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The Cookstr Weekly: Pack Your Picnic Basket

July 3, 2012

Getting warmer? As summer marks its official arrival, there’s no better time to pack up some portable treats and make a picnic at your local park or just in your backyard! Choose dishes that travel well and can be eaten at room temperature, like mayonnaise-free salads or veggies mixed with cooked grains. And don’t be afraid of bringing liquids: a thermos of chilled soup can be hugely refreshing on a hot day! Round out the meal with a Laced-Up Cherry Pie, as picture-perfect as it is picnic-friendly.

“From early May through July, look for the sweet golden cherries with red blushing color known as Royal Ann or Queen Anne. In late June and July, try the tart red Montmorency cherries. Both kinds of cherries make great pies … just adjust the sugar.” – Beth Allen

More Picnic Recipes from Cookstr:
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 On the Grill: Burgers with House-Made Buns, Pickles and Fries 
One of the best things about a grilling-season cookout is the flexibility of the level of investment and effort it takes to put forth a great meal. With some good-quality meat and maybe a few ears of corn, you can host a top-notch dinner with little hands-on work. But if you’re determined to take on a challenge and make everything from scratch, from the pickled veggies to the condiments, there are plenty of chances to impress. This recipe for Burgers with House-Made Buns, Pickles and Fries includes instructions for sesame buns, marinated onions, homemade mayonnaise, pickles, and seasoned steak fries. Just in case you want to do it all yourself.

Ripe blackberries fresh from the farmers’ market are a treat all their own, bringing back memories of pick-your-own farms and cardboard cartons that mysteriously emptied into purple-stained fingers before they were full. This recipe for Blackberry Focaccia allows the berries to pop in the usually-savory base of focaccia. Fans of olive oil desserts will recognize the earthy, smooth depth in this dish, which is ideal for breakfast, brunch or teatime. Eat the focaccia immediately, while warm, cut into generous slices and dusted with powdered sugar.

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