Thrifty Thursdays: valentine picnic!

I hope you all had a lovely Valentine's day!

We certainly did; celebrating with our third-annual-living- room -picnic-and-a movie... Complete with a viewing of Lady and the Tramp and an entire (large) coffee-table's worth of delicious food.

I'd love to say that building a pillows-and-blankets retreat on the living room floor is a regular event in our house but due to certain logistics (or three furry pups that think anything near the floor is fair game... including using our faces as props for their toys)... it tends to be an annual, yet special, event.

We put our picnic together for around $45, but nothing really beats a mellow evening in with the loves~ no need to wait for next year, toss some pillows on the floor and head to the store to plan your own impromptu picnic tonight!

The menu:
Cheese and ciabatta platter: Brie, Irish cheddar, and Robusto (remember those little cheese "samples" I mentioned before?)

Mixed olives, berries and melon, turkish figs, chocolate covered cherries, heirloom tomato slices, crackers (WF bulk aisle and, salad bar, and fresh olive bar)

Spinach salad with strawberries, almonds, goat cheese, and honey-soy-and lemon dressing

Dressing: 1tsp honey, 1tsp water warmed in micro. for 15 seconds. Mix in 1tsp soy sauce, 1tsp olive oil, spritz of lemon juice, pepper, and a little salt. Mix well.

Lemon, Brussels sprouts, and Porcini pizza, inspired by miss Martha Stewart! This is so simple and delicious we made it twice in one week!

We used a store-bought thin crust plain crust. Top with olive oil, garlic powder, and herbs to your liking. Layer mozzarella and Parmesan cheese. Chop a few dried porcinis and soak in water to soften for a few mins, then place on pizza. Follow with sliced Brussels sprouts and paper-thin fresh lemon shavings. Top with a sprinkle of cheese and pine nuts. Bake according to pizza crust directions or 12-15 mins at 425 til sprouts and lemon are slightly crispy on edges and cheese is golden.

Wine: we tried Baker's Dozen "Jammy" Pino Noir... It was good, very smooth with strong cherry/raspberry flavors but a bit sweeter than we usually prefer. It was perfect with the fruity flavors of this meal but I would probably save it for dessert or drink it alone (... As in without food, not as in alone-alone... well, that would be fine too I suppose...) I would give it a try if you're easing into red wine or if you prefer sweeter varieties. Also, it is very mellow on the alcohol-content, no headache or next-day regrets here! Plus, it was $6 at Target. Hollah.

My jammy husband

For dessert we had deliciously pink strawberry rice pudding, inspired by a Whole Foods recipe, I just added more coconut milk (a whole can) and did 3c milk, 3c water, and a little more sugar.
Dan liked it warm, I prefer mine cold but it's seriously delish either way, and the recipe makes plenty for left-overs. Unfortunately none of my photos turned out... Maybe that wine was pretty good after all?... But it's so yummy, and practically makes itself, there's no excuse to not make this tonight :)

Hope you're all inspired to plan a "spontaneous" floor picnic with your sweets, all your own! If you do, please share photos, I'd love to see all your fun ideas.

Happy Thursday, pretty thangs!

The pups loved Lady and the Tramp too,
...Willie barked through most of it, of course. 

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