I wanted to photograph a fall-themed picnic scene for my stock portfolio so I started brainstorming ideas a few months ago. When I was planning the menu for this imaginary picnic, I knew I wanted to feature quick and easy dishes, but I needed a festive star on the table to round things out. When I saw my friends at Bake My Day advertising their pumpkin bundt cake a few weeks back, it hit me that that cake would make the perfect star for the harvest time menu. Luckily, Bake My Day was on board with the idea, so I set out planning the rest of the shoot.
The worst part about this shoot was waiting until the work was done to eat!!! The smell of the pumpkin cake and the apple cider was just intoxicating. I could not wait to dig in! Actually, I kind of wanted to sit down and really have a picnic, but there was no time for that...I was chasing the light. This time of year, when the sun goes down it sure does get dark crazy fast!
This harvest time picnic features curry chicken salad sandwiches, broccoli apple slaw, hot apple cider (made with mulling spices from Williams-Sonoma) and of course, Bake My Day's pumpkin bundt cake. I've included the recipes below for the chicken salad and broccoli slaw. They are super simple to throw together and transport well...perfect for fall tailgates. For all the pumpkin lovers out there, Bake My Day has this pumpkin cake on their Thanksgiving menu, along with some delicious casseroles to help ease some of the cooking load that might fall to your kitchen this time of year. Their deadline for Thanksgiving orders is November 17th, so be sure to get yours placed before then if you want a cake like this one (or any of their made-from-scratch deliciousness) on your holiday table.
Curry Chicken Salad
Serves 4 to 6
Meat of one rotisserie chicken, removed from the bones and shredded, or chopped into cubes
1 and 1/4 cup of Nonfat Greek Yogurt
1/4 to 1/2 cup of Dukes Mayonnaise
1 tbsp of curry powder
1 cup of diced celery
1 cup of red grapes cut in half
1 8z can of mandarin oranges, drained
Pinch of cayenne pepper
Salt & freshly ground black pepper to taste
1 small head of radicchio
Ciabatta rolls, cut in half to make a sandwich
In a small bowl, combine Greek yogurt, mayonnaise, curry powder, cayenne pepper, a generous pinch of salt and three cranks of freshly ground black pepper. Whisk until all ingredients are well combined. In a large bowl, combine chicken, celery, grapes and mandarin oranges and toss to combine. Add the curry sauce to the chicken mixture. If you prefer a dryer chicken salad, you might not need to use all of the sauce. If you prefer a wet chicken salad, add 1/2 cup of mayonnaise instead of 1/4 cup when making your sauce. Use a fork to blend the sauce with the chicken mixture.
Cut the head of radicchio in half. Use a sharp knife to shred the radicchio into strips, as you would cabbage for a coleslaw. To serve, mound a large scoop of chicken salad onto half of the ciabatta roll, add some of the shredded radicchio and top with the other half of the roll. You should have enough ingredients for six sandwiches.
Broccoli Apple Slaw
Serves 8 to 10
2 10 ounce bags of broccoli slaw
1 large Honeycrisp or Granny Smith Apple, cut into matchsticks, or diced
1/4 cup Apple Cider Vinaigrette (use a homemade recipe, or your favorite store-bought Apple Cider Vinaigrette)
1/2 cup dried cranberries
Combine all ingredients in a large bowl. Toss well and serve. That's it!