Starting a new segment on the blog! Its gonna be all about food every Tuesday and I'll be sharing anything related to food from recipes to my favourite places to dine wherever in the world I am. Everyone who knows me knows how dedicated I am to my food and I'm hoping that you'll enjoy this as much as I know I will. So I thought what better way than to start off this week with my kind of a picnic. What food to bring? What wares should I use? What camera should I bring? Where should I do it? I did all the cooking and its honestly not as much work as you think it is. Here's some Picnic 101.
To start off with, Chicken Drummers- Honey glazed and baked in the oven. Of course you marinate your chicken the day before your picnic for the flavours to sink in, and on the day itself, just plop everything into a tray and bake it for an hour or so, according to your receipe.
Potato Salad- I wanted something cold to enjoy with the chicken so I made this the day before as well (after marinating the meat!) and left it in the fridge overnight so its still chilled by the time you get to your picnic. Boiled potatoes, mayonnaise, lemon juice, olive oil, dill, cayenne, salt and pepper. Toss and go!
Beef Penne- This form of pasta is in my opinion a lot less messy as compared to spaghetti or any long noodle-ish type of pasta when you're having a picnic. No slurping involved, no mess! The ground beef goes into the pasta when you toss and its super delicious. And honestly, there are no limitations to a good pasta like this. Put whatever you like. In my case, I had tons of garlic, onions, cayenne papper, fresh basil, ground beef, mushrooms and parmesan. It was delicious. You can also make the sauce the day before and store it in the fridge. Heat it up just before you're about to set for your picnic and cook the pasta while it heats. When its done, toss the pasta in the sauce and place it nicely into a new pot which you can carry to your picnic just like what I did.
Lemony Baked Prawns- Prawns I seasoned with garlic, lemon, olive oil and random herbs…which I then baked with some leftover mushrooms from the pasta sauce. I baked them shell-on so there is at least some form of activity while you eat throughout the picnic sesion.
Simple Rocket Salad- This is the simplest, honestly idiot proof salad anyone can make. I simply placed some olive oil on a hot pan and cooked my pancetta, after which you remove the meat from the pan and with the hot oil still in the pan, pour in some balsamic vinegar. Stir and season and salt and pepper to taste. I would recommend pouring the dressing into a jar first, so you can shake it and drizzle it over your salad leaves before you start eating! When I packed before setting off, I simply placed the dry (clean) salad leaves in one of my wares and toppled the bacon over.
Cheesecake in a Jar- Ally was in charge of dessert and made us the most delicious cheesecake topped with bluberries. Using a non-baked cheesecake recipe, you can make your cheesecake the night before and neatly place the mixture into jars before leaving them in the fridge over night. Sprinkle whatever berries you might want to have just when you are about to serve so the fruit stays fresh. To spruce up your little jars, tie a little ribbon at the top and insert a fork at the side!
Wares to bring- Honestly it depends on your preferences. Some rather save the trouble and use disposable containers and plates but I've always found that a waste of money and not very pretty. I used vintage tiffin cans as you can see, it relatively keeps your food warm enough.. and you can carry quite a variety of food in it. Another cute idea is to have each layer as a 'set' per person. So everyone eats out of the tiffin cans. I brought a vintage flask to keep my drinks cold, or if you want soemthing hot, a flask would do the trick as well. Plates- Ok call me crazy but yeah we brought proper porcelain wares, its heavy but do you want a pretty picnic?
The Picnic Basket- This is of course very important. You need a good basket! To those who have been asking me about this one in the pictures, I got it in Bangkok a couple of years ago when I was obsessed with colecting baskets. You can try vintage stores or wholesale shops that specialise in baskets (for those based in Singapore, there are a couple along Arab Street that will suit all your picnic needs!).
Where?- In Singapore, a good place would be the Chinese Garden or Japanese Garden, the Botanic Gardens and Sentosa. Beaches can get messy though, the wind might make the sand go into your food so be careful. These are just a couple of favourites. But my ideal picnic would be something along the lines of perfect Spring weather in Hyde Park in London or Central Park in New York by the lake where you get see people row boats. Perfection!
Thats about all I have to say for my kind of a picnic….I hope this gives you some ideas and tips- plan in advance! Because I sure did. Bring food that is easy and fun to eat. Other menus you might want to try could be…baked meatballs with potatoes, or a good mini buffet of sandwiches. I always find that a main that can be baked in the oven makes preparation a whole lot more bearable. Think…a full of meatloaf which you eat as sandwiches. Honestly, whatever you please! Just don't allow the fact that its a picnic to limit what you want to make or eat. Anything is possible with some good proper planning. Most importantly, remember to have fun! And bring your camera(s)! I brought a Fujifilm Instax 200 to shoot a couple of polariods which are always fun to keep. *Ps- Check the weather forecast! and PRAY for good weather!!!!