Thursday, May 15, 2008

Create a Picnic Kit

>>>>>>It's official, the picnic season is upon us. Following a few simple tips, you will have the ability for a spur of the moment picnic. Putting a kit together is very simple and will save time when the thought occurs!

Carrier: Choose a deep, lined wicker basket or even a deep clean, sturdy cardboard box. I have even found that those $5 plastic containers with a lid from Wal-Mart work wonderflly and are a great place to keep your supplies together.

Contents: Include a bright colored plates, cups, eating utensils and napkins that can be washed instead of the disposable type. A plastic tablecloth and an old bedspread or blanket can provide a table or cover the ground. I always buy supplies at the end of the season for the next season to say a few bucks.

Food Containers: For keeping food hot or cold, choose an assortment of vacuum bottles and wide-mouthed jars that suit your family's needs, and will fit into your picnic kit.

Coolers: Store them with the picnic kit so everything is right where you need it. Keep reusable ice blocks frozen in the freezer. I have found that empty 32 oz. soda bottles frozen 3/4 of the way with water work well and are inexpensive. The frozen bottles alsoprovide cold water on a picnic.

Odds and Ends: Having a sharp knife with sleeve (Pampered Chef has great self-sharping knife with plastic cover that work great), matches, bottle and can openers, salt and pepper shakers, flashlight, and paper towel in your kit are a must. You may also want to include bug spray (stored in a plastic bag), and a simple first aid kit. Freeze wet sponges in plastic bags for extra ice packs and re-use for clean up. For easy salt and pepper shakers, fill plastic straws and tape the ends for easy mess free travel.

Food and Drinks: Remember that coolers are designed to keep cold food cold and hot food hot. Do not use the same container for both. At our house we have one small cooler that is red for hot food and a blue cooler for cold items.

Cooking: If you are using a charcoal grill, remember charcoal briquettes, pot holders, cooking utensils, and platters for after the food is cooked. Never put cooked food back onto the same plate where the raw food was.

Protective Gear: Take clothing appropriate for the outing. Include sunscreen, lotions, hats and cover up clothing. I also bring along warm clothing for at night, it will seem much colder out after spending a day in the sun.

Fun Stuff: Bring along things that interest your family. Balls, kites, Frisbees, fishing poles, and towels for the beach.Clean-up: Pack moist towelettes or dampened towels in plastic bags for

clean up. Never leave your picnic area dirty, keep it clean for the next family.

Great Recipes for your Picnic

Citrus Cooler

1 (6 oz.) can of frozen lemonade concentrate, thawed

1 (6 oz) can of frozen limeade concentrate, thawed


6 pint-size zipper freezer bags

1 lemon sliced

1 lime sliced

6 straws

In large pitcher, combine juice concentrate. Add water as directed on the cans; stir. Pour into 6 small zipper freezer bags. Add lemon and lime slices to each. Seal tightly; freeze overnight or until firm. Thaw 2-3 hours until slightly slushy before serving. Insert straw to drink.These are great take for taking along on a picnic or a summer party for the kids.

Huge Picnic SandwichBread

2 8 1/2 inch bakery focaccia bread

Filling:1/2 cup creamy Italian salad dressing

6-8 lettuce leaves

1/2 cucumber sliced thinly

1/2 green pepper sliced thinly

2 red onion slices, separated into rings

4 slices of American cheese

4oz salami

tomato sliced.

Spread half the of the dressing on the bottom half; top with half of the lettuce leaves. Layer cucumber, green pepper, onion, cheese, meats and tomato. Top with remaining lettuce. Spread remaining dressing on top half of the bread; replace and cut. Serves 4-6

Strawberry Shortcake Kabobs

12 medium strawberries

12 donut holes

6 8 inch bamboo skewers

1/4 cup semi-sweet chocolate chips

2 tablespoons margarine or butter

Alternately thread 2 strawberries and 2 donut holes on each skewer. In small saucepan, melt chocolate chips and butter.; blend well. Drizzle chocolate mixture over strawberries and donut holes. Refrigerate till set. Makes 6

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