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, October 9, 2016

Less is More

"I attribute my success to this - I never gave or took any excuse."~ Florence Nightingale

          My husband took me to the Springville Museum of Art to see the quilt show held there through August and September.  There were so many beautiful quilts displayed and I'm including pictures of many of them here.






Lately, I have been trying to eat healthier meals, meals that have more fruits and vegetables and whole grains; meals that have less meat and dairy products. Here are a couple of recipes that I've enjoyed.

Vegetarian Pasta Fagioli Soup
1 onion, chopped
1 carrot, peeled and chopped
1 celery rib, chopped
½ tsp. dried oregano
1 tsp. dried thyme
1 bay leaf
1 (8 oz.) can tomato sauce
1 can red kidney beans, rinsed and drained
1 can white beans, rinsed and drained
5 cups vegetable stock
2 (14 oz.) cans crushed tomatoes
2 cups water
Pinch of red pepper flakes
1 ½ cups small pasta (shells or elbows)

In a large soup pot, saute onion, carrot and celery for 3-4 minutes until vegetables are soft.Add thyme, red pepper and oregano. Cook for 2 more minutes.  Add tomato sauce, bay leaf, beans, vegetable stock, water and crushed tomatoes.  Bring to a boil and allow to simmer covered and on low heat for about 20 minutes.  Add pasta and cook for 10-15 minutes or until pasta is cooked.

Applesauce Oat Muffins
1 cup old fashioned oats
1 cup unsweetened applesauce
½ cup milk (or almond milk)
1 egg
1 tsp. vanilla
4 Tbsp. melted butter or oil
1/3 cup brown sugar
¾ cup whole wheat flour
1 tsp. baking powder
½ tsp. baking soda
1 tsp. cinnamon
¼ tsp. salt
½ cup dried cranberries or raisins

Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Spray muffin tin with cooking spray. In a medium bowl, stir together oats, applesauce, milk, egg, vanilla, butter and sugar.  Set aside.

In a large bowl, whisk together the flour, baking powder, baking soda, cinnamon and salt.  Add cranberries or raisins to the flour mixture.  Add oat mixture to the flour mixture and stir until just combined.  Spoon muffin mixture into prepared muffin tin and bake for 15-18 minutes.  Makes 1 dozen muffins.

     I read these two books during the summer and was impressed with the message of each.  Basically, they teach that we can get by with spending less money and eating less food.  That way we can enjoy what we have more and appreciate our own efforts and blessings.  Less really is more!