Plan a Picture Perfect Summer Picnic

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Plan a Picture Perfect Summer Picnic

By The Paula Deen Test Kitchen

Without a doubt, one of the best things about summer is eating outdoors.  Whether you are picnicking at a far away remote location or barbequing in your backyard, there is something about the fresh air that just makes the food taste better.  Picnics are an age-old tradition and wonderful summer past time.  Be it at the beach, on a hiking trail, camping by a lake or at an outdoor concert, it is always fun to spread out the blanket or set up the picnic table with some delicious eats. 

A picnic can be an intimate romantic meal for two or enough to feed a crowd.  There are just a few key things to keep in mind when planning your next outdoor feast: 
- First choose food that is easy to transport and can be eaten cold.  Also think of how easy it is to eat.  You don’t want anything too messy, especially if you are sitting on the ground on a blanket.
- Best to avoid things that have to be cut up and also food items that melt such as ice cream and cakes with frosting. 
- Also don’t forget to pack utensils for serving and eating along with stuff to clean up such as hand wipes and paper towels. 
- Keep it simple but also make it fun!

Paula Deen’s grilled chicken pitas are a perfect picnic food.  Light and healthy while also packed with flavor these sandwiches are great to make ahead and so easy to eat.  Wrap each sandwich with some wax or parchment paper to make them easy to handle.  Couscous salad is a vibrant and colorful summer side dish.  Perfect cold or at room temperature it is ideal to pack along for your afternoon picnic.  Paula’s Gazpacho is a fun and exciting dish to wow your picnic company with.  A soup that is eaten cold, gazpacho is so refreshing on a hot summer day.  The best part is there is no cooking involved, all you need is a blender and some fresh veggies and it’s done.  Transport it in a thermoses pour it into cups and your guests can sip it or eat it with a spoon.  Creamy scallion dip with veggies on the side is a great thing to snack on while picnicking.  Make the dip ahead and store it in an airtight plastic container, also cut up a variety of in season veggies to go along side. 

A cold refreshing beverage is another key to a successful picnic on a hot summer day.  Paula’s mint iced tea is the perfect thirst quencher.  The mint adds a nice cool kick to the cold crisp tea.  Pack some extra ice cubes in the coolers to throw in your guest’s cups.  Every perfect picnic ends with a delicious treat.  Three chocolate cookies are just what you need to round out this meal.  These over sized cookies are stuffed with loads of chocolate, you won’t be able to eat just one.

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