Monday, August 18, 2008

Picnic Recipes

Last week, I told you about my exciting picnic at Gillette Castle State Park with Kara and Scot of Better Connecticut. Since then, so many people who saw the show remarked on how beautiful the table looked, I thought this week I would share more information about the recipes.

All the recipes are from Cruising Connecticut with a Picnic Basket, but for those who do not have my book, here is how you can obtain most of them:

Loaded Oatmeal Cookies: posted on my April 12th blog.
Wild Rice and Ham Salad: presently posted on my website.
Fresh Squeezed Lemonade: recipe given below.
Fresh Fruit Kabobs: on 8" wooden skewers I threaded the following five pieces of fruit: Pineapple, strawberry, cantaloupe, honeydew, watermelon.
Chicken Caprese: This recipe will not be posted because it was contributed by Les Harris, a Glastonbury Chef specifically for inclusion in Cruising Ct.

One of the reasons my picnic table looked so great is that when planning a menu, I make sure color is one of the key ingredients. Of course, I want the food to be a feast for the eyes as well as the palate, but color also guarantees a variety of healthy foods.

Speaking of color, in retrospect, I thought the table could have used a little more green and wished I had gone with my first instinct of adding my Cold Marinated Asparagus to the menu. Next time!

Fresh Squeezed Lemonade
Lemonade is the ultimate hot weather drink, and this recipe finds the perfect balance between sweet and tart. There is an added step with the syrup-making process, but the result is well worth the effort.

4-6 ripe lemons ~ 1 cup water ~ 1 cup sugar

* Wash lemons. Cut in half. Squeeze lemons to make 1 cup. Depending on the lemons, you may get less juice. If necessary, adjust the water and sugar accordingly. Set aside.
* Cut half of the squeezed lemons in slices and remove rinds.
* Put water and sugar in covered saucepan. Add rinds. Bring to a boil. Remove cover and simmer for 10 minutes.
* Remove from heat and cool. Strain into pitcher. Add the lemon juice and 5 1/2 cups cold water. Stir and refrigerate.
* Servings: 6 eight-ounce glasses.

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