After the big "Fiesta Forty" birthday celebration (post forthcoming) I wanted to have an intimate family celebration on my actual birthday. The girls and I went to the zoo in the morning and in the afternoon I pulled together some of my favorite things for a backyard picnic. Audrey had been saying she wanted to have a picnic on a blanket and I thought what better way to spend the evening as a family on my birthday!
For our picnic blanket, I pulled out the bandana quilt tablecloth I made a month or so ago for Audrey's birthday--works great as a picnic blanket! And I still love the colors...
I went to a new Italian deli in the neighborhood and got sandwich fixings--they make the best sandwich bread and have a good selection of meats. For our picnic dinner I made turkey and dry salami sandwiches (dressed up just a little bit festive with scrapbook paper wrappers), my Italian Picnic Pasta Salad (recipe below), grabbed chips, and stocked a new drink caddy I received as a birthday gift with Simply Lemonade (one of my favorites) and Izze sodas.
And, for dessert, Audrey helped me bake Banana Cupcakes with Peanut Butter Frosting. Though it was a casual family picnic I put a little party around these too with this great cupcake paper template (which I first saw on UCreate) and some scrapbook paper I had on hand. So easy to use pretty papers to quickly dress up the food! And for some reason I can't get enough pink and orange...
The best ingredients at the picnic though were my family--of course!
The backyard family picnic: the best birthday celebration yet!
*Recipe for Italian Picnic Pasta Salad*
Combine the following in a bowl and toss with dressing; chill until ready to serve.
1 ½ lbs Campanelle pasta cooked & cooled
12 cherry tomatoes (quartered)
1 large broccoli crowns & 1 bunch asparagus blanched and cut into 1” pieces
½ cup toasted pine nuts
One large ball fresh (buffalo) mozzarella cubed into ¼” pieces
¾ cup roasted red peppers cut into 1” pieces
¼ cup chopped black olives
Salt & pepper to taste
Bernstein’s Restaurant Italian dressing to taste (I used about ½ a bottle