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  • Writer's pictureSt. Matthew's Blog

Delicious Recipe Suggestions for the Church Picnic

Summer is the perfect time for gathering together for fellowship, fun, and food! Our annual church picnic is just around the corner, and we’re excited to share some delightful recipes suggested by St. Matthew's very own, Anna Hodges. We hope these ideas will help if you're stuck figuring out what to bring. From savory side dishes to sweet desserts, there's something here for everyone. Let’s make this picnic memorable with these tasty treats!

The Baileys Cake is MY favorite dessert recipe. Remember these are suggested as a starting point. I haven't personally tried all of the recipes other than Bailey's Cake and DanDan's Strawberry Pie. Just remember to keep it simple and work with what you've got on hand."

-Anna Hodges

Side Dish Recipes:

Dessert Recipes:

The Best Baked Beans Recipe

Side Dish Recipes

The Best Baked Beans Ever


  • 8 slices bacon, halved

  • 1 medium onion, chopped

  • 1/2 medium green pepper, chopped

  • 3 (28-oz.) cans pork and beans

  • 3/4 cup barbecue sauce

  • 1/2 cup brown sugar

  • 1/4 cup distilled or cider vinegar

  • 2 teaspoons dry mustard or 2 tablespoons Dijon mustard


  1. Preheat oven to 325°F. Fry bacon until partially cooked.

  2. Sauté onion and pepper in bacon drippings until tender. Add beans and remaining ingredients, simmer.

  3. Pour into a greased 13x9-inch pan, top with bacon. Bake for about 2 hours.

Macaroni Salad


  • 4 cups elbow macaroni

  • 1/2 cup mayonnaise

  • 1 tablespoon red wine or distilled vinegar

  • 3 teaspoons sugar

  • 1/4 teaspoon salt

  • Black pepper to taste

  • 1/4 cup milk

  • Splash of pickle juice

  • 3 roasted red peppers, diced

  • 1/2 cup black olives, chopped

  • 6 sweet/spicy pickle slices, diced

  • 3 green onions, sliced


  1. Cook macaroni, drain, and cool. Mix mayonnaise, vinegar, sugar, salt, pepper, milk, and pickle juice.

  2. Combine macaroni with dressing, peppers, olives, pickles, and green onions. Chill for at least 2 hours before serving.

Broccoli and Apple Salad


  • 3 cups small fresh broccoli florets

  • 3 medium apples, chopped

  • 3 tablespoons each golden raisins, dried cranberries, and chopped dates

  • 1 tablespoon chopped red onion

  • 1/2 cup reduced-fat plain yogurt

  • 4 bacon strips, cooked and crumbled


  1. Combine broccoli, apples, dried fruit, and onion in a large bowl. Add yogurt and toss to coat.

  2. Sprinkle with bacon and refrigerate until serving.

Cowboy Caviar (Easy Bean Salad)


  • 2 tablespoons olive oil

  • 2 tablespoons red wine vinegar

  • 1 tablespoon fresh lime juice

  • 1 teaspoon fine sea salt

  • 1 teaspoon maple syrup

  • 1 clove garlic, minced

  • Freshly ground black pepper

  • 1 (15 oz.) can black beans, drained and rinsed

  • 1 (15 oz.) can black-eyed peas, drained and rinsed

  • 1/2 cup diced red onion

  • 3 roma tomatoes, chopped

  • 1 cup fresh or frozen corn

  • 1 bell pepper, chopped

  • 1 jalapeno, diced

  • 1 cup fresh cilantro, chopped


  1. Combine olive oil, vinegar, lime juice, salt, maple syrup, garlic, and pepper in a large bowl.

  2. Add beans, black-eyed peas, onion, tomato, corn, bell pepper, jalapeno, and cilantro. Toss to coat.

  3. Let marinate for 10 minutes before serving. Store leftovers in the fridge for up to 48 hours.

Mediterranean Zucchini Pasta Salad


  • 2 large zucchini

  • Juice of 1 lemon

  • 2 tablespoons red onion, chopped

  • 1 clove garlic, minced

  • 1/4 cup fresh dill, chopped

  • 1 cup cherry tomatoes, halved

  • 1 cup red bell pepper, chopped

  • 3 oz. goat feta crumbles

  • Salt to taste


  1. Spiralize or peel zucchini into ribbons. Set aside on a towel to absorb moisture.

  2. Combine onion, garlic, lemon juice, and dill in a bowl. Add the rest of the ingredients and toss.

  3. Let flavors meld for 15 minutes before serving. Transfer to a new bowl to remove excess moisture.

Healthy Potato Salad


  • 3 pounds red potatoes

  • 1/4 cup olive oil

  • 1/4 cup lemon juice

  • 1 tablespoon Dijon mustard

  • 1 garlic clove

  • 1/2 cup flat-leaf Italian parsley

  • 1/4 cup fresh dill

  • 3 green onions, chopped

  • 2 to 3 teaspoons fine sea salt

  • 1 teaspoon black pepper


  1. Slice potatoes into 1/4-inch pieces and steam until tender.

  2. Blend olive oil, lemon juice, mustard, garlic, parsley, dill, green onions, salt, and pepper until smooth.

  3. Mix potatoes with dressing while warm. Chill for at least 4 hours before serving.

Bailey's Cake Recipe

Dessert Recipes

Bailey's Cake


  • 1 box of yellow cake mix (with pudding)

  • 1 large box of instant chocolate pudding

  • 4 eggs

  • 3/4 cup vegetable oil

  • 1/4 cup sugar

  • 3/4 cup water

  • 1/2 cup Irish Creme

  • 1 cup chocolate chips


  1. Preheat oven to 350°F.

  2. Blend together the cake mix, pudding, eggs, oil, sugar, water, and Irish Creme.

  3. Fold in the chocolate chips.

  4. Flour and grease a bundt pan, pour in the batter.

  5. Bake for 50-60 minutes.

  6. Top with powdered sugar before serving.

DanDan's Strawberry Cream Pie


  • 1 (8 ounce) package cream cheese, softened

  • 1/4 cup white sugar

  • 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract

  • 3/4 cup sliced fresh strawberries, mashed

  • 1 cup heavy whipping cream

  • 1/4 cup confectioners' sugar

  • 1/4 cup sliced fresh strawberries

  • 1 (9 inch) prepared graham cracker crust


  1. Beat together cream cheese, white sugar, and vanilla until smooth. Stir in 3/4 cup mashed strawberries.

  2. In a separate bowl, beat the heavy cream and confectioners' sugar until stiff peaks form. Fold into the cream cheese mixture, then fold in 1/4 cup sliced strawberries.

  3. Spoon the mixture into the graham cracker crust and chill for at least 3 hours before serving.

Chocolate Covered Bananas


  • 2 ripe bananas

  • 1/2 cup chocolate chips

  • 1 tablespoon coconut oil

  • 6 popsicle sticks

  • Optional toppings: chopped salted peanuts, shredded coconut, sprinkles, flaky sea salt


  1. Peel the bananas and cut them into thirds. Insert popsicle sticks and freeze until solid.

  2. Melt the chocolate chips and coconut oil over a double boiler.

  3. Drizzle the melted chocolate over the frozen bananas, add optional toppings quickly before the chocolate hardens.

  4. Freeze again until ready to serve.

Blueberry Zucchini Squares


  • 2 cups shredded zucchini (do not pack)

  • 1/2 cup buttermilk

  • 1 tablespoon grated lemon zest

  • 3 tablespoons lemon juice

  • 1 cup butter, softened

  • 2-1/2 cups sugar

  • 2 large eggs

  • 3-1/4 cups plus 2 tablespoons all-purpose flour, divided

  • 1 teaspoon baking soda

  • 1/2 teaspoon salt

  • 2 cups fresh or frozen blueberries

For the glaze:

  • 2 cups confectioners' sugar

  • 1/4 cup buttermilk

  • 1 tablespoon grated lemon zest

  • 2 teaspoons lemon juice

  • 1/8 teaspoon salt


  1. Preheat oven to 350°F. Grease a 15x10x1-inch baking pan.

  2. Combine zucchini, buttermilk, lemon zest, and lemon juice. Cream butter and sugar, then beat in eggs one at a time. Alternate adding flour mixture and zucchini mixture.

  3. Toss blueberries with remaining flour and fold into batter. Spread evenly in the pan and bake for 30-35 minutes.

  4. Mix glaze ingredients until smooth and spread over cooled squares.

Chocolate Chip Blondies


  • 1-1/2 cups packed brown sugar

  • 1/2 cup butter, melted

  • 2 large eggs, lightly beaten

  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract

  • 1-1/2 cups all-purpose flour

  • 1/2 teaspoon baking powder

  • 1/2 teaspoon salt

  • 1 cup semisweet chocolate chips


  1. Preheat oven to 350°F. Combine brown sugar, butter, eggs, and vanilla.

  2. Mix in flour, baking powder, and salt. Stir in chocolate chips.

  3. Spread in a greased 13x9-inch pan and bake for 18-20 minutes. Cool and cut into bars.

More recipes available for download:

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