Strawberry, Cucumber and Radish Salad with Pea Shoots

I‘m smack dab in the middle of my five-in-five entertaining stretch of summer but I had to pause the kitchen play and open up the laptop to bring you this vibrant, seasonal salad.

It features everything that is flawless in Nova Scotia markets right now: fresh sugar snap peas, cherry red radishes, new cucumbers and ruby strawberries. I’ve even worked in wild rose petals, because they currently line the neighbourhood lanes, parks and walkways and I can’t resist bringing them to the table.

Alongside this salad recipe, you’ll also find a little more picnic inspiration because the Summer of the Picnic continues. This time I teamed up with my friend Kelly for a whimsical picnic on our lakeside dock. Read on to join in on the fun.

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The Best Picnic Foods (BBQ Chicken recipe)

There’s something so nostalgic about spreading a blanket and opening a picnic basket. Perhaps because it signals a pause in the day; an opportunity to both feast and feel the breeze on our faces.

Experience has taught me that nearly any element of a picnic can go awry – but if there is excellent food to pass around, most anything – from wind to bugs – can be all but ignored. Which is why I plan on the best picnic foods I possibly can and then hope the weather cooperates.

Today I’m sharing a round-up of picnic eats from snacks to salads, as well as our new favourite cold picnic chicken recipe. Grab a pen and paper and plan your menu for this weekend. Summer is in full swing and the Great Outdoors is calling.

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Prepping for Simple Summertime Entertaining

Over the next five weeks, we’ll be hosting five families at our little lakeside homestead.

We could’t be more thrilled about our line-up of summer visitors; it means that we can hunker down in full staycation mode and still get to visit with out-of-town family and friends. Most people are making the trek to Nova Scotia for the very first time, and we’re going to ensure they have a wonderful visit.

So how do I feed a stream of house guests while still relaxing and enjoying my first Maritime summer? It comes down to combination of loosely structured menu planning, strategic meal prep…and letting go of perfection.

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Fudgy Chocolate Two-Bite Brownies (GF, DF)

I‘ve discovered the perfect picnic brownie and so naturally I’ve been making them on repeat. As is my custom with a favourite new-to-me recipe, I had to share it with you.

We’ve already had our first wave of summer visitors and we spent many happy hours exploring Nova Scotia beaches while they were here. With 10 hungry folks to feed, I needed a sweet treat the toss in the picnic basket that had a few redeeming qualities (my parents are extreeeeeemly health conscious).

Fortunately, Peace, Love & Fibre had just landed in my kitchen, the latest (and greatest!) cookbook from the Queen of Fibre herself, my friend, Mairlyn Smith.

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The Community Zero Waste Picnic Baskets

If you’re just catching up, I’ve officially declared this the Summer of the Picnic.

Now that we live just a short drive away from the Atlantic Ocean, the coastline beckon to us on sunny days. I’ve always got a basket at the ready and a plan of action for transporting our meal.

I’ve always been a picnic enthusiast, no matter the season. When the kids were little we bundled up for snow picnics, complete with hot cocoa and warm cookies.  My backyard garden inspired many a vegetarian picnic, and I’ve always found a reason to plan a fall picnic. They are good, simple family fun and we make the best memories every time we adventure out of doors with our dinner.

Earlier this spring, I did a massive sorting of all of my picnic gear and found I had plenty to spare. I decided to put together a few baskets for sharing around my community – zero-waste, plastic free picnic baskets with everything required for an outdoor feast.

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