Lemonade, fireflies and relaxing in the sun. That's what summer is made of. Try these easy steps for a carefree picnic in your own backyard, by a lake or at a park.
Styled and Written by Heather Winkel
Photographed by Dev Hanumara
1. Create a custom picnic blanket from a paint drop cloth. Lay a plastic-lined drop cloth (available at hardware stores) flat, cloth side up. Tape off a stripe design with blue painter's tape. Use a small roller to paint stripes, let the paint dry and apply a second coat. When dry, remove painter's tape. Voilà! You have a custom-designed picnic blanket.
2. Pack complete meals in cute boxes before leaving the house. Once you get to your picnic destination, give each guest a box. No setup, no cleanup.
3. Serve watermelon lemonade (recipe below) in mason jars and garnish with skewered watermelon stars. Cut a thin slice of watermelon, and use a small star cookie cutter to make shapes. Skewer stars onto striped straws and serve.
4. Cover condiments with cupcake liners. Flatten cupcake liners. Place them on top of containers, and then crease and fold them down and secure with rubber bands to keep condiments safe from bugs.
5. Make paper napkins fancy with buckle napkin rings. Pick up a pack of D-rings and a spool of proportionally sized ribbon from your local craft store. Measure enough ribbon to go around your napkin, and loop one end around the flat side of a D-ring. Sew or glue ribbon in place, and then string a second D-ring onto the ribbon. Belt the napkin.
6 cups 1-inch cubes seedless watermelon (from about a 5-pound melon)
1 (10 ounce) bottle 365 Everyday Value® Organic Lemon Juice
6 cups water
3/4 cup cane sugar
Mint sprigs, for garnish
1. Working in batches as necessary, purée watermelon and lemon juice in blender until smooth; transfer to a large container.
2. Add water and sugar; stir until dissolved.
3. Pour over ice in tall glasses, garnish with mint and thin slices of watermelon, if desired, and serve.
Per Serving: 60 calories (0 from fat), 0g total fat, 0g saturated fat, 0mg cholesterol, 0mg sodium, 15g carbohydrate (0g dietary fiber, 13g sugar), 0g protein
Recipe courtesy of Whole Foods
FIVE FAVORITE PICNIC SPOTS FROM THE INSPIRED HOME OMAHA TEAM:
1. Lewis & Clark Monument and Scenic Overlook
19962 Monument Road, Council Bluffs
Winding, narrow road to expansive view of downtown Omaha and the Missouri River Valley.
2. Glenn Cunningham Lake
8305 Rainwood Road
Marina with lighthouse replica; water activities (sailboating, windsurfing, fishing); picturesque sunset views.
3. Lake Manawa State Park
1100 S. Shore Drive, Council Bluffs
Mature trees, ample shade; water activities (boating, swimming, fishing).
4. Schramm Park State Recreation Area
21502 W. Nebraska Highway 31, Gretna
New children's playground; fish hatchery boardwalk; ducks and geese in ponds; vistas of Platte River Valley.
5. Tom Hanafan River's Edge Park
Accessible from both the Omaha side and the Bluffs side of the Bob Kerrey Pedestrian Bridge. Lush green Great Lawn; “Rays” interactive light shows (three and six minutes each, twice per hour after dark); view of Omaha skyline.
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