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Party in Five: Retro-Inspired Picnic in the Park for Two


We here at Cooking Channel love a good party. But throwing a memorable event requires more than just gathering some food and drinks. We show you how, with just five main “ingredients” (including recipes, big-impact decorating ideas and easy DIY elements), you can throw a party that feels like it has a cohesive theme — minimal work required.

Gorgeous weather often infects people with a specific spontaneity — the impulse to cancel those dinner reservations, head to the park and soak up as many sun-filled minutes of the day as possible. I love taking a tried-and-true concept like this one and giving it a few gourmet touches. When you factor in homemade food, this picnic in the park captures a timeless American spirit. The cross-generational tradition offers a way for people to get outdoors and enjoy public spaces — and an excuse to indulge in that most classic of picnic customs, fried chicken. So locate a shady spot in your favorite neighborhood park and gather some vintage-inspired elements to host your own picnic reminiscent of summers past.

To host this retro picnic in the park, you’ll need five essential ingredients:

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How to Pack a Perfect Picnic for Labor Day

Spend the last official days of summer outdoors with some of our favorite packable recipes. Be sure to make extra servings for your Labor Day picnic; these dishes won’t even last as long as your fleeting summer tan.

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Sifted: Decadent French Toast + Our New Takes on Picnic Recipes

White Chocolate Raspberry French Toast by Raspberri Cupcakes

5 Hot Links We’re Loving:

  1. Raspberri Cupcakes’ white chocolate + raspberry French toast is a blissful morning treat to kick start a fabulous day.
  2. The Slow Roasted Italian’s recipe for pretzel buns is a tasty twist for your next burger night. They’re also great to enjoy by themselves.
  3. Have you tried Trader Joe’s Cookie Butter? These rich, chocolatey truffles by From Which Things Grow are enough reason to go buy a jar.
  4. 80 breakfasts is an expert when it comes to her morning meals. So when she says to bake an egg in avocado (and top with cheddar cheese), we add it to our list of things to try out.
  5. This summer pasta salad by The Talking Kitchen fits right in at a summer picnic. It’s as simple as letting the brie, garlic, tomatoes and basil marinate to form a delicious dressing.

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Create Your Own: Pasta Salad

Pasta Salad Recipe

Learn the basic elements of a pasta salad and then mix and match to create a recipe tailored to your tastebuds:

Pasta
Experiment with shapes such as orecchiette, penne, or radiator, cooked al dente.

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Picnic for the Planet

Earth Day is celebrated on April 22 by more than 175 countries, so a picnic to celebrate earth’s big day would have a pretty lengthy guest list. But it’s the Earth, after all, so it deserves it. What better way to celebrate the planet than with the world’s biggest picnic?

That’s just what The Nature Conservancy is planning this year with Picnic for the Planet, and you’re invited to join. All you have to do is throw a picnic, outside, somewhere in the world, sometime on April 22 (get all the rules before you pack your picnic basket). To make sure your picnic’s got the best food and is best for the earth, our test kitchens teamed up with The Nature Conservancy to come up with some picnic-packing guidelines.

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