End of Summer Beach Picnic

Fill up the picnic basket with sandwiches, cold salads, brownies, and cookies and head to the beach to bid summer farewell.

By FamilyTime


In many regions of the country, September has glorious, warm weather. Take advantage of these days with a weekend picnic at the beach or in the park. It's a lovely way to stretch the summer, as well as a way to enjoy your friends and family.

This meal easily serves six adults and three or four children--or eight adults (if no children are in the group, you might consider leaving out the peanut butter sandwiches!). Pack the cooler with cold drinks and fresh fruit. Toss some chips into a tote. Don't forget paper napkins, plates, cups, and utensils, and a big blanket to spread on the sand.

The recipes highlighted here are delicious as presented. Some folks may want to lighten them, make some changes, or welcome tips for preparing them most efficiently. Decide what changes, if any, work best for you and your family.

Helpful tips, substitutions and prep ideas:

Chicken and Avocado Sandwich

  • To halve the avocado, cut through the fruit vertically and with a gentle twist, divide the avocado in half. Pry out the pit. Peel and slice the buttery flesh.

Deli-Garden Sandwich Round

  • Use the discarded interior of the loaf of bread for bread crumbs.
  • Vary the filling by substituting the cold cuts your family especially likes: bologna instead of salami; Muenster or Provolone cheese in place of American, for example.

Mean Green Peanut Butter Sandwich

  • Substitute full-fat cream cheese for low-fat, if you prefer.
  • Substitute white bread for whole wheat, if you prefer.

Grilled Eggplant and Tomato Pasta Salad

  • It takes only about 10 minutes to grill the eggplant. Use any color and shape of eggplant for the recipe.
  • Once the peppers are roasted, put them in a loosely closed paper bag and let them steam as they cool. Rub the charred skin off the flesh with your fingers.
  • If you don't have a shallot, use a scallion or sweet onion.

Backyard Wagon Train Bean Salad

  • Drain the kidney beans before adding to the salad, but leave a little liquid with the beans.
  • Fresh or frozen corn works as well as canned in this recipe.

Quick and Easy Brownies

  • Substitute walnuts for the pecans.
  • Bake until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out with a few crumbs clinging to it.

Chewy Jumbo Peanut Butter Cookies

  • Use dark or light brown sugar.
  • For smaller cookies, drop the batter by tablespoons on the baking sheets. Reduce the baking time a little--watch the cookies carefully.