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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Reader Comments:

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So happy to see you back in action...you go GIRL !!!!!!

By Judy Schoonover on August 14, 2014

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Welcome back Ms Deen, we all love you forget the past and go on with life. You and the families are the best cook make it fun simple and enjoy xoxo B

By Beatrix on July 23, 2014

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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

By Sandra Brock on July 25, 2012

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I love the Truffle Whoopie

By Doris Jackson on July 24, 2012

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Paula, I love watching you and your family. I miss seeing your show, I watched you everyday. My son lives in Charleston S.C. He took me to the Lady & Sons to eat. Oh my goodness! People are always telling me that I look just like the cooking lady Paula Deen. I always tell them that you are my hero. May God Bless You Mary Ann
Mary Ann Tharp in A Summer of Burgers on August 15, 2014 at 10:48 pm

Add a few spoonfuls of parmesan cheese to the flour and cornmeal breading and it kicks the tomatoes up another notch. Bev
in Crispy Fried Green Tomatoes on August 15, 2014 at 10:33 am

I just bought Paula's Peach Salad Dressing and wondered if anyone has a good recipe that they use it in?
Melissa in Taste Testing 101 on August 13, 2014 at 8:36 am

Congrats Bobby. Loved the family picture miss you Paula on TV will be watching online. Jack is getting big. Looks like his mom but Matt aka moose has your face. Your eyes cheeks hair even falls to his face like yours except to the left. Good luck on your next venture. You give us other 60+ yr women strength to move on. Keep up the good work.
Carol Bryant in Love at Last on August 11, 2014 at 6:12 pm