Recipe Roundup: 10 Easy Upgrades to Classic Picnic Foods

Recipe Roundup: 10 Easy Upgrades to Classic Picnic Foods
June is always an interesting month. It feels like all the seasons wrapped up into one: dark and cold one day, warm and sunny the next. The tease of summer leaves us all daydreaming about how we are going to spend the months ahead. From barbecuing to boating, there are plenty of ways to enjoy the warmer weather, but none as wonderful as an outdoor picnic.
Whether you’re a planner or a last-minute picnicker, here are ten easy upgrades to make you look like a picnic all-star this summer!

Cutlery Pockets

The easiest way to make plastic utensils feel fun and fancy - package them up with desired seasoning packets, cute patterned napkins, and paper straws for each picnicker. I love the ones I found at Garnish-- practical and absolutely adorable.

Homemade Condiments

For the perfect finishing touch on your meal, your friends will be thoroughly impressed when you take homemade condiments out of your picnic basket. From ketchup to mustard and pickles, fresh condiments truly make a picnic feel special.

Wrap It Up

If you are a sandwich picnicker, tie up your go-to sandwiches in parchment paper and string. Because everything wrapped in a bow screams, “Open me! I’m fabulous!” not only will it help hold the sandwich together, but it looks a touch romantic.

Using Jars

Instead of using plastic tupperware or ziplocks, package your picnic meal -- from potato salad to coleslaw -- in individual canning jars. That way you don’t have to worry about assembling on-site and dealing with plates!

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Picnic on a Stick

Similar to jars, try pre-packaging your picnic food on a kebab stick. No mess, no cutting, no plates! Separate fruit, veggies, and meats, or string them all together for a unique approach to picnic finger food.

Get Your Grill On

We often think about barbecuing hot dogs or hamburgers in the summer. They’re an easy way to feed a crowd, but not very original. If you’re looking for a simple way to upgrade these classics, pick up salmon patties instead of beef for a delicious (and healthier) alternative to the classic burger.
And to upgrade your hot dog, try grilling peppers and onions together to top off your normal sausage recipe. It’ll give an extra kick to this classic! Plus, you can pre-cook the pepper and onion recipe for extra convenience.

Think Beyond Meat

Or, forgo the meat all together (why is it that we always associate grilling with meat?). Fruit and vegetables are great on the grill as well, and will add a pretty touch to your picnic spread. Try grilling pineapple, peaches, colorful peppers, asparagus, or your own favorite fruits and veggies.

Cheese Plate

If you don’t have a lot of prep time, skip the PB&J sandwiches and instead opt to throw together a cheese plate with fruit and a fresh baguette. No one will know it took you all of five minutes; it’s a no-cook meal that will leave your friends impressed (and satisfied!).

Melon Punch Bowl

Believe me, I know that sometimes picnics come together last minute. You don’t always have time to make everything from scratch. But even store-bought beverages look extra special served in a hollowed-out melon. Try it with your favorite beverage, from punch to lemonade -- or even a spiked beverage for a grown up picnic!

Individual Pies

One of my favorite dessert “tricks,” your picnic-mates will swoon over these individually made pies in jars. Bonus: These jars are way easier to transport than a traditional pie – and you won’t have to worry about leftovers!
So there you have it: ten easy picnic upgrades. Happy Summer!
More Picnic Fun: Photo Credits: Jeremy Noble, French Tart, David Reber and author.

A Guest Writer

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