula
1/2 c grated parm. or romano cheese
Capers--about 1/2 the jar


Approx. 2 c. olive oil mixed with 1-1/2 c white balsamic vinegar, italian seasonings (or use your favorite Italian dressing), 1/4 c parm. cheese, garlic

Put everything in a LARGE tupperware container. Make sure the lid is on tight. Shake it up until everthing is blended.

Garnish with more grated romano cheese, black olives, capers, salt and pepper.


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Sorry Kathleen--I don't know how to do this. I probably should've started a new thread. Can one of the moderators fix this for me?
Katerina's How to Catch a Man Dolmatas

(I named this after Kat, but she never made me these Dolmatas--but she did teach me how to blanch grape leaves. And she was always looking for a handsome man to marry.)

1 c cargo rice, rinced
1/4 c wild rice, rinced
1-2 tsp cinnamon

Cook the rice until it is almost done, about 30 minutes.

Soak 1/4 c raisins in water

Drain the raisins. In a large bowl, combine:

Plumped raisins
Juice of 1 lime
Juice of 1 lemon
1/2 c chopped mint (or to taste)
1/3 c chopped lemon mint (or to taste)
1-2 T zest (lemon or lime)
1 sprig of rosemary, leaves chopped
3-6 cloves garlic, crushed
1 T lime EVOO
1/4 c EVOO
S&P to taste
2 tomatoes, diced
1/2 c fresh bread chunks (I used homemade wholewheat bread)

42 fresh grape leaves
3-4 slices lemon
1/2-3/4 c EVOO

1. Cook rice according to instructions with the cinnamon.
2. Combine all the ingredients except for the grape leaves, 3-4 lemon slices and 1/2-3/4 c EVOO in a bowl.
3. Blanch grape leaves in boiling water for 3-5 minutes, drain.
4. Roll 1 T rice mixture in grape leaf.
5. Put rolled grape leaves in roaster pan (small).
6. Add enough water to fill pan to 1/2.
7. Add about 1/2 c olive oil and juice of 1/2 lemon.
8. Stick 3-4 slices of lemon between the dolmatas.
9. Bring pan to boil, reduce heat and cover partially. Simmer until done (about 20-30 minutes).

To serve: Combine 1/2 c olive oil, juice of one lemon, lemon zest, garlic. Drizzle over the top of the Dolmatas. Wait for the next handsome man to walk by, offer him a "dressed" Dolmata.


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Paddlers' Punch (Make the night before)

Juice of 8-10 oranges
Juice of 1 grapefruit
Juice of 1 lime
Juice of 1 lemon
Zest from 6 of the oranges
1-2 sorrel leaves, chopped fine
2-4 tsp maple syrup
1 l seltzer (or Club Soda)

1. Juice the fruit (you want at least 2 cups)
2. Strain it.
3. In a large mixing bowl, combine the juice, chopped sorrel and 2-4 tsp maple syrup.
4. Pour into ice cube trays. Freeze overnight.

In the morning, dump the cubes into a thermos jug and toss in the canoe. About an hour out, add the seltzer. To serve, top with a slice of orange and a little sprig of sorrel. (Pics to follow, it's in the freezer now).
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Tomato-Basil Wraps (Makes 8 8-inch wraps)

I'll start with the wraps--the filling part follows tomorrow when I pack the picnic to take in the canoe.

1 c ww flour
1 c AP flour
1-1/2 tsp baking powder
2-4 tsp tomato powder (or, if you can find your dehydrated tomatoes, grind those--I couldn't find mine)
2 T finely chopped basil (I used purple, globe, and sweet)
1 habernaro pepper, finely chopped (or not)
4 T lard (you can use vegetable oil)
1 to 1-1/4 c Seltzer (or you can use Club Soda)--put it in the freezer for about 10-15 minutes to chill

1. Start with COLD flour.
2. Cut the shortening into the dry ingredients (I did this with my fingers--couldn't find the pastry cutter--DH put it s/where).
3. Mix in the Seltzer (do this as if you were making pie crust).

Divide the dough into 8 balls.

Heat lefse griddle (or other) to 500.

On a floured board, roll out to 1/8 inch. (You may need to add more flour to the board/ball/rolling pin). To make them perfectly round, use a dinner plate or mixing bowl as your "guide" to cut off the excess dough.

Cook for about 30 seconds each side (I use a lefse turner to flip).

Put the wrap in a damp tea towel so it doesn't get hard as you finish the other warps. Add each wrap to the stack in the tea towel. Once you are done, you can either fill them or transfer to a zippie and put them in the fridge overnight (or put a piece of waxed paper between each one and freeze the stack). Makes 8 8" wraps.

Filling to follow tomorrow <g>.


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Thanks--I'm not done yet <g>. Dessert is in the oven--but the oven here is funky--so if it burns, I'll be packing fruit for dessert.
Okay--the oven's being funky, but I'll share the recipe (first, start with the traditional Scandinavian Almond Cake--http://scandinavianfood.about.com/od/dessertrecipes/r/almondcake.htm).

My grandma used to make that all the time, however, she never made it like this:

1/2 c butter
1-1/4 c sugar
4 squares 100% cacao (Ghiradelli)
2 T cacao
1 FRESH egg
2 T Amaretto
2 T Grand Marnier
2 T freshly grated orange zest
3/4 c 1/2 and 1/2
1-1/2 c flour
1/2 tsp baking powder
1 tsp cardamon
2 T toasted almonds, ground

Cream the butter and sugar, add the cacao, then add the egg. Beat. Add the melted cacao. Add the booze. Beat, Add the cream. Beat. Add the flour, cardamon, orange zest, almonds, baking powder. Blend. Put in an "Almond Cake" pan (there, I'm back on track with how my grandma made this) and bake at 350 (if your oven behaves) for about 40 minutes. Let cool in pan, flip. Sprinkle with about 1 tsp of Amaretto, then dust with cacao and powdered sugar. Because of the way the pan is, you can slice it according to the ridges. But no, my Grandma never made it like this--sorry Grandma, I like my version better.
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Was that cheating to take the traditional recipe for the Almond Cake and mix it up? We (being all us Skandahovians) make a version of that...
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Because we usually are out on the water for about 6-8 hours, I had to think of stuff that could be eaten at room temperature (the dolmatas) and did not have mayo or dairy in them so if the ice packs melted, we'd still be "safe" eating the food. This is the one day we spend together doing something "fun" in the summer--there are way too many chores at the farm and we don't get a lot of time to play, so I wanted to make this picnic something yummy. Hence, the various things. Now, at home, I would maybe add rum or vodka or tequila to the Paddlers' Punch. And I definitely would serve the cake with Amaretto whipped cream or ice cream.

I also wanted things that didn't require a lot of "silverware." The only thing for which we need a fork is the salad. Road food, boat/canoe food, train food. Works for me. I'll let you know what the DH thinks, bue he eats anything (except organs), so he'll think it is fine. But, it is his birthday tomorrow and this picnic is his birthday meal.

My presentation is going to suck--can't really do the picnic blanket thing in a canoe.
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Here's pics of Scandinavian Almond Cake like My Grandma Never Made...(the one on the bottom is before it was flipped).


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Great ideas! I really like that it was a "pack until you are ready for it" picnic! I love dolmatas. I'm going to have to try your recipe!
It is TOO hot to canoe...we ate at the picnic area, paddled around a bit, and decided it was TOO HOT. The UV rating is over 10! I'm a fair-skinned person...I burn even with SPF 45.

First, the Paddlers' Punch was so refreshing! I put fresh mint leaves in with it this morning. Definitely making some of that for the train voyage. It thawed perfectly "on time" and was ice cold. Delicious. Reminded me of Orangina (that Italian orange soda drink).

Here's a picture of the punch (I cheated and left some of the juice in the fridge overnight so I could take a picture) I took in the morning before we left (and no, we did not take that glass with us...you must be familiar with plastic "kegger" glasses--that's what we took with us).

I packed the salad and dolmatas in a divided container, one for each of us (except I had to bring extra salad for the DH--that little portion would not be enough for him). We brought some wooden toothpicks to spear the dolmatas, and a plastic fork each for the salad. (I ended up rolling my salad in the lettuce leaf...a lot of rolled food for me--didn't really plan it that way).

For the Northwoods Chicken Wraps:

2 leftover grilled chicken breasts
4 T fresh pesto (basil, parsley, arugula, toasted almonds, freshly grated romano, olive oil--I don't measure)
3 grilled baby eggplants (brushed with olive oil)
fresh garden lettuce
1 small red onion (from the garden)

I sliced the chicken breasts, tossed the strips with pesto. I let this sit overnight. In the morning, I took the wrap, put a layer of lettuce, chicken, leftover eggplant, onion, and then rolled it. I wrapped these in waxed paper to take them to the river. We brought a container of diced tomato to add when we ate our wraps--that way, the wrap didn't get soggy.

The DH's comments: These wraps are really fresh and tasty...did you only pack one for me? He liked the cake, but I think the wraps were his favorite.

The pan used for the cake is one of these pans (mine's quite old, it was my grandmother's), Ingebretsen's Scandinavian Gifts - Almond Cake Pan - Cookware - COOKWARE - NORDIC KITCHEN. Because the cake has "cutting lines" I was able to cut slices (my pan makes 18 individual slices) 2 slices for each of us and put them in individual ziplock bags.

I achieved my goal--food that could go in the cooler, not require a lot of utensils, could be eaten while paddling around in a canoe (translate that to no table other than one's lap)and could be eaten later--and food that didn't include mayo or dairy since we could have been out on the river all day...not today--way too hot. We brought baby wipes for our hands. But otherwise, we were able to eat everything out of the container in which it was packed OR using our fingers/hands. Had I thought of it, we could've wrapped the pasta salad in lettuce leaves and not needed silverware at all!

Anyway, it was a lot of fun and I suspect we're eating up the leftovers for supper tonight.


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