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Special picnic menu: concert on the lawn, parents' 45th

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I'll be packing a picnic tomorrow to take to an outdoor event with my folks in the evening. It also happens to be their 45th anniversary so I'd like it to be a little more special than normal.

Parameters:
-Needs to have relatively simple prep. I'll have time tomorrow, but I also have three children (two of them small) and will be finishing up the parental housecleaning.
-Meat and seafood are both OK. They aren't big fans of goat, blue or feta cheese. No shellfish
-room temp food is best, since we can only bring a small cooler

My go-to dish in the past has always been a brick-flattened sandwich-usually with tapenade, tomato bruschetta topping from TJs, goat cheese, salami, basil leaves and balsamic vinegar. Fabulous, lots of flavor, easy to make. I think they don't notice the goat cheese when I put so much else in with it :)

What are your favorites?

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  1. I like cubes of beef tenderloin wrapped in whole, fresh herbs. Rosemary has worked well for me: skewer the cubes, and wrap with a few sprigs. grill - you want hashmarks on this, if possible. Chill, and serve when you've brought them up to room temp., with a roasted bell-pepper aioli. Or mayo mixed with roasted pepper tapenade. : ) enjoy.

    1. Heirloom tomatoes salad
      beef tenderloin on rolls with a horseradish sauce
      I love room temp fried chicken!
      country ham biscuits
      Ina Garten does some good menus for things like this....

      2 Replies
      1. re: LaLa

        Hmmm-these all sound very good! Not sure if I'll manage to find the time to grill tomorrow, but that's a great idea for a barbecue I'm having on Saturday.

        I did some perusing of Ina Garten recipes and am liking the looks of several things I found there-curried chicken salad/wraps (my mom loves-not an adventurous choice but know it'd make her happy and it's easy); wheat berry salad; roasted shrimp salad.

        1. re: girlwonder88

          those seem like good recipes that'll transport well.

          You can bring the curried chicken salad in a container and the rolls/wraps separately so nothing gets soggy.

          Ina Garten also has lots of portable bars that you might make for dessert