Maybe it’s just me because I’m food obsessed, but summer gets me all kinds of creative in the kitchen. I find myself searching on Pinterest, Instagram, and The Food Network for fabulous recipe inspiration for all of our summer outings. No matter what age your kids are and even if it’s just you and your spouse or friends, you’ll love packing these great summer foods for a day at the beach, the park or a road trip.
We live in a small beach side community on the south shore of Long Island called Long beach so there isn’t a summer weekend when we are not prepared for a yummy picnic at the beach. I have put together my family’s favorite summer recipes and foods for these fun occasions. Let us know what you think in the comments below!
1. Baked Cornflake Crusted Chicken Bites with Ketchup or (my personal favorite) Aioli Dip.
This is my version of Catherin McCord’s chicken bites from her Weelicious Lunches book. It’s an absolute gem to have on your book shelf!
Photo Credit: Weelicous Lunches
2. Israeli Potato Salad – I have yet to meet someone that doesn’t LOVE this potato salad. So before you judge it, give it a try.
5 lb bag of potatoes
10-12 large eggs
1 can of peas and carrots
1 can of large Israeli pickles in brine
1/2 – 1 cup of mayonnaise
Salt to taste
Boil the potatoes and the eggs in one large pot until tender. This can be done the day before or hours before serving. Drain and let cool (very important to let them fully cool off). Peel the eggs and potatoes. Quarter the eggs and the potatoes trying to keep everything bite sized and toss into a large bowl. Dice the pickles and add to the mixture. Add the can of peas and carrots, sprinkle with salt and then add the mayo a little bit at a time so that it’s to your liking. Sometimes I’ll add some of the brine juice for extra flavor. Refrigerate before serving.
3. Bow Tie Pasta Salad (photo credit: Food.com) My dear friend’s recipe that I have been making for years. It’s great at room temperature which means it travels really well and is sooooo yummy.
1 pound of bow tie Pasta
1 bag of English peas from Trader Joes
1 Red pepper diced
1 onion diced
Olive oil for sauteing
A whole head of garlic chopped
salt and pepper to taste
Cook and drain pasta as per directions and set aside in a large bowl.
Sautee the onions, garlic, and red pepper with olive oil in a frying pan until all the veggies are wilted and start to brown. Add the peas at the end for 1-2 minutes so they should still be sort of firm and combine with the pasta. Add salt and toss.
* Don’t be afraid to salt this recipe–it brings out the flavor in a big way!
4. Roasted Asparagus with Garlic (Photo Credit: Food.com)
2 bunches of asparagus with the ends chopped off.
4 cloves of garlic sliced or chopped
Salt to taste
Preheat the oven to 400 Degrees
Rinse and dry the asparagus and snap off or chop off 1/3 of the stems. Coat with Olive Oil and salt. Place on a baking sheet so that the asparagus lays flat and top with the sliced garlic. Cook for 20-30 minutes or until tender and starting to brown but not burn. Best served at room temperature.
5. Turkey and Cheese Pesto Wraps
6. Crackers Goat Cheese and Honey Plus Apples
7. Carrot Sticks, Cucumber Slices, Pretzel Flats and Hummus Dip
This has been a major “go to” for our family anytime we are on the go. My daughter is an athlete and the hummus and pretzels are a perfect protein, fat, carb combo before her games so we always have these on hand when we travel for games etc… Our preference is the Original Sabra Hummus and the pretzel flats from Trader Joe’s.
(photo credit www.momables.com)
8. PB&J Sushi Roll Ups
9. Watermelon and a Gallon of Water or Lemonade
10. Decadent S’mores Brownies
This is a recent addition to our repertoire of picnic foods and barbecues adapted from The Beach House Kitchen. There’s never a morsel left over, but does that really surprise you? 🙂