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Friday, June 12, 2009

Quick & Yummy Picnic Ideas

Written & Edited by Eliza Chute

Who can have a bad day, when the sun is shining, not a cloud in the sky? But better question is, who wants to be inside? Picnics are a great outdoor activity, whether it’s taking lunch in the park nearby your office, or hiking through the mountains to a beautiful peak point, and settling in there. If you are tired of the same old portable food options you have always been bringing, and looking for easy alternatives, try reading The New York Times article by Mark Bittman (link below) that outlines 101 20-minute dishes for picnics. My personal favorite thing to bring on a picnic, is a pesto and mozzarella sandwich. It’s fast and easy to make and even good cold. All you do is spread pesto on toasted bread, add the cheese. I also like to add tomato or sun dried tomato for a little extra flavor. (It also makes a nice pesto grilled cheese if you are at home, in that case it is especially
good with Monterey Jack.)
Although picnics are a great summer activity, picnics on the beach get a little bit more complicated, sandy food is less than desirable. There is nothing worse than the crunch of sand as you bite into a sandwich you’ve been waiting all morning to eat. The key to avoiding such a catastrophe: packaging. First and most common mistake: baskets. Although they are cute and the quintessential picnic accessory, there are holes in them, so sand gets in. Due to the environment of the Beach, I doubt you will be able to have a salad without every bite getting ever more crunchy as it travels from your Tupperware to your mouth. Sandwiches are probably the best way to go, however if you are really craving a salad try putting it in a whole wheat wrap for a healthier lunch.

For more recipes & articles

To get your copy of the best selling book The Basic Art of Italian Cooking go to

June 15th 7 PM-Join Celebrity Chef Maria Liberati at the Cooking Cafe at the Willingboro Library in Wilingboro, NJ for a book signing and cooking demo with sampling. Free and open to the public. Call the library or email:

July 11th- 2PM_Chestnut Hill Book Festival, Maria Wil be on a pane lfo cookbook authors to discuss writing your cookbook.

July 16th- Whole Foods market, Annapolis Md, A Tuscan Picnic, book signing and cooking demo from the best selling book The Basic Art of Italian Cooking. Open to the public, call the store for info or email

July 18th- Whole Foods Market, Fairfax, Virginia, Tuscan Picnic & wine Pairing will include a cooking demo of recipes from the best selling book The Basic Art of Italian Cooking and wine pairing with 4 wines and 4 recipes, samples, book signing. Free and open to the public. Call store or email:

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