This morning, I spent an hour or so whipping up a special lunch; and I must admit that I felt like a regular Giada de Laurentis in the kitchen! :) By 12:30 we were both starving and ready to hit the road!
Thankfully, we didn't have to travel far. Less than a mile away is a local park; and since dogs are allowed, we decided to bring Lola along for the ride! She has gotten SO BIG (over 50 pounds!) that now she has to ride in the back seat. No more floor board of the passenger side for this little Labrador!
While Bo walked Lola around for a couple of minutes, I took my time setting the stage for our picnic date. I brought an old family quilt along to decorate the table, and then I spread out our feast:
- Warm Goat Cheese, Spinach, and Tomato Panini;
- Macaroni Salad;
- Minted Fruit Salad (see recipe below); and
- specialty drinks from Whole Foods.
Since Bo wanted a little more protein with his lunch, I added some ham to his sandwich. In the end, he actually said that he thought the sandwich was a little better without the meat. SCORE for the vegetarians!
I guzzled my lunch down with Virgil's Zero Cream Soda, while Bo sipped on Steaz Zero Calorie Orange. Both were delicious; but truth be told, my cream soda was the best out of the two. It really tasted like the real thing!
Lola sitting pretty for a treat!
My handsome hubby enjoying his panini.
Me - chowing down.
(And yes, I burned my bread.
What can I say, I am my mother's daughter (hehehe)!)
Absolutely LOVING what natural light does to my photography skills!
Lesson: I think I need to take more pictures outside!
This fruit salad was simple and out-of-this-world delicious! It was - in both of our opinions - the best part of the whole picnic. And since I know you want it, here is the quick and easy recipe:
Minted Fruit Salad
8 medium strawberries, diced
1/2 C blueberries
1 medium nectarine, diced
1 packet of stevia
1/2 tsp dried mint
- Add the strawberries, blueberries, and nectarine to a small mixing bowl.
- Sprinkle the stevia, lemonjuice, and mint over top.
- Toss to incorporate.
- Chill until ready to serve.
It really is as easy as 1-2-3-4!
Lola chillin' in the shade...no doubt wishing she could play with the kids on the playground.
This macaroni pasta salad wasn't my recipe, and it wasn't a home-run. Truthfully, it was just so-so. Next time, I think I would do better to just come up with something of my own. Regardless, it did hit the spot when Bo and I were still a little hungry after eating our sandwiches (Bo has a full sandwich, I just had a half).
All gone. :)
Afterwards, we took a little walk to help digest our food. Since it was VERY hot, we tried to stay in the shade as much as possible. We watched Lola carefully to make sure she didn't overheat, and we also gave her lot and LOTS of water.
At one point, we even talked Lola into playing on the playground!
She and her Daddy even went down the slide!
(I'm not sure she enjoyed it.)
We didn't get a picture of it, but Lola thought the swings were so. much. fun. While I was swinging, she kept trying to jump up and catch me! It was too funny to watch her. On the one hand she was totally confused by what was going on; while on the other hand she thought it was this new game that she couldn't wait to play. I can't wait to see what Lola will be like when we bring our future children to the playground.
It is certainly something to look forward to...
Question of the Day:
When is the last time you went on a date with your significant other, and what did you do?!
Ally and Bo