One of my favorite things to do is to go to the beach on Memorial Day. It is the official "summer is here" weekend for me. Kids are about to finish school, and extra-curricular activities are pretty much done. All those recitals, shows, and final games are finally over and I have survived! Now is the time to celebrate the end of another very hectic year.
I love to prepare my simple but delicious picnic basket! I take easy to make good food and drinks, that will last the entire day under that scorching sun. These are some of my favorites:
Sandwiches made with baguettes. I've found that the baguette is the best type of bread to last all day, and it's easy to hold. It will keep most of its crispness and not get soggy like other breads. You could get super creative with what goes in your sandwich, but as a rule of thumb I don't put more than 3 ingredients.
French Omelette with Tomato slices: This is easy to make in 5 minutes. I use extra virgin olive oil from Spain to make my French omelettes (I guess that is not that French, haha) and my omelettes only have eggs and salt. They are easy to make in the shape of the bread - long and thin. The benefit to using olive oil, is that after you put the omelet in the bread, the olive oil will infuse the bread giving it an amazing flavor. Make sure your tomato is very thinly sliced and don't use too much, otherwise it will get soggy.
Prosciutto, Arugula and Tomato: Cut the baguette lengthwise, and put a drizzle of extra virgin olive oil from Spain on both sides of the bread. Then, grate a tomato and put a bit of it on each side of the bread too. My suggestion is that you cut the prosciutto in small pieces first, otherwise you will pull out the entire slice on the first bite leaving you with just bread. Add Arugula, it holds very well for a long time so you still will have some crispiness when you eat your sandwich.
Cheese and Prunes: My absolutely favorite cheese is Manchego. The more aged the better. Again, I cut the baguette lengthwise, put a drizzle of extra virgin olive oil from Spain and a generous layer of Manchego cheese. I cut prunes in small bites and distribute them evenly. This is delicious!!! You can add dried figs instead but the sweetness of the prunes is perfect.
Snacks: We need snacks if we are going to stay more than 3 hours, especially for children. They are hungry every 90 minutes!
Baby carrots, pitta chips and hummus are my favorite. I like to get the small size packs of each of them so I don't have to deal with opening and closing.
Granola: For this I go to Elizabeth Rider
She is very inspirational and her recipes are absolutely amazing.
Dessert: A great opportunity to be creative and easy for Memorial Day
Frozen fruits: The best are blueberries and strawberries for Memorial Day. Just freeze them the night before and you have the perfect dessert.
Fire free S'mores: It will be hot so just pack your graham crackers, chocolate and marshmallows. Place them in a Tupperware out in the sun and watch them melt...Delicious!!!
Drinks: We want to stay hydrated so plenty of water is a must. Freeze the water bottles the night before and place in cooler to save the weight of lots of ice. I also like to prepare extra special drinks for everyone. I freeze my drinks in a Ziploc snack bag and just stick a straw in the bag when ready to enjoy.
Strawberry Frozen: This is my daughter's favorite. Just get some strawberry mix for daiquiri (sans alcohol) and mix in a blender with real strawberries. Put it in the Ziploc bag leaving space for expansion and put it in the freezer.
Limeade and Vodka: This is my husband's favorite. Make a limeade, add vodka and freeze. Limeade or Key Limeade is easy - 1 cup of fresh lime or key lime juice (8-12) limes. 4 cups of water, 1/2 cup of granulated sugar. Mix well to dissolve the sugar. Add 1/4 cup of Vodka (or to taste:-). Freeze in Ziploc bag.
Rum and Coke: This is my favorite. Put Rum, Coke and a splash of lime juice in the Ziploc bag and freeze.
I HOPE YOU Enjoy an easy & relaxing Memorial Day beach picnic with these ideas!!
Share with us your favorite BEACH PICNIC IDEAS and Happy Memorial Day!