Warm weather sends us packing -- packing a portable meal to enjoy summer's unique occasions for



Warm weather sends us packing -- packing a portable meal to enjoy summer's unique occasions for celebration.
A DAY AT THE ZOO
The child in all of us loves a visit to the zoo. Make a day of it, with a picnic to enjoy. These beef and veggie wraps are kid favorites. Easy to prepare and transport, kids love making them as well as eating them. Add fresh fruit to accompany the wrap and grab an ice cream cone later to finish.
ROAST BEEF & amp; VEGGIE WRAP
3/4 pound thinly sliced deli roast beef (16 slices)
2 cups shredded broccoli slaw
1/4 cup prepared reduced fat ranch dressing
1 (8-ounce) container reduced fat whipped cream cheese
2 tablespoons prepared reduced fat ranch dressing
4 (10-inch) flour tortillas
Place broccoli slaw and 1/4 cup dressing in medium bowl. Toss with 2 forks to coat evenly.
Place cream cheese and 2 tablespoons dressing in small bowl. Stir with a wire whisk; mix well.
Place 1 tortilla on cutting board or other flat surface. Spread about 1/4 cup cream cheese mixture on tortilla using rubber spatula.
Place 4 roast beef slices in an even layer on top of cream cheese.
Place 1/3 cup broccoli mixture on top of roast beef. Spread broccoli mixture in an even layer, using back of spoon.
Starting at bottom edge, roll up tortilla tightly to enclose filling.
Repeat Steps 3 through 6 to make 4 wraps. Serve immediately or wrap individually in plastic wrap. Refrigerate until serving time. (For transporting, place wraps in sealable food storage bags and place in cooler with frozen gel ice packs or ice.)
Makes 4 servings.
BACKYARD BURGER BASH
Burgers on the grill are a summertime staple, so invite friends and neighbors and fire up the grill! Offer tasty toppers for all to enjoy. Corn on the cob and watermelon wedges are the quintessential accompaniments.
BEST BURGERS
1 1/2pounds ground beef
Salt and pepper
4hamburger buns, split
Lightly shape ground beef into four 3/4-inch-thick patties. (Keep patties refrigerated, covered, until time to grill. For transporting, place patties in cooler, covered, with frozen gel ice packs or ice, and keep cold until time to grill.)
Place patties on grid over medium, ash-covered coals. Grill, uncovered, 13 to 15 minutes to medium (160 & deg;F) doneness, until no longer pink in center and juices show no pink color, turning occasionally. Season with salt and pepper, as desired.
Serve burgers in buns. Top as desired (see below).
Makes 4 servings.
Cook's Tip: To melt cheese on patties, place a cheese slice on each patty 1 minute before patties are done.
TOPPERS
UBlue Moon: Crumbled blue cheese, saut & eacute;ed mushrooms, lettuce leaves and sliced tomatoes; serve on onion bun.
UGreek-style: Crumbled herbed feta cheese, sliced black olives and sliced onions; serve in pita bread pocket.
UTrattoria-style: Mozzarella cheese, roasted red bell peppers and mayonnaise mixed with basil pesto; serve on focaccia bread.
BIKE OR HIKE DAY TRIP
Pack plenty to stay fueled for a day hike or bike ride. Dried fruits and nuts make healthy snacks along the way. And when it's time for a meal, beef subs will satisfy the most ravenous hiker or biker and provide energy to complete the trip.
DELI BEEF SUB WITH TOMATO-PEPPER RELISH
1 pound thinly sliced deli roast beef
1 (1-pound) loaf Vienna bread, unsliced
2 tablespoons prepared fat-free Italian dressing
8 leaves Boston lettuce
8 slices provolone cheese (about 4 ounces)
Relish:
1 cup chopped seeded tomato
1/2 cup finely chopped green, red or yellow bell pepper
1/2 cup finely chopped onion
3 tablespoons prepared fat-free Italian dressing
Combine relish ingredients in medium bowl; set aside.
Cut bread lengthwise in half. Lightly drizzle 2 tablespoons dressing over bottom half of loaf; line with lettuce. Layer with cheese, beef and relish.
Close sandwich with top half of loaf; cut crosswise into 4 portions. Serve immediately. (For transporting, wrap each portion tightly in plastic wrap and place in sealable food storage bags. Pack in small insulated soft-sided cooler or bike bag with frozen gel ice packs to keep cold until serving time.)
Makes 4 servings.
PICNIC IN THE PARK
The park is perfect for large gatherings like family reunions, neighborhood get-togethers, company picnics and summer birthdays! Grilled flank steak is a great choice for a crowd. Simply marinate and grill, then carve and serve with favorite sides and crusty bread.
BALSAMIC-MARINATED FLANK STEAK
1 beef flank steak (about 1 1/2 pounds)
Salt and pepper
Marinade:
1/4 cup balsamic vinegar
2 tablespoons olive oil
1 tablespoon chopped fresh basil
1 1/2 teaspoons Dijon-style mustard
1 clove garlic, minced
1/2 teaspoon sugar
Combine marinade ingredients in small bowl. Place beef steak and marinade in food-safe plastic bag; turn steak to coat. Close bag securely and marinate in refrigerator 6 hours or as long as overnight, turning occasionally. (For transporting, place food-safe plastic bag containing beef and marinade in a container with a tight-fitting lid. Place container in cooler with frozen gel ice packs or ice and keep cold until time to grill.)
Remove steak from marinade; discard marinade. Place steak on grid over medium, ash-covered coals. Grill, uncovered, 17-21 minutes for medium rare to medium doneness, turning occasionally.
Season steak with salt and pepper, as desired. Carve steak crosswise into thin slices.
Makes 6 servings.

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