How to Be the Perfect Picnic Guest

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It’s SUMMERTIME here in Buffalo, and if you live in a place where it is winter a good chunk of the year, you LIVE IT UP when Mother Nature blesses you with pretty much perfect summer weather (not too hot, not too cold) for three glorious months.  So our days are full of picnics, bike rides, and outdoor activities! We have some tips for you today on how to be the perfect summer picnic guest, and of course, you can’t have a perfect picnic without Coca-Cola™, so we have a yummy recipe that’s perfect for sharing!

Tip #1 Bring a dish to pass

It’s always considerate to help the host of your picnic out by bringing a dish to pass.  While it’s great to ask her opinion, if she tells you to bring whatever, think about bringing something BESIDES a dessert.  Desserts can be easy and we’ve probably all been to picnics where there are TONS of desserts.  We LOVE this savory salad recipe that brings together some Mexican spice and the sweetness of Coca-Cola!  To shop for my ingredients, I headed to Giant Eagle.  I LOVE shopping at Giant Eagle because the store is always so clean and bright, the checkout systems are brilliant and their produce is always fresh! If you haven’t shopped there, find your closest Giant Eagle here and check it out! While I was there, I found the NEW Share an Ice Cold Coke bottles, which are back this summer with 1,000 new names.  The cool thing is that they now have first AND last names! So I picked up some for both my recipe and for a hostess gift! So make sure to look for your favorite name in Coca-Cola, Diet Coke®, or your other favorite Coca-Cola products!

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This little recipe is fast and easy! You start by preheating the oven to 375 degrees and slicing (no peeling!) sweet potatoes into one-inch slices and lying in them in a baking dish.


 Then, in a bowl, combine 1 cup of Coca-Cola, 1 cup of chicken broth, 3 finely minced cloves of garlic, 1 finely minced jalepeno pepper with seeds, and 2 tablespoons of adobo sauce.  Stir well, and pour over the sweet potatoes.  Salt and pepper the sweet potatoes, and bake for 30 minutes covered with foil.  Uncover and bake for another 15 minutes.  They should come out looking absolutely delicious!


Finally, you assemble your salad…I use avocado slices topped with a little salt, Mexican cheese, cilantro, lime slices (which I squeeze over the top before serving), and of course our Coca-Cola sweet potatoes.  It’s light and fresh and sure to be a hit!


Tip #2  Offer to Help

We’ve all been there.  Parties and picnics are a lot of work.  Volunteer to pitch in in the kitchen, helping with the kids, or even better, clean up!  You’re sure to score yourself a repeat invitation if you’re willing to lend a helping hand.

Tip #3  Be On Time

But don’t be early.  The only thing worse than a guest who is a little bit late is a guest who shows up early when you haven’t put your makeup…or pants…on yet.  

Tip #4  Say Thank You

We think the best way to say thank you for hosting a picnic is by bringing a hostess gift, but a hug followed up by a written note works.  We love to do something a little extra than just a bottle of wine…it’s so easy to put together a quick little gift basket to show how much you appreciate your hostess. This is SO SIMPLE, and you can personalize it with the new Share an Ice Cold Coke bottles with the last names, which you can find at Giant Eagle.  Here’s how I put mine together, with a nautical theme! I picked up a cute box from the craft store, put a placemat inside, and then layered with a kitchen towel, cute ice tray, sea salt candle, and a pretty blue hanging decoration…add some personalized Share an Ice Cold Coke bottle and you are pretty much DONE.

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I then added some fun summer decorations and flowers and voila! An easy, quick hostess gift featuring every one’s favorite – Coca-Cola!


There you have it! Those are some tips for being the perfect picnic guest! What tips do you have?  Do you have any other great Coca-Cola recipes that you can share?





  1. says

    I guess one of the best is being on time. This is in order to not spoil the activities. Lastly, saying thank you after the picnic as a courtesy should be done too.

  2. says

    We do a lot of family activities together. We all chip in and that makes it easier on the host. Getting there on time doesn’t always happen. I always volunteer to bring the beverage and the flatware items. hahahaha

    The salad looks delicious, I’ve never had a salad like this.

  3. Rebecca Swenor says

    These are great tips for being the perfect guest at a picnic or barque. I love the idea of show up to help before all guest get there and bringing a hostess Coca-Cola gift basket. This salad recipe with the spicy sweet potatoes I will have to for sure make too.

  4. says

    Picnics are always great fun, especially during the summers when the weather is so conducive for great times. Remembered various childhood picnics where each family used to get one dish and all used to have a whale of a time. Of course everyone pitched in helping in serving, clearing etc.

  5. says

    how fun would that be to bring personalized Cokes with the host’s names?!? I have never thought of using baked sweet potatoes in a salad. I’m curious.

  6. says

    You definitely know what to do to become the perfect picnic guest! It’s nice to have a thank you basket to show that you appreciate being part of their picnic. Great tips!

  7. says

    These are all lovely ideas. We have to be considerate of our host and it’s good to bring a dish that they can add to the table. I think it’s nice that you mentioned not to just bring dessert.

  8. Pam says

    Yes to being on time. It can feel really disrespectful when people are always late. Like they don’t respect your time.

  9. says

    What an interesting recipe and use of soda! Never cooked with it before! These are great tips to be a polite and courteous guest at a picnic.

  10. Chasity L Boatman says

    I LOVE the thank you basket. I’m big on hospitality and always setting up a nice spread and atmosphere for guests. I’ve never had someone bring something as a thank you before, but I would really appreciate the gesture.

  11. says

    This is such a great idea, I’ve never thought about making a little hamper for the hosts though have always tried to take something, next time I am doing the mini hamper and including coke for sure!

  12. says

    Saying thank you is so important–so many people don’t bother these days. It’s sad.

    I do love my Diet Coke. It’s what helps keep me friendly!

  13. Cristi Comes says

    Oh I LOVE sweet potatoes but you know I’ve never tried them in a salad. That is such a good idea. I’m going to have to try this! {client}

  14. says

    I come from a family who gets together often and hosts bbqs and picnics. I remember when my brothers started dating the family would judge the girls they brought over by these same things. Did they bring a dish? Did they offer to help? Did they show up on time. My poor brothers never heard the end of it when the girls did not do these things!

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