While some girls day dream about weddings, prom nights and things like that, I’ve always had this vision of going on an old-fashioned, bring your blankets and pillows, make-it-special kind of picnic. This photo shoot I was able to have with my good friend and professional photographer, Angela Lilyquist (Angela Lilyquist Photography), is the closest I’ve come so far. It was a gorgeous evening, the kids behaved (mostly) and had a great time (check out the gallery at the bottom of this post for the really fun shots Angela was able to capture!). The only step up from this picnic for me will be the one someday where I get to go really old-school and get some more blankets, pillows, tents, etc. and wear a pretty dress and sun hat. When that day comes I know I’ll want Angela there to capture the memories in action because I don’t know anyone better at that type of photography!
We decided to put this picnic together for our kids at the last minute. My three you’ll recognize as the ones in the middle – doesn’t Kayla look like she’s holding court? The other two boys are Aidan’s best friends – we call them the three musketeers – not a particularly original name, but nicer than calling them the three stooges… which, again, check that gallery at the bottom and perhaps this evening that would have been more appropriate!) 😉
I love Angela as a friend, but I have to tell you, the main reason I love her photography is because she goes out of her way to not only get great pictures of your family, but she helps create an experience that captures the memories of your kids that you really want… those moments of magic when they are being themselves and it just shines through.
I was invited to appear for a cooking segment on KSL Studio 5 today to make an updated version of an old-fashioned recipe that would be perfect at any picnic or bbq gatherings this coming holiday weekend or throughout the summer!
The recipes is one that is rather ubiquitous in that it goes by many names and there are many arguments about what is traditional and what is not. Bottom line, I couldn’t find a definitive answer and I’m not that worried about it. Some call this Ambrosia, some will tell you it’s not. Some call it Frog Eye Salad, some call it Acini di Pepe Salad.
Since I’m partial to the name Ambrosia, that’s what we’ve got here… only modern and fresh! Really fresh. Not just a recipe that says ‘FRESH!’ and then tells you to crack open a bunch of cans of fruit. (Perhaps there should be a ‘no canned fruit was harmed in the making of this salad’ disclaimer here… but then I’d have to include a ‘only real, fresh fruit was used’ disclaimer as well. The disclaimers could just snowball from there, so let’s just leave it at when I say FRESH! I actually mean FRESH!!
The original salad involves tiny pasta (Acini di Pepe – but you could use tiny stars, or even alphabet pasta), canned pineapple and coconut. Traditionally from several recipes I’ve seen at this point you would add canned mandarin oranges, and maraschino cherries.
For this updated version we decided to use only fresh fruits and to punch up the colors a bit and have some fun with it. We decided to ditch the canned oranges all together (but you could use fresh citrus too, I just chose to take a tropical approach.
For the updated version I’ll be showing on TV today we used pineapple, mango, bananas hit with a little fresh lime juice, flaked coconut, kiwi for some pretty color and some of the first red cherries of the season (you could easily swap out strawberries or raspberries too!). The creamy part of this salad traditionally comes from whipped cream and sometimes a pudding, but with a whole lot of sugar in it!
We wanted to make this recipe a bit more health friendly while we were at it too, so we’ve replaced all that refined sugar with more fresh fruit, greek yogurt for creaminess, and a quick vanilla bean and cinnamon pudding made from coconut milk. You could still use regular milk if you prefer, it would work the same. I just liked the idea of continuing that tropical theme throughout.
I’ve been making a slightly different version of this recipe for a couple of years now and it always gets rave reviews. I hope if you give it a try to let me know what you think!
After I’ve done the show I’ll do another post linking up to the recipe and will also be sharing the recipe for that Fresh Cherry Limeade – another family favorites of ours!
Ahhhh…. pretty, pretty picnic. That picture just makes me happy!
My sweet baby K has never looked so stinkin’ cute! She LOVED exploring at the picnic!
He’s so deceptive when he is looking calm, and nice and sweet!
Yeah. That’s Aidan for you. Bright blue socks, blowing bubbles in the cherry limeade.
Good times. Good times. I’ll be back with more recipes after I take this show on the road, or technically, after I take the road to the show this morning….
more recipes to come