The Flavors of Fall Picnic

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I’m joining The Novel Bakers for Picnic Week!

The Novel Bakers have had a full & delicious week packing picnic baskets and cooking up recipes for picnic week!

Here’s a final picnic to wrap up the week and with a little fall flavor to end on!

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Fall is my favorite season and the perfect time to picnic or tailgate!

I found a vintage Redmon picnic basket from a favorite antique mall for $15 to pack up and take home with me. . .

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The brown woven plaid basket reminiscent of football, fall sweaters,

leaves and thermoses filled with steaming soup!

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Our leaves don’t typically change in North Carolina until October so I packed some fall photos from the archives to add for some additional seasonal color!

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My galvanized bottle tote (from Pottery Barn) makes a convenient picnic caddy. . .

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And makes it easy to tote jars of flatware, napkins, food, flowers/ leaves and bottles or glasses for a picnic. We’re picnicking with Shelton Vineyards Madison Lee, a Yadkin Valley North Carolina wine. You can enjoy a visit and sample some other Bottled Sunshine, here.

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My salad inspiration for our picnic came from Picnics & Tailgates: Good Food for the Great Outdoors (Williams-Sonoma Outdoors)

Spinach Salad with Pears, Gorgonzola, and Walnuts can be enjoyed year round, but would be especially good with pears in season in the fall.

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 No recipe required for this salad, just a combination of baby spinach, firm ripe pear, peeled and sliced, crumbled Gorgonzola cheese and walnuts.

I tossed my sliced pears in some canned pineapple juice, less tart than lemon juice, before assembling the salad to prevent them from oxidizing.

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Toast your walnuts on a baking sheet in the oven until lightly browned and fragrant at 350 degrees (about 7- 10 minutes) for maximum flavor and crunch! This recipe called for adding endive, cored and thinly sliced, to the spinach, which you can add or omit. It would be great with dried cranberries too for some extra sweetness and color.

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Bring along your favorite dressing in a jar to add before serving. If you’re looking for a wonderful salad dressing for fall, try Maple-Balsamic Vinaigrette, a mix of maple syrup, balsamic vinegar, olive oil, shallot and Dijon mustard.

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We’re picnicking with our favorite fall soup, Roasted Pear and Butternut Squash. It’s flavorful, healthy, and easy, since you roast all the ingredients in the oven and then puree them with chicken stock!

Butternut Squash Soup

I prefer the flavor of chicken stock but you can substitute vegetable stock for a vegetarian alternative. Use an immersion blender in your dutch oven or stock pot to blend the roasted vegetables with the hot stock for easy clean up and no risk of exploding soup in your blender.

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Garnish your soup before serving with a little crumbled blue cheese, chopped walnuts and a little bacon or crispy prosciutto to top it off is delicious too!

You can find the recipe, here.

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And ending on a sweet note, Easy Caramel Apple Bars!

They’re easy since they start with an oatmeal cookie mix that’s layered with apples and a caramel topping.

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This crowd-pleasing recipe comes together in 15 minutes and bakes in about 20.

The hardest part about these bars is waiting for them to cool long enough to cut!

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You can find the recipe, here.

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Flavors for Fall Picnic Details:

Plaid Throw / Target, several years ago

Brown coverlet/ Bed, Bath & Beyond, several years ago

Redmond Plaid Picnic Basket & Fruit Crate / antique mall

Plaid frame JanetBasket with cover / Amazon

Galvanized Bottle/Picnic Caddy & Flatware / Pottery Barn

Plates & Mugs / Johnson Brothers Fruit Sampler Old Granite

Napkins / Pier 1

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Bring your appetite and your virtual picnic basket and visit Jain and Michael Lee for Picnic Week, along with special guest bakers, Linda and Pam!

Novel Bakers Picnic Week

Jain, a quiet life

Michael Lee, Rattlebridge Farm

Linda, More Fun Less Laundry

Pam, Sidewalk Shoes

The Flavors of Fall Picnic

Thank you for your visit, I’m joining:

 Metamorphosis MondayThe Scoop,

Inspire Me TuesdayWow Us Wednesdays,

Home Sweet Home,

 Tablescape ThursdayFoodie Friday

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  25 comments for “The Flavors of Fall Picnic

  1. September 13, 2014 at 7:53 am

    Perfect Fall picnic, Mary!

  2. September 13, 2014 at 8:17 am

    Need to make those apple bars! Yum! Perfect for fall🍂your picnic week has been so inspirational with great food and ideas. Thanks for sharing.

  3. September 13, 2014 at 9:11 am

    Just amazing – every.single.time. Your details are phenomenal – foods, utensils and accompaniments, backdrops, photo compositions, photos. Just amazingly beautiful. Thank you. I love your blog.

  4. September 13, 2014 at 10:06 am

    Lovely! Your staging is always perfection, not to mention your camera skills! Tks for my coffee, er…picnic break this morning!

  5. Terri
    September 13, 2014 at 10:12 am

    OK, inquiring minds want to know…how do you people get away with this???? You are by the lake, stonegableblog is beside a farm. You both as well as others post constant dinners outdoors and picnics in the grass and there is nary a fly or mosquito in sight. Do you have your husband standing by to chase them away while you photograph quickly? Spray something in the area? What’s the secret? I’ve never lived anywhere where this was comfortable because of all the flies and bugs. If there is a secret, please share it! ;-) Love the posts, beautiful, inspiring, just can’t imagine actually doing it. Can’t wait to hear what you have to say!

    • September 13, 2014 at 10:46 am

      Hi Terri, We’re fortunate by the water that there is usually a breeze to keep the bugs away. We have our fair share of gnats that swarm in the early evening and Mayflies that bloom and hang on everything for a few days in June or July. Bumblebees are attracted to the flowers at the table but they’re too busy gathering nectar and pretty harmless: https://homeiswheretheboatis.net/2011/09/21/sunflowers-bees/

  6. franki
    September 13, 2014 at 10:49 am

    Hah…we have that same “beat up” green thermos…travels with us EVERYwhere!! franki

  7. September 13, 2014 at 11:20 am

    Absolutely lovely, what a wonderful fall picnic! Thank you for sharing.

  8. Lynn@Happier Than A Pig In Mud
    September 13, 2014 at 2:12 pm

    This would be my favorite picnic of all Mary! Love the colors and flavors, and I’ve been eyeing the loaded pear tree up the street… Just need see if those good folks have any plans for the pears:@)

  9. September 13, 2014 at 5:25 pm

    Fun and lovely picnic…love the sounds of the pear and butternut soup…We love soups at any time but fall picnic soups seem to taste better…

  10. Susan
    September 13, 2014 at 6:15 pm

    Mary, I LOVE it!!! Plaid is one of my very favorite decorating/entertaining elements and I’ve pinned a few pictures for reference. :) I also love the square woven tray. Everything is lovely and this week you’ve inspired me to enjoy more picnics. We live in the country and it would be nice to start having a picnic once a month or so. Food just seems to taste better when enjoyed in a beautiful setting. Have a great weekend.

  11. September 13, 2014 at 7:30 pm

    i will be so sad to no more mary picnics… i waited until i had time to linger for my last picnic week visit this afternoon… so fitting that fall takes its place so proudly, i love how you mingled old and new to give us the soft shades of fall. my favorite season. i asked scott if things were changing at home… its 97 degrees, what do i think?!

    …i think i love your spread!

    watering cans, baskets, thermos, flowers, just a few of my favorite things. those sunflowers look stunning by the lake in their adorable tote, of course you have a fall tree to imbibe with, you never miss a trick!

    the perfect fall foods to enjoy, oh the dressing sounds heavenly! the soup scrumptious, and that fabulous dessert, all by your enchanting lakeside setting. i could get lost their for hours, a good book, food and fun, my kind of afternoon.

    i have to say i think this was one of our most fun weeks, i know i loved seeing each day what creative fun picnics you would be sharing, it took a year to finally to get this week to come together, and for me it was worth the wait, every day was a perfect day for a picnic with you! thanks so much for all your hard work, I LOVED EVERY SINGLE MINUTE AND PICTURE YOU SHARED!

  12. September 14, 2014 at 9:20 am

    mmmmmmmm….what to eat first?? I can’t wait to try the soup, no wait, the SALAD, and those caramel apple bars!! This would be my perfect picnic!! I do love fall and your photos by the lake are so inviting, I can picture relaxing on that cozy blanket watching the leaves drifting through the air. We haven’t felt fall yet here, but it is 60 degrees this morning and low humidity so I am wishing I had a vintage basket to fill with goodies to tote somewhere scenic today :) Thank you for such a delightful week of picnics Mary, full of food, fun and fall inspirations, not to mention stunning settings and artistic photos~
    Jenna

  13. September 14, 2014 at 12:07 pm

    LOVE all the wonderful recipes! Thank you!
    Wishing you a beautiful fall,
    Linda at Beautiful Ideas

  14. September 14, 2014 at 8:49 pm

    Just perfect… All so lovely…

  15. September 14, 2014 at 10:30 pm

    Oh Mary, I don’t know where to begin. This is the PERFECT fall picnic, every recipe sounds delicious!!!!! I can’t wait to make the salad with the dressing!!!!!!!!!!!! And the SOUP! We are big soup eaters in the Fall and winter. THAN YOU! Of course, the presentation is gorgeous. I have thoroughly enjoyed this series!!!!

  16. paula
    September 15, 2014 at 9:48 am

    ~Mary~
    Beautifully done (as always) !!!! I was actually thinking about you, the store I work at has some very cute items in for Halloween and fall, and I know your talent could do wonders !!
    Have a super day
    Paula
    IN

  17. September 16, 2014 at 11:02 pm

    Wow, I mean wowwww. This is such a beautiful way to welcome the change of seasons. The perfect spot too. You set a lovely picnic. The photos are super. Hugs!

  18. September 17, 2014 at 9:31 am

    Not only am I amazed at your many wonderful “picnics”…I love that you always have the perfect accessories available, whether new or vintage…then you top it off with your exquisite photos!…just perfection…!!

  19. September 17, 2014 at 2:12 pm

    I’ve just started following your blog. Your attention to detail is off the charts. Thank you for sharing your picnic with us. Now you have my head swimming with ideas for a picnic in the near future.

  20. October 7, 2014 at 2:48 pm

    Beautiful Fall picnic setup! I love the lake background… You’re so blessed to live right next to the lake! Love all your pics!

    Life is better at the lake,

    Cyndi

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