Your Summer Date Night: A Romantic Evening Picnic

 Image Source: @natashasechenova

Image Source: @natashasechenova

We love a good summer date night! While it’s fun to splurge on a date night out every once in a while, we also really enjoy having a date night in, or creating our own adventures. That’s why this week we decided to put together our list of must-haves to create a perfect date night picnic for you and your beau! Whether you decide to head to the backyard with your picnic blanket, or a local park, make sure you have some yummy food and it’s sure to be a hit. If you can, grab a couple of pillows and even a spare blanket so you can comfortably snuggle up and watch the sunset. Bug spray is a must, too!

The key to a good picnic is to have a good spread, but everything is easily premade, doesn’t need to be reheated, and travels well. Keeping that in mind, here are our picks for your menu!

Appetizer - Bruschetta and Crostini

We love a good bruschetta and this one is super easy and delicious! A nice light and refreshing appetizer is the perfect way to get you started.

 Image Source: Life She Lives

Image Source: Life She Lives

Ingredients

  • 1 French baguette, cut into 1/4-inch slices
  • 3 tbsp olive oil
  • 4 cloves garlic, minced
  • 3 vine tomatoes, diced
  • 1/2 small white onion, chopped
  • 2-3 tbsp fresh basil, chopped
  • Juice from 1/4 lemon
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  • Shredded Parmesan (optional)
 Image Source: Life She Lives

Image Source: Life She Lives

Steps

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.
  2. Saute minced garlic in 1 tablespoon olive oil until fragrant and golden. Set aside.
  3. Chop tomatoes, onion and fresh basil and combine in a mixing bowl. Add sauteed garlic WITH the excess olive oil from the pan.
  4. Squeeze 1/4 lemon juice over the vegetable mixture and season with salt and pepper to taste.
  5. Mix well and chill in the refrigerator.
  6. In a small bowl, season the other 2 tablespoons of olive oil with salt and pepper.
  7. Lay baguette slices on a baking sheet and use silicone basting brush to apply seasoned olive oil. Bake for 8 minutes or until edges are lightly browned.
  8. Top each baguette slice with a spoonful of tomato bruschetta and a small sprinkle of shredded Parmesan (optional).
 Image Source: Lil' Luna

Image Source: Lil' Luna

Dinner - Chicken Caesar Salad (Wraps)

Easy and a classic, we love a good chicken Caesar salad. If you’re not a straight salad kind of person, make it a wrap! Easy to eat and easy to travel with.

Ingredients

  • 3 cups shredded romaine lettuce
  • 2 cups cooked chicken, chopped
  • 6 slices cooked bacon, chopped
  • ¼ cup grated Parmesan cheese
  • ¼ cup croutons
  • ½ cup Caesar dressing
  • 5-6 flour tortillas (8 inch)

Steps

  1. Add the first 5 ingredients to a medium bowl.
  2. Mix in caesar dressing until evenly coated.
  3. Spoon into tortillas and enjoy!

Dessert - Mini S’Mores

Making real s’mores during a picnic is a little difficult without a fire. But they’re such a summer classic, we have to get them in there somehow! Which is why we love these mini s’mores that you can make ahead of time to enjoy at the end of your meal.

 Image Source: Taste of Home

Image Source: Taste of Home

Ingredients

  • 2 cups milk chocolate chips
  • 1/2 cup heavy whipping cream
  • 1 package (14.4 ounces) graham crackers, quartered
  • 1 cup marshmallow creme
  • 2 cartons (7 ounces each) milk chocolate for dipping
  • 4 ounces white candy coating, melted, optional

Steps

  1. Place chocolate chips in a small bowl. In a small saucepan, bring cream just to a boil. Pour over chocolate; stir with a whisk until smooth. Cool to room temperature or until mixture reaches a spreading consistency, about 10 minutes.
  2. Spread chocolate mixture over half of the graham crackers. Spread marshmallow creme over remaining graham crackers; place over chocolate-covered crackers, pressing to adhere.
  3. Melt dipping chocolate according to package directions. Dip each s'more halfway into dipping chocolate; allow excess to drip off. Place on waxed paper-lined baking sheets; let stand until dipping chocolate is set.
  4. If desired, drizzle tops with melted white candy coating; let stand until set. Store in an airtight container in the refrigerator.