Chocolate chip cream cheese browniesJanet Tharpe

Janet's Notebook

Kick-off summer with the perfect picnic
Janet Tharpe

After this cold winter, I'm really looking forward to getting outdoors again. Whether it be spending the day at the lake, going to a park nearby or just moving dinner outside, I think having a picnic is one of the best parts of summer. 

And what's going to be packed in my basket? Definitely a few of these delectable recipes!

Being from the South, no picnic is complete without fried chicken. And, Ginger Dean's Southern Fried Chicken makes my picnic menu. "Everyone who has ever tried mine really loves it, and wants to know how I get it so crispy," says Ginger. We love the buttermilk soak combined with the self-rising flour ... super crunchy.

"I have come up with this recipe which has a secret ingredient that adds a great taste," teases Stacey Vadas. I would agree the addition of curry powder in her Fabulous Chicken Salad is unexpected and very pleasing on the palate. I really loved the coleslaw also added to this salad. It makes it extra creamy and delicious.

What is the best thing about Elaine Moretti's Donna's Macaroni Salad recipe? Besides being super yummy, it contains no mayo making it a picnic-perfect recipe.  "Everyone always asks me to make double so they will have some to take home," says Elaine. The recipe is terrific as written, but it would also be fairly easy to substitute in any other veggies you may have in your kitchen. Yummy!

Kelly Phillips' delicious Rice Salad with a Citrus Vinaigrette was a wonderful surprise to the entire Crew ... surprising in that we all agreed at how good it was! "This is an incredible salad," explains Kelly. "You don't have to worry about keeping it cool or warm." The vinaigrette is divine. I can't wait to share this one with my friends .

Grazing seems to be one of my favorite things to do at a picnic. And one appetizer I can't get enough of is onion dip. Looks like Jenni James agrees! "I absolutely love onion dip and [this] is made of fresh ingredients is a bonus," says Jenni. Her Foodchickie's Favorite Onion Dip recipe is an easy and TASTY dip that everyone is sure to enjoy. Great to serve with pretzels and chips ... or even some cut up veggies.

Ania Rebeil's Chocolate Chip Cream Cheese Brownies are a favorite in her family and have quickly become a favorite in mine too. These taste as good as you'd imagine ... and then some. They are addictive and will be a hit at your picnic. 

What better way to spend a wonderful day outdoors than by sipping Lynn & Paul's Fruit Tea. "We really like the blend of juices," says Linda Barker. I couldn't agree more! The blend of pineapple with the citrus juices makes this a very refreshing tea. A nice cool down on a warm day.

On the next sunny day, grab the coolers, a bag of ice and head outdoors. I hope you kick-off the the first of many summer picnics with these delicious recipes.


� 2011 Just A Pinch Recipe Club. Used by Permission.

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