Somehow food always tastes better when you are outside and the right picnic menu ideas can help you make the most of it.
Whether you are heading into the great outdoors or to your own backyard a perfect menu makes entertaining simple.
Think about drinks to serve as well as food. Everyone gets thirsty out of doors. Choose drinks to compliment the food you will be serving. Children at a picnic will enjoy different drinks to adults on a romantic picnic for two.
Picnic menu ideas can be sophisticated and exotic or quick and simple. On any picnic plan food that is easy to eat, easy to clean up and easy to carry.
Finger foods are ideal.
Plan to take a cooler box and choose foods that will not spoil too quickly in the heat. Seafood, icecream and chocolate need to be kept really cold.
Remember everything you plan to eat will have to be carried. At least on the way there!
If the picnic is for a large crowd it is simplest if everyone is given their own food individually packed in boxes or baskets.
This makes it easy to carry food to the picnic spot and you don't have to worry about serving the guests.
If you are holding a party for any celebration a picnic makes it easy to entertain cheaply without fuss.
There are picnic menus suitable for any occasion.
Decide who will be coming and how many people have to be catered for.
Even a picnic menu that is based on "bring a plate" needs some planning. If you are in America this type of meal is "potluck". This means that you take potluck with what ever anyone brings but it is really more practical to ask guests to bring a particular dish,
It is best to work out your picnic menu ideas and ask guests to contribute a plate of food from that list.
People will be more confident that they are bringing food that everyone will enjoy and you know you will be providing a balanced meal.
If you are planning a wedding picnic menu consider spreading a table with a buffet and letting everyone help themselves. Serving food in this way can be very convenient.
With a bit of planning baskets, boxes or cooler bags can be dressed up with bows, flowers or other decorations in keeping with the theme of the wedding.
Birthday picnic menu ideas must include a cake. Children love traditional party food, picnic or not.
Food that looks different and exciting adds to the party atmosphere.
Children don't like to sit still for long. They want to be served quickly. Aim for food that is easily picked up by small hands and eaten by small mouths.
This is where finger foods come into their own.
Romantic picnic menus can include luxury food and drink. Just because they are luxurious doesn't mean they have to be expensive. While its always good to buy the best quality ingredients if you cook them yourself you can save a lot of money and still eat well.
Mediterranean style foods make really simple but memorable foods. What about smoked meats and salmon, specialist cheeses and crusty breads followed by strawberries washed down with champagne.
A barbeque menu can include salads and cooked vegetables, as well as sausages, steak, chicken and seafood.
Supply a choice of meats and a vegetarian alternative to cater for all the guests.
Picnic drinks are important as hopefully the weather will be warm. Water is a real standby and best for you but adding a piece of citrus and some blocks of ice can make it more exciting.
It is usually the warmer weather that makes people think of picnics and cold food is easiest for a summer picnic menu.
A winter picnic can be great fun.
If the weather is cold a picnic menu that includes some hot food is always welcome.
Soup is simple to serve in mugs and can be kept hot in thermal jugs.
There are really good thermal cookers available that will not only keep cooked food warm but actually cook it on the way to the picnic so it is all ready to eat on arrival.
These make it easy to include casseroles, curries even pasta with sauce to a winter picnic menu.
Plan your picnic menu well and everyone at the picnic will really enjoy it.