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Friday, August 31, 2012


It's Labor Day weekend again.  Where does the time go?  This is one weekend when picnics are a fun activity.  Make the food ahead of time and be ready to roll when the time comes.  Picnics are family time (or time for couples) and  food, even simple food, tastes so much better in the outdoors.  Have you ever noticed that?  I also enjoy snacking in the car on road trips - actually I love it!  Haha!  So make some tea and put it in a flask and you can enjoy a mug of tea and slice of one of my sweet breads or cookies or squares, or even fudge before you even get to your destination. Yum!  Watch the beautiful countryside go by and chat with your hubby and enjoy the R and R.  Aah, wish I was going on a road trip like that sometime soon! :-)

That said, you can also picnic at home.  If you have a lovely shady tree, you can set up a buffet table underneath it and still enjoy yourselves with the comforts of home right there.

Here are some easy picnic ideas:

Instead of the usual hamburgers and hot dogs (although those are always welcome with kids, especially), try cold meat loaf for a change. You can use my Jiffy Bun recipe (just make a few beforehand) or Hamburger Buns with cheese slices and condiments.  Here are two that would fit the bill:

Bobotie - Curried Meat Loaf Extraordinaire

Bacon Wrapped Meat Loaf - my husband's favorite!  This recipe is from Splendid Low-Carbing


This is based on one of my husband’s favorite recipes for meat loaf from his childhood.

2 eggs, fork beaten
1 tbsp instant beef stock mix (15 mL)
1 tbsp vinegar (15 mL)
2 tsp SPLENDA® Granular (10 mL)
1/tsp salt (2 mL)
1/2 tsp black pepper (2 mL)
2 lbs lean ground beef (0.9 kg)
1/2 cup finely chopped onion (125 mL)
1/3 cup Gluten-Free Bake Mix - can possibly skip this! (75 mL)
1/4 cup tomato paste (50 mL)
6 slices raw bacon, thawed

In small bowl, combine eggs, beef stock mix, vinegar, SPLENDA® Granular, salt and black pepper.  In large bowl, combine ground beef, egg mixture, onion, Gluten-Free Bake Mix and tomato paste. Place on 15 x 10-inch (38 x 25 cm) jelly roll pan.  Form into 14-inch (36 cm) loaf or roll. Wrap bacon around loaf, leaving small spaces in between. Bake in 350°F (180°C) oven 1 hour and 20 minutes.

Variation:  Hamburgers:  Omit tomato paste, vinegar and SPLENDA® Granular.  Form meat mixture into 16 hamburgers, 3-inches (8 cm) across. Serve with small piece bacon on top, if desired. (1.1 g carbs)

Helpful Hint:  Any pinkish-red color that you may see in the meat loaf after it has cooked, is due to the tomato paste, and does not mean it is undercooked.

Yield:  10 servings
1 serving
252.9 calories
22.5 g protein
16.1 g fat
2.8 g carbs

OR ENJOY GRILLING OUTDOORS!  Faux stuffed baked potatoes and ribs along with a Miller Lite 

Salads - Broccoli Salad

Dessert - Hmm, fruit salad and yogurt - what could be simpler?  Otherwise how about dessert to feed a crowd such as 

Cheesecake always goes over well.

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