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Spring Lunch: An indoor picnic

indoor picnic

Written by contributor Marieke Beeler of M for Mommy.

With Earth Day on April 22 and spring weather arriving in many parts of the world; it’s time to get outside.  And what better way to be outside than to have a picnic?  A local park, the zoo, local gardens, or simply your back yard are great spots.

Kai’s friend Taylor was coming over for a play date.  Ahah!  The perfect opportunity to have a picnic!  In my romantic mind I had it all figured out: we would have our picnic on blankets in the back yard.  Taylor’s mom and I would have a chance to kick back and relax, soak up some sun while catching up.  Perfect, right?

Not.

indoor picnic

That was the sky.  The picnic wasn’t gonna happen outside.  Not willing to give up quite yet, I decided it would be an indoor picnic.  After all, the food would taste the same.

Picnics don’t need to be fancy.  As a matter of fact, they should be simple, yet scrumptious.  And often we get stuck in our peanut butter & jelly sandwich-routine.  In my mind, the classic picnic consists of some sort of sandwich or wrap, fruit, a drink and something to satisfy the my sweet tooth.

Now, when I think of spring sandwiches, I always remember the sandwiches my mom used to make around Easter (but really, all through spring).  They always had alfalfa sprouts on them; the taste of these sprouts is fresh, clean and crisp and is (for me) one of the symbols of spring.

For this picnic, I came up with two sandwiches.  One more geared towards adults and one more geared for the children’s taste buds.  Unfortunately, the cheese that my mom used to use does not exist here in the US, but I found a replacement that will surprise you AND that works great.

indoor picnic

Picnic Menu:

  • Adult sandwiches: Cheese, sour cream spread, radishes and alfalfa sprouts
  • Children sandwiches: Cheese, sour cream spread and cucumber
  • Fresh fruit
  • Apple muffins
  • Raspberry spinach smoothie

Sour Cream Spread

For both these sandwiches you will need the Sour Cream Spread.  It’s easy to put together, can even be done the evening before.

Ingredients

3 tbsp. sour cream
3 tbsp. crème fra
îche
2 tsp. chopped alfalfa sprouts
pinch of salt
dash of freshly ground pepper

Directions:
Mix all the ingredients together in a small bowl, cover and refrigerate until ready to use.

 

indoor picnic

Cheese, Sour Cream Spread, Radishes and Alfalfa Sprouts Sandwich

I call this one the “adult” version of the sandwiches, simply because the majority of child-taste-buds doesn’t groove too much on radishes.

Ingredients
4 slices good whole wheat bread
unsalted Butter (or other butter spread)
2 triangles Laughing Cow (Original) Cheese
sour Cream Spread (Recipe Follows)
4 radishes, thinly sliced.

Directions:
Thinly spread a thin layer of butter on each slice of bread.  Cover 2 slices of the bread with the cheese and top with the radish slices and a handful of alfalfa sprouts.  Spread some of the Sour Cream spread out over the other 2 slices of bread and put these on top of the cheese, radish & sprout containing half.  Cut diagonally. Serves: 2


indoor picnic

Cheese, Sour Cream Spread & Cucumber Sandwich

This is the “child” version of the same sandwich.  Instead of the radishes and alfalfa sprouts, top the cheese with cucumber slices before closing the sandwich up. Serves: 2

indoor picnic

Apple Muffins

Recipe originally by Ellie Krieger

These muffins are delicious!!  They are moist, rich and not too sweet.

Ingredients
cooking spray
3/4 cup plus 2 tbsp. packed brown sugar
1/4 cup chopped pecans
1/2 tsp. ground cinnamon
1 cup all-purpose flour
1 cup whole-wheat pastry flour
1 tsp. baking soda
1/2 tsp. salt
1/4 cup canola oil
2 large eggs
1 cup natural applesauce
1 tsp. vanilla extract
3/4 cup lowfat buttermilk
1 golden delicious apple, peeled, cored and cut into 1/4-inch pieces

Directions:
Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F.  Coat a 12-capacity muffin pan with cooking spray. In a small bowl, mix together 2 tbsp. of the brown sugar, the pecans and cinnamon.

In a medium bowl, whisk together the all-purpose and whole-wheat flour, baking soda and salt. In a large bowl, whisk together the remaining 3/4 cup sugar and oil until combined.  Add the eggs, 1 at a time, whisking well after each addition.  Whisk in the applesauce and vanilla.

Whisk in the flour mixture in 2 batches, alternating with the buttermilk.  Whisk just until combined.  Gently stir in the apple chunks. Pour the batter into the prepared muffin pan and sprinkle with the pecan mixture.  Tap the pan on the counter a few times to remove any air bubbles.  Bake for 20 minutes or until a wooden pick inserted in the center of 1 of the muffins comes out clean.

Let cool on a wire rack for 15 minutes.  Run a knife around the muffins to loosen them and unmold.  Cool completely on the rack. Makes 12 muffins.

 

For the Rasperry Spinach Smoothie recipe, head on over to my blog at Marieke Beeler, aka HRH Mommy

Join the discussion!

What’s your favorite place to have a picnic?  We would love to hear and hopefully your ideas will inspire someone else this spring.

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6 Responses to Spring Lunch: An indoor picnic

  1. Jadah Sellner April 19, 2012 at 6:58 am #

    Zoe would love an indoor picnic. This is a sweet menu! I think if I add a little herbal tea, Zoe will be in mommy and me heaven. Thanks for sharing this picnic menu. I need to add sprouts to my grocery list.

    • Marieke April 19, 2012 at 10:05 am #

      Glad you like it. Zoe drinks herbal tea? What does she drink? Intrigued here. Or is the herbal tea for Mommy?

  2. PB Rippey April 19, 2012 at 3:22 pm #

    Delicious and what fun! I think all foods would transfer well to the beach, which is where I have most of my picnics (although of course there’s a little sand mixed in with the food…)

    • Marieke April 19, 2012 at 4:16 pm #

      The beach is great for a picnic. Food would transfer well, especially since there’s no chocolate involved :-)

  3. Justine @ The Lone Home Ranger April 20, 2012 at 11:01 am #

    My girls and I just got back from a picnic. Today’s was outside, but we’re in Boston so many spring lunches are held indoors around here, what we call “carpet picnics.” I serve a “snacky plate,” which usually consists of a boiled egg, apple/fruit, cheese, crunchy of some kind, and a sweet treat. Today we had egg, carrot sticks, cheese crackers, blueberries, and french bread with avocado nutella. Perfection!

    • Marieke April 20, 2012 at 1:33 pm #

      Justine,
      I used to live in Boston, so I know exactly what you mean with the Spring weather and it not being always possible to do outside picnics. I love the term “carpet picnic”. Great idea on incorporating the variety of textures in your “meal plan”! Happy weekend and I hope that the weather will soon allow you to strike down in The Commons.

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