picnic basketThe weather is gorgeous and it's time to head outside to the park, find a shady tree, and set up the picnic blanket for a feast with friends and family. But first you must decide on the menu.

Some foods work better without refrigeration than others, of course, so leave the ice cream at home and pack a basket with these delicious picnic bites everyone will love.

1. Watermelon. Sure it's a huge fruit (and heavy), but oh what fun it is to eat the often messy watermelon outside during a picnic. It's refreshing, tastes great, has a high water content so it's hydrating, and you don't have to worry about it dripping all over your floors. Get messy and enjoy.

2. Crackers and dips. Get some well seasoned crackers of your liking and a dip that will withstand a little heat and it's the perfect munching picnic snack.

3. Pasta salad. Make a pasta salad with olives, feta cheese, small sliced veggies, and salad dressing or a pesto.

4. Veggie snacks. Carrots, broccoli, cauliflower, celery ... you get the idea! Use some of the dip from the crackers, too.

5. Sundried tomato and basil sandwiches. Spread some sundried tomatoes (a spread or whole) and add basil. Cut into fours and pack for the picnic.

6. PB&J. Good old peanut butter and jelly to the rescue.

7. Hazelnut or almond butter sandwiches. Sweeten your sandwiches with hazelnut or almond butter. Spread it on sandwich bread, cut in fours, and it's almost like dessert.

8. Salami and cheddar cheese rolls. Forget the bread! All you need is thinly sliced cheddar cheese and roll inside salami. Yum!

What is your favorite picnic food?

 

Image via Wicker Paradise/Flickr