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The best way to take advantage of the beautiful, warm days ahead is with a picturesque  picnic eaten in a lovely al fresco setting. There’s something about eating outdoors, and on a blanket, that makes food taste slightly more delicious.

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Whether you’re feeding a large group on the boat at the lake, having a romantic picnic for two, or enjoying a mom-and-me afternoon at the park, picnics can be a fun change up to the normal routine. Sure, you could grab fast food and sit in the grass, but why not make a memory by having an extraordinary meal in a special place?

 

Picnic

There are a few important tips to consider when packing your meal to-go. First, when planning your menu, choose items that will not spoil easily. Avoid foods with mayonnaise or dairy (make a vinegar based potato salad instead of the traditional mayo based version, skip the deviled eggs, and leave the yogurt at home in the fridge).

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Secondly, pack smart. You don’t have to use a traditional picnic basket. Any basket, tote bag, cooler or even wagon will do the trick. Pack food in sealable containers to prevent spilling. Don’t forget the necessities like plates, napkins, cups, ice, a blanket and a bottle opener. Think ahead by packing a trash bag and wipes for easy clean-up.

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Finally, choose a location that’s fun for the whole family. You don’t have to venture far to make memory. A local park, kids baseball field, or even your own back yard can be exciting and special.

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Menu:
Caprese Sandwiches with Basil Pesto
Salami Subs with Balsamic Vinegar and Arugula
Strawberry Salsa
California Quinoa
Cucumber Mint Salad
Fresh Grapes, Blueberries, and Dried Apricots
Sweetened Green Tea with Mint and Orange
Blackberry Limeade
Chocolate Chunk Toffee Cookies (RECIPE HERE)
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Strawberry Salsa Recipe
1 pint strawberries, hulled and finely diced
1 jalapeno, stem and seeds removed, finely diced
half of a small red onion, peeled and finely diced (about 1/2 cup)
2/3 cup finely-chopped fresh cilantro, loosely-packed
1/2 orange bell pepper, finely diced
juice of 1 lime, about 2 tablespoons
pinch of salt and black pepper

Toss all ingredients together until combined.  Season with extra salt and pepper, if needed.
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