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May 27, 2015

Quick and Easy Summer Picnic Ideas

Summer is a time for parades, personal observation and picnics. While a picnic is fun, they can be a lot of work if not planned carefully. If you want to plan a picnic that does not take all week to prepare, here are four simple food suggestions for your upcoming celebration.

Skewer it
Skewers are an excellent choice for picnics because they allow for easy, mess-free eating. However, the real benefit of preparing skewers is that they are excessively versatile. It is possible to pair any number of food items on a stick to create a range of culinary tastes. Many people opt for meats and cheeses, and it is possible to be as intricate or simple as you want. For example, you could grill steak or chicken in advance, or you could simply purchase your favorite selection of fresh deli meats. Cheese cubes are excellent in classics like cheddar, but adding something like prosciutto can create an even more distinctive taste. Skewers can also feature vegetables, fruit or potatoes, allowing each person in attendance to have a skewer perfectly tailored to their preferences. You can even consider mini-skewers on pretzels sticks, which can be a lot of fun for kids of any age.

Jar it
Food in a jar is a growing culinary trend, and while many people use it for breakfast or dessert, it can also make a wonderful picnic addition. In particular, jars are great for salads. In practical terms, jars are easy to transport and eat out of, but by using mason jars, it is possible to let these jars also be colorful conversation pieces. Layering is especially popular, and it is easy to create a multi-hued salad with items like spinach, tomato, avocado, yellow peppers and even tofu. Some people also like to layer in cold pastas and sauces for additional flavors. Jars can even be a prime option for desserts, with puddings and creams alternated with fruit, brownies or cookie crumbles.

Roll it
Although sandwiches are a picnic staple, rolled breads offer an upscale picnic variation. Basically, anything that goes in a sandwich can be just as conveniently rolled into tortillas or pita bread. The advantage is that wraps hold the contents better, and they are easier to wield. Moreover, it is possible to create more intricate designs with your wraps, layering sauces, vegetables and meats as desired. Wraps can also be created in bite-sized pieces, making them the perfect appetizer to pass around. Similarly, sushi rolls can work well. Although sushi rolls can require more precision, it is easy to use authentic sushi rice with seasonal produce like avocado for an ideal picnic dish.

Stuff it
If you have a bit more time to prepare for your picnic, stuffed foods may be a great menu addition. Tomatoes are the prime place to start, since they hold their form well and taste good with many ingredients. To keep it simple, a mixture of mayonnaise and cream cheese with dill accents can be used. The mixture can then be topped with things like lettuce, spinach, artichoke or bacon. Peppers are also well suited for stuffing, including Greek variations with tomato puree, feta cheese and rice. Even strawberries can be used as a dessert option. Once the center is removed, strawberries can be stuffed with a mix of cream cheese and whipped cream.

Each of these suggestions can make planning the perfect picnic easier than ever this summer. If you have a passion for cooking, then maybe it is time to consider a culinary degree from IOT.