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A Very Portland Picnic Book Hits Shelves Today

And it features a few guest appearances by favorite local food artisans.

It's been a busy few weeks for Portland cookbook authors. Last month, bartender Jacob Grier released his beer-cocktail extravaganza "Cocktails on Tap" and chef Jenn Louis released her ode to Italian dumplings "Pasta By Hand." Today, three other Portlanders get to see their cookbook hit the shelves, and it features tips and recipes from some big names in the Portland food scene.

"The Picnic: Recipes and Inspiration from Basket to Blanket" (Artisan Books) is a collaboration between Eater contributor Jen Stevenson, author of "100 Best Places to Stuff Your Faces," Andrea Slonecker, author of "Pretzel Making at Home" and "Eggs on Top," and Marnie Hanel, a frequent contributor to the New York Times Magazine. In the book the trio share all sorts of picnicking advice, from how to pick the perfect spot to how to pack the basket, in addition to dozens of picnic-ready recipes that go way beyond the usual sandwiches.

Hand-drawn illustrations on nearly every page make this book particularly girly (hello, Mother's Day gift). And it has a truly Portland feel thanks to a sprinkling of recipes and advice from local icons like cheesemonger Steve Jones, who offers his wisdom on creating the perfect cheese platter; Michelle Cairo of Olympia Provisions, who reveals how to build the perfect charcuterie plate; Sarah Hart of Alma Chocolate, who gives helpful hints on handling chocolate; Kristen Murray, chef-owner of Maurice, who gives her recipe for Petit Pavlovas; and Sarah Curtis-Fawley of Pacific Pie Co., who contributes a recipe for vegetarian hand-pies stuffed with sweet potatoes, kale and goat cheese.

The authors will be signing books at Powell's on Hawthorne Saturday May 16th from 2 to 4 p.m. In conjunction, Pastaworks next door will offer a tasting of products from local artisans featured in the book, including Alma Chocolate, Quin Candy, and Olympia Provisions.

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