The same bottle of Spanish rosé. A similar spread. A different location but a similar depth of conversation. A rosy reminder to enjoy each season's backdrop whether it be sand so hot it burns your heels or the crisp crunch of falling leaves.
The advantage of this vegan menu for a beach picnic is you don't have to fear mayo or meat spoilage in the heat. Beach eating aside, both of these recipes are great to make at the beginning of the week and reinvent for different meals. Try the curried cauliflower as a gluten-free grain bowl with wild rice or quinoa, or serve it over hearty greens like kale.
I've recently been sipping the Koolaid of author Laura Vanderkam, a time/productivity expert. Thanks to Vanderkam, I've been planning my weekends to make the most of my free time (like this brunch) and chipping away at my "100 Dreams List," which included this flea market picnic.
Pittsburgh's Washington's Landing is largely a quiet place with the occasional rower skimming the Allegheny River or a runner looping over the landscaped trail. Once an industrial brownfield, it's now a small haven that boasts the brightest autumnal palette (and a connection to George Washington himself). In short, it's an ideal spot for a picnic, and fall picnics call for thermoses of piping hot Curry Pumpkin Soup!
As much as I love picnic adventures with friends, the kind that extend long into the day, there's something refreshing and calming about slipping away for a picnic for one. It's nourishing for our bodies and mind, so on that note, here are some of my tips for taking yourself on a healthyish picnic for one.
This summer blueberry salad recipe takes advantage of seasonal greens for a simple and refreshing mix that transports well for picnic adventures. "I've been standing on the edge of the…
The creeping vine has begun to reveal a bright, blazing red. The blankets linger on the couch in the darkness of the mornings, tossed aside after cuddling in the evening’s chill. Soups and ciders have begun to be appealing again, and the bed has doubled with the thickness of comforters and quilts. It’s fall, but my mind keeps wandering back to the day I played hooky and soaked up the last bit of summer.
When I think back to that day of lounging aimlessly on the shores of Lake Erie, my skin feels warmer. The intense sunlight renders my skin golden, and I brace myself for the stark contrast of the water, an instant chill surmounted only by a quick submersion.
They say “when it rains, it pours,” but in my freelance world lately, “when it rains, it tsunamis” feels more accurate. The beginning of September was the equivalent of hiking to a cliff and seeing a vast, new territory of hurdles and challenges in the distance. As I stared into an overwhelming work load, I did a rare thing- I retreated. I took a day off, and I’ve been trying to channel a bit of that blessed hooky day ever since.
Lake Erie had shamefully been unchecked on my summer bucket list for more than one season. Finally, with fall and work looming, I recruited my partner in bucket list adventures for a day of soft sand, intense sun, a picnic lunch, sneaky whiskey and the type of water antics that leave you coughing and snorting and feeling like a child who just plunged off the diving board.
The picnic menu, like the day itself, was another attempt to soak up the end of summer and put a dent in the pile of harvested zucchinis.
When I finally returned to that precipice, to face the looming projects and more intense work load on the horizon, I tried to embrace the work with gratitude. Though not always successful and definitely guilty of an ugly meltdown, I tried to enjoy the pouring rain of projects. In case I forgot and let my mind slip into stress/frenzy mode, I attached a sticky note reminder near my desk. “Commit to creating joyfully, not stressfully,” wise words from the ever strategic Marie Forleo.
It’d be great if my life included A LOT more beachy days with best friends and wholesome picnics, and part of me will strive for more of those, but more importantly, I’m striving to take that beach day’s in-the-moment-happy vibe with me in my work. I like what I do, and even if I’d like a little more space between projects, I’m still grateful for the spike.
Here’s to sharing summer recipes well into fall, to holding on tightly to hooky days, to picnics with friends and to creating joyfully because it really could be so much worse.
Vietnamese Zoodle Salad with Fragrant Herbs & Peanuts & Zucchini Bánh Mì
About These Recipes: Ideal for that end of summer zucchini pile, these recipes are loose and easily adaptable. Omit the fish sauce in the Zoodle Salad and a vegan mayo in the sandwich for a vegan picnic spread.