Summer is the season for spontaneous plans, backyard picnics and easy, no-fuss snacks. When the weather is nice all I’m craving after a long day of work is a refreshing effervescent drink and some fresh, colorful food to snack on. Entertaining friends, family, neighbors or co-workers doesn’t need to be tricky. Instead, stock up on a few of these staples so you’re ready to host an easy summer picnic with your favorite group of people.
I know it is just me in the photos, but I promise I usually have a group of girl friends hanging out with me, snacking on the spread, drinking a refreshing cocktail or chilled glass of wine and catching up. It is one of my goals in life to be thee spot for entertaining and gatherings with friends. You know in the movie It’s Complicated when Meryl Streep’s character always has chocolate cake or lavender ice cream in the house? Or in the show Parenthood when Camille and Zeek always have their kids and grandkids over for meals in their beautiful backyard under the strand lights. That is my dream!
For now, I’m starting with hosting easy summer get togethers, happy hours and picnics. The food does not have to be fancy – it can even be pre-made – but doing things as simple as plating it on a nice white plate, adding a few mint leaves to a drink for color, or serving drinks in a fancier glass than normal will make the last-minute hangout feel extra special. See these glasses above? They are actually tiny bud vases from Michaels you could buy on sale and use use for dual purposes!
Sweet, Savory, Smooth and Crunchy
The easiest way to assemble a well balanced snack or cheese board is to balance out the sweet, savory, smooth and crunchy items. Here’s the run down of things I grabbed from Trader Joe’s to assemble a picnic snack at the last minute:
- pre-made wrap: I bought a turkey and spinach one that I sliced into bite size pieces.
- fruit: a carton of strawberries and grapes added gorgeous color, but melon, oranges or dried fruit would be lovely too.
- pre-made package of hummus: To make any hummus look extra fancy, add a teaspoon of olive oil, a few sprinkles of paprika for that gorgeous red color and a few pinenuts for a texture change.
- crackers: I love to have the world’s best crackers in my pantry – these fig and olive crisps from Trader Joe’s!
Just like that you have a spread that will impress any crew of friends and if it doesn’t all get eaten, you can save the rest for yourself to each throughout the week! Or, if you pick these types of things up from the grocery store, you will always have essentials ready for a light summer picnic with friends.
Until I have my picture perfect backyard with strand lights, ivy and a big table to fit a whole group of friends, I am going to keep hosting fun picnics and get-togethers with friends! I hope these tips for assembling a sweet, savory, smooth and crunch snack board are helpful for you to also feel confident and prepared to have people over at any given moment. Summer is the perfect time to do it!
Tweet me any questions at @gourmet_gab or show me your snack spread on Instagram by tagging @gourmet_gab.
Love food. Love self. Love life.
Photography by Brooke Marcella and dress from Muse Apparel.