Summer is here! Long, warm days await, just begging to be filled with sunshine and family celebrations. But what’s an outdoor gathering without delicious snacks and sweets to help you and your crew keep the soiree going until sunset?
We invited our friend and food connoisseur Pat Nogar to give us her advice for packing the perfect summer picnic with a little help from the Ardmore Farmers Market at Suburban Square. Take it away, Pat!
It’s so easy to find everything I need for a delicious (and healthy) family picnic when I shop at the Ardmore Farmers Market: crisp seasonal produce, prepared foods, freshly baked treats, and artisanal breads fill the stalls. I can also find the best cuts of meats, cheeses and even plump rotisserie chickens—the possibilities are endless!
With so many options at your fingertips, let me help you plan the perfect picnic menu for your next summer outing. My suggestions are tasty and easy to adjust to your family’s tastes!
Charcuterie in a Jar
Stir together mayonnaise, mustard, kosher salt, freshly cracked pepper and chopped fresh baby spinach, and layer the mixture in the bottom of a jar. (Weck brand jars are great because they have straight sides for easy access.) If you want, you can even use your favorite prepared salad dressing for this component.
Next, roll slices of your choice of deli meats into “finger” shapes and place into your jar, standing on end. Add sticks of your favorite veggies, like carrots, celery, or cucumbers, until the jar is filled. Place a few olives and sweet gherkins on top, and you’re ready to go!
Find your ingredients: Ardmore Produce, Stoltzfus Meats, and Di Bruno Brothers
Rotisserie Chicken Sandwiches
My take on these classic sandwiches can easily satisfy any picky eater. Cut focaccia bread into sandwich-size portions and slice horizontally. Then, coat the sides of bread with softened salted butter. Fill the bread with slices of rotisserie chicken, slices of cheddar cheese, crispy bacon, arugula, and sliced tomatoes. You can even make your sandwiches travel-friendly by wrapping them in strips of parchment paper and securing each sandwich with kitchen twine.
Find your ingredients: Stoltzfus Meats, Di Bruno Brothers, Stoltzfus Home Style Bakery, Ardmore Produce
Fruit Kabobs with Honey Yogurt Dipping Sauce
Thread chunks of strawberries, pineapple, cantaloupe, blueberries, and honeydew melon onto a wooden skewer. Serve with honey yogurt dipping sauce made with two cups of plain low-fat yogurt mixed with a fourth cup of honey.
Find your ingredients: Ardmore Produce, Di Bruno Brothers
Who doesn’t love a tasty treat? This is the easiest dessert yet! The Ultimate Bake Shoppe has the best lemon tarts—perfect for a picnic. They have lots of other selections that are sure to please everyone as well.
The perfect lemonade to wash down your summer lunch spread is simple, sweet, and easy to make. All you need is:
- 2 cups sugar
- 9 cups water
- 2 cups fresh lemon juice
- 1 cup cranberry juice
- Lemon slices
- Fresh mint
In a large pitcher, combine sugar, water, lemon juice and cranberry juice and stir until the sugar is dissolved. Refrigerate, then transfer to small mason jars when chilled. Add lemon slices and mint. Cover tightly, and pack on ice.
Find your ingredients: Ardmore Produce
Now that you’ve got your menu ready, grab your friends and set a date—there’s no better way to celebrate summer than with fresh food and good company! Enjoy.
Pat Nogar is a lifestyle expert known for her cooking, entertaining and events. She is a Penn State Extension Master Gardener, and a member of Les Dames D’escoffier, an international organization of women leaders in food, entertaining and fine beverages. You can follow Pat on FB and Instagram under “Living Well With Pat Nogar”. You can also catch her weekly FB Live “Saturday Morning With Pat” every Saturday at 10 am where she covers a wide range of food and lifestyle topics.
Photo Credit: All photos of Pat Nogar are courtesy of Ed Williams Photography.