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 17, 2014

No TV Weekend!

   “Eat a live frog first thing in the morning and nothing worse will happen to you the rest of the day.” ~  Mark Twain


  Each August we try to take a family camping trip with the kids and grandkids.  This past week end we went to Potter's Ponds in central Utah.  We did a little fishing, a little canoeing, and a little dutch oven cooking and had a lot of fun.  I saw a huge beaver that was the size of a small bear.  My husband and son saw a big moose not far from our tents.  It was so nice to spend time together and no TV.


 
 














     I was able to attend the quilt show again this year at the Springville Museum of Art and as usual I was not disappointed.  Here are some of my favorite quilts that were displayed.












     Zucchini season is still hanging on so here is a recipe that I tried for the first time and I loved it!  I got the original recipe from Becky Low on Studio 5 and adapted it a little to fit the veggies that I had on hand at the time.





Veggie Stack
(adapted from recipe from Studio 5)

4  to 6 kinds of vegetables, sliced thin
(I used potatoes, yellow squash, zucchini squash, eggplant, onion and tomatoes. You can also use mushrooms and/or sweet potatoes.)
2 Tbsp. butter, melted
garlic powder to taste
salt to taste
fresh ground pepper to taste
1 tsp. Italian seasoning
1 cup shredded cheese
Preheat oven to 400 degrees.  Spray shallow baking dish with cooking spray.  Alternately layer vegetables in baking dish.  Drizzle with melted butter.  Sprinkle with garlic powder, salt, pepper and Italian seasoning.  Cover with foil and bake for 30 minutes.  Remove foil, sprinkle with cheese and bake 15 minutes longer or until cheese is light golden brown.

 

 
     Here's another nice recipe for summer.


Cottage Cheese Jello Salad
1-3 oz. package jello, any flavor                          1 can mandarin oranges, drained
1 can crushed pineapple, undrained                  1 can tropical fruit, drained
1-16 oz. container cottage cheese                      1-8 oz. container cool whip

Add dry jello to pineapple in large bowl.  Mix and allow time to dissolve jello.  Add cottage cheese and remaining fruit.  Fold in cool whip.  Cover and refrigerate until serving.


 
 
Another great book!  This one is a little intense in places but very good.  It's based on a true story. 

Sunday, August 3, 2014

Where Has the Summer Gone?


“The assumption of time is one of humanity's greatest follies. We tell ourselves that there's always tomorrow, when we can no more predict tomorrow than we can the weather. Procrastination is the thief of dreams.” ~ Richard Paul Evans, The Walk



     We've had more of a busy summer, but last weekend we did have time to take the canoe and kayak out for the first time this year.  We traveled up to Cache County to Tony Grove and put the boats down on the lake there. It was so peaceful and the wild flowers were out in a marvelous display.  My daughter and I were able to hike around the lake and enjoy the view from all angles.




     I had the chance to make a trip to Park City and decided to look into a new quilt shop there, called Davidene's Quilt Shop.  The owner was so nice.  I loved looking at the quilts displayed in the shop.








     Here's my cute little grand daughter and the quilt I just finished.  The pattern comes from Two Peas in a Pod and is called Sweet Shoppe.  I love those pin wheels.




     It's summer and we hate to turn the oven on so the crock pot becomes our friend.  Here is a recipe that the family loves, has few ingredients and is so easy to throw together.


 Tomato-Sauced Spare Ribs

3 lbs. boneless pork spareribs                                   3 stalks celery, chopped
1 tsp. salt                                                                     1 medium green pepper, chopped
¼ tsp. pepper                                                              1 medium onion, chopped
1-28 oz. can tomatoes                                                            hot cooked rice

Brown spareribs in skillet and transfer to crockpot.  Sprinkle with salt and pepper.  Stir in undrained tomatoes, celery, green pepper and onion.  Cover and cook on high setting for 4 hours.  Serve over hot, cooked rice. 




     I have seen this recipe a few times on facebook and decided I wanted to give it a try.  It was really good.




Glazed Lemon Zucchini Bread

2 cups flour
½ tsp. salt
2 tsp. baking powder
2 eggs
 ½ cup canola oil
2/3 cup sugar
2 TB lemon juice
1/2 cup buttermilk (I used 1 TB lemon juice and filled the rest of the measuring cup with milk)
Zest of 1 lemon
1 cup grated zucchini

Glaze Ingredients:
1 cup powdered sugar
2 TB lemon juice

Mix flour, salt and baking powder in a medium bowl and set aside. In a large bowl, beat eggs.  Add oil and sugar until well mixed.  Add lemon juice,  buttermilk and lemon zest to this mixture and mix together.  Fold in zucchini until it is mixed well.  Add dry ingredients to the wet mixture and mix all together until well combined. Pour batter into 2 greased 8x4” loaf pans.  Bake at 350 degrees for 45 minutes.  Let bread cool for 10 minutes while making the glaze.  Spoon glaze over bread and let cool completely before cutting and serving.



     I have been reading the Walk Series by Richard Paul Evans the last few weeks.  I have enjoyed each book.  I am now on the last one called Walking on Water.  There is something to be learned from each one.

Sunday, July 20, 2014

Lovely Lady

"To succeed in life you need three things: a wishbone, a backbone and a funny bone."~Reba McEntire



     This past week, my brother and sisters and I threw a big party to celebrate my Mom's 80th birthday.  It was a lot of work and we all helped.  Our spouses helped a lot also.   We invited cousins and relatives that she hadn't seen in many years.   I was barely able to finish the quilt that I made for her in time. The pattern is called Lovely in Lavender by Debbie Beaves.  Thanks to my friend, Marta, who machine quilted it for me and my friends, Sam, Marta, Marilyn and Mary Ann from quilt guild who helped me with the binding.  Like I've said before....There are no better people in the world than quilters.

     My mom loves reading and gardening.  She also loves to do word searches.  We had chicken salad sandwiches on croissants, salads and strawberry shortcake for dessert.  We served nearly a hundred people.  We enjoyed doing word searches and playing a few games of bingo.  We ended the evening watching a video that my nieces put together for the occasion.

 
 
 
 
 
 



Chicken Salad

4 cups chicken, cooked and cubed
1 cup celery, sliced thin
1 small can water chestnuts, diced
1 (20) oz. can pineapple tidbits, drained
2 cups grapes, red or green, cut in half
1 small can mandarin oranges, drained

Dressing:
1 ½ cups mayonnaise                         ½ tsp. curry powder
1 Tbsp. soy sauce                               1 Tbsp. lemon juice
1 Tbsp. minced onion                         ½ cup cashews or almonds, chopped


Combine all salad ingredients, except mandarin oranges and mix together in large bowl.  Combine dressing ingredients except nuts and stir together.  Add dressing to salad mixture and stir.  Fold in mandarin oranges and nuts.  Serve on croissants or soft rolls.

 
     My mom likes to make these cookies for family get-togethers.  They are so yummy!


Peanut Butter Blossom Cookies


1 ¾ C. flour                                          ½ C. shortening

1 tsp. soda                                           ½ C. peanut butter

½ tsp. salt                                             1 egg

½ C. sugar                                           2 T. milk

½ C. brown sugar                                 1 tsp. vanilla

 
            Put all ingredients in mixing bowl and mix well.  Roll in walnut sized balls and bake on ungreased cookie sheet at 375° for 10-12 minutes.  Take from the oven and press chocolate kiss or star on top of each cookie while still hot.
 

 
     Like I said before, My mom loves to read and has inspired all of her children to love to read.  I do believe she was the one that introduced me to the Mrs. Pollifax books many years ago.  We all enjoy a good mystery and these books are great.