A FAMILY PICNIC WITH MARTHA STEWART

host a family picnic #picnic

There’s something so nostalgic about going on a picnic, don’t you think? It reminds me of when I was a kid and we would go to Pullen Park or Umstead Park {in Raleigh, NC} and spend an afternoon. Sitting on the lawn or at a picnic table under a canopy of trees, and enjoying food and natural surroundings was always a delight for the senses. And when we weren’t eating we were running around, playing, and exploring.

We’ve been on a few family picnics over the years and the kids always love it. But here’s the thing – you don’t have to pack up the car and go somewhere to have a fun family picnic. You can set one up right in your own back yard!

Just as the weather started to warm up I decided to treat the family to a picnic using some items sent to us from the new Martha Stewart collection for Macy’s, including picnic basket, blanket, and storage bowls. I kept the menu simple with classic fried chicken {served cold, of course}, a pasta salad {recipe below}, a small cheese tray, and fresh baked cookies & mini fruit pies. We even played a round of bocce ball.

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Setting up the Picnic:

  • The picnic basket acts as a “table” when setting up, and was a great place to set the cheese board.
  • When packing up, use items that can do double duty like vintage soda crates. These are great for transporting drinks and then they can also act as a “table” when turned upside down.
  • I poured lemonade in a growler for the kids, and shared a bottle of Red with the hubs {always drink responsibly}. I love how the bottle label from The Great American Wine Company compliments the setting.
  • The large, medium, and small storage bowls were just right for packing up the meal, and the lids keep everything safe during transport.
  • Don’t forget to bring a few toss pillows for lounging.
  • Bring a set of bocce balls too, for an easy pick-up game on any lawn.
  • Add a little “pretty” to the picnic with a bundle of flowers in a mason jar, or potted herbs. Did you know that mint repels ants?!  Basil is said to keep flies away too. Just give the leaves a little rub to release their fragrance.

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Do you love going on a picnic too? I’d love to hear about it!

Here’s the recipe for the pasta salad I made. I love the combination of peanuts, soy sauce, and pepper flakes for that great Thai flavor. Make this for the family or any pot luck party this summer.

Pasta Salad with Broccoli and Peanuts via Martha Stewart

  • Coarse salt
  • 1/2 pound whole-wheat fusilli
  • 2 heads (2 pounds) broccoli
  • 3 tablespoons vegetable oil
  • 1/2 teaspoon red-pepper flakes
  • 1/4 cup rice vinegar
  • 2 tablespoons smooth peanut butter
  • 3 tablespoons soy sauce
  • 1 bunch scallions, thinly sliced crosswise (1 cup)
  • 1/2 cup roasted peanuts, coarsely chopped

In a large pot of boiling salted water, cook pasta until al dente according to package instructions. Drain, and rinse under cold water; set aside.

Meanwhile, trim 1 inch from the stem end of broccoli stalks. Using a vegetable peeler or paring knife, peel outer layer of stalks; thinly slice crosswise. Separate florets into bite-size pieces.

Heat 1 tablespoon oil in a large skillet over medium.Add pepper flakes, broccoli, and 3/4 cup water; cover and cook until broccoli is crisp-tender, 6 to 8 minutes. Uncover and cook until liquid has evaporated and broccoli is tender, 2 to 4 minutes.

In a large bowl, whisk together remaining 2 tablespoons oil, vinegar, peanut butter, and soy sauce until smooth. Add cooled pasta, broccoli, scallions, and peanuts; toss to combine. Serve immediately, or refrigerate and serve chilled.

 

For more inspiration, follow me on Google+, Pinterest, and Twitter. Cheers!

 

These items are provided by the Martha Stewart Collection, exclusively at Macy’s and part of the ‘American Icons’ campaign. 

About Chris

Chris Nease is a party stylist and home entertaining expert with over 15 years of experience. In addition to her work as founding editor of Celebrations At Home, Chris is an editorial stylist and contributor to Homes.com, Marie Callender's, and SheKnows. Most recently her work has been published in Woman's World, Yum Food & Fun for Kids, and Cottages & Bungalows.

Comments

  1. What a fun idea Chris! You have a beautiful family love what you did and the way it was presented. Thanks for sharing. Love all your ideas!

  2. I love this Chris and you are in it!! Love seeing your beautiful face!

  3. Lovely set-up Chris and what a beautiful family!

  4. Beautiful! Love the set up!

  5. Love the fresh herbs as functional décor!

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