Raechal Leone

10 Tasty Ideas for a Picnic and Enjoy a Weekend Snack Outside

The summer weekends when the temperatures are good for us and do not shake us excessively, they are made for picnics and excursions. We like to take out the basket as soon as we have the chance and fill it with delicious food with which to enjoy the weekend snack outdoors. Maybe you don’t have much practice in the matter, but don’t worry because we are going to give you 10 tasty ideas for a picnic, among which you will surely find your better half.

10 Tasty Ideas for a Picnic

Of course you can add to many ideas for a picnic birthday or any other that works for you. The potato omelette , for example, is a great alternative, so is hummus or any other type of dip.

Remember to fill the picnic basket with various drinks, homemade breads and some sweet with which you can kill the bug if you have a sweet tooth. With this you will have more than enough and the rest will be to enjoy the outdoors and the company.

1. Sausage rolls or sausage rolls

  • Ingredients for four people: 12 sausages (pork, chicken, turkey or whatever you prefer), 1 rectangular puff pastry sheet, 1 egg, 1 slice of bread, 1 tablespoon of milk, 1/4 teaspoon of garlic salt, 1/2 teaspoon Provencal herbs, 1 teaspoon Dijon mustard, and sesame seeds (optional).
  • Elaboration:In a deep and wide container, we crumble the sliced ​​bread and moisten it with the milk and half an egg (the other half we reserve to brush the rolls before putting them in the oven). With a fork, we crush the bread. We add the garlic salt, the Provencal herbs and the mustard. Mix until a homogeneous mass. Next, we remove the skin from the sausages and discard it. We crumble the meat with our hands, very clean, removing any remaining fat that we can find. We add the mixture of bread, milk and spices and mix well. I continue to use my hands for this operation because it is faster and better done, but you can always use a fork. We spread the puff pastry sheet and cut it, widthwise, into three equal strips. We divide the sausage filling between the three puff pastry strips, spreading it along the longest end. Brush the opposite end with the reserved egg and roll the puff pastry strips into cylinders. The egg will act as a glue and the rolls will not open when baked. We cut each cylinder into the number of pieces we want (small, if we are going to serve them as an aperitif, or large if we are going to serve them as a plate). We make two diagonal incisions on each of the rolls, brush them with egg and sprinkle them with sesame seeds. We cover a baking tray with parchment paper and place the rolls on it. We introduce the tray in the lower part of the oven, pre-heated to 190 ºC, so that the base is not raw. After 25 minutes, or when they turn golden,

2. Salty tomato tart with cream cheese and mustard

  • Ingredients for four people: 60 g of pastry flour, 30 g of corn flour (not cornstarch), 1/2 teaspoon of salt, 1 pinch of granulated garlic, 55g of cold butter, 1 tablespoon of extra virgin olive oil, 2-3 tablespoons cold water, 4 tablespoons cream cheese, 1 teaspoon Dijon mustard, 1 pinch of hot paprika, oregano, seasonal tomatoes (large and small), 1-2 tablespoons Parmesan cheese, black pepper, salt , extra virgin olive oil.
  • Elaboration:Arrange the flours, salt, granulated garlic, a little black pepper, diced butter and oil in a food processor or food processor. Blend in several short batches until everything is integrated and a fine grainy texture is left. Add the cold water little by little, grinding each time, until we get a dough that we can work with our hands without sticking. Form a homogeneous and smooth disk, wrap in plastic wrap and leave in the refrigerator for at least 30 minutes, better longer if it is very hot. Preheat the oven to 190ºC and prepare a tray. Wash and dry the tomatoes and mix the cream cheese with the mustard, a little paprika, oregano and a dash of pepper in a bowl. Roll out the dough to a thickness of approximately 5 mm, giving it a rounded shape with a rolling pin or with your hands. Work fast so it doesn’t get too hot. Cover with the cream cheese, without reaching the edges, and distribute the tomatoes cut into thin slices on top. Fold the edges over the dough, to slightly cover the filling and tomatoes, and add a little salt, oregano, cheese and a drizzle of oil. Bake for about 25-30 minutes, until the dough is golden. Watch that the tomatoes do not burn, if this happens we can cover the upper part with aluminum foil. If they become too dry, add more cheese halfway through cooking. To make the dough look more beautiful, we can paint the edges with beaten egg or melted butter. to cover a little the filling and tomatoes, and add a little salt, oregano, cheese and a drizzle of oil. Bake for about 25-30 minutes, until the dough is golden brown. Watch that the tomatoes do not burn, if this happens we can cover the upper part with aluminum foil. If they become too dry, add more cheese halfway through cooking. To make the dough look more beautiful, we can paint the edges with beaten egg or melted butter. to cover a little the filling and the tomatoes, and add a little salt, oregano, cheese and a drizzle of oil. Bake for about 25-30 minutes, until the dough is golden brown. Make sure that the tomatoes do not burn, if this happens we can cover the upper part with aluminum foil. If they become too dry, add more cheese halfway through cooking. To make the dough look more beautiful, we can paint the edges with beaten egg or melted butter.

3. Cold round chicken

  • Ingredients for six people: 500 g of chicken breast, 100 g of diced cooked ham, 400 ml of fresh cream for cooking, 2 small spring onions, 1 egg white, 50 g of bread crumbs, 3 tablespoons of tarragon, 1 clove of garlic, 25 g of pistachios, oil, salt and pepper.
  • Elaboration:We start by mincing the chicken very finely with the glass of the blender or a food processor. We also chop the onion and garlic, and crumble the bread. We add it all in a bowl along with the tarragon and the whole pistachios (but without the shell, of course). Season and mix well. The next step is to lightly beat the cream (it can be fresh cream or liquid cream, but with plenty of fat) and bring the egg white to stiff. We add both to the mixture and stir well again. We adjust the salt and pepper again and add a touch of nutmeg or ground ginger, which also gives it a special touch. Now comes the most delicate and cumbersome moment. We have aluminum foil on a tray, we spread it with olive oil, We distribute a little of the chicken mixture that we have prepared and we roll it tightly to make a kind of sausage. We repeat the operation until we run out of mixture (enough for two or three) and bake at 180ºC for an hour. Then we remove from the oven and let it cool for an hour at room temperature, and at least two more in the fridge before serving.

4. Authentic Mexican guacamole

  • Ingredients for a medium bowl: 2 avocados, 1 small tomato, 1/2 onion, 1 jalapeño pepper (optional), 20 fresh coriander leaves, half a lime (your juice) and salt.
  • Elaboration:Chop the onion into fine brunoise. We do the same with the jalapeño pepper, in case we choose to incorporate it into our guacamole. We blanch the tomato, that is, we immerse it in boiling water for 20-30 seconds and cool it in ice water to cut cooking. We peel it, cut it in half, remove the seeds and chop the meat into small cubes or mirepoix. We wash the coriander and separate the leaves from the stems. The latter we discard and we are left with only the leaves. We chop them finely with a sharp knife, sliding the edge over the coriander so that the cut is clean and we do not crush the product. We cut the lime in half and squeeze the juice. Finally, we cut the avocados in half and remove the bones. We take out the meat, place it in a large bowl and mash it with a fork. We add the previous ingredients: the onion, the chili, the tomato, the coriander and the lime. Season to taste and serve with nachos or tortilla chips.

5. Eggs stuffed with tuna

  • Ingredients for 12 units: 6 eggs, 3 cans of tuna in oil, 45 g of mayonnaise sauce, 20 olives stuffed with anchovy and tomato sauce (optional).
  • Preparation: Cook the eggs in boiling water for 10 minutes, after this time we remove them from the water and cool them with cold water. when they are cold we peel them and cut them in two lengthwise. We remove the yolks and reserve one to decorate. We put the rest of the yolks in a bowl and add the tuna, mayonnaise and chopped olives, reserving a few to decorate, mix well. With the help of a spoon, we fill in the egg white halves, giving the filling a rounded shape, we decorate with the reserved olives. Cover the bottom of the serving dish with tomato sauce and place the eggs on top. Crumble the reserved yolk and decorate the dish with it.

6. Fusilli salad with mozzarella and tuna

  • Ingredients: 160 g of fusilli (spirals), 1 can of tuna, 125 g of mozzarella di buffala, 12 cherry tomatoes, 8 basil leaves, 16 pitted black olives, 1 clove of garlic, oil and salt.
  • Preparation: The first step to prepare this fusilli salad with mozzarella and tuna is to cook the pasta. As always, in a pot with boiling salted water, cook the pasta according to the time indicated on the package, in this case, 10 minutes. We drain, wash with cold water and reserve. On the other hand, we cut the cherry tomatoes in half. We also prepare a mash with the minced garlic clove, the basil leaves, a drizzle of olive oil and salt. We mix this mash with the pasta and the cherry tomatoes. Finally, we serve the salad with the diced mozzarella, tuna and black olives.

7. Vegan pate with mushrooms and walnuts

  • Ingredients for six people: 500 g of mushrooms, 3 cloves of garlic, 1 onion, 1 teaspoon of brewer’s yeast, 80 g of peeled walnuts, 1 tablespoon of olive oil, a pinch of salt and a pinch of pepper.
  • Preparation: We start by peeling and cutting the onion and garlic into thin slices. Heat the oil in a pan and brown the onion and garlic over low heat for two minutes. Cut the mushrooms into slices and add to the pan. We keep the heat at medium intensity until the mushrooms take on a toasted tone. We toast the walnuts in the oven at 180ºC for two minutes. In the blender glass, crush and mix the ingredients of the pan with the brewer’s yeast, a pinch of salt and a pinch of pepper. Add the walnuts and continue working in the blender until we obtain a fine and homogeneous cream.

8. Ethiopian Eggplant Dip

  • Ingredients for six people: 2 large aubergines, 1 red (or sweet) onion, 1-2 cloves of garlic, 1 and 1/2 teaspoons of ground turmeric, 1/4 teaspoon of ground cumin, 1-2 tablespoons of natural yogurt, 1 green chili or hot pepper, hot or sweet paprika, black pepper, salt, lemon or lime, fresh coriander or parsley and extra virgin olive oil.
  • Elaboration:Preheat the oven to 220ºC and prepare a tray covering it with aluminum foil, adding a little water. Wash the aubergines well and cut in half lengthwise. Practice a few cuts and place upside down. Bake for about 45-50 minutes, or until very tender. Let cool and remove the meat. Chop the onion and the garlic clove or cloves very finely. Heat a little olive oil in a frying pan and brown the onion with a pinch of salt for about 8 minutes, over medium heat. Add the garlic and cook the whole for a couple of minutes. Add the roast meat of the aubergine, stir well and mash with the spoon. Salt and pepper lightly, add the turmeric and cumin and cook until almost all the water is evaporated from the vegetables. Remove from heat and let cool slightly. Chop in a food processor or with the mixer, adding the yogurt. Blend to taste, leaving it more or less creamy; I like it with a bit of texture. Adjust the salt point and bring to a bowl. Serve with the paprika, chili or chopped green pepper, coriander or parsley, a few drops of lemon or lime juice and a dash of oil.

9. Mediterranean sesame and oregano bread

  • Ingredients to make bread kilo medium: 100 g sourdough , 225 g of flour, 140 g water, 50 g of olive oil extra virgin, 5 g salt, 10 g baker’s yeast, 2 tablespoons seeds sesame and a good handful of oregano.

Note: If you don’t have sourdough, add 65 g of flour and 35 ml of water to the ingredients listed above instead.

  • Elaboration:Dilute the sourdough and yeast in the water and let them dissolve a little until the water is cloudy. Add the flour, salt and olive oil and mix until you get a somewhat sticky dough. Flour the table and lightly knead the ball until it is smooth and manageable. Let it rest for 30 minutes. On a baking tray covered with a parchment paper or a silpat, spread the dough, pressing with your fingers from the inside out as if you were making a pizza base. Leave the edges slightly higher and mark your fingers by squeezing to spread the surface of the bread. Varnish the bread with a few drops of the best extra virgin olive oil you have at home and sprinkle the flatbread with the sesame seeds and some oregano leaves. While you do the whole process, preheat the oven to 250º centigrade, and activate the steam function or put a cup or mug with water in the bottom. Bake the bread for 25 minutes, -the first 10 at 250º and the remaining 15 at 225º. Take out the bread and let it rest for 15 minutes before eating it so that it finishes cooking inside while it cools.

10. Potato and tuna cakes

  • Ingredients for twelve units: 5 medium potatoes, 150 g of tuna crumbs in water, 1 shallot, 1 clove of garlic, 1 egg, 1/2 cup of ground bread, 20 g of butter, salt and ground black pepper.
  • Preparation: Peel the potatoes and cut into eight. We put them to boil in a pot with water and salt for about 25 minutes. When they are ready, we remove them from the water and mash with a fork. We drain the tuna and add it to the mashed potato. Chop the shallot and garlic clove and add it. Finally we add the egg and the breadcrumbs and mix everything well until a homogeneous dough is obtained. We form with our hands some cakes about six or eight centimeters in diameter and place them in a greased baking dish. We put a nut of butter on each cupcake and bake at 180ºC for 25-30 minutes.

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15 Gardening Tips for Beginners

We have all dreamed of having a splendid garden that, in addition to beautifying our home, serves as a refuge when stress overwhelms us. Lack of experience should not discourage us! Gardening is an art that requires dedication and specific knowledge, but can be learned slowly.

Therefore, and with the aim of helping people who have been immersed in this magical world until now, we have decided to compile the following gardening tips for beginners. We hope they will be of great help.

1. First of all, you have to define the end of the garden

A garden can be used to plant flowers of a thousand colors, create appropriate spaces for recreation and grow vegetables. For this reason, from the beginning it is necessary to define the function that it is going to fulfill and clearly delimit the areas destined for each purpose.

That way we will be clear about what we want and it will be much easier for us to visualize how we will build it. If the budget allows it, it is worth hiring the services of a landscaper to help us with the design. Thus, we will obtain a perfect mix between colors, heights and locations.

2. Assess the climate of the area

Before buying the plants, we must know in depth the climatic conditions of the area in which we intend to develop our garden (hot, desert, tropical, humid, cold, etc.). In this way, when visiting the nursery we will be able to choose, with the advice of the professionals of the place, flowers, bushes, herbs and shrubs that will really adapt to the climate in which they will be planted.

In this regard, we cannot ignore the so-called microclimates, which refer to the specific climate of much smaller areas. For example, the microclimate of a place that receives sun all day is not the same as that under a leafy tree.

3. Take into account the light intensity

All plants require light to live, although in different amounts and intensities. For example, even if the label of a certain bush says it is for outdoor use, it may not withstand direct exposure to sunlight for a long time, or it may only support diffused sunlight, as is the case with orchids.

For this reason, before planting any plant, we must read the instructions in this regard well or request advice from the nursery where we buy them. Thus, we guarantee your location in the perfect place.

4. Evaluate the substrate or terrain

There are plants that require more sandy and drained soils to live, such as cacti; others, like heliconia, prefer more clayey and humid soils. That is to say: each type needs a specific substrate.

Consequently, before sowing we must know the type of land in our garden and cover it with organic compost. In this way, we fertilize naturally and promote biological activity in the soil, obtaining healthier plants as a result. The same logic applies to the bushes we plant in pots.

5. Water the plants at the correct frequency

Most beginning gardeners believe that the more water they apply to their plants the faster and healthier they will grow. Big mistake. Not all plants need the same amount of water to live.

Usually, outdoor plants should be watered at least once a week, but the cycle can vary depending on the species, weather conditions and evaporation levels in the area where we have the garden. Therefore, it is wise to seek the best advice in this regard at your nearest store with a gardening associate.

In any case, let us remember that the irrigation is done on the ground and not directly on the leaves or flowers of the plants. That makes them prone to pests and rot.

6. Proper fertilization

Another common mistake made by beginners is fertilizing plants just arrived from the nursery. There is no need for it. These are usually already well fertilized. The prudent thing is to wait for them to stabilize and adapt to their new home, or to wait for the first pot transplant.

Otherwise each plant needs different types of fertilizers.

7. Frequent pruning

If we want to see our plants healthy, we have to prune them with a certain frequency to eliminate the elements that prevent the passage of sunlight to the entire garden or affect their normal development (damaged flowers, rotten fruits or dry, broken and diseased branches).

Let’s not forget that specific pruning varies from one species to another; therefore, we must inform ourselves about it.

8. Acquire the basic tools

Part of being a good gardener is to acquire and properly select the tools and utensils to take care of our garden, some of the basic utensils that we must have are:

  • Shovel (various sizes for different types of garden and pots)
  • Rake
  • Pruners and brushcutters
  • Gardening scissors
  • Cut branches
  • An irrigation hose and sprinklers
  • Pots and containers
  • Gloves
  • Workwear

With these tools and utensils we can perform the basic gardening tasks, typical of those who until now are starting in this art. Over time our knowledge will increase, along with our equipment needs.

9. Take into account the height of the plants

When sowing our plants we must bear in mind the height of each one of them, so that when the taller ones grow they do not deprive the smallest of light, causing them to die. Or on the contrary, planting without considering the excess of sun for some.

10. Seed storage

One of the best gardening tricks is to store seeds, stems, and more in clean jars and dry places. This way we prevent them from germinating on their own.

11. Allow insects to live in the garden

Not all insects are harmful. Some, like bees and butterflies, pollinate flowers; others can be harmful if they are presented too much.

In the same way, worms, although they are not properly insects, provide nutrients to the earth through their excrement, aerate the soil and control its PH.

In that sense there are many more animals that are beneficial for our garden. We must ensure that they are preserved.

12. Watch out for the roots

There are plants whose roots can spread through the ground, preventing the growth of those that are next to them and even affecting the walls. The most prudent thing is to plant them in containers or in remote places where they will not cause any damage.

13. Care when transplanting

Many garden beginners make a serious mistake when transplanting newly purchased plants. These usually come in a pot. The inexperienced gardener simply takes them out of there and immediately introduces them into the previously dug hole. This can cause the roots to roll into each other and not expand, leading to rotting from watering.

The ideal when transplanting them is to take the roots, very carefully, from the inside out until they take their natural place. This step is essential, especially in cases where the plant has been in a pot for too long.

14. Beware of pests

It is important to periodically inspect the leaves and stems of plants for harmful parasites or fungi. In case of detecting them, we must cut the affected parts and burn them or discard them in closed containers to be removed by the relevant body. If the problem persists, we have no other solution than to immediately apply a specialized product , preferably natural or recommended by an expert in the field.

15. Keep an agenda of the plants

Once the garden has been planted, it is important to consolidate in a single agenda a list of the plants we have, noting their flowering, fertilizing, pruning and other important information for their maintenance.

These 15 gardening tips for beginners will help you get started in this beautiful art. Ideally, of course, we should start studying all we can about gardening and botany, in order to add theoretical knowledge to practice and become experts in the field.

To complete the ideal garden, it is recommended to review the accessories to the garden fauna, that is, the special outdoor furniture or the barbecues. Another example is lighting that helps our garden look just as impressive day and night.