Saturday, April 11, 2015

Picnic Premier

After a week of spring rains, a weekend of sunshine was our invitation to take the picnic basket out of the closet!  West Virginia has endless pretty locations, so our selection for a  dining location depended solely on our hunger.

We found a perfect spot, on a table in the sun, on the backwaters of Summersville Lake.

Last night a made a pot of chicken vegetable soup, then reheated this am before sealing it in a warmed thermos.  The homemade soup was complemented with the spinach feta bread I purchased at the local bakery.

Chicken Vegetable Soup

(Serves 6)

Saute chicken in olive oil with onion, celery and carrots for 5 minutes.
1 6 ounce chicken breast, diced
1/4 cup onion, diced
1 celery rib with leaves, diced
1 carrot, peeled and diced
1 teaspoon olive oil

Add garlic and pepper.  Saute 2 minutes.
1 garlic clove, minced
2 mini sweet peppers, diced

Add broth, squash and potatoes.
2 cups low sodium chicken broth
1 1/2 cups squash (I used yellow and zucchini squash), diced
4 small potatoes, diced
Bring to a simmer.

Stir in tomatoes, water and chickpeas.  
1 16 ounce can no added salt diced tomatoes
2 cups water
1 cup garbanzo beans (I used the frozen, cooked without salt Hanover brand)
Season with thyme, Mrs. Dash and fresh ground pepper.

Cover and simmer until potatoes are done, about 45 minutes.

I also added a little fresh spinach at the end!

I made the poached pears last night and served cold today.  They are very good warm too!
The topping is Greek yogurt with a little honey.  I brought the whole nutmeg and my mini grater to add the perfect touch!

Poached Pears with Dried Apricots

(Serves 2)

Bring apple jack and anise stars to a boil in a saucepan.
1 cup apple jack  (the recipe called for apple cider and spices.   Since cider is not available in the stores now, I used my son's apple jack!)
2 anise stars

Reduce heat, add pears and apricots.
2 fresh pears, peeled, cored and halved
5 dried apricots, diced
Simmer for 20 minutes.

We always take a thermos of coffee and enjoyed our first cup on the picnic, but saved the second cup for our adventure after at
   another perfect spot by the New River!

This food tradition will bring many nostalgic memories! 


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