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If you’re tired of the Valentine’s Day crowd, the traffic, and the pressure of being at your best behavior just to impress your date, maybe it’s time you do something a tad different. Instead of wasting your time and money on expensive restaurants, bring your special someone to an outdoor picnic date Valentine’s Day.

An outdoor picnic is definitely a welcome relief if you’ve been spending hours surrounded by walls at work, at school or even at home. Your significant other will surely enjoy spending quality time with you as you’re surrounded by nature and fresh air.

The most important part of a Valentine’s Day picnic date, however, is the food. Bring something that will still be good to eat after spending a while in a container. Some foods get soggy or are not that enticing to eat if you don’t have them fresh off the oven.

 

Appetizer

Like any other meal, start off with the appetizer. Perhaps there’s no better way to begin a Valentine’s Day picnic date than with bacon. Make some party poppers using just five ingredients – peppers, cream cheese, jalapenos, shredded cheese, and bacon.

First, take the cream cheese out of the fridge and let it sit at room temperature for about half an hour. Cook your bacon in the oven for 20 minutes. While waiting, prepare your peppers. Cut off the tops and take the seeds out. Then finely dice your jalapenos. Take the bacon out of the oven and let it cool for a bit.

Once ready, chop it into smaller pieces. Mix the bacon bits, cream cheese, diced jalapeno and shredded cheese in a large bowl. Use a small spatula or spoon to shove the mixture into the mini peppers. There you have it! Stuffed mini peppers for your appetizer.

The best things about Valentine’s Day picnic recipes such as this, aside from the bacon, are that they’re gluten free, easy to make and can be prepared the night before your big day. That means less pressure on you before the date. You’re date will also appreciate that it’s low carb. And remember, peppers are aphrodisiacs.

 

Main Course

For your main course, make something that’s not too messy to eat. There’s not much need for spoons and forks when you’re on a picnic even if it’s a Valentine’s Day date. This means chicken wings are out of the running. Go for something simple like sandwiches, salad, and kebabs.

One of the best Valentine’s Day recipes you can make for your picnic date is a pressed grilled chicken salad sandwich. Simply mix 1 tablespoon olive oil, 2 teaspoons curry powder, and half a teaspoon kosher salt in a large bowl. Coat 4 pieces of boneless and skinless chicken breasts with the mixture. In a separate bowl, mix together 2 teaspoons lemon juice and 2 tablespoons sweet mango chutney.

Grill the chicken for 6 to 7 minutes on each side. Baste the chicken with the chutney and lemon mixture during the last couple of minutes of grilling. Once done, cut them into smaller and thinner slices that are just right for sandwiches. Combine 1/4 cup mayonnaise and 2 teaspoons of lemon juice then add finely chopped celery (2 stalks), 2 finely chopped scallions, 1/2 cup quartered grapes, and, finally, the chicken slices.

Slice a whole loaf of bread in half through the equator then scoop out the inner part. This will give you ample space for your chicken salad. Place baby spinach at the bottom then add the chicken salad. Wrap it in foil then press for an hour or so. When you’re ready for your main course, simply take the loaf out, cut with your bread knife, and serve.

 

Dessert

You may want to lay off the chocolate cake this time. Bring a cheesecake in a jar instead and impress your date.

To make such Valentine’s Day recipes, you’ll need 6 finely crushed pecan shortbread cookies, 2 tablespoons melted butter, half a cup of sugar plus another 2 tablespoons, fresh lemon juice, half cup of whipped heavy cream, cream cheese, fresh strawberries, and 6 Mason jars.

In a large bowl, combine the crushed shortbread cookies, butter and 2 tablespoons sugar. Put some in the glass jars and press gently with your spoon. Slice a few of the strawberries in half while chopping the rest into tiny pieces.

In another bowl, combine the softened cream cheese, 2 tablespoons lemon juice and half cup of sugar using a mixer. Fold in the whipped cream along with the chopped strawberries. Pour the resulting mixture into the jars. Top each one with the sliced berries before covering them with the lids. Let it chill in the fridge for at last two hours before your picnic date.

 

Drinks

Enjoy the Valentine’s Day recipes you worked hard on by packing a cold bottle of wine or a jar of sangria. If you and your date share the same passion for beer, you can bring them instead.

If you’re considering packing your own sangria, you will need red wine, fruits such as apples and oranges, and 2 tablespoons lemon juice. You’ll also need more glass jars.

Simply pour your red wine into a pitcher then add the fruit slices and lemon juice. Stir to combine then place the pitcher in the fridge for at least 3. Before leaving, stir the contents of the pitcher than pour into the glass jars. Add a little sparkling water if you want that bubbly effect.

They say the way to someone’s heart is through the stomach.  While this quote is overused, it is still true to many. If you truly want to show your date how much he or she means to you, whip out your best Valentine’s Day recipes  and prepare for the best picnic date ever.

Visit The Gentleman Pirate for more recipes. You can also take a look at Memory Lane Meals for some recipes from the “good old days.” You will likely find some interesting Valentine’s Day recipes here.

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