Dine Outdoors with Your Date
The cherry blossoms are here! Spring weather is upon us, which means it’s time to take your dates outdoors to enjoy the sun and nice temperatures. A classic, timeless date idea is to take your partner on a picnic. Although the scenery may be beautiful, be sure to pack the right meal for your date.
If you feel like grabbing your picnic early in the morning or around brunch time, bring some delicious breakfast foods that will keep well and not make a mess on your date’s shirt. Muffins are great for picnics as they do not make a mess, and most people love the sweet breakfast pastries. Try a low-sugar, high-fiber muffin such as bran or apple. If you want to bring yogurt or milk to pair with cereal or granola, be sure to pack them in an insulated container with ice.
Mini quiches are a great addition to an outdoor breakfast. They do not take a lot of skill or time to make and can be served cold or warm. Whip out some fresh fruit, orange juice and instant coffee and tea and you have a well-rounded breakfast that you can enjoy easily while sitting on the grass.
For lunchtime picnic dates, sandwiches are a staple. Tiny sandwiches — think tea time — are a cute way to serve simple sandwiches. Traditional cucumber sandwiches are delicious and look very attractive. If you would like to serve something a little heartier, go for ham and cheese or mozzarella, tomato and basil sandwiches. You can also use cookie cutters to make sandwiches into little, memorable shapes.
Pair the tiny sandwiches with chips or dehydrated fruits and a side salad. For dessert, pack some cake pops or chocolate chip cookies. Iced tea and juice can be kept cool in an insulated thermos.
If you are preparing for a romantic evening picnic dinner, step up your game by serving your date a three-course meal. Start the evening off with bruschetta, soft cheeses and crackers, or hummus and pita. Bring plenty of napkins for this!
Sushi makes a great entrée as you can eat it with your hand or chopsticks and is neatly packaged when bought in-store or as take-out. However, do not bring sushi for your first date unless you have cleared it with him or her. If sushi is not your thing, shrimp with cocktail sauce is a great alternative. Make sure you pack the shrimp and cocktail sauce in an air-tight container with ice so that the rest of your food doesn’t smell fishy.
If seafood is a no-go, try bringing fun items on skewers such as ham, mozzarella, cherry tomatoes or cold chicken. This will make eating each item a lot of fun. You can also make mini pizzas or quesadillas and customize them to fit his or her taste.
Finally, top off the dinner with an adorable, tiny dessert such as lemon bars, mini-brownies or shortbread cookies. You’ll receive extra points if you are able to make them heart-shaped.
Whether at the Tidal Basin, Georgetown Waterfront or in the trendy Capital Riverfront, there are many great places in D.C. to dine outdoors. Make sure that you plan ahead and bring all the necessary items: a blanket, silverware, ice pack and condiments. With some great meals and careful planning, you will have a great outdoor date.