A Tisket, a Tasket…What Goes In This Basket?

First of all – what in the heck is a tisket? Second of all, ditto tasket. Third, basket. Yes. You have one. You are ready. The sun is shining! The field is calling! Now! What will you bring?! Below, the Gourmet Style Girl foolproof picnic checklist:


1. Hearty. A picnic is a chance to treat your senses, but it’s also time to eat. While cucumber sandwiches are nice (really, they are!) they are not going to sustain you for the day of shenanigans that will surely follow if you picnic properly. Feed your guests something hearty enough to keep the day alive, but small enough that you can take it on the go. Options:

  • Turkey sandwiches with pesto or a homemade aioli
  • Small meatball subs you can make on the spot
  • Tortilla roll-ups with shredded chicken

2. Easy. From home to roam, you’ll need to transport your snackage wherever the day takes you. There is nothing wrong with some easy food to supplement your main dish. Options:

  • Hummus and baby carrots
  • Brie and a soft baguette

3. Fresh. Whether you live in San Francisco or Idaho, fresh fruits and veggies are available and you should settle for nothing less than fresh for a day outside. The heaviness of cheese and sandwiches deserves and light and summery counterpart, especially during summer. Options:

4. Sweet. No dinner is complete without dessert. Same goes for picnics. Whether it’s small or the focus of the whole night, leave your guests with some summer sweetness as your picnic winds down. Options:

  • Strawberry shortcake
  • Chocolate sampler (Ritter Sport has millions of flavors, as does Ghirradelli)
  • A halved canteloupe – everybody grab a spoon!



1. Boozey Booze. It doesn’t matter if you’re a wine drinker, a beer drinker, or a cocktails only kind of girl, it’s important to keep your picnic well lubricated. Not only does it make the day more fun (sorry, Mom!) but it can also relax any tension when Suzy puts a foot into Johnny’s meatball sammy, or when Tim finds a fly in his cucumber salad. Oh the perils of eating in the out-of-doors. Favorites:

  • A chilled white, like pinot grigio or chardonnay, would be a crisp, summery choice
  • Champagne of any sort. Even $10 prosecco will hit the spot!
  • Homemade sangria
  • Red wine for nighttime picnics. I love Apothic Red and Hall’s Napa Valley merlot. Heaven in a bottle, both of you.

2. Non-Alcoholic. For those who prefer not to be lubricated (again, sorry Mom), or for the under-12 set, you need to have a non-alcoholic option that will be just as refreshing. Options:

  • Mint lemonade
  • Cranberry juice with sparkling water
  • Sun tea



1. Standards: forks, knives, spoons. Pretty simple. I prefer using real silverware whenever I can help it, because not only is it better for the environment, but it’s a much nicer experience spearing melon pieces with a proper fork instead of some awkward plastic situation.

2. Others: a sharp paring knife (for cheeses and fruits), a small serrated knife (for bread and opening any packaging), and a corkscrew (obvious) are also absolute musts in the picnic basket.



1. Furniture: Yes, you read that correctly – furniture. But of the picnic variety, of course! Small roll up tables, cushions, folding chairs and stadium seats will keep your picnic classy, your bum dry, and keep your beautiful spread away from those pesky dogs and toddlers who also seem to hang out in parks a lot. Options:

  • Crate and Barrel’s picnic table in a bag (this thing is seriously genius)
  • Stadium seats that fold flat, like this one by Coleman (bonus points if you can strap it to your back and bike!)

2. Linens: It might seem a little silly, but linens are the difference between casual picnickers and competitive picnickers. A small multi-purpose tablecloth in a fun color (or plain ol’ white – hello bleach!), or some hardy cloth napkins that are both beautiful and summery go a long way toward making your picnic something special.

3. Centerpieces: I’m kind of kidding…but kind of not. I once saw a table of ladies with a candelabra and a vase of flowers. For those of you who are very. competitive. picnickers! this might be for you. I prefer to put a big bottle of wine in the middle of the table and call it a day. Or a picnic. Whatever you prefer.

*This checklist is also soon to be a downloadable PDF, for your packing pleasure. Check back!

All images for this post were sourced from Pintrest.

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