Enjoy Canada Day outdoors with everything you need to create a red and white Canada Day Picnic!
For most Canadians, the first of July is a long weekend filled with spending family time at the lake, seeing friends, watching parades, fireworks and enjoying a beautiful Canada Day celebration.
Some keep it low-key and simply attend whatever local activities are on hand, while others plan summer vacations around our national holiday.
Canada Day Picnic Foods
This year I’ve decided to put together a patriotic Canada Day picnic filled with red and white food. I wanted something that could be prepped ahead and taken out to the beach or the park for a simple picnic.
For this picnic I decided on some easy items: my all-time favorite Easy Salsa and Chips; Crab Stuffed Mushrooms: Roasted Red Pepper Crab and Mushroom Dip; Maple Leaf Watermelon; Radish Devilled Eggs; and for dessert, Strawberries and Cream Angel Food Cake.
If you can’t tell from the list above, I love appetizers. Frequently we get together with friends for appy nights and they’re always my favourite. There are samples of all different foods without the commitment of a full meal.
Start off with an easy salsa because that can be made a couple days in advance and refrigerated. You can use your choice of fruit or veggies but for Canada Day we'd suggest subbing tomatoes for the peaches!
Stuffed Mushrooms and Red Peppers
Stuffed mushrooms have always been that one dish I wanted to master. My husband loves them, but until now I hadn’t perfected them. Trying a bunch of different variations I finally created this version and, after one bite, my husband exclaimed they were the best he ever had, better than Brenda’s. Brenda is my sister-in-law and I frequently compare my recipes to hers (she does have some good ones). I always like the satisfaction of my recipes being better … you know, friendly sister–in-law rivalry.
- 2 cans (170 g undrained) crab meat
- 2 packages light cream cheese (250g each), at room temperature
- ¼ cup chopped garlic chives (regular chives will work as well)
- 10 to 15 white mushroom caps
- 1 cup grated mozzarella cheese
- 1 cup Kraft Tex Mex Cheese
- 2 red peppers
- Drain both cans of crab meat and place in bowl. Add cream cheese and about ¾ of the chives. Mix thoroughly until well combined.
- Wash mushroom caps and pull stems out. Finely chop mushroom stems and add to crab mixture.
- Fill the mushroom caps with crab mixture and set in an ovenproof pan. Top mushroom caps with about ½ cup each of mozzarella cheese and Tex Mex cheese.
- Place in oven at 350℉ and bake for 20 to 25 minutes.
- Cut the red peppers in half and clean out seeds. Fill red pepper halves with remaining crab mixture and top with remaining mozzarella and Tex Mex cheese.
- Place red pepper halves on the BBQ on low heat for about 10 to 15 minutes or until cheese is melted. Top with remaining chives.
Radish Devilled Eggs
Devilled Eggs are always a picnic favourite - they're bite sized and easy to eat with your hands. Adding radishes as the not so secret ingredient keeps with the red and white food theme. Just make sure you pack them properly to ensure they stay cold and don't leave them sitting out in the sun. Nobody wants an upset stomach after a fabulous picnic!
- 6 hard-boiled eggs
- 2 tbsp Miracle Whip
- 1 radish
- Peel hard-boiled eggs and cut in half. Place yolks in a bowl, mash and mix with Miracle Whip.
- Place egg mixture in a plastic bag, cut the tip off the corner and pipe egg mixture into egg halves. Lightly sprinkle eggs with paprika.
- Using a vegetable peeler, peel strips off the radish and place on top of the eggs.
Maple Leaf Watermelon Slices
Maple Leaf Watermelon are ridiculously easy to make - you just need a watermelon and a maple leaf cookie cutter and you've got a refreshing, cold, patriotic treat that everyone will love. And they'll only take you second to make!
- 1 small watermelon
- Slice the watermelon about half an inch thick. Using a maple leaf cookie cutter, cut out the shape in the watermelon.
Strawberries and Cream Angel Food Cake
And what's a party without a cake? It's summer and it's a holiday so it's ok to cheat a little and use a mix. The idea here is make it easy on yourself so you can enjoy the outdoors as much as possible. A little whipped cream and some icing sugar and local strawberries that are in season everywhere and you've got a red and white cake perfect for a picnic!
- 1 Angel Food Cake (I used a boxed cake mix or you could use a pre-bought angel food cake)
- 1 package strawberries
- 1 carton (473 ml) whipping cream
- 2 tsp vanilla
- ¾ cup icing sugar
- Once cake has cooled, cut the angel food cake in half horizontally.
- Finely chop about 8 to10 strawberries and place in a mixing bowl. Add whipping cream, vanilla, and icing sugar. Beat mixture until thick.
- On the bottom layer of the cake, place about half the cream mixture. Place the second layer on top and spread remaining cream mixture on top of the cake. Garnish with remaining strawberries.
Add in your favorite crackers or chips, some drinks, pack it all up in a picnic basket or cooler with some plates, cups and cutlery and head outside for some tasty treats and to enjoy the day’s celebrations!
Enjoy the wild!
The Summer Outdoor Cooking Series is written by Joyce Schmalz. Joyce is an avid hunter, fisherman and home chef. She has two beautiful kids, a wonderful husband and a passion for the outdoors. She embraces her love for the outdoors on her blog, In the Wild Kitchen, where you can find stories and recipes with the food that she harvests, from fish to moose.