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It's Picnic Season!

Summer is here and that means lots of picnics.

With numerous events around town like the concerts at The Levitt Shell and Live at The Garden, I asked my friend JJ Keras, an entertaining and lifestyle expert from Memphis, to share some of her tips for the perfect picnic.

First, a fun and portable menu is key. “One of my favorite things to bring to an outdoor picnic is salad in a plastic mason jar. I love it because you simply put the dressing at the bottom, fill it with your favorite toppings, put the lid on, and you are set to go for the night.”

And what should serve your picnic on? “I love using bamboo dinnerware to entertain. It’s 100% biodegradable and such an elegant option to paper or plastic.”

JJ also recommends bringing an extra large quilt to sit on. “ I love bringing a large quilt because you’ll never know who you’ll meet next to you who might want to sit down.”

And don’t forget to light your area. “They make battery operated tea lights that are perfect to put around.” JJ often has her little ones help set out these child-safe lights.

As a mom, I love this next tip. “Another crowd pleaser is glow-in-the-dark headbands and bracelets. I personally love them as a parent so you can see your children at night.”

Last but not least, “And let’s not forget the cocktails to stay cool in the summer. One of my favorites is a rum punch. I love it because it’s self-serve. Bring the plastic cups and let everyone serve themselves.”

This is Jennifer Chandler with The Weekly Dish! Have a great picnic!

To see more of JJ’s Entertaining Tips, visit her website www.jjkeras.com.

Salad in a Mason Jar

  • 2 to 3 tablespoons of your favorite salad dressing (per serving)
  • Mix of your favorite salad toppings (JJ uses cherry tomatoes, crumbled cheese, crumbled bacon, and croutons)
  • Salad greens

Pour the salad dressing in the bottom of the jar.
Add the vegetables in layers (heartier ones first). Then add the cheeses and proteins. Then add the croutons. And on the final layer, add the lettuce.

Screw on the lid and refrigerate until ready to serve.

To serve, open the lid and shake the salad into your serving bowl. The ingredients will toss together as they are poured into the bowl.

Note: Use wide-mouth mason jars with tight-fitting lids.


Jennifer Chandler graduated at the top of her class from Le Cordon Bleu in Paris. She is a full-time mom to two daughters in Memphis, Tennessee, and is a freelance food writer, restaurant consultant, and author of four cookbooks The Southern Pantry Cookbook, Simply Salads, Simply Suppers, and Simply Grilling.