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What Every Picnic Basket Needs

What Every Picnic Basket Needs

Spring has sprung and we’re enjoying warm weather and vibrant greenery all over Birmingham. Why not celebrate with a picnic? Kids and pets alike will love the freedom to run and play, while adults can catch up on sunshine and their friends’ lives. In honor of National Picnic Day, here are Market Table‘s picks for what every picnic basket needs.

Text By Annika Bastian

Large group of friends with food.

The Food

The kind of food you pack in your basket depends upon the time of your picnic outing. Is it a brunch picnic? (Yes, those exist, and they are just as awesome as they sound.) Is it a lunch picnic? An afternoon snack picnic? Picnics early in the day can feature inventive brunch options, like our scrumptious Spinach, Artichoke and Goat Cheese Frittata or an eggs-cellent sandwich tray.

If your outing falls around lunch, provide hearty deli style options, like White BBQ Chicken or Beef Brisket Sliders. Or, if you’re serving guests with wildly different tastes, check out our Light Lunchboxes. From Cilantro Lime Chicken to our Zesty Quinoa Salad, you’re sure to find healthy options to keep your whole picnic party happy.

And if you’re picnicking between meals, go for fun snack options — both sweet and savory. For larger picnics, invite everyone to bring one of their favorite snacks to make a potluck fun-in-the-sun picnic at the park.

Water bottles in cooler.

The Accessories

There are a few things every picnic basket needs, but they may not be the first things on your mind. First, don’t forget to bring trash bags. You’ll want the leave the beautiful outdoor space that hosts your picnic as pristine as you found it. Next, make sure to include insulated water bottles among your drink selections. When it comes to hydration, there’s nothing like a cool bottle of water. Lastly, paper towels will come in handy to both hold food and to clean sticky fingers.

hands holding popsicles over picnic blanket.

The Desserts

The perfect way to end your sweet day? With something sweet, of course! Dessert is a delicious must at any spring picnic. Often, you’ll find Farmer’s Markets with fresh food and tasty treats to bring a picnic from good to great. So make sure to pick up easy-to-eat desserts for a sweet finish to your fabulous outing. Market Table‘s Cookie and Marble Brownie Trays are picnic-basket-ready perfection!

Five Easy Christmas Dessert Recipes

Five Easy Christmas Dessert Recipes

The holiday season is the most wonderful time of the year, but it’s also the busiest. Among other responsibilities, making dessert for the family gathering or work party may sound way too stressful at this point. Here are five easy Christmas dessert recipes that will save you some time and energy while also satisfying even the pickiest sweet tooth.   

 

Assorted Christmas sugar cookies.Sugar Cookies

Let’s face it: sugar cookies are a Christmas tradition. It’d just feel wrong to celebrate without them. Thankfully, they’re an easy-to-make crowd pleaser. This particular recipe is our fave. Not only will it yield quick results, but the cookies will crush the competition at the dessert table.

 

 

Reindeer Rice KrispiesGreen Christmas tree shaped Rice Krispie treats.

Get ready to give your regular Rice Krispie Treats a reindeer makeover that’ll impress guests of all ages. These snacks are as fun to make as they are to eat — and this is a recipe that the kids can help out with, too. For a fun twist, try adding green food coloring and star-shaped candies as ornaments.

 

 

 

Brownie triangles with green frosting.Christmas Tree Brownies

Need an easy way to satisfy hungry houseguests? Give a holiday twist to traditional sweets! These Christmas Tree Brownies will be sure to light up the room — maybe almost as much as the actual tree!

 

 

 

Snowman CupcakesCupcakes with marshmallow snowmen.

These Snowman Cupcakes make such great decorations that it’ll be hard to eat them … but not that hard. You can use almost any flavor cake mix and icing you want, as long as it’s a light enough color to look like snow. They’re a quick and easy dessert that even the Grinch of the family will enjoy. You can also use marshmallows, frosting and pretzel sticks to create stand-up snowmen on top of any kind of cupcake you’d like.

 

 

Ice cream cone whipped cream chocolate dessert.

Hot Chocolate Cookie Cups

This recipe may take a little longer to make, but the result will be more than worth it. Impress your guests with these cute Hot Chocolate Cookie Cups that can serve as a great compliment to an actual cup of hot chocolate to help you warm up on a cold winter afternoon. Don’t have time to bake? Set up a faux cocoa bar with flat-bottomed ice cream cones, pudding or yogurt, marshmallows, Nutella, whipped cream, and whatever trimmings you’ve got laying around.

 

 

Text by Nick Adrian

5 Holiday Hosting Tips

5 Holiday Hosting Tips

Just as soon as Halloween’s over, Thanksgiving rushes toward us and suddenly it’s Christmas. The holidays can be a little hectic, especially if you’re hosting friends and family in your home. Here are five holiday hosting tips to make your seasonal gatherings warm, merry and bright.

 

Plan Ahead

Woman making a grocery list.Whether you’re preparing the Thanksgiving or Christmas meal, chances are you’re going to have a lot of mouths to feed. Try making a list of everything that needs to be accomplished before the big dates, including food, entertainment, etc. Stock up on items you might need — and buy a few extra so you won’t be short. As for the meals, it might be wise to begin preparing them the day before they’re served. It’ll take more pressure off you and give you time to focus on other preparations. 

 

Accept Help

Child helping prepare dinner.Don’t be proud. Preparing holidays meals by yourself is hard, if not impossible. If the kids or other family members want to help, it’ll make your work much easier. You’ll have free hands to tend to other matters, a true culinary form of multitasking!

 

 

 

Prepare Non-Food Items Early

Woman setting the table.Plates and silverware are just as important as the food you’ll be preparing, so make sure to stock up. Try and take inventory of them the day before the holiday. You might also want to set the table the day before as well, freeing yourself of the task later.

 

 

 

Don’t Forget Beverages

Two glasses of eggnog.There’s so much going on while preparing holiday meals that it’s easy to forget the all-important drink. Ideal compliments for a Thanksgiving dinner could be apple cider or white wine, while hot buttered rum or eggnog would make a perfect Christmas quencher.

 

 

 

Enjoy Yourself

Woman relaxing.Once the meal is prepared, it’s time to kick back, have a few plates, catch up with the family and relax. Now that the work has been done, your holiday is finally beginning.

 

 

 

 

Text by Nick Adrian

 

5 Thanksgiving Essentials

5 Thanksgiving Essentials

As a holiday, Thanksgiving deserves more respect. It’s a day where it’s socially acceptable — and expected of you — to eat as much as you possibly can (and be thankful for your loved ones, of course). Since this is a holiday that revolves around food, you’re going to want the best recipes you can get your hands on. Here are five Thanksgiving essentials no gathering should go without.

 

Roasted Thanksgiving turkey with gravy.

Turkey

No great Thanksgiving meal is complete without turkey. It’s synonymous with the holiday. So why fight tradition? You’ll want the best offering possible to satisfy your holiday guests. This recipe makes delicious turkey and gravy, giving you the perfect centerpiece for your holiday meal.

 

Mashed PotatoesHealthy Thanksgiving mashed potatoes.

Another Thanksgiving staple? Potatoes, of course! Whether they’re mashed, boiled, baked, etc… they’re a must. This simple and traditional recipe for mashed potatoes will leave even your pickiest guests satisfied. It’s a classic recipe without any of the frills, perfect for anyone who wants to stay in their comfort zone.

 

Traditional green bean casserole.

Green Bean Casserole

Some kind of green vegetable is an essential for every meal, not just Thanksgiving! That being said, green beans are always an ideal side. But if you want to shake things up this holiday, why not try this tasty casserole? It’s a “no cans” take on the classic dish, offering a fresher take on a Southern staple.

 

Homemade cranberry sauce with orange zest.

Classic Cranberry Sauce

Here’s another holiday favorite that deserves a place at your family’s dinner table. There are several fancy ways of fixing cranberry sauce up, but why not go the traditional route? It’s a classic for a reason.

 

Sliced Thanksgiving pumpkin pie.

Pumpkin Pie

Thanksgiving desserts are a must and one that is truly essential is pumpkin pie. This recipe gives you a classic offering, sure to satisfy every sweet tooth. The recipe leaves off whipped cream, so guests can add their preferred amount.

 

Market Table's smoked whole turkey.

With these essential Thanksgiving recipes, no mouth will go unfed and no appetite will go unsatisfied at your dinner table. Of course, cooking a full Thanksgiving meal can be intimidating to even the most experienced chef. Plus, the holiday season’s always rushed and hectic. Why not give yourself a break and let Market Table do the work? Our Thanksgiving catering options include everything from a Smoked Turkey Breast to Rosemary and Garlic Green Beans to Pumpkin Pie — you can even get the entire meal catered! Place your orders online or in-store by Friday, November 16th then sit back and relax until Turkey Day comes!

 

Text by Nick Adrian

Spooky Halloween Party Recipes

Spooky Halloween Party Recipes

Halloween’s all about the candy, but you need a few other food options to keep your party guests happy. Luckily, you can keep up the spirit of the season by making some spectacularly spooky snacks. Here are a few recipes for a Halloween party sure scare up some appetites.

 

Spooky ghost pizza bagels.

Picture from https://www.delish.com/holiday-recipes/halloween/recipes/a49353/ghost-pizza-bagels-recipe/

Ghost Pizza Bagels

These appetizers won’t draw any boos from your party crowd. In fact, adding a fun little mozzarella ghost to your pizza bagels will have your guests screeching in ghoulish delight. This recipe also makes for a great kid-approved snack. Plus, they’re as fun to make as they are to eat.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Creepy mummy meatballs.

Picture from https://www.delish.com/cooking/recipe-ideas/recipes/a55767/mummy-meatballs-recipe/

Mummy Meatballs

If you’re craving a deadly – or undeadly – snack, these mummy meatballs are the way to go. These might take a little longer to make, but the results will be worth it. They’ll make a delicious addition to your snack table and be the talk of your monster mash.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Chocolate chip Dracula dentures.Dracula Dentures

Halloween sweets are a must, but they don’t have to be limited to candy. This recipe turns party-favorite chocolate chip cookies into a mouth-watering treat. The result is a spooky dessert you can really sink your teeth into.

 

 

 

Dead Velvet CakeBloody prop hand rising from red velvet cake.

Best name for a dessert ever? Yes. Scariest cake ever? Yes! This spooky take on red velvet cake is a scream, especially if it’s topped with this plastic cleaver prop or a fake severed hand. It’ll make a scary-good dessert that will kill at your Halloween party.

 

 

 

Spooky drink with eyeball fruit garnish.The Witch’s Heart – Halloween Cocktail

No Halloween party is complete without a spooky drink. The recipe for this truly bewitching Halloween cocktail will be a hit at your party. Add a little dry ice to make it steam like a witch’s brew. For an extra scare, create a fruit “eye” for garnish by popping a blueberry into a lychee then skewering it. Spellbook sold separately.

 

 

Adding any of these recipes to your Halloween party spread will surely result in a hauntingly good time. Just make sure to save room for candy, too.

Text by Nick Adrian

 

The Best Tailgate Party Menu

The Best Tailgate Party Menu

Football season is here, which means Christmas has come early for football fans. Besides the actual sport, fans unite over something else — tailgating. Tailgating brings the food, fun, and fellowship right before the competition gets heated. If you’re planning an ultimate tailgate party, here’s the menu you need to make sure everyone’s having a great time.

 

bowl of guacamoleGuacamole

Get the party started with this simple dish. Guacamole is a natural classic for any tailgate and the perfect appetizer for your tailgate party. Serve this party favorite with some salty chips, and you’ll have your guests begging for more. Not a guacamole fan? Try mixing it up with some of Market Table‘s freshly made dips, like our Hot Bacon and Swiss dip or guacamole’s dear friend, Texas Caviar.

 

 

bowl of chili

Chili

Meat lovers rejoice! This hearty bowl of chili will warm you up on those fall Saturday afternoons. This recipe comes from Chrissy Teigen’s cookbook, Cravings. If a celebrity-made dish isn’t enough for you, then your guests’ appetites will speak for itself.

 

 

Mexican style corn

Mexican-Style Grilled Corn

Compliment your meaty chili with this tasty veggie dish. This corn is brushed with a smoky chipotle spread. After coming off the grill, it’s topped with crumbled cheese, cayenne, and a squeeze of fresh lime juice. This dish will make you feel like you’re on the streets of Mexico.

 

Triple-Chocolate Brownieschocolate brownies

No tailgate is complete without a tasty dessert. When chocolate brownies aren’t enough, whip out a recipe with three times the chocolatey goodness. It’ll be sure to please even the biggest sweet tooth. Set these out for your guests and watch them get devoured.

 

 

pumpkin beer

Pumpkin Beer Cocktail

You’re going to need something to wash down all this delicious food, right? Try this Pumpkin Beer Cocktail that screams fall weather. Instead of the normal cans of beer, this is a perfect seasonal twist to any tailgating party.

 

Text by Kendal Harris