“A Romantic Picnic ” – Valentine’s Day Edition

happy valentines day

With Valentine’s Day coming up, we thought it would be fun to share a picnic that Chef Dave did for his sweetie.
A picnic is the best because you can pick the scene to have the picnic and you can build the picnic basket with a wide array of treats and surprises. Here is a picnic that I created recently for my Valentine and some tips for making a picnic into a romantic moment for you and the one you love.

  • Pick a spot with awesome scenery but private enough to enjoy each other and not feel uncomfortable. I picked my favorite beach near our house and we went after sunset. The view was amazing and the sound of crashing waves created nice mood music.
  • Consider possible disasters like bugs, weather and do what you can to plan for such a situation.
  • Bring Blankets, to sit on and to snuggle in case it gets cold. The beach is perfect for a picnic but got very cold by dark having an extra blanket gives a good excuse to get closer.
  • Bring entertainment, we always used to bring a book we called “The Happy Book”. This gave us dialogue and created a romantic tradition. Poetry or even coloring books or games to have fun and dream and to be childish can make a moment special.
  • Be thoughtful: a flower arrangement, a handmade card or a sentimental gift will be valued more than something even more costly creating a magical memory is the way into a woman’s heart.
  • Picnic menu ideas: Layer the picnic so that you don’t unveil food from the basket all at once. Use the basket like a magicians hat and create surprise and spread out the moment.
  • Appetizers: Bring fruit, berries, honey, Greek yogurt and granola or dried fruit and nuts. Put this into a bowl and layer it with the yogurt on the bottom, then the fruit and granola, dried fruit such as cranberries and nuts. Be sure and bring spoons, a knife, a cutting board, some bowls, cups, plastic wine glasses are super convenient.

    Some suggestions – pick a few to build your basket:

  1. Crackers: Triskets, Bagel chips, crostinis, crackers, tortilla chips, pita bread
  2. Dips: hummus, salsa, cheese spread like boursin
  3. Meats: Pate’, sausage, salami, vegetarian tofu
  4. Artisan cheeses: Aged cheese such as Reggiano Parmigianno, Manchega, Montaccio. Fresh Cheese such as goat cheese, chevre, mozzarella balls, cilleginis, prosciutto wrapped provolone. Blue veined cheese, Gorgonzola or Maytag blue. Herb cheeses, drunken cheeses or other flavored cheeses, such as cranberry laced cheese.
  5. Whole fruit and berries: cut the fruit and arrange it on a sharing platter. Make little samples for her to taste and do all the work.

6. Drink: If wine is allowed Champagne is great or Moscato di Asti. Brachetto di Aqui is what I brought to our last picnic. It is slightly sweet with some bubbles and is red sooo, yum! Sparkling water and with lemon and lime. Make sure you chill the drink and put it in a wine cooler or thermal container if you are going far.

7. Sweets: Make something if you can, remember finger foods are best, go with cookies, brownies, bites chocolates, even chocolate covered strawberries.

  • A few more tips:

Don’t forget to bring napkins, corkscrews, forks, spoons, knives, blankets, Shade like an umbrella if necessary, bug spray if you live in Florida, and anything else you may need.

Remember to make it fun, if you are not comfortable with artisan cheeses and pate’ bring something simpler, delicious and thoughtful.

A handwritten menu on pretty paper rolled and tied is a nice touch.

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