Blog post

Celebratory Picnic!

July 3, 2020

Last weekend, Alex and I finally finished our backyard so we decided to have a celebratory picnic on our new turf! I will share more backyard details later, but as a brief summary we’re happy it’s complete. We researched several landscapers in town and found someone who fit our budget and could start immediately. Even better, the team completed our backyard in two and a half days!

Before our backyard was completed, we had a dirt space because we chose to not use the landscaping provided by our home builder. It was honestly an eyesore to look past our window and just see dirt. But now, we see beautiful, green turf and multicolored pavers! For this prime reason, we had to experience our newly-installed turf immediately. We decided to celebrate with what we already had in our home: strawberries, cucumber, peaches, mint, basil, bagels, ricotta and whipped cream cheese. Below is what we created!

Peach Basil

  • Fresh peaches
  • Basil
  • Ricotta
  • Basil
  • Fresh ground pepper
  • Balsamic vinegar glaze
  • Bread

This was my favorite of the two! Since last month, Trader Joe’s has been selling a $5 flat of peaches, and I can’t stop eating them. I especially love to drizzle the fruit with a bit of balsamic vinegar glaze. I recommend using a high-quality ricotta– I love Mauro & Gianni’s whole milk ricotta. I eat it with everythiiiiing: salads, pizza, pasta, veggies, breakfast… the limit does not exist. The balsamic vinegar glaze and fresh ground pepper is also an absolute must. For basil, I prefer to buy the basil plants, which I typically get from Bashas’ or Sprout’s.

As far as bread goes, sour dough is most ideal, but we used our Thomas’ wheat bagels since that’s what we already had at home. I’ve also made these with Thomas’ English muffins and those are quite good, we always have some in the the freezer!

Strawberry Cucumber

  • Fresh strawberries
  • Fresh cucumber
  • Mint
  • Whipped cream cheese
  • Honey drizzle

I was inspired to make these after I made a light kale salad with cucumber, mint and strawberries. I found my organic strawberries from AJ’s, and they are the sweetest strawberries that I have ever tasted! I thought it would be a delicious and refreshing treat on bread with whipped cream cheese and a drizzle of honey.

The honey I used was a little bit grainy, so I’d prefer a smoother texture. Maybe, even an orange blossom honey! For cream cheese, we’ve been into Trader Joe’s whipped cream cheese. As an added bonus, this cream cheese is less than $2! We used the same Thomas’ bagel as above, but I’d probably use the Thomas’ original English muffins for next time.

I can’t wait to share more experiences from our backyard! I loved seeing your responses to our celebratory picnic on Instagram and Facebook, so there will be some more simple and easy recipes in the future.

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