FRIDAY FAVORITIES – MAY 15, 2015

First long weekend of the Summer friends!! Who’s excited?! As I finish off this post I can smell the BBQ heating up in the backyard for the first time this season and it smells amazing!

When I was young… well let’s just say younger May long weekend was referred to as ‘Hiking Day’. The first long weekend of the Summer or ‘Hiking Day’ was the perfect excuse for us kids to head off exploring, and more often than not exploring where we were not suppose to be. Yup rebels without a cause sneaking off to hike or bike to a new adventure. Now as an adult May long weekend still stirs something in me to get outdoors and explore, to have an adventure in uncharted territory. So this weeks’ Friday favorites are all about getting outdoors, lighting up the BBQ, and having an adventure. While this weekend I may not be ‘hiking’ to the next town for ice cream, I do hope the weather cooperates and we will be able to escape the city and go for a picnic!

Shrimp with Hot Pepper and Mint. I love the sound of this recipe from Ricardo. Grilled shrimp make great tapas for easy outdoor entertaining in the summer. The spice from the peppers would be well balanced with the mint in the marinade. Served with an easy rosée sauce I think this recipe would be a fabulous addition to your weekend BBQ plans!

FAVORITE PICNIC RECIPES.
Some cut up veggies, a ham sandwich or tuna salad, and maybe a few cookies it is easy to stick with the basics when planning a picnic lunch. And yes picnic food needs to be simple, needs to travel well, but it doesn’t need to be boring. So if, like me, you are looking to break out of your picnic rut check out Saveur’s Ultimate Picnic Fare recipe collection (the orecchiette with rapini is definitely coming on our weekend picnic) and Ottolenghi’s Picnic Recipes. Then follow these helpful tips from serious eats on how to pack a picnic basket like a pro!

FAVORITE GARDENING TIP.
Don’t Just Plant, Plan! This article in Modern Farmer is full of great ideas and recommendations to help you get the most out of your backyard garden. If you long weekend plans involve some gardening, I would highly suggest you read this article first. It has definitely inspired me to try planting my own vegetable garden again this year (as they say third times a charm!!)

FAVORITE SIP.
Blueberry Jam & Prosecco Cocktail. Yes, yes and yes! A little sweet, a little tart, but simple perfection for an afternoon sip in the backyard. The sweetness of the jam is mellowed by the lemon juice, Prosecco, and the garnish of thyme. Just be sure to use a dry Prosecco, you need the acidity for balance. A sweet sparkler will ruin the drink.

WHAT HAVE YOU LOVED THIS WEEK? WHAT HAS MOTIVATED AND INSPIRED YOU? WHAT ARE YOU FAVORITE BACKYARD OR PICNIC RECIPES? HAVE A GREAT LONG WEEKEND!
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