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Spotlight On: The Community Park

picnic in the park lady lake

At Green Key Village, amenities abound for our residents. One of the amenities they truly enjoy is the relaxed, country-side vibe at Veranda Park located in the middle of our Cottages Collection. This tropical oasis has a picnic area, a fire pit with seats, and even a little waterfall! 

On any given day, you’ll see families having fun in the shade of our solar covered pavilions or under the sail shades. Veranda Park is also known as THE perfect place to watch the sunset with your neighbors while sipping your favorite drink! (Our resident furry friends get to experience the breathtaking views at our Bark Park, just down the lane!)  

No doubt about it, Green Key Village has everything you need to pursue a healthy, outdoorsy Florida lifestyle. 

Here are some tasty picnic recipes to enjoy at the park with neighbors or friends. 

Homemade Guacamole Recipe

INGREDIENTS

3 avocados, pitted

Juice of 2 limes

1/4 c. freshly chopped cilantro, plus more for garnish

1/2 small white onion, finely chopped

1 small jalapeño (seeded if you prefer less heat), minced

1/2 tsp. kosher salt

DIRECTIONS

In a large bowl, combine avocados, lime juice, cilantro, onion, jalapeño and salt. Stir, then slowly turn the bowl as you run a fork through the avocados (this will ensure the mixture stays chunky). Once it’s reached your desired consistency, season with more salt if needed. Garnish with more cilantro before serving. 

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Chicken Pasta Salad Recipe

INGREDIENTS

FOR SALAD

1 lb. fusilli pasta

2 boneless skinless chicken breasts (about 1 pound)

1 tsp. garlic powder

Kosher salt

Freshly ground black pepper

1 tbsp. extra-virgin olive oil

4 slices bacon, cooked and crumbled

2 c. halved grape tomatoes

2 c. spinach, packed

1/2 c. crumbled feta

1/4 red onion, thinly sliced

2 tbsp. freshly chopped dill

FOR DRESSING

1/4 c. extra-virgin olive oil

3 tbsp. red wine vinegar

1/2 tsp. Italian seasoning

1 clove garlic, minced

1 tbsp. dijon mustard

Kosher salt

Freshly ground black pepper

DIRECTIONS

In a large pot of salted boiling water, cook fusilli according to package directions until al dente. Drain and transfer to large bowl. 

Season chicken breasts with garlic powder, salt, and pepper. In a large skillet over medium heat, heat oil. Cook chicken until golden and cooked through, 8 minutes per side. Let rest 10 minutes, then cut into 1″ pieces.

Meanwhile, make dressing: In a medium bowl, whisk together oil, vinegar, Italian seasoning, garlic, and mustard. Season with salt and pepper.

In the large bowl with the pasta, toss together all remaining ingredients. Pour dressing over salad, toss until coated, and serve.

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Summer Rolls With Peanut Dipping Sauce

INGREDIENTS

FOR SUMMER ROLLS:

3 oz. rice vermicelli noodles

12 large shrimp. peeled and deveined 

1 large carrot, julienned

2 Persian cucumbers, julienned 

8 oz. Napa cabbage, thinly sliced 

1 tbsp. fish sauce

1 tbsp. brown sugar

1/4 c. rice vinegar

12 large rice paper sheets

2 tbsp. black sesame seeds

12 fresh mint leaves

12 fresh basil leaves

FOR PEANUT SAUCE:

1/2 c. smooth peanut butter 

1 tbsp. low-sodium soy sauce 

2 tbsp. rice vinegar

1 clove garlic, grated

1 tbsp. freshly grated ginger

4 tbsp. boiling water

1/4 c. crushed, toasted peanuts, for serving

DIRECTIONS

FOR SUMMER ROLLS:

Place noodles in medium heatproof bowl, cover with boiling water; let stand about 5 minutes or until just tender, drain. Using kitchen scissors, cut noodles into random lengths.

Meanwhile, poach shrimp in salted boiling water until they just become pink and opaque. Rinse under cold water, then slice in half lengthwise.

In a medium bowl, mix noodles, carrot, cucumber, cabbage, fish sauce, sugar, and vinegar; toss gently to combine.

To assemble rolls, place a sheet of rice paper in medium bowl of warm water until just softened; lift sheet carefully from water, placing it on a tea-towel-covered board with a corner point facing towards you. Place some of the vegetable filling horizontally in center of sheet, top with one mint leaf, one basil leaf, 3 shrimp halves, and sesame seeds. Fold corner point facing you up over filling; roll sheet to enclose filling, folding in sides after first complete turn of roll. Repeat with remaining sheets.

FOR PEANUT SAUCE:

Whisk peanut butter, soy sauce, vinegar, garlic, ginger, and boiling water until smooth. Top with peanuts and sesame seeds and serve alongside rolls.

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Fresh Fruit with Fruit Dip

INGREDIENTS

2 (8-oz.) blocks cream cheese, softened

1 (7.5-oz.) jar marshmallow crème

Juice of 1 orange (about 3 tbsp.)

Assorted fresh fruit, for serving

DIRECTIONS

In a large bowl using a hand mixer, beat together cream cheese and marshmallow crème until no lumps remain, then stir in orange juice. Refrigerate until ready to serve, at least 1 hour. Serve with fruit.

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Strawberry Shortcake Trifles

INGREDIENTS

1 c. heavy cream

1 tbsp. sugar

1/2 tsp. pure vanilla extract

3 c. chopped pound cake or angel food cake

2 c. sliced or chopped strawberries

DIRECTIONS

In a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, beat cream and sugar until stiff peaks form, about 5 minutes. Stir in vanilla until combined. Transfer mixture to a piping bag.

Among four glass jars, layer pound cake or angel food cake, whipped cream mixture and strawberries.