There is nothing more fun or romantic than dining out of doors. There is that mystical sense of calm that seems to occur when you are outside- relaxing at the beach, in your garden or at an outdoor picnic concert. Turn off those phones, crank up some fine tunes and break out the food and enjoy a picnicking extravaganza!

 

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The Beach Picnic

Some of the best beach days are in the fall. Most public beaches no longer charge an entrance fee., there aren’t any big crowds and you probably will have a pretty empty beach to enjoy. Theses are the days when you bring an umbrella to deflect the wind, not the sun and you wear your blankets, not lie on them. The best part about fall beach days are the walks. In many places, the water is still warm from a summer of sun and your feet might be warmer when you walk in the water rather than out.

Beach picnic food could be anything you want, but if you don’t like to use sand as a condiment bring easy to eat finger foods . Grapes and apples are perfect for munching. Southern fried chicken, sandwiches and cold salads in individual containers with lids work well.

 

 

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The ‘Why Not?’ Picnic

Meet your sweetheart of friends for a lunch break. WHY NOT? Pack a picnic hamper or backpack and take a break from your normal routine. If you plan to do this often, invest in a picnic basket that is suited to the type of foods or drinks you most often pack.

Plan easy to eat food and don’t serve a five course meal unless you are going to be there for a while. Cheeses, crackers, fruits and raw cleaned veggies are a great start. For really easy sandwiches, especially with children or sloppy eaters, try this:

 

Picnic Breads

Make or buy a pizza dough base. After it has risen, roll it out and cut it into 6″ circles by pressing the top of a large glass into the dough. Fill half of it with whatever you’d like:

  • chopped ham with gruyere cheese
  • mango chutney and a good Goat cheese
  • diced veggies and a sharp cheddar.
  • dampen the edges, fold in half and pinch the edges together. Brush with a beaten egg and let rise again.
  • Bake it in a hot oven until golden brown.

These travel well and you can make them really quickly the night before.

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Impromptu Picnics

Are you traveling a distance and just can’t seem to find someplace romantic to eat? Keep an empty picnic hamper in your trunk on those trips. Keep your eye out for a grocery that might carry provisions that you’d like. Cheeses, breads, fruits and wine… Pack your picnic on the run and find a spot off the side of the road to lay your picnic blanket out, eat, talk, doze and quite simple… live and love.
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Dinner Party Picnics

 

And why not dine outside in the fall? Set up your table in your garden, at a local park or in a field down the road (with the land owner’s permission, of course!) If you have a great car like this one, use it to ferry your guests back and forth. If not, a good solid ol’ clunker will do just fine!

Suggested serving idea: Set up the buffet in the trunk of the car. If you have an SUV, even better. Transport foods like dinner pies, casseroles, salads. Wrap them in tinfoil and they should stay warm for the trip. Stay away from soups and bring plenty of wine!

 

 

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Winter Picnics

No, this is not crazy. If you are skating, sledding or engaging in any outdoor activity, set up a table, bring pillows and blankets and set a fire somewhere close by. Being cooped up inside for a whole season is never fun and this might be a great way to get outside and enjoy the weather!

Buy a few Thermoses and fill them with hot cocoa or hot mulled wine! That will keep everyone nice and warm.

 

 

 

all of these photos are from our Traditions: Picnic Pinterest board. For accreditation, please see them there.