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, October 24, 2011

October: A very full month!

"Everything that can be counted does not necessarily count; everything that counts cannot necessarily be counted."   --Albert Einstein

Four little monkeys
Look at this cute little fella! Yes, I got a new little grandson this month.  Actually he wasn't that little.  He weighed 9 lbs. 3 oz.  I finally got his quilt finished.  The pattern is by Blue Meadow Designs and is called Monkey Business.  I put brown minky on the back so it will be really soft.

With all the excitement around here I haven't had a chance to finish the book I'm currently reading.  So I'll just let you know about one of my all-time favorite books.  It's called  The Hiding Place by Corrie Ten Boom.  It's the story of two sisters in a concentration camp during WWII.  It's a story of charity and forgiveness.

What is one of the best things to have for breakfast in the fall?  It's got to be apple pancakes with cinnamon syrup drizzled on them.  Just add apples to your favorite pancake recipe and here's the recipe for the syrup.

Cinnamon Syrup

Bring to a full boil stirring constantly:

1 cup Karo syrup                                 ½ cup water
2 cups sugar                                        2 tsp. cinnamon

Continue stirring and boiling 2 minutes longer.  Cool 5 minutes and stir in 1 cup evaporated milk.  Makes 3 ½ cups.  Refrigerate leftovers.

If you stir in 1 cup chopped apples this is a good combination.

Syrup is also good warm or cold on ice cream.

 In the fall we always enjoy a nice drive in Middle Canyon.

This year it was a little different because the snow came and weighed the trees down before the leaves could fully change colors.

But no matter what the circumstances the scenery is always beautiful.

Wednesday, October 5, 2011

Ready for October?

"Death is no more than passing from one room into another.  But there's a difference for me, you know.  Because in that other room I shall be able to see." --Helen Keller

This book has been one of the most eye-opening books I have ever read.  Unbroken gave me a whole new appreciation for servicemen and the true sacrifice they give when they are protecting our country.  This is the story of an olympian turned soldier and his long stay in a Japanese POW camp during WWII.  His story and the overcoming of his hardships is truly amazing.

This quilt is called Happy Jack.  The pattern comes from Pieces From My Heart pattern company.  It's an easy quilt to make and can be completed in an afternoon.

Do you need a recipe to use up some of that pumpkin from that huge can you opened up?  These rolls are light and moist and very pretty.  When I made this batch, I cut the recipe in half and put the ingredients in my bread machine and put the setting on dough.  I still got to play with the dough and the rolls turned out just as nice.

Pumpkin Knot Rolls

2 pkgs. (1/4 oz. each) active dry yeast                                  3 eggs
1 cup warm milk                                                                   1 ½ tsp. salt
1/3 cup butter or margarine, softened                                    5 ½ to 6 cups flour
½ cup sugar                                                                          1 T. cold water
1 cup cooked or canned pumpkin                                          sesame or poppy seeds (optional)

In a mixing bowl, dissolve yeast in warm milk.  Add the butter, sugar, pumpkin, 2 eggs, salt and 3 cups of flour.  Beat until smooth.  Stir in enough of the remaining flour to form a soft dough.  Turn onto a lightly floured surface; knead until smooth and elastic, about 6-8 minutes.  Place in a greased bowl, turning once to grease top.  Cover and let rise in a warm place until doubled, about 1 hour.  Punch dough down.  Turn onto a lightly floured surface; divide in half.  Shape each portion into 12 balls.  Roll each ball into a 10 inch rope; tie into a knot and tuck ends under.  Place 2 inches apart on greased baking sheets.  Cover and let rise until doubled, about 30 minutes.  In a small bowl, beat water and remaining egg.  Brush over rolls.  Sprinkle with sesame or poppy seeds if desired.  Bake at 350 degrees for 15-17 minutes or until golden brown.  Remove from pans to wire racks.  Yield: 2 dozen.