contestscookbooksentertainingfoodFood & Drinkin the kitchen withkristina gill

in the kitchen with: quadrille cookbooks giveaway

by Grace Bonney

We put great thought into making the In the Kitchen With column full of quick, easy and even impromptu recipes both savory and sweet. Our greatest hope is that you actually try a recipe or two, and as the good weather rolls in, we thought it would be great if you got some inspiration from our archives for your next picnic or outdoor entertaining opportunity.

This week we’ve teamed up with Quadrille Books to offer a mega cookbook giveaway to supplement our archives.  Here’s all you have to do:

Using the In the Kitchen With archives, come up with a menu for your ideal picnic! The winner will receive the ten books featured here in this post (nine cookbooks + one book on wine). Two runners up will receive four cookbooks plus the wine book. We’ve tried to include diverse cuisines to keep it interesting!

To enter, just leave a comment (in the comment section) with:

  • Your ideal picnic or outdoor entertaining menu using recipes from the D*S archives
  • Include a minimum of three dishes, including savory and sweet (can’t forget dessert!)

By clicking here, you can easily choose the courses you’re looking for from the side menu. Quadrille will decide which picnic they’d most like to attend, and we will announce the winners Friday, May 4th. The cut-off for providing your menu is Wednesday, May 2. The contest is open to participants worldwide.

We look forward to seeing what you choose! You can see my menu, and find out more about Quadrille Books, after the jump. — Kristina

Kristina’s Menu

When having friends over, I love abundance and choice, so my picnic would be ample. I’d make Matkonation’s perfect schnitzel for the meat eaters. As side dishes, I’d have Alyson Fox’s carrots, avocado and cumin, and Gena Knox’s apple, kale, and pecan salad. For a lighter option, I’d have Giao Trac’s Chinese chicken salad, and for substantial vegetarian options, I’d offer Gaby Dalkin’s spicy roasted broccolini quinoa salad, House of Brinson’s pimento cheese sandwiches, and the Pie Truck’s zucchini, mushroom and dill pies. For dessert, Nigel Slater’s apple zucchini walnut cake, Lena Corwin’s pumpkin cranberry loaf and Jennifer Martine’s chocolate chip cookies. Now, that sounds like a LOT of food. And it would be. But it would be so good that you’d be talking about it for months, begging to come back for more! Lucky for you, the archives are up 24 hours a day, so you can make it at home any time!

About Quadrille Books: London-based publisher Quadrille Books is home to many great authors like Gordon Ramsey, Antonio Carluccio and Gennaro Contaldo (Two Greedy Italians), Bill Granger, Anissa Helou, Skye Gyngell, Peggy Porschen and Anjum Anand. In 2010, they launched the New Voices in Food series to give up-and-coming foodies the opportunity to showcase their recipes in print. Their catalogue is not limited to food, however. They also boast a vast collection of home, garden and craft titles from well-known designers like Tricia Guild, Kelly Hoppen and Cath Kidston. Their new catalog can be found online here. Their blog, which features previews of upcoming books, can be found here.

Suggested For You


  • Jennifer Martine’s Salted Chocolate Chip Cookies
    Gaby Dalkin’s Spicy Roasted Broccolini Quinoa Salad
    Jill Donenfeld’s Pondicherry Toasts
    Green Kitchen Stories’ Portobello Burger
    Chelsea Fuss’ Summer Elderflower

  • Well, I am going to begin with dessert- which would definitely be the salted chocolate chip cookies from Jennifer Martine. For the main meal we would have to try the CHINESE CHICKEN SALAD WITH SPICY GINGER DRESSING by Giao Trac, which would be easy to pack in a picnic basket. Finally, to top it all off, we would have a big pitcher of the Low Country Lemonade by Tara Guerard, because who doesn’t want a little punch in their picnic?

  • Blood orange basil gimlets
    Homemade ricotta served with water crackers, thinly sliced cucumbers, salt and pepper

    Kale & apple salad with molasses vinaigrette and sugared pecans
    Bacon and egg tartlets

    Champagne cocktails
    Plum cake with fresh whipped cream

  • Okay, I immediately envisioned a picnic on the beach with friends. So, I would pack little boxes full of “Drunken spaghetti with clams”, served with “Taleggio Roulade”, and “Fennel, blood orange and black olive salad”. For dessert, 2 choices… the “Fig, dolcelalle, honey and rosemary” dish with/or without the”Almond Yogurt Cake”. I’d also like to serve the “Dark chocolate Matzah”, just in case someone needed a chocolate fix (me). This would be a tasty and fun time.

  • I love the idea of a Sunday brunch picnic, especially on those really warm days when morning is the best time to be outside. Seersucker, bow ties, and sun hats encouraged!

    As my favorite picnic spot is a mile or so away right by the lake, I wanted to pick recipes that would be easily portable. So for the picnic, I would make lemonade scones (I love that they incorporate my favorite picnic beverage!) topped with roasted strawberries, local shrimp paste sandwiches, and no-mayo waldorf salad. I think the raspberry and rosewater cheesecake would be the perfect ending to a lovely little brunch picnic!

  • I’d have Hungry Girl’s Sweet Potato, Green Bean and Smoked Paprika Salad and
    Amanda Hesser’s Kale, Pancetta and Grape Pizza.
    Then I’d finish with Johnny Battle’s Rosemary Vanilla Bean Truffles.

  • I try a recipe posted on D*S at least once a month, but three that I go back to on the regular are Aran Goyoaga’s homemade ginger ale (seriously! so amazing!) Julia Vandenoever’s brownies with chocolate frosting (because brownies aren’t enough I tell ya, you NEED frosting on them) and Aunt Sissy Si’s pimento cheese sandwiches (which I probably eat once a week)
    I’m hungry just thinking about it

  • In NYC picnics have three huge restrictions: you have to schlep your food all the way to a park, it’s hot as sin in the summer and cocktails are a no-no. I can’t WAIT to pack a picnic in Prospect Park — I’m bringing Matt’s Mojito Melon Skewers. They look fresh and delicious and they’re on a stick! Perfect for munching mid-croquet game. When it’s time to sit down to eat, I’ll bring two or three of Amanda Hessler’s pizzas. Her recipe is *perfect*and we love to nosh on the leftovers straight out of the fridge — next time I’ll just throw the tupperware into a bag and we’ll have a delicious, nutritious easy picnic lunch! I am DYING to try Leah Verway’s Jalapeno Cheddar cookies. With the right pizza toppings (I’m thinking pulled pork? Or maybe chorizo with green chiles and hominy?) these cookies would be the perfect travel-easy side. And for dessert — Kathrin’s Salted Caramel spread! I would pack a baguette or challah loaf or maybe some not-to-sweet cookies so we could dip straight for the jar for a salty-sweet end to a perfect picnic! Just thinking about this makes me want to nap in the sunshine on a quilt…

  • Choices, choices… For a picnic food has to be eaily portable, so my selection would include Aunt Sissy Si’s Pimento cheese sandwiches, Portobello & peach burgers and salted chocolate chip cookies. And the biggest thermos of hot tea. Thank you!

  • As a 20-year-Georgian but recent transplant to L.A., I find myself craving good southern cooking all the time. My perfect summer southern picnic would start with Tara Guerard’s low country lemonade (schnapps and mint REQUIRED) and Gena Knox’s Kale, Apple, and Pecan salad because it’s all the perfect flavors, and nothing screams Savannah more than a praline pecan.

    Next course would be lots of sandwiches, cut in fourths diagonally. Specifically, Tara Guerard’s shrimp paste (because it’s one of our favorite recipes anyway), Aunt Sissy Si’s pimento cheese (because that’s what my Grandma used to make), and Danielle Tsi’s egg salad, because you have to have a good variety.

    We’d finish up, stuffed to the gills, with a thick slice of Skinny Laminx’s banana bread, slathered in butter and honey, because that is perfection, y’all.

  • My ideal location for a picnic would be on the beach with my husband, any beach, I’m not picky but I would start with dessert since I often have no room if I start with the main lunch first. So, I would first have Nigella Lawson’s Guinness Chocolate Cake, then melissa clark’s bacon, rosemary and tomato pasta, followed up with yotam ottolenghi’s taleggio roulade as an appetizer if I had room left in my belly. Great giveaway, thanks for the chance.

  • I would have watermelon with mint, cannellini edamame & pecorino salad, veggie stack sandwiches on rosemary bread (grilled portobello, eggplant, zucchini, mozarella, sauteed spinache and pesto). Wine and for dessert green tea crepe cake.

  • I love finger food and I think it’s perfect for a picnic because it’s easy to transport and to eat! My picnic would be a southern themed soiree here in the mountains of Asheville. Think luscious green landscapes, cool mountains breezes and a gurgling river as the setting for our picnic. Laid out are handmade quilts (made by yours truly) with pillows for seating. Old vintage tables are set up to display the food creating a vignette in the forest. To start, I would have several different kinds of drinks pre-made in mason jars with lids which are then set on ice in an old row boat. I would make Tara Guerard’s Low Country Lemonade, Chelsea Fuss’ Summer Elderflower, Andrew and Carrie’s Blackberry Smash and Spoon Fork Bacon’s Honey Rum Fizz. On various different serving platters, crates, boxes and pie/cake stands I would set out mini sandwiches, burgers, pizzas and corn dogs. I would make Aunt Sissy Si’s Pimento Cheese Sandwiches (perfect Southern delicacy), mini versions of Amanda Hesser’s Kale, Pancetta and Grape Pizza, Matt Armendariz’s Corn Dogs, Big Girls, Small Kitchen Meatball Subs, Danielle Tsi’s Egg Salad Sandwiches, Green Kitchen Stories’ Portobello Burgers, and Tara Guerard’s Shrimp Paste Sandwiches. Displayed in an old vintage hutch would be platters of Jennifer Martine’s Salted Chocolate Chip Cookies and mason jars of Annette Joseph’s Apple-Pear Cobbler. Everyone would be well fed and well taken care of at my Southern Style Picnic.






    These delicious dishes are easy to transport and eat!!!

  • My daughter begs for a picnic at the park at least once a week. One thing I’ve learned is pushing her on the swing or cruising on scooters rather than wrangling grills and tablecloths makes the picnic a lot more fun for all of us. A blanket and some good food are the only tools we really need. Rule #1: Keep the thirsty rug rats cool and whine-free. Swigging Tara Guerard’s Lowcountry Lemonade http://www.designsponge.com/2011/07/in-the-kitchen-with-tara-guerards-shrimp-paste-sandwiches-and-lowcountry-lemonade.html should be the quencher. Rule #2: Deliver food in one container and keep it condiment free. I’d pull out my Takenaka bento boxes http://www.harabuhouse.com/item/TAKENAKA-BENTO-BOX/217 packed with the fresh flavors of Meeta Khurana’s Thai Red Curry Prawn Noodle http://www.designsponge.com/2010/10/in-the-kitchen-with-meeta-khuranas-red-curry-prawn-noodles.html and add a different kind of obstacle course for the kids: use cheap wooden chopsticks for delivering the noodles into their ravenous little bodies. The big finish: a treat that’s monkey bar friendly with the go-to dessert that every kid and adult is happy devour: Jennifer Martine’s Salted Chocolate Chip Cookies http://www.designsponge.com/2012/03/in-the-kitchen-with-jennifer-martines-salted-chocolate-chip-cookies.html. Mmmm. Chocolate. Salt. Perfect picnic.

  • Gena Knox’s “Kale and apple salad,” Danielle Tsi’s “Egg salad,” Alissa and Ryan’s “Lavender lemonade,” Dani Fisher’s “Orecchiette with orange-spiced lamb meatballs,” and for dessert: Jennifer Martine’s “Salted chocolate chip cookies” and, for the non-chocolate fans, Catherine Taret’s “Crepes” with Heidi Swanson’s “Roasted strawberries.” I’m salivating just thinking about it. Yummo.

  • I’d do a trio of salads for a picnic: The Hungry Girls’ sweet potato, green bean and smoked paprika salad, Gaby Dalkin’s spicy roasted broccolini quinoa salad and Gena Knox’s kale and apple salad.

    Dessert would be Marlena Spieler’s treacle sponge with Heidi’s roasted strawberries.

    And, of course, you have to have a beverage or two. I’d choose Jen Altman’s Morocco and Annette Joseph’s blood orange basil gimlet.. ok I’m hungry now!


    Low Country Lemonade

    Homemade Ricotta with Mini Toasts (Crostini Bases) and Spiced Peach Jam

    Kale, Pancetta and Grape Pizza
    Butternut Squash + Pomegranate Galette

    Ice Cream Sandwiches:
    Salted Chocolate Chip Cookies + Sweet Chesnut and Rosemary Ice Cream
    Giant Chewy Lemon Sugar Cookies + Blackberry Ice Cream

    Blackberry Napoleons

  • My picnic begins under a large oak on a hill in Prospect Park. All of my best friends are their, and they brought their favorite Design Sponge In the Kitchen With dishes… Kate(a vegetarian) starts with Gaby Dalkin’s Spicy Broccolini Quinoa Salad, and her boyfriend brought Green Kitchen Stories Portobello Peach Burgers on mini sliders held together with fancy toothpicks. I represented the carnivores with Dani Fisher’s Orange Spiced Lamb Meatballs, and brought the Heirloom Radish Salad from Penny de los Santos for a side. Jessy brought Jenny & Teri’s No Yeast Cake Donuts – they don’t need to be warm or cold to be delicious! and we finish our picnic with Matt Armendariz’s Mojito Melon Fruit Skewers – what a perfect day!

  • I love picnic! There’s nothing like one for a summery indulgence:

    Sitting under a big tree blanket unfurled appetizers start the morning:
    MARJORIE TAYLOR’S GOUGÈRES give you a quick pop of flavour as you sip on cool LowCountry Lemonade courtesy of TARA GUERARD’S

    We organize a big game of tag running around as lunch is prepped throwing ourselves down on the blanket laughing as we dig into: David Stark’s, Fennel, Blood Orange, and Black Olive salad, Shrimp Tacos with Spiced Peach Jam by Cheryl and Griffith Day with a side of Yvette van Boven’s real Dutch bitterballen (with chanterelle mushrooms).

    Lazing in the hot afternoon sun as cool breezes hit us we lazily pop fresh grapes, let watermelon juices slide down our chins and indulge in: NIKKI GARDNER’S BANANA RUM FRITTERS

    Can’t wait for summer!

  • I’m definitely sticking with the picnic theme with things that aren’t too hard to eat picnic brunch style. Gruyere and Herb Scones. Chris Chun’s Lemonade Scones. Gena Knox’s Kale and Apple Salad. Yvette Van Bollen’s Bitterballen. Aunt Sissy Si’s Pimento Cheese Sandwich. For dessert: Jennifer Martine’s Salted Chocolate Chip Cookies and Coffee-Flavored Cake.

  • Start with the shrimp paste sandwiches and Blood Orange Basil Gimlets while everyone is gathering.

    Then on to:
    Annette Joseph’s Torta Pasqualina (good all year round)
    Hungry Girls’ Sweet Potato, Green Bean & Smoked Paprika Salad
    Gaby Dalkin’s Spicy Roasted Broccolini Quinoa Salad

    For dessert:
    Molly Hatch’s Maple Pecan Cake and Johnny Battles’ Trio of Truffles

  • This menu is more for outdoor entertaining at a table, rather than a sitting-on-blankets picnic:

    Gena Knox’s Kale and Apple Salad
    Melissa Clark’s Bacon, Rosemary, and Tomato Pasta
    Megan Fizell’s Pear Tart

    (After browsing the “In the Kitchen With” archives, now I’m hungry! Time for lunch!)

  • Strawberry Yogurt Soup, chilled in a thermos
    Spicy Roasted Broccolini Salad
    Zucchini Tarte
    Giant Chewy Lemon Sugar Cookies
    All served with a bottle of chilled Prosecco :)

  • I really love outdoor dining. Something about lounging and lingering into the evening around a table with friends by candlelight is truly wonderful. Let me start by saying I love food, but I also believe that keeping things simple makes it possible for the host to enjoy themselves as well. Also, you can put out some truly delish dishes by not being all over the place. Below is my menu:

    Heidi Swansons Roasted Strawberries, that I would serve with goat cheese, fresh ricotta, and baguette toasts
    Kristina Gills Cimaroli

    Sweet Potato, Green Bean, and Smoked Paprika Salad
    Dans Grilled Scallops with Rhubarb Relish
    Spicy Roasted Broccolini and Quinoa Salad

    Almond Yogurt Cake ( I might omit the citrus because I love the taste of almond alone in a cake – dense and moist… yowza
    Chocolate Matza – 2 variations

    All of this would be accompanied by Chelsea Fuss’ Summer Elderflower
    (Dessert would have coffee and tea)

  • I’m from the South, and it’s getting to be that time when BBQ is appropriate feasting fair. So, for the main savory, I’d have Ming Thompson’s Pulled Braised Pork with Apple-Cabbage Slaw and Homemade Barbecue Sauce. Where I’m from, you can’t have a pulled-pork sandwich without Brunswick Stew, so Kevin Gillespie’s Brunswick Stew. Nothing is better for a hot day in the South than lemonade, so for a drink, it’d have to be Low Country Lemonade from Tara Guerard. And since Southerner’s know sweets, I’d add in the simple and sweet Rachel Manley’s Almond Yogurt Cake. So good!

  • This will be my first full summer in New York (I’ve lived in Tennessee all my life), and I’m looking forward to many, many picnics in Central Park. The most important criteria of picnic food is portability, so I picked dishes that would save and travel well.

    We’d start with some of Sharon’s pickles from the Memorial Day menu (http://www.designsponge.com/2011/05/in-the-kitchen-with-memorial-day-menu.html) alongside the quickjams from this post (http://www.designsponge.com/2011/08/hunt-gather-and-host-quick-jams-and-preserves-party.html) and a bit piece of crusty bread.
    We’d sip on low country lemonade (http://www.designsponge.com/2011/07/in-the-kitchen-with-tara-guerards-shrimp-paste-sandwiches-and-lowcountry-lemonade.html) and the main attraction would be the super-easy, delicious looking Broccolini Quinoa Salad (http://www.designsponge.com/2012/01/in-the-kitchen-with-gaby-dalkins-spicy-roasted-broccolini-quinoa-salad.html).
    Can’t forget dessert! I’d keep it simple with Jennifer Martine’s salted chocolate chip cookies (http://www.designsponge.com/2012/03/in-the-kitchen-with-jennifer-martines-salted-chocolate-chip-cookies.html).

    I’m getting hungry just thinking about it!

  • Dani Fisher’s Dark Chocolate Matzoh
    Jen Altma’s Black Spiced Rum Eggnog
    Jennie Love’s Perfect Pumpkin Risotto

    I want some incongruous winter/holiday foods, because I’m crazy like that. Throw in Raya Carlisle’s Guacamole too, because I like guacamole.

  • options for everyone! (with a little bit of southern kick):

    emily maynard’s sweet tea sipper
    tara guerard’s lowcountry lemonade

    the hungry girls’ sweet potato, green bean, and smoked paprika salad
    gena knox’s kale and apple salad

    aunt sissy si’s pimento cheese sandwiches
    tara guerard’s shrimp paste sandwich

    jennifer martine’s salted chocolate chip cookies
    stacy newgent’s sweet corn and raspberry ice cream

  • I always imagine my picnics are somewhere with lots of sun dappled grass and hopefully a body of water of some sort. So, my menu is one that can be made in advance and easily packed into your car or a few bicycle baskets!

    Coming from the Deep South, we’d have to start with a cold beer and Aunt Sissy Si’s Pimento Cheese Sandwichs. Penny De Los Santo’s Radish Salad would provide a crisp, fresh, citrus-y lead-in to Molly Shuster’s Herb Roasted Chicken. In Louisiana, no one is going to turn down something that includes molasses (aka: cane syrup!), so to complement the richness of the chicken, we’d have Gena Knox’s Kale and Apple Salad alongside.

    For dessert, Marjorie Taylor’s Lemon Tart would provide a sunny, cool, lemon-y and buttery finish, with a little darkness provided by Johnny Battle’s Trio of Truffles.

    And…because down here, a meal isn’t a meal without sweet tea…Emily Maynard’s Sweet Tea Sipper would be served throughout the meal.

  • This is for a picnic on the beach in late spring – start with chilled avacado soup (8), then individually wrapped mini meatball subs (27), next a fennel, blood orange and black olive salad (15) with onion thyme buns (28). Then, of course, dessert – fudge brownies (32) and rugelach (14)
    All portable, weatherproof and yummy.

  • aunt sissy si’s pimento cheese sandwich
    parigote’s roasted asparagus
    deena prichep’s figs with dolcelatte, honey and rosemary
    chelsea fuss’ summer elderflower drink

    (my mouth is watering)

  • I would take:
    Matt Armendariz’s Stick Food
    Alyson Fox’s Carrots, Avocado, and Orange with Cumin
    +some good craft beer.
    And for dessert – Lena Corwin’s Fresh Fruit Cake.

  • Sitting at a picnic table at the Williamsburg waterfront overlooking Manhattan, my simple picnic would include:
    Starter: David Stark’s Fennel and Blood Orange salad
    Meal: Edodie Rambaud’s Zuccinhi Tarte
    Dessert: Katie Quinn’s Guinness Cake, but in the form of cupcakes.
    Have a light meal, because I’m picturing it’s summer, but a nice sweet heavy dessert because that’s how desserts should be.
    New Yorkers love drinking outside, and I know we can’t drink in parks, however I would bring Lavender Lemonade (ryan and alissa’s cocktail). Yummy!

  • My ideal picnic menu would include recipes that are easy to prepare ahead, travel well, are easy to eat out of tupperwear or with your hands, and are fresh and fun!
    Salad – Haloumi, Melon, and Avocado salad with lime-mint dressing
    “Main” – Cucumber Snacks
    Dessert – Giant Chewy Lemon Sugar Cookies
    Drink – Sweet Tea Sipper

  • My vegetarian menu would include

    Pakoras + Chutney and avacado soup for starters
    Potato gnocci or the spaghetti pasta (w/o clams)+ Potato, Green Bean Salad + Falafel (I just love it, so got to add)
    Dessert: fudge brownies with chocolate frosting and plum cake

  • oh goodness, wish this was my lunch today!
    I’d have a picnic in the Brooklyn Bridge Park on a warm spring day with
    1. Andrew and Carrie’s Blackberry Smash to drink (and in my ideal world, we’d be allowed to bring alcohol into the park, of course!)
    2. Appetizers: Gena Knox’s Kale and Apple Salad, and Deena Prichep’s Figs with Dolcelatte, Honey, and Rosemary
    3. Main Course: Amanda Hesser’s Kale, Pancetta, and Grape Pizza
    4. Dessert: Jennifer Martine’s Salted Chocolate Chip Cookies

    I might need to have a second picnic the following weekend so we could try the Shrimp Tacos with Spiced Peach Jam :)

  • I have been craving a picnic latley, so this is perfect!
    I would start off with annette joseph’s blood orange basil gimlets
    Then would serve dalkin’s spicy roasted broccolini quinoa salad
    With aunt sissy si’s pimento cheese sandwiches & Shrimp Paste Sandwiches
    I would end w/some christelle’s raspberry and rosewater cheesecake & another Gimlet for good measure! : )

  • What a great idea -I enjoyed rambling thru the recipes, and decided that for a picnic i’d make:

    Roasted Squash, arugula, goat cheese and Hazelnut salad (must roast the squash early in the morning while it’s cool!) and pack the dressing separately –

    Orecchiette and orange spiced lamb meatballs – again make it early, and pack it away –
    even though it won’t be fresh from the stove, i bet at room temp it would be delicious ( I’d pack it on ice, then bring it to room temp after we arrive )

    and for dessert – Jennifer Martine’s Salted Chocolate Chip Cookies

    with some lemonade and mojitos – Delicious!

  • What a fun idea!

    I would make Danielle Tsi’s egg salad, Cerentha’s sausage rolls (from the Memorial Day Menu), Rigetta Klint’s beetroot pesto, and Jennifer Martine’s salted chocolate chip cookies for dessert.

    This all sounds so good, I may actually just make it!

  • When I think of a successful picnic I consider a few things: location, portability, how the food stands up to the heat (crossing my fingers for a hot sunny day!) and how everything tastes served cold.

    Here is my menu for a sunny picnic by the Toronto lake shore:
    – Start with Chelsea Fuss’ Summer Elderflower (with Hendricks gin for an extra summery, cucumber hint)
    – Raya Carlisle’s Guacamole with homemade baked pita chips as the appetizer – great for sharing and travels well
    – Green Kitchen Stories’ Grilled Portobello and Peach Burgers – even the carnivores in my life love these ‘burgers’
    – As a side I would use Regatta Klint’s Beetroot Pesto as the base in a light pasta salad
    – Absolutely Jennifer Martin’s Salted Chocolate Chip Cookies for dessert – These would be coming right out of the cooler so they could get a bit warm and melty

    And now I need it to be 28 degrees outside to make this happen soon…

  • We’re getting close to Lilac Sunday, the one day a year when the Arboretum in Boston allows picnics. To have on Lilac Sunday, I would make a little bit Southern picnic and have the Broccoli Salad, Pondicherry Toasts, Pimento Cheese Sandwiches, Low Country Lemonade, and for dessert the Chocolate Chip, Cocoa Nib & Toasted Walnut with Artisan Sea Salt Cookies.

  • Picnics are the greatest summer tradition!
    I’d have to go with Yotam Ottolenghi’s Taleggio Roulade; The Hungry Girls’ Sweet Potato, Green Bean, and Smoked Paprika Salad; Stacy Newgeent’s Sweet Corn and Raspberry Ice Cream; and Tara Guerard’s Lowcountry Lemonade.
    It’s the perfect blend of Midwest and South East cuisine.

  • In packing a picnic, there have to be some general rules to follow. 1) Everything must be portable – either put in a basket or ice chest. 2) Nothing has to be re-heated so anything that must be served piping hot is out. 3) Nothing too messy. 4) Light food is better (because a picnic is no fun if everyone is too full to play). Given that, my choices are:

    1) Gaby Dalkin’s Spicy Roasted Broccollini Quinoa Salad
    2)Cerentha Harris’ Sausage Rolls
    3)Sharon Spain’s Dill Pickles (cut into spears)
    4)Marjorie Taylor’s Lemon Tarts with fresh whipped cream

    and to drink (because I grew up a Southern gal):

    Emily Maynard’s Sweet Tea Sipper

  • A perfect day: Picnic in the Berkshires
    (on a plaid blanket please)

    Drinks: Fork Bacon’s Honey Rum Fizz
    App: Danielle Tsi’s Eg Salad on toast
    Main: Meg Ilasco’s Thin Spaghetti with Basil Pesto and Tomato Salad
    Dessert: Chai Tea S’mores!

  • My picnic would be held on my friends land ‘Quail Mountain’ found on the side of French Mountain, Queensland, Australia. Because the only ‘facilities’ they have up there is an old caravan, a gas stove, a fire pit and a hand-made clay pizza oven lots of prep work would need to be done at home.
    To get the evening going and to make sure we had enough energy to make our main I’d serve leah verwey’s savory cookies (http://www.designsponge.com/2010/12/in-the-kitchen-with-leah-verweys-savory-cookies.html) with raya carlisle’s guacamole (http://www.designsponge.com/2010/08/in-the-kitchen-with-raya-carlisles-guacamole.html) . We would drink enjoy cupcakes’ ginger lime margarita (http://www.designsponge.com/2011/02/behind-the-bar-enjoy-cupcakes-ginger-lime-margarita.html), refreshing in the afternoon heat. To make the most of the pizza oven we would make Kale, Pancetta and Grape Pizza (http://www.designsponge.com/2011/11/in-the-kitchen-with-amanda-hessers-kale-pancetta-pizza.html), and use julie morelli’s (http://www.designsponge.com/2009/12/in-the-kitchen-with-julie-morelli.html) delicious Roasted Butternut Squash recipe as an alternative topping. A new favourite salad, the hungry girls’ sweet potato, green bean and smoked paprika salad (http://www.designsponge.com/2012/04/in-the-kitchen-with-the-hungry-girls-sweet-potatp-green-bean-and-smoked-paprika-salad.html), would be a bright and colourful side to this. For dessert we’d have our fill of chocolate with wendy dooldeniya’s Chocoholic torte (http://www.designsponge.com/2009/01/in-the-kitchen-with-wendy-dooldeniya.html)
    As it gets cooler we would gather round the fire and melt alexis and courtney’s chai tea s’mores (http://www.designsponge.com/2011/09/in-the-kitchen-with-alexis-and-courtneys-chai-tea-smores.html) which are always a hit up on the mountain. I’d leave heidi’s roasted strawberries (http://www.designsponge.com/2011/04/in-the-kitchen-with-heidi-swansons-roasted-strawberries.html) in the pizza oven to roast over night. Then when we wake up with the sunshine we’d make coffee and eat the curiosity shoppe’s (http://www.designsponge.com/2008/02/in-the-kitchen-with-the-curiosity-shoppe.html) granola with Heidi’s (pizza oven) roasted strawberries. Yum!

  • Hard to choose a menu – there are so many great recipes! I’d start with Annette Joseph’s Blood Orange Basil Bimlets & Green Kitchen Stories’ Portobello Burger & end with Alexis & Courtney’s Chai Tea S’Mores. Yum!

  • I’d start out with Tara Guerard’s Low Country Lemonade and Gena Knox’s Kale and Apple Salad. Then Tara O’Bradys Vegetable Pakoras and Green Chutney, then I’d finish it off with Patricia Scarpin’s Brazilian Carrot Cake. Carrot Cake counts as a vegetable, right?

  • This spring has been ideal picnic weather. Since I am a recent transplant to Greenville, South Carolina my picnic would be an ode to my new southern hometown. Situated along the Reedy River, my picnic would take place on a large checkered quilt next to the town’s extensive Swamp Rabbit Trail.

    Our main dish would be Cheryl & Griffith Day’s Shrimp Tacos with spiced peach jam. Since Cheryl & Griffith’s Savannah bakery is located just across the state line from the South Carolina low country, their shrimp tacos make use of both locally sourced shrimp and peaches- a source of pride for South Carolina’s agricultural industry.

    As a native Californian I know that tacos are never complete without a side of guacamole, so I would whip up a batch of Raya Carlisle’s guacamole. Featuring lime and a slight hint of Serrano chili, it’s the perfect complement to the spiced peach jam (and goes great with a crisp tortilla chip!) I’d also include a small batch of Sharon Spain’s dill pickles since I’m a sucker for pickled vegetables.

    Dessert, always a must in my book, would be Alex & Courtney’s Chai Tea S’mores. Cooked over an open flame in one of the grills featured along the trail, my s’mores would include chocolate from nearby Spartanburg and artisan marshmallows picked up from my favorite local market. We’d have to eat’em fast so the chocolate doesn’t melt too much in the muggy southern air.

    In keeping with the southern theme, this delicious meal would be washed down with Tara Guerard’s Low Country Lemonade. Although a little libation on a lazy afternoon is never a bad thing, I’d substitute peach cider from the South Carolina Cider Company for the peach schnapps. I wouldn’t want to be too sleepy for a post-picnic walk along the river- or a quick sprint to the parking lot should a southern storm come rolling in!


    I wanted a meditteranean-style picknick with a twist. I made sure to pick dishes that can be made with seasonal products, and that are still tasty when cooled down. As people arround the meditteranean prefer to have a spread of many small dishes at once, instead of a ‘formal’ three course meal, that’s what I aimed for. I also like that some products appear in more than one dish, connecting them. Here we go:

    Fennel and Orange Salad with Parsley, Parmesan, and Pepitas


    Orecchiette with Orange-Spiced Lamb Meatballs

    roasted asparagus with almonds and Parmesan

    Almond and Yogurt Cake with Blood Orange Curd

  • So I’ve actually made the beetroot pesto, so that’s a must (http://www.designsponge.com/2011/03/in-the-kitchen-with-rigetta-klints-beetroot-pesto.html)
    and the chai tea s’mores are actually on my list of things to try (http://www.designsponge.com/2011/09/in-the-kitchen-with-alexis-and-courtneys-chai-tea-smores.html) and then the spicy broccolini quinoa salad (http://www.designsponge.com/2012/01/in-the-kitchen-with-gaby-dalkins-spicy-roasted-broccolini-quinoa-salad.html) and I’ve also starred the torta pasqualina (http://www.designsponge.com/2011/04/in-the-kitchen-with-annette-josephs-torta-pasqualina.html).
    Might be the jankiest picnic ever, but oh would I stuff my face.

  • I immediately think portable, make ahead, and pretty, pretty dishes on wood crate tables atop a patterned blanket. I am also thinking light and summery, leaving room for a pile of desserts, and adult-leaning while giving interesting options for children.

    you’d need some chips and dip: http://www.designsponge.com/2010/08/in-the-kitchen-with-raya-carlisles-guacamole.html

    finger foods: http://www.designsponge.com/2009/08/in-the-kitchen-with-eliza-jane-curtis.html

    some little pies made with different fillings (kid-size!): http://www.designsponge.com/2010/01/in-the-kitchen-with-the-pie-truck.html to supplement

    the main course tarte tatin (summer tomoatoes!): http://www.designsponge.com/2009/03/in-the-kitchen-with-petrina-tinslay.html

    you cannot have a picnic without lemonade (one batch for the grown-ups and a virgin one for the kiddos): http://www.designsponge.com/2011/07/in-the-kitchen-with-tara-guerards-shrimp-paste-sandwiches-and-lowcountry-lemonade.html

    and three desserts:

    simple and kid-friendly: http://www.designsponge.com/2012/03/in-the-kitchen-with-jennifer-martines-salted-chocolate-chip-cookies.html

    luxe: http://www.designsponge.com/2011/09/in-the-kitchen-with-deena-pricheps-figs-with-dolcelatte-honey-and-rosemary.html

    and sweet: http://www.designsponge.com/2012/02/in-the-kitchen-with-christelles-raspberry-and-rosewater-cheesecake.html

    Gah – now that I have planned my picnic, I’m going to have to host it!

  • Serve up a round of sinfully-easy Sweet Tea Sippers by Emily Maynard while picnic guests graze this selection of easily-prepared finger foods:

    Nick Muller’s BLT Bites are a beautiful take on the classic and a surefire way to kick off a special picnic.

    Matkonation’s Falafel Balls with tahini or dill and yogurt dipping sauce are sure to please any vegetarians in the mix.

    Crispy and cool,Eliza Jane’s Cucumber Snacks are highly versatile.

    Giao Trac’s Vietnamese Spring Rolls, served with a light chili sauce or a spicy peanut dressing, is like a salad you can hold in your hand!

    Jill Donenfeld’s Pondicherry Toasts with creamy crab and avocado combine a summertime duo with classic Indian spice.

    Try Matt Armendariz’s Mojito Melon Skewers for a quick trip straight into summer.

    <a href="http://www.designsponge.com/2011/06/in-the-kitchen-with-danielle-tsis-egg-salad.html<Danielle Tsis' Egg Salad atop Karen Eriksson’s Twisted Bread is an easy way to pack a protein punch. Tara Guerard’s Shrimp Paste Sandwiches can also be made open-faced on Twisted Bread by guests on-site, or quickly thrown together beforehand.

    Helen Dujardin’s Rhubarb Financiers are a delightful finish, and they’re gluten-free!

    Finger foods= no schlepping dishware, and no clean up!

  • My picnic begins in the charming city of Old Town Alexandria. I have packed a delicious picnic and placed it neatly inside a wicker picnic basket that was given to my husband and I as a wedding present. Our romantic picnic will be just the two of us but we will have enough food for a feast! First, we will have a light appetizer of Giao Trac’s Vietnamese Spring Rolls. Second, we will have Amanda Hesser’s savory Kale and Pancetta Pizza as our main dish. However, because this is a picnic, I will have cut the pizza into cute, easy-to-eat 2×2″ pieces. For desert, we will finish with Nikki Gardner’s messy but wonderful Banana Rum Fritters. We will sip on Tara Guerard’s Low Country Lemonade during the picnic. For an extra treat, we will also have Jennifer Martine’s home-style Chocolate Chip Cookies on hand to enjoy after the picnic as we relax on our green-checkered picnic blanket and watch the sunset.

    Spring Rolls: http://www.designsponge.com/2010/02/in-the-kitchen-with-giao-tracs-vietnamese-spring-rolls.html
    Pancetta Pizza: http://www.designsponge.com/2011/11/in-the-kitchen-with-amanda-hessers-kale-pancetta-pizza.html
    Fritters: http://www.designsponge.com/2012/02/in-the-kitchen-with-nikki-gardners-banana-rum-fritters.html
    Lemonade: http://www.designsponge.com/2011/07/in-the-kitchen-with-tara-guerards-shrimp-paste-sandwiches-and-lowcountry-lemonade.html
    Cookies: http://www.designsponge.com/2012/03/in-the-kitchen-with-jennifer-martines-salted-chocolate-chip-cookies.html

  • Easy! I’d go for Amanda Hesser’s grape and pancetta pizza, served with some of Gaby Dalkin’s spicy roasted broccolini quinoa salad (gotta get some healthy stuff in. I’d also pack Tara Guerard’s lowcountry lemonade (peach schnapps and mint were MEANT for each other!) and I’d finish it off with Rick Poon’s chock + hazelnut baklava!

  • geez, this was a hard one. a couple things to note before i post my menu below; i tried to find recipes that highlighted ingredients at their peak during picnic season (read: spring and summer), recipes that were both easy to make (can be prepped beforehand) as well as easy to carry to and from home (limiting spillage en route, the worst!), and recipes that went well together as ingredients for other recipes (i.e. bread sides as bread for sandwiches). and without further ado:

    starter: penny de los santos’ spicy heirloom radish salad (perfectly highlights heirloom radishes abundant during spring)
    finger foods: yotam ottolenghi’s taleggio roulade AND sharon spain’s dill pickles (what’s a picnic without pickles?)
    main course (carnivore): casey barber’s drunken spaghetti with clams (clamming, a huge summer pastime! what better way to use fresh clams)
    main course (herbivore): aunt sissy si’s pimento cheese sandwich MADE WITH vanessa rees’ sesame pancake sandwich bread (double whammy)
    sides (in order of above dishes): paragote’s roasted asparagus (lets a beautiful spring vegetable shin on its own) OR kate flaim’s absorption pasta (w/out pancetta for herbivores)
    dessert: jen altman’s strawberry basil bread pudding (no surer sign of spring than the strawberries finally coming to market) AND jenny and teri’s no yeast cake donuts (perfect for the kids or kids at heart)
    beverage: tara guerard’s lowcountry lemonade OR emily maynard’s sweet tea sipper (lemonade and sweet tea, the two quintessential drinks of summer)

    mmm, now to only create this yummy menu…

  • Refreshing, summer-time picnic menu:

    Fennel, Blood Orange, and Black Olive salad
    Taleggio Roulade
    Roasted Asparagus
    Figs with Dolcelatte, Honey and Rosemary

  • I’d love to sit under the cherry blossoms at the Brooklyn Botanic Garden and have:
    Giao Trac’s Vietnamese Spring Rolls,
    Meeta Khurana’s Curry Noodles,
    And for dessert, Lara Ferroni’s Toasted Sesame and Vanilla Ice Cream.
    Yep, that sounds pretty nice.

  • Picnics are Summer, transportable and delicious.

    Leah Verweys: Savory Cookies
    Yotam Ottolenghi: Taleggio Roulade
    Cheryl and Griffith Days: Shrimp Tacos with Spiced Peach Jam

    Kristina Gill: Artichokes
    David Stark: Fennel, blood orange and black olive salad

    Johnny Battles: “Trio of Truffles
    Julia Rothmans: Blackberry Pie

    Jen Altmans: Morroco (Drink)

    and some good coffee in a thermos.

  • yum! What picnic would be complete without sandwiches?!
    I would have to go with Danielle Tsi’s egg salad; a classic twist on the usual, with a touch of lemon, along with fresh tarragon and thyme. Also, I’d have to pack Aunt Sissy’s pimento cheese sandwhich. YUM! Just because I love kale so much, I’d also have to bring along some og Gena Knox’s kale and apple salad with molasses vinaigrette and sugared pecans. To top it all off, I’d have to go with Rigetta Klint’s Danish Aeblekage (apple cake) to stay true to my Danish roots. My Grandmother (Farmor in Danish) made this all the time – we’d eat it Sunday afternoons after church. It packs perfect for a picnic and is so easy to make!!!

  • Late night farmers market carte du jour:

    I sought out dishes with ingredients that are all easily available at our local farmers market. I’m actually really excited to use this menu for our summer parties.

    – EMILY MAYNARD’S SWEET TEA SIPPER (http://www.designsponge.com/2011/08/behind-the-bar-emily-maynards-sweet-tea-sipper.html)

    – Amenity Home’s Avocado goat cheese spread (http://www.designsponge.com/2008/04/in-the-kitchen-with-amenity-home.html)


    – KOBEKAT’S SLOPPY JOE SLIDERS (http://www.designsponge.com/2010/09/in-the-kitchen-with-kobekats-sloppy-joe-sliders.html)

    – HAROLD DIETERLE’S CREAMED CORN (http://www.designsponge.com/2010/07/in-the-kitchen-with-harold-dieterles-creamed-corn.html)

    – Rhubarb Financiers with Coconut Vanilla Ice Cream With Lemon Thyme Strawberries (http://www.designsponge.com/2010/05/in-the-kitchen-with-my-tartlette-part-2.html)

  • oh i would so love to win! what lovely cookbooks – just as much decor as practical!

    i would love to plan a summer picnic – i’m imagining martha’s vineyard with my best girl friends, carrying our picnic goodies on our bicycles to edgartown and out to the beach while wearing nantucket red shorts and jack rogers:

    – eliza jane’s cucumber snacks
    – aunt sissy si’s pimiento cheese sandwiches
    – gena knox’s kale and apple salad
    – low country lemonade
    – a baguette with katherinerl’s salted caramel spread
    – majorie taylor’s lemon tarts


  • Ooh Ooh! I love this. My ideal picnic would certainly take place in a park on the sound in Seattle. Needing 2 bottles of Pacific NW Pinot Noir to compliment.

    Here’s what I want:
    -Home made dill pickles: http://www.designsponge.com/2009/01/in-the-kitchen-with-sharon-spain.html
    -Sausage Rolls: http://www.designsponge.com/2010/03/in-the-kitchen-with-cerentha-harris-sausage-rolls.html
    -Bagna Cauda: http://www.designsponge.com/2011/07/in-the-kitchen-with-jennifer-martines-bagna-cauda.html
    Main Course…(still easy to carry for a picnic)
    -Zucchini and Mushroom Sourcream Pie: http://www.designsponge.com/2010/01/in-the-kitchen-with-the-pie-truck.html
    -Simply…Truffles! (perfect with the Pinot Noir) http://www.designsponge.com/2011/12/in-the-kitchen-with-johnny-battles-truffles.html

  • I grew up in the Rockies, and LOVE a picnic (with a grill) in the woods; but I live in Montreal all now, so let’s fancy this party up!
    We’d have to start with bevvies, like all good picnics do, so we’d kick it off with sparkling wine. It pairs really well with Thomas Paul’s sage advice, to pick up some pretty macarons to snack on. No reason we can’t start with sweet (and end there too).
    Then we’d tear into a fresh, warm, loaf of Karin Eriksson’s Twisted Bread to accompany Camilla Engman’s Beet Slices with Feta Cheese and Lemon Zest salad. Follow that up with Molly Shuster’s Herb Roasted Chicken, and Alyson Fox’s Carrots, with Avocado, and Cumin (I’m skipping the oranges, sorry!), all served chilled.
    For dessert, homemade ricotta on left over Twisted Bread, topped with Heidi’s Roasted Strawberries.
    All enjoyed while sprawling out in the sunshine, chatting, people watching, and sipping our wine (oooor Lara Ferroni’s Ginger Shiso Mojitos) – it’s Montreal, you can do that here!!

  • To begin, there is nothing like having a light buzz going on a sunny day in the park so: Defiantly pack a thermos with Maynard’s Sweet Tea Sipper!
    Best picnic Sandwich around: Aunt Sissy Si’s Pimento Cheese Sandwich.
    I love cold soup on a picnic so bring Some Heirloom LA’s Carrot-Melon Soup.
    And no picnic is complete with out some type of snack, and pickles do hit the spot so Sharon’s Pickles.
    And to top it all off, bring a dessert that won’t melt, but is also summary, so I go with something fruit inspired like: Marie Dannettelle of Sweets Indeed ‘s Strawberry Filled Donuts

  • I think tarts are great for picnics as most of them taste delicious served cold. I particularly like ARAN GOYOAGA’S LEEK, BROCCOLI, SMOKED SALMON AND GOAT CHEESE TART as it’s filled with variety of fresh and healthy ingredients. With that I would serve GABY DALKIN’S SPICY ROASTED BROCCOLINI QUINOA SALAD and PENNY DE LOS SANTOS’S SPICY HEIRLOOM RADISH SALAD as they both seem quick and easy to prepare.
    One thing that I’d really love to bring to a picnic is SHARON SPAIN’S DILL PICKLES- I know you have to prepare them a way ahead, but they would make such a great picnic snack. For dessert I’d make MY TARTLETTE’S GLUTEN FREE FINANCIERS. I’ve taken financiers for picnics before and all my friends loved them. They’re quick and easy to prepare and taste like heaven!!!

  • Hey, this was harder than I thought. I could’ve spent all day trying to choose.
    So how about: Gaby Dalkin’s Spicy Roasted Broccoline Quinoa Salad, Tara Guerard’s Shrimp Paste Sandwiches, SFB’s Honey Rum Fizz and Jennifer Martine’s Salted Chocolate Chip Cookies. Gotta have chocolate chip cookies on a picnic!

  • I’d have people over for a casual light meal in the backyard…

    Blood orange gimlets
    Broccolini quinoa salad
    Rose water cheesecake for dessert!

  • VARIETY is the spice of Life! So here goes… it’s a picnic so it should be fun, easy and anything goes. You can start with dessert if you like. Cheers to life! Enjoy!
    – Lisa Cericola’s “The Big Apple” drink
    – Amy Cotler’s Strawberry Yogurt Soup
    – Yinn Low’s Pan Fried Dumplings
    – Cerentha Harris’ Sausage Rolls
    – Gena Knox’s Kale Salad
    – Aran Goyoaga’s Leek, Baby Broccoli, Smoked Salmon & Goat Cheese Tart
    – Baked Peanut Butter w/Milk Chocolate Chunk Cookies
    – Cerentha Harris’ Plum Cake
    – Looolo’s Organic Cupcakes

  • Pasta with Bacon, Rosemary and Very Ripe Tomatoes

    Roasted asparagus with almonds and Parmesan

    jenny and teri’s no-yeast cake doughnuts

  • I’m going to go middle-eastern, because I actually cannot get enough of the whole lot of it.
    Here’s the deal:
    – sesame-pancake sandwich bread, stuffed with matkonation’s falafel – dressed with pickles, shredded cabbage, and my homemade baba ghanouj
    (if there are meat-etarians around, i might also do a batch of the orange-scented lamb meatballs as an alternative sandwich stuffer – subbing in a bit of cumin for the parmesan for the middle-eastern touch, and – obviously – leaving out the orechiette for another time!)
    and, throwing all rules straight out the window, i might serve the spiced peach jam from cheryl and griffith day’s shrimp tacos as a condiment, just because i love it so much and it goes perfectly with EVERYTHING.

    if it was a big or starving crowd, the torta pasqualina would be a nice side – minimum bread, maximum deliciousness, spinach and eggs and ricotta – not quite middle eastern but awfully close to those amazing lebanese spinach pastries.

    and for veggies- gena knox’s kale and apple salad would be perfect, maybe using pomegranate molasses instead of regular to kick in our middle eastern flair!

    bevvies would need to be the gorgeous low-country lemonade, and probably a case of lager for the boys. and maybe a bottle of two of prosecco just in case :)

    – dessert would be the uber-decadent and brilliantly portable figs with dolcelatte, honey and rosemary – i don’t have a sweet tooth and this just sounds like the perfect combo of fruit and cheese!

  • Me and my Love
    – sunny day
    – our bikes
    – by the lake
    – picnic basket (lemonade + homemade veggie sandwiches, sausage rolls, spinach salad, watermelon, grapes, chocolate covered strawberries)

  • This is a gorgeous adaptation of childhood English picnics, suitable for sunny village cricket greens or eating in the car because it’s raining yet again.

    Instead of boring lettuce and tomato, there’s:
    Giao Trac’s Chinese Chicken Salad with Spicy Ginger Dressing

    and in place of dull potato salad with salad cream, we’ll have:
    The Hungry Girls’ Sweet Potato, Green Bean and Smoked Paprika Salad

    Real men don’t need to bother about quiche when there’s:
    Aran Goyoaga’s Leek, Baby Broccoli, Smoked Salmon and Goat Cheese Tart

    Heavy pork pie has no place in this gourmet picnic when you can have:
    The Pie Truck’s Zucchini & Mushroom with sour cream Pie

    Cheese and tomato sandwiches have little going for them when you’re offered:
    Yotam Ottolenghi’s Spinach and taleggio roulade with semi-dried tomatoes

    Picnics always have to finish with cake, and chocolate’s compulsory, so there’s:
    Julia Vandenoever’s Fudge Brownies with Chocolate Frosting

    and rather than dull, dry Victoria Sandwich, we’ll have:
    Kate Gover’s Assam “chai-der” apple cake

    Every picnic should have strawberries and cream, but after all that lot, this light and delicate concoction would be a perfect finish:
    Tara Donne’s Rhubarb and Strawberry Compote with Aged Balsamic and Ricotta

    An English picnic is always accompanied by tea, so I think Emily Maynard’s Sweet Tea Sipper would be ideal, along with lashings of ginger beer of course.

  • ~ David Stark’s Fennel, Blood Orange, and Black Olive Salad
    ~ Parigote’s Roasted Asparagus
    ~ Danielle Tsi’ Egg Salad
    ~ Amanda Hesser’s Kale, Pancetta, and Grape Pizza
    ~ Jennifer Martine’s Salted Chocolate Chip Cookies
    ~ Emily Maynard’s Sweet Tea Sipper
    ~ Annette Joseph’s Blood Orange Basil Gimlet

  • The Place: Grassy area nestled deep in the gardens of Versailles.
    The Time: April or September.
    The Food: A selection of cheeses and finger sandwiches. Quinoa salad. Pistachio cookies. And rose to drink.

  • cerentha harris’ plum cake
    aunt sissy si’s pimento cheese sandwich
    Giao’s Vietnamese Spring Rolls.

  • I am planning my baby shower for midsummer, and so far I have no noticeable cravings other than fresh, simple food. I am hosting it in my own backyard, beneath a canopy of fruit trees and–I found this in the Design*Sponge archives!–an installation of paper airplanes. I’ll be laying out big picnic-style blankets and low tables, with a few pillows for sitting. I’d like simple, shareable food that people can wnjoy while mingling. And this menu may very well be the one I use:
    The Hungry Girls’ Sweet Potato, Green Bean, & Smoked Paprika Salad | Heidi Swanson’s Roasted Strawberries with toasted pine nuts over seasonal microgreens | Parigote’s Roasted Asparagus (ours will be grilled outside, so that I can visit with guests) | Dani Fisher’s Orange-Spiced Lamb Meatballs | Matkonation’s Falafel | Deena Prichep’s Figs w/ Dolcelatte, Honey, & Rosemary | Christelle’s Raspberry Rosewater Cheesecake (This is divine; I made it for my husband’s birthday but I substituted orange blossom water. Besides, IT’S a GIRL!). Just for fun, we’ll serve Dia & Patrick’s Sardinian Blood Orange Mojito.
    I can’t wait to celebrate with some lovely friends over such inspired eats! Thank you, D*S!




    Everything fresh and full of colour! What else for a friendly picnic!

  • A bicycle ride around lake Cayuga followed by a picnic in the shade of the willows. The perfect way to spend a day with my honey and our baby Izzy Ray.
    I would pack:
    – Aunt Sissy Si’s Pimento Cheese Sandwich which I have never tried but I love the color and the flavors that are combined plus baby could enjoy it too.
    – David Stark’s Fennel and Orange Salad with Parsley, Parmesan, and Pepitas – yum!
    – Nigella Lawson’s Guinness Chocolate Cake (made into cupcakes for this day- this is my go to desert, I have made it at all the most special occasions and everyone always asks for the recipe.)
    -Iced Korean Bamboo Tea with Honey

  • My perfect picnic would include:

    Appetizer: Jill Donenfeld’s Pondicherry Toasts

    Main dishes: Gaby Delkins’ Spicy Roasted Broccolini Quinoa Salad & The Hungry Girls’ Sweet Potato, Green Bean and Smoked Paprika Salad

    Dessert: Kate Wesson’s Lemon Cake

    Beverage: Andrew and Carrie’s Blackberry Smash

    I think I’ll go for a lovely picnic very soon! :)

  • A chic & easy MOROCCAN INSPIRED FEAST made for the outdoors. Colorful blankets, plush pillows, and good friends are all you need.

    Jen Altman’s The Morocco – Spiced orange cocktail to start the meal with a punch.

    Donenfeld’s Pondicherry Toasts – Crab, avocado, & spices set the tone for a fresh & flavorful menu.

    Matkonation’s Falafal – Served with warm tahini & pita, it’s super easy to eat al fresco.

    Yotam Ottolenghi’s Spinach Dish – A healthy & tasty side with crunchy pine nuts & creamy cheese.

    Christelle’s Raspberry and Rosewater Cheesecake – A big slice of this show-stopper to finish on the sweetest note.

  • Mmm, so many delicious things to eat!

    The sweet potato, green bean, and smoked paprika salad sounds amazing–it’s chockfull of all the things I love to eat!

    Add the pulled pork with slaw & bbq, from the memorial day menu.

    Finish with the delectable-looking plum cake from Cerentha Harris.

    Wash it all down with the Sweet Tea Sipper.

    Now where’s my sunshine?

  • I’m imagining a hot summer’s day here in New Orleans as I dream up this picnic/backyard party menu….it’s easier to eat food served chilled to beat the heat!
    Chilled Avocado Soup
    Petite Sugarcane cured Bacon BLT with Roasted Ginger Aioli
    Vietnamese Shrimp Spring Rolls with Hoisin Sauce
    Raspberry Rosewater Cheesecake
    And the cocktail(of course!) Magic Juice

  • The outdoor space would be the patio of the new house we are about to buy!

    We’ll have:

    Emily maynard’s sweet tea sipper

    Aunt sissy si’s pimento cheese sandwich (my husbands favorite spread!)
    Tara guerard’s shrimp paste sandwiches
    Sidedish (chilled avocado soup)

    For desser:
    Jennifer martine’s salted chocolate chip cookies
    Alexis and courtney’s chai tea s’mores

  • Next time I entertain outdoors I will offer my guests…

    For starters:
    to drink “THE MORROCO” cocktail (by Jen Altman)

    to drink, SHAKEN CAMPARI
    and to eat, the KALE, PANCETTA & GRAPE PIZZA


    yummo and thanks for coming :-) XO

    Totally have to finish with: ALEXIS AND COURTNEY’S CHAI TEA S’MORES

    Hope it warms up again soon so I can get out and try this menu. Thanks!

  • The weather here is just starting to be Picnic time and as my Granddaughters would say” just cant hardley wait.” We just love picnics and we dont have to have an excuse to have them, we just go out to the patio under the plum trees, (natural Arbour) and eat away. lol so with saying that we just love, love, love, dim sum, so our perfect back yard picnic would be pakoras w/green chutney by Tara O’Brady, Bittanballen w/mushrooms byYvette Van Boven,vietnamese spring rolls w/ hoisin peanut sauce, by Giao Trac and last but not least Nikki Gardners Banana Rum Fritters w/maple sauce. And to wash it all down a big glass of lemonade. And I trully think we will have this this next weekend, so much fun with grandaughters company and such great food. YUMMY

  • I want to share a perfect picnic with my lover in the parc near our new appartement in montreal :)
    Drink: Maynard’s sweet tea sipper
    Appetizer: Matkonation’s falafel
    Main dish: Portobelo burgers
    Dessert: Almond yogourt cake

  • Once upon a time, my husband and I spent the most delicious month in Paris and have been dreaming of the day we could go back. So this simple array of delicious dishes (served al fresco on our teeny tiny terrace with a bottle of champagne) would be the perfect simple and sunny afternoon lunch for the perfect guy I married:
    Bacon and Onion Tartlets
    Beet Slices with Feta Cheese (no, not necessarily French, but beets are a favorite of my other half)
    Rum Babas
    and of course…French Meringue Macarons with a cafe au lait to finish things off!

  • Location:
    Under the trees on a blanket spread on the ground with a large group of friends beside one of the lakes in Parc La Lafontaine in Le Plateau in Montreal. No-one has any allergies or food prohibitions but we all love to cook for each other and to eat together.
    What we’d drink:
    Elizabeth Minchilli’s Shaken Campari already made in flask so that we can just pour it into glasses and some Emily Maynard’s Sweet Tea Sipper already prepared in flasks.
    Here’s what we’d eat:
    Leah Verwey’s Cheddar Jalapeno Cookies with some local brie, some asiago, and a local blue cheese with some sliced prosciutto.
    Annette Joseph’s Torta Pasqualina
    Matkonation’s Falafel with chopped tomato, cucumber on fresh pita with tahini.
    Hungry Girls’ Sweet Potato, Green Bean and Smoked Paprika Salad
    Enough David Stark’s Fennel and Orange Salad with Parsley, Parmesan, and Pepitas for all of us.
    Yotam Ottolenghi’s Taleggio and Spinach Roulade
    We’d finish with several desserts since we all love them – Christelle’s Raspberry and Rosewater Cheesecake or Nikki Gardner’s Banana Rum Fritters but also Julia Vandenoever’s Fudge Brownies with Chocolate Frosting because several friends of mine always insist that brownies are part of any picnic.

  • My family and I are moving soon to Knoxville, TN to work in a non-profit with a rag-tag bunch of friends of ours, mostly either true Southerners or vegetarian hippy transplants. Shared meals, sometimes in the mountains, are commonplace… I think this picnic would suit all of us.

    Ming Thompson’s pulled pork BBQ
    Gaby Dalkin’s spicy quinoa salad
    Raya Carlisle’s guacamole (and some blue-corn tortilla chips)
    Tara Guerard’s lowcountry lemonade (easy to make non-alcoholic too)
    Julia Vandenoever’s fudge brownies with frosting

    Everything but the guacamole could be made the previous day and served cold or room-temp… making for the best kind of low-key meal with friends with whom you share life.

  • So fun! Here’s my menu:
    Sweet Tea Sipper
    Summer Elderflower Drink
    Honey-Rum Fizz
    open-faced egg sandwiches
    Aunt Sissy Si’s Pimento Cheese Sandwich
    Spicy Roasted Broccolini Quinoa Salad

    Chocolate Chip, Cocoa Nib and Toasted Walnut Cookies Topped with Artisan Sea Salt

  • I’ve picked the following because I can make them , the recipes are simple requiring ingredients I’ll find in the stores here in India and they are all so yummyand full of interesting flavours and tastes to tickle the tastebuds.
    Jill Donenfeld’s Pondicherry Toasts
    Matkonation’s Falafel
    Giao Trac’s Chinese Chicken Salad with Spicy Ginger dressing
    Spike Mendelsohn’s Milkshake
    Patricia Scarpin’s Brazilian Carrot Cake

  • Oh I LOVE picnics!!!! I get so excited just thinking about them, what theme, where…ahem.

    My picks:
    appetizer – Eliza Jane Curtis’ Cucumber Snacks
    entree – Kate Flaim’s Absorption Pasta
    salad/side – Gena Knox’ Kale and Apple Salad
    dessert: Kate Wesson’s Lemon Cake

  • the idyllic picnic down under would be on the beach under the shade of a plan tree nibbling on Carrot Salad with Harissa, Feta and Mint, Chicken Skewers with Dukkah Crust and Balsamic Reduction and a slice Zucchini Tart on a Hazelnut- Thyme crust
    This would be followed by biting into raspberry coconut macaroons

  • Patricia Scarpin’s Brazilian carrot cake

    Green Kitchen Stories’ portobello burgers

    Parigote’s roasted asparagus

    They all sound yummy!

  • On my big blanket, on the grass overlooking Lake Michigan, I’d have tons of salted chocolate chip cookies playing with Julia Vandenover’s fudge brownies with chocolate frosting. Pimento cheese sandwiches would be hanging out in one corner, too cool for the sweet “younguns” cavorting all over the place. Meanwhile, the Portobello burgers would be telling the pimento cheese sandwiches to just relax, lay back, enjoy the weather, and have a beer, because that’s what it’s all about when it comes to picnics.

  • Ambiance: Lilac in recycled fixture planters
    Drink and Ap: low country lemonade and shrimp paste sandwiches
    Main: Perfect Schnitzel, Spicy Brocolini Quinoa, M.Taylor Gougeres
    Desert: Chocolate Chip Cookies!

  • Ohhh, I just love picnics, but my boyfriend hates them so if I want to tempt him I have to make sure the food is top notch! For my picnic I would have:
    1) a nice mix of delicious salads
    sweet potato, green bean and smoked paprika salad
    gaby dalkin’s spicy roasted broccolini quinoa salad
    gena knox’s kale and apple salad
    amanda hesser cold pizza – yum
    3) for the sweet:
    molly hatch’s maple pecan cake

    I think that would get him outside!

  • A balmy summer evening supper with friends.
    Yummy food full of summery fruits.

    Roasted asparagus with almonds and parmesan.

    Scallops with rhubarb relish

    Kale and Apple Salad

    Brian Malarkeys Sage Sucker

    Dani Fishers Ricotta Cheesecake with Berries and Sauce

  • When I think picnic, I think fresh and easy to make as well as easy to transport, with a lot of different small bites. I am also a vegetarian so I would pack:
    Raya Carlisle’s Guacamole
    Jill Bliss’ Vegetarian Sushi
    Aunt Sissy Si’s Pimento Cheese Sandwich
    Danielle Tsi’s Egg Salad
    Tara Guerard’s Lowcountry Lemonade
    Julia Vandenoever’s Fudge Brownies with Chocolate Frosting
    Lottie & Doof’s Apple, Cranberry, Walnut Rugelach

  • 1st course: Spicy Roasted Broccolini Quinoa Salad
    2nd course: Grilled Portobello & Peach Burgers with Sweet Potato Fries
    3rd course: Lemon Tart with Roasted Strawberries

  • My picnic would consist of simple fare, easy and quick so the brisk autumn hike we’re going on would not end up lost in the dark! Something warm to start…after a small campfire is readied=Butternut Squash & Orange Cauliflower Soup! Then, we would open our butcher paper wrapped Taleggio & Spinach Roulade Sandwiches (possibly still warm from the morning preparation?) and savor the moment atop a gorgeous hilltop over looking the lake. Clean up, douse any embers for sure and start our trek home…stopping mid way to snack on some Giant Chewy Lemon Sugar Cookies! Can’t wait until Fall, are you with me?

  • A quiet and happy picnic, replete with fancy dishes, utensils, glasses, and napkins. A cushy bright-colored Amy Butler quilt spread out all around us. A few pillows for resting our heads and peering up at the sky, spotting crazy cloud animals.

    I’m thinking bright, festive colors, along the lines of a joyous Cinco de Mayo celebration. To add a little extra pizazz, I think we should hang those fancy summer fiesta paper banners from the tree branches (Grace Bonney, Ashley Meaders, and Jesse Chamberlin did these for the Summer Fiesta wedding shoot).

    Art thou ready for the menu, my darlings? I’ve chosen just a few things, so there’s not too much going on…

    Raya Carlisle’s Guacamole with homemade pita chips (think we could get someone to carry the molcajete for us?)
    Tara Guerard’s Low Country Lemonade (with that dash of delicious peach schnapps)
    Green Kitchen’s Portobello & Peach Burgers on yummy bread
    Patricia Scarpin’s Brazilian Carrot Cake

    I’d say we’d bring a few tunes, too, just to liven things up, but I think we should listen to the wind in the trees, the birds chatting back and forth, maybe a frog or two here and there; I envision a stream burbling nearby, too.

    And you mustn’t clean up a thing. I’ll do all that. That’s the best part, no? To go away from an event, savoring every little bit of it, without any of the labor?

  • Having a weekend picnic on Hampstead Heath – preferably on the lawn of Kenwood House – is one of my favourite things to do in the summer (if it’s ever going to stop raining in London!)

    Here are my choices:

    1. Emily Maynard’s Sweet Tea Sipper would be the perfect accompaniment to my picnic. Also a summertime twist to my English love of tea!

    2. Julie Morelli’s Roasted Squash over Arugula with Goat Cheese and Hazelnuts salad sounds so succulent it would also hopefully tempt the carnivores to tuck in.

    3. Jessika Creedon’s chilled avocado soup would be a great counterpoint to my balmy weekend weather and also easy to prepare and transport.

    4.Matkonation’s perfect falafel recipe. Falafels are a fun equivalent to the British picnic staples of Scotch eggs and would be absolutely delicious to pop in the mouth.

    5. Yotam Ottolenghi’s Taleggio Roulade would be another mouthwatering dish to serve at my picnic. If this was precut before it would also be a cinch to carry along.

    6. ‘Johnny’ Battles’ trio of truffles may not sound the obvious choice of food for picnic food but I think they would make the most tempting finger food of all. And 3 flavours for my guest to choose from!

    And Finally 7. Mowie K’s Meringue Tarts. I LOVE meringue so this would be my favourite dish of all! Perfect combination of textures to round off the meal.

    I’ve picked dishes that sound delicious and would also be somewhat practical to cart up the hill to Kenwood House so perhaps I will replicate this selection sometime soon! I hope so.

    George x

  • I love cooking for a crowd! Since I don’t tend to do things on a small scale, my picnic would probably have no less than 15 people. However, whenever I do host a dinner party, I like to make sure that, first of all, everyone who comes will have something to eat not matter their food preferences. I also like to make sure everyone leaves full of food and with a smile on their face. So the picnic I have come up with will surely accomplish all things important to me…

    I would start with some bite-sized Palette Teasers (a.k.a. snacks):
    Falafel – April 6, 2012
    Bitterballen – August 26, 2011
    Guacamole (& chips!!) – August 13, 2010

    It would be followed up with a refreshing & not too heavy salad:
    Chinese Chicken Salad with Spicy Ginger Dressing – August 12, 2011

    For the main meal, I always make sure I have kosher and/or vegetarian option. For a picnic, there’s no shortage of options, but I would go with:
    Portobello Burgers & homemade Pickles- June 24, 2011, January 30, 2009
    Pulled Braised Pork with Apple-Cabbage Slaw and Homemade Barbecue Sauce – January 14, 2011
    & for the little ones (or at least, little at heart)…
    Corn Dogs – May 6, 2011

    After a meal like that, what’s there left to do, really? Eat dessert, of course…
    Devil’s Food Cake – October 29, 2010
    topped with Sweet Corn & Raspberry Ice Cream – June 17, 2011
    Lemon Tart – February 26, 2010

    Oh, and I almost forgot! No meal is complete without something cold & refreshing to wash it all down:
    Lowcountry Lemonade – July 15, 2011

  • Ideal Place for picnic– night picnic on the Caribbean with an open fire

    The Meal: fresh salad with fruit

    Lunch- classic street tacos

    desert- Lime paletas

  • The perfect picnic meal allows you to eat from a plate balanced precariously on your lap, along with a drink resting nearby in the grass. Finger foods are key, as well as dishes that are easily transportable and delicious at room temperature. Every Sunday evening through the summer, we haul out our big picnic blanket and head to the park to hear live music. This is what I would take:

    I would start with snacks of:
    Olives and chopped veggies (no recipe)
    and this Avocado Goat Cheese Spread on some crostini http://www.designsponge.com/2008/04/in-the-kitchen-with-amenity-home.html

    Next, I would serve this Zucchini Tart: http://www.designsponge.com/2010/04/in-the-kitchen-with-elodie-rambauds-zucchini-tarte.html
    Along with a plain green salad and this unexpected side of roasted strawberries: http://www.designsponge.com/2011/04/in-the-kitchen-with-heidi-swansons-roasted-strawberries.html

    For dessert in the summer, simplicity is key. I would serve these delicious, lemony-sugar cookies: http://www.designsponge.com/2010/09/in-the-kitchen-with-big-girls-small-kitchen.html
    Along with fresh, height of summer fruit: peaches, plums, and sweet cherries

    And you can’t forget drinks. I am partial to a chilled, dry rose in summer, but I would also take this spiked lemonade for my guests who prefer cocktails, http://www.designsponge.com/2011/07/in-the-kitchen-with-tara-guerards-shrimp-paste-sandwiches-and-lowcountry-lemonade.html
    and regular lemonade for the kids.

  • Sweet Potato, Green Bean, and Smoked Paprika Salad
    Matkonation’s Falafel
    Fudge Brownies with Chocolate Frosting
    And a bottle of vino!

  • I love a picnic, I think most sundays of my childhood were spent at some kind of family picnic, often at the beach given I grew up in Sydney.

    I would pick a few appetizers and we Aussies love salads so definitely something fresh and delicious and with my massive sweet tooth, I would have to have a few choices for dessert also.

    I am giving my picnic a bit of an aussie spin by picking a few recipes to remind me of home. Bring on some lovely, sunny days. Here is my menu:

    Tara Guerard’s Low Country Lemonade
    The Hungry Girls Sweet Potato, Green Bean and Smoked Paprika Salad
    David Stark’s Fennel and Orange Salad
    Giao Trac’s Vietnamese Spring Rolls
    Cerentha Harris’ Sausage Rolls
    Marjorie Taylor’s Lemon Tart
    Ditte Isager’s Fruit Meringue Cake (otherwise known as Pavlova)


  • To start, I’d serve RENEE BAUMANN’s CHILLED AVOCADO SOUP accompanied by fresh baguette sliced smeared CATHERINE MURRAY and TRICIA WHEELER’s HOMEMADE RICOTTA that’s been mixed with RIGETTA KLINT’s BEETROOT PESTO.

    Then we’d move one to ANNETTE JOSEPH’s TORTA PASQUALINA with PENNY DE LOS SANTOS’ SPICY HEIRLOOM RADISH SALAD on the side. To drink, there’d be sparkling water and ANNETTE JOSEPH’s BLOOD ORANGE BASIL GIMLET.

    For dessert, I’d serve more of CATHERINE and TRICIA’s HOMEMADE RICOTTA topped with HEIDI SWANSON’s ROASTED STRAWBERRIES and a drizzle of honey. On the side, I’d also have DANI FISHER’s CHOCOLATE-COVERED MATZAH with CANDIED KUMQUATS and TOASTED COCONUT to add some chocolately crunch and an edible spoon to dig up the strawberry-topped ricotta!

  • Picnic Menu: (add a short hike, ocean view, bottle of Pinot Gris)

    Summer Elderflower Drink Cocktail * Pondicherry Toasts * Figs with Dolcelatte, Honey and Rosemary* Roasted Asparagus with Almonds and Parmesan * Grilled Scallops with Rhubarb Relish * Leek, Baby Broccoli, Smoked Salmon and Goat Cheese Tart * Spicy Heirloom Radish Salad * Strawberry Rum Babas

  • The perfect picnic would include fresh and delicious food accompanied by good friends and good music. Lakeside picnics matched with fragrant spring flowers and trees would make up the setting for a perfect picnic.

    Drinks would include Tara Guerard’s LowCountry Lemonade

    Entrees would be Tara Guerard’s Shrimp Paste Sandwiches and Green Kitchens Stories’ Grilled Portobello and Peach Burger

    Sides would be David Stark’s Fennel and Orange Salad w/ Parsley, Parmesan, and Pepitas and Gena Knox’s Kale and Apple Salad w/ Molasses Vinaigrette and Sugared Pecans

    To finish things off would be a Jennifer Martine’s Salted Chocolate Chip Cookies and Lara Ferroni’s Toasted Sesame and Vanilla Bean Ice Cream

  • My ideal picnic would be in my favorite surroundings, the schoolyard garden where I volunteer. It is a lovely inner city elementary school where the children have planted and maintained beautiful and lush plant beds.
    First, I would invite some friends of the garden including our friends who have created a wood fired pizza oven in the back of their truck that they can bring anywhere. Otherwise I would fire up a grill. In the oven, or on the grill, I would love to cook Amanda Hesser’s Kale, Pancetta and Grape Pizza.
    While we are cooking the pizzas, we will have to snack on veggies and dips like, Cilantro Tahini Carrot Dip and Minted Miso English Pea Dip made straight from the garden.
    We always have tons of vegetables that we have harvested from the garden, and I would love to have numerous side dishes to take advantage of the scope of those plantings such as Gaby Dalkin’s Spicy Roasted Broccolini Quinoa Salad, Rigetta Klint’s Beetroot Pesto on Pasta, Chef Ashley’s Warm Peas with Lemon Balm and Gena Knox’s Kale and Apple Salad. All of these have ingredients from our garden that can be harvested and prepared easily by myself and the children.
    We would drink sun tea sweetened with Apple Blossom Honey. And lastly, we would have a dessert of Stacy Newgent’s Sweet Corn and Raspberry Ice Cream using both of which we grow, and the energy of all those little children to crank an old fashioned ice cream maker.
    Here are some pictures of a past picnic https://plus.google.com/photos/106221530821641692312/albums/5736540746188783505?authkey=CKmP0_6u-P_RgQE
    This will actually be a reality sometime this summer!

    As a kid I LOVED summer picnics. On Canada Day, growing up in Toronto, my family would head down to the beach at Ash bridges Bay with a basket full of food, firecrackers, and a beach ball, always begging my mom to bring bread to feed the loud smelly geese. We would have a feast: homemade lemonade, popsicles, salami sandwiches, grapes and watermelon, goldfish crackers, carrots and cucumbers.

    As a kid at heart I’ve made a menu that reminds me of those family picnics, with very simple yet nourishing food, that I know my now adult family would love.




    Fruit/Polsicles: MATT ARMENDARIZ’S STICK FOOD (Mojito Melon Fruit Skewers with Mojito Mix)

    And of course Bread crumbs for the loud smelly geese ;)

  • My Southern Picnic menu:

    Danielle Tsi’s Egg Salad Sandwiches,
    Tara Guerand’s Shrimp Paste Sandwiches,
    Penny De Los Santos’s Spicy Heirloom Radish Salad,
    Julia Vandenoerer’s Fudge Brownies with Chocolate Frosting,
    Tara Guerand’s Low Country Lemonade.

  • Ideal Outdoor Picnic:
    -cocktail: Emily Maynard’s Sweet Tea Sipper
    -starter: Giao Trac’s Vietnamese Spring Rolls
    -Entree: Green kitchen stories’ Portobello Burger
    -dessert: Karin Eriksson’s Meringue and Raspberry Ice Cream Cake

    Not everything matches perfectly, but all those flavors are perfect for the outdoors and I think guests would appreciate the variety!

  • yum! in the summer all i want to do is put fresh fruit in everything i eat and read books in the sun. and as the only vegan in my group of friends, i am always looking for tasty food i can make for all of us to enjoy! our picnic food needs to be easy to carry on a bike, so i chose things that can be bounced around (like salad or fruit on a stick) or assembled when we arrive (like sandwiches and easy-to-make cocktails).

    my vegan picnic starts with emily maynard’s sweet tea sipper

    for sides, gina knox’s kale & apple salad

    and mojito melon fruit skewers

    main course, peach & portobello burger

    served with optional rhubarb relish

    and pickles of course!

    and for dessert, fruit galore and strawberry tofu pie, made into individual tarts.

    aaaand now i’m hungry! :)

  • I’m always petrified of under-feeding my huge group of friends, so a veritable cornicupia of picnic delicacies are required, lest they be left hungry under the ancient trees of the botanic gardens! Remembering to cater for my coeliac and allergy-prone friends, we’d share around some of Tara O’Brady’s pakoras and green chutney and Giao Trac’s vietnamese spring rolls. For a more substantial snack, helpings of Parigote’s roasted asparagus, Beatrice Peltre’s gratin dauphinois, Amenity Home’s spicy penne pasta (how yummy, served cold in summer!) and Nicole Herriott’s onion and time buns to mop up delicious scraps! And what Aussie picnic would be complete without sausage rolls – Cerentha Harris’ to be precise!? Wash it all down with some of Tara Guerard’s refreshing low country lemonade, and then to everyone’s favourite – dessert! Some coffee flavoured cake, for the caffeine fiends, maple pecan cake for tose sweet tooths, Mowie’s meringue tarts for everyone, and some of My Tartlette’s gluten-free financiers!
    I’m feeling sufficiently full! How about you?

  • for a fun and filling summer hang out in the backyard…

    tara guerard’s lowcountry lemonade

    green kitchen stories’ grilled portabella and peach burgers with sweet potato fries

    sidedish’s chilled avacado soup in an avacado half

    rachel manley’s almond yogurt cake

  • My perfect picnic would be on a hot summer day at some great little secluded swimming hole with friends.
    To drink: Chelsea Fuss’ Summer Elderflower
    To eat: Gaby Dalkin’s Spicy Roasted Broccolini Quinoa Salad and Molly Shusters Herb Roasted Chicken.
    For Dessert: Marjorie Taylor’s Lemon Tart

  • Savory:
    David Stark’s Fennel & Orange Salad
    Danielle Tsi’s Egg Salad on fresh crusty bread
    Sissy Si’s Pimento Cheese Sandwiches
    Kate Wesson’s Lemon Cake
    Jennifer Martine’s Salted Chocolate Chip Cookies (must.have.chocolate)
    Drink: Chelsea Fuss’ Summer Elderflower

  • Heidi’s Roasted Strawberries served over goat cheese with Leah Verwey’s Savory Cookies

    Ming’s Pulled Pork Sandwiches with Slaw
    (made ahead of time and assembled at meal time on buns toasted either on a fire, or small grill)

    Gena Knox’s Kale and Apple Salad
    (this is on heavy rotation at our house, has been since the original post, the finished product is so good, and it gets better the longer it sits chilled)

    Dani Fisher’s Ricotta Cheesecake

    We will be sipping:
    Emily Maynard’s Sweet Tea Sipper, herb-infused water, and iced coffee with dessert

  • Humm, so many great picnic spots in our neck of the woods (Monroe, Washington), but I’m gonna go with our family’s favorite fare: apres ski! Backpack in sterno and a camp stove for gruyere fondue including chunks of fresh Washington Honeycrisp apples, Salumi sausage and Macrena bakery’s bread. Smoked salmon is a must and a couple Theo chocolate bars will make for a delightful dessert. I know, we haven’t really ‘made’ anything yet, which is where some homemade maple-bacon muffins come in! A little vanilla & nutmeg spiked milk for our little one…and some Angry Orchard hard cider for Mama & Daddy.

  • To honor the work of spring plantings, our picnic is filled with the delicious flavors of summer veggie harvests. Instead of fried chicken, we’re going to enjoy Tara O’Brady’s kick butt pakoras with Fresh Green Chutney (http://www.designsponge.com/2012/04/in-the-kitchen-with-tara-obradys-pakoras-and-green-chutney.html), and pair it with a picnic classic – Egg Salad Sandwiches (Danielle’s Tsi made them open-face, but for transport’s sake we’re putting a slab of bread on top – http://www.designsponge.com/2011/06/in-the-kitchen-with-danielle-tsis-egg-salad.html).

    For our sides we’re going to incorporate some inventive dishes that highlight the flavors and crispness of my favorite root vegetables – carrots and radishes:
    spicy heirloom radish salad http://www.designsponge.com/2009/10/in-the-kitchen-with-penny-de-los-santos.html
    Alyson Fox’s Carrots, Avocado, and Orange with Cumin: http://www.designsponge.com/2007/12/in-the-kitchen-with-alyson-fox.html

    Naturally, we’ll be refreshing ourselves with the ultimate summery beverage Jean Lee’s Summer Picnic Cucumber Lemon Vodka (http://www.designsponge.com/2011/07/behind-the-bar-jean-lees-summer-picnic.html). And though they may seem tricky to pack, we’re up for the challenge, because nothing would be better for a prime summer dessert than lottie + doff’s blackberry napoleons and orange shortbread wafers (http://www.designsponge.com/2009/07/in-the-kitchen-with-lottie-doof.html).

    When you pack in style (http://www.designsponge.com/2011/04/before-after-door-headboord-suitcase-picnic-set.html) and park your seat on a blanket this well made (http://www.designsponge.com/2009/04/diy-wednesdays-picnic-blanke.html) there’s no way a picnic can get any better.

  • Danielle Tsi’s Egg Salad

    Kelly Cooper Kordylewski’s Chickpea Salad with Arugula and Roasted Garlic

    Thomas Paul’s Macarons and Bittersweet Toffee Ganache

    Tara Guerard’s Lowcountry Lemonade

  • In my family, I am the one who is always in charge of the picnic food and putting it all together. Because I have two step-daughters, most of the items that I would like for a picnic, never makes its way into our cooler. So, for the ideal picnic, I would start with Hungry Girls’ Sweet Potato, Green Bean and Paprika Salad. I tried this recipe several weeks ago and I love this new take on a salad.

    Second, I would indulge on Cheryl and Griffith Day’s Shrimp Tacos with Spiced Peach Jam. They are the perfect finger food and with a feeling of knowing summer is on its way from the spiced peach jam and the shrimp being a reminder of summer grilling.

    Then lastly for dessert, I try not to eat too much sweets, but absolutely fell for this cookie recipe, Jennifer Martine’s Salted Chocolate Chip Cookies. The combination of sweet and salty with cocoa nibs would be a great ending to a beautiful picnic!

  • Its autumn here in New Zealand and there is no better way of celebrating the season than filing a picnic basket with soul warming foods and heading out to find a picnic spot amongst the trees shedding their leaves.

    This menu is for a romantic picnic for 2, enjoyed leisurely on a sunday afternoon.

    Firstly we would start with a a thermos of Amy Rupplel’s Roasted Butternut Squash, Onion and Garlic Soup and share a

    We would follow these with Bill from The Pie Trucks tasty Zucchini and mushroom pies, accompanied by a side of Gaby Dalkins Spicy roasted broccolini and quinoa salad – washed down with Anna Baer’s Whiskey cider, the perfect drink to ward off the first signs of a winter chill in the air.

    And who can’t resist a nostalgic sweet treat such as Alexis and Courtney’s Chai tea s’mores the perfect finish to our Autumn picnic.

  • Tara Guerard’s Lowcountry Lemonade

    Build your own falafals with Matkonation’s falafals and Vanessa Rees’ sesame pancake bread and all the usual accoutrements (tahini, tomatoes, lettuce, cucumber, onion).

    Pasta salad with Rigetta Klint’s beetroot pesto

    Alexis and Courteny’s chai tea s’mores (yum!)

    Matt Armendarizs’ Mohito melon skewers

  • All I need to do is look at my pinboard of design*sponge recipes an I’m instantly inspired to host an amazing outdoor picnic in the backyard with jars of wildflowers adorning my backyard picnic table.

    First we would need to have the appropriate cocktail: Jen Altman’s Moroccan Negroni seems to be complex, spicy, and yummy.

    And since any outdoor picnic requires BBQ or grilled items, I would serve Ming’s Pulled Pork with slaw and barbecue sauce, or Grilled Portobello & Peach Burgers. Peaches on the grill are to-die-for!

    And who can say no to some pickles: Onion, Orange & Thyme Relish or Spring Onion & Cilantro Refrigerator Pickles would make a yummy side accoutrement.

    To keep with my citrus theme, I would also serve a side salad: The Fennel and Orange Salad with Parsley, Parmesan, and Pepitas

    Finally for desert your really cannot go wrong with Jennifer Martine’s Salted Chocolate Chip Cookies

  • The most important part of a picnic meal is to make things you’ve already tried, so you know how they’ll turn out and it won’t be a dissapointment (especially if you’ve lugged it all somewhere remote!). So, with that in mind, I limited myself to things I’ve already made (which was quite a lot, actually, and a tough decision in the end:).

    To start off, Yotam Ottolenghi’s taleggio roulade. It is so very tasty and reminds me of spring, even when I make it in the dead of winter. To go with, Gena Knox’s kale and apple salad. I’ve become a huge fan of kale over the past few years, and tend to make this salad if I want something filling and crunchy. For the meat-eaters, Giao Trac’s chinese chicken salad with spicy ginger dressing paired with Nikole Herriott’s onion + thyme buns. This is a very filling combo and has made it into my weekend rotation.

    To drink, Spike Mendelsohn’s milkshake and Emily Maynard’s sweet tea sipper.

    And, the most important part, dessert! Deena Prichep’s figs with dolcelatte, honey and rosemary and Alexis and Courtney’s chai tea s’mores. Both so yummy, but not overly sweet.

    I am making myself very hungry with this list!

  • The first warm day in spring I get to reclaim my prized picnic spot – a dappled patch of grass in a grove of redbuds and dogwoods at my local park, right next to a cheery creek. For a light, airy picnic repast I’ll put a bottle of prepared Blood Orange Basil Gimlits from Annette Joseph to chill in the creek while my girlfriend and I tuck into Giao Tracs’ Vietnamese Spring rolls with slivers of mango tucked within instead of shrimp…the shrimp’ll make their appearance in Trac’s Chinese Chicken Salad, in place of the chicken. We love Giao Trac’s recipes, and are pleased that we can sub proteins to fit our pescatarianism. Thick slices of Rachel Manley’s Blood Orange and Almond yogurt cake for dessert. Tasty Bliss.

  • What a fantastic giveaway! My picnic would include the following:
    The Pie Truck’s Zucchini and Mushroom Pies
    Yotam Ottolenghi’s Spinach Dish
    Penny De Los Santos’ Spicy Radish Heirloom Salad
    Chelsea Fuss’ Summer Elderflower Drink
    Sabra Krock’s Apricot Tea Cakes

  • I’m keeping it simple. My picnic would be on a hot day, lying on a blanket on fresh green grass in the shade of a tree. All I would want is something light, tasty and refreshing…
    Giao Trac’s vietnamese spring rolls
    Enjoy Cupcake’s ginger lime margharita
    Jennifer Martine’s salted choc chip cookies

  • Hi!

    My ideal picnic would occur on my apartment rooftop as an outdoor fete. I’d start with an inviting helping of Raya Carlisle’s guacamole with homemade toasted pita chips followed closely by Bee Yinn Low’s Pan Fried Dumplings – fun and easy foods my guests can grab while they greet each other and bond about the delicious start to the evening. I’d be sure to serve Emily’s Sweet Tea Sipper because I love the cool mix of watermelon and basil – oddly enough, this is one of my favorite combo’s for the ubiquitous birthday cocktail as I’m a summer baby.

    After mingling with my guests and just when the guacamole dish runs low, I’d initiate the sit down portion – I’d serve Casey Barber’s Drunken Spaghetti with Clams – I endlessly toy with a variation of this recipe myself and would be thrilled to serve a version of it at a summer party. I’d also serve Amanda’s Kale, Pancetta, and Grape Pizza – so many of my friends love kale and love bacon so this should please quite a few of them! Depending on the guests’ dietary restrictions, I might omit pancetta from half of the pizza or go a gluten free version altogether. If I have the assistance I sorely need for prepping the day and hours before the fete ie. my boyfriend – I’d also serve up Gaby Dalkin’s Roasted Broccolini Quinoa Salad.

    Finally, I’d cap it off with something light and sweet for those who can haha, and personally, I always have room for dessert. Whimsy & Spice’s Peach Ginger Blondies fit the bill. Oh, and a bottle of wine, or 2, would no doubt emerge during the main course. I also love sending my friends home with gifts – Martine’s Salted Chocolate Chip Cookies, a recipe I’ve tried and fallen head over heels for, in plastic wrapped stacks with a ribbon and a note is the perfect flourish to hand them after goodbyes have been exchanged.


  • My picnic…by the river on a cool April afternoon:
    The Hungry Girls’ Sweet Potato, Green Bean & Smoked Paprika Salad
    Green Kitchen Stories’ Portobello Burgers
    Kayla’s German Chocolate Cake and
    Marjorie Taylor’s Lemon Tart (for a lighter dessert option)

  • Set out on a blanket in an orchard, this would be my perfect end-of-summer picnic: one that hints at fall and savours the last of the season, showcased with fruits and light salads.

    We’d start with AMY COTLER’S STRAWBERRY YOGURT SOUP, perfectly chilled.

    Then we’d move on to the fabulous RHUBARD RELISH from Smoke & Pickles, served with LEAH VERWEY’S SAVORY COOKIES, alongside AUNT SISSY SI’S PIMENTO CHEESE (finger) SANDWICHES.


    Finally, we’d savour TESS DARROW’S DUTCH BABY with fresh blackberries (probably off some nearby vines). Blackberries are the quintessential taste of the Pacific Northwest at summer’s end–all sweetness with a hint of nostalgia–and my all-time favourite fruit.

    … and then we’d probably need a little doze in the last of the sunshine.

  • I’ve been dreaming of a summer backyard lunch, especially after months of chilly weather (really, did I expect any less when I moved to Vermont?). To celebrate the coming of summer, we would celebrate…farmer’s market style. Using the freshest, most local produce we could find (okay, the avocados would probably travel a bit), we would dine on the following:

    Start with Eliza Jane Curtis’s cucumber snacks. We would have a variety of fillings: hummus, boursin, and goat cheese with honey and (instead of mint) lavender. Following this, we would move on to Sidedish’s chilled avocado soup. Then we would feast upon Green Kitchen Stories’ portobello burgers with grilled peaches, with a side of Parigote’s roasted asparagus. After giving ourselves thirty to forty-five minutes for digestion and laughter, dessert would arrive — Kate Wesson’s lemon cake with lime curd and pomegranate seeds (though, given that pomegranates are out of season by now, we may need to replace the topping with lemon curd and raspberries).

    Drinks would start with Emily Maynard’s sweet tea sipper, and by dessert would shift to Chelsea Fuss’ summer elderflower (with Hendrick’s, naturally).

  • Carmen Sandiego Picnic: We would sneak around the world for Pan-fried Three Mushroom Dumplings http://www.designsponge.com/2009/09/in-the-kitchen-with-helen-yuet-ling-pang.html. We would crash an autumnal feast and steal the loot – Julie Morelli’s Roasted Squash Salad http://www.designsponge.com/2009/12/in-the-kitchen-with-julie-morelli.html. We would evade the warrant by fleeing to Israel, where we would stop for some of Matkonation’s falafel http://www.designsponge.com/2012/04/in-the-kitchen-with-matkonations-falafel.html. We’d trade a V.I.L.E. Henchman to ACME in order to snag some of Julia Vandenoever’s fudge brownies with chocolate frosting http://www.designsponge.com/2012/01/in-the-kitchen-with-julia-vandenoevers-fudgy-brownies-with-frosting.html. And since Carmen Sandiego never, ever gets caught, we would celebrate with Jen Altman’s Morocco http://www.designsponge.com/2012/03/behind-the-bar-with-jen-altmans-morocco.html as we relax in Marrakech.

  • A perfect picnic has to be easy to eat while lounging on a blanket, preferably with a gentle breeze to keep the flies down.

    It’s gotta be packed with food you can make ahead of time and that doesn’t involve much prep or mess or utensils once your bum is chillin’ in the park or on the beach.

    1) Aunt Sissy Si’s Pimento Cheese Sandwiches–I’m not a Southern gal (unless you count Southern Cali), but creamy, zingy cheese on soft bread? Easily clutched with one hand? Yes please.

    2) Parigote’s Roasted Asparagus–You need your veggies, even on a pick-a-nick. Leave the creamy sauce at home, I don’t think it’ll transport well. Instead, bring some lemony mayo for dipping, or some slices of Parm. Yum.

    3) Heidi’s Roasted Strawberries–This is your “sort of healthy, mostly dessert” treat that’s a prelude to…

    4) Jennifer Martine’s Salted Chocolate Chip Cookies–Perfection

    5) BOOZE: Keeping with the “easily transportable” theme, I should pick Low Country lemonade, or something pre-mixed at home. But this is MY perfect picnic, so I will have one fussy element, and that is Andrew & Carrie’s Blackberry Smash.

    More berries on a picnic is a good thing, and no matter where you’re dining, whiskey is ALWAYS the answer.

    Thanks for considering my menu!

  • Picnics are all about delicious combos of sweet and savory treats, ideally eaten with as little cutlery as possible. My perfect picnic would be with the closest of friends, on the shore of Lake Michigan and would most certainly include:

    – Spicy and tangy Chinese Chicken Salad with Spicy Ginger Dressing by Giao Trac
    – Danielle Tsi’s Egg Salad (Or as I like to call it- Eggtastic Eggstravaganza Salad)
    – Gaby Dalkin’s Spicy Roasted Broccolini Quinoa Salad (which has become a staple at my picnics)
    – Tart and refreshing Giant Chewy Lemon Sugar Cookies by Big Girls, Small Kitchens
    – The most delectable Fudge Brownies with Chocolate Frosting from Julia Vandenoever

    And you have to wash it all down with Dirty Arnold Palmers or Emily Maynard’s Sweet Tea Sippers.

  • I think pik-in-icks should be Portable, don’t you, Boo Boo bear?
    They should also be Round and Vegetarian!

    .Jill Bliss’ vegetarian sushi and Matkonation’s falafel would be great appetizers.
    .Yvette van Boven’s bitterballen and Cerentha Harris’ sausage rolls (sub veg sausage/veg ground beef) for savory main courses.
    .Eliza Jane Curtis’ stuffed cucumber rolls for a side.
    .And because no good meal should have only one dessert, I choose Johnny Battles’ trio of truffles (coriander!) and Marlena Spieler’s treacle sponge cake!

    My picnic will be ball-er.

  • Here in New Zealand, autumn has arrived. For a simple, perfect autumn picnic, we would gather together loved ones, spread a woollen blanket and fat cushions under the olive trees in the garden, and stoke up the wood-fired pizza oven. Then we’d lounge in the sun, feasting on David Stark’s Fennel and Orange salad, Amanda Hesser’s Kale, Pancetta, and Grape Pizza, and Deadly Squire’s Tart Apple Tart.

  • I would love to have a forest picnic in the French countryside, and because life is fleeting and uncertain, we would have dessert first.

    christelle’s raspberry and rosewater cheesecake – dessert
    alexis and courtney’s chai tea s’mores – dessert (tied with ribbon – portable!)

    jill donenfeld’s pondicherry toasts – appetizer
    yotam ottolenghi’s spinach dish – main course (pine nuts!)
    gena knox’s kale and apple salad – side

    heidi’s roasted strawberries-dessert part 2!

  • I love gathering friends for a picnic but since some of them are vegetarians (no meat but they eat cheese) sometimes i feel bad if they cannot eat all the things that were made for the picnic, having only one option of veggie can be kinda bore some for them, because it is a group meal enjoyed out side and the fun part is the sharing the Idea that and entire vegetarian menu can please both sides. and here’s what I thought it would be a perfect menu for the ocasion:
    Taleggio and Spinach Roulade
    Roasted Squash over Arugula with Goat’s Cheese and Hazelnuts
    Layered Vegetable Torta

    Rhubarb Financiers
    Chocolate Hazelnut Baklava
    Pistachio Olive Oil Cake with Fig Compote Filling and Cream Cheese Frosting

  • Scene:
    Vancouver, Pacific Northwest, summer time, early evening, by the beach, with friends that we love, sea breeze, feet in warm sand.

    Giao Trac’s Vietnamese Spring Rolls
    Chef Nick’s Petite Sugarcane Cured Bacon “BLT” with Roasted Tomato Confit & Ginger Aioli
    Yotam Ottolenghi’s Taleggio Roulade
    Melina Hammer’s Haloumi, Melon, and Avocado salad with lime-mint dressing
    Alex Van Buren’s Mint Panna Cotta with Strawberries and Balsamic Vinegar

  • Ok, this menu is dedicated to all the West Coast Ladies– from San Fran on up to Vancouver, who attempt beach picnics in the spring and then are foiled by sudden and annoying inclement weather. You know who you are! But since we are intrepid and rugged, we persevere, with our adorable picnic dresses layered down deep under our much less glamorous rain gear.

    To start (sun still shining):
    Chelsea Fuss’ Summer Elderflower
    Oysters from the Cabin Cove Shuck Truck (which magically appears on our coast!)

    Main Course (clouds begin to roll in):
    Green Kitchen Stories’ Portobello Burgers
    Hungry Girls’ Sweet Potato, Green Bean and Smoked Paprika Salad
    David Stark’s Fennel and Blood Orange Salad

    Then, once it’s chilly and drizzly and your beach bonfire is sputtering a bit, Dessert!–
    Catherine and Tricia’s Ohio Oat and Seed Bars w Homemade Ricotta (because we are health food nerds, we like granola bars even for dessert)
    Cerentha Harris’ Plum Cake
    Johnny Battles’ Trio of Truffles
    Plus Hot Toddies, in the style of BBB Craft Sisters

    Oh, weather inversions! But seriously, I’m dying to have this picnic right now. What a great idea. Thanks DS!

  • Elizabeth Minchilli’s Shaken Campari
    Matkonation’s falafel
    Gaby Dalkin’s Spicy Roasted Broccolini Quinoa Salad
    Danielle Tsi’s open-faced egg sandwiches
    Christelle’s Raspberry and Rosewater Cheesecake

  • For my ideal picnic with friends I would have to make something to get our palettes roaring and what would be better than Nick Mueller’s petite sugarcane ‘BLT’ with roasted tomato confit and ginger aioli: http://www.designsponge.com/2009/10/in-the-kitchen-with-chef-nick-mueller-our-wedding-recipe.html and a round of Tara’s low country lemonade: http://www.designsponge.com/2011/07/in-the-kitchen-with-tara-guerards-shrimp-paste-sandwiches-and-lowcountry-lemonade.html. Then I would move on to David Starks fennel and orange salad: http://www.designsponge.com/2010/01/in-the-kitchen-with-david-stark.html. But for the main shebang there’s something so quintessential about roasted chicken for time outdoors with friends (served warm or cold). So, I would make Molly’s Shuster’s herb roasted chicken: http://www.designsponge.com/2010/09/in-the-kitchen-with-molly-shusters-herb-roasted-chicken.html. Throw in some quick pickles to munch on: http://www.designsponge.com/2011/05/small-measures-onion-relish-quick-pickles.html and add in Elodie’s zucchini tarte for a nice savory side http://www.designsponge.com/2010/04/in-the-kitchen-with-elodie-rambauds-zucchini-tarte.html and your well on your way to being full but I would have to save room for dessert. I would end with two desserts because life is too short to pick one, the perfect mint panna cotta with strawberries and balsamic syrup by Alex Van Buren http://www.designsponge.com/2009/12/in-the-kitchen-with-alex-van-buren.html and Leah Verway’s savory cookies: http://www.designsponge.com/2010/12/in-the-kitchen-with-leah-verweys-savory-cookies.html. Cheers to everyone who enters and Happy Eating!!!

  • My ideal picnic would be light and airy, both in food and location. A lazy Sunday afternoon in Prospect Park anyone? The meal would start with ‘PONDICHERRY TOASTS’ for everyone, easy to snack on when you’re outside on a blanket. For the vegetarians I would have ‘SPICY ROASTED BROCCOLINI QUINOA SALAD’ and ‘AMANDA HESSER’S KALE, PANCETTA AND GRAPE PIZZA’. For the meat eaters out there, I’d have ‘CHINESE CHICKEN SALAD WITH SPICY GINGER DRESSING’ and the SHRIMP TACOS WITH SPICY PEACH JAM’. To end the meal I would have ‘JENNIFER MARTINE’S SALTED CHOCOLATE CHIP COOKIES’, while sipping on “LOWCOUNTRY LEMONADE’. All items are easy to pass around and share, for a family-style buffet event.

    The whole meal is an updated and muy picante version of the classic picnic you had with family as a kid, adding a bit of surprise to the nostalgia. Eat up!

  • I’d choose a Mediterranean styled menu:
    APPETIZER: Torta Pasqualina because it’s the first thing us Italian put in our picnic basket ;-)
    MAIN DISH: Matkonation’s Falafels because they’re wonderfully spicy and taste great both warm or at room temperature.
    SIDE DISH: Beet slices with Feta cheese because I love the way Feta cheese’s tangy flavour combines with beet’s crunchiness.
    DESSERT: Rachel Manley’s Almond & Yogurt Cake because its lovely scent and texture conjure up sunny skies and time with friends :-)

  • Course 1:
    Jill Donenfeld’s Pondicherry Toasts
    Spoon Fork Bacon’s Honey-rum Fizz

    Course 2:
    Dani Fisher’s Orecchiette with Orange-spiced Lamb Meatballs
    Annette Joseph’s Blood Orange Basil Gimlet

    Course 3:
    Deena Prichep’s Figs with Dolcelatte, Honey, and Rosemary
    Johnny Battles’ Trio of Truffles

    And now I’m starving, and the weather is too awful for outdoor eating. Sad!

  • I would love nothing more than spending a summer evening in my backyard with friends, all seated at a long table, seasonal decor, and twinkling candlelight. There were so many delicious options to choose from but finally, I designed my FIRST menu for an evening picnic with friends. My ideal backyard picnic menu?
    Starts with :Pimento Cheese Sandwiches and Fennel, Blood Orange and Black Olive salad
    Next comes: Orecchiette with orange-spiced Lamb Meatballs, Portobello and Peach Burger, and served with the sides of: Parigote’s Roasted Asparagus
    and Chilled Avocado Soup.
    Lastly, we’d finish the night with: Chai Tea S’mores and Raspberry and Rosewater Cheesecake.
    All washed down with Spoon Fork Bacon’s Honey-Rum fizz.

  • My ideal picnic would allow me and my family to be magically transported to a waterside destination that includes cool breezes, poetic swaying branches overhead, the lull of children playing nearby, and the cooling sips of Chelsea Fuss’ Summer Elderflower Drink with Gin.
    We would enjoy Aran Goyoaga’s Leek, Broccoli, Smoked Salmon & Goat Cheese Tart, along with the luscious flavors of Dan George’s Grilled Scallops with Rhubarb Relish hot off our portable grill.
    As we relaxed into the afternoon, we would indulge in Big Girl Small Kitchen’s Giant Chewy Lemon Sugar Cookies.

  • love books, and love cooking AKA love this giveaway!

    browsing through, I wanted dishes that I could easily prep ahead of time, and then just cart off on a picnic. Asian dishes worked out best for me!

    * Jill Bliss’s vegetable sushi
    * Giao Trac’s vietnamese spring rolls
    * Yaling Hou’s cheese fry (they looked like eggrolls! but surprise! they’re not!)
    * Giao Trac’s chinese chicken salad (whoops, didn’t realize that I had a fave chef)
    * Lara Ferroni’s ginger shiso mojito
    * Marjorie Taylor’s lemon tart (not exactly Asian, but definitely light still)

  • Such amazing possibilities!

    I’d have Danielle Tsi’s egg salad on Sesame Pancake Bread, with Vietnamese Spring Rolls to get add some freshness (and some needed greens). Dessert would be Almond Yogurt Cake (with Blood Orange Curd) and we’d pack in some pre-mixed Blood Orange Mojitos. Mmmm tastes of summer.

  • Picnics are my preferred type of party! And the most important part of any party is the menu!

    Picnic food has to be able to be eaten at room temperature and not be too messy to eat or assemble. And cocktails should be mixed at home and ready to enjoy outdoors!

    Perfect picnic:
    To start
    * Nick Mueller’s Petite sugarcane cured bacon BLT’s with roasted tomato confit & ginger aioli
    * Eliza Jane Curtis’s Cucumber Snacks

    *Elodie Rambaud’s Zucchini Tarte
    * Gaby Dalkin’s Spicy roasted broccolini quinoa salad

    * Julia Vandenoever’s Fudgy Brownies with frosting

    * Tara Guerard’s Lowcountry Lemonade, served in mason jars

  • I am so lucky to live right next to the park in Atlanta. We absolutely love to picnic! These would be my D*S choices:

    -Camilla Engman’s Beets (no feta)
    -Melina Hammer’s Haloumi, Melon, and Avocado salad with lime-mint dressing
    -Tartlette’s Bacon and onion tartlets (mushrooms for me, bacon for the meat eaters!)
    -Eunice Moyle’s Eton Mess
    -Tara Guerard’s Lowcountry lemonade (mixed with seltzer, and fresh peach juice instead of schnapps)

    Plus, some peeled pomelo slices straight from my uncle’s backyard in FL, to munch on as we relax and people watch. Delicious!

  • Perfect time for a picnic! Soon it will be blistering hot here… So, for vegetarians and meat eaters alike – We’ll have: Matkonation’s Perfect Schnitzel, Dani Fisher’s Orecchiette with Orange-Spiced Lamb Meatballs, Gaby Daklin’s Spicy Roasted Broccolini Quinoa Salad, David Stark’s Fennel and Orange salad, Penny De Los Santos Spicy Heirloom Radish Salad, Camilla Engman’s Beet slices with Feta cheese and Lisa DeJohn‘s No Mayo Waldorf salad. From the Matkonation’s falafel post – not the falafel this time, but the Israeli salad and tahini. Amy Cotler’s Strawberry Yogurt Soup and Rick Poon’s Chocolate Hazelnut Baklava with Cardamom Honey Syrup – a perfect ending for this picnic, and of course, Tara Guerard’s Low country Lemonade.
    As the late Freddie Mercury said: “I want it all, and I want it now…”

  • Picnic Time!:

    Gioa Trac’s Vietnamese Spring Rolls
    Beet Slices with FeTa Cheese
    Spicy Heirloom Radish Salad
    Sweet Potatoe , Green Bean and Smoked Paprika Salad
    Aunt Sissy Si’s Pimento Cheese Sandwiches
    Jenn Martine’s Salted Chocolate Chip Cookies
    Megan Ficells Pear Tart

  • We would be in The Burren, in Co.Clare Ireland. Looking out to the Atlantic ocean,all blue and white and the hunger would be fierce. I would like our picnic to be multicultural,and memorable,mainly plants and with people we love.
    We would be walking a bit, so our baskets are light,and our hearts are happy.
    Matkonation’s Falafel
    Shrimp Tacos with Spiced Peach Jam by Cheryl and Griffith Day. Gaby Dalkin’s Spicy Roasted Broccolini Quinoa Salad. Yotam Ottolenghi spinach and taleggio roulade with semi-dried tomatoes. Rigetta Klint’s beetroot pesto recipe and an accompanying rye bread.
    Of course Katie Quinn Davie’s Guinness Chocolate Cake.
    lisa cericola’s Fall Sangria.


  • Tough choice, but I’d go with
    – Tara Guerard’s Lowcountry Lemonade
    – Annette Joseph’s Torta Pasqualina
    – Green Kitchen Stories’ Grilled Portobello and Peach Burgers
    – and Jennifer Martiné’s Salted Chocolate Chip Cookies to top it off!

  • Oh, there is no better place to enjoy good food than outdoors! I love finger foods and my picnic would include:
    – Jill Donenfeld’s Pondicherry Toasts
    – Marjorie Taylor’s Gougeres
    – Chef Nick’s Petite Sugarcane Cured Bacon “BLT” with Roasted Tomato Confit & Ginger Aioli
    – Jamie Beck’s Chocolate & Spice Biscotti
    – Martha Stewart’s Choclate Swirl Gingerbread

    and lots of chilled rose.

  • Into the wild with a blanket good company and…

    cucumber snacks

    pimento cheese sandwiches
    kale and apple salad

    coffee flavoured cake
    trio of truffles

    pink grapefruit cocktail

    …and oodles of time.

  • Being a vegetarian myself, I wanted to create a menu to try to give substance to herbivores and meat eaters alike.

    For Sides:
    Simone Anne Lang’s Sweet Potato Gnocchi
    Dalkin’s Spicy Roasted Broccolini Quinoa Salad

    For Main Dishes:
    Green Kitchen Stories’ Grilled Portobello & Peach Burgers
    Helen’s Bacon and Onion Tartlette
    (The great thing about the tartlette’s is that they can be personalized with even more varieties of flavor. Along with the bacon and onion, I’d maybe make a spinach and sundried tomato variety along with a ham and cheddar)

    For Dessert:
    Johnny Battle’s trio of truffles
    Dani Fisher’s Ricotta cheesecake (blackberry topping)
    (I wanted to have both a chocolaty, rich dessert along with a fruity dessert.)

  • Well, I live in Mexico and Mexico has two seasons: dry (November through May-ish) and rainy (the remaining months). I have a conundrum, my birthday is in October and really all I want to do is have a picnic with my family and friends around me but it has invariably rained every year on my birthday. So my DREAM birthday celebration/picnic would be in a part of the city called Xochimilco which is a system of canals known locally and internationally for the tours you can take on them in the trajineras which are large rafts that can seat around 20 people, are roofed, are painted in bright colors, and have elaborate floral designs on the front with the name of the boat on it (ideally we would snag one called Mariana, the Mexican version of my name). They also have a long table down the middle so they are perfect for meals on the water. On the menu, apart from the treats that different vendors in small boats peddle, would be:
    -Emily Maynard’s Sweet Tea Sipper (making use of local produce and my basil plant)
    -David Stark’s Fennel and Orange Salad with Parsley, Parmesan, and Pepitas
    -Nick Mueller’s Petite Sugarcane Cured Bacon “BLT” with Roasted Tomato Confit & Ginger Aioli.
    -Several years ago I worked in a restaurant as a prep chef and was also in charge of making the rustic pizzas so for sentimental and practical reasons (and because it is such a delicious recipe) I would serve Amanda Hesser’s Kale, Pancetta and Grape Pizza for the main dish.
    -And for dessert, because it is my birthday and this cake is delicious, I would make Katie Quinn Davies’ Guiness Cake.

    A girl can dream, right?

  • I am a firm believer in keeping it simple and I am imagining a small gathering of friends and family. To start, I don’t think that you could beat a box or a plateful of Marjorie Taylor’s Gougères – simple cheese puffs, easy to transport, would not delay the start of the feasting too much as they are no trouble at all to distribute, go (so) beautifully with the bottle of Chablis that I would pack somewhere alongside (for those who indulge in such treats) and I have yet to come across anyone who doesn’t like them. Best served warm they may be but, given that it’s a picnic, I don’t think anyone would quibble about them at a more ambient temperature, although I would aim to keep them unchilled and as crisp as possible, nonetheless.

    As we start to settle in, it would be a toss up between the rather elegant sandwich substitute provided by Yotam Ottolenghi’s Taleggio Roulade or the Pie Truck’s very pretty Zucchini and Mushroom Puffy Pastry Pies. Perfect for vegetarians but satisfying enough for everyone. If I couldn’t make up my mind, and I probably couldn’t, I would just include them both and let folk choose one or other (or both) for themselves.

    Bread and pastry pretty well covered by this stage, time to include some side salads; soft green leaves will not survive dressing too far in advance of their appearance, so I would go for the Hungry Girl’s Sweet Potato, Green Bean and Smoked Paprika salad – the fact that this only gets better for the keeping makes it perfect for a picnic. I would also add Penny de los Santos’ Spicy Heirloom Radish salad, because it would look a knockout, it would perfectly complement the other fare and it would lend a certain piquancy all of its own.

    Time for dessert – nothing too heavy or complicated, something as easy to enjoy with a glass of wine as a cup of flasked coffee. For me, Dani Fisher’s Ricotta Cheesecake with Berries and Sauce, fits the bill perfectly; light on flour, not too sweet, baked, so no need to worry too much about keeping it chilled for the duration and with the addition of some fresh fruit on top we would be in clover.

    All set – can’t wait for the sun to start shining so that I can put it into action.

  • Oooh…this makes me want to get a bunch of ladies together and have an afternoon “do” on my back patio! We would have:

    Mini ginger chicken meatball subs with masala sauce
    Pea, mint, and feta risotto
    Fennel and orange salad with parsley, parmesan, and pepitas
    Sara Magid’s easiest chocolate cake cupcakes with espresso whipped buttercream
    Lowcountry lemonade

    It was a super hard choice, though. So many great recipes!

  • Gosh… reading through these there are so many I want to try!!!

    Leah Verweys Savory Cookies with a selection of cheeses

    Chinese Chicken Salad with Spicy Ginger Dressing
    Curry Noodles

    Lena Corwins Fresh Fruit cake

    Low country lemonade

  • Picnic is a childhood memory to me because I was born and raised in the Tuscan countryside and, as a kid, I had a picnic almost daily during springtime. That’s why I’d choose a childish menu – that grown-ups just love!
    – Matt Armendariz’s Corn Dogs
    – Brian Malarkey’s Lasagna
    – Vanessa Rees’ Sesame Pancake Sandwich Bread + Kathreinerle’s Salted Caramel Spread
    – Julia Vandenoever’s Fudge Brownies with Chocolate Frosting

  • An evening summer picnic on the beach with, blankets, Boggle, and an abundance of great gluten-free finger foods menu. Finger foods allow for a laidback gathering and are especially convenient for picnics!

    >Matt Armendariz’s Mojito Melon Fruit Skewers
    >Raya Carlisle’s Guacamole (served with homemade corn tortilla chips)
    >Eliza Jane Curtis’ Cucumber Snacks

    >Jill Bliss’s Vegetarian Sushi (made with carrots, beets, peppers, etc.)
    >Tara Guerard’s Local Shrimp Paste (served with GF cornmeal/sesame crackers)
    >Jill Donenfeld’s Pondicherry Toasts (made with GF toasts)

    >Alexis and Courtney’s Chai Tea S’mores (crackers made with GF flour; roast marshmallows over fire and use bittersweet chocolate instead of milk)
    >Stacy Newgent’s Sweet Corn and Raspberry Ice Cream (popsicle-style)
    >Julia Vandenoever’s Fudge Brownies With Chocolate Frosting (made with GF flour; hold the frosting)

    >Elizabeth Minchilli’s Shaken Campari
    >Tara Guerard’s Low Country Lemonade (with fresh mint leaves)

    I can’t wait to have this picnic!

  • A perfect picnic in a lush green forest with as many colors, tastes and variety as possible.
    Starters: Eliza Jane Curtis-Cucumber snacks

    Main: Sabra Krock’s artichoke casserole
    Karen Mordechai’s butternut squash and pomegranate galette
    Jennifer Causey-Whole wheat crepes with spinach pesto, mushrooms and goat \
    Fennel, Blood Orange and Black Olive salads
    Dessert: Rachel Khoo’s crumpets and fruit curd

    Drink: Chelsea: Bars Summer Elderflower

  • I would plan a picnic and this would be my menu!
    Gena Knox’s Kale and Apple Salad
    The Hungry Girls’ Sweet Potato, Green Bean and Smoked Paprika Salad
    Green Kitchen’s Portobello & Peach Burgers
    Aunt Sissy Si’s Pimento Cheese Sandwich
    Almond and Yogurt Cake
    Tara Guerard’s Low Country Lemonade

  • Summertime in New York is my favorite time, particularly for the regular picnics in Central Park and Prospect Park. Can’t wait for the sun to start shining!

    Gruyere and Herb Scones
    Roasted Squash over Arugula with Goat Cheese and Hazelnuts salad
    Spicy Heirloom Radish Salad
    herbs de Provence roast chicken

    Dessert: Chocoholic Torte

    Drinks: Champagne Cocktail

  • Under a towering gum tree, with sweeping views of the sea;
    We’ll laugh, drink and eat, celebrating how it feels to be 40!
    Shared platters of exotic tastes, eaten all by hand;
    We’ll laze about in the afternoon as the sun falls behind the land.
    Fuss free on the night, all prepared in advance;
    Leaving room for everyone to sing, nap or dance.

    My 40th Boho Garden Party Menu in the seaside hamlet of Flinders, VIC Australia consists of:

    As guests arrive:

    EMILY MAYNARD’S SWEET TEA SIPPER with juicy cubes of watermelon http://www.designsponge.com/2011/08/behind-the-bar-emily-maynards-sweet-tea-sipper.html

    RAYA CARLISLE’S GUACAMOLE with home toasted tortilla chips http://www.designsponge.com/2010/08/in-the-kitchen-with-raya-carlisles-guacamole.html

    JENNIFER MARTINE’S BAGNA CAUDA with seasonal vegies, served in little terracotta pots

    GUERARD’S SHRIMP PASTE SANDWICHES some served on crusty baguettes, some as tea sandwiches.

    Food to nibble on as guests come and go:

    MOLLY SHUSTER’S HERB ROASTED CHICKEN, shredded and served with lettuce cups to roll and eat with your hands.

    PETRINA TINSLAY’S TOMATO TARTE TATIN made with locally grown delicious Flinders tomatoes and cut into manageable wedges

    GABY DALKIN’S SPICY ROASTED BROCCOLINI QUINOA SALAD, served in little cups with wooden forks

    GIA TRAC’S VIETNAMESE SPRING ROLLS with hoisin peanut sauce

    As the sun goes down:

    We’d light the fire and enjoy DAN’S GRILLED SCALLOP AND RHUBARB RELISH cooked over the open



    To finish the night and toast my 40th birthday:

    GUINNESS CHOCOLATE CAKE BY KATIE QUINN DAVIES served with icy cold Guinness and French champagne of course!

    The event itself: A Boho afternoon garden party that lingers on well after the sun goes down. I’d bring all our rugs outdoors, scatter with cushions, throws, crates, lanterns, flowers and succulents in old tins and jars, ensuring an abundance of food & drink’s for guests to nibble and sip on throughout the afternoon and evening.

  • I would choose to have a summer Sunday brunch in the garden. Since it’s a brunch menu I would want a “small bites” menu so they’re lots of choices for everyone.

    – Gruyere and Herb Scones by Emma Bowen
    – Giao Trac’s Chinese Chicken Salad with Spicy Ginger Dressing
    – Cerentha Harris’ Sausage Rolls
    – Elodie Rambaud’s Zucchini Tarte

    and for dessert…. :)

    – Stacy Newgent’s Sweet Corn and Raspberry Icecream
    – Kate Wesson’s Lemon Cake

  • I love picnics! I would start with dessert–fudge brownies with chocolate frosting are so good and easy to package for a picnic.
    For an appetizer, I would make pondicherry toasts. and for the main I would have the pimento cheese sandwiches from Aunt Sissy.
    And for a drink, I would serve Emily Maynard’s Sweet Tea Sipper!

  • I’d have a grill at my picnic site and would begin with:
    Dan George’s Grilled Scallop and Rhubarb Relish

    Next up is a favorite, which I have made many times including last weekend:
    Giao Trac’s Chinese Chicken Salad with Spicy Ginger Dressing

    For dessert, I’d go fancy:
    Aran Goyoaga’s Lemon Curd and Buttermilk Panna Cotta Cake

  • Cucumber Snacks stuffed with Hummus from Eliza Jane Curtis
    Leek, Baby Broccoli, Smoked Salmon and Goat Cheese Tart from Aran Goyoaga
    Spicy Heirloom Radish Salad from Penny de Los Santos
    Fudge Brownies with Chocolate Frosting from Julia Vandenoever
    Mango Apricot Sparklers to drink, from Jewels of New York

  • In lieu of the impending Kentucky Derby…

    Catherine and Tricia’s Ohio Oat & Seed Bars and Homemade Ricotta
    Gruyere and Herb Scones, adapted from The Cheese Board: Collective Works

    Alissa and Ryan’s Lavender Lemonade
    Andrew & Carrie’s Blackberry Smash
    Jacinta Moore’s Rose Martini

    Gena Knox’s Kale and Apple Salad
    Petrina Tinslay’s Tomato Tarte Tatin

    Hugh Achtenson’s Individual Lemon Chess Pies with Blackberry Ice Cream (though the ice cream might be enough!)

    …and of course, Mint Juleps!

  • Oh what a fun idea!

    We would tuck into some of Aunt Sissy Si’s Pimento Cheese Sandwiches, for sure.

    And we’d have to have Julie Morelli’s Roasted Squash over Arugula with Goat Cheese and Hazelnuts salad, because I just love this dish, and it lends itself very well to a packed lunch! However I’ll need to substitute pine nuts for the hazelnuts as my picnic partner is allergic.

    Yes, it’s cheese heavy so far, but I really, really love cheese.

    Cold sausage rolls lend themselves very well to picnics, so let’s throw in those of Cerentha Harris. Mmmmm.

    And for sweets, definitely two options. Alexis and Courtney’s Chai Tea Smores, along with Kate Govern’s Assam Chai-der Cake. They will complement each other well.

    And we’ll definitely wash it all down with some of Tara Guerard’s Lowcountry Lemonade!

  • It ‘s a bit rainy today here in Belgium but I would love to go on a pic-nic anyway. The food I chose is easy to carry as well as easy to eat while sitting on the floor.

    I would start my picnic with the Giao Trac’s vietnamese spring roll’s, but I would make them really really small to eat as amuse-bouches. I would also serve some of Matt Armendariz’ Mojito Melon Fruit Skewers with Mojito Mix while drinking Mojitos (what else?).

    Afterward we would have some of Elodie Rambaud’s zucchini tarte, Emma Bowen’s gruyère and herb sconesand aunt Sissy’s pimento cheese sandwich (that I have never tasted but it looks so terrible I am craving it right now). I would also make Lisa DeJohn‘s No Mayo Waldorf salad but to make it easier to eat on a picnic, I would try and serve it on a skewer.

    As desert, I chose Rick Poon’s choc+hazelnut baklava for the chocoholics and Sabra Krock ‘s Apricot tea cakes for those who prefer fruits.

  • My menu is a fall picnic menu, because I love the flavors of fall, maple, pumpkin, walnuts mmm.

    The signature cocktail of my picnic woudl be Morris Kitchens Winter CSA with squash http://www.designsponge.com/2011/03/behind-the-bar-morris-kitchens-winter-csa.html

    The starter would be this delicious Kale apple Salad http://www.designsponge.com/2011/02/in-the-kitchen-with-gena-knoxs-kale-and-apple-salad.html.

    Then comes the starch which would be this sweet potato green been salad. http://www.designsponge.com/2012/04/in-the-kitchen-with-the-hungry-girls-sweet-potatp-green-bean-and-smoked-paprika-salad.html

    That would be followed by the main course would be Spaetzle with cranberries and butternut squash http://www.designsponge.com/2011/02/in-the-kitchen-with-molly-hatchs-spaetzle.html

    That would be followed by dessert which is this Pumpkin Bread http://www.designsponge.com/2007/11/in-the-kitchen-with-lena-corwin.html smothered in Salted Caramel Sauce http://www.designsponge.com/2011/06/in-the-kitchen-with-kathreinerles-salted-caramel-spread.html

    And just as an added bonus before leaving my picnic everyone would get a small box of truffles, because there can never be too much chocolate in a persons life! http://www.designsponge.com/2011/12/in-the-kitchen-with-johnny-battles-truffles.html

    I tried to choose rich fall flavors, because light picnics are for the spring and summer, but in the fall and winter you want rich hearty foods. I think these foods are different enough to give you a variety of flavors, but still compliment each other well, due to their common fall ingredients like nuts, maple, pumpkin, and squash. I chose a drink that was just thick enough. I wanted something a bit thick, but not so thick that you can’t wash down these rich foods, that’s why i didn’t go with the eggnog. Eggnog would have been too filling for this kind of platter.

    Sidenote. It would be decorated with these flowers and herbs http://www.designsponge.com/2010/11/we-like-it-wild-thanksgiving-at-the-cabin.html and set up on a big old wooden table like this one http://www.designsponge.com/2012/04/once-wed-magazine-tuscan-wedding.html but rather then having the flowers they put in the middle I would put the fall ones above and drape them from the wood above where the lights are hanging. and of course there would be some candles, perhaps a fire pit nearby to warm up the whole event!

  • Here’s my perfect summer backyard menu.

    Molly Wizenberg’s Americano – my favorite all time summer cocktail
    Penny de los Santos’ Spicy Heirloom Radish Salad
    Matkonations Falafel
    Green Kitchen Stories’ Portobello Burgers – I made these a number of times and they are delicious and messy – just overwhelmingly good
    and for dessert Lottie + Doof Blackberry Napoleans

    I want to leave work right now and start cooking but I guess I’ll have to wait a bit for the peaches and blackberries to be in season. I’ve loved reading everyone’s menus. I’m bookmarking this page for a summer of menu ideas!

  • Simple summertime backyard fun for grown-ups and kiddos (with the alcohol removed, of course!)

    Raya Carlisle – Guacamole

    Matt Armindariz – Corn Dogs and Mojito Melon Fruit skewers

    Hungry Girls – Sweet Potato, Green Bean, and Smoked Paprika Salad

    Rachel Manley – Almond Yogurt Cake

    Heidi’s Roasted Strawberries

    Tara Guerard – Lowcountry Lemonade

    Spike Mendelsohn’s Milkshake

  • He-who-mows is off to tame a tangle of wisteria vines elsewhere on the property. A picnic would be ideal in the shade of pecan trees when the ‘patch’ is mowed. I would make a simple lunch:
    Aunt sissy Si’s Piemento Cheese sandwiches
    Danielle Tsi’s Egg Salad sandwiches on whoe grain
    Dani Fisher’s Ricotta Cheesecake — with blueberries in the saucebecause that’s what we have in the freezer.

  • After buying a bike this weekend, I’m itching to pedal along the Hudson River up to the Cloisters, my bike basket filled with tasty treats and a good bottle of wine for an early-evening dinner picnic to watch the sun set over the GWB. Sigh…just thinking about it is heavenly!

    Since it’s a bit of a trek, I’d need things that would taste good cold, but still sustain us for the bike back, so I would pack Helen’s Bacon and Onion tarlets with a side of my favorite In the Kitchen With…recipe: Pia’s Pea, mint and feta risotto. Can’t end the day without chocolate, and Jennifer Martine’s salted chocolate chip cookies are unreal. Simple day, sophisticated food…can’t get better!

  • My picnic will take place near my community garden plot on the hill that overlooks Milwaukee. We shall dine on the evening of the Skyline Music Series so we can listen to sweet tunes and watch the sunset over the city.

    Begin with cocktails: Andrew & Carrie’s blackberry smash (made ahead of time)

    Raya Carlisle’s guacamole with homemade tortilla chips

    I would then serve Meeta Khurana’s delicious curry noodles, using seasonal veggies served chilled for picnic convenience.

    Finish with Rosemary Vanilla Bean Truffles (I love truffles!) and wash down the evening with my favorite local beer.

    I hope you can come to my picnic! This is going to be lovely.

  • Bienvenidos! When hosting a get-together, I feel most inspired and joyous as a host when I can create a truly welcoming environment for friends old and new to mingle over great food, better conversation, and feel relaxed and lively all at once. It is in that spirit that I invite you and yours to a Cinco de Mayo backyard picnic. Our well-loved collection hammocks will be strung between each tree and colorful picnic blankets scattered about. And because I believe wholeheartedly in feasting (an unavoidable symptom of growing up in an Italian-American family), you can be sure no one will be going hungry at this picnic! So grab a plate (or two or three) of food from our Cinco de Mayo menu, find a spot in the sun-speckled backyard with a new friend or two, and enjoy!

    When entertaining, I like to create a menu that is cohesive and thematic in flavor tones. To pay homage to some of the traditional flavors of Mexico, I’ve taken some liberty in making a few tweaks to the already-delicious recipes archived within “In the Kitchen With” on Design*Sponge. I think you will find the menu items below both maintain the integrity of the great recipes found on “In the Kitchen With” and also adds a couple of fun twists. Buen provecho!

    Cinco de Mayo Picnic Menu

    •Raya Carlisle’s Guacamole. Served with house-made tortilla chips and an assortment of crudite.
    •Cheryl and Griffith Day’s Shrimp Tacos with Spiced Peach Jam. Served with an assortment of traditional (but optional) taco accompaniments such as lime wedges, diced avocado, tomato, onions and cilantro.
    •Green Kitchen Stories’ Grilled Portobello and Peach Burgers. Served as our vegetarian option, for guests who are seafood-averse, and for all to enjoy. In keeping with our theme, I may tweak the marinade a bit by swapping the rosemary and thyme for a combination of cilantro and parsley and adding a little fresh lime juice in with the lemon as well.
    •Penny De Los Santos’ Spicy Heirloom Radish Salad. What an exciting combination of flavors and spices!
    •The Hungry Girls’ Sweet Potato and Green Bean Salad. The Hungry Girls’ original recipe calls for smoked paprika. For our menu, I’ll be cutting back on the paprika, adding a little ancho chile powder and cumin to the spice profile, and mixing a hint of cilantro in with the parsley the recipe already calls for.
    •Gaby Dalkin’s Spicy Roasted Broccolini Quinoa Salad. Featuring the addition of an assortment of roasted fresh chiles (of varying spiciness.)
    •Tara Guerad’s Lowcountry Lemonade. The peach schnapps in Tara’s lemonade will tie in nicely with the peach undertones in our shrimp tacos and portobello burgers. An option of adding a homemade lime/tequila blanco sorbet float of top of your cocktail will be available. A non-alcoholic version will be offered of course as well.
    •Amy Cotler’s Strawberry Yogurt Soup. Will be deliciously cooling after the heat of the meal!
    •Julia Vandenoever’s Fudge Brownies with Chocolate Frosting. Because we’re feeling decadent! Featuring the addition of a very subtle amount of heat from a little ancho chile powder and the addition of some cinnamon too. Served with the option of Dulce de Leche ice cream.

    Thanks Design*Sponge and Quadrille Books for giving me an excuse to put my creative thinking cap on today for this fun menu planning–I might just have to make this picnic a reality now!

  • My perfect picnic would be casual but feel special (after all, you don’t get to have a picnic every day), look pretty (isn’t that part of the point), and have plenty of foods you could graze on over time… a picnic should feel relaxed and fun, after all!

    So my perfect picnic menu would be:
    Chelsea Fuss’ Summer Elderflower – portable, adorable, and fresh-sounding! And it’s customizable – you can have it with alcohol or without.

    Aunt Sissy Si’s Pimento Cheese Sandwiches – I’m Southern, and pimento cheese was one of my favorites growing up. What’s a picnic without some cheese?

    Chilled Avocado Soup – How cute are these avocado bowls? Fun and yummy, and in a pinch, you could use it as a dip, too! Just pack pita chips or tortilla chips, and you’d be all set.

    Camilla Engman’s Beet Salad – It’s nice to have a salad on a picnic, and this one’s a bit unexpected. Plus, it’s so pretty, and really tasty – earthy and bright at the same time.

    Elodie Rambaud’s Zucchini Tarte – Summery and fun to snack on. (Also, it’ll look awfully pretty on your picnic blanket.)http://www.designsponge.com/2010/04/in-the-kitchen-with-elodie-rambauds-zucchini-tarte.html

    Big Girls, Small Kitchen’s Cookies – Homey and comforting, but also light and sweet and bright. The perfect finish to a fun, casual meal outside with friends!

  • I live in the Philippines, so while my family and friends are possibly too familiar with the sun, we love sunny, yet cool and breezy days outside. Life in the Philippines is very family-centric, so my picnic would be for my family and a handful of my neighboring relatives. I have a number of younger cousins (I’m 23, so they’re mostly much younger than me!) so I would throw a picnic that would cater to both my numerous aunts and uncles as well as the kids who would be there. We usually hold our parties/picnics in front of our house, as we live in a cul-de-sac surrounded by empty fields.

    My personal taste involves light, but tasty food. My mother and I love making and eating sandwiches, so I decided on Tara Guerard’s Shrimp Paste Sandwiches (with Lowcountry lemonade!) and kobekat’s Sloppy Joe Sliders. We call appetizers or finger food ‘pika pika’.

    Pika pika / Finger Food

    For the main course or ‘ulam’, I decided on pasta, because my whole family loves pasta! I also decided on a course that I would be able to make here, since the ingredient selection is much different. I decided on Casey Barber’s Drunken Spaghetti with Clams and Melissa Clark’s Bacon Rosemary and Tomato Pasta. How can I go wrong with these choices?

    Ulam / Main Course

    ‘Panghimagas’ is our local word for dessert. While fruit salad is usually a mainstay in parties here in the Philippines, I decided to go a bit foreign with Jenny and Teri’s No Yeast Cake Doughnuts and Alexis and Courtney’s Chai Tea Smores. I loved the idea of having everyone making their own smores!

    Panghimagas / Dessert

    And for drinks, or ‘inumin’, I decided on Spoon Fork Bacon’s Honey Rum Fizz, since it’d be an excellent companion on a warm summer evening.

    Inumin / Drinks

    And for theme, fiestas are common here, complete with streamers! But I loved the presentation in Summer Fiesta, though I felt a touch of a Summer Popsicle Picnic would better fit the theme and humidity of my home country.


  • Let’s picnic on the green, green grass of Millennium Park in Chicago. We’d listen to the symphony or perhaps it’s “World Music Night!”

    We’d sip: Blood Orange Basil Gimlet

    And have as an appetizer:
    Real Dutch Bitterballen with Chanterelles (and add a fine mustard dip!)

    And then continue on with:
    Herbs de Provence Roast Chicken
    AND Roasted Squash over Arugula with Goat’s Cheese and Hazelnuts

    Then we’d finish our symphony under the stars with:
    Chocolate Hazelnut Baklava with Cardamom Honey Syrup

    A perfect night!

  • I would love to spend an evening with friends and family out in a beautiful garden in summertime. I have been trying my hand at Indian cooking these past few months and would love to share some of the beautiful flavors I have had the chance to discover. I love the thought of mixing fresh, innovative methods with traditional flavors and a lot of the recpies here are perfect for that kind of approach. I imagine a garden full of fireflies– with the smell of jasmine, sweet grass, and magnolias filling the air. I love the thought of lots of bright flowers in bloom, as well as lanterns and lots of tea lights, serving as the decor for the evening, and a fire burning nearby for warmth, light, and… to help with the dessert!

    I would begin by serving Jacinta Moore’s Rose Martini along with a sampling of Johnny Battles’ Coriander Truffles. I would also love to try a rose-cardamom scented version of my own using Johnny’s recipe. After enjoying cocktails and a sweet prelude to the meal I would have a spread of some of my favorite D*Sponge recipes with Indian-inspired tastes. To start, I would serve Jill Donenfeld’s Pondicherry Toasts. Then I would have a casual family style serving of Alyson Fox’s Carrots, Avocado, and Orange with Melina Hammer’s Cumin, Haloumi, Melon, and Avocado salad with lime-mint dressing, and Dan’s Grilled Scallops with Rhubarb Relish. I would serve all of this with Jamie Oliver’s Chili Pepper Chutney, as well as Jill Donenfeld’s Vadouvan Spice Mix.

    To finish, I would have everyone gather by the fire to make their own Chai Tea S’mores, along with generous pourings of Lara Ferroni’s Ginger Shiso Mojitos! I anticipate the evening would devolve into lots of dancing, as expected! The perfect, festive end to an incredible evening…You’re invited!

  • Latin America meets SE Asia in this D*S Picnic!

    I decided to check out the “Make a Drink” link and see what I would find. After seeing the Blood Orange Mojito, I decided to find food that would pair well with the most amazing of drinks (Mojitos are my favorite!). When I spied the Ginger Mojito as well as all of the interesting SE Asian recipes that would marry well with the Latin ingredients found “In the Kitchen” as well, I knew the drink inspiration for this menu would work!

    Appetizer: Nick Mueller’s Petite Sugarcane-Cured Bacon BLT’s withRoasted Tomato Confit & Ginger Aioli

    Drinks: Dia and Patrick’s Sardinian Blood Orange Mojito
    Lara Ferronis’ Ginger Mojito

    Sides: Giao Trac’s Vietnamese Spring Rolls
    Raya Carlisle’s Guacamole (with blue corn tortilla chips)

    Entrees: Meeta Khurana’s
    Red Curry Prawn Noodles
    Big Girls, Small Kitchen’s
    Meatball Subs (see the recipe for the Latin/Asian influence these tasty subs have!!!)

    Dessert: Lisa Neimeth
    Citrus Granita with Shortbread Cookies

    Naturally this picnic would require some unique packaging and a little assembly, but the rewards of deliciousness would be worth it.

  • Mmmm

    I would start with Cyd’s Pickled Fig and Ricotta Tartines

    Then move on to Rigetta Klint’s roasted beet pesto

    and Camille Becerra and Nicole Franzen’s gnocchi with wild mushroom http://www.designsponge.com/2013/03/in-the-kitchen-with-camille-becerra-and-nicole-franzens-gnocchi-with-wild-mushrooms.html

    I wold also lay out some of Yotam ottolenghi’s taleggio roulade

    To round out the meal I would end with another fig dish, Ming Thompsons Layer cake

    I am a huge chocolate fan, and believe no meal is complete without chocolate I would lay out some of Jennifer Martines’s bourbon balls. So when you have finished eating and are sitting there talking for hours there is something to munch on.

    Drinks would be
    French lavender Lemonade mmm

    and if you want a little zing I would go with Elizabeth Morrow’s Rosemary Gin Rickey