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The Meat

Wednesday, June 19, 2019

Good afternoon, foodie friends.

Finally, it’s beginning to feel like summer. For my family, that means eating al fresco. On the weekends, breakfast, lunch, dinner and the obligatory afternoon ice cream break (I swear, that ice cream truck driver turns up the never-ending loop of “Fur elise” when he rounds the corner, knowing my 3-year-old will come running down the driveway) are all eaten outside, weather permitting.

When we’re home, we transfer whatever we’ve cooked to plastic plates and find an open seat on the porch or back deck. But when we’re out and about, picnic fare is needed. I’m on a constant mission for the perfect packed meal that doesn’t involve a bag of chips and peanut butter and jelly sandwiches.

Food columnist Robert Luhmann offers up this easy and delicious-sounding picnic bruschetta made with local cheese. Sometimes, when I’m enjoying an evening on the lawn at Tanglewood, I just like to pack a bunch of fancy, stinky cheeses, using cheesemonger Matthew Rubiner’s handy guide. Or, if you’ve been asked to bring a side dish, you can’t go wrong with one of these staff favorites — EZ-PZ three bean salad or BLT salad.

But last week, at our first Tanglewood night of the season, I think I hit upon a new family favorite for perfect picnic food — Easy Crescent Veggie Pizza. It’s so simple, so darn good. Just bake a rolled out Pillsbury crescent roll sheet until golden (about 10 minutes at 375 F). Then mix 1 package (8 oz) cream cheese, softened; ½ cup sour cream; 1 teaspoon dried dill weed; ⅛ teaspoon garlic powder. Spread the mixture evenly over the cooled, baked crescent roll sheet. Top with chopped sweet peppers, broccoli, shredded cheese and chill for one hour before cutting into squares. Easy to transport and so deceivingly delicious!

Happy summer!
Lindsey Hollenbaugh
Managing editor of Features

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The Sides

Dining al fresco: A cheese dish picnic perfect

In the almost 10 years I worked at cheese counters in the Berkshires, the most fun I had was when Yo-Yo Ma came into the shop with some friends from Paris, who had flown in for Yo-Yo's daughter's … more

Cucumber, fennel, apples and romaine sing in this salad

All too often, chopped salads wind up tasting mediocre and doused in dressing. We were set on creating a simple version that was fresh and flavorful.We settled on a mix of flavors and textures, … more

Before you pull ... you better know what you're doing

It's a special time of year: Foraged ingredients like ramps and fiddleheads are showing up on menus at local farm-to-table restaurants. You can also gather these ingredients yourself and make a … more

Don't feel like cooking?

Lakewood Creamery opens as tribute to the past and scoop into future

PITTSFIELD — After working for four decades at her mother and father's East Side Cafe, Ann Capitanio has grown accustomed to the bellowing heat from its famous coal-fired pizzas and service … more

Get your fill

Your guide to ice cream in the Berkshires

School is out and the lazy days of summer are finally upon us, why not celebrate with ice cream? Go ahead, have a twist with sprinkles for dinner, we won't tell anyone.In an effort to help you live … more

Bits & Bites: Strawberry festivals, supper top week's events

STEPHENTOWN STRAWBERRY FESTIVALStrawberry shortcake will star at the 38th annual Strawberry Festival from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. Sunday under tents at Gardner's Ice Cream and Coffee Shop, 15879 NY Route … more

We don't just eat ...

An early 'happy hour' with Sue Elliott

LENOX — With performances, fundraisers and other functions often held at night, finding time to socialize can be difficult for those in the arts world. But Sue Elliott, a longtime member of … more

'America v. 2.1' is funny, but 'so scary'

PITTSFIELD — America was never great — at least not for many of its inhabitants.That is one of the messages of Stacey Rose's "America v. 2.1: The Sad Demise & Eventual Extinction of … more

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