When someone mentions the word "picnic", what food comes to mind? What's your go-to dish or treat? But for that matter... do you actually go on picnics?
Defining the word, pictures of tree shaded grass covered with checkered cloths topped with lovely wicker baskets flash across my mind. Opening the basket I see sandwiches, apples, pesto pasta salad, sparkling waters, and of course cookies.
However, I've never actually experienced this vision. And frankly, I don't know that I've ever actually been on a real "picnic" per se. Now, I have been to the park when the kids were little, and we sat on a towel in the sand and had goldfish, juice boxes and of course those cookies. I've been to dance competitions where we sit in crowded dressing rooms and try to fuel the girls with healthy options between dance number. And of course, those cookies are there to provide a quick burst of energy. And I've been to Jazz in the Park. This one had that grassy field, but we went more of a wine and appetizer direction with of course... the cookies.
Hence, this month's Blogger Clue theme of "Picnic" obviously needs to be cookies. And the amazing Azmina, of Lawyer Loves Lunch, brought a number of options.
Hailing from my old stomping grounds, the Bay Area (the San Francisco Bay, that is), Azmina is a true gem. Not only does she manage a lawyer job in addition to raising a family (she has the most adorable wee-ones, a boy and a girl) and writing a food blog, but she does it all with love and compassion, and her humor has us laughing with her along the way.
Seriously, finding a recipe on her blog took me days simply because I kept getting caught up in stories and identifying with most everything she said (Mom Glasses.... LOL!).
I have to admit I've actually made three of her recipes in the past few weeks. The Coffeehouse Blueberry Lemon Bars made use of some of the fresh, organic berries we found last week and proved to be equally as good for dinner as they did for breakfast or lunch. However my friend Christiane, The Mom Chef from Taking on Magazines, made these last month (read about Azmina's stint as a Master Chef contestant on that post) and I figured I'd better move on.
|Recipe to follow for these guys... Let just say that when you turn you back only to find one left when you return, you know you have a hit on your hands.|
And lastly, those cookies. The epitome of picnic food, Thomas Keller's Chocolate Chip Cookies proved to be another keeper chocolate chip recipe to add to my repertoire.
Slightly crispy on the bottom, but soft on the top, they also passed Liv's ever so stringent "cookie dough test" with flying colors. Personally, I love the chopped chocolates in place of chips as we get big chunks of gooey chocolate in every bite.
And now for the picnic. With California's drought pushing our water limits to the max, green grass is sometimes hard to find (I hear "brown is the new green"...). And with kids schedules taking me all over the state (the time eases up a bit as they get older Azmina, but they do keep stretching you - just in new directions!) in the next few days, the pure "time" requirement for a picnic is not to be found.
But... if you are reading this on posting day you will find me in the car heading for Santa Barbara to bring my baby home from his first year in college. My heart swells just knowing my whole family will be under the same roof by bedtime tonight, and my boy will be all mine again if only for a few weeks.
And our drive simply calls for cookies! Thanks Azmina for providing the perfect welcome home recipe for our picnic in the car. And perhaps we'll spot some green grass along the way...
Thomas Keller's Chocolate Chip Cookies
Tender yet slightly crispy on the bottom, these cookies are the perfect picnic fare. Note Liv also gave them glowing remarks in the cookie dough category!
Usually I post a recipe in full when I write about it... but I made these cookies exactly as written on Azmina's blog. And while the cookies are one you need in your repertoire, it's her story that really touched my heart and let me see into hers. Head on over to Lawer Loves Lunch and take just a moment to restore your faith in humanity. And then have a cookie.
Chocolate Chip Cookie Recipe ⬅ (Click for recipe!)
Now let's see what everyone else brought to the picnic!!
- (Almost) Nancy's Chopped Salad w/ Oregano Vinaigrette by Heather from girlichef
- Apple Chips by Lauren from Sew You Think You Can Cook
- Barbecue Chicken Salad w/ Smoky Barbecue Vinaigrette by Kate from Kate's Kitchen
- California Quinoa Greek Salad by Christiane from Taking on Magazines
- Carrot Cake Cookies by Kathy from Bakeaway with Me
- Chicken Salad w/ Peanut Dressing by Azmina from Lawyer Loves Lunch
- Chicken Waldorf Salad by Aly from Cooking in Stilettos
- Duck with Pear Wraps + Limeade with Chia Seeds by Kelli from Kelli's Kitchen
- Fried Apple Pies by Liz from That Skinny Chick Can Bake
- Green Bean & Corn Salad by Alice from A Mama, Baby and Shar-pei in the Kitchen
- Loaded Baked Potato Salad by Lea Ann from Cooking on the Ranch
- Oatmeal Peanut Butter Date Cookies by Rebekah from Making Miracles
- Olive Sables by Lisa from Authentic Suburban Gourmet
- Puff Pastry Antipasto Squares by Anna from annaDishes
- Smoky Pimento Cheese Spread by Debra from Eliot's Eats
- Sweet and Spicy Barbecue Baked Beans + Chickenburger Roll-in-a-Basket by Kathy from A Spoonful of Thyme
- Thomas Keller's Chocolate Chip Cookies by Kim from Liv Life
- Tuscan Bean Salad by Stacy from Food Lust People Love
- Watermelon Feta Salad by Jean from Lemons and Anchovies
- White Bean, Bacon and Rosemary Salad by Wendy from A Day in the Life on the Farm
- Christy from Confessions of a Culinary Diva