Whether you are hosting a picnic or attending one, I’m sure you have some cooking to do. If you aren’t cooking, I’m sure you will be picking up something pre-made at your local grocery store. I’m here to stop you from doing this! You will be surprised at how easy and affordable it can be to make up your own dish instead of buying one pre-made. I know that it’s tempting, but please try to have some self control! I know you can do it. We decided to spice things up today and provide a compilation of our favorite recipes for picnics, pot lucks and barbecues. We also have a brand new deviled eggs recipe that’s perfect for a picnic. It’s usually a crowd pleaser at any picnic I’ve ever attended. Also, if you are hosting a picnic, it’s important to know exactly what you will need without breaking the budget. Don’t worry. I’m here to help you each and every step of the way =).
If you are hosting:
The Food: We will start with food, since this is obviously the most important part. As you are the host of this get together, I find it best to always provide the meat, the essentials (such as condiments), rolls, maybe a side dish (or dishes) and a dessert. Then, when your RSVPers ask what they can bring, you ask them to bring another side dish and/or a dessert. I tend to enjoy themes. The last time we had a get together, we had a slider bar. We had chicken burgers, buffalo burgers and vegetarian sweet potato burgers (it’s always important to have something vegetarian if you know an attendee is vegetarian). We provided the condiments, rolls and essential veggies. Feel free to make a side dish or two, but have faith in your guests. They may just surprise you!
The Drink: Always provide non-alcoholic beverages. Plenty of water is necessary, as well as some juice and soda. I think it’s always fun to make a non-alcoholic cocktail. A couple of weeks ago we made a Cucumber and Mint Cocktail! Try it out…with or without alcohol! You can certainly do a BYOB. I think this is probably the best way to go if you are going to have a lot of drinkers, but I also don’t think it’s a bad idea to have a 12-pack of good beer on hand as well as a bottle or two of white and red.
The Decor: This is totally dependent on your personal preference. I don’t like to overdo it. I do, however, like to make sure the garden/yard/patio looks nice. Make sure all of those weeds are plucked. If you want to decorate for a picnic, I suggest picking up some planters and throwing some flowers inside. Flowers are such a fun and natural way to make a beautiful presentation. If you want a table setting, fresh cut flowers work perfectly, and I think those red checkered tablecloths are absolutely adorable. As far as cutlery, plates and cups are concerned, I am a big advocate of not using plastic products. I usually just end up using whatever plates, cups and utensils are in my kitchen cabinets. Yes, I do spend about an hour washing dishes. We have smaller parties though, so this tends to be doable when you don’t have as many plates to clean. I completely understand if you want to go the paper route, just make sure everything is recyclable and everything will be awesome sauce =).
The When: The day of the Holiday perhaps? In this case, Memorial Day Monday? I don’t think I need to go into depth on this. The Saturday or Sunday before will also work. =)
The Who: Be aware of how many people you want in your house or backyard at one time. We tend to like smaller picnics: between 10-20 people, but we just have more fun this way. If you want to go with higher numbers, then go for it! Just remember that you will need to provide for these people, but then again you will get more side dishes and desserts in the end! This part I will leave totally up to you! Also, spouses, families and puppies should always be invited along with the invitee!
The Dress Code: Dress code? No. That’s dumb. There should be no dress code, unless of course there is a chance of rain or the temperature randomly plummets to -10 degrees F. In this case, I would recommend you instruct your guests to bring a parka, umbrella and/or rain boots. Also, if you have a pool…well you get the point.
Perfect Recipes for your Memorial Day Menu
You can’t get anymore picnicky than deviled eggs, and we love them around here. We made a special batch yesterday with hot pepper, bacon and avocado sprinkled on top. Next time you make deviled eggs, get creative! It’s fun!
When you are going to select beer for a picnic (and specifically for this deviled eggs recipe) go for something that exemplifies Summer. Avery’s Karma Belgian Pale Ale is the perfect Summer beer. It’s light and refreshing, but doesn’t lack in flavor. Pick up a couple of 6-packs for your next together. Your guests will be super impressed =).
Well I hope this has helped in getting you prepared for your next picnic! Hope everyone has had a great weekend and has a great week!
- 1 dozen large eggs
- 1 cup of mayo
- ¼ cup dijon mustard
- ½ teaspoon salt
- ½ teaspoon black pepper
- ? teaspoon cayenne
- ½ teaspoon paprika
- 3 bacon strips, fully cooked and diced (optional)
- 1 habanero pepper, finely minced (optional)
- 1 jalapeño pepper, finely minced (optional)
- 1 fresno pepper, finely minced (optional)
- 1 avocado, diced (optional)
- To make the hard-boiled eggs, place the eggs in a stock pot and add just enough cold water to cover the eggs by about an inch or two. Place the pot on the stove on high and bring to a boil. Once the water is boiling, remove from the stove, cover, and let sit for 15 minutes (if you do not live at sea level, this time needs to be adjusted . . . as a general rule, add 1 minute per 1000 feet above sea level). Just walk away.
- After 15 minutes (or however long you have to let the eggs cook for your altitude), remove the eggs from the water and put them in a bowl. Place the bowl in the refrigerator and let sit for 1-2 hours to cool. Remove the eggs from the refrigerator and carefully remove the shells. Slice the eggs in half, lengthwise and remove the yolk pieces, placing them in a small mixing bowl.
- Once all of the eggs have been cut and yolks removed, add the mayonaise, mustard, salt, pepper, cayenne, and paprika to the yolks and combine with a fork (use the fork to mash the yolks). The mixture should be thick and creamy. Using a small spoon, carefully place a 2-3 teaspoons of the deviled egg filling into the cavity created by removing the egg yolk. Top with your desired garnish: bacon, habanero, jalapeño, fresno or avocado!
- Serve immediately or wrap in plastic wrap and refrigerate for up to 3 days.
Hardware: * Stockpot w/ Lid * Bowls * Cutting Board * Sharp Knife * Fork * Heavy Wooden Spoons * Airtight Container *