Whether the day is perfect for hitting the park or one of those snowy spring days in Colorado, a Mother’s Day picnic (outdoors or in) is a fun way for kids to show mom some love. Erin Fletter, the Food Geek in Chief at Sticky Fingers Cooking (stickyfingerscooking.com) in Denver, creates cooking classes for kids and knows how to get them involved in the kitchen. She assembled these kid-friendly picnic recipes and tips to get kids cooking.
Picnic Edamame Soba Noodles
Courtesy of Sticky Fingers Cooking
Edamame Soba Noodles Shopping List
- 1/2 pound precooked soba noodles or spaghetti (or sub Asian rice noodles)
- 1/4 cup honey
- 1/4 cup soy sauce
- 2 tablespoons rice vinegar
- 2 teaspoons toasted sesame oil (Optional and/or omit if allergy present)
- 1/3 cup olive oil or vegetable oil
- 1 small bunch green onions
- 1 large clove garlic, grated or finely chopped
- One-inch piece fresh ginger, peeled and grated
- 1 to 2 cups frozen edamame in the pod (thawed)
- 2 large carrots
- 3 tablespoons toasted sesame seeds (Optional and/or omit if allergy present)
Grown-ups: Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil. Add dried soba noodles and cook until al dente. Drain and set to the side. Have kids combine honey, soy sauce, rice vinegar, sesame oil in a big bowl and whisk in vegetable oil. Set this ‘dressing bowl” to the side.
Have kids chop up 2 or 3 green onions, press one garlic clove and grate a 1-inch piece of fresh, peeled ginger. Set the scallions, garlic and ginger to the side. POP frozen edamame in the pod (thawed) out of their pods and add to the dressing bowl. Grate carrots and also add to the sauce bowl.
Sauté the garlic, ginger and scallions in a little vegetable oil in your skillet for 3 minutes or so. Then add the pre-cooked soba noodles to warm up the noodles in your skillet with the ginger and garlic. Add the warm soba noodles to the big bowl and toss to coat in the sauce and veggies. Serve noodles warm or pack up in your picnic basket and serve at room temperature. Sprinkle each portion with toasted sesame seeds before eating!
Sparkling Green Tea Limeade
Pour 2 cups of warm to hot water into a pitcher. Submerge 2 decaf green tea bags in the hot water and allow to steep for 5 minutes; remove and discard the tea bags. Stir the 3 tablespoons of sugar into the tea until completely dissolved. Set to the side.
Pour the 2 cups of seltzer water and have kids squeeze the juice of 2 limes into the tea. Add ice and drink!
Erin’s Picnic Planning Tips
Tip 1: Assess any unique needs of guests. For instance, if you”ve invited Grandma, pack a folding lawn chair so she doesn’t have to sit on the ground. If there are going to be younger guests, bring kid-friendly food, activities and games or choose a location that’s near a playground, bathrooms and shade.
Tip 2: A picnic basket doesn’t have to be a basket. Baskets are fun, coolers are practical and plastic grocery sacks are inexpensive. Wooden crates or kids wagons are also great for lugging around a heavy load.
Tip 3: Freeze juice boxes and use them to keep your picnic cool. Then the kids can have slushies after the picnic.
Tip 4: What is picnic-friendly food? Well, that can be different for everyone. We like to pack fruit, veggies, cheese, cured meats, bread, packaged sushi and other finger foods because they are delicious and easy to pack and eat. Sandwiches, hors d”oeuvres and salads (even noodle salads) are popular picnic fare.
Tip 5: Plan for the big clean-up! Bring along extra resealable plastic bags, aluminum foil and plastic wrap for leftovers. Also bring along garbage bags so that you can leave the picnic area nicer than you found it!
Erin’s Picnic Packing List
- Insect repellant
- Hand sanitizer
- Condiments (salt and pepper especially)
- Extra napkins or paper towels
- Baby wipes
- Bandages and antibacterial ointment (just in case)
- A tray or two to hold drinks
- Knives for cutting up fruits and veggies, slicing cake or tarts
- Bottle opener