Tagged ‘picnic’

  • How To: Throw a 4th of July Picnic

    Red White & Blue 4th of July Cake Balls

    Red, White & Blue Cake Balls from Cake Balls by Dede Wilson

    This is my first Fourth of July in Boston, and I’m pretty psyched to watch the fireworks over the Charles River, listen to the Boston Pops play, and eat plenty of scrumptious, patriotic food. If you’re planning on spending your holiday outside, chowing down picnic-style like me, then you’re in luck. I’ve put together a special July 4th Picnic menu, from drinks and appetizers to dessert. Enjoy and have a safe and happy holiday!

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  • Old-Fashioned Lemonade

    Old Fashioned Homemade Lemonade Recipe

    Recipe: Old-Fashioned Lemonade

    Summary: Homemade lemonade is comfort food. Like Mom’s meat loaf or mashed potatoes, the memories we associate with lemonade are special. Homemade lemonade is a treasure we need to pass on. My daughter, Laura, suggested that since the rind has lots of flavor (actually lemon oils), I needed to get it in the lemonade somehow. Since she was one of my chief guinea pig tasters, I gave it some thought, and here’s the result. By infusing the zest into the sugar syrup, I got a bigger and more stimulating lemon essence, which made the lemonade better. Makes a little shy of 2 quarts

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  • Picnic Season

    Today would be a terrible day for a picnic in Boston– it’s been raining since I woke up! But that doesn’t change the fact that it’s National Picnic Day, so if it’s a beautiful day where you are, pack a picnic basket and get to the park! Or, at least spend some time outside during your lunch hour why dontcha?

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  • Watermelon Lemonade

    watermelon lemonade

    Recipe: Watermelon Lemonade

    Summary: As the pickup truck filled with watermelons traveled down the road, my dad would always say, “There goes a load of August hams.” In eastern North Carolina, watermelons carried that nickname because of their shape and harvest time. Watermelon is one of my favorite fruits. Lately, the news from the health circles is that watermelons have extra-good stuff in them. Combining two of summer’s favorites, watermelon and lemonade, seems only natural.

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  • Smoked Albacore-Potato Salad


    Recipe: Smoked Albacore-Potato Salad

    Summary: A West Coast favorite for smoking, albacore brims with fish oils that flavor it richly. We use it more frequently for smoking than the more delicate yellowfin tuna.

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  • Strawberry Shortcakes… in Jars

    On Friday, we introduced you to our newest spring title, Desserts in Jars by Shaina Olmanson. This weekend, I put the book to the test and baked one of my favorite old-fashioned treats: Strawberry Shortcakes. It tasted like the perfect summer dessert, with fresh strawberries and homemade whipped cream, and made for a fantastic picnic treat as the individually-stored cakes stacked and traveled well.

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  • National Macaroni Day!

    It may be the middle of summer, but July 7 just happens to be National Macaroni Day.  I don’t know about where you’re from, but it’s way too hot in Boston today to enjoy a warm mac and cheese dish.  Instead, here’s a recipe for Old-Fashioned Picnic Macaroni Salad, straight out of  Diane Phillips’s Perfect Party Food.  Nothing too fancy going on here, just a classic dish that is sure to bring back childhood picnic memories—or in my case, big summer family reunions!

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  • Rhubarb Rules!

    I have been seeing rhubarb everywhere lately! And rightfully so, as rhubarb is still quite in season in this hemisphere.  Originally used for medicinal purposes, this vegetable (who knew?!) was not used as a food for thousands of years, not until sugar became more easily accessible and available.  Its intensely bitter flavor, mixed with the sweetness of strawberries and other fruits and sugar, makes for some delicious early summer treats.  Here are some of my favorite recipes for rhubarb dishes, including a non-traditional rhubarb pie, a refreshing summer cooler, and a jam mixing fruit and flowers.  Just remember not to use the rhubarb leaves—they can be toxic!

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  • Sumner, Washington, Rhubarb Custard Pie

    I had seen several references to Sumner, Washington, declaring the town to be the rhubarb pie capital of the country. I love that sort of boast, so I called the mayor, Barbara Skinner, and asked her if she’d care to comment. She told me, quite frankly, that she wasn’t sure where the pie title came from. But she informed me that Sumner—a town of 8,800 in the southern Puget Sound area, where she was born and raised—is in the fertile Puyallup Valley, which produces 90 percent of the rhubarb grown in this country. Fair enough. As the town’s mayor, would she be willing to share the best local recipe for rhubarb pie? Indeed, she would, and by the end of the day, she’d sent me this recipe from the local St. Andrew’s Church cookbook, adding a note that “everyone in the church is a good cook.” They must be, because the pie is quite excellent— a thick layer of rhubarb on top of a very light custard. I think you’ll enjoy this quite a bit.

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  • Happy National Blueberry Pie Day!

    It’s finally starting to feel like spring up here in New England!  One of my favorite things about this season is picnicking, and what’s a necessity at ever spring picnic?  That would be pie of course.  Lucky for me, April 28 is National Blueberry Pie Day, and we’ve got a delicious recipe for this classic dessert, straight out of Ken Haedrich’s Pie.  This one can be made with wild, canned, frozen, or fresh blueberries and has a crunchy, yet tender, texture.  Ken recommends serving with vanilla ice cream—yum!

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