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Now that summer is here we are looking forward to spending more time outside, entertaining the kids, and keeping cool. This past weekend it was in the upper 80s and 90s here in Colorado and the last thing that we wanted to do was heat up the house more by cooking inside. Eating out is an option, but it gets so expensive. That’s when I decided that we were going to have a fun picnic in the backyard! We had all of the comforts of home but the fun of eating outside. Since we waited until early evening the shade had already covered the yard so it was almost cooler outside than it was in the house. It was perfect and my four-year-old was so excited that when he came to Walmart with me for some last minute picnic essentials he told everyone he saw that we were having a “picmic”.
We went all out to have a real picnic even though we were only going right out the back door. We brought our blanket, a picnic basket full of fresh homemade salads and some sandwiches from Walmart, a bucket of ice cold Coke and Sprite, and a clipboard with a backyard scavenger hunt for Dub.
We also picked up some take and bake pizzas while we were at Walmart and added our own toppings. For the kids we got a pepperoni pizza and added some green peppers and put it on the grill. Yes, we put it on the grill. We are from Connecticut and New Haven pizza is the best pizza you will ever eat. Now that we’re in Colorado we try to recreate it as best we can and in order to get that open flame brick oven feel, the grill over indirect heat is definitely the way to go!
For the adults, we picked up a four cheese pizza and when we got home we topped it with green peppers, sliced fresh tomato, red onion, and artichoke hearts. Looks pretty tasty, doesn’t it?
The bonus to having a picnic in the backyard is that you can have a more creative meal. No one would bring a pizza along to a picnic in the park, but when you’re in your own backyard it’s effortless and delicious.
Served with a nice fresh fruit salad and a homemade antipasto salad, it was light meal perfect for the summer heat.
To cool off I made some mango cream popsicles for dessert to round off our meal. It was the perfect summer picnic with all of the comforts of home that I think will end up being a regular activity for us. Dub especially had so much fun eating outside.
Mango Cream Popsicles
- 2 cups mango peeled and diced (about 2 mangoes)
- 1 cup Cool Whip
- 1 cup vanilla almond milk
- a pinch of cinnamon optional
- Cut the flesh of the mango away from the pit and peel the skin. (I like to do this by scopping the flesh out of the skin with a spoon), then dice.
- Add mango, Cool Whip, almond milk, and cinnamon (if desired) to our blender and blend until smooth.
- Pour puree into popsicle molds and let freeze for 5 hours or overnight.
Popsicle molds vary in size but this recipe made 6 popsicles in my molds.
I would love to hear about your favorite tip for an effortless summer meal. What would you bring to a backyard picnic?
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