When was the last time you went on a picnic?
To me, summer is the perfect time of year to dine al fresco. We eat dinner outside almost every night from June-September. So to me, what could be more fun—and maybe even romantic—than letting loose, ditching work and meetings and heading out to nature for fun day of food, drink, and play. Let’s have a PICNIC!
I’ll be honest: I’ve had a picnic basket for years that I haven’t used. I’m thinking that now is about the right time to break it out.
For my picnic, thinking updated retro: checkered blankets, portable dinnerware, games, and delicious simple foods like fresh salads, loaded sandwiches and sweet snacks. I *may* even bring fried chicken. Because, why they heck not? I’ll just be keeping mine on ice packs since my husband is a bit vigilante when it comes to keeping food at their meant-t0-be temperatures. I’ll also bring a cooler filled with ice and chilled drinks. Stay hydrated folks!
When it comes to my love of eating outside I’m not alone. Recently President’s Choice® conducted a survey and found that many of us Canucks love to dine in the great outdoors (probably because we’re trapped inside for so much of the year).
- 26 per cent of Canadians love a picnic at the beach
- 24% prefer to dine al fresco at a campground
- 21% enjoy their picnics in provincial parks
Regardless of where we choose to do it, the President’s Choice® team is devoted to inspiring all of our al fresco adventures. Kindly, they sent me some great tips for creating the ultimate picnic plus the MOST delicious salad recipe. By including a few subtle details like easy décor or great games, I can ensure that my picnic is going to be a picnic-perfect day.
The key to a truly successful picnic is thinking ahead. Take the time to consider what you’ll need to store, serve and savour your food, so you arrive at your site ready to enjoy it. Whether you’re planning a simple roadside pack n’ park or a romantic dinner under the stars, attention to detail means you can focus on your friends and family, instead of worrying about logistics.
Have Fun with Food
Picnic classics are classics for a reason: crisp salads, fresh sandwiches and bite-sized fruits and vegetables are easy to pack, easy to share and especially easy to enjoy. But if you want to give your picnic a little extra pizzazz, don’t be afraid to try a twist on these standard snacks. Did you know that 41% of Canadians say that dips are part of their ideal al fresco dining experience? Try spreading sandwiches with exotic flavours like PC® Olive & Sweet Piquante Pepper Kefir Dip and Spread.
Set the Scene
Take your picnic to the next level with a little outdoor décor. Lay your table on a soft, patterned blanket and add a pop of colour with a set of sweet serviettes or some fresh-picked flowers. These little designer details will show your loved ones you care and transform any beach or park into an intimate dining space.
Bring a Snack Selection
Extend your picnic beyond the basic meal by packing small snacks you can enjoy all day. A mix of savouries, like PC® Jalapeño Cheddar Flavour Popcorn, and sweets (try PC® S’mores Dessert Cookies for something really fun) keeps stomachs satisfied and means you can comfortably spend the whole day out of doors.
Give Games a Go
To keep everybody on their toes, try planning a few fun activities you can enjoy as a group. Toss a Frisbee around or have a good old fashioned egg-and-spoon race – having a few games in your back pocket is a great way to surprise your guests and get everyone excited about a summer day out.
PRESIDENTS CHOICE® CHIPOTLE TACO SALAD
Tex-Mex salad is my FAVOURITE! And this is so good and definitely not your average picnic salad. Plump and juicy PC® Grape Tomatoes, crunchy romaine and sweet corn kernels add colour (did you know that more than half of Torontonians say raw veggies are key to a happy outdoor meal?)
Tossed in PC® Chipotle Ranch Dressing, this hearty salad has a fresh, tangy flavour that will leave you wanting more. Keep it crunchy by adding the PC® Chili Lime Flavoured Tortilla Strips just before serving.
Chiptole Taco Salad (Recipe courtesy of President’s Choice)
What You’ll Need
12 cups Chopped Romaine Lettuce Hearts
1 pkg PC® Grape Tomatoes, halved lengthwise
1 cup Canned Black Beans, drained and rinsed
1 cup Corn Kernels
¾ cup Red Onions, thinly sliced
½ cup Green Onion, thinly sliced
½ cup Fresh Coriander, chopped
1 ½ cups PC® Monterey Jack Cheese with Jalapeno Peppers, grated
1 bag PC® Chili Lime Flavoured Tortilla Strips
⅔ cup NEW! PC® Chipotle Ranch Dressing
1 Avocado, pitted, quartered lengthwise and sliced
1. Toss together lettuce, tomatoes, beans, corn, red onion, 1/4 cup of the green onion, 1/4 cup of the coriander and the cheese.
2. Transfer to travel serving container with lid and transport to picnic destination.
3. Top with remaining green onion, coriander and tortilla strips and dressing once at picnic destination. Replace container lid and shake to combine. Remove lid and garnish with avocado.
TIP: Bring chopped barbecued chicken in a separate container for guests to top their salads with if desired.
Want to put together your own amazing picnic? Enter to WIN a $50 Loblaws Gift Card.