Cream cheese tomato and basil sandwich

*Disclaimer: This post is sponsored by BlogHer & Kettle Brand Chips. I was compensated for creating a summer inspired recipe that pairs with the chips. As always, content, photography & opinions are my own.

This cream cheese tomato and basil sandwich is the perfect summertime picnic lunch.

Cream cheese tomato basil sandwich

I grew up a deprived child. My mother hated (and still hates) peanut butter. Do you know what that meant for lunch time in elementary school? No PB&J sandwiches. Ever. Instead, I was the weird kid with cream cheese & jelly sandwiches, on wheat bread and usually with a piece of fruit in my lunchbox instead of whatever cool, highly processed snack was in at the moment. Thanks, mom.

Cream cheese and tomato sandwich

Come the summer time though, jelly got replaced with tomatoes and without any lunchtime kids around to judge the weird creation, I openly loved it. I have memories of bare feet, swimming pools, playing soccer in the yard and these sandwiches all woven together somewhere in the back of my head. So when I got the chance to talk about what I pack in my summer time picnic basket with Kettle Brand Chips, this combination was the first thing to come to mind. Except this time, it has an edge of maturity with the addition of basil & balsamic vinegar. In fact, a few weekends ago we decided to take advantage of the state park not even 5 miles from our house that we’ve never been to in the almost 4 years of living here and packed up a quick lunch to eat on the picnic tables there. In my bag, a cream cheese, tomato & basil sandwich. In Ulysses’, a peanut butter & jelly. What I used to wish for as a kid now has nothing on my cream cheese combination, go figure. For Ginger, a lot of pathetic whimpering wishing for a bite of either. And for both of us, a big bag of Sea Salt Kettle Brand Chips. Kettle Brand Chips are one of the few potato chips I’ll actually eat. Why? Simple, they actually taste like potatoes. The Sea Salt are my favorite because the ingredient list has 3 things. Potatoes, salt & oil. Crazy huh? A chip whose ingredients you can actually understand. What a novel idea. They were the perfect accompaniment to the cream cheese sandwich with their hint of salt and perfect crunch. Too bad mom didn’t know about these back in the day because I’m pretty sure they would’ve met her “whole” foods/all natural standards for lunch box inclusion. I’m betting the jealousy roles at the lunch table would have been reversed too. Chips > handi snacks.

Cream cheese sandwich with tomatoes and basil

 

 

Comments

    • 2

      Running to the Kitchen says

      Sorry, Jan! It’s through Blogher so I don’t have control over that part of it unfortunately.

  1. 5

    Ally says

    Picnics are the best!!! Especially if you can actually pack everything in a basket and sit on a blanket (as opposed to a park bench and walmart sacks).

    My favorite thing to bring on picnics:
    -Grilled Chicken Wraps
    -Sweet Potato Fries
    -Grapes
    -Watermelon
    -Fruit Infused Water

    Chicken Wraps

    Ingredients:
    -Whole Gran Tortillas
    -Deli Chicken Breast
    -Fat Free Ranch Dressing
    -Grated Cheddar Cheese
    -Tomatoes
    -Lettuce
    -Olive Oil

    Directions:
    Heat olive oil in a grill pan (skillet with grill lines, used often to make panini’s) on medium heat. While the skillet is heating, lay the tortilla flat and sprinkle the cheese over the entire thing. Next, place the deli meat throughout the center of the tortilla. Add chopped tomatoes and lettuce along side the chicken. Add a line or two of ranch across the top. Place the tortilla with all of its toppings on the heated pan. When the cheese becomes melted, carefully remove the tortilla and place it on a plate. Once the tortilla has cooled enough for you to touch it, take the bottom end of the tortilla and fold it up about a quarter of the length of the tortilla, followed by rolling one side until you have a “burrito” fold. Place the wrap back on the pan, fold side down, just for a minute or so to ensure the wrap holds closed. Wrap in foil and place in your basket!

    Note: A regular skillet or pan can be used to make these, I just really enjoy the crispy grill lines :)

    Sweet Potato Fries:
    I have made so many different recipes for these fries trying to find the perfect ones, and I think that I have recently found it! I like my fries to be more on the crispy side as opposed to the soggy or soft side, and this recipe is it!
    View it here: http://www.everydaymaven.com/2013/crispy-baked-sweet-potato-fries/

    Make sure to wash the grapes before you pack them, and cut your watermelon (cubed watermelon tends to be less messy than slices). Add some lemon, berries, mint, or cucumbers to your water before you head out and by the time you reach your destination your water will be flavourful and refreshing!

    Enjoy!

  2. 7

    Nikki says

    My go to picnic meal these days is:
    – Smoked Salmon or Trout from the local smokehouse
    – Low Sodium Triscuits
    – Bag of baby carrots
    – apples
    – homemade pickle wedges
    – hunk of cheddar, gouda, or munster
    – bottles of cold water
    Nothing tastes better after a morning of hiking the shores of Lake Superior.

  3. 16

    says

    My favorite picnic essentials are sandwiches stuffed with turkey, avocado, mixed greens, and tomato slices! I also love to pack homemade granola bars, apples, and Chobani greek yogurt cups! Water with fresh lemon or lime slices too!

  4. 19

    Sarah says

    We always throw together sandwiches/wraps with whatever veggies we have on hand, but the one constant is popcorn! Sounds silly, but it’s the multi-purpose food – you can eat it and feed it to the ducks!

    We usually like to take some frozen strawberry lemonade with us, too (TJ’s low cal lemonade blended with frozen strawberries). Super easy!

  5. 20

    Lindsay says

    When my friends and I picnic (or tailgate :)), we usually have sandwiches/wraps, veggies and fruit. Oh, and always pirate booty!

  6. 24

    Lisa Brown says

    I would have sparkling water, potato salad, french bread, cheese, chocolate chip cookies, deli meats.
    jslbrown_03 at yahoo dot com

  7. 27

    says

    I was the weird lunchbox kid too, but now I love it! I’m all about pairing a wheat cracker, slimwich, etc., laughing cow cheese wedge with tomatoes and a little cracked black pepper on top. Yum! My picnic basket go-tos? Anything you can eat with your hands and without cutting: grape tomatoes, cheese slices, crackers, wine (screw-top!), sweets!

  8. 30

    says

    My go to picnic lunch is turkey and avocado sandwiches. We usually do some fresh veggies and either tortilla or potato chips. Kettle Sea Salt potato chips are my favorite too.

  9. 32

    Christine says

    My picnic basket has to include sparkling lemonade and sliced watermelon. Everything else in optional ; )

  10. 35

    says

    No Peanut Butter as a child?!? I am so sorry! My picnic basket actually includes peanut butter… I up the typical PB&J sandwich by grilling it, like a grilled cheese sandwich (usually on the Foreman), so it all stays together and is a little crispy!

  11. 47

    Naomi M says

    I don’t remember the last time I’ve been on a real picnic, but whenever I go hiking I usually pack myself a little snack/lunch to eat at some point. I love munching on carrots, apples, pretzels, and dried mangoes :)

  12. 49

    Nicole F. says

    I’m a big fan of a snacking picnic so veggies and fruit, hummus and crackers, and a few different pasta, quinoa, or bean salads! Yet simplicity is easily just as yummy: baguette, cheese, and wine : )

  13. 52

    Christina K says

    My basket would be filled with light, refreshing foods: salad, berries, sparkling lemon water, and some sweet treat!

  14. 54

    Brenda says

    I used to live in Australia and we would always picnic after checking out the amazing farmer’s markets…the typical spread included seasonal fruits, yummy dips–sweet chili apricot was my favorite, and some turkish bread for dipping.

  15. 55

    kayla says

    i include usually a salad, with some sort of meat, a fun drink like coconut water and some dark chocolate. mhmmm!

  16. 64

    Storme Dorenkamp says

    Whole wheat bread, thin sliced turkey, lettuce, tomato, mustard, cheddar cheese…. we like to build our sandwiches fresh when we picnic… we do take peanut butter and jelly sandwiches too but they are for dessert :-) sometimes we take chips… I will be sure to try these kettle brand sea salt ones this Sunday. ..and we love to take watermelon too!

    Love your site! Thanks so much for your personality and your recipes!

  17. 65

    Allie says

    I always bring lots of water that I flavor myself with limes and lemons, and a whole wheat turkey sandwich with brie!

  18. 66

    Katey says

    A wrap. One of my favorites from school – I was often kid with weird food, but my friends loved it… they would trade me my real food for their processed food. To this day my favorite wrap is simple… made on a whole wheat tortilla with cream cheese slathered on, then some turkey breast, tomato, romaine, mushrooms, and pickle. hmmm!

  19. 67

    says

    I can’t believe you were deprived of pb as a kid and didn’t even have an allergy to it. How awful! Glad you found love in another sandwich though. And even though I know this totally isn’t anywhere close to what you have pictured above – you have me craving a tuna sandwich so I guess that’s what I’d have to pack in my picnic basket (say it like yogi though k?) ;)

  20. 71

    Renee C. says

    I love picnics!

    We like to bring wine, brie cheese, a baguette, grapes, figs and dates, dried apricots, hummus, crackers, and some type of pasta salad:)

  21. 72

    Meighan says

    My picnic basket includes:
    – a cucumber and avocado lemon salad
    – grilled steak made from the night before
    – sweet potatoes
    – watermelon
    – water bottles

  22. 73

    Elaine says

    I’m all about the pressed sandwiches for picnics myself; some crusty bread, a layer of pesto & mayo, boiled potato slices, hardboiled egg slices, tuna, olives, and greens all smushed under a cast-iron skillet for a few hours. Sandwich perfection!

  23. 74

    Liz says

    Potato chips are a must for any picnic! A fun tradition my parents had (that I hadn’t thought about in ages) was stopping at the grocery deli to get a rotisserie chicken, mashed potatoes and corn for a quick and easy ‘picnic’ that required zero time or clean-up in their kitchen and was so fun to bring to state parks.

  24. 76

    says

    darn I’m canadian and can’t be entered in the draw, but we always had our tomatoes separate from our sandwiches so our bread wouldn’t be soggy by the time we went to eat!

  25. 80

    Jam says

    I would definitely include some type of raw salad, like a romaine lettuce and celery salad with a vinegar mustard sauce/dressing. Maybe add some strawberries for some sweetness!

  26. 83

    Stephanie V. says

    In my picnic basket is cheese, crackers, red wine, kettle chips (honey Dijon is my fave) and nuts and chocolate
    tvollowitz at aol dot com

  27. 84

    says

    Picnics always make me long for hanami (flower viewing) picnics in Japan!
    I’d pack onigiri with various fillings (salmon, umeboshi, bonito flakes), croquettes, rolled egg omelet, and seaweed salad!

  28. 91

    charj says

    I include veggie wraps or sandwiches with sprouts, lettuce, tomato, avocado and cucumbers; potato chips or tortilla chips and lemonade

  29. 92

    says

    Great looking sandwich! In the summer, when tomatoes actually taste like tomatoes and not cardboard, I love tomato and basil sandwiches! Our picnic basket usually has hummus and veggie sandwiches and some fruit.

  30. 94

    sarah says

    muffaleta sandwiches! my mom always made them growing up and still does. we call them “muffies” :)

  31. 97

    Elena Vo says

    An assortment of cheeses and meats, fruit, and when I’m feeling fancy, chocolate-dipped bananas (THE.BEST.).

  32. 101

    cw says

    I always include something sweet (like summer fruit) and something salty (like chips), cheese, bread, and wine.

  33. 102

    Veronica says

    ha i loved your story about pb + j’s. i never had them growing up either because my dad is from argentina (definitely never ate pb in his life). i usually had leftover dinners for lunch which, let me tell ya, were notttt impressive to other elementary kids! haha i love kettle chips too though! i would probably pack a sliced egg & veggie sammie :) + chips obvi

  34. 105

    says

    Oooh love this! I always have some type of chip/bread and a dip in my picnic basket – it’s the easiest thing to pack and you don’t need utensils!

  35. 106

    Janet says

    I was a weird kid too! I took that only my sandwich was on white bread. Thanks for the giveaway! I usually pack things for a picnic like cheese, fruit, some type of chips, and water.

  36. 110

    Margaret Smith says

    I’d include italian sub sandwiches cut into small servings, chips, fruit and ice tea.

  37. 119

    Ashley C says

    I include chicken salad sandwiches, fresh strawberries, chocolate milk boxes, and whole wheat crackers with white cheddar cheese!

    demureprincess7(at)gmail(dot)com

  38. 132

    Anastasia says

    On picnics with the kids, there are always PB&J’s, chips, fruit and soda :) Then we add other stuff based on what we have or what’s on sale :)

  39. 134

    sharonjo says

    I would probably go pretty traditional—turkey sandwiches, chips of course, fresh fruit, brownies. Thanks!

  40. 137

    Tammy says

    Egg salad (on toast, in a wrap, or on a bed colorful greens) is ALWAYS a must! I put celery, chopped dill pickles, green onions, avocado (sub for mayo), spicy mustard, pepper, a dash of cumin, and semi hard boiled eggs in it. I could eat this for days.

  41. 140

    Nadine L says

    It varies, but the go to is usually cold grilled chicken, my homemade macaroni salad and a fruit salad

  42. 145

    Sarah says

    We always have fruit, a mayo free salad and sandwiches. Thanks for the post, I am always on the lookout for a new sandwich. :)

  43. 146

    Mariah says

    My picnic always has to have cold turkey sandwiches and chips. Classic combo and it hits the spot!

  44. 157

    Jan W. says

    I usually have fixings for subs and a wide variety of drinks in my picnic cooler. Also frozen grapes.

  45. 159

    Wild Orchid says

    I would include fried chicken, coleslaw, potato salad, and kettle chips, of course!

    Thanks for the chance to win!
    wildorchid985 at gmail dot com

  46. 162

    Lisa says

    I always include fruit, iced tea, and some ham and cheese sandwiches!

    motioncitycutie(at)aol(dot)com

  47. 163

    Gigi says

    Sandwiches, meats, cheeses, fresh fruit, wine, lemonade and dessert! Don’t forget your blanket.

  48. 164

    Kim Bozinoski says

    A picnic always needs to have my granny’s cornbread salad and Asian slaw! And of course some kind of delicious handheld dessert. Cookies or a bar of some sort :)

  49. 166

    Barbara Montag says

    In our picnic basket – Hummus crackers chips salsa fresh fruit and flavored water.
    Thank you.

  50. 172

    Marcia Goss says

    I like to have fresh fruit (cantaloupe, grapes, watermelon), along with deli meat and cheese for sandwiches.

  51. 177

    Michelle S. says

    I like to include simple things that pack well and that most everyone likes, Sandwiches are usually good, chips, and lots of cold drinks.

  52. 179

    maureen says

    Fresh fruit, cut up veggies, artichoke dip , chips and cookies and sandwiches. With pop and juice boxes.

  53. 180

    Ashley says

    My son is a fruit-a-holic, so fresh fruit is a must in addition to hummus, whole grain pita chips, cheese, nuts, and some turkey.
    ashaldridge at gmail dot com

  54. 181

    Margot C says

    I like the look of your sandwiches; we usually make sandwiches, pack salads, some fruit and always pack chips!

  55. 183

    Henria O. says

    Tortilla wraps and lots of fresh fruit and especially watermelon during the Summer!
    sazzyfrazz at gmail dot com

  56. 184

    rebekah arnold says

    we include cold cuts, fruit, chips ,drinks , bread and what ever else anyone wants to bring along

  57. 188

    Adrianne B says

    In my picnic basket, I include fresh fruit, crudite & hoummous, prosciutto, sharp cheddar, napkins, cutlery, and WINE!!!

  58. 190

    Lorena Keech says

    When it isn’t spur of the moment, the basket includes fried chicken, mom’s potato salad, homegrown tomatoes and homemade lemonade.

  59. 193

    Sonya Morris says

    I include sandwiches (the kids still love pb&j, lucky me!), chips, fruit and drinks in our picnic basket.

  60. 195

    Cheryl Christian says

    Love chilled chicken salad, crusty bread, fruit, and a great bottle of wine minus the ants. Garden veggies if we have them. I love picnics!!

  61. 200

    says

    I always pack my picnic with potato chips, fruit, veggies and dip, iced tea and juice, sandwiches or wraps. It’s just so much fun to go on a picnic.

    amy [at] utry [dot] it

  62. 207

    Crystal F says

    We usually pack easy finger foods like muffins, chips, sandwhiches and lots of drinks. Thank you!

  63. 208

    meredith says

    my perfect picnic has some good bread, cheese, grapes (or better yet wine!) and a good dessert

  64. 219

    Pauline M says

    I never leave for a picnic without my deli salad…. I found this recipe out of my taste of home magazine and it’s become a favorite in my house!

  65. 221

    ky2here says

    Depends on what’s around the house. I’m a stingy recycler. Perhaps fruits, veggies, something with quinoia and homemade sparkling limeade.

  66. 229

    tina reynolds says

    I would have sandwiches, hummus, fresh fruit especially pinapple its my familys favorite and sweet tea./water

  67. 232

    Lisa Garner says

    We always have sandwiches, fresh fruit, corn on the cob and chips in our picnic basket.
    lisalmg25 at gmail dot com

  68. 238

    Jackee says

    I always make hummus for our picnics. It tastes great and it good for you too. I make a basic recipe then add jalapenos and roasted pasilla and bell peppers.

  69. 242

    Shea Balentine says

    We love Kettle chips… hubby would make sure they were the first things in the basket! =) Gotta have apples and water too!

  70. 250

    Betty C says

    I love a basket with fried chicken, potato salad, deviled eggs, chips, fruit, cookies and so much more

  71. 260

    Maggie M says

    My family is all about sandwiches so that’s usually what goes in our picnic basket. Fruit juice and plenty of water too!

  72. 263

    cc april says

    One of my family’s favorite foods inside my picnic basket is Chicken and Slaw wraps! They are so easy to make epecially if you use rotisserie chickens. Mix the chicken with some coleslaw, ranch dressing and sweet pickle relish, place on a wrap and roll it. your family will love it!

  73. 264

    says

    No matter if our picnic is a simple sandwich affair or a gourmet BBQ with skewers of teriyaki steak or chicken, we always include our vintage tablecloths in our picnic basket. I have several wonderful old tablecloths from the 1950s splashed with colorful flowers and designs (and a few indelible stains) that always conjure fond memories and bring back the happy Ghosts of Picnics Past.
    http://greetingcarduniverse.com/eloquence

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