Celebrity party planner Debi Lilly shares Labor Day picnic ideas

CHICAGO (WLS) -- Poof! It's the last week of summer. How did that even happen?

Celebrity party planner Debi Lilly's just back from Nantucket sunset beach picnics with fast and easy farm fresh summer recipes, tips and tricks.

Grab your family or a few favorite friends and wrap up summer's end with a small, socially distant outdoor picnic party-- with grocery to gorgeous decor and recipes featuring all the farm fresh flavors so colorful and ripe this season.

Picnics are perfect in a pandemic, allowing friends to spread blankets 6' apart in the park, and picnic food is a favorite as it's focused on simple flavors Made ahead and served at room temperature.

Looking for a fun summer drink? Try, Strawberry Rosé Punch by mixing equal parts strawberry lemonade and rosé wine in a glass pitcher. French Rosé works great as it's very pale pink and light with fruit notes. Add ice and sliced strawberries to glasses, fill with punch, and add fresh mint and a stem of pink spray rose for the perfect summer garden garnish.

Sandwiches and salads are a picnic's best friend. They are easy to wrap and pack and to eat as a finger food with hands.

Caprese Foccacia layers favorite flavors with the star of summer's end: tomatoes. Layer focaccia or flatbread with pesto, mozzarella and tomato slices, and finish with black pepper and a drizzle of balsamic glaze-- a thick syrup style balsamic vinegar.

Fried chicken and slaw sliders marry up two iconic summer recipes together as one. Chicken tenders work perfectly on mini baguettes with a tangy carrot broccoli cabbage slaw for an additional crunch and dose of healthy veg.

Lilly suggests dressing any veg with Garlic Expressions, made in Ohio and available right in the grocery aisle.

Lilly said her go-to summer salad features local sweet corn right off the cobb: Burrata Corn Salad, bursting with flavor and color and garnished with cherry tomatoes and cilantro.

Last but not least family favorite sweet treats - from fruit skewers to chocolate dipped fudge cookies and iced ginger biscotti make for a sweet ending.
Copyright © 2020 WLS-TV. All Rights Reserved.