Packing the Perfect Picnic

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The warm weather brings about my favorite way to dine – a meal under the sky and over a blanket with friends and family. There are many reasons to love the long time tradition of picnicking but what tops my list is the affordability aspect of it – you can bring your own wine and not have to pay the upcharge restaurants will ding you with and you can have the most amazing ambiance – city parks, balmy beaches, national landmarks and mountain vistas.

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Pictured: When on vacation my husband and I love finding quiet spots to take in the local nature and picnic. The top picture is from Kennebunkport, Maine and the bottom picture is in Sarasota, Florida where we enjoyed our first Home Away vacation!

Unless you are hosting a picnic style party, I highly recommend making your picnic easy and stress free so that you can enjoy your company and well-deserved time off.

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My favorite romantic picnic adventure is all about Charcuterie.  This style of picnic features small bites that are big in flavor with a selection of cured meats, cheese and sides like olives, grilled baguette and my favorite – spicy cashews. Charcuterie is perhaps the easiest picnic that requires no preparation, unless you want to grill the baguette in advance (which I highly recommend).

Cured meats came about before refrigeration and are perfect for a picnic – as they can last the duration of your outing without fear of spoiling. My favorites to bring along are Prosciutto, Capicola, Calabrese and Salami. When choosing cheese, make it easy on yourself; go with semi-hard cheeses so you don’t have to battle the melting cheese if you prefer a leisurely picnic like I do. These include Cheddar, Gruyere and Gouda that also pairs well with sparkling wine and cider – two of my favorite picnic beverages.

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I would be remiss if I didn’t mention my new favorite picnic accessory this summer. A friend recently gifted me with this brilliant tumbler. It’s a plastic wine glass, within a plastic cup that also has a plastic sippy cup cover. Now admittedly I don’t use the sippy cup cover when I’m picnicking but it can be convenient when you want to put your glass down to play games like bocce ball, badminton, et al. the cover allows it to be spill proof! You can find one here on Amazon.

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The spirit of picnicking is fun and I find that kids are not always a fan of charcuterie. When picnicking with children, I go with the mantra – everything tastes better when on a stick – even Turkey Sandwiches! Instead of packing sandwiches to tag along with the adults spread of cured meats, I prefer to make bite-sized sandwiches on a kabob. With the sandwiches I add tomatoes, fruit and cheese. This is not only easy to pack and tote but it’s a surprisingly delightful way to eat and will satisfy the kid in everyone. 

So whether you are on vacation or looking for a fun way to spice up your weekend- grab some great bites, a blanket, your friends and family and head outdoors for a uniquely fun dining experience.