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.

Wednesday, June 22, 2016

Summer and the Livin' is Easy

"A father is neither an anchor to hold us back, nor a sail to take us there, but a guiding light whose love shows us the way." ~ Author Unknown

     The summer has been crazy busy already.  I thought I would be able to relax once it came but I was mistaken.  Even Father's Day was so busy that there was no time to just sit and take it easy.  I was able to finish my "Summerville" quilt.  This pattern is by Bonnie and Camille.  I bought it as a kit and it came in the cutest box.  The line of fabric is called Vintage Picnic. We get beautiful sunsets here and my husband was able to capture it when he took pictures of this quilt.

  Here are a couple recipes that would be excellent served for Father's Day. 

from Six Sister's Stuff


Can't-Eat-Just-One Cinnamon Rolls Recipe

from Taste of Home

  • 1 package (1/4 ounce) active dry yeast
  • 1 tablespoon sugar
  • 1/4 cup warm water (110° to 115°)
  • 1 cup 2% milk
  • 1/3 cup instant vanilla pudding mix (half of a 3.4-ounce package)
  • 1 large egg
  • 1/4 cup butter, melted
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 3 to 3-1/2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 3/4 cup sugar
  • 1 tablespoon ground cinnamon
  • 1/4 cup butter, melted
  • 1/2 cup butter, softened
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 1 teaspoon water
  • 1-1/2 to 1-3/4 cups confectioners' sugar


  • 1. In a small bowl, dissolve yeast and 1 tablespoon sugar in warm water. In a large bowl, beat milk and pudding mix on low speed 1 minute. Let stand 1 minute or until soft-set. Add egg, melted butter, salt, yeast mixture and 2 cups flour; beat on medium until smooth. Stir in enough remaining flour to form a soft dough (dough will be sticky).
  • 2. Turn dough onto a floured surface; knead until smooth and elastic, about 6-8 minutes. Place in a greased bowl, turning once to grease the top. Cover with plastic wrap and let rise in a warm place until doubled, about 1 hour.
  • 3. For filling, in a small bowl, mix sugar and cinnamon. Punch down dough; divide in half. Turn one portion of dough onto a lightly floured surface; roll into an 18x10-in. rectangle. Brush with half of the melted butter to within 1/4 in. of edges; sprinkle with half of the sugar mixture. Roll up jelly-roll style, starting with a long side; pinch seam to seal. Cut into 12 slices. Repeat with remaining dough and filling ingredients.
  • 4. Place all slices in a greased 13x9-in. baking pan, cut side down. Cover with a kitchen towel; let rise in a warm place until almost doubled, about 45 minutes. Preheat oven to 350°.
  • 5. Bake 20-25 minutes or until golden brown. Cool in pan on a wire rack.
  • 6. For frosting, in a small bowl, beat butter until creamy. Beat in vanilla, water and enough confectioners' sugar to reach desired consistency. Spread over warm rolls. Serve warm. Yield: 2 dozen.

     The book chosen this time is not a novel.  It's a resource book.  It's the perfect guide to use in planning your next summer vacation.  Our family would much rather go to a National Park than an Amusement Park any day.  This year marks the 100th anniversary of the first National Park in the United States.

Sunday, June 5, 2016

Summer Shop Hop!

"Being educated is the difference between wishing you could do some good and being able to do some good."~ Russell M. Nelson

     School is out for the summer.  I only have one child left in school but I'm excited to have a break as much as she is.  I had a little bit of fun with my friend, Patti, as we spent two days this past week shop hopping.  I really look forward to the first week in June when the Utah quilt shop hop happens.  The theme this year was "A Travel Through Time".  We saw some cute stuff!

     I've been on the lookout for some easy recipes for summer.  Here are two that I liked.

Pesto Cheese Toast
 from Budget Bytes
Serves: 12
  • 1 lg. loaf french bread
  • 1 jar (8 oz.) pesto
  • 3 medium roma tomatoes
  • 1½ cups shredded mozzarella
  1. Preheat your oven to 400 degrees. Slice the french bread loaf in half lengthwise (to open like a sandwich roll). Then cut each half into either 8 or 6 slices, depending on the size of your loaf and how wide you want each piece of Pesto Cheese Toast.
  2. Line a baking sheet with foil to protect it from fallen melting cheese. Smear 1 Tbsp of pesto onto each slice of toast. Slice the roma tomatoes and place two slices of tomato on each piece of toast. Finally, top each piece with ¼ cup (approximately) of cheese.
  3. Bake the toast in the oven for 10-15 minutes or until the cheese is melted and the toast is brown and crispy on the edges. Every oven varies so keep an eye on it starting at around 10 minutes.


Delicious Ground Turkey Stroganoff
From Mel’s Kitchen Cafe
1 ½ lb. lean ground turkey
1 small onion, chopped
1 clove garlic, minced
1 tsp. salt
½ tsp. pepper
8 ounces sliced white button mushrooms
4 ounces light cream cheese, cubed
2 cups beef broth
½ cup low fat milk
3 Tbsp. flour
½ cup light sour cream
Salt and pepper to taste
12 ounce package egg noodles, cooked

In a large nonstick skillet, cook the meat, onion, garlic, salt and pepper on medium-high heat, stirring occasionally to break up the meat into small pieces, until the meat is almost cooked through but still slightly pink, about 5 minutes.  Add sliced mushrooms and cook until the mushrooms are soft and browned and the meat is cooked through, another 5 minutes or so.
Add cubed cream cheese and let the cream cheese melt over medium heat, about 2-3 minutes, before stirring in.  Mix gently until the cream cheese is incorporated throughout the meat mixture.  In a large liquid measuring cup, combine the beef broth and the milk.  Whisk in the flour until the mixture is smooth and there are no lumps of flour remaining.
Stir the beef broth mixture into the meat mixture and cook over medium heat, stirring occasionally.  Let the mixture bubble and simmer until slightly thickened, 3-4 minutes.  Stir in the sour cream and add additional salt and pepper to taste.  Serve over cooked egg noodles.  Sprinkle each serving with fresh parsley, if desired.  Serves 4- 6 people.


Finally, here's a book just perfect to read this summer to your grade school aged daughter or granddaughter who loves the outdoors and horses.


Sunday, May 22, 2016

Time for a Picnic!

"Happiness does not depend on what happens outside of you but on what happens inside of you; it is measured by the spirit with which you meet the problems of life. ~ Harold B. Lee

     These last few weeks have been somewhat difficult ones but I'm determined to have better times ahead.  I'm planning on some wonderful family time together and a busy but fun summer.  I finally finished our picnic quilt that is made from jeans worn by my children and husband and me.  It truly is a "family" quilt.  And we will enjoy many picnics and fun days together with this quilt.


     Is everyone as excited as I am for the upcoming holiday weekend of Memorial Day?  It will be so nice to meet with extended family for a little picnic and time together.  We usually stop and get some fried chicken and coleslaw.  Everyone usually brings one pot luck item to share.  I thought it would be fun to include a couple of picnic recipes this time.

Copycat KFC Coleslaw
(from Top Secret Recipes)
½ cup mayo
¼ cup milk
¼ cup buttermilk
1/3 cup sugar
½ tsp. salt
1/8 tsp. black pepper
1 ½ Tbsp. white vinegar
2 ½ Tbsp. lemon juice
Slaw Mix
4 cups shredded then diced cabbage
1 medium carrot
¼ cup minced onion
In a medium bowl, whisk together all the ingredients for the dressing.  Shred the cabbage and carrot and dice finely. (I used a food processor.) (I also used a little purple cabbage with the green cabbage.)  Put veggies in a large bowl.  Pour the dressing over the veggies and stir well with a spoon.  Cover the bowl and place in the fridge for at least two hours.  Stir again before serving.  Makes about 6 servings.

1 cup light corn syrup
1 cup sugar
1 cup peanut butter
6 cups rice crispy cereal
1 cup butterscotch chips
1 cup chocolate chips
Place corn syrup and sugar in 3 quart saucepan.  Cook over medium heat, stirring frequently, until sugar dissolves and mixture begins to boil.  Remove from heat.  Stir in peanut butter.  Mix well.  Add rice crispy cereal.  Stir until well-coated.  Press mixture into a 13x9x2” pan that has been coated with non-stick spray.  Set aside.
Melt butterscotch and chocolate chips together in 1 quart saucepan over low heat, stirring constantly.  Spread evenly over cereal mixture.  Let stand until firm.  Cut into 2x1” bars when cool.  Makes about 48 bars.

This was a cute story about a woman who is a park ranger at a state park that included a battlefield from the Civil War days.  It was interesting to learn about the life of a park ranger and fun to see where her love life would lead.