Life really can be a picnic!

Everyone loves a picnic! This blog is about some of the things I love the most, and the term "picnic" just about covers them all. First of all, a picnic has to include food; simple food that is easy to fix. Next, you need someplace fun or different to visit; a nice, peaceful location. And of course, you always need to take along a good book to read and a well-used quilt to spread everything out on. So, there you have it! Easy recipes, good books, fun quilts along with some interesting, down-to-earth places to visit. You can even take your family or a friend or two if you want.

Sunday, August 13, 2017

Family Campout

" Happiness in family life is most likely to be achieved when founded upon the teachings of the Lord Jesus Christ." ~ The Family: A Proclamation to the World

     The first or second weekend in August each year is reserved for our Family Campout.  This year we went to the Box Elder Camp Ground in Mantua and played in the water at the reservoir there.  On Thursday night we drove up to Clarkston and saw the Martin Harris Pageant there.  I love this family time together and the great fun around the campfire; along with the fantastic meals shared.  It's such a great family tradition.



My husband can take a really good recipe and cook it in a dutch oven and make it a fantastic meal.  That's what he did with this chicken recipe.

Creamy Tuscan Garlic Chicken
(From The Recipe Critic)
1 ½ lbs. boneless chicken breasts, thinly sliced
2 Tbsp. olive oil
1 cup heavy cream
½ cup chicken broth
1 tsp. garlic powder
1 tsp. Italian seasoning
½ cup parmesan cheese
1 cup spinach
½ cup sun dried tomatoes
In a large skillet, add olive oil and cook the chicken on medium heat for 3-5 minutes on each side or until brown and cooked until no longer pink in center.  Remove chicken and set aside on a plate.
Add the heavy cream, chicken broth, garlic powder, Italian seasoning and parmesan cheese.  Whisk over medium high heat until it starts to thicken.  Add the spinach and sun dried tomatoes and let it simmer until the spinach starts to wilt.  Add the chicken back to the pan and serve over pasta, if desired. Serves 4-6.

Tuesday, July 25, 2017

Pioneer Day!

"We must be sure that the legacy of faith received from the pioneers who came before us is never lost." ~ M. Russell Ballard

     Today, July 24, we here in Utah celebrate the Days of '47 or Pioneer Day.  There is a big parade, a rodeo, fireworks and lots of people get the day off from work.  My husband and I were lucky enough to get tickets to the rodeo.  This year they built a brand new stadium at the Utah State Fair Park for the rodeo.  Here are some pictures of the highlights from the rodeo.

    One of my sons was married this last week.  He and his new wife celebrated with a beach themed reception.  It was a beautiful day.  We made a lot of cookies to add to the festivities.  We served pineapple Dole Whips because we knew it would be a really hot day.  Since my son moved out I was able to make his old room into my new sewing room.  I sewed new valances for the windows and my husband even helped pay for a new sewing machine that I have been saving for.  It's a Baby Lock Crescendo.  I'm still trying to learn how to use it but so far I LOVE it!


Chocolate Sugar Cookies
¾ cup butter, softened
1 cup sugar
1 large egg
1 tsp. vanilla
1 ½ cups flour
¾ cup cocoa powder
1 tsp. baking soda
 1/8 tsp. salt

In a mixer bowl with a paddle attachment, beat the butter for 1 minute on medium speed until smooth and creamy.  Add the sugar and beat on medium high speed until fluffy and light in color.  Beat in the egg and vanilla on high speed.  Scrape down the sides of the bowl as needed.

Sift the flour and cocoa together in a medium bowl.  Whisk in the baking powder and salt until combined.  On low speed, slowly mix into the wet ingredients until combined.

Divide the dough into 2 equal parts and roll each portion out onto a piece of parchment to about ¼ inch thick.  Stack the pieces, with parchment paper in between, onto a baking sheet and refrigerate for at least one hour. 

Once chilled, preheat the oven to 350 degrees.  Line 2-3 baking sheets with parchment paper. Remove one of the dough pieces from the refrigerator and using a cookie cutter, cut the desired shapes.  Transfer the cut cookie dough to the prepared baking sheet. Re-roll the remaining dough and continue cutting until all is used.

Bake cookies for 8-10 minutes; the cookies will still appear soft.  Allow to cool on baking sheet for 5 minutes, then transfer to a wire rack to cool completely before icing.  Ice and decorate cookies as desired.  Makes about 3 dozen cookies.
Sugar Cookie Icing
1 cup powdered sugar
2-3 tsp. milk
2-3 tsp. light corn syrup
¼ tsp. almond extract
food coloring

In a small bowl, stir together powdered sugar and milk until smooth.  Beat in corn syrup and almond extract until icing is smooth and glossy.  If icing is too thick, add more corn syrup or milk.  Divide into separate bowls, add food colorings to each to desired intensity.  Outline design on cookie with a small tip in a decorating bag and then fill in the rest of the cookie with a spoon.  Add decorations while icing is still wet.