We all need to have some fun in the Q. Although lockdown orders are still in place, it’s understandable that we’re getting a little antsy to socialize.
Traditional graduations are not taking place at schools the way our seniors planned; instead, families are celebrating their graduates at home. Many are celebrating birthdays as well in this time of stay-at-home. Memorial Day weekend is here and is a perfect occasion for a picnic! It’s important to make these times special. 
As you all know by now, my love for cooking has been really put to the test recently by creating different recipes for my family. In addition to cooking, I absolutely love entertaining and this has been an inspiring time for me to think outside the box.

Being outside has never been more desirable than now. As containment measures keep dragging on, trying to navigate gray areas and have some fun can be a challenge as well. I moved my family room to my backyard and curated a social-distancing-styled picnic for a friend’s recent milestone birthday. I am now in the process of creating a high school graduation picnic for my daughter with her best friends.

Returning to the theme of being home, this "recipe" can be created from items in your fridge, your kids’ craft stash, and a little help from Amazon!

We All Need to Have Some Fun! 

I re-created 3 mini sandwiches from the idea of a restaurant I have frequented often in NYC called Sant Ambroeus. My family and I love their mini Italian-style sandwiches on yummy petite rolls. So I bought all the elements for the 3 different sandwiches. I made homemade tuna salad, sliced organic turkey, mozzarella, and tomato. I added mini pickles to small salad dressing containers I had leftover from the salad dressings.

Tuna Salad

  • 100% pole line-caught albacore wild tuna.
  • Vegenaise (low fat).
  • Chopped green apple.
  • Chopped sweet onion.
  • Chopped celery.
  • Chopped fresh dill.
  • Lemon pepper.
  • Mrs. Dash.
  • Pieces of arugula.
  • Hawaiian mini rolls.

Turkey Sandwiches

  • Very thinly sliced organic herb turkey (Deli section in the market).
  • Honey mustard.
  • Mini brioche rolls.

Mozzarella and Tomato

  • Fresh mini-balls mozzarella.
  • Fresh pieces of basil.
  • Sliced small tomato tomatoes.
  • Drizzle of balsamic glaze.
  • Small dinner rolls.
  • Colored toothpicks to hold together.

Festive Picnic Basket

In my pantry, I used parchment paper bags for cooking fish. Cut them ¾ from the top to make the bag a bit smaller. Then found some leftover stickers from my daughters’ old crafts box. and sealed the bags.

Chopped Salad

We all love a great chopped salad so I recreated the favorite in my house from La Scala, Beverly Hills.

  • Shredded Iceberg lettuce (pre-cut in the bag).
  • Shredded carrots (pre-cut in the bag).
  • Diced fresh jicama.
  • Garbanzo beans.
  • Chopped peppers – red and yellow.
  • Shredded mozzarella or diced parmesan.
  • Pepperoncinis.
  • Capers.


I pre-thought – how can I make this salad fit in the basket and still look earthy and homemade? I ordered Chinese cardboard mini boxes from Amazon. They fit more salad then it seems and they were perfect aesthetically. I also ordered mini dressing containers to put the salad dressing in.

Dessert to Top It Off!

  • Mixed berries with a dabble of homemade fresh whip cream in individual mini cups.
  • Homemade chocolate chip cookies in a wax mini bag (Amazon).


Mini picnic baskets (Amazon) They come in 12 in pack and they are reusable. These will get a lot of use this summer. 
I always have rolled my utensils for any party so this was no different. Silver plastic utensils in personalized napkins. (Amazon) Used old rolls of twine from my gift-wrapping stash to wrap them.
Bandanas have become a whole new useful item in many houses. They come in multipacks of 12 (Amazon) and I used them for both basket liners and masks for the guests.
How did I have enough picnic blankets and vases? Since I entertain a lot, I keep things I know I can recycle. These both will be very handy in times like now. Finishing every table and now a picnic blanket with flowers makes a meal or an event look special and complete.
Picnics are a great way to get creative, with food in the fridge, crafty items in your house, and some extra love from Amazon. Make it fun for a family dinner or any upcoming celebration! Of course, make sure that social distancing recommendations are followed. 

With warmth and love,

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