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The Perfect Picnic

The best part about a picnic? By the time you lay down the picnic blanket, all your work is done.

Executive Editor
Perfect Picnic

The Drinks 

Colorful thirst quenchers start your picnic off right. Try one of these concoctions with lots of ice, and for a fresh accent, pack a few mint leaves to garnish.

The Salad

Some people claim a picnic isn’t a picnic without traditional potato salad. Others prefer easy, elegant panzanella. However you style your moveable feast, Betty has you covered.

The Sandwich

The perfect picnic sandwich is a good traveler, and in fact, tastes even better after the flavors have a chance to marry. But a word to the wise, If your sammie is going to sit awhile, layer ingredients like condiments and tomatoes between meat and cheese so the baguette doesn’t get soggy.

The Main Dish

For a light and easy meal that still satisfies, turn to pre-prepared dishes that do well at room temp. If you have the luxury of a grill at your picnic site, try this fun new twist on nachos that won’t leave a single chip in the pan.

The Sweet Ending

When it comes to the perfect picnic, don’t forget the cake! These home-baked desserts travel well and stay extra moist long after they’re all packed up.

Top Picnic Tips:

Choose Picnic-Friendly Foods

  • Avoid anything with mayonnaise (which may spoil in the heat) and choose oil-based vinaigrettes for pasta or potato salads and for sandwiches.
  • Tote plenty of water along with other drinks. Freeze a favorite juice and pack that in a thermos so that it melts into a cool slush.
  • Pack the cooler so that foods to be eaten first are on top, to avoid packing and repacking the food.
  • Pack only what you can eat at the picnic; perishable leftovers may contain harmful bacteria. Any perishable food left out for more than 2 hours should be tossed. When in doubt, toss it out.

Totable Tips

  • Have a picnic basket stocked and ready to go any time with items needed for the next picnic: disposable plates, cups and silverware, napkins, paper towels, serving spoons, pot holders, a sharp knife, bottle/can opener, salt and pepper shakers, matches, tablecloth or blanket, as well as moist towelettes and garbage bags for cleanup.
  • Keep hot foods hot by wrapping the dish in heavy-duty aluminum foil and then in several layers of newspaper. Carry it in an insulated chest, or place it in a box and surround with your picnic blanket.

Cool It!

  • Chill foods thoroughly before placing them in the cooler. Fill the cooler as full as possible. A full cooler stays cool longer than one that's only partially full.
  • Use ice packs or blocks of ice instead of ice cubes—they last longer. Make your own blocks of ice, using clean half-gallon milk cartons. Fill the cartons with water and freeze; place the chunk of ice in a resealable freezer bag.
  • Freeze special beverage cubes with fruit juice for fruit drinks, tea for tea drinks. When the cubes melt, you have cool liquids, not watered-down beverages!

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