Celebrate Memorial Day with a Picnic in the Park

 

There’s nothing better than spending the afternoon in the park with your family.

picnic

One of the things my family loves to do on the weekend (especially this Memorial Day weekend) is to enjoy a fun and fancy meal at the park.

Today I am sharing with you some of my favorite picnic dishes as well as some tips to make your picnic fun, easy, and a little bit fancy.

Picnic Essentials

picnic essentials

When packing a picnic, I find it to be helpful to write out a list of everything we’ll need for the day. This usually includes plates and silverware, a cozy blanket, and some comfy pillows to lounge on.

on a picnic

Planning out what you are going to bring to your picnic is also a great way to plan your menu. I like to make and pack items that can be eaten at room temperature. This makes serving the picnic a leisurely activity rather than a rush to make sure your food is hot.

Salads

Today I decided to include three dishes into my family’s picnic:

Lamb Sliders

These bite-sized sliders are filled with lamb, red pepper coulis, and some veggies to add a nice crunch.

Lamb Slider

Peaches and Corn Salsa

This fresh and sweet salsa is great served with tortilla chips and guacamole. Make sure to use ripe peaches to give this salsa its great taste.

 

Corn Salsa

Asian Zucchini Salad

I love this salad simply because you create noodles with the zucchini and squash. You can make this salad ahead of time and combine just before serving for best results.

Asian Zucchini Noodles

Plus you can never go wrong with a cheese plate!

Cheese Picnic

Take this weekend to enjoy the outdoors and spend some time with your family. I know that’s what I’ll be doing.

Keep it fancy, keep it easy, and above all, keep it about family.

Entertaining with ease

 

Make this beautiful Seared Scallop dish for your next dinner party.

If you know me, you know how much I love throwing dinner parties for my family and friends. Most recently we decided to enjoy some delicious seafood with this dish I created with scallops and mussels.

First things first, locate all of your ingredients. I actually found sea beans at my local Whole Foods! Sea beans are in fact not from the sea nor are they beans. Makes me wonder why they are called sea beans at all. These little succulents are actually herbs that taste somewhat like salty asparagus.

Once you’ve gathered all of your ingredients it’s time to start preparing your dish. I like to break my dish into components to make it easier to prepare. I first start with the watercress and parsley oil as the sauce for the dish. This can be set aside while making the seared scallops.

When making seared scallops you need to make sure your pan is fully heated before you add your scallops. And be sure to wait to flip them over to ensure a golden crust. Nothing is worse than a soggy scallop.

I decided to pair the scallops with some uni and mussels to elevate the dish. Doesn’t it just look lovely?

Click here to view my recipe for Seared Scallops with Watercress Oil and Sea Beans.

Fancy Meeting Spring

 

It’s easy for me to love New York City this time of year.

The chilling winds have subsided and the parks and sidewalks are blooming with spring flowers; but as a chef, there are few things more exciting than the return of the farmer’s market.

Walking around the Union Square Green Market, the mixture of the warm sun, cool breeze, and colorful selection of fresh spring produce inspired me to create a salad utilizing game meat. I always love the selection at Eckerton Hill Farm and standing there with an armful of beautiful leafy greens I decided I would top the salad with seared duck breast and pickled watermelon radishes. This farmer’s market inspired dish was an instant hit and was even featured on feedfeed!

Click this image to view the Duck Salad recipe featured in our Fancy Made Spring theme!

Click this image to view the Duck Salad recipe featured in our Fancy Made Spring theme!

At Eckerton Hill Farm, I picked up a mixture of sweet spinach, mesclun, and Tatsoi. Tats has a similar flavor profile as mustard greens– spicy with a hint of sweetness.

 

eckerton hill farm

I love using local duck from Hudson Valley Duck Farm

I love using local duck from Hudson Valley Duck Farm

We wanted to continue the theme of spring and highlight its colorful and fresh ingredients with an all white table setting; it’s so clean and so fancy and just so us.

The floral arrangement is clearly the main focal point on an elegantly blank canvas. The contrast between the pink, green, and white give the arrangement the perfect juxtaposition. Not by coincidence the pink and green colors are also featured in our Spring Duck Salad.

Our inspiration behind this dinner party is a renewal; to finally come out of the darkness of winter into the beautiful new beginning of spring. Since it is a celebration we chose to use our silver champagne chiller as a vase. It’s creative enough to impress your guests and is as easy to accomplish as taking your favorite conversation piece to your local florist. With white votive candles and white pearls scattered around the table we made sure to keep the spotlight on the spring bounty.

 

Click this image to see all the items in our Fancy Made Spring theme!

Click this image to see all the items in our Fancy Made Spring theme!