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FeastUp Picnic in Central Park

Yesterday, grabbing on to one of the more beautiful days that are marking the end of summer this year, hosted a picnic in Central Park for food bloggers.  This gave me a chance to bring out my Rosemary-Garlic White Bean Dip, or as I like to pitch it “the alternative to hummus that always appears at gatherings.”  I also attempted to make a Roasted Red Pepper and Goat’s Cheese Dip, but that seemed a little less successful, so I’ll have to work on that.  Armed with a beach towel, the two dips, and loads of gorgeous summer vegetables from the Greenmarket, I piled everything into a beach tote and headed across town to the meeting point.

Mine was just a small contribution to the culinary efforts of the afternoon.  In addition to meeting all the wonderful folks who are involved in the food and blogging world in New York, I had a chance to sample some great dishes, which is helpful in inspiring my taste buds and own culinary efforts.  Hard to admit it, but even people who love to spend time in the kitchen sometimes get bored with their same meals and need a bit of a kick to jump start that creative cooking engine.

I was able to sample crabcakes with coconut and Thai basil, almond-crusted chicken tenders, gooey macaroni and cheese, sesame noodle salad, sliders, quinoa salad, and many savory dishes.  For dessert there were chocolate cake pops, gorgeous sugar cookies cut like flatware, and a wonderful almond-date-fig pie.  To drink, one of the most unusual things that we had was White Jasmine Sparkling Tea from Golden Star Tea Co.  I really can’t rave enough about this beverage, which is slightly fizzy, not too sweet, and very refreshing.  It is only available for purchase on-line.  I think this is something I might need to have on hand for guests.

Thanks so much to FeastUp and Hermann for organizing everything and bringing everyone together yesterday.  For other culinary events going on in the New York area, please check out their website.  It was a good time and I left with a full belly plus some new great websites to check out for recipes and food tips.

Kitchen Witch Tip:

I’ve found that sealed plastic baggies are really the way to go to transport things like pre-cut vegetables to picnics and gatherings.  That way, if someone wants to take the leftovers, there’s no scrambling to find a container in which to take them.  Take-out containers are also a good method of bringing almost anything to a potluck, as then you don’t really care if you get them back to take home.   From going to many of these types of things over the years for office parties, dinner parties or picnics, really the last thing I want to worry about is getting back my kitchenware.  With these things, I don’t care if they come back to me or go into a panic if someone accidentally took something of mine home.

Buon appetito!

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