QE HOME: Staff Picnic Tips & Recipes

QE HOME: Staff Picnic Tips & Recipes

We asked our dear QE Home Sleep Stylists to share some of their favourite picnic recipes, just in time for the warmer weather and the outdoor get togethers! Here are some of our top picks.

Staff Picnic in Vancouver featuring staff recipes and QE Home bedding and accessories.

Recipes:

  1. Mediterranean Chickpea Salad
  2. Easy Salsa Pasta Salad
  3. Macaroni Pasta Salad
  4. Hot Dogs With A Twist (Spider Dog & Tuna Dog)
  5. Frozen Grapes
  6. No-bake Pineapple Dessert
  7. Slow Cooker Berry Cobbler
  8. Chocolate Cream Cheese Cupcakes
  9. Summer Punch
  10. Summer S'Mores

Keep scrolling to get the recipes!

Picnic Food Recipes

Mediterranean Chickpea Salad

Julie, Sleep Stylist, Georgian Mall, Ontario

"I sure love family picnics at the beach. I enjoy an assortment of salads, but Mediterranean chickpeas are a current favourite in my family!"

For the chopped salad:

  • 2 (15 oz) can chickpeas, drained and rinsed
  • 1 medium cucumber
  • 1 bell pepper
  • 1/2 red onion
  • 1/2 cup chopped kalamata olives, sliced thin
  • 1/2 c. crumbled feta
  • Kosher salt
  • Freshly ground black pepper

For the Lemon-Parsley Vinaigrette:

  • 1/2 c. extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1/4 c. white wine vinegar
  • 1 tbsp. lemon juice
  • 1 tbsp. freshly chopped parsley
  • 1/4 tsp. red pepper flakes Kosher salt
  • Freshly ground black pepper

Combine salad ingredients in a large bowl, top with the vinaigrette, and serve. Enjoy!

Raw chickpeas can be used as the basis of a picnic-friendly salad.

Tip: Keep your vinaigrette (or other salad dressing) in a separate container - we keep small glass jars for this - until the salad is ready to serve. This way nothing gets soggy!


Easy Salsa Pasta Salad

Sheila, Assistant Manager, Park Place Mall, Alberta

"Salsa salad is one of our faves!"

Ingredients:

  • Cooked pasta (any type)
  • Salsa (any type)
  • Mayonnaise

Add mayo to preferred salsa to achieve desired creaminess and blend with cold pasta, and voila! Easy and can be done ahead of time, with so many salsa varieties and heat levels out there, the sky's the limit.

Small pasta shapes can be used interchangeably in many pasta salad recipes. Perfect for a picnic!


Macaroni Pasta Salad

Jeanette, Sleep Stylist, St. Laurent Centre, Ontario

"An easy macaroni salad!"

Ingredients:

  • Macaroni salad
  • 1 pkg elbow macaroni
  • 1 cup mayonnaise.
  • 4 tbsp milk
  • 2 tbsp red wine vinegar
  • 1 tbsp sugar
  • 1 tsp of salt
  • 1/4 tsp garlic powder
  • 1 tsp pepper
  • 2 green or red bell peppers
  • 1 small onion
  • 1 stick celery finely chopped
  • 2 tbsp minced parsley

Mix your mayo, milk, vinegar, and sugar together, then mix the rest of ingredients in and serve!

Tip: Don't be afraid to get creative with salad ingredients, if you stick to similar families of vegetable, it's hard to go wrong. Likewise, small pasta shapes are generally fine to substitute - if you don't have macaroni, try spirals or penne pasta - or whatever you have on hand!


Hot Dogs... With A Twist

Kerrianne, Sleep Stylist, Northgate Shopping Centre, Ontario

"I highly recommend making spider dogs! Super yummy and cute too." 

Ingredients:

  • Hot dog sausage
  • Dipping sauce (optional)

You'll also need skewers if cooking over a fire!

Take the sausage and slice several slits in the sides towards the middle. 

Then, you can cook them over the fire or in the microwave at home, and the legs will curl out as it cooks! 

Staff tip: 

"When we go camping, we bring a giant tarp to put over our tents to keep ourselves and the food from getting damp. Perfect if you love having picnics outside!"

Hot dog bun on a pink background. Time to get creative with these creative hot dog recipes.

Marlene, Assistant Manager, Quinte Mall, Ontario

"A summer favourite ー Tuna Dogs!"

Ingredients:

  • 1 can light tuna
  • 4 hard cooked eggs, chopped
  • 1/2 lb cheddar cheese, cubed
  • 4 tbsp pickle relish
  • 1/2 cup mayonnaise
  • 12 hot dog rolls, split and buttered

Combine tuna, eggs, cheese, pick relish and mayonnaise and serve on a hot dog roll - enjoy!

Tip: If playing at home, wrap these in tin foil and bake these in the oven for 10 minutes. Yum!


Snacks & Desserts

Frozen Grapes

Kerrianne, Sleep Stylist, Northgate Shopping Centre, Ontario

"If you like frozen grapes, then I have a tasty treat hack for you!"

Squirt some lemon juice on your grapes and then take a jelly package flavour of your choice. Dust the powder so it's fully covering the grapes. I put mine in a small sandwich bag and shake them around! Then pop them in the freezer, and bam! You'll have a healthy sour patch gummy treat!

Staff tip: 

"I like to freeze grapes, then pop them in the cooler with other fruit. They keep the other fruit cold, and make for a refreshing snack on a hot day!"

Alana, Sleep Stylist, Southland Mall, Saskatoon

Frozen grapes are a perfect picnic treat. Pair with a cold summer beverage.


No-bake Pineapple Dessert

Alivia, Sleep Stylist, Bower Place, Alberta

"This is one of my mom’s favourites! Super easy and delicious."

Ingredients:

  • 8-oz cream cheese
  • 1 cup powdered sugar
  • 1 cup crushed pineapple (drained)
  • 8-oz whipped topping (e.g. Cool Whip)

For the crust:

  • ½ cup granulated sugar
  • ½ cup butter (melted)
  • 20 individual graham crackers (crushed)

For the topping:

  • ¼ cup shredded coconut
  • ¼ cup diced pineapple (drained)

Mix cream cheese with electric mixer until slightly fluffy. Gradually add powdered sugar and mix until well combined. Mix in the whipped topping and beat until fluffy. With a spatula, fold in the crushed pineapple, then set aside.

In a small bowl, mix the crushed graham crackers, granulated sugar and melted butter then pat into a 9x9 baking dish. Spoon the filling over the crust and smooth with a spatula.

Top with shredded coconut and diced pineapple, refrigerate until firm (about 2 hours). Enjoy!

Tip: Remember to bring something to serve this with - like a spatula. If you forget (like we did) you can always use a serving spoon, and scoop into a drinking glass or mug!

Our QE Home Sleep Stylist recipe at our staff picnic, the No-bake Pineapple Dessert!


Slow Cooker Berry Cobbler

Heather, Store Manager, Bower Place, Alberta

"Here is the recipe of a dessert that I make that my mom absolutely loves!"

For the cobbler:

  • 8oz Frozen Mango chunks
  • 8oz Frozen berry mix
  • 1/2 cup pomegranate juice
  • 1/2 tbsp cornstarch
  • 1/2 tsp vanilla extract

For the topping:

  • 1/2 cup oats
  • 1/4 cup flour -1/2 cup brown sugar
  • 1 tsp baking powder -pinch salt
  • 4 tbsp butter

First, spray slow cooker with cooking spray and add frozen fruit. In a bowl, mix juice, cornstarch, & vanilla; pour over fruit. 

In another bowl, mix oats, flour, sugar, baking powder, & salt. Use fingers to mix butter into the dry mix it’s become broken into smaller pieces. Sprinkle dry topping mix over fruit.

Place 3-4 layers of paper towels over the top of the slow cooker, before putting the lid on. Cook on low heat for 4 to 5 hours, until the juices are thick & bubbly. Make sure not to lift the lid for the first 3 hours of cooking.

Once it’s done, serve over a scoop of vanilla ice cream!

Tip: For a picnic away from home, you can always skip the icecream and serve on its own - this recipe tastes great at any temperature!


Chocolate Cream Cheese Cupcakes

Tanya, District Manager, Vancouver Lower Mainland

"I was blessed to grow up in a home surrounded by amazing role models, and incredible food! My Mom and Dad are both amazing cooks, and my brother has become a professional chef! Below is a YUMMY cupcake recipe my mom shared with me ー I was fortunate to have mom in town lately and had her bake them for 2 of my team members, who both had a birthday a day apart!"

Toppings

  • 1 package cream cheese
  • 1/3 cup sugar
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 3/4 cup chocolate chips

Batter

  • 3 cups flour
  • 2 cups sugar
  • Half-cup cocoa
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 2 tsp soda
  • 2 cups water
  • Two third cups oil
  • 2 tbsp vinegar
  • 2 tsp vanilla

Combine batter ingredients together, and bake in muffin tins at 350 degrees for 30 minutes. Top with the cream cheese mixture and decorate as you wish!


Picnic Beverages

Summer Punch

Deep, Sleep Stylist, Polo Park Mall, Manitoba

"A good punch recipe!"

Ingredients:

  • Sprite or 7-up
  • Pineapple juice
  • Cranberry juice

Add equal parts until you get a sweet/tangy punch with enough fizz!

Tip: Pop in some frozen fruit to keep it cold!


Summer S'Mores

Gene, Content Writer, Vancouver Head Office

"We all love a good s’more, but not all of us have a fire ready to cook them with. So with the sun already heating us up enough, put your pieces into some ice cream for a cool treat that’s just as sweet!"

Ingredients:

  • French vanilla ice cream
  • Mini marshmallows
  • Chocolate sauce
  • Graham Crackers

First, put some vanilla ice cream in a small bowl. Cover with a handful of mini marshmallows and drizzle a spiral of chocolate sauce across the top.

Next, put two graham crackers in a sandwich bag, then crumble them up by rolling something heavy across the sealed bag. Spread an even layer of crumbs across the top of your dessert, and they should naturally stick onto the ice cream & chocolate! 

Every time you dig your spoon in, all your s’more toppings should sink with it, giving you the same taste as the classic camp sandwich with every bite. You can also put your toppings over a vanilla milkshake for a snack you can sip!

A S'Mores Ice Cream Sunday shared by QE Home content writer and recipe author.


If you want to stay tuned for more stories, recipes, and summertime activities, subscribe to our mailing list so we can keep you posted on all we have to offer! Plus, be sure to also check out any of our 75+ stores so you can get your fire pits & picnics set for summer.

Enjoy the sunshine!

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