Less Labor Day Picnic

We’re enjoying a lakeside picnic over the holiday weekend~

I’m testing the theory that everything tastes better out of a jar~ it certainly is more fun :-)

A layered salad made in advance~ a minimum of 8 hours or up to 24~ chilling for the flavors to meld.

You can enjoy the fruits of your labor later ~ since that’s  the point of this summer holiday :-)

Tasty & satisfying~ and a salad that my husband enjoys.

 Note to self:  Pack individual salad jars next time, so serving is less problematic & less labor is required  :-)

Layered Cornbread-and-Turkey Salad, recipe courtesy of Southern Living, here

I substituted some chickpeas for yellow bell peppers~ not as colorful~ but pleasing to our taste buds and used a blend of Monterey Jack & Cheddar cheese instead of Swiss since that’s what I had on hand.


Skewers of cherry tomatoes, artichoke hearts, prosciutto, cheese, olives, & cheese tortellini~

Citrus infused water with lemon & orange slices~ refreshing & thirst quenching~

 Dessert in a jar with very little labor using fruits in season~ plums, peaches, berries of any kind or combination.

 Peach-and-Blueberry Parfait, recipe & inspiration courtesy Southern Living here.

Instead of making a custard, I mixed a jar of lemon curd with 8 oz of  1/3 less fat cream cheese~ (less labor :-)

Layer custard or lemon curd mixture with the angel food cake (or pound cake), peaches & blueberries. Assemble, chill & enjoy!

Wishing you some food and fun in your weekend~

Have a Safe & Labor-Free Holiday :-)

 Plates/ Kohl’s

Flatware/ HomeGoods

Napkins/ World Market

Beverage Dispenser/ Pottery Barn

Thank you for your visit, I’m joining:

 StoneGable for On the Menu Monday~

 Between Naps on the Porch for Tablescape Thursday~

 Rattlebridge Farm for Foodie Friday~

The Tablescaper for Seasonal Sundays~

  35 comments for “Less Labor Day Picnic

  1. September 3, 2011 at 6:28 pm

    This is beautiful, and the food looks very tasty!!! We live in an area that abounds with lakes (mostly man-made), but we have never taken the time to share a picnic lunch at any of them. This makes me want to pack up and go! Everything in a jar makes good sense and makes for minimum mess and clean up. Gotta love that!!! I hope you guys have a great Labor Day weekend, too!!!

  2. suzanne mcdowell
    September 3, 2011 at 8:16 pm

    You can take the girl out of retail, but you can’t take the retail out of the girl. Your visual talent shows in everything you do. Your presentation is gorgeous and inviting. Makes me happy just looking at your pictures.

  3. September 3, 2011 at 8:55 pm

    Oh Mary, you make me want to be your neighbor and friend so we could go out together and share this!!!! Dinner (or lunch) in a jar is such a wonderful idea!!! It all looks and sounds delish! Glad you had a good time and that it was NOT alot of labor. It LOOKS like it was but…..I believe you:):) Joe and I went to see The Help today and LOOOOOOVED it, BOTH of us!!!! Have you seen it?? XO, Pinky

    • September 4, 2011 at 7:40 am

      Hi Pinky~ I loved The Help! The audio version of the book is outstanding…I listened to it a couple of years ago & want to listen to it again after seeing the movie! It was so well cast!

  4. September 3, 2011 at 9:23 pm

    oh how cute are you lakeside, fat and happy! i adore your picnic and food in jars is always the way to go, well, on the go!

    i hope its not to late to ask to borrow your pics… i have since the first day you started blogging… may i please have permission to keep all your fabulous creative, gorgeous ideas?

    if you say no, my brain will be like bathwater emptying down the drain with all your fabulous images…

    wishing you a very happy holiday, we are off to the beach tomorrow, there was a high surf warning for the coast, 50′ seas off of N.Z. two weeks ago are hitting the ca coast this weekend, southern call has been getting 20′ waves, up here they said 8-11′, i figured the beach would be extra crowded and scary with 3 dogs and rogue waves :(
    happy holiday to you!

    • September 4, 2011 at 7:41 am

      You’re too funny~ you know you can borrow away :-)

  5. September 3, 2011 at 9:32 pm

    Since no picnic here for us, I’m just going to linger here and enjoy you lakeside delight. Mary, you never cease to amaze. This is so charming. Love the idea of the jars. I’ve got an entire sack of jelly jars saved to use for something like this. They have cute little gingham lids. ;-)
    Happy Holiday! ~ sarah

  6. September 3, 2011 at 10:51 pm

    How much fun is this? Loads I’ll bet and delicious, too. The salad and dessert look delicious. The lemon curd and cream cheese sound great.. Do you use any particular brand of lemon curd or will any brand do?
    Hope you have a great Labor Day.

    • September 4, 2011 at 7:38 am

      Hi Babs~ Trader Joe’s has a great lemon curd I like to use. The consistency is great & it’s a great price too :-)

  7. Jackie
    September 3, 2011 at 11:54 pm

    Mary, have I told you before I want to be just like you when I grow up?? Yes, about 7 or 8 times! Your blog is one of the finest I have ever had the pleasure of finding in the mish mash of crap that’s out there in the blogosphere. You never cease to amaze with creativity and integrity (key point here!) and I so enjoy and look forward to your posts in my email. They are the first I open when they arrive.

  8. September 4, 2011 at 2:15 am

    I love this idea so neat! Wonderful blog

  9. Pondside
    September 4, 2011 at 2:50 am

    Such a pretty picnic! Thanks for all of those good ideas – especially the salad in individual glasses..

  10. Happier Than A Pig in Mud
    September 4, 2011 at 6:27 am

    A very fancy picnic Mary! Looks like a great time with wonderful food! Happy Labor Day Weekend:@)

  11. Jojo
    September 4, 2011 at 8:33 am

    I could hardly focus on your amazing picnic because I’m loving your new blog format! How did you do it??

    Your picnic is gorgeous and I love that everyone has their own jar. That lawyered salad was the perfect dish!

  12. September 4, 2011 at 8:56 am

    Your post makes me want to find some empty jars and fill them with some similar goodies. Great ideas, and as usual, great photographs.

  13. September 4, 2011 at 10:00 am

    This looks absolutely delicious. I love every bit of it: the luxurious pillows and quilt, jarred treats for every course, and a feast for the eyes. The recipes look great. Thanks for bringing your fabulous post to Seasonal Sundays.

    – The Tablescaper

  14. September 4, 2011 at 12:31 pm

    Your pictures were so colorful & pretty! What an inspiration for a fun picnic!!! I loved the ideas. Thanks for sharing!

  15. September 4, 2011 at 9:06 pm

    Now this is the perfect way to picnic! Your quilt and pillows are absolutely beautiful and everyone’s servings in a jar is fantastic. Late summer days at the lake is the ideal way to spend labor-free weekend.
    I just re-read your posts about Dog Days and Fantasy Island Getaway and had to tell you how much I enjoyed them. I had knee surgery so I’ve been reading posts but not commenting too much until just recently. I loved them when you first published them and loved rereading them today.
    Hope you are having a wonderful long weekend.

  16. September 4, 2011 at 9:22 pm

    Oh my…between the gorgeous quilts & pillows & all that luscious food, I’m feeling faint! Wonderful ideas to pack it all into easily transported glass jars. I think doing 2 separate salads is a good idea & I appreciate you mentioning it, so I’ll remember.
    Your DH is the luckiest guy around…I hope you tell him that every day! LOL
    He’s really cute, too. ~~big grin~~

  17. September 4, 2011 at 11:01 pm

    What a fun picnic! The quilts and pillows are so colorful and cozy looking. I love the idea of the meal in easy-to-transport jars and your tip to make a jar for each individual. I’m in love with that flatware, too. I hope to come across this set one day and if I do, I’m snatching it right up!

    Thanks for sharing such a visually pleasing and mouth-watering post!

  18. Patty
    September 5, 2011 at 12:18 am

    What a beautiful and colorful picnic. I love, love, love this idea. The salads and desserts look wonderful!

  19. September 5, 2011 at 2:52 pm

    Southern Living needs to hire you as a reward for your frequent mentions of their recipes to say nothing about you being a great resource for creative ideas.

  20. September 5, 2011 at 8:27 pm

    I saved this post.. it’s fabulous.. I love the quilt and the pillows.. so wonderful especially with your backdrop.. The food.. well just looks amazing.. Thank you very much for your well wishes for the parents.. They are both doing very well. xo marlis

  21. September 5, 2011 at 10:34 pm

    How lovely! I saw that layered turkey and cornbread salad and wondered about it. You have made it look so delicious that I’m going to have to try it. Everything is gorgeous as usual, and (as usual) makes me want to throw myself on the floor.

  22. September 6, 2011 at 6:59 am

    A picnic in a jar…I love the idea. Your picnic looks lovely.

  23. Pat
    September 6, 2011 at 6:23 pm

    Your posts are a feat fro the eyes, Mary! A picnic ina jar looks like fun and I love your colorful picnic quilt and pillow. Do you have a Pinterest site? Let me know so I can follow you there too!

    Hugs, Pat

  24. September 7, 2011 at 11:20 pm

    What a gorgeous picnic! Love the jar idea!

  25. September 8, 2011 at 9:45 pm

    I am crazy about anything in a jar! All these look scrumptious… and BEAUTIFUL!

  26. September 9, 2011 at 8:15 pm

    What a beautiful picnic and the setting is fantastic. All of the jar presentations are wonderful, isn’t it such a fun way to serve? I had to run out and get a few more for a big party we did. I just am in love with the salad in the jar and it looks so great with the dressing drizzling down the sides. I am going to have to Pin this one! Love it.

  27. September 9, 2011 at 8:36 pm

    Gorgeous day for a picnic by the lake…love that everything is jarred. I will have to remember that for the next time we go on one.

  28. September 9, 2011 at 11:48 pm

    This was my first TT and I am so inspired by what people have shared. Your picnic spread is so pretty that if I was walking by I might feel compelled to sit right down and join you! I love the layered food in jars–it’s pleasing to the eye as well as to the tastebuds, I’m sure. Thank you so much!

  29. September 12, 2011 at 10:43 pm

    Priceless and perfect. I love that your food choices continued the colors of the magnificent quilt. Thank you for sharing your incredible design. Cherry Kay

  30. September 13, 2011 at 8:36 pm

    The photos make the meal! Love the ideas, but truly, what photography talent! Love it!

  31. September 15, 2011 at 5:47 pm

    What a unique way to serve a picnic salad. It is all so beautiful…love the pillows and quilt!

  32. Shannon Zimmerman
    July 16, 2012 at 7:35 pm

    Thanks for sharing these creative ideas and photos – what a great blog! Not sure I could top this picnic arrangement! Enjoy your blogs and picnic in a jar concept – keep it up =)
    – Shannon, Crumb Cake Creations, LLC

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