Packing the perfect picnic basket

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Chef Michael Wismer from Kneaders shows us how to pack the perfect picnic.
You need to start with a high quality insulated picnic basket. You can find a picnic basket that has dishes, glasses, and cutlery already with it, or you can pack your own. Layer some re-freezable ice packs at the bottom of the basket for additional cooling before you pack your food. Start your lunch preparations with high-quality farm fresh ingredients so that your product will last longer and you get the best taste possible on your outing.

Solid Sandwich: You “Knead” This Club Sandwich

Just like a well-prepared picnic, you want to pack your sandwich to ensure that it holds its form and stays pretty during the trip.

  • Start with a high-quality, firm bread (Focaccia, Ciabatta or French Country Sourdough from Kneaders).
  • Choose a firm cheese like Cheddar, Swiss or Muenster so that your sandwich has another level of reinforcement to the bread and holds its shape longer.
  • Choose high-quality hardy deli meat (ham, roast beef, pastrami are great options).
  • Season your meat and rub it in slightly, so that the flavor really takes hold of the meat and drizzle your finishing sauce over the meat. (Choose a zesty sauce, like a creamy Italian, so the bulk of the product doesn’t slip out of the sandwich you are building.)
  • Pack your fresh ingredients on top of the meat (such as basil, lettuce, tomatoes, onions, etc.)
  • Once your sandwich is packed, wrap it tightly with cling wrap and put a deli toothpick in it to hold it nicely.

Sturdy Side: Pistachio Cavatappi Salad 

  1. Start with a firm side. Pistachio Cavatappi Salad like the Cavatappi (or side of your choice) that Kneaders is using in our new Pistachio Pasta Salad this summer, is always an excellent choice because it holds its shape and doesn’t wilt if you are outside.
  2. Take your sauce on the side, so it is fresh when you want to eat it and it doesn’t start to break down the pasta while you are traveling
  3. You can add other firm veggies to your salad that stay firm like peppers, broccoli, celery, etc., or go with an entirely different salad like the Kneaders broccoli or fruit salad.
  4. Pack your side in a reusable container and put it in your insulated picnic basket to stay fresh while traveling and season when you are ready to eat.


Packable Dessert: Chill Out Packable Dessert: The Lava Flow

  1. Because we usually picnic when it’s warmer weather, we want to choose a dessert that doesn’t melt. Soft chocolate or pudding-based desserts, anything with an icing, gelatin or sliced fresh fruit is not going to travel well or keep its shape. So, we want to go with a dessert that can be transferred easily, tastes great and will look pretty when we want to enjoy it.
  2. Smoothies are always an excellent choice because they are already pureed and can be transported easily in a cooler.
  3. Choose a hard, insulated smoothie cup to pour the smoothie in so that it stays cooler longer.
  4. After blending all the ingredients, fill the cup and leave an inch at the top, so you can add some additional ice.

You “Knead” This Club Sandwich


  1. Cut the Rosemary Focaccia bread in thirds horizontally (or Kneaders bread of your choice).
  2. Starting on bottom layer, place a layer of provolone, swiss,

and Munster cheese.

  1. Next layer with pastrami, ham and roast beef.
  2. Season with fresh ground black pepper and fresh ground sea

salt. Drizzle with sauce of your choice to taste.

  1. Next layer on basil leaves, tomatoes, onion.
  2. Cover with middle slice of bread.
  3. Repeat
  4. Wrap tightly with cling film
  5. Refrigerate up to 2 days, but at least 8 hours.

When ready to serve unwrap and cut into 8 wedges (serves 8 adults).

Chill Out Packable Dessert: The Lava Smoothie In Two Parts

Part 1

  1. In a clean smoothie pitcher, add 4 cups of sliced strawberries. Strawberries should be sliced in half with the stem removed.
  2. Once strawberries have been added to smoothie pitcher, add ¼ cup of sugar and pineapple juice.
  3. Blend on speed
  4. NOTE: You may need to pulse the strawberries for a few seconds depending on the size of the strawberries. There should be chunks of strawberries in the lava.
  5. Fill squeeze bottle with lava mix. Place in reach-in cooler until needed.
  6. Clean, wash, and sanitize work area. Put away all ingredients and tools.


Part 2:

  1. Fill smoothie pitcher with 9 ounces of pineapple juice.
  2. Add 2 ounces of cream of coconut to smoothie pitcher with pineapple juice.
  3. Using the green scoop, add 2 scoops of pineapple sherbert and 2 heaping scoops of ice to pitcher.
  4. In clear 16 ounce cups. squeeze 1 oz of Lava mixture to fill to the first indent in the bottom of the cup
  5. Slowly pour freshly made smoothie on top of Lava.  Lava mixture should flow up the sides of the 16 oz cup
  6. Add a dome lid and fill with aerosol whip cream.  Top with a strawberry slice.
  7. Clean, wash and sanitize work area.  Put away all ingredients and tools.