Weekend Picnic Plan!

Take advantage of the summertime weather and bring the dining room outside. Picnicking is one of warm weather's great pleasures and is a fantastic way to showcase a wide variety of dishes, so that there's something for each person's tastes and a range of things to try. Picnics are also a great way to get outdoors and get some exercise before and after your meal.

First and foremost, make sure to pack your basket full of delicious, healthy vegetables! Whether it's some delicious ingredients straight from the farmers' market or a prepared recipe, you can't go wrong with a basket filled mostly with fruits and vegetables. It's what the new MyPlate food icon recommends, and it's definitely a great plan for a light summer meal.

Great recipes include Roasted Broccoli with Tosated Pinenuts, Feta, Basil, and Lemon or Artichokes with Capers and Lemon to a rich main dish such as mini Potato, Red Onion, and Gruyere Tarts.

An array of cheeses with crackers are great for picnics, as they travel well. Try a roll of fresh goat cheese, blue cheese, and a firm, salty cheese, like a gouda. For additional recommendation, check out this Picnic Wine and Cheese Recommendations.

For dessert, pack a fruit salad, or maybe some homemade graham crackers, marshmallows, and chocolate for s'mores.

What are your favorite picnic foods?

Photo: stevendepolo on flickr