Easter Picnic

Every Easter Dallas has a Pet Parade and holiday music in Lee Park.  Lee Park is off Turtle Creek Boulevard. It is a very pretty area with azaleas in bloom this time of year.

For the last 25 or so years, short a few, I have spent part of my Easter with friends either watching the parade or having a picnic there while the symphony plays.

Last night a friend and I decided to head to the pet parade today. I thought it would be nice to put together a simple picnic lunch for us while we watched the activities. I ran to the store and picked up a few ingredients and today we had an enjoyable Easter people and pet watching and picnicking in the park.

Here is the meal I put together:

Easter Picnic

Martinelli’s Sparkling Apple Cranberry Juice


Mediterranean Stuffed Bread
1 loaf Kalamata olive bread (Rosemary or Sourdough bread would be excellent too!)
1 jar roasted red peppers or fresh red peppers roasted and skinned
6 slices mozzarella cheese
3 roma tomatoes, deseeded and chopped
4 thick slices cucumber seeded, chopped and squeezed dry
2 tablespoons  each Fresh parsley, fresh mint chopped
2 teaspoons fresh thyme stripped from the bark and chopped
1/8 teaspoon herbs de provence (optional)
1 tablespoon capers drained
Olive oil to brush on the bread (about 1 tbl)
1 garlic clove cut in half
Juice of 1 lemon
1 tablespoon olive oil
2 teaspoons creamy French mustard (French basil mustard is great)
Dash of garlic powder or minced garlic to taste
Salt and Pepper to taste
Crumbled feta or goat cheese to taste

Cut  top 1/3 of bread off horizontally. Scoop out bottom reserving about ½ inch of the shell. Brush the interior with olive oil and rub with cut garlic.

Make dressing: Mix lemon juice, remaining olive oil, mustard and garlic powder in a small bowl.

Mix chopped tomatoes, cucumber, herbs, capers with salt and pepper to taste. Add enough dressing to moisten.

Layer the hollowed out bread with roasted pepper, tomato mixture, slices of mozzarella, continuing layering ending with the cheese.   If desired you can sprinkle a little crumbled feta or goat cheese on top.

Replace the top piece of bread. Wrap bread tightly in aluminum foil and refrigerate with a heavy plate on top to weight it down. Refrigerate overnight. When ready to eat, slice in serving size pieces and serve with a little extra dressing on the side. Enjoy.
Note: If you can get a round loaf of bread you can cut the pieces in wedges. Mine was oval so I sliced it.


Clean and stem 1 container of strawberries and place in a pretty clear, covered bowl.


Flourless Chocolate Chip Chickpea Blondies with Sea Salt

Garbanzo beans add rich texture and protein to these flourless, gluten-free, vegan bars without impacting the chocolatey almond-butter goodness.
  • Cooking spray
  • 1 can (15 ounces) chickpeas, rinsed and drained
  • 1/2 cup almond or peanut butter  ( used ¼ cup of each)
  • 1/3 cup pure maple syrup or agave (honey can used too but it isn’t vegan. I used a blend of agave and honey)
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/3 cup plus 2 tablespoons vegan (or regular) chocolate chips, divide
I used regular Ghiradelli semi-sweet chips and a few white chocolate chips on top.
  • Sea salt
1.      Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Spray an 8-inch square baking pan with cooking spray.
2. In a food processor, pulse chickpeas, nut butter, sweetener, vanilla, salt, baking powder, and baking soda until smooth. Fold in 1/3 cup chocolate chips. Spread batter evenly in prepared pan and sprinkle with remaining 2 tablespoons chocolate chips. Bake for 20 to 25 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean and edges are slightly brown. Cool pan for 20 minutes on a wire rack. Sprinkle with sea salt before serving. Cut in serving size pieces.
Refrigerate then wrap in foil to bring to the picnic.
Dessert Recipe provided by Monique Volz of AmbitiousKitchen.com