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.

Monday, March 26, 2018

Spring Promises

"If we think that this life is all there is to life, then there is no interpretation of our problems, our pain, not even our privileges.  But everything changes when we open up to the possibility that God's story is really our story too."~ Max Lucado

     I love the winter, but I also love spring with its promise of everything being renewed.  This is the pillow that I just finished for Spring.  The pattern is in this book called Imagine by Art to Heart.  There is a pattern for very month of the year.  I want to make all of them!

Here is a recipe that is an excellent one to use up leftover ham.  It's a perfect time to use it right after Easter!

Mac and Cheese with Ham and Peas
2 cups elbow macaroni, uncooked
¼ cup butter
½ onion, diced
½ tsp. salt
¼ tsp. pepper
1 tsp. dry mustard
1/3 cup flour
3 cups milk
3 cups grated cheese
1 tsp. lemon juice
2 cups diced ham
1 cup frozen peas
½ cup grated cheese
½ cup crushed seasoned croutons or seasoned bread crumbs
Cook macaroni according to package directions.  Meanwhile, saute' onion in melted butter for about 5 minutes until soft.  Add salt, pepper, dry mustard and flour.  Stir until combined.  Add milk gradually and stir until creamy mixture has thickened.  Add cheese and allow to melt while stirring.  Add lemon juice, ham and frozen peas and stir.  Combine cooked macaroni and cheese mixture in a large casserole dish that has been sprayed with cooking spray. Gently stir until combined.  Sprinkle ½ cup of cheese on top.  Sprinkle ½ cup of crushed croutons on top of that.  Bake in preheated oven at 350 degrees for 30-45 minutes or until bubbly and hot.

I read this book recently and I thought it was a helpful book in overcoming fears and also in knowing that your life is best when you include God.

Sunday, March 11, 2018

Vintage: Oldies but Goodies

"If we ever forget that we are One Nation Under God, then we will be a nation gone under." ~ Ronald Reagan

     I was able to attend a vintage quilt show in Brigham City on Friday.  Some of these quilts were really old.  I went specifically to see a quilt that was made by Elitha Donner.  She was one of the survivors of the Donner Party that was stuck in the Sierra Nevada Mountains in the winter of 1846. Anyway, these are some of the quilts I got to see.

This is the quilt made by Elitha Donner.

This is a quilt made from men's ties.

I love this spool border!

     I tried out this recipe the other day.  I used about three different recipes and then took what I liked from each one and made it my own.  I seem to do that a lot.  Since I have a lot of German and Irish in me I quite enjoyed it.

Sausage and Sauerkraut
1 Tbsp. olive oil or butter
1 medium onion, cut in half and sliced
1 (12 oz.) package apple chicken sausage (I used Johnsonville)
1 (32 oz.) jar of sauerkraut
½ tsp. caraway seed
½ tsp. celery seed
Salt and pepper to taste
Heat oil or butter in frying pan. Add onion and sausage that has been cut into ½” slices.  Cook until onion is soft and sausage is slightly browned.  Add seasonings and sauerkraut.  Cover and simmer for about 15 to 20 minutes.  Serve with German Potato Salad or roasted potatoes.  Serves 4-6.

Image result for Irish Meadows book

   Since St. Patrick's Day is coming up, I was looking for a good Irish book to read.  This one fit the bill perfectly.