Picnic Style

Recipes and Photos by Jessi Hampton@Just Trying Recipes

Just prior to St. Patrick’s Day, there is an annual celebration of the greening of Forsyth Fountain in Savannah. I take my little ones, and we meet my best friend and her’s for a picnic in the park. This year, I decided to set up a little more lavishly than in year’s past in anticipation of inspiring this article. Someone even walked by and commented that it looked like a setup straight out of a magazine!

Picnics are a fantastic way to combine your love of food with the appreciation for aesthetics and experiences. Here are some tips to elevate your picnic to the next level!

1 Choose a Theme

Color Scheme Decide on a color palette for your picnic setup. Soft pastels or vibrant hues can set the tone.

Style Theme Whether it’s bohemian, rustic, vintage, or modern, a cohesive theme can guide your choices in décor, tableware and even food.

2 Comfortable Seating

Picnic Blankets and Cushions Large, comfortable blankets and throw pillows not only add color and texture but also comfort for lounging.

3 Table Setting

Linens and Napkins Cloth napkins and a tablecloth or a runner can add sophistication to your picnic.

4 Food Presentation

Creative Plating Use wooden boards, baskets, and jars to serve foods. Think about the visual appeal of your food arrangement.

Themed Foods Incorporate your theme into the food itself, whether through colors, shapes or types of cuisine.

5 Floral and Decorative Touches

Centerpieces A simple vase of flowers, potted plants or a creative centerpiece that matches your theme can elevate the setting.

6 Beverage Station

Bar Area If space allows, a small portable bar for cocktails or a selection of wines can add a touch of elegance.

7 Leave No Trace

Clean-Up Plan Have bags for trash and recycling, and ensure everything you bring is either taken back with you or disposed of properly.

The key to a memorable picnic is in the details. Enjoy the process of creating something special, and your effort will surely be appreciated by your friends and family.

Here are a few recipes from our picnic!

Antipasto Skewers


Wooden skewers

Fresh mozzarella balls

Cherry tomatoes

Marinated artichoke quarters



Cooked cheese tortellini

Fresh basil leaves


A variety of combinations work for these skewers. Determine quantities of each based on number of guests. Other ingredients may include olives, roasted peppers, a variety of meats and cheeses and fresh fruits. Adding a drizzle of balsamic glaze or dressing before serving adds a great flavor, too!

Dill Pickle Potato Salad


lbs red potatoes cut to bite-sized

pieces, boiled until fork tender

¼ cup plain Greek yogurt

¼ cup sour cream

1 tbls red wine vinegar

1 tbls (heaping) of fresh chopped dill

½ tsp pickle juice

¼ tsp garlic powder

Salt and pepper to taste


• In a large bowl, mix the Greek yogurt, sour cream, red wine vinegar, dill, pickle juice, garlic powder and salt and pepper until well combined.

• Once potatoes are cool, add them to the Greek yogurt mixture and toss until all potatoes are well coated.

• Refrigerate until served.

Sour Cream Cookies


1/2 cup unsalted butter, softened

1/2 cup vegetable oil

1 cup sour cream, full fat

1 large egg

1 ½ cups sugar

1 tsp vanilla extract

1 tsp baking powder

1 tsp salt

3 3/4 all purpose flour (add up to 1/4 cup more if dough is too sticky)

1 container of cream cheese frosting.

1–2 drops of food coloring to mix in the frosting for color if desired.

Toppings of choice. I used shredded coconut and sprinkles.


Preheat the oven to 350 F.

• In a large bowl using an electric mixer, add the butter and mix until light and fluffy.

• Add the oil and mix for another 1-2 minutes.

• Add the sour cream, egg, sugar and vanilla extract and mix until well combined.

• Add the baking powder, salt and ⅓ of the flour. Mix until well combined. Slowly add the rest of the flour and mix until evenly combined.

• Portion the dough evenly into about 12 – 16 balls. On a parchment paper lined large baking sheet, place 6 cookies spaced evenly apart.

• Using a large spoon or cup, press each cookie into an even thickness, the edges of the cookie will be uneven.

• Bake for 6-8 minutes. You do not want them to turn golden. Its ok for them to be a little underbaked.

• Let them cool on the baking sheet.

• If you are not serving immediately store unfrosted cookies covered in the refrigerator.

• Frost before serving.