As our schedules get busier with the school year in motion, we try to make the most of weekend time and plan special outings with the girls. I love the idea of picnics, but sometimes I get overwhelmed by the preparation. Recently, we planned a picnic at a nearby park and I was able to do most of the food prep the day before, making it easy to get out of the house and actually focus on a great time with my family. We headed to the park and the kiddos played on the playground for a bit while I set out the picnic food. The picnic menu included: Pasta Salad, BBQ chicken legs, Watermelon Arugula Salad, Oatmeal Everything Cookies, and store-bought dinner rolls. To drink, the girls were super excited to slurp down the Capri Sun 100% Juice pouches that I bought for the occasion. Typically, we drink water and milk and that’s it, but occasionally, we let the girls have juice. The fact that Capri Sun packs 100% juice in their tell-tale pouches is a major bonus for the girls and for me. What is it about those pouches that kids go crazy for? Seriously! I remember the ice chest full of Capri Sun drinks at the end of the softball games when I was a kid – don’t you? Capri Sun is just as cool now as it was back then (still hard to get that straw in the hole, too)! I love being able to treat my girls to something that I know they’re going to be excited about. Like I said, I made most of the food the day before – the slushies (more on that below) and cookies can be stored in the freezer, the pasta salad can be made ahead of time (adding the avocados just before leaving) as can the BBQ chicken; the watermelon salad is easy to mix up right beforehand. I packed the salads in reusable take-out containers and the cookies in a lunch pail. The Capri Sun 100% Juice drinks and the Capri Sun Super V Fruit and Vegetable Juice Drink slushies were tossed into the ice chest along with the salads and a Ziploc bag containing the chicken. I used some cute red plastic baskets lined with waxed paper for plates and they worked like a charm (plus they matched).
Ready for some recipes?
1. Pasta Salad – Combine cooked tri-color rotini with cubed cheddar cheese, whole black olives, chives, artichoke hearts, avocado, cucumber, kidney beans, and 1 Cup of Italian vinaigrette for a flavorful and filling side dish. 2. Oatmeal Everything Cookies – Use your favorite oatmeal cookie recipe and turn it into a hearty dessert by adding walnuts, raisins, and chocolate chips. Substitute some of the whole oats with ground oat flour (grind oats in a food processor) for a dense cookie. 3. Capri Sun Super V Slushies – Freeze Capri Sun Super V pouches overnight. Remove from the freezer and store in an ice chest when you leave for the picnic. The frozen pouch will defrost just enough while you eat your picnic. For dessert, squish the pouch a little to distribute the contents, cut the top off of the pouch and eat the slushy with a spoon! Refreshing, yummy, and kid-satisfying! (Capri Sun Super V drinks are made with both fruit and vegetable juices – I’d consider it a nutritious dessert alternative.) 4. Watermelon Arugula Salad – Combine spinach leaves, arugula, toasted almonds, sliced mint leaves, watermelon cubes, and feta with a balsamic honey vinaigrette for a refreshing and nutritious salad. Make your own vinaigrette by whisking 1 part balsamic vinegar with 2 parts olive oil, black pepper, and honey to sweeten. We tried the slushies with Capri Sun 100% Juice AND Capri Sun Super V – the consensus from all the kids was that the Capri Sun Super V tasted the best in slushy form! I was cracking up watching Olivia sample the slushies with her friend. They had a whole giggly discussion going on – serious samplers! Chalk up one more fun outing with the family! They were sure counting down the days until this picnic!!