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5 Simple Picnic Ideas for a Perfect Summer Meal

Picnics have been the go-to activity this summer! It’s the perfect way to soak up the sunshine, enjoy a meal and spend time with your loved ones (socially distanced, of course).

I’ve seen so many people picnic at beaches, parks and even in their own backyards. It’s a great alternative to get a change of scenery, avoid crowds, and “dine out.” I don’t know about you, but dining in restaurants still makes me anxious (although I know tons of restaurants out there are doing their part to make sure they’re safe) and I prefer to support my favorite restaurants by ordering to-go. Besides, with the sun shining so bright these days (and it’s not going to last much longer, especially in the PNW), what better way to enjoy the remaining few weeks of summer than a picnic?

I used to think picnics are a hassle, with all of the prepping and packing food, and having to think practically about the food you’re bringing (i.e. don’t bring anything that will melt… or bring a cooler/ice packs). However, they don’t have to be complicated. In fact, the more I thought about it, the more I realized that they’re far from complicated — they just require a little extra planning.

Last week, I was inspired by all of the picnics that I also decided to take my breakfast outdoors. I made my food, grabbed a blanket and some flowers (it’s no picnic without flowers), and enjoyed my breakfast out in the sunshine. The spread included: chocolate chip muffins, fruit salad with maple – lemon glaze and some mixed nuts. However, the “picnic” didn’t last for very long as it got super windy. Nonetheless, it was really fun to quickly set up and definitely something I’ll do again before the summer ends!

To make things easier for you all, below are 5 ideas for your next picnic. I took the stress of figuring out what kind of picnic to have, and all you’ll have to do is decide where to go and what to eat!

Pasta Bar

I’m a firm believer that pasta will never fail you. Who doesn’t love pasta? It’s super easy to make ahead of time, and personally speaking, it’s hard to mess up.

For variation, make different kinds of pasta to satisfy everyone’s tastes. A simple way to do this is by cooking a large batch of pasta noodles, dividing it up, and mixing it in a variety of different sauces, veggies, and meats. Pack it up and you’re ready to go!

Brunch

I love brunch foods so much, you know I had to include it here too. For anyone doing an early afternoon picnic, brunch is the way to go. It doesn’t have to be elaborate — here are a few brunch ideas that are easy to pack and bring on the go:

Fruit: Fruit is super easy to cut up and pack to go. Bonus points if you mix the fruit up in a big salad.

Waffles + Pancakes: Prepare and pack stacks of waffles and/or pancakes ahead of time. Then, pack your favorite syrup, whipped cream and toppings on the side and create your own little picnic topping bar!

Toast Bar: Pack your favorite breads and spreads (peanut butter, nutella, jam, mashed avocado — you name it). At your picnic, lay out all of the ingredients so that everyone can create their own toast with whatever flavor combinations they choose!

Or, the simplest option: pick up some coffee and pastries (my favorite is chocolate croissants) from your local favorite cafe.

Potluck

Picnic is all about food and friends, so why not also have your friends bring some food too? A potluck is a great way to have everyone chip in and ease the food prep responsibility off of one person. If you have a friend who has a favorite dish they like to make, or if you really just want one of your friend’s signature dishes, this is the perfect opportunity to enjoy their food!

Dessert

You can’t have a picnic without dessert! Whether it’s a post-dinner picnic, or you’re craving something sweet mid-day, you can’t go wrong with a dessert picnic to satisfy your sweet tooth. Have your trusty baker friend whip up your favorite sweets (or do it potluck style with everyone’s favorite treats), or pick up a cake or pastries on the way out. Whatever the dessert spread may be, it’ll delight everyone!

Takeout

Yes, it’s that easy. No cooking required.

(Just remember to ask for utensils!)

Hope you all get the chance to enjoy the last few weeks of summer! Let me know if you tried any of these picnic ideas, or if you have any of your own. ๐Ÿ™‚

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