National Picnic Day & Giveaway!

Pack a Picnic, Recipes, Menus and Inspiration for the Perfect Portable Feast!

April 23rd is National Picnic Day and kicks off

 the season to pack a basket,

grab a blanket or quilt and head outdoors!

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 In celebration of National Picnic Day,

I’m sharing some picnic love and

 giving away my favorite picnic accessory. . .

Pottery Barn picnic tote. . . A Galvanized Metal 6-Pack Bottle Caddy

from Pottery Barn!

I recycled some jars that fit the caddy for the convenience and ease of toting flatware, food, napkins or flowers. . .

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 The Classico pasta sauce jars are taller than Ball pint jars and the Ball jar lids also fit the pasta jars for transporting food, salads, or drinks.

Classico recently changed the neck opening and lid on the jar so it’s narrower and the ball jar lids no longer fit, but you can still find some of the older designed jars on some store shelves or you can use Ball 1 1/2 pint jars.

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In addition to the galvanized caddy,

I’m also including a cookbook in the giveaway,

with 125 recipes for 29 seasonal menus. . .

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Picnic by DeeDee Stovel:

 Picnics are fun, casual, and somehow the food just tastes better in a beautiful outdoor setting.

In PICNIC, DeeDee Stovel offers 29 picnic event ideas with more than 125 recipes – packable repasts from an informal Berry Picking Picnic to an elegant Music Festival Picnic. Although PICNIC includes all of the traditional fare, the recipes for the soups, entrées, salads, and desserts are all a cut above the ordinary.

And when lazy summer days turn chilly, enjoy a Sports Booster Picnic, a Fall Foliage in New England Picnic, and an Après-Ski Picnic. Wine and beer selections accompany each menu. Plus picnic lore, packing to go, the perfect picnic basket, rainy day alternatives, and much more. It’s an all-American feast!

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I packed a post with picnics, portable salads,

and menu ideas from the archives . . .

Click on the links to revisit the posts

for picnic inspiration and  a taste :)

A Picnic with Lavender

A Picnic with Lavender

{Less} Labor Day Picnic

{Less} Labor Day Picnic

Celebrating the Red, White, & Blue Picnic

Celebrating the Red, White, and Blue Picnic

A Jeep Picnic

 A Jeep Picnic

An Apple Picnic

An Apple Picnic

Memorial Day From Stem to Stern

Memorial Day from Stem to Stern

Fall Picnic with Pumpkins

Fall Picnic with Pumpkins

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For a chance to win the picnic caddy & cookbook

let me know by comment your favorite picnic food

or spot to picnic. . .

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Subscribers/followers automatically get a second entry.

Subscribe by email or follow on Facebook

and let me know by comment.

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For a third entry, share this giveaway on Facebook

and leave an additional comment telling me so.

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Giveaway is open to those living in the continental US only. 

The winner will be chosen May 9th!

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“A picnic is more than eating a meal,

it’s a pleasurable state of mind.”

~ DeeDee Stovel, Picnic

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Happy Picnicking!

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Hopping Down the Bunny Trail

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Chloe & Gracie are hopping

down the bunny trail . . .

Chloe & Gracie Easter

To wish you a Happy Easter. . .

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Hope the Easter Bunny

brings you plenty of treats!

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Have a Safe and Joyous Easter!

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Bunny Tail Bonbons, aka White Chocolate-Cheesecake Truffles

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Help yourself to some Bunny Tail Bonbons, aka

White Chocolate-Cheesecake Truffles,

an easy, make-ahead recipe

for a sweet ending or Easter dessert!

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 This recipe hopped from the pages

of April issue of Southern Living Magazine.

You can serve these sweet confections in mini

 cupcake wrappers for a festive & tidy bite!

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Bunny Tail Bonbons,

aka White Chocolate-Cheesecake Truffles,

adapted from Southern Living 

 Makes approximately 2 dozen bonbons

Ingredients

1 1/2 (4-oz.) white chocolate baking bars, melted according to package directions

1 (8-oz.) package cream cheese, softened (I used Neufchâtel)

3/4 cup crushed coconut cookies, (I used Pepperidge Farm Sweet & Simple Coconut Cookies)

1 teaspoon vanilla

1/8 teaspoon kosher salt

1 – 1 1/2 cups shredded coconut

Preparation

1. Beat chocolate and cream cheese at medium speed with a mixer until smooth. Add cookies and next 2 ingredients, beating just until blended. Cover and chill 2 hours or overnight until ready to form the balls.

2. Shape into 1-inch balls (about 2 tsp. per ball), roll in coconut. Refrigerate in a single layer in a container up to 1 week.

Notes: This mixture is very sticky. Next time I would add a whole cup of crushed cookies or add 1/4 cup finely chopped pecans to the chocolate/cream cheese/cookie mixture for a little additional texture and crunch.

You can find a printable recipe, here.

Bunny Tail Bonbons

Happy Easter Week!

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At the Table with Easter Greetings

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 I’m sending Easter Greetings your way,

at the table with eggs, blooms

and vintage postcards!

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Our spring has been cool & slow to arrive this year,

but the azaleas are beginning to bloom. . .

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. . .just in time to celebrate with

egg cup vases at the table!

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 A three-tiered server/cupcake stand provides a

 quick & easy Easter centerpiece for the table!

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Gather your candy eggs, chocolate bunnies

and dyed or faux Easter Eggs. . .

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Fill teacups with paper shred

or Easter grass

for decoration and to serve. . .

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. . . then tuck in a few blooms.

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An Easy 5 Minute Centerpiece for your

Easter table or buffet that provides dessert too!

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Vintage-inspired postcards are at each

place setting for Joyful Easter wishes.

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And wrapped chocolates

provide sweet sentiments.

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And flatware is blooming along with

a quilted coverlet on the table.

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Easter Greetings Table Details:

Rose Dishes, Teacups/ Avenir China Limoges

White Plate, Paula Deen Whitaker

Charger, Easter Chocolates, Egg Cups/ HomeGoods

Flatware/ Portmeirion Botanic Garden

Goblets/ Mikasa French Countryside

Napkins/ Pottery Barn

Quilt/ Kohl’s, used for a Bunny Picnic

3 Tier Server/ World Market, used for Easter Peeps and

Lemon- Dill Chicken Salad Stuffed Eggs 

Vintage-inspired Post Cards, Cavallini & Company

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Best Easter Wishes. . .

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from Our Boat to Yours!

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Thank you for your visit, I’m joining:

 Metamorphosis Monday,

The Scoop,  Inspire Me Tuesday

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You Are As Welcome As The Flowers Of Spring

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 I had a little chalkboard door inspiration from

 Beatrix Potter Week with The Novel Bakers. . .

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and Beatrix Potter’s Gardening Life.

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“You are as welcome

as the flowers of spring!”


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Spring has been slower arriving this year

so blooms on the door are welcome . . .

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 Along with the grape hyacinths

in a bunny planter. . .

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We’re slowly beginning

to green up. . .

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Daffodils are in bloom. . .

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And the birds are

beginning to nest. . .

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I cut some purple leaf plum blossoms 

to fill some watering cans before they

became scattered like pink confetti. . .

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 And bunnies are multiplying!

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I hope you are welcoming

spring where you are!

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Thank you for your visit, I’m joining:

Metamorphosis Monday,

The ScoopInspire Me Tuesday,

Wow Us Wednesdays, Inspiration Gallery,

Home Sweet HomeBe Inspired Friday,

Feathered Nest FridaySeasonal Sundays

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Easter Blues: Hydrangeas, Bunnies & Mikasa Jet Set Blue

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I’m celebrating Easter with Blues. . .

Hydrangeas, Bunnies, and

Mikasa Jet Set Blue Dinnerware!

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  Mikasa Jet Set Blue is versatile for casual or formal dining,

 accented with striated lines that add a subtle textural detail,

and rimmed with a band in three shades of blue.

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When I first saw this dinnerware with its clean lines,

 I envisioned setting sail with a nautical table

with lanterns, buoys, and accents of red.

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But I moored my plans for a nautical table,

waiting for warmer waters

when boating season is under way :)

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While this dinnerware is not what you would expect to find

on your Easter table, I had some hydrangea

inspiration from a pair of bunnies. . .

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. . . that hopped to the table, begging to be paired with a

hydrangea tablecloth, egg cups and bunny napkin rings.

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 Appropriate for an Easter Blues table

with Easter on its way!

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   A Ryland wine glass offers an unexpected and unique

square shape, crafted from European lead-free crystal. . .

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. . .and offering a little porch railing reflection :)

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 And bunnies are coupled with a duo of napkins, a solid

blue, paired with a print that matches the tablecloth.

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 Eggs cups are filled with egg shells as vases to hold a

bloom of hydrangea at each place setting~ an easy &

 fun detail for a spring or Easter table, taking care to crack

your eggs and saving your shells.

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 And a basket is filled with hydrangeas,

hyacinth bulbs, ivy, moss and eggs

for an Easter basket centerpiece for the table.

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You can find all the Mikasa Jet Set Blue options here:

 www.mikasa.com/source?src=MARYMBLOGMKJS201

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Easter Blues Details:

*Dinnerware/ Jet Set Blue by Mikasa

 *Flatware/ Mikasa Duo

*Stemware/ Mikasa Ryland

Tablecloth, Napkins /  Cynthia Rowley, HomeGoods

Egg Cups / HomeGoods

Bunny Napkin Rings/ Pottery Barn

Hydrangea Bunnies/ Hobby Lobby

 Chargers, Navy Napkins/ Pier 1

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*Lifetime Brands’ products have been provided free of charge in exchange for promotional consideration.

Mikasa Jet Set Blue Easter Table

 Happy Easter Wishes!

Thank you for your visit, I’m joining:

 Metamorphosis Monday,

The Scoop,  Inspire Me Tuesday

Wow Us WednesdaysTablescape Thursday

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Peter Rabbit Chocolate Zucchini Cupcakes

Peter Rabbit Chocolate Zucchini Cupcakes

I’m joining The Novel Bakers

for Beatrix Potter and Bunny Week

and ending on a sweet note. . .

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 I found a Peter Rabbit Cupcake Kit which called

 for a batch of Peter Rabbit Cupcakes,

complete with Jemima Puddle-Duck, Tom Kitten

and Benjamin Bunny!

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So I found a recipe for Chocolate Zucchini Cupcakes~

a recipe that everybunny would enjoy :)

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I made a few changes to the original recipe after reading the reviews. These cupcakes are a delicious way to use zucchini, which adds moisture rather than a distinct flavor!

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Chocolate Zucchini Cupcakes,

adapted from Taste of Home

Makes 2 dozen cupcakes

Ingredients

1-1/4 cups butter, softened
1-1/2 cups sugar
2 eggs
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
2-1/2 cups all-purpose flour
3/4 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
1 teaspoon baking powder
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
6 oz. container plain yogurt
1/2 cup mini chocolate chips
2 cups grated zucchini

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In a large bowl, cream butter and sugar until light and fluffy. Add eggs, one at a time, beating well after each addition. Stir in vanilla. Combine the flour, cocoa, baking powder, baking soda and salt; add to the creamed mixture alternately with yogurt, beating well after each addition. Fold in zucchini and chocolate chips.

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Fill paper-lined muffin cups two-thirds full. Bake at 350° for 20 - 25 minutes or until a toothpick inserted near the center comes out clean. Cool for 10 minutes before removing from pans to wire racks to cool completely.

You can find a printable recipe here.

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Frost cupcakes with favorite

Chocolate or Cream Cheese frosting.

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You can find a 5 star-rated Chocolate Frosting here,

or a 5 star-rated Cream Cheese Frosting here.

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I’m joining The Novel Bakers

for Beatrix Potter Week. . .

Visit Jain and Michael Lee

for more Bunny/Beatrix Potter fun:

 a quiet life

Rattlebridge Farm 

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You can follow The Novel Bakers on Pinterest,

and find all the Beatrix Potter recipes

and bunny inspiration for the week!

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Thank you for your visit, also sharing at:

Marvelous Mondays,  Metamorphosis Monday,

The ScoopInspire Me Tuesday,

Wow Us WednesdaysFoodie FridayHome Sweet Home,

 Be Inspired FridaySeasonal Sundays