how to plan the perfect picnic

5 PERFECT PICNIC RECIPES – How to Plan the Perfect Picnic Continued…

Today’s article is the companion post to my HOW TO PLAN THE PERFECT PICNIC  article published earlier this week.  I took a deep-dive into the subject of how to plan the perfect picnic.  And today, I’m bringing you 5 Perfect Picnic Recipes. 

Last time I discussed how to choose the perfect site, what supplies to pack, and even activities for your guests.  And then I share someperfect picnic recipes of my favorite professional catering tips for throwing an outdoor event too.

And in today’s post I’m sharing the perfect picnic recipes that are a few of my favorites to take along for a day of outdoor fun:

  • Mediterranean Chicken Focaccia Sandwich
  • Summer Shrimp and Soba Rolls with Plum Sauce
  • Lobster Roll Sliders
  • Fruit Salad with Orange Poppyseed Sauce
  • Smoked Salmon Dippers with Grissini 


But, as a true Lifestyle Diva, I’ve also done most of the planning for you!  Check out my PICNIC PLANNER PDF below!



perfect picnic planner pdf pages in yellow graphic

If you want a convenient way to plan your perfect picnic, you’ll want to download your own copy of my Picnic Planner PDF after you finish reading this article.

When it comes to how to plan the perfect picnic, my 9 page Picnic Planner literally walks you through the entire processAs you work your way through each of the Picnic Planner’s pages, your perfect picnic will start to take shape.

I’ve also included shopping list pages for your picnic groceries and supplies.  That way all your picnic planning notes and information will be in one handy place.  How fab will that be?   And when you print out these 5 Perfect Picnic Recipes, you’ll be ready to fill out your grocery list too!



Since I’ve been a professional party planner for so many years, I can’t imagine throwing a gathering without some kind of decor.  It can be a theme, a palette of colors, or even some fabulous party printables!  So that’s exactly why I’ve created a bundle of fabulous Perfect Picnic Party Decor Printables, especially for you!

  • Guest Cup Name Labelsperfect picnic party printables
  • Picnic Menu Tent Cards
  • Dessert “Treat” Bag Stickers
  • Picnic Condiment 5 piece Hang Tag Set


 Just download and print the FREE PDFs, and you’re in business. 


How to Plan the Perfect Picnic + Picnic Planner Printable PDF

Want your own set of PICNIC DÉCOR PRINTABLES, but you’re not on our list yet?

Why not join in on the fun!  Fill out the form below and I’ll send you a copy as a thank you for joining the IFAFL Email Subscriber List.

As a Ingredients For A Fabulous Life Subscriber, you’ll also get instant access to the IFAFL Resource Library and receive our twice-weekly emails.  What are you waiting for?  You don’t want to miss out on anything fabulous, do you? 





mediterranean chicken focaccia sandwich

Taking a trip to the Mediterranean coast of Europe over a weekend isn’t always possible. But you can always bring the flavors of the coastal region of Europe to your table!  This Mediterranean Chicken Focaccia Sandwich is a recipe that comes together really fast and really should be made ahead of time.

That makes it a great choice for a picnic!  The sandwich spends time in the refrigerator, weighed down by heavy cans or a cast iron skillet.  It’ll be all set to package up and transport to your picnic site, ready to be unwrapped and sliced when it’s time to serve.


Layers of delectable ingredients tucked into an herbed loaf of focaccia is the perfect way to celebrate the robust flavors of the Mediterranean!

Dig into this Summer meal on a loaf of bread: perfect picnic recipes

  • Assorted gourmet greens
  • Fresh sliced mozzarella cheese
  • Grilled or roasted chicken breast
  • Mediterranean vegetable relish
  • Creamy Balsamic Dressing


The vegetable relish contains a combination of ripe, juicy tomatoes, crisp cucumbers, red onion and Kalamata olives. 

Can you just taste it drizzled with some of the Creamy Balsamic Dressing?

And you notice that the dressing is white, right?  How can that be if it has balsamic vinegar in it?  Aha!  Balsamic vinegar also comes in a white variety!  Now you can make creamy dressings that don’t turn out an awful shade of “mud”!

The dressing is drizzled over both the relish and chicken layers, so it adds a ton of flavor to the sandwich.  You want to add enough dressing to moisten the ingredients, but not so much to make your bread soggy!  Don’t be too generous, you can always add more if you serve the remaining dressing on the side.





Summer rolls are really just a “raw” version of fried Spring or Egg rolls.  But Summer Shrimp and Soba Rolls are so much more healthy, and can be customized with all the ingredients you love.   You’d be amazed at the list of ingredients you can put into a Summer roll, like these:

  • Cucumberssummer shrimp and soba rolls
  • Carrots
  • Bell peppers
  • Avocado
  • Cooked shrimp or crab
  • Shredded red cabbage
  • Boston or leaf lettuce
  • Cooked ahi tuna
  • Noodles (vermicelli, rice or soba noodles)
  • Red onion strips
  • Water chestnuts
  • Kimchi



The most important thing is to have all your filling ingredients ready and waiting.  I like to place all the filling ingredients on a large cutting board or rimmed baking sheet to make assembly fast and efficient. 

When you’re choosing the ingredients you want to include in your Summer rolls, always add some crunch like carrots, cukes and peppers.  Also consider the colors you’re including so that you’ll have pretty vegies showing through the translucent rice paper wrappers.

If you want your Summer rolls to be a bit more substantial, add a protein like my Summer Shrimp and Soba Rolls have.  I like to slice my shrimp in half lengthwise, so I can have the “pretty” side showing through the wrappers.  If you put in whole shrimp, they can made the roll fall apart when biting into it.   Remember that you should thinly julienne most vegetables to help keep your delicate rolls from breaking. 


perfect picnic recipes rice paper wrapper prep

I go over all the ingredients, preparation of the rice paper wrappers and assembly in greater detail in the recipe post.  I’ve even included a You Tube video demo to help you too! Click this link to get the recipe for: SUMMER SHRIMP AND SOBA ROLLS WITH PLUM SAUCE



perfect picnic recipes


I created this recipe for Smoked Salmon Dippers with Grissini after looking at pictures of our European vacation from last Spring.

We had enjoyed a lovely al fresco snack high on a cliff on the coast of Sicily one sunny afternoon.  And while I was taking a walk down memory lane, I came upon the picture the waiter had taken of us.  I was greedily scooping up a creamy concoction of smoked salmon and vegies with a crunchy breadstick.  I have to admit, I looked really happy frozen in that moment in time!smoked salmon dippers with grissini ingredients

So, after remember how fabulous that glorious afternoon was, I set about trying to recreate the recipe and came up with Smoked Salmon Dippers with Grissini.  I’m not sure how similar it tastes to the original, but I will tell you, it turned out fabulous!


I remembered that the creamy sauce in Sicily’s version of this dish had a deep tang that I definitely had to reproduce.

And having over 30 years of catering and party planning under my belt, I knew they had used creme fraiche.  It’s got a distinguishable taste and tang that’s a perfect foil to the rich smokiness of the salmon. 

To give my sauce more body and even a little more tanginess, I blended cream cheese into the mixture.  With some plain Greek yogurt and a nice hit of prepared horseradish, the sauce turned out to be even better than the original!  

One caveat, you’ll need to make your creme fraiche at least 24 hours before starting this recipe.  It takes that long sitting on your counter to develop the creamy, tangy flavors and thickness.

But, not to worry, I give you instructions on how to make creme fraiche on the printable recipe card at the bottom of the recipe post:   SALMON DIPPERS WITH GRISSINI



fruit salad with orange poppyseed sauce


One of my favorite combinations is citrus and poppyseeds!  Who doesn’t love a thick slice of glazed lemon-poppyseed bread with their morning cup of java?

With that in mind, I created a fabulous sauce that mimics that same taste combination, except with oranges.  My Fruit Salad with Orange Poppyseed Sauce is delectable, with it’s creamy base provided by cream cheese, yogurt and a big hit of orange juice concentrate.  That’s the real secret to getting a deep orange flavor into a dip or sauce!

This recipe comes together in just a few minutes and the sauce will keep in the refrigerator for up to a week.  Try using the leftovers on ice cream or a slice of cake!

You can check out the recipe by clicking this link:  FRUIT SALAD WITH ORANGE POPPYSEED SAUCE



lobster roll sliders in metal trays with shells and mallat

What’s Summer without having some melted butter dribbling down you chin while enjoying a fabulous lobster dinner?

But, wait, isn’t it even better while enjoying an incredible Summer view?

You pick your favorite picnic spot, and I’ll give you the recipe for the Lobster Roll Sliders you need to take with you!

A great lobster roll doesn’t have that many ingredients.   It lets the lobster’s fresh, briny flavors shine through, while providing a bit of crunch and just a touch of mayo.  And that mean you must use the very best mayonnaise you can find, or make your own.

It’s really not that hard at all, and with the newest blenders, it whips up in just a few moments.

Google the instructions and do yourself a huge favor and learn how to make mayonnaise.  Your sandwiches will be forever grateful!

LET’S TALK BREAD – Hawaiian Slider Rolls with Caraway Seeds

What makes these Lobster Roll Sliders a real taste sensation is the complementary sweetness of a Hawaiian “style” baked roll. 

The soft and slightly sweet rolls play off the natural sweetness of lobster meat in the most wonderful of ways.  It’s truly an inspired taste combination!

Especially when you butter the tops of the grilled rolls and add a sprinkle of caraway seeds.  Then they’re slipped under the broiler for a few moments to add just a hint of crunch to each bite.

Your ticket to seafood heaven is waiting for you!  GET THE RECIPE BY CLICKING THE LINK HERE:   LOBSTER ROLL SLIDERS



picnic planner pdf coverI’ve taken every impediment from making excuses!  You’ve got a 9 Page PICNIC PLANNER, PICNIC PRINTABLES AND NOW, 5 PERFECT PICNIC RECIPES!  

If that’s not enough to stir your enthusiasm for throwing a perfect picnic before Summer ends, I don’t know what is!

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As a Ingredients For A Fabulous Life Subscriber, you’ll also get instant access to the IFAFL Resource Library and receive our twice-weekly emails.  What are you waiting for?  You don’t want to miss out on anything fabulous, do you? 

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