Monday, June 11, 2012

Summer Picnic Season is Here!

Summer is in full swing! Memorial Day is behind us and vacations and staycation plans are being made! Father's Day is fast approaching and the 4th of July will be here before you know it!

Father's Day Ideas

Father's Day is always a special "family time" celebration. A day to show Dads & Granddads just how special they are to their families. Why not celebrate Father's Day this year with a BBQ? Whether its at home or at your favorite picnic location there will be plenty of family time and good food. Need some help putting a BBQ together? Check out this out - Father's Day BBQ Ideas.

4th of July Picnic

What could be more American than celebrating the 4th with a picnic & fireworks? It provides the perfect opportunity to share the day with family & friends. Food, games & fireworks make for a fun day but for the day to go smoothly "someone" needs to do a bit of preparation! Planning a 4th of July picnic can be as simple as hotdogs & hamburgers and potlucks work well with larger groups. Check out this article if you need some help planning a 4th of July picnic.

A Day At The Beach

We love the beach and living just minutes from the "Worlds Most Famous Beach" that's where we tend to spend the 4th. Surf, sand and fireworks! We generally take "finger food" with us and enjoy a picnic with desserts coming from the passing ice cream trucks! Rushing to finish before it melts in the hot sun with a cool dip in the ocean to rinse clean the inevitable ice cream drips from your body! Fireworks end the day at 11, shot from the end of the pier they burst beautifully over the water. Check out this article for more beach inspiration: A day At The Beach. We have also compiled some safety tips and a list of items we consider essential for the beach. Beach Gear Checklist & Safety Tips

Canadian Independence Day

On July 1st our Canadian friends get to celebrate Canada Day, their independence day. The warm days and mild nights just beckon for a picnic to celebrate the day!

Corporate/Company Picnics

Many large & small companies hold their annual company picnics during the warm summer months. If you get to help in the event planning we have several articles that can help make the task easier; Company Picnicking 101, Organizing Your Company Picnic Games & Activities, Company Picnic Planning Ideas and Checklist for Organizing Your Company Picnic.

Get Out & Enjoy

Take every opportunity you are given this summer to enjoy some family picnic time. That's how memories are made!

Thursday, May 17, 2012

Memorial Day 2012

Honoring Those Who Sacrificed for Your Freedom

Memorial Day 2012 is on Monday, May 28th and it is much more than the kick off summer, it's a day to remember Americas' brave men and women that gave their lives for this country and the bedrock beliefs of freedom that we all enjoy. Sadly too many of us, myself included, forget the blessings of freedom we enjoy every day!

We should all take a few minutes for quite reflection this Memorial Day!
From the Revolutionary War to Afganistan tens of thousands of young men and women that died for us to be able to enjoy the freedoms we do today. If you know a vet, thank them. If you know of someone has lost a loved one to war, reach out to them, let them know you appreciate them and their sacrifices. Showing someone we care can mean the world to them. Those we memoralize were all someones daughter or son, sister or brother, wife or husband. They are missed everyday by those left behind who have to live the rest of their lives without that person.

Military Discounts for Active Duty

Local Party Stores are an excellant place to start. They are sure to have all the napkins, plates, table covers, ballons and cups that you'll need but SHOP EARLY, many items will sell out.

Browse the internet for some inspiration on cool red, white & blue foods. There are dozens & dozens of recipes that use everything from colorful fruits to food coloring and their all sure to good! For a spectacular desert try this Blue Cheese and Cherry Salad recipe or this Red, White & Blue Strawberry Shortcake recipe or try this Layered Red, White & Blue Cake recipe from Recipe Girl! How about a Red, White & Blue Pasta Salad or Red, White & Blue Jello Stars?

Celebrate Summers Arrival With Loved Ones

I can't think of a better way to kick off summer than with a 3-day weekend! If the weather is good where you are, get out and enjoy it with those you care about. Of course we "highly" recommend a picnic...the bigger the better, the more the merrier kind of picnic! And hey, if the weather isn't cooperating then what a great chance to spend time together cooking, eating, playing board games and reconnecting!

Monday, April 30, 2012

Cinco De' Mayo Picnic

Cinco De' Mayo Picnic Ideas  

Ole! It’s nearly Cinco de Mayo, and whether or not you have a connection to the Mexican culture, it’s still fun to celebrate with some good food and drink!

Cinco de Mayo – the fifth of May – began as an occasion to celebrate the Mexican army's unlikely victory over French forces at the Battle of Puebla in 1862.

These days, it has become more a celebration of Hispanic/Mexican heritage and pride and it’s not unusual to find a nod to the holiday in cities and even small towns across the U.S., especially in places where there’s a large Hispanic population.

But rather than going to your favorite Mexican restaurant to celebrate the holiday this year, why not put together a fun get-together in your own backyard? Have a Cinco de Mayo picnic and start a new tradition!

Mexican Barbecue?

If Cinco de Mayo calls to mind baskets of tortilla chips and pitchers full of margaritas, you’ve probably spent a lot of May 5ths eating in restaurants. The fact is, however, that there’s so much more you can do to honor the great food of Mexico. Think barbecue, for example. There are many foods with a Mexican slant that can be cooked on your backyard grill. Consider steaks with mole sauce or salsa, grilled seafood, spice-rubbed chicken, and much more.

Backyard cooks can experiment with all sorts of items that are regular components of Mexican food including chilies, avocado, cilantro, coconut, plantains or bananas, and other tropical fruits. Use them in the grilling process or for side dishes.

Of course, you’ll want to include some traditional stuff. too. It’s okay to break out the tortilla chips (consider frying your own!) and homemade salsa (make some with mangoes!) for munching before the main meal, and you’ll want to be sure you have several pitchers of margaritas on hand as well.

The Mexican Picnic Basket

If you want to pack a Cinco de Mayo picnic basket to take to the park or elsewhere, you may want to opt for the traditional as well, especially if the kids are in tow. One suggestion is to pack the components of tacos and let picnickers but them together on their own.

For example, bring along some flour or corn tortillas as well as containers full of cold chicken or beef, shredded cheese, salsa, lettuce, and anything else you like on your hard or soft tacos. Be sure to keep them in an insulated tote if it’s hot outside. Then just remove the containers and let everyone design their own taco. Furthermore, they’re easy to eat without silverware and fairly mess-free.

For beverages, pack a cooler with some exotic juices like mango or papaya or some fruit flavored bottles of water. For dessert, end the meal with a selection of Mexican cookies including traditional wedding cookies or these cool looking Taco Cookies and be sure to try these easy-to-make Mexican Hot Chocolate cookie treats!

Mexican Hot Chocolate Cookies

  • 2 1/4 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1/2 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
  • 2 teaspoons cream of tartar
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon coarse salt
  • 1 cup (2 sticks) unsalted butter, room temperature
  • 1 3/4 cups sugar
  • 2 large eggs
  • 2 teaspoons cinnamon
  • 1/2 teaspoon chili powder (optional)

    In a large bowl, sift together flour, cocoa powder, cream of tartar, baking soda, and salt. In another bowl, using an electric mixer, beat butter and 1 1/2 cups sugar on medium speed until light and fluffy, about 2 minutes. Scrape down sides. Add eggs and beat until combined. With mixer on low, gradually add flour mixture.

    In a small bowl, combine remaining 1/4 cup sugar, cinnamon, and chili powder (if using). Form tablespoon-sized balls of dough and roll them in the cinnamon-sugar mixture. Place on two parchment-lined baking sheets about 2 inches apart. Bake at 400 degrees until cookies are set in center and begin to crack, about 10 minutes. Let cookies cool on sheets on wire racks for 5 minutes, then transfer cookies to racks.

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