When a group of bloggers get together for a picnic, it turns out to be the most beautiful, colorful, and stylish picnic. Last week I joined my friends Erin, Jess, Maya, Lauren, and Blair for a lakeside picnic complete with skyline views, cocktails, and lots of amazing food. Today I am sharing these perfect summertime picnic recipes with you, just in time for the Fourth of July!
To have a successful picnic, you need a bunch of stuff – picnic baskets, coolers, blankets, etc. White Elephant Designs kindly provided the Turkish towel blankets, embroidered linen napkins, and monogrammed go vino wine glasses, and Elliewood Collections provided the plates for our picnic, making sure that it would be the most stylish picnic the Chicago lakefront had ever seen.
The other key to any summertime soiree? Chilled drinks. Right now my drink of choice is Sparkling Rosé, and fortunately we had plenty of it on hand (yet carefully hidden away since drinking in public isn’t exactly legal). (photo by Lauren)
Everyone brought something different to the picnic, and you can click around to visit my friends’ sites and find all of our summertime picnic recipes. These girls are some of my favorite bloggers – and close friends so be sure to visit their sites.
Erin created a cocktail using Sparkling Rosé and herb and lime infused ice cubes, and an avocado pea dip. (And how cute are the monogrammed linen napkins?!)
Fact: sandwiches without crusts that are cut into triangles are more delicious and more adorable. I made these mini Roast Beef, Brie, and Caramelized Onion Sandwiches. You can find the recipe at the bottom of this post.
Jess made the most gorgeous caprese and ham sandwiches. These sandwiches, called Pan Bagnet are made using a loaf of bread that is then sliced into small sandwiches.
Lauren served up a Tomato and Avocado Panzanella Salad (perfect for a picnic because it is meant to soak up the salad dressing and can be made ahead of time) and apples with a raw caramel dip made from fresh dates.
Maya brought a deconstructed strawberry mascarpone trifle. It was so good I had a second helping.
I also served my American Flag Cookie Pizzas at the picnic.
The Roast Beef, Caramelized Onion, and Brie Sandwiches can be made in under an hour using the recipe below. Making caramelized onions does take time. They need to cook low and slow, so plan ahead and be patient.
15 minPrep Time
40 minCook Time
55 minTotal Time
- 2 White Onions
- 3 tablespoons Olive Oil
- Very Thin Sliced Bread (Pepperidge Farm makes this)
- 3/4 pound Roast Beef
- 1 wheel of Brie
- Whole Grain Mustard (or your favorite mustard)
- Cut the ends off the onions, and peel them. Then cut the onions into big round slices. It is important that you cut the onion so that the slices are equally thick, this way the onions will cook evenly. Heat the olive oil in a heavy bottomed pot over medium heat. Add the onions, and reduce the heat to low.
- The onions will take 30-40 minutes to caramelize, you want the onions to reach a deep golden color. Stir them every few minutes so that they cook evenly.
- Once the onions have cooked, let them cool. Slice the brie into then slices.
- Assemble the sandwiches by first cutting the crust off the bread. Then spread mustard one the bread. Add a generous amount of roast beef, brie, and caramelized onions. Top with a second slice of bread. Slice the sandwich in half diagonally. Continue making as many sandwiches as you like.
photos by Mary M Cinema