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Picnic


Picnic
125 Recipes with 29 Seasonal Menus 
by DeeDee Stovel
Storey Books, 2001

This book offers menus, recipes and planning suggestions for 29 portable repasts, from an "After the Wedding" Brunch Picnic to a Workday Picnic. Arranged seasonally, the suggested picnics cover all 12 months of the year, beginning with a Spring Day-Hike Picnic and progressing to a Summer Canoe Picnic, an Autumn Beach Picnic and then, in winter, an Apres-Ski Picnic.

125 Recipes with 
29 Seasonal Menus

Picnics are usually associated with lazy Sunday afternoon trips to the seashore or a riverside park and a hamper full of sandwiches, cold meats and lemonade.




Origins

The origin of the word "picnic" is something of a mystery. It first appeared in France in the late 16th century as "pique-nique" but was not used in England until after 1800.  Originally, picnics were social events where each guest provided a share of the food, sort of like a potluck.  Later, picnics became associated withs outdoor excursion to a place in the country where friends would meet and share provisions.

As a professional caterer, the author -- DeeDee Stovel -- knows a thing or two about cooking for the road and packing meals to go. Her recipes reflect her New England background and family upbringing; most are designed for eight servings.

"Cut the recipes in half if you outing will consist of a quartet," she suggests, "or plan to have leftovers. Romantics picnics for two are designed for smaller quantities."

While writing the book, Stovel asked friends and acquaintances to reflect on their favorite picnics. Invariably, their heads would tilt back, their eyes would close and a smile would creep across their faces.

"Picnics nourish the body, mind, and soul," she points out.

Picnic offers a pleasant mix of inspiration, creative ideas and detailed advice for introducing this kind of nourishment into our lives.





Recipe:
Rosemary Chicken Almondine
  • 4 whole boneless, skinless chicken breasts
  • salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • 1 tablespoon melted butter
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1/2 cup dry white wine
  • 2 tablespoons chopped fresh rosemary
  • 1/2 cup sliced almonds, toasted
Preheat oven to 350 F
  1. Wash the chicken and pat it dry. Arrange in a single layer in a shallow baking dish sprayed with vegetable cooking spray. Sprinkle with salt and pepper.
  2. Combine the butter and olive oil and pour over the chicken. Pour the wine over the chicken.
  3. Sprinkle with rosemary and scatter the almonds on top, Bake for 20 minutes, or until the chicken is cooked through. Cool slightly and store in the refrigerator until party time. Serve at room temperature.
Serves 8
         
Cook's Tip
To toast almonds, spread them thinly in the pan of a toaster oven. Turn it on to 400 F and cook for 5 to 10 minutes, or until the almonds are lightly browned and fragrant. Check them after 5 minutes, so they don’t get too dark.
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