It’s official, summer is in full swing and we couldn’t be more excited. After being stuck inside and separated for so long, we’re all craving some quality time in the sun with the people we care about and the snacks we love. We’ve crafted the perfect summer picnic guide for you and your friends. From easy and, as always, crunchy snack recipes to picnic packing do’s and don’ts, we’ve got you covered.
If you know John Wm. Macy’s, you know we’re all about taking every opportunity to enjoy the little things in life with others, and this is no exception. Picnicking pairs the benefits of summertime outdoor dining with the fun of creating a home-cooked meal with the people you love. You can make it potluck style with each friend bringing their own creation or you can all take part in crafting your own personalized menu of picnic snacks. It’s all up to you! More than anything, a picnic is an activity. Whether you’re walking a few blocks down from your apartment to your local park with friends or piling in the car with coolers between your legs to head somewhere new, a picnic is so much more than snacking outside. It’s a way to bring people together and make memories. And with the Fourth of July coming up, it’s the perfect activity for enjoying the weather and making the most of your time with friends and family.
Picnic Packing Do’s and Don’ts
A blanket fit for a picnic
As the unsung hero of the picnic experience, your blanket is truly the centerpiece of your picnicking experience. You want something thick that will give you a nice layer between yourselves and the grass and can be shaken out or thrown in the wash easily. Remember, this blanket needs to hold a lot—snacks, bodies, and plates and more. Avoid fleece or thermal blankets. If you’re in a rainy climate, a waterproof picnic blanket might be best, or if you’re walking a long way to your destination you might want one with a handle. It’s up to you and your picnic crew!
Supplies for the sunshine
While the summertime weather is practically asking for a picnic, don’t underestimate the sun! Make sure you stock up on sunscreen and water to keep yourselves cool! We know how time can fly when you’re spending it with your favorite people and some great snacks (especially the last part!)
Say yes to picnic prep!
Speaking of snacks—our favorite part of the picnic—picnic preparation is your friend. We recommend doing all the chopping and storing the night before or in the morning if you’re doing an afternoon excursion. Leaving as little work for yourself on the blanket as possible will give you loads more time to relax and enjoy everyone’s company.
Picnic Snacks with the Perfect Crunch
This is the part we’ve all been waiting for, the main event of the picnic experience and every gathering with good friends—the snacks. With summer in mind, we’ve created a picnic menu that’s light, refreshing, and full of flavor with a balance of sweet and savory. We’ve also kept the space in your picnic basket in mind, so we’ve come up with several simple and delicious recipes that have overlapping ingredients and bold, unique flavors.
Goat Cheese & Parsley Spread
With summer comes loads of fresh herbs that everyone should take full advantage of. With no cooking required and easy prep and storage the day before, our Goat Cheese & Parsley spread is a perfect portable picnic snack. Much like our crunchy snacks, this recipe only contains natural, real ingredients. The combination of creamy goat cheese, fresh herbs, and garlic pairs perfectly with the olive oil and sea salt flavors in our Grilled Crostini Toasts. This is the perfect go-to light snack to start off your picnic.
Goat Cheese, Strawberry & Honey Spread
The best thing about our Grilled Crostini Toasts—besides their unbeatable crunch, of course—is all the creativity they allow. It’s hard to believe you can go from a savory snack to a sweet one with only a few different ingredients, but it’s true! If you’re making the parsley spread as well, we recommend putting some goat cheese aside and slicing up your strawberries beforehand. The sweetness of those fresh berries pairs perfectly with the goat cheese flavor, and a little drizzle of honey makes for a truly mouth-watering snack that doubles as a dessert!
Miniature Avocado Toasts
This next recipe goes out to all the avocado toast lovers out there. At John Wm. Macy, we believe in making everything snackable, and so we’ve made your favorite breakfast item into a bite-sized picnic snack. Just layer some avocado over one of our Grilled Crostini Toasts and sprinkle some everything bagel seasoning over the top for a healthy and simple snack. This is another recipe that is easy to prepare beforehand, but probably best not to do the night before as you want that avocado to taste as fresh as possible.
Hummus & Veggies
Looking to add some more color to your picnic basket? We recommend slicing up some cucumbers, bell peppers, and carrots to dip in some hummus or another dip of your choosing! And if you’re looking for anything else to dip, we highly recommend trying a few Crostini Toasts or CheeseSticks.
Charcuterie On the Go
If you know us, you know we love a good charcuterie board. Not only are they full of flavor, but they can also be full of creativity and completely personal to your Crunch Crew’s tastes. Charcuterie boards aren’t always the most portable snack option, but we picked out a few options that you can prepare easily and enjoy on your blanket.
Be sure to pack up your cheese and meat in a sealed container with an ice pack to keep it fresh. This will keep it fresh for longer and keep away unwanted moisture. We recommend trying our Asiago & Cheddar or our Rosemary & Cheddar CheeseCrisps with cheese and savory meats for some variation and more sophisticated flavors.
If you want to add some color to your portable charcuterie without any worries about temperature, we recommend packing some cold roasted vegetables such as zucchini, eggplant, and asparagus. These add nutrients, lots of flavor, and will be delicious whether you eat them cold or at room temperature.
Another great pre-made charcuterie snack is one of our CheeseSticks wrapped in a piece of prosciutto ham. Be sure to store these in a container beforehand so that your meat is fresh when you’re ready to eat. This is an easy way to have your charcuterie flavors ready to go without any work once you’re on your blanket and ready to relax. All you have to do is take a bite and enjoy the crunch!
Between the cold and sweet taste of the watermelon and the energizing hints of mint and basil, this salad was practically made for a hot day out in July. No cooking required on this one either and only a few seasonal ingredients: watermelon, red onion, basil, and mint. Feta and balsamic vinegar are great additions here, but once again it’s up to you and your picnic crew. Whatever you don’t use for your salad you can slice up and serve as another chilled and delicious finger food snack!
This is another great option if you’re looking for something a little more substantial to serve on your blanket. With loads of veggies, different types of beans, and pasta, this is sure to fill you up with healthy ingredients without leaving you feeling too heavy. And, this is yet another recipe that requires no cooking at all and can be served cold or room temperature, making it a perfect picnic meal. As with any salad, we highly recommend sprinkling our CheeseCrisps or CheeseSticks over the top to add a little savory crunch.
Thanks for gathering around with us - we hope you picnic soon and enjoy spending the holiday with friends and family you love. Next time you head out for a picnic be sure to tag us on Instagram @ johnwmmacys! Happy picnicking, Crunch Crew!