10 Awesome Picnic Recipes

10 Awesome Picnic Recipes

10 Awesome Picnic Recipes

Okay, I promise I maybe might stop talking about picnics for a few days after this. But seriously, you guys, they’re the best. We have a very small apartment and no dining table, so our local beach park is where we do most of our entertaining. It’s always awesome. Here are ten recipes that are either easily portable or can be cooked outdoors. And did I mention they’re all completely awesome?

Passion Fruit Green Tea from Awesome on 20

Of course, I prefer to drink sparkling wine or cider at a picnic, but that’s not technically legal in some parks. Passion Fruit Green Tea is super refreshing and can be enjoyed by everybody. Don’t have a sealable pitcher? Just rinse out and reuse a two liter soda bottle. And if you wanted to add a little vodka or rum to your tea, I won’t tell.

Fancy Pants Sausage Rolls with Ham and Cheddar | How to be Awesome on $20 a Day

Open up a container of Fancy Pants Sausage Rolls with ham and cheddar at your next picnic. Check your watch. See how long it takes for them to disappear. If it takes more than 5 minutes, your guests are just being excessively polite.

Easy Peanut Butter Hummus from Awesome on 20

A bag of chips and a bowl of Easy Peanut Butter Hummus is going to be so awesome at your next picnic. You can pretend to be healthy for a minute before you eat a juicy cheeseburger while also eating something ever so tasty.

Jalapeno Deviled Eggs from Awesome on 20 Put a container of Jalapeno Deviled Eggs in your cooler. I think it’s what my mom would do. I just can’t think of one good reason to not have deviled eggs at a party. Like, how do you even know you’re having a party without them?

Mini Pork Pies | How to be Awesome on $20 a Day

Mini Pork Pies are basically made to travel. We’re always trying to add a bit of English flare to all of our occasions, and I’m told pork pies are sort of the equivalent of deviled eggs in the UK. I don’t think you can have a party without them. Since you can’t just pick them up at every store here in the states, you can now make your own. 

Cuban Burgers from Awesome on 20

Okay, you’re going to need to bring a roll of foil with you to cook these Cuban Burgers on the grill, but seriously, that’s not too much to ask. You should also add pickles if you like them. I happen to think pickles are gross, but I love everything else about this burger, especially the spicy spread that gets slathered on the ciabatta. 

Jalapeno Cream Cheese Stuffed Burgers | How to be Awesome on $20 a Day

Another amazing burger option is this Jalapeno Cream Cheese Stuffed Burger. Cheese on the inside, cheese on the outside, all your favorite toppings, a bit of a spicy kick. I’m in love.

Southwest Pasta Salad Southwest Pasta Salad is one of my very favorite picnic side dishes. You can make this well ahead of time and then throw it in your cooler before you head to your picnic. The more the spicy vinaigrette soaks into the pasta, the more flavorful it becomes. 

Dill Potato Salad by Awesome on 20

You could go to the store and pick up a tub of mushy, processed potato salad. Or you could make your own Dill Potato Salad from scratch. Fresh herbs, Yukon Gold potatoes, creamy dressing, and crunchy green onions are going to be so much better. Again, you can make it the day before, and it will just keep getting better. Do everyone a favor. Make this.

White Chocolate Chip Brownies | How to be Awesome on $20 a Day

I cannot possibly hope to find the words to adequately express how amazingly buttery/fudgy these White Chocolate Chip Brownies actually are. All I can say is, you might as well not bother putting the lid back on the box. Just keep eating.

Happy picnicking, friends. See you at the beach!

 

Picnic Cheese Plate | How to be Awesome on $20 a Day

Picnic Cheese Plate

Picnic Cheese Plate | How to be Awesome on $20 a Day

Monday is Memorial Day, and I know this will sound completely cliche, but I can’t even handle it. How can summer be here already? Wasn’t it just Spring Break like five minutes ago? I think I’ve been working too much. 

Now that summer is unofficially almost here, that means we get to start eating all of our food outside. Picnics and cookouts and barbecues and beach parties and more dining al fresco than you even knew was possible. I’m so ready. Truth be told, we do that all the time in Hawaii, but I’m ready for everybody else to join in. It’s time to get yourself a cute new hat, kids. We’re going outside.

Picnic Cheese Plate | How to be Awesome on $20 a Day

There’s no recipe today, per se, but I have something just as awesome! Cheese!!! Constructing a cheese plate can get really expensive. My initial plan was to try to make one for $20 or less, but sadly, I failed. We may have snuck in under the radar if we had left out Geoff’s bacon cheddar spread, but we love him, so we’ll let it slide. I think if I didn’t live in the middle of the ocean where a bag of grapes costs $9, I could really make it happen. Here are a few tips for making an awesome Picnic Cheese Plate.

  • My first tip for creating a low cost cheese plate is to raid your fridge. I frequently will buy a certain type of cheese for a recipe, but not use all of it up. Put out your remnants for snacking at your next picnic. I used a creamy Havarti for this cheese plate. And don’t forget to check your half empty jam jars. One of them will likely work nicely with a small wedge of brie or other double cream cheese.
  • Skip the expensive fancy meats like proscuitto and embrace summer sausage. I picked up a small turkey summer sausage which had way less calories than the beef version, and it was only $4. 
  • I pretty much only eat grapes if they’re on a cheese plate. Hopefully you live in a place where you can pick some up for cheap.
  • Go with the cheap crackers. If you’re trying to save money, you want the cheese to be the star of the show anyway, so direct your money to Ritz or Town House Crackers. They’re buttery and awesome, but also neutral and cheap.
  • If it were up to me, I would have swapped out that bacon cheddar spread for an herbed goat cheese, but the right cheeses for your plate are just the cheeses you love. Think about having different textures and flavor profiles. Take your time at the cheese case to find the cheaper versions of the cheeses you love, or buy a smaller portion. 
  • Finally, if you’re going to be taking your cheese outside, I recommend pre-slicing as much as you can. I arranged the sausage and Havarti on the board before we left the house, wrapped it all tightly in plastic wrap, and stored it in the fridge until we were ready to go. I’d also recommend pre-cutting your grape vine into smaller stems so you can easily fill up empty spaces on your board once you’ve added the crackers, jam, and other cheeses.

Picnic Cheese Plate | How to be Awesome on $20 a Day

Those were a lot of words about cheese. I just need you to know that you don’t need to be a bajillionaire to serve a perfectly lovely cheese plate at your next get together. You’ll be able to find plenty of stuff within your price range. And you don’t have to do any cooking, so you can take it easy and hang out at your own party. And you also get to eat cheese. Awesome!

Pillow Dogs | How to be Awesome on $20 a Day

Pillow Dogs

Pillow Dogs | How to be Awesome on $20 a Day

By now, you may have noticed that I have the palate of a third grader. I can’t handle bitter flavors, and the texture of most fruits and vegetables is unbearable. I like kid food, and I don’t care. So what if I’m not sophisticated? Sophisticated people were never going to hang out with me anyway, so I might as well eat what I like because before you know, eating will be over. That’s why today we’re making Pillow Dogs.

Pillow Dogs | How to be Awesome on $20 a Day

This “recipe” is something I’ve been making since Emily was little. Since the days when I watched Food Network for hours and hours on end. Everything I know about cooking I learned from The Food Network. This was one of those things that’s so stupid easy, you can watch it on TV once, never look at the recipe, and make it whenever you have an outrageous mustard craving. For me, that’s fairly frequently.

The cool thing is, you can get everyone in on the action. Pillow Dogs lend themselves well to assembly line style cooking, so get some little hands in the kitchen to make the work, if not easier, definitely more fun.  And don’t worry about whether or not they stay sealed up in the oven. Pillows, not blankets. It’s fine. Serve them up at a party, or if you’re me, for dinner and then again for breakfast.

Pillow Dogs | How to be Awesome on $20 a Day

Remember how awesome it was to be a kid? Why not relive that at dinner time? Eat some kid’s food. Make Pillow Dogs. Have fun at the table.

Pillow Dogs
Yields 16
Puffy, savoury, irresistible, these Pillow Dogs are perfect for the kid in everyone.
Write a review
Print
Prep Time
10 min
Cook Time
15 min
Prep Time
10 min
Cook Time
15 min
Ingredients
  1. 1 container refrigerated biscuit dough
  2. Approximately 1/2 cup shredded cheddar cheese
  3. 16 Li'l Smokies
Instructions
  1. Preheat your oven to 375 and cover a baking sheet with parchment paper.
  2. Cut each biscuit in half. Place the half biscuit in the palm of your hand and give it a good smash to flatten it out a bit. Place a pinch of cheese in the center of the dough, then place a smokie on top. Pinch the dough up around the smokie and place it on the baking sheet. Repeat with all our dough.
  3. Bake for 11-14 minutes, or until your biscuit dough is as golden as you like.
  4. Allow to cool slightly and serve with ridiculous amounts of mustard, if you're into that.
Adapted from Sandra Lee
Adapted from Sandra Lee
How to be Awesome on $20 a day http://awesomeon20.com/
Cheddar Quick Bread | How to be Awesome on $20 a Day

Cheddar Quick Bread

Cheddar Quick Bread | How to be Awesome on $20 a Day

The weekend was lovely. No plans, no pressure. Long naps. The sun made an appearance and we managed to take our jackets off. We finished projects. We shut our brains down. We took it easy, and it was lovely.

But now Monday is here and it’s back to real life. People expect you to act like an adult. It’s good, and we’re grateful for it, but you can’t wear sweatpants or drink gin, so it’s maybe not quite as good as the day before. You need to have something to look forward to when you get back home. Something to immerse you back into that weekend calm again, if even for a few moments.

Cheddar Quick Bread | How to be Awesome on $20 a Day

May I suggest cheese and carbs? Or more specifically, Cheddar Quick Bread. This recipe comes together in like five minutes then just sits in the oven and does its thing for a bit. When it’s all over, you have a dense, moist loaf of bread simply loaded with cheese. 

You could quite happily shove this in your face as is, but you could also combine it with all sorts of awesomeness. I’m thinking of toasting mine in a skillet with butter then stacking it with crispy bacon, a fried egg, and a dash of hot sauce. It might also be excellent zapped in the microwave for a few seconds and then slathered with apple butter.

Cheddar Quick Bread | How to be Awesome on $20 a Day

A few minutes of minimal effort will give you something to get excited about for several days. What could possibly be bad about that?

Cheddar Quick Bread
Serves 12
Cheddar Quick Bread is moist and loaded with cheese and takes about five minutes of actual effort to make.
Write a review
Print
Prep Time
5 min
Cook Time
40 min
Prep Time
5 min
Cook Time
40 min
Ingredients
  1. 2 cups all-purpose flour
  2. 2 teaspoons baking soda
  3. 1-1/2 teaspoons dry mustard
  4. 2 eggs
  5. 3 tablespoons vegetable oil
  6. 1 cup milk
  7. 1 tablespoon sugar
  8. 1 teaspoon salt
  9. 2 cups shredded cheddar
Instructions
  1. Preheat oven to 375 and grease a 9-inch loaf pan.
  2. In a large mixing bowl, gently whisk together flour, baking powder, and mustard powder to combine.
  3. In a medium mixing bowl, whisk together egg, oil, milk, sugar, and salt until combined.
  4. Ditch your whisk, pour your wet ingredients over your dry ingredients, and gently fold together as quickly as you can with a rubber spatula. Try to get everything combined in 10 seconds or less. Some lumps are okay.
  5. Fold in the cheese. It's going to seem like a lot. This is what makes it awesome. Try to work quickly to get it evenly dispersed.
  6. Scrape your batter into your waiting loaf pan and smooth the top. Bake for 40 minutes or until a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean.
  7. Run a knife around the edge of the loaf and remove it from the pan immediately to cool. Can be served warm or saved for later. Store in an airtight container.
Adapted from I'm Just Here for More Food by Alton Brown
How to be Awesome on $20 a day http://awesomeon20.com/
Buffalo Chicken Pinwheels | How to be Awesome on $20 a Day

Buffalo Chicken Pinwheels

Buffalo Chicken Pinwheels | How to be Awesome on $20 a Day

Normally I don’t mind living in a 600 square foot duplex. It’s plenty of room for us, with the exception of the shower, and we’ve learned to adapt to the limited space. When it’s just two or three of us living here, everything’s grand. The only thing I really miss is being able to entertain.

I love getting my friends gathered around a table and feeding them. It’s definitely in the top five of my favorite past times. I have a dream of one day moving into a house or apartment that can fit a dining room table. I would have people over to eat all the dang time. Whether it be for an actual meal or a spread of apps and zerts (thank Tom Haverford), I could easily feed whoever walked through my door, and they would be happy. 

Buffalo Chicken Pinwheels | How to be Awesome on $20 a Day

One of the things I’d put on that table are these Buffalo Chicken Pinwheels. They’re perfect for parties because you can eat them with one hand in a couple of bites. You never have to set down your drink. There’s spicy shredded chicken, jalapenos, and gooey cheese wrapped in buttery, flaky pastry. I fail to see anything less than awesome about this situation.

I used crescent roll dough for mine because it’s cheaper, and my store was out of puff pastry. Use whatever is easiest for you. I also made a spiced up version of my transformer chicken for this recipe. Cook the chicken ahead of time, shred it in your stand mixer if you have one, and make this recipe come together in a flash. I also highly recommend stashing your rolled up chicken/dough situation in the fridge for about 10 minutes before slicing. It will make your life so much easier.

Buffalo Chicken Pinwheels | How to be Awesome on $20 a Day

Here’s to day dreams filled with cute aprons, tables sagging under the weight of too much delicious food, and friends who laugh out loud. 

Buffalo Chicken Pinwheels
Yields 15
Spicy chicken, jalapeno, and plenty of cheese get wrapped in a buttery pastry to make Buffalo Chicken Pinwheels
Write a review
Print
Prep Time
15 min
Cook Time
20 min
Prep Time
15 min
Cook Time
20 min
Ingredients
  1. 1 cooked chicken breast, shredded
  2. 1/4 cup buffalo sauce
  3. 1 jalapeno, seeded and diced
  4. 1 green onion, chopped
  5. 4 ounces Monterrey Jack cheese, shredded
  6. 1/4 teaspoon salt
  7. 1/4 teaspoon garlic powder
  8. 1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper
  9. 1 tube crescent roll dough
Instructions
  1. Preheat oven to 350 and cover a baking sheet in parchment paper.
  2. Mix together chicken, sauce, veggies, cheese, and seasonings in a large bowl. If you've shredded your chicken in your mixer, just use that to combine everything.
  3. Gently roll out your crescent roll dough, pressing the seams together. I do this right on the parchment-covered baking sheet. Spread the chicken mixture evenly across the dough. Gently roll this up from the long side. Put the roll in the fridge for ten minutes.
  4. Remove the roll from the fridge and use a sharp knife to slice it into one inch pieces. Spread your pinwheels out on the parchment and bake for 20 minutes or until golden brown and puffy.
  5. I served mine with a small dish of bleu cheese dressing drizzled with some extra buffalo sauce.
Adapted from Add a Pinch
Adapted from Add a Pinch
How to be Awesome on $20 a day http://awesomeon20.com/
Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...