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    May 30, 2019

    June 2019 Corporate Newsletter

    Warmer temperatures just beg for al fresco dining and what better way to enjoy a meal outside than at your local park or beach. To ensure you have the best experience possible, keep these tips in mind for packing the perfect picnic.

    Pack Smart.
    The first step in packing the perfect picnic is choosing the right basket. Although wicker baskets may look nice, they aren’t very functional. Look for insulated baskets or coolers. Pack heartier items on the bottom, like cooked meats, and more delicate items, such as fruits and vegetables on top. If you’re planning to grill and you’re packing raw meats, you may want to opt for two coolers – one for the raw food and one for the cooked and fresh
    food to prevent cross contamination. To avoid soggy salads and sandwiches, keep dressings and sauces on the side until you’re ready to eat.

    Do as much prep as you can ahead of time.
    It’s much easier to cut and dice at home where you have ample counter space, cutting boards, and your full knife collection. Plastic knives can only do so much! Even if you plan to leave some tasks for last minute, like mixing or seasoning, try and do as much as you can ahead of time. This also leaves you more time to enjoy the sunshine with your family and friends.

    Freeze water bottles.
    The main rule for outdoor dining is to keep hot foods hot and cold foods cold. Packing frozen water bottles serves double duty – they help keep your cold items cold and also guarantees you’ll have cold water to drink later on in the day.

    Enforce the 2-hour rule.
    While the ultimate goal of your picnic should be to have fun, you also want to keep food safety in mind. The rule of thumb to remember is to toss any food that has been out in the sun for more than 2 hours. That means if you didn't finish the pasta salad or chicken you brought and you don’t have a way to keep it cold, you’ll have to leave the leftovers behind. And on those really hot days when the temperature hits 90 degrees, the safe cut off is 1
    hour. It’s better to be safe than sorry!

    Plan for easy cleanup.
    We tend to get so focused on the food we want to pack that we forget about the cleanup essentials. Wet wipes are great to pack for sticky hands and spills. A roll of paper towels – good for cleanup and also a substitute for napkins, which tend to fly away on a windy day. You might want to stash some reusable containers in your basket for packing up leftovers and a garbage bag, which can save you from having to run back and forth to nearest garbage can to throw everything away.

    RECIPE CORNER

    PERSIAN CUCUMBER & TOMATO SALAD WITH PRESERVED LEMON

    INGREDIENTS
    3 cups diced unpeeled small cucumbers,
    1½ cups assorted cherry tomatoes, halved or quartered
    ¼ cup finely chopped white onion
    3 tablespoons coarsely chopped fresh parsley
    1 tablespoon coarsely chopped fresh mint
    2 teaspoons minced preserved lemon or
    1 teaspoon lemon zest 1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice
    ¼ teaspoon kosher salt
    2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
    Freshly ground pepper to taste

    PREPARATION
    Combine cucumbers, tomatoes, onion, parsley, mint, preserved
    lemon (or zest), lemon juice and salt in a medium bowl. Let stand
    for at least 10 minutes (and up to 2 hours) for the flavors to meld.
    Add oil and toss to coat. Season with pepper. Make Ahead Tip: Let
    stand at room temperature for up to 2 hours. Persian cucumbers
    are nearly seedless and are thin-skinned enough to be served
    unpeeled. They're usually 5 to 6 inches long and can be used
    interchangeably with the similar but larger English cucumber.

    WATERMELON FRUIT PIZZA

    INGREDIENTS
    ½ cup low-fat plain yogurt
    1 teaspoon honey
    ¼ teaspoon vanilla extract
    2 large round slices watermelon (about 1 inch thick), cut from the
    center of the melon
    ⅔ cup sliced strawberries
    ½ cup halved blackberries
    2 tablespoons torn fresh mint leaves

    PREPARATION
    Combine yogurt, honey and vanilla in a small bowl. Spread ¼ cup
    yogurt mixture over each slice of watermelon. Cut each slice into
    8 wedges. Top with strawberries, blackberries and mint.

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