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.



Thursday, February 16, 2017

Red and White

"I have found the paradox, that if you love until it hurts, there can be no more hurt, only more love."~ Mother Teresa



     A couple of weeks ago my husband was kind enough to take me, my friend and her husband on a little outing to Brigham City.  We went to the Museum of Art and History there and enjoyed the Ruby Jubilee Exhibition sponsored by the Utah Quilt Guild.  Every quilt displayed was red and white.  There were so many striking quilts to look at.










































 

 

Here's a perfect recipe for Valentine's Day.  I love cherries so I know this is a good one!
 
 
 
Cherry Pie Bars 
Servings: 20 bars
·         For the Bars:
·         1/2 cup butter, softened
·         3/4  cup sugar
·         1/2 teaspoon salt
·         2 eggs
·         1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
·         1/4 teaspoon almond extract
·         1-1/2 cups all-purpose flour
·         1/2 teaspoon baking powder
·         1 (21 ounce) can cherry pie filling
·         2 to 3 tablespoons sliced almonds
·         For the Glaze:
·         1/2 cup confectioners' sugar
·         1/4 teaspoon almond extract
·         1-1/2 tablespoons milk, or as needed
       Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Spray a 13" x 9" baking dish or metal brownie pan with non-       stick cooking spray.
Cream together butter and sugar. Add salt, eggs, vanilla and almond extracts and beat until creamy and well combined. Add flour and baking powder and mix on low speed just until dry ingredients have been incorporated. With greased hands, pat 1-1/2 cups of batter into the prepared baking dish. Spoon cherry pie filling evenly over the bottom crust. Drop very small pieces of the remaining batter over the pie filling. Sprinkle sliced almonds over the top.
Bake for 33-35 minutes or until golden brown. Remove from the oven and allow to cool completely. Once bars have cooled, whisk together confectioners’ sugar, almond extract, and as much milk as needed to reach desired consistency. Drizzle over the cooled bars. Cut into squares and serve.
Adapted from Taste of Home
 
 
 
 
 


     I just finished reading this book this past weekend.  It's a sweet love story of Sir Walter Scott and his wife Charlotte.  And with most all love stories there were hurdles that needed to be overcome.



 

Sunday, January 29, 2017

In the Thick of Winter


"Strive not to be a success, but rather to be of value."~ Albert Einstein


     These little cuties were make and takes from the Quilts, Etc. Shop in Sandy, Utah.  I finally got them finished and ready to hang.



 
 
I got a little bored yesterday and decided to pick out a couple of fat quarters from my stash and use this pattern to make a little zippered pouch.  I think this little guy will be quite useful for a lot of things.  The pattern is by Karen West from For the Love of Fabric.  I'll for sure be making more of these.
 
 
 




I'm trying to make meal preparing a little simpler and a little healthier.  I made this rice this week and it was pretty tasty.
 
 


 


Cilantro Lime Rice

3 cups chicken or vegetable broth
1 ½ cups long grain rice
2 Tbsp. minced dried onions
2 cloves garlic, minced
Grated rind from 1 lime
Juice from 2 limes
Handful of coarsely chopped cilantro
Salt and pepper to taste
Combine first five ingredients in a large saucepan.  Add the juice from 1 lime.  Bring to a boil.  Turn heat down and cover pan with lid and let simmer for 15-20 minutes or until rice is cooked.  Take off heat and remove lid.  Add cilantro and juice from the other lime.  Add salt and pepper.  Stir to combine and mix everything.  Fluff with a fork and serve.  Makes about 6 servings.



    

     I was able to finish this book late last night and I really enjoyed it.  There was so much going on and it was never boring.  I do enjoy books about strong women and this was definitely one of them.








Tuesday, January 17, 2017

Threads

"God has a purpose for me.  He also has a purpose for you.  Let God speak to your life.  The key is--not believing the lies: fixing our eyes on Jesus and walking in the truth." ~ Joanna Gaines




     I spent the weekend with my husband and he was nice enough to take me to a quilt shop.  This time we went to Thimbles and Threads in Draper, Utah.  It's such a beautiful store in a beautiful building.  I loved the stained glass windows that followed quilt blocks through time.























     There is nothing else like a slice of homemade bread.  My good friend, Jayme, gave me this recipe for whole wheat bread and it is amazing!





 

 
Wonderful Whole Wheat Bread
(Makes two loaves)
(This recipe came from Education Week at BYU)

3 c. Whole wheat flour (5 – 6 cups total)

1/3 c. gluten flour

1 ¼ tablespoon instant yeast (I like SAF Instant)

2 ½ c. steaming hot tap water

1 tablespoon salt

1/3 c. oil

1/3 c. honey or ½ c. sugar

1 ¼ tablespoons lemon juice (can use lime juice if you don't have lemon)

2 – 2 ½ c. whole wheat flour

(Note: ¼ tablespoon = ¾ teaspoon)

Mix together first three ingredients in mixer with a dough hook (this recipe

can easily be done by hand, and can also be done with a regular beater

attachment, and then switched to a dough hook when adding the additional

flour at the end). Add water all at once and mix for 1 minute; cover and let

rest for 10 minutes. Add salt, oil, honey or sugar and lemon juice and beat

for one minute. Change to a dough hook at this point. Add the last of the

flour ½ cup at a time, mixing well each time. Each batch can be different;

only add flour until you have a soft dough consistency. Over adding will

make it dry. Mix for about 5 minutes until dough pulls away from sides of

bowl. Turn dough onto oiled (or non-stick spray) counter top, and shape

into 2 loaves. Place in greased pans. Place pans in oven and preheat oven

on 350 degrees for 1 minute. Let rise until desired height. This can take

anywhere from 20 to 40 minutes depending on how warm it is. With bread in

oven, turn on at 350 degrees and bake for 25 to 30 minutes (in my oven it is

20 minutes, so check). Remove and cool on racks or parchment paper,

turning from side to side periodically until fully cooled. This bread freezes

well by double bagging.
 
 




     This past month I read the story of Chip and Joanna Gaines from The Fixer Upper Show.  They have such a complimentary relationship.  I was surprised at how brave they were in moving forward with their dreams.  Very inspiring!