Romantic Dinner Ideas for a Picnic

Whether it's a moon-lit beach, a waterfall locale, or just a shady spot in the park, a romantic dinner picnic isn't just about location. The food is just as important. A little time spent in preparation goes a long way in making your romantic dinner picnic a memorable one.

Appetizer: Shrimp Cocktail

Start with fresh or frozen cleaned shrimp with the tails still on. If the shrimp are frozen, place them in a colander and run cool water over them for five minutes or until thawed completely. For the cocktail sauce, combine a half-cup of chili sauce or ketchup with 2 tbsp. hot creamy-style horseradish sauce. Put the cocktail sauce in a small drinking or martini glass and place the shrimp around the edge of the glass with the tails pointed out. Use fresh parsley and lemon slices for your garnish.

Entree: Muffaletta Sandwiches

Muffaletta sandwiches are the perfect picnic food. The reason is the key ingredient in this Italian sandwich idea: Olive mix. All you need is a loaf of bread, 1 cup olive mix and a quarter-pound each of sliced ham, sliced mortadella, sliced Genoa salami and sliced mozzarella. Cut the bread in half horizontally and spread the olive mix generously on each side. Layer up the meats and cheeses and wrap the sandwich tightly in plastic wrap. Ideally, make the sandwich about an hour or two before the picnic so that the olive mix has a chance to soak into the bread. Cut into quarters and serve.

Dessert: Chocolate-Dipped Strawberries

Is there anything more romantic than chocolate-dripped strawberries? The perfect end to your romantic dinner picnic isn't complete without a romantic dessert. Don't wait until you are at your picnic to prepare this dessert, however. Get it done before you leave and give yourself more time for public displays of affection. Melt your chocolate slowly in a small saucepan over a low heat. Use toothpicks to hold your strawberries and spin them into the chocolate to cover them. Turn the strawberry upside down and place the other end of the toothpick in styrofoam. This will allow the chocolate to harden evenly over the strawberry. Don't forget to feed each other to maximize effect!

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