So now that you’ve seen the Picnic Basket that inspired us to get off our tails and plan a Kate Spade Picnic to end all picnics, it’s time to get down to the nitty gritty. Let me start by saying this: I am a busy girl. The kind of girl that rarely “picnics” and whose idea of al fresco dining is putting some Whole Foods takeout into bowls and plopping on an old blanket. Well ladies (and gents) this picnic is different. It’s chic, fabulous, wow-your friends “picnicking” with easy cheat-cuts all along the way.
First, download this free & fabulous sticker sheet that has all sorts of Kate-Spadey mix and match labels for all of your food. Your friends will think you had the whole thing catered by some hip, cool new restaurant on the block. Just print them out in full color onto 8.5×11″ label sheets and cut!
Black Forest Ham, Gruyere & Honey Mustard Sandwichs | Homemade-ish Potato Chips | Strawberry + Cream Tartletts | Strawberry Hand Pies | Grown-Up Strawberry Lemonade
Okay, there is seriously no point in laying out the ingredients. We just layered black forest ham, slices of Gruyere cheese, bread and butter pickles sliced thin and smothered in honey mustard. You can buy your honey mustard or you can make a super snappy version with equal parts good honey and stone ground mustard. If you like yours creamy, add a tablespoon of sour cream. Wrap your sandwiches in kraft paper and close with a sticker!
Cheat-Cut Tip…the whole freaking thing is a cheat-cut. Pre-sliced ham & cheese, pre-made honey mustard, bread. Any easier and well, it just doesn’t get any easier.
HOMEMADE-ISH POTATO CHIPS
What’s a good sandwich without some potato chips? Well, we took a simple store bought chip and elevated with a little sparkle. Place a single layer of Kettle potato chips on a baking sheet. Bake at 350 for 5-7 minutes to bring the oils out. Meanwhile, in a bowl, combine 1 tsp paprika, 1/2 tsp garlic powder, 1/4 tsp sugar, 1/8 mustard powder and 1/4 tsp chili powder. Pull the chips out of the oven and sprinkle with the seasoning. A lot for a big burst of flavor & a little for a more mild approach. YUM.
Cheat-Cut Tip…Buy store bought potato chips and gussy them up with a splash of homemade flavoring!
STRAWBERRY & CREAM TARTLETS
Ummmm, easiest dessert on the face of the earth that will take you less than 10 minutes. All you need is a loaf of pound cake, some strawberries, whipped cream and whipped cream cheese. First, cut your pound cake into 1/2″ slices. Using a tiny circle biscuit cutter, cut small circles out of each slice. In a small bowl, combine 2:1 parts whipped cream and cream cheese. We used about 1/2 cup whipped cream and 1/4 cup cream cheese for 6 tartlets but had a little left over. We added a TBS of sugar and stirred really well. This definitely wasn’t an exact science. Top each pound cake disc with a dollop of cream and finish with 3 slices of strawberries.
**You could just use whipped cream but it won’t hold up to heat. We wanted to prolong the outdoor shelf live so we added some cream cheese to our mixture.
Cheat-Cut Tip…Buy pre-made pound cake for a base that feels decadent.
STRAWBERRY HAND PIES
Okay, so the fantsy pants girl might make the dough from scratch but this lady, definitely didn’t have time for all that jazz. Instead, I bought some pre-made dough and cut out discs (mine were about 5″ across) using some old Tupperware that I had. In a medium sized pot I put 1 cup frozen strawberries & 1/2 fresh strawberries because that is just what I had on hand. I threw in 1 TBS of sugar and 1 TBS of water and boiled for about 20 minutes. Then at the very end, I stirred in a 1 TSP of corn starch and let the mixture cool. Oh and I preheated the oven to 425. When the mixture was cool, I put a heaping Tablespoon in the center of each, folded one side over and sealed with a fork. Then brushed with a basic egg wash (1 egg, a tablespoon of water) and baked for about 12 minutes.
Cheat-Cut Tip…Store bought pie dough is a cheater’s best friend. It’s good for a million purposes but in this case, it cut our prep time down by about a million percent.
GROWN-UP STRAWBERRY LEMONADE
Okay so this is one of the more embarrassing cheat-cuts of the bunch. If you want to make real strawberry lemonade – which we do make in our house on occasion – bring a cup of water and a bag of frozen strawberries to a boil for about 20 minutes, mashing up strawberries as you go. Then strain the strawberries out and add to your lemonade. Today was a bit too crazy for that and if I was going to pull off a Kate Spade picnic, well, a cheat-cut was in order. I bought the pre-made Strawberry lemonade at the store and poured into the bottle about 2/3 of the way up. Then I added about a cup of Vodka (yikes!) and piled on fresh lemon slices and strawberries. Result? Beyond Delish.
Cheat-Cut Tip…We just used Newman’s Own Strawberry Lemonade rather than making ours from scratch!