(Family Features) - Warm weather is here, and there is no better time for a picnic at your local park or beach. Quick and simple recipes are the way to go, but the typical bologna sandwich doesn't always stimulate the taste buds. This season, experiment with new recipes and flavors, and make your casual alfresco dining experience extra special.
By adding a few key ingredients to seasonal favorites, you have the power to transform everyday recipes into delicious dishes the whole family will enjoy. Here are some great examples on how to plus up an otherwise run of the mill picnic.
For a twist on the classic barbecue chicken, opt for a Grilled Herbed Chicken, seasoned with Grey Poupon Dijon mustard and Italian spices. But, don't let those leftovers go to waste. The chicken can be refrigerated for up to two days and made into a quick-and-easy Caesar salad with the addition of romaine lettuce, Caesar dressing and grated Parmesan cheese.
Instead of ordinary potato salad, try the Butter Bean Salad on for size. Chock full of ham, butter beans, sun-dried tomatoes and red onions, this recipe adds a touch of mustard and cilantro to really titillate your taste buds and give you a side dish full of flavor.
Finally, kick your lunch up a notch and enjoy a Cheddar, Bacon and Pear Sandwich, made with Harvest Coarse Ground Mustard. Whole mustard seeds paired with fresh ingredients create a crisp, robust flavor. Perfect for the family on the go, this gourmet goodie can be prepared in only five minutes.
For more ideas on how to spice up your picnic, visit www.greypoupon.com.
Picnic Food Safety
Cool It: Store perishable foods in plenty of coolers with ice or frozen gel packs. Keep the food at 40°F. A full cooler stays colder longer than a partially filled one. Carry the cooler inside the air-conditioned car, and keep it in the shade when you reach your destination. Use separate coolers for drinks so the food container won't be opened and closed.
Two Hour Rule: Don't leave perishable food out for more than two hours. (Cold foods should not sit out for more than one hour.) Any leftovers that have been sitting out longer than that should be discarded.
Proper Prepping. Wash hands before preparing food, and make sure storage containers are clean. Cooked foods need to be properly cooled - spread the food out in as many pans as needed so that it is no more than two inches deep. This allows it to cool faster, reducing the chances of bacteria growing.