As Floridians know, summer is the best time for strolling on the beach or a walk in the park. So pack up a few of these ideas and a blanket and have yourself a perfect picnic. 

Strawberry Cream-Filled Sandwich Cookies

Every picnic needs a sweet treat. To cut down on the cooking time, you can purchase shortbread cookies, but for a special touch, skip store-bought and make your own! 

Ingredients: 1 cup thawed frozen strawberries, 2 cups confectioners’ sugar, 1 tsp. lemon juice, 2 oz. cream cheese, 1 tbsp. unsalted butter, 36 shortbread rounds

Directions: Using a blender, puree strawberries. Whisk pureed strawberries, ¼ cup confectioners’ sugar, and lemon juice in a medium pan over medium-high heat until thickened and reduced by half (about 10 minutes). Let cool. In a medium bowl, combine cream cheese and butter. Stir in remaining confectioners’ sugar. Add strawberry mix, cover and let cool. Place one tablespoon of strawberry cream on each shortbread round.

Crab Cakes and Cookies

Summer Crab Rolls

This light sandwich is fancier fare than your typical ham and cheese sandwich and adds a bit of flair to your picnic. This crowd-pleaser is fast and easy to prepare.

Ingredients: ¼ cup mayo, 2 tbsp. chopped fresh chives, 1 tbsp. Dijon mustard, 1 tsp. fresh lemon juice, ½ tsp. hot pepper sauce (optional), 1 pound lump crab meat (or substitute with shrimp or chicken), drained with shell pieces removed, 1 ½ tbsp. of softened butter, 12 dinner rolls, lettuce, tomato slices.

Directions: Butter the dinner roll halves and place them facing downward on a nonstick skillet over medium heat. Mix the first 7 ingredients together. Spoon ¼ cup crab mixture onto one half of each dinner roll. Add lettuce and tomato slices. 

Fruit Kabob

how to make fruit kabob

Fresh fruit at a picnic is a no-brainer. Healthy, refreshing, portable and all-natural, fruit doesn’t require much work and is easy to clean up. Adjust the numbers for the recipe below based on the amount of fruit kabobs you need.

Ingredients: 20 strawberries, 2 cantaloupes, 50 berries, 40 grapes, 5 mandarin oranges, 40 pineapple chunks, 10 kiwi fruits, 2 honeydew melon, 40 blueberries, 20 bamboo skewers

Directions: Cut the fruit into bite size pieces, then add the fruit to the skewer. You can add them in any order you’d like, but place two blueberries at the pointed end to make sure they don’t slip off.

Pineapple-Orange Colada

Top off your light summer meal with a refreshing, thirst-quenching drink.

Ingredients: 1 ½ cups fresh pineapple chunks (or 1 can pineapple chunks in juice), ½ cup frozen piña colada or pineapple juice, 2 cups orange sherbet

Directions: Place all ingredients in the blender, cover, and blend on high speed until smooth. Pour into a thermos or other portable drink container. Enjoy!

Although it sometimes feels like summer in Florida lasts forever, you only have a couple more months to enjoy the Sunshine State’s premiere season of the year! Take advantage of the great (albeit hot) weather and plan a picnic just to have a great excuse to try out these recipes!