When small groups get together for a backyard picnic, there is a safer alternative than all dishing up from the same serving bowls. Similar to BYOB (Bring Your Own Beverage), BYOP (Bring Your Own Picnic) means each family attending brings their own complete meal, utensils and beverages to avoid touching shared items.

According to a May 25 article in the MPR newsletter, meeting in a big outdoor area with 10 people or less from two households is a low- to medium-risk activity. When both households have been following social distancing guidelines it is considered a low-risk activity, according to research by Dr. Judith Guzman-Cottrill, a pediatric infectious disease expert at Oregon Health and Science University.

Here are a few recipes for a summer picnic from allrecipes.com that will travel well in a cooler or container. Serve with flavored carbonated water or lemonade.



Italian-style Chopped Salad

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4 oz. romaine lettuce, chopped

1/2 cup chopped radicchio

1/2 Roma tomato, diced

3 slices Genoa salami, diced

3 thin slices capicola, diced

3 slices pepperoni, diced

3 Tbsp. canned garbanzo beans

3 Tbsp. sliced black olives

2 Tbsp. freshly grated mozzarella cheese, or to taste

2 Tbsp. Italian-style salad dressing, or to taste

2 Tbsp. grated Parmesan cheese, or to taste

Toss romaine lettuce and radicchio together in a bowl. Add Roma tomato, salami, capicola, pepperoni, garbanzo beans, olives and mozzarella cheese; mix well. Pour Italian-style salad dressing over salad; mix well. Garnish salad with Parmesan cheese.



Jimbo’s Garlic Knots

10-oz. can refrigerated pizza crust dough

1/3 cup olive oil

6 Tbsp. finely chopped fresh garlic

5 Tbsp. grated Parmesan cheese

3 Tbsp. chopped fresh parsley

1 tsp. crushed red pepper

1 tsp. salt

Preheat oven to 450 degrees. Roll out pizza dough to form a 10x16 inch sheet of dough. Cut the sheet into 3/4 inch parallel strips. Then cut these strips in half making about 24 pieces. Tie each strip into a knot and place these knotted strips of dough close together in a greased pan.

Bake in preheated oven until golden brown. Remove the knots from the oven, place them in a big bowl. While the knots are still hot, drizzle them with olive oil. Sprinkle with garlic, cheese, parsley, red pepper and salt. Toss well and store in a sealed container until ready to serve.



Vanilla Berry Parfaits

2 (8-oz.) containers vanilla yogurt

10 oz. fresh or frozen mixed berries

2 Tbsp. crushed graham crackers

1/8 tsp. ground nutmeg

Cover the bottoms of two canning jars or glasses with covers with a layer of yogurt. Cover yogurt layer with berries. Repeat until both glasses are full, ending with a fruit layer. Sprinkle with graham crackers and nutmeg. Adding a thin layer of graham crackers or granola in each vanilla/berry layer will give it a little more crunch. Pack parfaits in a cooler on ice until ready to serve.



Brownie Bites with Sea Salt

1 cup unsalted butter at room temperature

2 cups white sugar

4 eggs

2 tsp. vanilla extract

1 cup all-purpose flour

2/3 cup unsweetened cocoa powder

1/2 tsp. baking powder

1/2 tsp. salt

sea salt flakes to taste

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Line a mini muffin tin with plain or seasonally colored paper liners. Combine butter, sugar, eggs and vanilla extract in a large bowl. Mix vigorously with a wire whisk until butter is incorporated but you can still see bubbles of butter in the batter. Add flour, cocoa powder, baking powder and salt. Mix gently until just incorporated; do not overmix.

Divide batter among the muffin cups using a small ice cream scoop. Gently cover the top of the brownies with a dusting of sea salt flakes.

Bake in the preheated oven until a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean, 10 to 15 minutes. Transfer to wire racks to cool.

These brownie bites can be frozen for later use or kept in the fridge for up to a week.

Readers are invited to submit four to five of their favorite recipes to enjoy, along with a note about what makes them special. Send recipes to lskarpness@parkrapidsenterprise.com and they may appear in a future issue.