Summer Picnic Foods - Ideas for Your Next Outdoor Gathering
Do you need some ideas for good summer picnic foods to prepare?
Nothing beats a summertime picnic in the woods, on the beach or out in an open field, eating outdoors and having fun with friends and family.
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When it comes to summer picnic foods, there are many traditional foods that come to mind, such as fried chicken and cold cut sandwiches, but there is so much more than these basic foods to choose from. Healthy foods are now a staple of picnic baskets everywhere. Combine the classics with the creative in your next picnic basket.
Salads are always popular on picnics because they can be made in a large variety of ways. Everyone has their own spin on the old standards like potato salad and egg salad, but consider finely chopping some chicken or ham (seasoned to your liking) for traditional meat salads.
Tuna mixed with some mayo and lemon juice are the basics of any tuna fish salad that makes such a delicious sandwich spread. Even traditional salad components will travel well in a cooler, allowing you to enjoy your favorite green salad as well. A cold pasta salad or fruit salad are excellent choices for summer picnic foods as well.
Burritos or wraps are a good item to take along as their many components travel well, and they offer a wide variety of combinations to satisfy different tastes. They are also self contained, making them less messy. If there is a small grill handy, then you can bring along all the burgers, brats and hot dogs you can handle. If it is a large gathering, then you may even want to go pot luck style.
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Any of the hard cheeses hold up well under picnic conditions, and are a perfect companion of fruits such as apples and grapes. Eat them with crackers or any other pre packaged snack items such as chips that you may have brought along. All types of nuts keep well and serve as a good snack if you don't want to go through the trouble of preparing anything elaborate.
Kids especially enjoy picnics, so be sure to include fun food and food activities for them. Finger foods like chicken wings and cold pizza are more suited for them. Cocktail sausages and pigs in a blanket make a great cold snack, as do treats such as cookies to end your picnic right.
Other than summer picnic food, you will also need to bring drinks. This can be some beer you pick up at a store along the way, or refreshing lemonade on a hot summer's day. A romantic picnic basket might include some chocolates, a bottle of champagne, two wine glasses and little else.
Food safety is a big concern when planning summer picnic foods. It is not good to keep food past its acceptable limits for fear of breeding bacteria. Fresh fruits and vegetables are always safe to take along. Raw vegetables are perfectly safe to include and they all go well with simple dips or ranch dressing.
If you must bring meats, then pack it deep inside the cooler amongst the ice so it does not spoil. You can even freeze your meat sandwiches as this will keep them fresher longer.
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