40 Perfect Side Dishes for Summer Picnics

A few weeks ago I shared a collection of Over 30 Delicious Recipes for Easy Picnic Food with you, just in time for National Picnic Day.

With summer warming up, we’re already in summer picnic mode and couldn’t be happier about that! Not only are picnics a great way to enjoy the outdoors, they are a fun way to enjoy family time most months out of the year. Which means the more picnic food options we have, the better! So today I figured you could use 40 Perfect Picnic Sides to add to your picnic menu options. Enjoy!

 Quick Dips and Spreads for Crackers and Fruits and Veggies, Oh my!

  1. Pesto Bruschetta Spread
  2. Sun Dried Tomato Artichoke Hummus
  3. White Bean and Garlic Hummus
  4. Roasted Garlic Hummus
  5. 7 Layer Dip (In little jars)
  6. Guacamole for Chips
  7. Homemade Salsa
  8. Fusion Dip for Veggies
  9. Tomato Basil Dip for Crackers
  10. Honey Peanut Butter dip
  11. Cream Cheese Trio Appetizers for crackers

Appetizers & Snacks & Tasty Little Treats

  1. Hard Boiled Eggs
  2. Huli Huli Bacon Chicken Bites
  3. Almost Homemade Pickles
  4. Kale Chips
  5. Sweet Heat Slow Cooker Chex Mix
  6. Country Bob’s Tangy Chex Mix

A few More Traditional Picnic Favorites

  1. Chicken Salad
  2. Potato Salad
  3. Baked Beans

Pasta & Grain Salads for Light Summer Dining

  1. Perfect Pasta Salad + Tips and Tricks
  2. Another version of Pasta Salad
  3. Broccoli Tomato Tortellini Salad
  4. Bacon Tomato Ranch Pasta Salad
  5. Wild Rice Salad

Veggies Salads for those who prefer Healthy Picnicking

  1. Asian Broccoli Salad
  2. Ranch Veggie Salad
  3. Tomato Artichoke Heart Salad
  4. Summer Corn Salad
  5. Orange Red Onion Salad
  6. Cucumbers and Onions
  7. Cucumber Tomato Salad
  8. Green bean and Tomato Salad
  9. Creamy Italian Herb Cucumbers & Tomatoes

Slaws for Days

  1. Hawaiian Coleslaw
  2. Quick Coleslaw
  3. Tomato Jalapeno Slaw

Fruit Salads as sweet as dessert

  1. Easy Apple Salad
  2. Easy Fruit Salad
  3. Sliced Apples (with a no-browning trick!)
  4. Wild Watermelon

So how about you? Do you have a favorite side dish that you always have to make for picnics? I would love to hear what it is in the comments below. And in the meantime … Happy Picnicking!

More Picnicking Resources

 

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Every recipe you need to throw a Kentucky Derby Party

It’s all about the Run for the Roses here in Kentucky these days! I learned this week that over 160,000 decked out gents and ladies with hats beyond your wildest imagination, show up for the big event.  And it’s not just the hats, horses and spectators that are part of the tradition, but some very specific Derby food dishes too. Between the Kentucky Oaks and the Derby itself, there are 127,000 mint juleps served at Churchill Downs! And don’t worry if you can’t make it to the Derby, there are plenty of parties going on all over the state. If you’ve never hosted a Kentucky Derby party, then maybe this is your year. Even if it’s just a special menu for the family and a few friends, I’ve got you covered today with a few favorites for your own Kentucky Derby Party. But know that once you try some of these Kentucky-inspired favorites, you may just want to serve them all year long!

The Southern Living Derby Day Party  is a guide to all things Derby party, along with a few fashion tips too!

Appetizers and Main Dishes

  • Sliders are always a great party option because they’re easy to hold, can feed a crowd and there are so many flavor options.  I love Chicken Cordon Bleu sliders, though they aren’t a traditional Derby food!
  • Kentucky Beer Cheese is pretty much exactly what its name implies and is another staple that you’ll hear about frequently here in the Commonwealth.
  • “Fried” Chicken is always a nice idea, especially when it’s a Chick-fil-a copycat chicken tender, and don’t forget your favorite dipping sauces too!

  • The Kentucky Hot Brown Bake is a new twist on one of the first sandwiches you’ll be introduced to here in the bluegrass. It doesn’t take but a few bites to see why the combination of turkey, bacon, tomato and cheesy goodness is such a popular request!
  • Country Ham & Biscuits are a classic and this recipe from myrecipes.com suggests offering mustard blends and flavored butter to make them even tastier.

  • And what’s a derby without a spectacular hat? This Derby Cheese Hat from myrecipes.com uses cheese rounds and is sure to be crowned the favorite hat of the entire Derby when served with an assortment of crackers and maybe even some special jams and jellies.

Side Dishes

  • Scooped and chilled Watermelon always seems to be a favorite for any meal, or snack for that matter, as the weather gets warmer. It’s just as refreshing as a glass of water, but has much more flavor! If you feel adventurous, kick it up a notch with a bit of chili powder!
  • My Layered Coleslaw uses coleslaw instead of lettuce and makes for a crispier version of the traditional seven-layer salad.
  • These Goat Cheese Biscuits were inspired by those served at Table Fifty-Two in Chicago and are such a delightful combination of herbs and goat cheese inside and buttery Parmesan topping.

Desserts

  • These Sweet Tea popsicles have all the refreshing flavor of an Arnold Palmer, but in a popsicle. Perfect for a warm race day!

  • You obviously can’t have a Derby party without a Hat shaped Cake, and with its fresh flowers and ribbon embellishments, you don’t even have to be an expert cake decorator.
  • To round out the dessert section how about some Red Velvet “Run for the Roses” cupcakes? This recipe was originally created for one of Kentucky’s other great loves, the UK Wildcats. Simply switch out the blue food coloring for red and voila, you have “Run for the Roses” cupcakes!
  • Individual pies make in mini pie pans or even hand pies are great for large gatherings when you don’t want to be too fussy about place settings and all that formality.

  • Did you know that the name “Derby Pie” is actually copyrighted? It’s true! When a friend gave me her Kentucky Nut Pie version I just had to try it. It was definitely a winner in our house and disappeared in no time!
  • There are lots of recipes for Bourbon balls and those are a big deal here in Kentucky. I’ve heard of several people who include a Kentucky Bourbon Trail tour while they are here for the derby. One of the favorite places for such treats in town is Old Kentucky Chocolates. It’s a good idea to include a few pre-made menu items sometimes when you’re throwing a party, so why not some of these!

Beverages

  • Mint Juleps are another Derby tradition, and if bourbon is your thing, Southern Living has this  Mint Julep Sweet Tea recipe. If, on the other hand, bourbon isn’t your thing then you can leave that out and enjoy a sweet mint tea.

  • Kids of all ages are sure to enjoy these Frozen Pink Lemonades Of course if pink lemonade isn’t their favorite flavor or color, then just replace it with their favorite tea, juice or soft drink.

In case you haven’t marked your calendar yet, post time for the Derby is scheduled for 6:34 pm, Eastern time. Be sure to fill your plate with goodies before that, because if you step out for 2 minutes you’ll likely miss the entire thing!\

Pin this!

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Fried Green Tomatoes (and many other Southern foods too!)

Our summer road trip from the kitchen series has taken us to New England and the Mid-Atlantic states.  Now we’re in the South!

I live in Kentucky, so I have lots of Southern food on EaH.  But somehow, I had not done a post on fried green tomatoes.  I don’t make them very often, but they are oh-so-good.  I like to eat them on a sandwich with a slice of ripe tomato and mayonnaise.  Some people like them with ketchup on a sandwich or just on a plate.

Any way you eat them, they are full of summery, Southern goodness!

You have to use an iron skillet to make them right.  They’ll use a lot more oil than you think they will. Or use Crisco, if you really want to do it right.  (That makes me think of the Crisco scene in the book/movie The Help.)  They also take longer to make than you would think, because you’re working in batches.  Even though it doesn’t take too long for each batch to brown, the whole process takes a while.

It’s all worth it though!  Pour yourself a glass of sweet tea and sip while you cook.

Here’s what you’ll need:  [Read more…]

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Menu, Grocery List, Recipes – Year 3 Week 34

I hope you had a great weekend. We got some much needed rain over the weekend. Things are looking greener and I think there might be hope that the small trees in our yard will live.  All the leaves turned brown, but there’s evidence of new growth now.

This week’s menu includes some re-purposed leftovers.  Grill BBQ Ham Steaks one day and use the leftovers to make Ham and Pineapple Fried Rice.

As always, you get 6 dinners and 1 dessert.  Serving suggestions are included in bold on the recipes and in curly brackets {} on the grocery list.

Pizza Steak Sandwiches in the Slow Cooker, Cucumbers and Onions, french fries

BBQ Ham Steak on the Grill, Microwave Corn on the Cob, Hoe Cakes

Ham and Pineapple Fried Rice, watermelon

Chicken Enchiladas, salad, chips & salsa

Steak Burgers with Red Wine Onions, Fresh Green Beans, baked potatoes (fix in slow cooker)

Fire Roasted Tomato Sauce with Two Cheeses over Ravioli, salad

No Bake Peanut Butter Fluff Pie

 To print, click here:  menu year 3 week 34

Menu, Grocery List, Recipes – Year 3 Week 33 – Lots of slow cooker meals

By popular demand (according to a quick survey on the EaH Facebook page), I’m now publishing new menus on Sunday nights instead of Monday mornings!

This menu has a lot of slow cooker meals to keep things simple and your kitchen cool.

A couple of notes:

– Make the Zesty Chicken before you make Hawaiian BBQ Sandwiches and you can use leftover chicken instead of grilled chicken for the sandwiches.  Or put the extra chicken in the freezer to have for casseroles at another time.

– One pineapple should be enough for both the Hawaiian BBQ Sandwiches and the Grilled Pineapple Dessert.  Or you can use pineapple rings for the sandwiches.

Here’s what is on the menu this week:

Baked Chicken with Summer Vegetables in the Slow Cooker, angel hair, salad

Salsa Verde Steak in the Slow Cooker, tortillas & fixings, chips and salsa

Ravioli in the Slow Cooker, salad, garlic bread

Hawaiian BBQ Sandwiches, fresh fruit, French fries

Veggie Pie, fresh fruit

Zesty Crockpot Chicken with Couscous, favorite veggie

Grilled Pineapple Dessert

To print, click here:  menu year 3 week 33

This menu is part of Menu Plan Monday at The Organizing Junkie.

 

 

Summer Slow Cooker Meals – Beat the Heat in the Kitchen

 

If you love using your slow cooker, check out our Weekly Meal Plans.  We offer a plan that is all slow cooker meals.  Keep it simple this summer and let us do your planning for you.

75 Days of Summer Slow Cooker Meals EatAtHomeCooks

Starting in June 2013, I’m doing a series of 75 Days of Summer Slow Cooker Recipes. Follow along, by clicking here.

I love using my slow cooker in the summer.  We’ve even been known to use it on vacation.  In fact, I had a dream a few years ago that we were in Magic Kingdom in Disney World and I was pushing a stroller with a crockpot in in, looking for a place to plug it in.   I was a bit worried about all the food my Mom had planned to take on vacation with us.

The slow cooker is also a great way to cook without heating up the kitchen.  I do tend to make different foods in the summer, than in winter.  Here are some of my favorites:  [Read more…]