We are all accustomed to lunching and dining at restaurants that we have almost forgotten the good old picnic. But, if done right, picnics are a lot of fun and budget friendly too. As fun as picnics usually are, the preparation for things to take on them is a lot of work – especially the food. You want it all to be nice and fancy but not so elaborate either that the preparation itself takes the fun out of the planning the picnic. The Week has rounded up some easy to make picnic foods that you can take on your next picnic that are tasty and take next to no effort and time. So get out your picnic baskets and be ready to set out on a picnic the minute the sky clears up and you are greeted by sunshine.
Hasselback Tomato Caprese
Not only is this recipe very healthy as it consists of vegetables, greens, and dairy but it’s just as easy to make. And its pretty visual is just the last thing that convinces us to always take this snack along on our picnics.
• Sliced cheese (in a round or circular shape) – preferably Mozzarella
• Halved basil leaves
• Vinegar – preferably Balsamic
• Olive oil
• Slice the tomatoes into thin horizontal strips but make sure to avoid cutting through till the bottom. All of the slices should still be connected at the bottom of the tomato.
• Cut the cheese slices into half and layer a piece of a halved basil leaf on top of every single cheese slice.
• Insert one mozzarella – basil piece in between the slices of the tomatoes and bake the whole thing for about four minutes.
• Lightly drizzle a little bit of both vinegar and olive oil on top of it and garnish with a pinch of salt and pepper.
Texan Potato Salad
Potato salads incorporating a variety of spices and meat (usually bacon) are very popular in Texas. This is a recipe that is quite similar to most of these salads served in different restaurants in Texas.
• Boil the potatoes in salt water for about 20 minutes or until they are boiled properly and set them aside to let them cool down.
• Quarter the potatoes and leave them for the time being.
• Fry the onion dices until they are caramelized.
• Toast coriander seeds, cumin seeds and oregano until they are fragrant. This should not take more than 30 seconds – make sure they do not start burning.
• Transfer the spices onto a large bowl and add oil vinegar, salt and pepper and mix them together.
• Lastly, add potatoes, onions, chilies, bacon and cilantro onto the bowl and mix lightly.
Cream Cheese Chocolate Chip Soft Cookies
Chocolate chip cookies are loved by virtually everyone. Add in a bit of cream cheese while baking them and you get this whole other masterpiece that adds in a new layer of richness to your cookies. Trust us, you will never have tasted cookies this good.
• Softened unsalted butter
• Softened cream cheese
• Brown sugar
• Granulated sugar
• An egg
• Vanilla extract
• All purpose flour
• Corn starch
• Baking soda
• Chocolate chips or chunks – white, dark, semi dark and milk all work
• Whisk together butter, cream cheese, sugar, egg, vanilla extract in a bowl until you get a fluffy, creamy mixture.
• Add flour, cornstarch, baking soda and salt until everything is properly combined.
• Fold in the chocolate chips lightly into the mixture and divide them into medium sized scoops.
• Place them into a baking sheet after subtly flattening each scoop with your hand and then place the whole sheet on top of a baking tray.
• Cover the tray with a plastic wrap and refrigerate it for anywhere from five hours to four days.
• Bake the cookie dough for about eight minutes before you eat them. Make sure you don’t leave them in the oven for more than 10 minutes as that will strip the cookies of the softness and firm them up instead.
Green Goddess Hummus Sandwich
Vegetable sandwiches are not considered very tasty. All they contain are two pieces of bread and a lot of vegetables in between but this recipe will surely change your mind about that. The use of hummus in this recipe takes the sandwich from bland to piquant in a single step.
• Two sturdy slices of bread lightly toasted
• Thinly sliced cucumber
• Chopped lettuce leaves
• Thin slices of pickles
• Spread a generous amount of hummus onto both of your toasted bread slices.
• Place the cucumber slices over one of the bread slices in an even layer.
• Follow the previous step with even layers of lettuce and pickles.
• Place the second slice of bread above this making sure the hummus spread layer faces downwards towards the pickles.