Sunday, June 12, 2011

Packin' a Picnic

Yay, it's summer! I'm officially out of work (as in, the school year is done and my job has ended), and my first week off has been FAN-FLIPPIN'-TASTIC. Oh man. I know I should be stressed being unemployed and all, but, um, I'm not. I'm too bitter about the teaching market right now to be upset (plus we have $ to get through the summer, which also helps with the stress). So instead I'm going to enjoy my summer (while job-hunting, naturally), and take advantage of the time to just enjoy my life and improve it where needed.

Of course, while we're financially secure through the summer, that doesn't mean we can go crazy when it comes to entertainment. So The Hubs and I are trying to find as much free/cheap entertainment as possible. LUCKILY, we live in the suburbs of a decently-sized city, so there are some decent options that we can do on the cheap.

This week, I checked the local park districts websites to see if there were any good free options coming up. Turns out, a nearby park was putting on a free concert, so I thought it'd be fun to pack a picnic and watch the show! The Hubs agreed once I figured out a tasty menu. ;D

The fun part for me was dining al fresco and packing my first ever picnic! (Not going on my first picnic, my first time MAKING the picnic.) The concert ended up being ok; we only stayed about 1.5 hours because sitting on the ground made our backs hurt. We'll need to invest in some folding lawn chairs.

Food all packed and ready to go! (The basket: Free! A student used it and never picked it up, haha - I gave him the whole school year!)

The menu (of DELICIOUSNESS): Roast Beef wraps, Pasta Salad (recipe below), Strawberries, Blondies. I also pulled a total "college"-style move to sneak in booze by drinking part of a bottle of cranberry juice and filling it back up with vodka. Hehe. (Turns out there was no need to hide it, there were people drinking wine and beer all over the park!)

The band, called "Lucky Dogs". They played mainly classic rock covers, which was nice.

Kids dancing and enjoying the show

It was a really nice night, and a great park! I'm going to keep my eye on the park's website in hopes they'll be putting on more evening events!

Oh, and the pasta salad was homemade, here's the super-easy recipe: Boil 12 oz. of spiral pasta, drain and rinse until cool. Chop up some salami (the stick, not the slices) and mozzarella stick cheese into bite-size pieces (I used two sticks and about 4 oz of the salami). Add whatever veggies float your boat (I used canned artichoke hearts, quartered, and sliced black olives - drained both before adding). Mix in 1 cup of Italian dressing (I used store-brand "Zesty Italian", and it was DELISH). Let it chill in fridge for at least 4 hours! It was REALLY tasty.

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