Hello my lovelies!

Welcome back to Cappuccinos and Cashmere, your one stop source for fashion and lifestyle posts!  It sure has been a while since I have shared any food posts on the blog!  I love cooking, baking, and creating memories with food.  I really think about food way too much and want to share my obsession with you!

Earlier this week I posted Danilo’s OOTD post from our date night at Ravinia.  We packed a lovely picnic and enjoyed the mesmerizing music of Gypsy Kings.

Unfortunately given our work schedules, we are unable to do date nights as often as we would like.  So when we finally are able to go out, I go all out!  Ravinia is a beautiful garden/forest tucked away in the north suburb of Chicago.  There are gorgeous trees and flowers everywhere you look and lovely patches of green grass for you to sprawl out and relax.  The idea is, you go to Ravinia and either get seats to watch the performance under the pavilion, OR, you bring everything you need for a picnic on the lawn.  Personally, I think the lawn is a better option and its more fun!Danilo Culafic

The first time we went to Ravinia was in 2013 and we were rookies.  We packed two lawn chairs, bought some snacks at Whole Foods and packed them into their brown paper bag.  Boy were we in for a surprise.  People brought candelabras, tables, chairs, candles, gourmet food, wine, etc.  It was safe to say that I was out of my league at that moment.

Perfect PicnicIn June, when we decided to re-visit Ravinia, I gleefully accepted the challenge. I knew that I couldn’t face another Whole Foods brown bag again so I planned smart.  Our perfect picnic consists of “cheese board” type foods and in Serbian we call that Meze.  Basically it is an assortment of cheese, cured meat, crackers/bread, spreads, olives, etc.

Perfect Picnic Perfect Picnic

I bought a loaf of French Bread as a base.  Then I got an assortment of cured meats, cheddar and swiss cheese, pickled mushrooms, olives, grapes, and fig spread.  Water, white and red wine made it into our basket because you never know what kind of wine you will be in the mood for.  I added grapes for a sweet bite and packed brownies as a portable dessert.  Perfect Picnic

As far as picnic accessories, I got a collapsable wagon at Costco, two lawn chairs, a very short table, and cheese boards.  To that I added tarp (for the base), blankets, and candles to make things more romantic.  If you are going somewhere where there will be bugs, always be sure to pack bug spray!

Aleksandra CulaficOnce we got to the festival grounds we put out the tarp and the blanket.  Then we assembled the table and cheese boards.  On the cheese boards I elegantly layer all of my snacks and arrange them so that everything is easy to reach.  Bringing plates, dinnerware, and glasses from home is risky but makes the evening more elegant (I am not a fan of paper/plastic cups/plates).

Perfect PicnicOnce I finished putting together the food, I took a few shots of the perfect picnic and then we began our feast!  Even though this isn’t a true meal, we love dinners like this!  Perfect picnics seem very challenging but in reality they are simple and totally worth the effort!

Perfect PicnicWhat do you think of my perfect picnic?  Do you have any tips for picnics?  Let me know your thoughts in the comments section below!

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Aleksandra Culafic