Plan a Picture Perfect Summer Picnic

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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.

Read More From Holidays and Entertaining.

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I have tried everything you have given in recipes and love everything you cook better than the O`bama`s I heard that from alot of people . keep up the energy , make a splashing come back please. we love you cause your the best white cook on the market. give us some more white recipes please ,love you Terry Merrill

By Terry on July 05, 2013

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I really wanna loose some few kilos hope your recipes gonna help! Or will you give me any advice!

By Susan on August 12, 2012

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My husband recently had a heart attack and it is impossible to find a good cookbook that has low sodium, low colesterol recipes. I have looked at the book stores around here and the books that the Heart association advocates are not heart friendly. Too much sodium and colesterol. I would appreciate any suggestions. Thanks. Sandy

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I love the Truffle Whoopie

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hi! wink i was wondering if you could share the recipe for the chiken/grape salad-the one that is pictured on the croissant above? thanks! wink sandra
Sandra Neuheimer-Huller in Chicken Salad: A Southern Staple on April 19, 2014 at 9:37 am

Where do I buy these magazines
in A Basketful of Traditions on April 19, 2014 at 7:22 am

I WISH I COULD COOK. COULD I COME WORK FOR JUST ROOM AND BOARD AT YOUR NEW RESTURAUNT IN PIGEON FORGE FOR THE SUMMER? I WENT TO COLLEGE NOT FAR FROM THERE - HIWASSEE COLLEGE. YOU WOULDN'T HAVE TO PAY ME, I WOULD WORK FOR FREE JUST FOR THE EXPERIENCE. TAMMY LEVAN 19 SPENCER WAY KINGS PARK, NY 11754 HAPPY EASTER! CHRIST IS RISEN!
TAMMY L LEVAN in A Basketful of Traditions on April 19, 2014 at 3:31 am

Hi Bubbles, You have some great tips. Can't wait to read your other blogs! Please give Aunt Peggy a big hug from me and here is one for you! (((HUGS))) See you in May!
Jaci Pardun in 10 Quick Household Tips on April 18, 2014 at 10:05 pm

Paula, I am glad to know that I am not the only person who makes Easter Baskets for their adult children and mail them across the United States. My Daughter lives in Long Beach, CA and I not only sent her a basket but her husband and my granddaughter Reese. We also buy special Russel Stover Bunnies for each child too. My husband has the list in his phone... Sara .. Cookies 'n Crème.... Sidney and Stephen.. Peanut Butter Etc. It one of my favorite things to do for my kids.. no matter how old they get. And passing it along to my Grandchildren. It's even more special to me knowing we share a family tradition. Blessings and Happy Easter!!
Sharon Cason-Card in A Basketful of Traditions on April 18, 2014 at 10:03 pm