Good Day for a Picnic

Grassy open spaces. Shady spots. Wooden benches. Cozy rugs.

Wind streamers. Bubbles. Balls. Skipping Ropes.

Nothing builds an appetite like a picnic. If given a choice, my little girl would go for one every Friday. Each Friday during the “winter” months, she will head out to the balcony and say to no one in particular, “Looks like a good day for a picnic, beach or the park?”

Post which she goes scurrying around like a little mouse, pulling out stuff from her cupboard to set her picnic basket. With Dubai experiencing the last few relatively cooler days, she decided to have her very last picnic for the season with her best friend. We decided to keep the food really simple, something she could “cook” herself. The girls had such a lovely time running around, playing “catch”, blowing bubbles and reading their storybooks under the tree.

picnic-story

For the picnic, Sara made three things.

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A bocconcini, tomato and basil spaghetti which is great because it is best enjoyed when cold.

drink2Chilled pomegranate, lemon and mint sparkling water to quench their thirst.

rose-pots-2Finally, rose cream pots for dessert.

Here’s how she helped me make it all. But before that here are some tips for a memorable picnic.

  • Look for shade and open space
  • Rugs or bedsheets to sit and finally lie down on
  • Basket full of games, books, balls, bubbles, et al
  • Carry enough water
  • Some fresh fruits would be nice
  • A hand sanitizer is a must
  • Lots of sunscreen if its Dubai
  • Napkins, wetwipes and cutlery
  • Garbage bags for the disposables
  • Finally, food glorious food!

Bocconcini, tomato and basil spaghetti

Makes 6 plates

Ingredients

  • 400 grams spaghetti
  • 4 cloves of garlic
  • 24 cherry tomatoes
  • 24 balls of bocconcini
  • Extra virgin olive oil
  • Salt
  • A handful of fresh basil

Instructions:

  1. Slice the garlic cloves, halve the cherry tomatoes and tear half the basil leaves.
  2. Combine all this with the olive oil and add salt (enough oil to coat everything). Leave it to marinate for an hour or more.
  3. Boil the spaghetti according to the instructions on the packet. Drain.
  4. Pour the tomato, basil and garlic mix along with the oil on to the pasta (Remove the slices of garlic if your child doesn’t like raw garlic).
  5. Add the mozzarella balls. Garnish with the leftover basil and serve.

Pomegranate, lemon and mint sparkling water

Makes 6 large glasses

Ingredients

  • 500 ml pomegranate juice
  • 500 ml lemonade
  • 500 ml sparkling water
  • 10-12 mint leaves

Instructions:

  1. Combine the pomegranate juice, lemonade, sparkling water in a large jug. Give it a good mix.
  2. Add the mint leaves and serve chilled.

Rose Cream Pots

Makes 6 small pots

Ingredients:

  • 500 ml whipped cream
  • ¼ to ½ a cup of white sugar (depending on how sweet you want it to be)
  • 1 tsp rose water
  • Few dried rose petals to garnish

Instructions:

  1. In a heavy bottomed pan, combine the whipped cream and the white sugar. Bring it a boil and reduce the heat. Continue to stir it for 2 minutes.
  2. Remove from heat and add the rose water. Stir once again.
  3. Pour it into small bowls or pots and allow them to come to room temperature.
  4. Chill in the refrigerator overnight.
  5. Garnish with rose petals and serve.

Happy Long Weekend Everyone!

Images: All recipes and photographs created originally exclusively for FoodeMag and updated here later.

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