Friday, July 03, 2015

Picnic at the Beach

One of our favorite summer activities with the family is definitely going on picnics!  If you live near the ocean, a lunch or dinner picnic on the beach is such a great way to spend the weekend, but even if you don't live near the water you can take a delicious picnic to a local park!  When it comes to preparing the meal, we like to keep things simple and make food that is easy to eat and travel with.  Today we are sharing 3 of our go-to picnic items and we hope you love them as much as we do!

In the summer, we love eating salads for lunch and dinner because there are so many great fresh vegetables available.  Make individual salads by using recyclable containers.  You can make a yummy layered cob salad, a chopped salad, or pretty much any type of salad you want!  Bring one container of dressing and let everyone put dressing on their own salad at the picnic :)

 No picnic would be complete without fresh fruit!  Cut fruit into bite size pieces and then put it on skewers.  These fruit skewers are great because they don't require a plate or fork, and the kids love them!

And who can forget about dessert! One of our favorite summer desserts is a big batch of lemon bars.  Nothing says summer like yummy citrus lemon bars, and this recipes is hands down the best :)

    For the Crust:
  • 1 3/4 cups all-purpose flour
  • 2/3 cup powdered sugar, plus extra to sprinkle on bars
  • 1/4 cup cornstarch
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 12 tablespoons butter (1 1/2 sticks), at cool room temperature, cut into 1-inch pieces
  • For the Filling:
  • 4 large eggs
  • 1 1/3 cups granulated sugar
  • 3 tablespoons all-purpose flour
  • 2 teaspoons grated lemon zest, from 2 large lemons
  • 2/3 cup freshly squeezed lemon juice, from 3 to 4 large lemons
  • 1/3 cup milk
  • Pinch of salt (about 1/8 teaspoon)
  1. Place an oven rack in the middle position and preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Line a 9X13-inch baking pan with foil or parchment paper and lightly grease the foil/parchment.
  2. Stir together the flour, powdered sugar, cornstarch, and salt (this can be done in a food processor or in a large bowl by hand). Add the pieces of butter and cut the butter into the dry ingredients using a pastry blender, two knives or your fingers (taking care not to melt the butter too much - you might try freezing the butter and grating it into the dry ingredients on the large holes of a box grater) or process in the food processor for 8 to 10 seconds and then as needed until the mixture resembles coarse meal. Sprinkle the mixture into the prepared pan and press into an even layer on the bottom and about 1/2-inch up the sides of the pan. Refrigerate for 15-30 minutes. Bake until golden brown, about 20 minutes.
  3. For the filling, whisk together the eggs, sugar, salt, and flour in a medium bowl and then stir in the lemon zest, juice and milk to combine.
  4. Pour the filling onto the warm crust (it's important that the crust is still warm!) and reduce the oven temperature to 325 degrees. Bake for about 18-20 minutes until the filling feels slightly firm to the touch. Cool the bars to room temperature, sprinkle with additional powdered sugar and cut into bars.

 Happy Picnicking!

[images 1, 2, 3]

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