Kitchen Focus

May is a great time for picnics. After a long winter, many of us are just itching to spend time outside and putting together a good picnic only takes a little time and planning. If you do things right, you can blend homemade, store-bought and restaurant fare to make quick, delicious picnics a regular event for you and yours. Here are some of my favorite picnicking secrets:
  • If picnics equal sandwiches to you, it's time to think outside the sandwich! Something as simple as a loaf of bread, fantastic cheese, some fruit and wine can be an inspired picnic waiting to happen.
  • Consider bringing fruit, snacks and dessert in a cooler and stopping by your favorite deli for a store-bought or restaurant sandwich or wrap.
  • As an alternative, pack sandwiches, fruit and snacks and choose a location for your picnic that gives you a chance to stop for ice cream afterward. A perfect ending to a nice outing.
  • Stop in at a grocery store and pick up a package of hummus and some olives. Bring along carrots, cucumbers, tomatoes and pita bread from home and you've got a great snack/picnic. Add a bottle of wine and it's downright romantic!
  • A wide thermos is a great way to carry chili or soup for a chilly day picnic. Pair it with a wrap sandwich or panini for a special treat.
  • Consider taking the ingredients for a salad out for al fresco dining. Carry the salad greens and veggies in one container and the dressing and croutons or other crunchy ingredients in separate containers.
  • Nachos, while messy, can be great picnic food. Again, pack the chips and toppings separately and assemble when you reach your picnic spot. If you spill, at least you don't need to worry about stained carpets!
  • I love to make a frittata in an 8-inch skillet and wrap it in foil and enjoy it on picnics. They are great because they taste amazing hot, warm or cold!
  • If you can pick up a box of fun crackers, bringing along toppings from home can make for a very creative picnic. Tuna or egg salad, hummus or baba ganoush, cheese and sausage, tomato relish, and more are at home on a cracker.
  • Bring salsa, chips, guacamole and more ... then complete your picnic by stopping by your favorite Tex-Mex place and getting a burrito to go. It's a great picnic that's very south of the border.
  • A cooled quiche, a green salad and a bottle of wine make for a very romantic picnic. Add strawberries and chocolate for dessert and you've got the makings for an amazing event.

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