When planning a picnic on the beach, start by making a list of all of the things you need to bring. Incorporate the theme colors (mine are turquoise, yellow, and orange) into the beach blanket, beach chairs, plates, and napkins. Fill a big bucket with ice and cold beverages and toss a few throw pillows on the blankets so when night falls guests can lay back and gaze at the stars. Have one floral arrangement of vibrant lilies. Instead of regular votives purchase cheap candles in sea shell votives. Enclose your party space by sticking several tiki torches in the sand. Arrange the blankets around the fire pit/grill, set up an area for dancing and food. Oh and, don't forget to pack the kites!
Sun. Sand. Beach. Fried chicken. Clams. Salads. Cherry pies. What's missing from this equation? Cocktails of course! This week I've created the ultimate kite flying beach picnic party and a cool, tropical cocktail fits the theme perfectly. In this case, nothing can beat the classic mai tai - they are easy to make in large batches and can be packed up in an oversized thermos. For the designated drivers, a delicious hibiscus ginger tea is thirst quenching and revitalizing. For those who don't want a cocktail I'll fill my cooler with other options: Great White Beer (it's fruity taste and beachy name are ideal for a beach party), a New Zealand white Gewürztraminer called Patutahi, and still and sparkling water. For the mai tai and tea recipes, read more
Picnics are one of my favorite types of parties to plan. The majority of the food is prepared in advance, allowing the hostess maximum time to chat with her guests, enjoy the sunset, or fly a kite. Cooling salads are always welcome and I'm assembling two to pair with steamed clams and fried chicken. A cucumber, red onion, and basil salad is a a fresh flavor combination that can easily be made for a private picnic or a crowd of twenty. Carrots, one of the world's most underrated and overlooked vegetables, make for a colorful and crisp salad when mixed with peanuts and mint.
And when the moon is high over the ocean I'll break out a portable fork free dessert: mini cherry pies with the perfect balance of flaky pastry and sweet, fruity filling. You know you want to make at least one of these delightful dishes so get the recipe and read more
After an afternoon of kite flying fun, the guests at my beach picnic will certainly have worked up an appetite. To satiate them, I'm packing a picnic with delicious and classic flavors. Hearty, spreadable store bought cheese, flatbreads, olives, and hard boiled eggs will kick start the menu. I'll ask a few of the male guests to help me set up a fire pit with a grill on top. A picnic on the beach must have seafood, so fresh beer steamed clams are the first course. Next up, the quintessential fried chicken made at home and packed in colored Chinese take out containers. Don't let guests know that the chicken was baked in the oven - not deep fried - and when they ask for the recipe, smile mysteriously and say, "it's a family secret." Check out the first batch of recipes (you have to come back tomorrow for the salads and dessert!), just read more
In honor of International Picnic Day and the official start of summer, June 21st, I'm planning a kite flying picnic at the beach. Now I know not everyone has access to the beach, but this party can be hosted at a lake shore, a park, a vineyard, etc. All week I'll take you through the steps to host a successful, memorable afternoon-into-evening picnic. Let's start with the invitations. I'm making cute kite shaped invitations that are embellished with pretty satin ribbon. To see how I made my invitations and instructions on how to make them for your next party - these would also be adorable for a child's birthday party! - read more