Perfect Picnic Recipes

With the warming temperatures, comes more outdoor eating. Here are some tasty recipes for that perfect picnic.

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Muddled Lemonberryade


Level: Easy

Total: 10 min

Prep: 10 min

Yield: 6 to 8 servings


4 lemons, sliced

1/2 c. mint leaves

1 c. sugar

1 pt. berries (strawberries & blackberries preferable)

1 qt. water

1 qt. club soda  


Slice lemons and place in the bottom of the drink pitcher. Add 1/2 cup fresh mint and 1 cup sugar on top of lemons. With the wooden spoon mash the mixture for 1 minute. Add the berries and lightly mash. Add 1 quart water and refrigerate until chilled.

To serve: Fill a tall glass with ice and fill 3/4 with lemon juice mixture, top with club soda and serve.


Southwest Hummus Dip


Prep Time: 15 min.

Grill Time: 20 min.

Makes: 2 cups


1 med. ear sweet corn, husk removed

1 can (15 oz.) garbanzo beans or chickpeas, rinsed & drained

2 T. minced fresh cilantro

1 tsp. ground cumin

1/2 tsp. chili powder

1/4 tsp. salt

1/4 tsp. pepper

1/2 c. chopped roasted sweet red peppers

1/4 c. canned fire-roasted diced tomatoes

Baked pita chips or assorted fresh vegetables 


Grill corn, covered, over medium heat for 10-12 minutes or until tender, turning occasionally. Meanwhile, in a food processor, combine the beans, cilantro, cumin, chili powder, salt and pepper. Cover and process for 30 seconds or until blended. Transfer to a small bowl. Cover and refrigerate for at least 15 minutes.

Cut corn from cob. Add the corn, red peppers, and tomatoes to bean mixture; mix well. Serve with pita chips or vegetables.


Refrigerator Garden Pickles


Prep Time: 20 min.

Cook Time: 15 min. + chilling

Makes: 7 pints


6 c. sugar

6 c. white vinegar

1/4 c. celery seed

1/4 c. mustard seed

2 T. canning salt

10 med. carrots, halved lengthwise and cut into 2” pcs.

3 med. cucumbers, sliced

3 med. sweet red peppers, cut into 1” pieces

2 lg. onions, halved & sliced

1 bunch green onions, cut into 2” pcs.  


In a Dutch oven, combine the first 5 ingredients; bring to a boil, stirring to dissolve sugar. Meanwhile, place the remaining ingredients in a large bowl.

Pour hot liquid over vegetables; cool. Transfer to jars, if desired; cover tightly. Refrigerate for 6-8 hours before serving. Store in the refrigerator for up to 1 month.


Barbecued Picnic Chicken


Prep Time: 15 min.

Grill Time: 45 min.

Makes: 8 servings


2 garlic cloves, minced

2 tsp. butter

1 c. ketchup

1/4 c. packed brown sugar

1/4 c. chili sauce

2 T. Worcestershire sauce

1 T. celery seed

1 T. prepared mustard

1/2 tsp. salt

2 dashes hot pepper sauce

2 broiler/fryer chickens (3-1/2 to 4 lbs. ea.), cut up


In a large saucepan, sauté garlic in butter until tender. Add the next 8 ingredients. Bring to a boil, stirring constantly. Remove from the heat; set aside.

On a lightly greased grill rack, grill chicken, covered, over medium heat for 30 minutes, turning occasionally. Baste with sauce. Grill 15 minutes longer or until a thermometer reaches 170°, basting and turning several times.


Test Kitchen Tips:

•This sauce is best when made a day or two in advance, giving the flavors time to come together.

•If you don’t have chili sauce on hand, you can use 1/4 cup extra ketchup or 1/4 cup cocktail sauce.

•Try this cool-guy move if you don’t have a basting brush: Tie a few sprigs of rosemary or another hearty herb together with twine, then baste with it.


Barbecued Chicken Salad Sandwiches


Prep Time: 15 min. + marinating

Grill Time: 20 min. + cooling

Makes: 8 servings


1-1/2 lbs. boneless skinless chicken breast

1/2 c. barbecue sauce

1 c. mayonnaise

1/2 c. finely chopped onion

1/2 c. chopped celery

1/4 tsp. salt

1/4 tsp. crushed red pepper flakes

8 kaiser rolls, split

8 tomato slices

8 lettuce leaves


Place the chicken in a shallow baking dish; add barbecue sauce. Turn to coat; cover. Refrigerate overnight.

Grill chicken, covered, over medium-high heat until a thermometer reads 165°, 6-8 minutes on each side. Cool; cover and refrigerate chicken until chilled.

Chop chicken; place in a large bowl. Stir in the mayonnaise, onion, celery, salt and pepper flakes. Serve on rolls with tomato and lettuce.


Broccoli Slaw


Prep: 15 min. + chilling

Makes: 6 servings


4 c. broccoli florets

2 c. shredded red cabbage

1 sm. sweet onion, finely chopped

1 med. carrot, shredded

1/2 c. raisins

1 c. coleslaw salad dressing  


In a large bowl, combine all ingredients and toss. Refrigerate, covered, at least 2 hours. Stir before serving.


Pasta Salad in a Jar


Prep/Total Time: 30 min.

Makes: 16 servings


8 oz. ea. uncooked bow tie pasta, med. pasta shells & wagon wheel pasta

2 c. Greek vinaigrette

3 c. cherry tomatoes, halved

1 med. red onion, finely chopped

1 jar (12 oz.) marinated quartered artichoke hearts, drained & coarsely chopped

1 jar (12 oz.) roasted sweet red peppers, drained & chopped

1 c. chopped fresh basil

1 c. grated Parmesan cheese

1 pkg. (3-1/2 oz.) sliced pepperoni

1 can (2-1/4 oz.) sliced ripe olives, drained


Cook pasta according to package directions for al dente. Drain pasta; rinse with cold water and drain well. Transfer to a large bowl.

Add vinaigrette to pasta; toss to coat. Add vegetables, basil, cheese, pepperoni, and olives; toss to combine. If desired, transfer to covered jars. Refrigerate until serving.


Spicy Pasta Salad with Smoked Gouda, Tomatoes and Basil


Level: Easy

Total: 30 min

Prep: 20 min

Cook: 10 min

Yield: 6 servings


Kosher salt

12 oz. mostaccioli or penne pasta

1/2 c. mayonnaise

1/4 c. whole milk

1/4 c. white vinegar, plus more if needed

Freshly ground pepper

1-1/2 tsp. adobo sauce from a can of chipotles (or 1 minced chipotle)

1 (10 oz.) pkg. grape tomatoes, halved lengthwise

1/2 lb. smoked gouda cheese, cut into small cubes

24 fresh basil leaves, thinly sliced


Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil. Add the pasta and cook as the label directs. Drain and rinse under cold water until no longer hot; set aside.

Make the dressing: Mix the mayonnaise, milk, vinegar, 1/2 teaspoon salt, pepper to taste and the adobo sauce in a small bowl.

In a large bowl, combine the pasta, dressing, tomatoes, and gouda. Taste for seasoning, adding more salt and pepper if needed, and even an extra teaspoon or 2 of vinegar, if necessary. Stir in the basil at the end. Refrigerate for a couple of hours before serving.


Rhubarb Honey Crisp


Submitted by Valerie Botzet

Prep. Time: 15 min

Cooking Time: 45 min

Yield: 4-6 servings


5 c. chopped rhubarb

1/2 c. honey

1 T. all-purpose flour

1 tsp. cinnamon

1/2 tsp. ground ginger (opt.)



1-1/2 c. large-flake rolled oats

1/3 c. ea. packed brown sugar & honey

1/4 c. butter, melted

1 tsp. cinnamon

1/2 tsp. salt


In mixing bowl, stir together rhubarb, honey, flour, cinnamon, and ginger (if using) until well combined. Spoon into greased 8-cup baking dish.

Topping: In same mixing bowl, stir together oats, sugar, honey, butter, cinnamon, and salt; sprinkle evenly over rhubarb. Bake in 375°F oven 40 to 45 minutes or until fruit is tender and topping is browned.


Blueberry Buttermilk Bundt Cake


Level: Easy

Total: 2 hr 30 min

Active: 30 min

Yield: 10 servings


For the cake:

2 sticks unsalted butter, at room temp., plus more for the pan

3 c. plus 2 T. all-purpose flour

2-1/2 tsp. baking powder

1-1/4 tsp. fine salt

1-3/4 c. granulated sugar

1/4 c. vegetable oil

4 lg. eggs, at room temp.

1 teaspoon vanilla extract

3/4 c. buttermilk

2 c. blueberries (about 1 pt.)


For the toppings:

2 to 3 cups large strawberries, halved or quartered (about 1 pt.)

1 to 2 T. granulated sugar

2-1/2 c. confectioners’ sugar

1 T. unsalted butter, at room temp.

4 to 5 T. milk


Make the cake: Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Generously butter a nonstick 12-cup Bundt pan. Whisk 3 cups flour, the baking powder and salt in a medium bowl.

Beat 2 sticks butter, the granulated sugar and vegetable oil in a bowl with a mixer on medium-high speed until fluffy, at least 5 minutes, scraping down the sides of the bowl with a rubber spatula as needed. Reduce the mixer speed to low; beat in the eggs one at a time, then beat in the vanilla. Add about one-third of the flour mixture and half of the buttermilk; beat until almost incorporated. Add another one-third of the flour mixture and the remaining buttermilk. Beat, scraping down the sides of the bowl as needed, until just combined. Add the remaining flour mixture and beat 30 seconds. Finish incorporating the flour by hand to avoid overmixing.

Toss the blueberries with the remaining 2 tablespoons flour in a small bowl. Spoon one-third of the batter evenly into the prepared pan. Sprinkle in half of the blueberries, then top with another one-third of the batter. Scatter the remaining blueberries on top and cover with the rest of the batter; smooth the top. Bake until the cake is golden brown, and a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean, 1 hour to 1 hour, 10 minutes. Transfer to a rack and let cool 30 minutes in the pan. Run a small sharp knife around the edge of the pan to loosen the cake, then invert onto the rack to cool completely.

Meanwhile, make the toppings: Toss the strawberries with the granulated sugar in a bowl; set aside to macerate, 30 minutes. Just before serving, make the glaze: Whisk the confectioners’ sugar, butter and 4 tablespoons milk in a bowl; if the glaze is too thick, whisk in up to 1 more tablespoon milk, a little at a time. Pour the glaze over the cake, letting it drip down the sides. Serve with the strawberries and their juices.


Picnic Bars


Prep Time: 10 min.

Bake Time: 25 min.

Makes: 3 dozen


1-3/4 c. all-purpose flour

1 c. sugar

1/4 c. baking cocoa

1/2 c. cold butter, cubed

2 lg. eggs

1 can (14 oz.) sweetened condensed milk

2 c. semisweet chocolate chips, divided

1 c. chopped walnuts


In a large bowl, combine flour, sugar, and cocoa; cut in butter until mixture resembles coarse crumbs. Stir in eggs. Set aside 1-1/2 cups for topping.

Press remaining crumb mixture into a greased 13-in. x 9-in. baking pan. Bake at 350° for 6-8 minutes or until set.

Meanwhile, in a saucepan, combine milk and 1 cup of chocolate chips; cook and stir over low heat until melted. Carefully spread over crust. Combine reserved crumb mixture with nuts and remaining chips. Sprinkle over chocolate layer.

Bake for 15-20 minutes or until top is set (chips will not look melted). Cool before cutting. 


Quote of the Week:

“It is foolish and wrong to mourn the men who died. Rather we should thank God such men lived.”   

~ George S. Patton



The Drummer and The Wright County Journal Press

PO Box 159
108 Central Ave.
Buffalo MN 55313

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