Plan A Bridgerton-Themed Picnic Party

Host a charming outdoor picnic party with a touch of Bridgerton elegance! Discover Jorj’s top picnic menu recipes and delightful outdoor decor to elevate your gathering to new levels of sophistication.

Picnic ala Bridgerton

To live like Lords and Ladies, luxuriating over shared meals that linger for hours, relishing in the pleasures of food and drink and conversations with friends.

These were the bygone days…NOT!

You can have these days here in the present. You simply need to plan, prep, invite and enjoy.

Let’s do a picnic…Just like they did in Bridgerton!

The Picnic Plan

We need to set the scene: 

A gorgeous picnic rug, fluffy cushions for resting, and a picnic basket with utensils for toting.

How to Prep for a Picnic

Prepare a menu that includes a fruity surprise soup starter, a variety of chilled salads that travel easily and a luscious dessert cake with sweet lemonade (spiked of course!) to finish the meal.

Sort your containers so that every THING is packed with ease of serving.

Individual deli containers work well for soups and salads.

Or, depending on the size of your group, you might pack everyone’s meal separately and simply hand out the containers.

This works well for those who like to eat dessert first!

Picnic Party Invites

Call your pals and arrange for them to meet you at your favorite outdoor spot: The beach, a mountain overlook, a sprawling back deck, a shady area in the park…

You pick the spot and make sure your friends know where and when.

Now it’s time to enjoy, just like Bridgerton’s Penelope!

I wonder what Lady Whistledown will say about this!

Gazpacho with Strawberries and Basil

Chilled Strawberry Soup for Hot Days

Serves 4 – 6

Time To Prepare

30 minute prep plus chilling

Ingredients

  • 2 pounds small ripe plum tomatoes, about 16 (or about
  • 8 medium to large plum tomatoes)
  • 1 large seedless cucumber, cut into chunks, about 2 cups
  • 1 large red bell pepper, seeded cut into chunks, about 1 cup
  • 1 small red onion, peeled and cut into chunks, about ½ cup
  • 1 pint fresh strawberries, stems removed and halved, about 2 cups
  • 2 cloves garlic, peeled and minced, about 2 teaspoons
    2 tablespoons chopped fresh basil
  • 1 slice white bread, soaked in water
  • 1 cup vegetable broth
  • ½ cup red wine vinegar
  • ¼ cup olive oil
  • ½ teaspoon kosher salt
  • 2 to 4 drops hot pepper sauce

Directions

Bring a pot of water to a boil on the stove top.

Fill a bowl with ice water. Cut an “x” with a sharp knife at one end of each tomato. Drop the tomatoes into the boiling water and cook until the skin begins to wrinkle and split at the “x”, about 45 to 50 seconds.

Use a slotted spoon to remove the tomatoes from the pot and place them into the ice water. Peel the skin from the tomatoes. Cut each tomato in half and squeeze gently to remove most of the seeds.

Place the tomatoes into the bowl of a food processor. Add the cucumber, red pepper and onion. Pulse until chunky. Pour the veggies into a large bowl.


Place the strawberries into the food processor and pulse until just chopped. (You want them chunky not pureed.) Stir the strawberries into the veggies. Scoop out 1 cup of the strawberries and veggies and set aside.


Pour the remaining strawberries and veggies back into the bowl of the food processor. Add the garlic and basil. Squeeze the excess water from the bread and add to the food processor bowl. Pulse until the mixture is pureed. Pour it back into the large bowl. Stir in the stock, olive oil and vinegar. Stir in the chunky 1 cup strawberries and veggies that you set aside. Season with salt and hot pepper sauce. Place the soup into the fridge and chill for several hours.


Serve the soup with a garnish of extra fresh basil and a slice of strawberry.

Pesto Chicken Salad

Serves 6 – 8

Time To Prepare

30 minutes ’til ready

Ingredients

  • 2 large skinless boneless chicken breasts, cooked and cut into ½-inch cubes
  • 2 stalks broccoli, stem peeled and thinly sliced, cut into small florets, blanched
  • ¼ small red onion, peeled and finely diced
  • 1 cup mayonnaise
  • 2 tablespoons basil pesto
  • Juice from 1 medium lemon, about 2 tablespoons
  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt
  • ½ teaspoon coarse black pepper

Directions

Place the chicken, broccoli, and onion into a bowl.
Stir together the mayonnaise, pesto, and lemon juice in another bowl.

Pour the sauce over the chicken salad ingredients and toss to coat. Season with salt and pepper.

Thing to Note:
You can substitute with dark meat or any combo of chicken meat for this salad. I love leftover lemon chicken for this recipe.

Another Thing to Note:

You can purchase prepared pesto or you can make your own!

  • 1 bunch fresh basil leaves, about 2 cups
  • ¼ pound fresh spinach leaves, about 1 cup
  • ½ cup pine nuts, toasted
  • 4 cloves garlic, peeled, about 2 tablespoons
  • 4 ounces Parmesan cheese, grated, about 1 cup
  • 1 teaspoon coarse salt
  • 1 teaspoon coarse pepper
  • ½ cup olive oil

Place the basil, spinach, pine nuts, garlic, and Parmesan cheese into the bowl of a food processor (or blender). Pulse to emulsify. With the machine running, slowly pour in the olive oil to form a paste. Season with salt and pepper. You can keep pesto in an air tight container for several weeks in your fridge.

Creamy Shrimp Salad with Mango

Serves 6 – 8

Time To Prepare

30 minutes ’til ready

Ingredients

  • 1 (24-ounce) bag frozen large shrimp, (31 to 40 count per pound), peeled and deveined, tail on
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1 teaspoon coarse black pepper
  • 1 large mango
  • 3 stalks celery, thinly sliced, about ½ cup
  • 1 small cucumber, cut into ¼-inch pieces, about ½ cup
  • 3 green onions, thinly sliced, about ¼ cup
  • 1 small jalapeno pepper, seeded and deveined, finely chopped, about 2 tablespoons
  • ¾ cup mayonnaise
  • ½ cup sour cream
  • Juice from 1 lime, about 2 tablespoons
  • 1 tablespoon honey
  • 1 teaspoon Worcestershire sauce
  • 1 teaspoon Creole seasoning
  • 1 to 2 tablespoons heavy cream
  • Fresh mint leaves

Directions

Preheat the oven to 375°. Thaw the shrimp by rinsing with cold water. Pat dry and place in a single layer onto a baking sheet. Drizzle with olive oil, salt, and pepper. Roast until the shrimp are opaque, about 5 to 7 minutes. Remove from the oven and cool to room temperature.

Place the mango upright and find the tallest side. There is a pit in the center. Slice down to remove half of the mango off the pit. If the knife finds the pit, simply turn the mango to find the side with no resistance. Once you have the two pieces of mango, cut vertically across the flesh into strips leaving the peel in place. Then cut horizontally to form squares. Invert the peel and the squares will pop up. Use your knife to remove the cubes from the peel. Repeat with the other piece. Place the mango cubes into a bowl. Add the celery, cucumber, green onions, and jalapeno to the bowl. Cut the tails from the shrimp and chop them into small pieces. Add these to the bowl.

Whisk together the mayonnaise and sour cream. Stir in the lime juice, honey, and Worcestershire sauce. Season with Creole seasoning, salt, and pepper. Stir in the cream to thin the sauce to your desired consistency. Pour the sauce over the shrimp salad ingredients and toss to cover. Garnish with fresh mint leaves.

Farmer’s Market Orzo Salad

A Tasty Trip Down Memory Lane

Serves 6 – 8

Time To Prepare

30 minutes ’til ready

Ingredients

  • 1 cup uncooked orzo pasta
  • Juice of 2 medium lemons, about ¼ cup
  • 3 large garlic cloves, peeled and minced, about 2 teaspoons
  • 1 teaspoon yellow mustard
  • ½ cup olive oil
  • 2 teaspoons kosher salt
  • 1 teaspoon coarse black pepper
  • 1 large cucumber, peeled, seeded and diced into ¼-inch pieces, about 1 ½ cups
  • 4 to 5 green onions, thinly sliced, about ½ cup
  • 1 pint baby heirloom tomatoes, quartered
  • 2 tablespoons chopped fresh Italian parsley

Directions

Cook the orzo in 2 quarts salted, boiling water until tender, about 8 to 10 minutes. Whisk together lemon juice, garlic and mustard in a bowl. Whisk in the olive oil in a slow steady stream. Season the dressing with some salt and pepper.

Drain the orzo through a colander and place into a large bowl. Pour half of the dressing over the orzo and stir. Cool to room temperature (or place into the fridge to chill for 5 minutes or so).

Add the cucumbers, onions, tomatoes and parsley to the cooled orzo. Pour in the remaining dressing. Gently toss the salad together. Taste and season with salt and pepper if needed.

Cook’s Tip

Have extra orzo salad? Great! The flavors of the salad get even better the next day! Use it as you would tabbouleh. Stuff the salad into a pita pocket. Top with chunks of feta cheese and some leftover roasted chicken. Top with a dollop of ranch dressing. Wrap it up for a take along lunch.

Blueberry-Lemon Sour Cream Cake

Serves 8 – 10

Time To Prepare

15 minutes to prep, plus about an hour to bake

Ingredients

  • 2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder
  • ½ teaspoon nutmeg
  • ¼ teaspoon kosher salt
  • 2 large eggs
  • 1 cup granulated sugar
  • 1 cup sour cream
  • ½ cup vegetable oil
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  • Juice from 1 Meyer lemon, about 2 tablespoons
  • Zest from 1 Meyer lemon, about 1 tablespoon
  • 2 pints fresh blueberries
  • 1 teaspoon cornstarch
  • Confectioners’ sugar for dusting

Directions

Preheat the oven to 375°. Whisk together the flour, baking powder, nutmeg and salt in a small bowl. Use an electric mixer to combine the eggs with the granulated sugar until fluffy and pale yellow in color. Mix in the sour cream, oil and vanilla. Stir in the lemon juice and zest.


Stir the cornstarch into the blueberries. Pour half of the batter into a 9-inch springform pan lined with parchment paper. Top with half of the blueberries. Pour the remaining batter on top and sprinkle the rest of the blueberries over the top. Bake until a tester inserted into the cake comes out with crumbs, (it will mostly come out with melting blueberries, but you can see crumbs rather than batter) about 50 to 60 minutes.

Transfer the cake to a rack to cool for 10 to 15 minutes. Remove the sides of the pan and sprinkle with confectioner’s sugar.

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