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​Picnic at the Farmer’s Market

There is something so exhilarating about a summer jaunt to the farmer’s market.

As I stroll about the place with my latte, I feel so content, resourceful and fairly “cool.” I sample pickles and drool over berry pies, take snapshots of colorful produce and marvel at nature’s bounty. It makes you feel like you should just become a vegetarian-slash/ baked-goods-atarian (definitely not a vegan though, because of the fabulous artisan cheeses #yum). In my town, our farmer’s market is a beloved event.


As typical at many markets, the farmers’ tents and tables are abundant with amazing produce, baked goods and more. Along with all of the farmers’ goodness, we are lucky to be treated to a concert in the park adjacent to the market. What could be lovelier? I liked it all so much, I decided to share my love for the market and host a picnic for friends there at the market! Here are some of the farm fresh recipes and picnic packing ideas that will have you wanting to gather up family and friends, pack a picnic and head to the market, too!

So, you are probably thinking “Oh, sure, just pack a picnic.” I know, packing a picnic for a crowd can seem like a chore. There are some key elements to an EASY and delicious portable feast.


The List

As a veteran event planner, my most important tool is the simple concept called a “list.” I am a list maker from way back…and if you want to make life simple when planning a gathering, you should take up this habit too. The first thing on my “list” is a menu. When you start your planning with a menu, everything else follows. This is important because then you know what you will make, what you will solicit from guests, and what extra goodies you will simply pick up at the market.

“De-le-gation…ity-ahty-aition!” (while clapping and chanting over and over)

The next big message, DON’T BE A SLAVE TO YOUR PICNIC! I highly suggest that you don’t make every little morsel yourself because this ties you to your kitchen and makes you resent your party. Here’s a little party planning chant that you should keep flowing in the back of your brain…ready, everyone now…”delegation…ity-ahty- aition!” I am a big proponent of the idea that “many hands make light work.” So, in that spirit, delegate categories of food to your friends like this: “Julie, you make that killer Waldorf Salad, bring it to the picnic tomorrow.” Simple, right? Do that with 5 more people and you have a lot of your work done for you. Then, only make a few signature items and pick-up already created food goods, because who wants to work that hard at creating a casual affair, like a picnic. Don’t resent your party.


The Gear

Next, one of the most important elements to your picnic at the market: you MUST have the right portable gear. We need to keep the cold items cold and the warm items warm but while we are being responsible with our food stuffs, we also want to be fashionable. As you peruse my recipes check out some of the helpful must-have picnic-going gear.

The big issue with a traveling feast is keeping food at temperature. Fit & Fresh has some of the best products I have ever used to keep my picnic food cold or hot—either way, it will be fresh and safe to eat. I used their Gatherings Bakeware Insulated Server, a glass casserole that is encased in a protective plastic container with a hinged lid, along with the Gatherings Divided Serving Platter. This product has it all. It allows you to travel your food easily with a strap handle that wraps around the insulated container. The best part, Fit & Fresh also makes fabulous insulated and sealed bowls. I love this product line!


One of my favorite items is the Picnic Time Backpack. I just love to stuff it full of bottles of Prosecco and vino. So easy to strap to my back keeping my beverages cold and my hands free as I unload goods for the big picnic.


Next is the coolest combination of cheese tray, cutting board and cheese cutter storage unit by Metrokane. This makes portable storage of your cheese knives a perfect way to transport your charcuterie and cheese platter while providing you with a cutting board.


The Recipes

Fresh Peach Bellini

Outdoor dining calls for a refreshing sip. This drink is so sophisticated and lovely that it would be a crime to serve it in a plastic cup. Get fancy, treat yourself and your guests, bring out some gorgeous glassware like this Patina Vie barware.


Fresh Peach Bellini


8-10 servings


  • 6 fresh peaches, seeded, blanched, peeled and sliced
  • 1 750 ml bottle of Prosecco or sparkling wine
  • 6 oz of Amaretto liqueur
  • Sprigs of mint for garnish
  • 3 cups of crushed ice


  1. In a blender, place fresh peach slices into the blender with the crushed ice and Amaretto until it is the consistency of a slushy.
  2. Pour the blend into a larger pitcher and add the Prosecco or sparkling wine. Stir gently to mix, pour into glasses and garnish with a peach slice or sprig of mint.

Farm Fresh Veggies with Rosemary & Roasted Garlic White Bean Dip

Nothing against the veggies but I could just eat this simple dip with a spoon. Choose any vegetables that you love to dip with as an accoutrement. I also add crostini, breadsticks or sometimes pita chips to serve this delicious dip with.


Farm Fresh Veggies with Rosemary & Roasted Garlic White Bean Dip


  • 2 cans white beans, drained (use cannellini or northern white beans)
  • 2-3 garlic cloves, peeled and roasted
  • 3-4 tsp. fresh rosemary, chopped
  • 1 lemon, zested and juiced
  • 4 tbs. extra virgin olive oil
  • Sea salt and pepper to taste


  1. Add the drained beans, roasted garlic cloves, lemon zest, and lemon juice to the bowl of a food processor. Process the mixture until smooth.
  2. While the machine is running, drizzle the olive oil into the bowl. Add in the rosemary, salt and pepper, blend until combined.
  3. Transfer to a bowl and serve. Add a drizzle of olive oil to the top of the dip with a sprig of flat leaf parsley for a beautiful garnish.

Heirloom Garlic and Roasted Tomato Vinaigrette

This is a super-summery dressing to add to any salad. I like to serve this fresh vinaigrette over grilled romaine lettuce. Instead of always serving food in containers that are high on ultra-practical and low on style, I like to bring a piece of real service ware to the table. The Le Cordon Bleu casserole in blue is a substantial piece and a beautiful way to serve this salad.


Heirloom Tomato and Roasted Garlic Vinaigrette​


  • 2 vine-ripened red tomatoes, halved and seeded
  • 1 pint of heirloom cherry tomatoes- quartered
  • 2 cloves roasted garlic
  • 2 tablespoons of grated parmesan cheese
  • 2 tablespoon red-wine vinegar
  • 2 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil
  • 2 tablespoon finely chopped fresh parsley, or basil
  • Salt & freshly ground pepper, to taste


Roast garlic:

  1. Heat the oven to 400°F.
  2. Peel away the loose outer layers around a head of garlic. Leave the head itself intact with cloves connected. Trim the top of the head of garlic about 1/8 inch to expose the tops of the garlic cloves.
  3. Drizzle 1 to 2 teaspoons of olive oil over the garlic.
  4. Next, wrap the garlic aluminum foil and roast in the oven for 30-40 minutes. Depending on the size and amount of garlic you are roasting, check the garlic at 20 min. to see if it is golden brown and softened.


  1. Using a box grater over a bowl, grate the larger tomatoes until you get to the skin.
  2. Press the roasted garlic into the bowl out of two cloves.
  3. Whisk in the vinegar and drizzle the olive oil into the mixture.
  4. Next, whip in the cheese, parsley, salt and pepper to taste.
  5. Gently add the cherry tomatoes into the vinaigrette and pour over the lettuce of choice.

50/50 Bar

Last but not least, dessert!



Soda Pop Lemon Curd:

  • 3 large eggs
  • 1/2 cup coconut sugar
  • 1/4 cup fresh lemon juice
  • Zest of 1 large lemon
  • 4 tablespoons butter, diced
  • 1/8 cup of lemon lime soda

Soda Pop Lime Curd:

  • 3 large eggs
  • 1/2 cup coconut sugar
  • 1/4 cup fresh lime juice
  • Zest of 1 large Lime
  • 4 tablespoons butter, diced
  • 1/8 cup of lemon lime soda

Zest Crust:

  • 1 cup of soft butter
  • 2 cups of flour
  • ½ cup Sugar
  • Zest of one lemon
  • Zest of one lime
  • Garnish
  • Powdered Sugar
  • Zest of one lemon
  • Zest of one lime


Lemon and Lime Curd:

  1. Whisk the ingredients, excluding the butter, until smooth.
  2. Place over low heat. Stir constantly with a wooden spoon until the mixture thickens, about 5 minutes. Turn to low and add the butter. Stir until smooth. Pour into a bowl, cover and refrigerate for at least 1 hour.
  3. Once the crust and curd have cooled, spoon and smooth one layer of the lemon curd and then the lime curd should be layered on top of the lemon curd. Shake a light dusting of powdered sugar over the lime curd.
  4. Refrigerate for 1 hour – cut in two inch squares and serve

Zest Crust:

  1. On low, process all of the ingredients.
  2. Press mixture evenly into the bottom of an un-greased 9 x 13 inch pan.
  3. Gently press the fork tines into the dough in three rows throughout the top of the pressed the dough.
  4. Bake for 20 minutes at 350 degrees.

Also shown: Picnic Time Portable Folding Picnic Table, Picnic Time Blanket Tote, Allsop Solar Tea Lanterns

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