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Pack your basket! It's International Picnic Day.

Pack your basket! It's International Picnic Day.

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Picnicking has always been a highlight of my summers. I love being outdoors when it's sunny and warm. In fact, I went picnicking with a few other Cooking Light staffers this weekend. We played Bananagrams, explored the local botanical gardens, fought off a colony of ants, and, of course, ate.

Eating healthy should still be delicious.

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Here in Birmingham we have a whole store dedicated to picnics. You can rent a bike, a bocce set, an antique picnic basket and even buy food. But, as owner Nancy Tran knows, it's all too easy to default to unhealthy food: fried chicken, potato salad, rolls, soda ....

To keep things in balance, she serves food with lighter bases. For instance instead of a traditional mayo-based chicken salad, she uses fruit, lemon juice and celery. She has a few tips for keeping it healthy at picnic time:

Nancy has many fond memories of picnicking. Every Sunday growing up, her family would grab some food and head outside. It was a tradition.

"Picnics are great because they let you get back to the basics and relax," she says.

One thing that really makes picnics fun that people sometimes forget is games, she says. Get a little old school and bring out the croquet, or pack the bocce set. Board games are great too. And bring along a battery-powered radio for tunes.

She says the best time to head out is around dusk, when it's cooler outside. Sage advice, I wish we would have thought of before sweating a small river in the 90-degree Southern humidity last weekend.

Alas, I've got a whole summer to get it right, and today's the perfect chance -- it's international picnic day, after all.

Tips for the Perfect Picnic

International Picnic Day is globally celebrated every year on June 18. It’s time to pack your picnic basket and head to the park with your family and friends. During the warmer months, a picnic is a wonderful way to enjoy the outdoors and indulge in your favorite picnic food.

Tips for the perfect picnic

  • If International Picnic Day falls on a workday, take your lunch outside to enjoy a solo picnic or invite a co-worker to eat with you.
  • Don’t forget the veggies. Pack a salad without tossing in the dressing until you are ready to eat. Best Choice offers a variety of salad dressings to toss your salad.
  • Load up on the carbs with Best Choice Italian Style Pasta Salad. Pasta Salad can be served warm or cold so it’s the ideal food for a picnic.
  • The main course should be something delicious served hot or cold like our Ham and Swiss Sandwich Rolls.
  • Finally, it’s time for a little dessert. Our Chocolate Chip Oatmeal cookies can be placed in an airtight container and enjoyed after our hearty meal.

Have a picnic all summer long!

© 2014-2021 Best Choice Brand | 5000 Kansas Avenue, Kansas City, Kansas 66106

Summer Picnic Recipes That Aren't Sandwiches

You love picnicking? So do we, and so does Martha! Food just tastes better when eaten outdoors. A sandwich is an easy option for a quick picnic, but when you feel like something different, you'll be glad to know that there are so many other options well-suited to open-air dining. When the weather is glorious and a trip to the beach or park beckons, make a day of it by packing an outdoor-friendly meal you can linger over for hours. Whether you're looking for a recipe for a refreshing Chilled Spanish-Style Tomato Soup, a roast chicken and bread salad, or a slaws or green salad that will stay fresh until its picnic time, you'll find ideas in the slides ahead. And don't be afraid to get creative and mix-and-match your menu: Our recipes are all worth spreading out your picnic blanket for.

Have you ever thought about serving a steak for your picnic main? Flank steak is an economical cut that's full of flavor. Bonus: Our picnic-friendly Skirt Steak and Corn with Chimichurri only takes 30 minutes to make, and the steak and the corn can be cooked a day ahead and packed into separate containers. Make the chimichurri on the day of the picnic and cover it with a layer of oil to prevent this zesty herb sauce from browning. Another unexpected but entirely delicious meal option for your picnic? Make the fried chicken that's seen here and build your picnic menu around it. Our recipe creates the crispiest chicken that stays crunchy all day long, which is exactly what you need when you're packing it for a picnic.

Other foods you might not have considered picnic fare that we advocate for? Coins of grilled corn, skinny sticks of watermelon&mdashwhich are much easier to handle than a wedge&mdashand refreshing slaws. We have two favorites: You can't go wrong with either our summer slaw, made with zucchini or yellow squash, carrots, bell pepper, and sweet onion, or this addictive slaw-potato salad hybrid. Whatever way you decide to go in terms of the savory options, don't forget to pack something for a sweet ending to the meal. We think that our Walnut-Brownie Cookie is a cookie with a brownie twist that provides the best of both worlds.

While crafting a great menu is important, don't forget to think about how you'll transport and serve each dish. Maybe you're hauling a robust wheelie cooler, or maybe putting that pretty wicker picnic basket to use. Either way, be sure to pack any necessary forks, knives, spoons, cups, plates, and napkins. Now, get out the picnic basket and start packing.

Perfect Picnic Menu: 50+ Make Ahead Picnic Recipes

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If you've ever wondered what picnic foods to pack for your fun summer excursion, we have the answer! These perfect make-ahead picnic recipes will help you create the perfect picnic menu and please every palate in the process. Prepare and pack up these delicious appetizers, side salads, picnic sandwiches, drinks, and desserts for any outdoor occasion. This collection is full of picnic ideas and recipes that you can easily take-along and enjoy al fresco!

Whether you're planning an outdoor potluck and need easy picnic food for a crowd, or you're taking your sweetie along for a casual afternoon meal and need some simple picnic food ideas for couples, there's something here for you to love. Big or small, these picnic food suggestions are suitable for any gathering, and they're sure to put a smile on every face.

Picnic Finger Foods

The best appetizers to bring to a picnic are those that you can easily make ahead, like dips, spreads, and other picnic finger foods. We've included both hot and cold recipes that are sure to be a hit as your gang dives in fingers-first. These make ahead picnic recipes are a must-have on your perfect picnic menu.

Picnic Salads

Some of our favorite easy summer picnic recipes are deli salads! Macaroni salad, potato salad, and coleslaw are always party favorites, plus they're easy to make the night before and pack in a cooler for your picnic. Just choose any one of these make ahead picnic recipes and enjoy! Your gang is sure to love these cool and refreshing deli salads.

Picnic Sandwiches

No picnic is complete without sandwiches! Picnic sandwiches are a cinch to make at home and travel easily, making them the ideal make ahead picnic recipe. Whether you prefer fancy wraps or classic sandwiches, you'll love our suggestions for sandwiches to round out your perfect picnic menu.

Picnic Drinks

You can't plan an easy picnic menu without packing beverages! Our cool picnic drinks are just the thing to enjoy when you're dining outside. From homemade lemonade to a refreshing summer punch, these drinks really hit the spot.

Picnic Desserts

The perfect ending to a picnic meal is a delicious homemade dessert! Whether you chose pie or cookies, these easy picnic dessert recipes can be prepared hassle-free the day before your picnic. The best way to put a smile on your family and friends' faces is to include at least one of these yummy make head picnic recipes on your menu.

How to Create the Perfect Picnic Menu:

Now that you've got all these amazing picnic food suggestions in hand, it's time to sit down and plan your menu. We've got some tips to keep in mind as you build the perfect picnic menu so that nothing gets left behind or forgotten.

-Plan ahead: Make a shopping list. First things first. If you're going to whip up some amazing make ahead picnic recipes, you'll need plenty of ingredients. Pick out your favorite recipes from the picnic foods list above (or from your own recipe box!), and start your shopping list. And don't forget to add things like paper plates, napkins, cups, and plastic silverware to your list, if you don't already have them on hand!

-Prepare your food: Using some of our easy summer picnic recipes, prepare your food. From finger foods to desserts, you'll want plenty of options on your perfect picnic menu to please everyone joining you on your red checkered blanket. There are so many options here, your only problem will be choosing which recipes to make!

-Pack your basket: Once your food is ready and you're about to head out on your picnic, you'll need to pack up your food so that it's easily portable. Here's a video of how to pack your picnic basket so that everything stays fresh, nothing gets squished, and nothing spills.

-Enjoy! The best part of any picnic is eating! Once you've found the perfect picnic spot, laid out your blanket, and opened your basket, you get the joy of digging in to your al fresco meal with good company and plenty of delicious picnic food.

Portable Labor Day Picnic Favorites (That Taste Even Better Outside)

Food Network Kitchen’s Pork and Broccoli Rabe Pressed Sandwich for Summer Slow Cooker/Zucchini Fries/Picnic Brick-Pressed Sandwiches, as seen on Food Network.

Photo by: Renee Comet ©2016, Television Food Network, G.P. All Rights Reserved

Renee Comet, 2016, Television Food Network, G.P. All Rights Reserved

The days that can entail plans for a picnic are numbered, and Labor Day might be your last opportunity for a true eat-outside affair this year. End the summer season the right way with our tips for how to plan the perfect picnic, plus our full lineup of picnic-perfect recipes.

If you haven't gone for one of our brand-new Brick-Pressed Sandwiches just yet, what are you waiting for? The impressively jam-packed sandwiches, like this Italian Combo and Broccoli Rabe Pressed Hero number (pictured above), rely on the force of gravity, which helps load as many ingredients as humanly possible into one sandwich — and they might just be the feed-a-crowd element your picnics have been missing.

Pack a Posh Picnic

Save yourself the effort and pick up a pre-packaged picnic at the St. Regis Atlanta and St. Regis San Francisco.

Photo by: Image courtesy of St. Regis Atlanta

Image courtesy of St. Regis Atlanta

It's summertime and no better opportunity to enjoy some al fresco dining. What could be more carefree and thrilling than grabbing a picnic basket and the person or family you love and finding some tranquil park or lakeside to enjoy an outdoor repast?

Not enough time, you say? Think nothing spoils leisure time quicker than having to shop for, cook and pack a picnic feast? Well luckily there are helpful foodie elves about who can not only cook and pack the perfect picnic basket sourced with local ingredients, but also pack it up oh-so-perfectly with a bottle of wine, glassware, napkins and plates in a lovely wicker basket.

This $85 curated picnic basket is offered all year long at both the Atlanta and San Francisco locations of the St. Regis hotel chain, though it makes the most sense in the picnic-friendly warm summer months. Both hotels have gone to some effort to represent local foodways in their baskets. The San Francisco basket features the artisan cheeses of Cowgirl Creamery and haute chocolate creations from confectionary company TCHO.

Your Atlanta basket bursts with local farm flavors from James Beard winner Linton Hopkins' H&F Bread Company, cheese from Sweet Grass Dairy and Southern fare like a roasted corn and pickled okra salad and a fried green tomato sandwich.

Now if those helpful hotel elves would just carry that basket, spread the blanket, pluck a ukulele and make scintillating conversation, so you could concentrate on the food.

6 Picks for the Perfect Picnic

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June 18 is International Picnic Day and we are celebrating by sharing 6 of our favorite recipes that look impressive but are easy to make and transport. So grab your picnic basket and enjoy!

As a family, we love getting outside and enjoying the sunshine and the fresh air! And some of our favorite outside activities include hiking, visiting local parks, the beach, and enjoying our backyard, affectionately known as The W. When it comes to enjoying good food outside, what can be better than packing a delicious picnic? With SKIPPY® Peanut Butter Squeeze Packs, putting together an easy Picnic Basket Charcuterie Board is a breeze.

I was able to pack everything I needed for an enjoyable picnic into a small picnic basket. And by everything I mean, a mini cutting board, an assortment of fruits, veggies, nuts, two kinds of cheeses, crackers, and both SKIPPY® Peanut Butter Squeeze Pack and SKIPPY® Natural Peanut Butter Spread Squeeze Pack. And it&rsquos not just picnics our family loves the portability and convenience of SKIPPY® Peanut Butter Squeeze Packs. I can use them while hiking, to the park, and road-tripping. These portable packs are perfect for any setting.

When it comes to taste, this one puts the peanut in peanut butter! With SKIPPY® Peanut Butter Squeeze Packs ​ , there are no preservatives, no artificial flavors, or colors(*similar to all peanut butter) ​ , and there&rsquos 7 g of protein in each serving. All that in a no-mess, on-the-go packaging there&rsquos nothing better!

SKIPPY® Peanut Butter Squeeze Pack is resealable, mess-free, and did I mention portable?

What You Will Need To Make Our Portable Charcuterie Board

Peanut Butter. I used SKIPPY® Peanut Butter Squeeze Packs or SKIPPY® Natural Peanut Butter Spread Squeeze Packs. So portable, super convenient, and no-mess. And the taste is everything we love in peanut butter. Plus, our three teenage boys love it too!

Assorted Fruits & Veggies. For this mini Charcuterie board, I used organic grapes, strawberries, celery sticks, and fresh cherry tomatoes I picked from our garden.

Meats & Cheeses. I picked up a variety of meats at the Walmart deli counter. I asked the butcher to slice the roast beef extra thin, and it came out perfect! I also grabbed two kinds of cheese already cut into cubes, which meant no additional prep, just grab and go!

Crackers & Nuts. I used whole wheat crackers and candied pecans for a bit of crunch. And the crackers paired perfectly with the SKIPPY® Peanut Butter Squeeze.

Picnic Basket & Mini Cutting Board. To make your Charcuterie Board portable, grab a picnic basket and mini cutting board. You&rsquoll also want to grab sandwich bags or small containers to store your food in, and a couple of ice packs.

Portable Charcuterie Board Idea


    and SKIPPY® Natural Peanut Butter Spread Squeeze Pack (I&rsquom using one of each)
  • 1 small bunch of grapes
  • 1/2 cup sliced ripe strawberries
  • 2 celery sticks cut into smaller portions
  • 1/2 cup cherry tomatoes
  • 1/4 cup assorted nuts
  • 1/2 cup sharp cheddar cheese cubes
  • 1/2 cup mozzarella cheese cubes
  • 6 ounces roast beef thinly sliced
  • 6 ounces dry cured, sweet Sopressata, or salami

Using resealable plastic bags is not only smart, but it makes storing everything in your picnic basket so easy!


Grab a picnic basket. I used a picnic basket with an insulating liner and a mini cutting board. Pack all of your Charcuterie board items in resealable plastic baggies, and place them into the picnic basket along with two small ice packs to keep the perishable items cold. To set up the snack board, arrange the meat, cheese, fruits, vegetables, and crackers onto a mini cutting board and serve.

To use the SKIPPY® Peanut Butter Squeeze Pack, screw off the cap and squeeze onto crackers or whatever else you like. When you are finished, screw the cap back on the SKIPPY® Squeeze Peanut Butter Pack. Now that you have the deets on how to create a portable Charcuterie Board, head over to your nearest Walmart to grab everything you need.

It&rsquos nice to get all of your shopping needs under one roof. It&rsquos so convenient, which means I have more time to enjoy our time outside relaxing. Go to Walmart&rsquos website to find the nearest location. Or use Walmart Online Grocery Pickup.

When it comes to SKIPPY® Peanut Butter Squeeze Pack, use as much or as little as you want, then screw on the cap!

Thriftnic: Vintage themed pop-up picnic comes to Traders Point Creamery

“Thrifnic,” they’re calling it, “A Won of a Kind picnic event where style and design collide.” This is the perfect opportunity to get dressed up, enjoy a beautiful day in the sun and take gorgeous photos. You can also meet some of Indy’s most stylish and like-minded people. Erica Scott, thrift expert and Tiffany Fields, owner of Creatiff + Co, are teaming up for this fun event. They joined us today to share all the details.

Socially distant and outdoor — this is a unique event to attend and a chance to display your style from the inside out. It’s hosted at a beautiful private venue. There will be entertainment, music by DJ Duck, games, and giveaways.

There are two ticket options:

1. Bring Your Own Blanket and accents for your picnic: Please max 4 persons per blanket. Guests will receive complimentary artisan cheese boxes provided by caterer which include a serving of Herbed fromage, Homemade fig jam, Aged Cheese, Soft Cheese, Crackers and Fruit. Feel free to pack your own picnic basket as well! Use code “Indy Style” for a discount.

2. The worry free option of having your section pre-styled for you: Solo attendee? Want less fuss? This ticket allows for a seat at the styled MAIN raised table. Includes table settings, props, designated seat and a #Thriftnic souvenir. Guests will receive complimentary artisan cheese boxes provided by venue which includes Herbed fromage, Homemade fig jam, Aged Cheese, Soft Cheese, Crackers and Fruit. Feel free to pack your own picnic basket as well!

“Thriftinic” is taking place at Traders Point Creamery on Sunday, June 13th from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m.

There are no refunds. There is a rain date for inclement weather, and tickets are transferable.

No tickets will be available day of event.

To purchase tickets to this event visit, click here.

For more from the organizers visit their Instagram pages, @TheFlyWon and @CreatiffLiving.

8 Perfect Picnic Foods That Don't Require Refrigeration

The weather is gorgeous and it's time to head outside to the park, find a shady tree, and set up the picnic blanket for a feast with friends and family. But first you must decide on the menu.

Some foods work better without refrigeration than others, of course, so leave the ice cream at home and pack a basket with these delicious picnic bites everyone will love.

1. Watermelon. Sure it's a huge fruit (and heavy), but oh what fun it is to eat the often messy watermelon outside during a picnic. It's refreshing, tastes great, has a high water content so it's hydrating, and you don't have to worry about it dripping all over your floors. Get messy and enjoy.

2. Crackers and dips. Get some well seasoned crackers of your liking and a dip that will withstand a little heat and it's the perfect munching picnic snack.

3. Pasta salad. Make a pasta salad with olives, feta cheese, small sliced veggies, and salad dressing or a pesto.

4. Veggie snacks. Carrots, broccoli, cauliflower, celery . you get the idea! Use some of the dip from the crackers, too.

5. Sundried tomato and basil sandwiches. Spread some sundried tomatoes (a spread or whole) and add basil. Cut into fours and pack for the picnic.

6. PB&J. Good old peanut butter and jelly to the rescue.

7. Hazelnut or almond butter sandwiches. Sweeten your sandwiches with hazelnut or almond butter. Spread it on sandwich bread, cut in fours, and it's almost like dessert.

8. Salami and cheddar cheese rolls. Forget the bread! All you need is thinly sliced cheddar cheese and roll inside salami. Yum!