Tag: picnic

The Top Picnic Mistakes to Avoid, and How to Fix Them If They Happen, Plus Boozy Bubbles to Pack in the Basket

by in Books, In Season, June 26th, 2015

The PicnicWhen it comes to summer picnics, you’ll be hard pressed to find better resources for tips, tricks and menus than Marnie Hanel, Andrea Slonecker and Jen Stevenson of the Portland Picnic Society. They’ve assembled the only picnic guide you’ll ever need in their new book, The Picnic. The Picnic has everything from the rules for common lawn games and 99 uses for Mason jars to delicious recipes and menu ideas. The book is perfect for the novice picnicgoer, with guides for packing your basket and how big a blanket to get, and a list of essential tools everyone always forgets.

One of the most-useful parts of The Picnic is the crisis-aversion section of the book, where 10 common picnic disasters are triaged proactively for you. Planning a picnic before you can snag your own copy of the book? Keep the following details in mind.

1. Bathroom Break: Nothing ruins a picnic like having to go, with no relief in sight. Scout the state of your picnic site’s restrooms upon arrival. If they’re locked or loathsome, search for the nearest coffeehouse and inform your friends of its location.

2. Beat the Heat: If it’s a real sizzler of a day, surprise your fellow guests with a Mediterranean-scented cooldown: Add a few drops of rose, citrus or lavender oil to chilled miniature spray bottles of water and distribute them to the crowd. (Paper fans work, too.)

3. Battle of the Bugs: Summer bugs are a picnic plague. Bring an arsenal of citronella votives and bug spray. To keep unwelcome sweet-tea swimmers at bay, try this easy trick for transforming a Mason jar: Remove the lid and set it aside. Take a square of decorative paper, punch a hole in it, lay it over the lip of your jar, replace the ring and poke a straw through the hole. Drink elsewhere, bugs.

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Picnic Picks for Dad’s Special Day

by in Holidays, Recipes, June 10th, 2015

Don’t be late to the game: Father’s Day is right around the corner, so it’s time to start planning a thoughtful meal to impress your favorite guy. If he’d rather be outside and your home lacks outdoor space, then pack up the spread and take it to the park for a picnic. You’re guaranteed to win him over with a hearty main, a classic drink and an indulgent dessert. Find out how to put a picnic-friendly spin on some timeless recipes that Dad is sure to love.

Barbecue Pulled Pork (pictured above)
Spending Father’s Day in a hot kitchen is no picnic, so choose a main dish that’s quick and easy. This aromatic batch of pulled pork requires only 20 minutes of prep work, and your Dutch oven (or slow cooker) will take care of the rest. Treat the pork to a variety of sweet and spicy seasonings, like brown sugar and chili powder, then let it cook up in a flavorful bath of chicken broth and tangy apple cider vinegar. When building the sandwiches, throw in a crunchy element by topping each with Dad’s favorite slaw.

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A Menu of Make-and-Take Recipes for Picnic Season — Summer Soiree

by in Recipes, May 28th, 2015

Watermelon SalsaWhen it comes to the glory that is summer picnicking, convenience is key. With make-ahead dishes packed in snappy storage containers on your side, all there is left to do is open ‘em up and dig in once you plop down in the grass. Check out our guide for the Ultimate Packable Picnic, and stock up on easy-to-transport summer recipes that are best devoured while sprawled out on a picnic blanket — no tabletop necessary.

Appetizer: Keep It Quick and Convenient

Begin with a light, bright starter that doesn’t take much time or effort. Not only does Trisha Yearwood’s Watermelon Salsa take just 15 minutes to prep, it is also easy to scoop into and out of a travel container. Throw a bag of tortilla chips in with the rest of your picnic loot and the first course of your picnic is served.

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Picnic Pasta Salad Season Is Here — Sensational Sides

by in Recipes, May 14th, 2015

Spinach Artichoke Pasta SaladRepeat after us: You will not buy gloopy, mayo-clad, made-yesterday pasta salad from the deli container this summer. No way. As the most-fun salad of all the salads (seriously), summer pasta salad is the one irresistible picnic side we just can’t wait to make, partly because of how crazy-easy it is to throw together. Taken cold with an array of pasta shapes, the pasta salad genre can take so many different forms, each fresh, satisfying and bound to bulk up your picnic without much effort. Toss these bold summer pasta salads at home for on-the-go eating ideal for any outdoor potluck, low-key picnic or backyard cookout you come across this summer.

Make your first pasta salad of the season extra-special by doing it up with cheesy tortellini. Rachael Ray uses the tender store-bought stuffed pasta for an extra-satisfying Spinach Artichoke Pasta Salad (pictured above) that will be the star of the potluck from the very first spoonful.

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How to Up Your Fried Chicken Game Just in Time for Memorial Day

by in Holidays, Recipes, May 13th, 2015

The Pioneer Woman says it herself: Fried chicken is the perfect picnic food. Once it’s fried to crunchy, juicy perfection, this classic Southern favorite is just as good at room temperature as it is hot, so pack it up for your very first picnic of the season for on-the-go eating.

Just in time for Memorial Day, the inaugural day of outdoor eating, Ree Drummond’s Fried Chicken recipe gives you the golden, moist fried chicken you crave. By coating buttermilk-soaked chicken in seasoned flour that’s combined with buttermilk and milk, then frying the pieces in oil at the perfect temperature (360 degrees F, that is), you get the most crispiest, most-delicious fried chicken ever. After watching the video above, do it Ree’s way once and you probably won’t take your fried chicken any other way again. It takes just one bite, while you’re sprawled out on a picnic blanket outside, to see why Ree’s fried chicken is the recipe to rely on all season long.

Best 5 Brownie Recipes

by in Recipes, July 10th, 2014

Frozen Brownie SundaesGolden-brown pies with fresh, seasonal produce are some of summer’s top treats, but when a chocolate craving strikes, brownies are the ultimate way to satisfy that sweet tooth once and for all. Just like cookies, brownies are quick to prepare and easy to pack, which means that they’re a go-to pick for picnics and potlucks alike. Master a classic recipe, like Alton’s Cocoa Brownies listed below, then experiment with such sweet and salty additions as marshmallows, caramel and peanut butter. Read on below to get Food Network’s top-five traditional and creative brownie recipes from Bobby, Alton, Giada and more.

5. Cheesecake Brownies — Surprisingly light and simple to make, these moist brownies boast a buttermilk-laced batter and a smooth sweetened-cream cheese topping. Mix the two together to create an impressive swirled effect.

4. S’more Brownies — Turn the campfire favorite into an everyday treat by using classic s’more ingredients — graham crackers, chocolate and marshmallows — to create layers of flavor in brownies.

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Twice As Nice: Leftovers for Lunch

by in Recipes, June 12th, 2014

This time of year, parents are divided into two camps. School calendars vary, so while some are excited to finally get started with summer vacation, others are digging deep to get through the last days of the school year. Whether celebrating at the beach or shuffling kids off to school, moms and dads are still faced with the lunchtime conundrum. After all, there’s only so many PB&Js one can eat. Lunch is a great opportunity to put leftovers to good use, as you’ll see from the recipes below. To go along with them, here are 5 tips for packing a picnic, or the last few school lunches of the year.

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Sweet Heat BBQ Ribs — Down-Home Comfort

by in Recipes, May 23rd, 2014

If there is any one point that marks the beginning of the backyard barbecue season, it has to be Memorial Day. The official start of summer may be the solstice on June 21, but summer really starts Memorial Day weekend. It’s the kickoff of afternoons spent tending burgers and ribs on the grill, enjoying lazy picnics in the park — before it gets too hot — and supper under the stars. Food just tastes better when served outdoors on a beautiful evening. Our senses are alive and we are more engaged. On my deck I have the very same picnic table my mother’s family used when I was a child. It essentially serves as our dining room table in the spring and early summer. Dining alfresco is one of the true joys of the season. Add a slab of ribs and you’ve got summer front and center. Read more