Whether it’s at the beach or a park or your own backyard, there’s nothing better than dining outdoors.
Here are some of the best places to lay your blanket on Long Island, along with some excellent tips for staging a terrific event.
DO’s and DON’Ts for the Perfect Picnic
DO choose a good location. If it’s a romantic picnic, select a spot with significance to the two of you, or a spot with a pretty view. For a family picnic, make sure there’s lots of room for kids to run around (preferably on a playground, field, etc.).
DO pick a theme. It will give both you and your guests a chance to get deliciously creative.
DO pack cheese, fruit, bread, crackers, salad, cold chicken, sweets, and other foods that will be easy to pack and serve.
DO organize a potluck picnic. Be sure to delegate so you don’t have five pasta salads or cut-up watermelons.
DO devise a meal plan ahead of time so you aren’t digging in your refrigerator at the last minute.
DON’T bring ice cream or foods that can easily spoil.
DON’T make it complicated, or bring anything with too many moving parts (i.e. nothing you have to cut with a knife!). Simple is best.
DON’T feel like you have to spend a ton of money to make a great picnic. Homemade dishes are your best bet for keeping costs down. Check out the ton of great picnic recipes below.
DON’T worry about having a fancy picnic basket. A cardboard box works fine, as does any insulated bag.
DON’T forget the vino! Rising Tide carries a 64oz HydroFlask growler that can hold two full bottles of rosé. Toast to summer with the taste of summer.
3 Themed Picnics from Mark Bittman
101 Picnic Ideas from the New York Times
Great Picnic Salads
Simple, Rustic Picnic from Ina Garten
More Easy Picnic Ideas
Margaritas, nachos, sombreros…here in the U.S. we make a big party out of this May holiday most of us know very little about.
Contrary to what a lot of us think, Cinco de Mayo does NOT celebrate Mexico’s independence from Spain, but instead, Mexico’s unlikely victory over the French in the Battle of Puebla, 1862. Mexico’s actual Independence Day is on Sept. 16th and that IS a big party in Mexico. In fact, Mexico’s partying on May the 5th doesn’t hold a candle to the one in L.A., which hosts the biggest Cinco de Mayo bash on the globe. (If we’ve piqued your interest, click here for more facts about Cinco de Mayo.)
Taste of Mexico
History aside, we DO like an excuse to serve up great-tasting goodies, Mexican-style. Here at Rising Tide we’ll have all the organic avocados you’ll need to make a truly superb guacamole, along with tortilla chips on sale from Late July, Way Better Snacks, Lundberg Family Farms and more. If you don’t want to make your own guac, just pick up some from the Deli, along with homemade pico de gallo and more. And grab some of our freshly squeezed, organic Strawberry Lemonade; nothing is tastier when mixed with some good tequila!
The egg-heavy holiday of Passover (not to mention that pesky lamb shank!) is an opportunity for Vegans to get creative. If you’re also avoiding rice, beans and corn, you have to improvise even more, but that shouldn’t stop you from having a deliciously festive holiday.
First, let’s get straight what’s allowed and not allowed, according to Jewish law. During their escape from Egypt, the Jews didn’t have time to let their bread rise and instead ate unleavened bread or matzoh, so leavened foods (chametz) are off the menu. These include bread, pasta, and any foods made with yeast, wheat, rye, barley, spelt and oats.
In addition to these restrictions, Ashkenazi Jews also stay away from other foods known as kitniyot. As mentioned above, this includes rice, corn, millet, peas, beans, legumes (including soybeans), peanuts and sesame, poppy and mustard seeds.
Even with all of these no-no’s, there are lots of ways for Vegans to go when preparing a Passover menu. Quinoa, for example, is not considered a grain (it’s actually a very versatile berry!), and can make a wonderful pilaf. Traditional pasta is no good, but veggie noodles are; get that spiralizer out for a delicious “noodle” dish everyone will love. Do without chopped liver? Never, when you can improvise with this savory mushroom cashew dip.
Check out these Vegan Passover primers from the NY Times and onegreenplanet.com, and a whole bunch of other recipes we think you’ll love. A Zissen Pesach (Happy Passover!) to you and yours. (Don’t forget your Passover staples! While you’re shopping for the ingredients to make your fabulous Vegan seder, pick up your organic Manischewitz Matzo and organic Kedem grape juice.)
Mushroom Cashew Dip (faux chopped liver)
Quinoa Veggie Pilaf
Noodles with Avocado Herb Pesto
Spinach Potato Matzah Gratin
No-Bake Chocolate Macaroons
Sweet Potato Kugel
As St. Paddy’s Day approaches, you might be thinking about how you can get festive, bright green foods on your table (and in the kids’ lunchboxes, etc.) without toxic food dyes (linked to hyperactivity, allergic reactions and tumor growth—and banned in Europe). Here are some fun St. Paddy’s Day alternative snacks, desserts and entrees, using naturally green goodies like spinach, avocado, kale and more (your kids don’t need to know what’s in them!), plus a DIY food dye that can be used in a million creative ways.
Kale Chips with Chile and Lime
Great, Green Potato Skins Appetizer
Vegan Basil-Walnut Pesto
DIY Green food coloring
Traditional soda bread contains just flour, baking soda, salt and buttermilk. Depending on the baker, you’ll find loads of variations on that theme including brown breads, dessert breads, and the classic Irish-American version with raisins and caraway seeds—the one you’ll find in most U.S. bakeries. If you’re a DIY bread maker (and this one is easy…no kneading!), play around with different recipes this St. Paddy’s Day, and see which one you like best. Or come into Rising Tide St. Paddy’s Day week and try ours (we make Irish Soda Bread scones, and they are FANTASTIC).
NY Times Skillet Soda Bread
Irish Brown Bread
Soda Bread with Dark Chocolate and Candied Orange Peel
Gluten-free Irish Soda bread
What is better on a cold winter day than a steaming, comforting, filling hot bowl of SOUP? The only thing better is a soup made from scratch, and being around to enjoy the warm, savory aromas while it cooks.
Let’s clear one thing up from the start: making soup is NOT difficult. Aside from some chopping and stirring, it virtually cooks itself, makes a large quantity, and freezes like a charm.
Start off a meal with a helping of soup and studies show you’ll feel fuller, longer. Make your own stock (so easy!) or bone broth (great for digestion and immunity) and you up the nutrition ante on any recipe you use. (If you don’t have time to make your own, there are some great bone broths at the store, located in the refrigerator case across from the Deli.)
We’ve got a bunch of recipes here for you, but don’t feel like you have to follow them to the letter. The nature of soup is that it is very forgiving. Change nearly all the ingredients and it will still taste wonderful!
A NY Times Guide to Making Soup
10 Bloggers Share Their Favorite Soup Recipes
17 Soups to Make and Eat All Week Long
Jamie Oliver’s Gorgeous Winter Soups
Recipe: Beef Bone Broth
Bon Appetit: Homemade Veggie Stock