Summer is almost over! Have you had a picnic yet with your kids? Eating outside helps you focus on one another and enjoying nature – not cell phones, TVs or other distractions at home. More important: It’s fun! Help your kids put together a memorable meal to eat under a canopy of trees with these recipes. Start with limeade as a drink to go your appetizer, a seven layer dip with chips. For your main meal, serve oven-fried chicken with sides of classic macaroni and corn salads. Make homemade Hostess cupcakes for dessert. And if you don’t have time to hike to the perfect locale, why not use your backyard as your makeshift picnic place?
Skip the standard lemonade and use limes instead. Your kids can make this limeade from Simple Recipes while you’re packing up the rest of your meal. Squeeze the juice out of enough limes to make 1 cup. Stir in 3/4 cup sugar and 3 cups water. Mix and then make sure you enough cups for everyone in your family.
Seven Layer Dip
Here’s a clever way to pack an appetizer for your picnic – this seven layer dip from Martha Stewart is stored in a jar. Carry the dip in your basket along with plenty of chips. Start with refried beans as the base layer and then top with tomatoes, guacamole, grated cheese, sour cream and chopped olives.
Fried chicken can be a lot of work! Shave the time – and the fat – from the Southern version by making this oven-fried chicken recipe from Eating Well. Coat the chicken with a mixture of flour, sesame seeds and seasonings like paprika, dried thyme, salt and pepper.
Classic Macaroni Salad
Creamy, tangy and perfect served cold, this classic macaroni salad recipe from Hellmann’s has just the right amount of sauce. Mix mayonnaise with vinegar, sugar, salt, pepper, Dijon mustard, thinly sliced celery, green pepper and chopped onions before adding in the cooked pasta. Delish!
Fresh Corn Salad
Make the most of farm-fresh corn by putting together this recipe for fresh corn salad from the Food Network’s Ina Garten. This simple recipe has corn, shucked right off the ear and then tossed with diced red onion, basil leaves and a light sauce of cider vinegar, olive oil and salt and pepper. That’s it – just a few ingredients to bring out the sweet flavor of the corn.
Homemade Hostess Cupcakes
Create these kid favorites right in your own kitchen with this recipe for homemade Hostess cupcakes from the Brown Eyed Baker. The rich, chocolate cupcakes are pumped with marshmallow crème before getting a shiny, frosting coating that’s swirled with white icing.