picnic sandwiches

i would have a hard time believing it was already almost june if it wasn't for the weather we've been having in seattle! this past month has flown by, faster than any other month for me this year. work & life got busy and the steady sunshine has drawn me outdoors at every free opportunity. so the blog has been fairly quite the past few weeks. over the holiday weekend we travelled back up to squamish, that magical forest i wrote about it my last blog post. we stayed in an awesome big house with 6 other climber friends, bouldered each day and gathered together for big family style dinners each night. on the way home, we stopped in vancouver and filled our bellies with an incredible korean feast unlike anything i've ever experienced. it was a much needed mini-vacation. 

after another busy week, i needed something else to look forward to. lots of friends had gone away for the 3 day weekend last week, so i thought maybe folks would be sticking around in town this weekend. the forecast showed warm sunny weather, so i planned a last-minute picnic party. i gathered my picnic blanket, made some fancy cucumber sandwiches and discrete beverages to share and plopped myself under a giant watermelon balloon at gasworks park so that my friends could spot me amongst the swarm of sun bathers, picnic-ers, ball player, acrobats and partiers at the park. it was a fabulous day of relaxing in the sun, people watching and enjoy the view of lake union with some of my favorite people.

picnic sandwiches ~ 8-10 snack-size sandwiches
1 large french baguette
2 avocados
1 tablespoon lemon juice
1 small english cucumber, thinly sliced
8 oz sheep milk feta cheese, thinly sliced
1/2 head of lettuce, cleaned and dried
1/2 cup pesto (store bought or for homemade see recipe below)

peel, pit and smash avocado with lemon juice, so that it does not brown while en route to your picnic. slice baguette in half and spread 1/4 cup of pesto on each side. layer bottom half of baguette with smashed avocado, cucumber, cheese and a couple layers of lettuce leaves. close up your giant sandwich and slice into mini 2-inch sandwiches. wrap with parchment paper and tie closed with kitchen twine and keep chilled until ready to serve. alternatively, you could wrap the whole sandwich in foil and bring along a bread knife and cutting board to your picnic to serve sandwiches.

arugula & pepita seed pesto
2 cups arugula (or another herb)
1/2 cup toasted pepita seeds (or hemp seeds, or another nut)
1/2 cup shaved parmesan
2 small cloves garlic
salt & pepper
1/2 cup or so olive oil

pulse all ingredients together in food processor, adding olive oil slowly as your process pesto until smooth.

big batch whiskey gingers ~ makes 1 quart, or 8 small cocktails
1 cup whiskey, rye or bourbon
3 cups ginger beer
juice of 4 limes

notes: my go-to whiskey is bulleit rye. and the best ginger beer in seattle is made by rachel's - which you can get quart and growler refills for cheap at their storefront or at a number of farmers markets. their bottles make for perfect serving pitchers as well! 

mix whiskey, lime juice and ginger beer in a quart jar. bring along ice and cups to share on your picnic.