Wednesday, June 24, 2009

A Simple Summer Picnic

I will be doing a TRIPLE post this week! Tablescape Thursday, Foodie Friday and Summer Salad Saturday. (I will be doing them in that order, too).

First up, Tablescape Thursday...hosted by Susan at Between Naps on the Porch.

This week I am doing a picnic tablescape... something simple. We don't really have an "outdoor" space at our house and sometimes it is nice just to be outside. So, I prepared some picnic food and after hubby got home from flying, we headed to a nearby park for our "picnic dinner". I've never actually had a picnic dinner... it is always a lunch event for me. Nevertheless, the Texas temperatures were down, the breeze was blowing and the park was nearly empty: perfect for a picnic.

I have a hard time escaping the color red when I think of a picnic...that is just a staple color for a picnic. But instead of blue (which I was tempted to do with the upcoming 4th of July holiday), I chose to pair it with green. And I'm glad I did. I think it really complimented the greenery of the surrounding park as well as all of the summer fruit that I brought along. And I had fun making red and green food, too. ;)

For the place settings, I used very simple, practical plastic plates and bowls...Light and easy to carry along in the picnic basket. I also brought along some white and green waffle napkins.

I used small mason jars (tied with red ribbons) to hold the white utensils and used red tumblers for our sweet tea.I brought my old antique picnic basket and a bunch of fresh flowers from the house.
For the centerpiece, I used a mini Red Radio Flyer wagon to hold tortilla chips.

I had two different type of dips: a Watermelon Salsa and a Guacamole.
(Watermelon Salsa Recipe for Foodie Friday)

We had Fruit Kabobs... red and green, of course. ;) It included cherries, watermelon, strawberries, green grapes and kiwi.

Next, I brought a jug of sweet tea.

Y'all might remember this DIY sun tea jar from a previous post.

Click here to view the DIY Sun Tea Jar post.

We filled up our red tumblers with ice cold sweet tea...
And added a sprig of fresh mint.
And we had some freshly cut watermelon in a stand (to keep the flies away).

I made some "Green Salad" as my family has always called it.
It is also known as Watergate Salad. (Recipe for Summer Salad Saturday)

And picnic sandwiches with turkey, avocado, sprouts, lettuce, tomato, cheese and honey mustard on pumpernickel bread.
(In case you were dying to know ;) ).

And that is my Simple Summer tablescape. The most simple pleasures in life really are free... a breeze blowing the leaves of a nice shady tree next to the creek... all is quiet except for the birds and rustling branches. It was truly a perfect evening for a picnic. :)

And now for Foodie Friday!

Watermelon Salsa!

This is a very easy salsa to make... and it has absolutely NO tomatoes. Instead, the tomatoes are replaced with watermelon. I know; it sounds wierd... but it is really good!

Cut up 3 cups of watermelon cubes.
Cut up cucumbers, sweet onions, cilantro and jalepenos.
Mix together and add 6 tablespoons of this mixture to the watermelon.
Squeeze out 2 tbsp of lime juice from a fresh lime. Mix in with the rest of the ingredients.
Blend well... and there you have it! Easy peasy Watermelon Salsa!

Serve with tortilla chips... or put on top of freshly grilled chicken or fish. Yummy!

And now Summer Salad Saturday!

Watergate Salad aka "Green Salad"

What you will need:

1 cup of Marshmallows
1 pkg. Jell-o Pistachio Flavor Instant Pudding Mix
1 can Crushed Pineapple, in juice, undrained
1/2 cup Chopped Pecans
1 1/2 cups of thawed Cool Whip

Mix Marshmallows, Dry Pudding Mix, Pineapple and Pecans in large bowl until well blended.

Add whipped topping and stir.
Cover and refrigerate for at least an hour.
This will be a hit! So easy to make!
We have always used this recipe in our family, calling it "Green Salad"...However, I recently saw the same recipe on a Jet-Puffed Marshmallow bag being called "Watergate Salad".
Call it what you want, it is delicious!
I hope you enjoyed my triple post...And don't forget to check out the other participants at Tablescape Thursday, Foodie Friday and Summer Salad Saturday! :)

Also, another reminder that The Great American Town Tour Party will be here on July 1st!

I can't wait to see everyone representing their slice of America!! And I certainly can't wait for a blogland vacation as we visit towns all over the United States and beyond! Grab the button on the side panel... tell your blog friends! This is going to be a hoot! :)


jessica said...

so cute and fun. i wish i was there to enjoy a picnic with you. i can't wait to make that salsa. yum! ;)

Happy To Be/ Gl♥ria said...

Oh Melissa I loved the pinic and loved that Watergate all looked so YUMMY...thanks for the recipes this I will try for sure...May you have a great day...hugs and smiles Gl♥ria

Dawn said...

Wow, what a great spread you layed out. I bet people passing by were dying to know what the big occasion was was. I especially liked the fruit kabobs. My mother in law makes the green salad too. Anyhing with marshmellows is okay by me.

Elise said...

What a sweet picnic!!

Marsha's Mpressions said...

Oh WOW! I can taste the food, feel the breeze, and uh oh, there's an ant! :)

Kammy said...

Hello Melissa !
I love your picnic table setting ! You have all the right details...I love your radio flyer wagon...just a couple of days ago I was thinking about pulling mine out to add fruit in...creative minds think alike , LOL ! Love how you did 3 memes ! The recipes look yummy !
Hugs ~ Kammy

KD said...

Love the picnic table! Oh I have to go take some pictures of our town so I can participate in your Meme! Sounds like fun!

Mary said...

What a wonderful picnic! Love your antique picnic basket, and that cute little red wagon! :)

Kathy said...

That just looks like the cutest little picnic table...When I think of picnic tables I automatically think red and white check. Such a nice job and the food, MMMMmmmm. The salad looks great. This is definately a "Summer" tablescape. You can look back on this when the snow flys!!! xoxo~Kathy@ Sweet Up-North Mornings...

Barb~Bella Vista said...

Melissa, love your picnic and all your delicious looking food. Just lovely!


50s Housewife said...

Your picnic looks gorgeous! You did a great job!

By the way, thanks for stopping by my blog. :)

The Tablescaper said...

Looks like a great picnic. The strawberries on the sun tea jar are adorable, as is the little red wagon and the red ribbons !!!! I love it all plus the edges on your phots are great. Come visit - The Tablescaper

Jadehollow said...

Great beautiful and yummy post.. Love all of the red. I'll be joining the Great American Town Tour next week.. can't wait to see all of the interesting towns.
Have a great week,

The Stylish House said...

What a creative idea for a Tablescape! I love an easy and fun outing that still packs a lot of style. I am looking forward to your TOWN TOUR event!

ellen b said...

Melissa! I love your picnic. The setting is so much fun and the food looks so refreshing and good!! Wonderful!

Cathy said...

Oh Melissa...this is just the most amazing picnic!!! I think my invitation got lost in the mail;)!!!

I love everything you used...from the red and white tablecloth to the wagon to your dishes and so on and so on!!! The flowers in the mason jar are another perfect touch!!!

This is just gorgeous!!!

Happt Tablescape Thursday!!!

printersdevil said...

This looked like so much fun! TFS. I can't wait to share the watermelon salsa, it sounds wonderful. The Watergate salad is a favorite of mine.

I'm looking forward to your Hometown event.

Linda C said...

Just a beautiful picnic setting!! Everything is just perfect:) Thanks for showing us how to make a picnic special, yet easy:)

Linda C

Really Rainey said...

I just love it that you tablescaped the park picnic table! Its just adorable! And everything looks sooo good! When do we eat?
Have a good rest of the week!
~Really Rainey~

Manuela said...

The most amazing picnic!
Just beautiful!

Kim said...

What a darling picnic!!! I have never actually gone on a picnic using a picnic basket. I have one now so I might just have to after seeing yours. Perfect atmosphere. And I didn't see one ant, bee or wasp. The food looks so yummy. I'm going to give that watermelon salsa a try. And the salad as well.

SamiG said...

I adore the picnic and the cherry napkins. Thank you for the wonderful post.


Enchanted Rose Studio said...

What a wonderful picnic, so casually elegant. I love love LOVE the idea of the radio flyer! Too adorable! I recently bought a new beverage jar so I'm heading over for your sun made sweet ice tea recipe!

Thanks so much for sharing!


abeachcottage said...

oh wow what a Watergate Salad!!!

happy tablescaping, love your summer scene


Martha said...

A great picnic -- a beautiful setting -- I remember picnics at the park with the picnic basket and a checked tablecloth.

Tracie said...

My girls have been asking to have a picnic...this is amazing.. That sandwich is calling my name :> Beautiful...I love your blog pretty!

Painter's Place said...

I love this picnic. It looks so 4th of July. I make that Watergate Salad all the time. It's delicious!

Brenda said...

Love the chips in the wagon idea! How cute! Who doesn't love a picnic with a red and white table cloth?

Mary said...

I love your picnic! So cheery and the food looks so delicious, Thank you for the recipes, I'm going to try those out! :O) Mary @Boogieboard Cottage

City Girl Country Heart said...

The chips in the wagon are so cute!!!! I packed up a little picnic in a vintage basket and took it to a friend, drank pink lemonade from mason jars and had a great time. I love summer for this reason!
Your table and picnic makes me want to do this tonight!!

honeysuckle said...

What a fun picnic you had! The colors were just right with the red and green. Cute napkins too. The watermelon salsa looks great and I want to try it soon. Thanks for sharing!

Janie's World said...

Your picnic looks so inviting. Cool breeze, delicious food and beautiful surroundings. I love the little wagon, so cute.

Cheryl Curtis said...

I love your picnic layout. Now I have to have me one of those cute little radio flyer wagons. What are the dimensions? - thanks in advance for responding :)

Kim said...

A very inviting picnic setting. Thanks for the recipes. Love the radio flyer wagon!!

Barbara said...

I love the picnis tablescape. Its lovely.

niartist said...

BEAUTIFUL JOB MELISSA! I would have never in a million years thought to put the tortilla chips in the mini radio flyer! That is clever - and oh so beautiful with the whole mix of picnic friendly tablewear. This is the perfect setting, the perfect table - it's all just right! Following you now so I don't miss anymore bright ideas! :)

Elyse said...

this is awesome and guess what? my family makes watergate salad, too! it is delish and your sandwiches look amazing -- everything does!

i love the wagon on the table. thank you because i have one, too, and that is an adorable idea.

love it!


Melissa Miller said...

This is perfection for a picnic! LOVE it!

Kathleen said...

That was great! Such a fun table..I use my little wagon for serving too!
I hope I remember your July 1st event..sounds like fun..what a great way to learn!

Liz said...

What a cut blog you have! I Love it! Also a very fun picnic! Cuteness everywhere!


Mary said...

What a wonderful post! The tablescape was inspired for a picnic and the watermelon salsa looks just delicious. Thank you for sharing it all with us. Have a wonderful weekend.

Christi @ A Southern Life said...

Great recipes and your setting is wonderful! I'm going to have to try that watermelon salsa, sounds intriguing.


Chandy said...

Your table is amazing! And all the food is beautiful!

Sharing with Sherri said...

What a fun and delicious looking picnic!! Chips and salsa and the fruit kabobs sounds so yummy!

Avacado and sprouts sandwiches have always been a favorite of mine too! I've never tried pumpernickel though, always used stoneground wheat.


Debbie @ said...

What a great post. and I love all the red you used! I love picnics and this one looks over the top. don't you love watermelon too? I like your recipe...I have been posting all week on watermelons and cute made ones...come take a look if you get a chance!

Lori (All That Splatters) said...

Your spread looks amazing! Love the watermelon salsa recipe. I'll be trying that very soon!

Yellow Rose Arbor said...

Nice triple post! I haven't had the watergate salad in a long time, now I want to make it!

Love the wagon filled with chips!


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