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9 Tips for the Perfect Picnic Slideshow

9 Tips for the Perfect Picnic Slideshow


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Summer is the height of picnic season, and whether you’re setting up an outdoor lunch on the beach, at your local park, or simply in your own backyard, we know how to take your picnic into the twenty-first century with gadgets, games, and creative ways to keep your food cool.

9 Tips for the Perfect Picnic

Summer is the height of picnic season, and whether you’re setting up an outdoor lunch on the beach, at your local park, or simply in your own backyard, we know how to take your picnic into the twenty-first century with gadgets, games, and creative ways to keep your food cool.

Avoid Messy, Complex, or Difficult Foods

There are plenty of picnic “do’s,” but be sure to avoid these food “don’ts” — they’re sure to cause a mess. After all, your guests are eating outside, and, chances are, right on the ground. Foods that require major assembly, like tacos; are super messy, like ribs; or call for some serious knife skills, like steak, are not proper picnic fare.

Ban Bugs Easily

To avoid turning your refreshments into bug juice, simply invest in Mason jars with lids and straws. The go-to insect repellent is bug spray, but if you aren’t comfortable with spraying DEET around your food all afternoon, we recommend bringing foods like grapefruit and bananas, which naturally repel insects.

Be as Compact as Possible

No one wants to get stuck lugging equipment to your perfect picnic spot, so pack smartly. This picnic blanket can be folded up into a handbag for easy portability, and this flatware set is three utensils in one, with interchangeable fork, knife, and spoon heads.

Don’t Forget the Fun and Games

As much as we hate to admit it, the best picnics aren’t just food- and drink-centric. We recommend bringing along a guitar or complementing your delicious picnic recipes with games like KanJam — similar to Frisbee — or fill up water balloons for some soaking fun after the food is all gone.

Get Creative with Salads

It isn’t all about the classic, mayo-heavy macaroni and potato salads. The Daily Meal has a ton of recipes for creative, summery salads, like pasta salad in a jar, to take your summer picnic to the next level.

Go Go Gadget Picnic!

Believe it or not, there are a ton of fun, unique picnic gadgets out there to make eating outdoors a little bit easier. Picnic backpack coolers allow you to put your outdoor eating supplies on your back, and this picnic wine table solves the conundrum of drinking wine outdoors without spillage.

Invest in a Good Cooler

One of the most important, and often-overlooked, aspects of the picnic is the cooler. From keeping your cheese from getting waxy to preventing your drinks from getting warm, a good cooler goes a long way. This high-tech cooler, Coolest, comes with a Bluetooth, a USB Cooler, a bottle opener, and a lid light, and you can buy it online.

Make Your Food Portable

Watermelon can get messy, so why not make watermelon on a stick instead? Don’t be afraid to go stick-crazy: Kebabs are your friends during picnics. The Daily Meal has plenty of creative and delicious kebab recipes on hand, and for dessert? Rainbow cake pops! (They’re a lot easier than cutting a whole cake!)

Weigh Your Picnic Down

But not with heavy foods! If you’re venturing out on a particularly gusty day, you may want to invest in tablecloth weights — like these cheeky ones that look like ants — so your paper goods don’t get lost in the breeze.


16 Tips to Pack a Healthier and Safer Picnic

Caroline Kaufman helps busy people live healthier, less stressful lives. She has an M.S. in nutrition communication from Tufts and an A.B. in English from Harvard. Caroline is a Registered Dietitian Nutritionist, writer, consultant for Health Warrior and the California Strawberry Commission and blogger at CarolineKaufman.com.

There's nothing like eating outdoors with your feet in the grass, leaving walls, ceilings and shoes behind. But picnics also pose challenges, like how to prep healthy fare that will please a crowd, and how to keep food cold without the convenience of a kitchen. The solution? Try these 16 recipe swaps, food-safety tips and fitness tricks to keep you and your guests happy and healthy. By prepping lightened-up versions of barbecue staples, you'll be able to enjoy everything without falling into a sleepy post-picnic "food coma." Keep an eye on food safety and add in a little exercise, and you've got the recipe for a perfect picnic.

There's nothing like eating outdoors with your feet in the grass, leaving walls, ceilings and shoes behind. But picnics also pose challenges, like how to prep healthy fare that will please a crowd, and how to keep food cold without the convenience of a kitchen. The solution? Try these 16 recipe swaps, food-safety tips and fitness tricks to keep you and your guests happy and healthy. By prepping lightened-up versions of barbecue staples, you'll be able to enjoy everything without falling into a sleepy post-picnic "food coma." Keep an eye on food safety and add in a little exercise, and you've got the recipe for a perfect picnic.


1. Completely wash and pat dry the pork. Leave on the counter-top for 2-3 hours to come to room temperature.

2. Once the pork has been dried and is coming to romm temperature (after a few hours), preheat your oven to 250F. Mix together all of the spices in a bowl.

3. Starting skin side down, pat the salt rub all over the pork to completely cover it. Once the bottom is done, flip and place on a wire rack that’s sitting over a baking sheet covered in foil. Spread the rub on all sides and top of the pork.

4. Once your oven is preheated and pork rubbed, place into the oven and bake for anywhere between 8-10 hours. I did 10 hours for my 8 lb. roast, but if you have smaller sizes or bigger sizes, you will have to adjust accordingly. You essentially want the internal temperature to be about 190F.

5. Remove the pork from the oven and cover with foil. Allow the pork to rest for 15 total minutes. Preheat oven to 500F.

6. Once pork is rested and oven to at 500F, remove the foil tent from the pork and place into the oven. We will rotate the pork every 5 minutes to allow for even cooking of the skin (YAY CRACKLINS’). There may be smoke that comes out of your oven during this process due to the fat that dripped off during the roast time burning. You can either open the window or remove this fat previous to putting into the oven.

7. Take the pork out of the oven and let rest for 15-20 minutes before slicing/digging in.

8. Serve up for family and friends alike – the pork should be completely tender, easily seperating from the roast by pulling the meat off with your fingers.

This makes a total of 20 (6 oz.) servings of Crispy Skin Pork Shoulder. Each serving comes out to be 461 Calories, 36.7g Fats, 0.2g Net Carbs, and 30.3g Protein.


Our Favourite Picnic Food Recipes That Are More Than Just Sandwiches

Picnic weather is on the horizon, we can practically feel it!

Picnic weather is on the horizon, we can practically feel it! Which means we're on the hunt for a range delicious picnic foods. We're talking Avocado Pesto Pasta, Greek Salad Skewers, BLT Sushi and more. You know, the type of recipes that take a matter of minutes to make, are easy to transport (we don't want any spillages) and taste top-notch while you're sat under the sun. So, if, like us, you're majorly excited for picnic season and want to blow your friends and family away with some tasty (and original) picnic foods, then take a look at our favourite recipes now.

Oh, and since you're already planning a picnic, make sure you check out our favourites Picnic Baskets, too.

We love this salad served on top of greens as much as we love it between two slices of Sourdough Bread. If you can't find a good ripe mango, pineapple would be delicious as well!

Fresh tortellini makes this the hearty appetiser of our dreams. If you're not a fan of olives, pepperoncini peppers would be a delicious substitute!

Lettuce wraps are the one of the best ways to eat healthy (and low carb). These wraps are stuffed with our new favourite twist on prawn salad: basil avocado.

We consider the BLT to be a major food group around here and that's why we've made just about every form of BLT we can think of (have you SEEN BLT Egglets??). Before you can say anything, we know these's aren't technically "sushi". It's just bacon rolled around some lettuce and tomatoes, but we love it and think it's super fun to call it sushi!


Tip 3 - A little bit of prep goes a long way

It's a bit like Christmas, I like to make a list then I check it twice! With so many small ingredients to include, it can be easy to lose track when you're shopping. When you are making your shopping list, here are a few things to take into consideration.

  • How many guests will there be?
  • What size is your board/tray?
  • Any food intolerances (or absolute LOVES, so you need to buy extra!)?
  • What's in season?

4. Toasted Coconut Smoothie

A luxurious treat that won't break the sugar bank. Lightly sweetened with banana and coconut, this smoothie seems more like a like a dessert than healthy drink. Coconut fuels this beverage and contains a mixture of healthy fats vital to health. CALORIES: 312

See Full Recipe and Nutrition Info: Toasted Coconut Smoothie

A luxurious treat that won't break the sugar bank. Lightly sweetened with banana and coconut, this smoothie seems more like a like a dessert than healthy drink. Coconut fuels this beverage and contains a mixture of healthy fats vital to health. CALORIES: 312

See Full Recipe and Nutrition Info: Toasted Coconut Smoothie


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In small bowl combine ricotta, egg yolk, Parmesan, salt and pepper. Gently spread ricotta mixture over bottom of tart shell. Top with shallot mixture, spreading out into an even layer. Crumble or chop bacon and sprinkle on top of shallot mixture. Brush top edge of crust lightly with egg wash. Place on baking sheet and bake in preheated oven until golden brown and heated through, 35 to 45 minutes. Let cool 15 minutes before cutting into wedges and serving.

— “Melissa’s Everyday Cooking with Organic Produce” by Cathy Thomas (Wiley, $30)


9 Ideas for Simple Cake Recipes

1. Classic White Cake: Have you made a classic white cake before? It’s super simple and tasty! We’ve got everything you need to know about making one from scratch in this post.

2. Pink Velvet Cake: You only need ONE bowl for this pink velvet cake recipe. Sounds intriguing, doesn’t it?? (via I am baker)

3. Homemade Chocolate Cake with Chocolate Frosting: Give me all the chocolate cake. This recipe doesn’t look very hard at all – simple ingredients too! (via Creations by Kara)

4. Brown Butter Cake: Delicious caramelized butter that you can taste in every bite in this cake. This is a must-make recipe! YUM!

More Ideas for Simple Cake Recipes

5. Gingerbread Sheet Cake: Perfect cake recipe for the holidays! Spiced molasses in every piece and a smooth cream cheese frosting spread on top. I love everything about this easy sheet cake recipe. (via Handle the Heat)

6. Dark Chocolate Mocha Cake: This post says this cake is “ulta-easy”- round of applause for that! Mocha flavored cake with dark chocolate frosting. I am here for this! (via Foodology Geek)

7. Perfect Chocolate Cupcakes: Sometimes I just need a chocolate cupcake in my life. Thats where this recipe comes into play. Melt-in-your-mouth amazing!

8. Simple Cinnamon Cake: Something about a bundt cake just makes me smile. I know it’s going to be an easy recipe that I won’t fail at. This cinnamon cake sounds incredible and I can’t wait to make it. (via Belly Full)

9. The Best Funfetti Cake: Is there anything better or happier than a cake filled with sprinkles? Funfetti is the ultimate cake flavor. I request it every year for my birthday! This recipe looks simple and super yummy. (via Pretty. Simple. Sweet.)

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Hi everyone! I'm a wife and momma to my two favorite guys. I love to bake chocolate chip cookies, watch movies, go on bike rides and hikes, and drink Diet Coke. Fashion is a passion and I love every dog I see.


25 DIY Picnic Tables to Make Your Backyard Spring-Ready

These homemade outdoor tables will make backyard dining a delight. Just add a picnic!

Spring has arrived, and with it comes warmer weather, flowers in full bloom, and fun barbecues in your backyard. If you're lacking in outdoor seating, consider designating a DIY picnic table as the heart of your backyard oasis. More than just a place to wine and dine, a picnic table can also serve as a gathering place for families, a sunny spot for kids to do craft projects, and even an outdoor classroom. If you want to save money on a picnic table&mdashor if you want to create a one-of-a-kind piece that's unlike any you'll find in a furniture store&mdashwhy not try a DIY project?

Even for amateur woodworkers, building your own picnic table is totally doable. To give you a leg up, we've rounded up all the best DIY picnic table plans the web has to offer. Whether your style is classic, modern, industrial, or farmhouse, there's a picnic table to suit any taste. You can also learn how to build a kids' table, a table with built-in coolers, or, for those who have a small yard, mini picnic tables. Most of these projects can be completed in an afternoon, with minimal tools and materials. Get started today and make all your backyard dreams come true!


60 Genius Summer Party Ideas for Easy Entertaining

It's impossible to have a bad time when there's sangria at the table!

Summer calls for amazing drinks, delicious food, and great company. Whether it&rsquos the first BBQ of the season or a weekly gathering, host guests in style with these crowd-pleasing dinner recipes, DIY decor projects, and party-planning tips. Your friends and family will keep coming back for more all summer long.

Enjoy a refreshing slushie in minutes with only four ingredients. You'll need ice, water, frozen limeade, and the frozen fruit of your choice. We are loving raspberries, peaches, or mangos for this drink.

Turning an empty backyard corner into paradise is easier than you may think. A colorful rug, a floating couch, and plants pull together a space, but it'll be a porch swing that steals the show.

It's always a great time to have wine! Freeze your favorite wine in ice trays (about 1 ounce per cube), then pop one or two into a light pour to make your glass last longer. You can also add a few cubes to sparkling water to keep it light.

If you want to keep the cube trend going, transform an appetizer into a work of art. Arrange cubed watermelon, cucumber, beefsteak tomatoes, feta, and halved cherry tomatoes into a grid. Then drizzle olive oil on top with a dash of salt, pepper, and mint!

Look around your yard and you'll discover anything can become a party accessory, including a plant stand. After emptying it out, fill it with plenty of ice to keep drinks chilled. And if you're feeling creative, fill latex balloons with water, freeze overnight on a baking sheet, and add them in with the drinks.

That's right, your favorite drink just got better. In a pitcher, stir together vodka, lime juice, sliced plums, and sprigs of fresh thyme. Gently stir in ginger beer before serving over ice. Remember to garnish with more plums and thyme. Cheers!

Summer wouldn't be complete without hotdogs, but this year, we encourage you to remix your toppings in unexpected ways. You can thank us after trying one of these duos: napa cabbage with scallions purple cabbage and carrots cucumbers and radishes.

Position your buffet under an overhang or umbrella to protect it from the elements. Then, order its contents this way for easy cruising: plates, sides, buns, meats, fixings, and flatware. (Note: If perishable foods aren't gobbled up in an hour, swap them out with a fresh supply.) Come sundown, have lights nearby so folks can see as they serve.

Help guests move through the buffet line quickly with grab-and-go silverware in decorated Mason jars. Just tie ribbon remnants on a trio of vases and fill with reusable flatware.

A beverage station separate from the food lets guests mix drinks and mingle. Stock the bar with cups, straws (to double as stirrers), and plenty of ice &mdash a large metal pail will keep bottles and cans frosty, but consider an insulated cooler for extra cubes.

When the RSVPs roll in and you realize you'll need more surfaces, relocate indoor furniture and dust off camping gear like folding chairs and tables.

Soften seats with no-sew pillow covers. Sandwich a cushion between two bandanas, then join each corner together with a rubber band and a thin ribbon.

Bobbing black-eyed Susans and zinnias, plus floating candles, turn an everyday birdbath into an instantly elegant water feature.

Keep guests comfortable outdoors all day long and into the night with summer essentials. Leave out amenities like sunscreen, bug spray, hand wipes, and, if it turns chilly, light blankets.