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.

Tuesday, November 22, 2011

Happy Thanksgiving!

"You can't stumble when you are on your knees." --Amish Proverb

Thanksgiving is just a couple days away.  It will be nice to have the family all here for the big day.  There really is so much to be thankful for.  We are so blessed.

I read a book called These is my Words by Nancy E. Turner.  It's an inspiring book about a woman who traveled in a wagon train with her family and settled in Arizona before it became a state.  It is in journal format and shows Sarah's words from the time she was young and almost illiterate to the time when she became self-educated and a hard working business woman.  This is a book that goes through the many trials that she and others faced.  It is true to the history of the time and roughly based on a true to life person.  I couldn't believe how hard everyone worked to survive.  We are very blessed to live at the present time.

November is one of the best months for soup because that's when there is a real chill in the air.  This is one of our family's favorite soup recipes.  It's called Cheddar Potato Chowder with Ham  but we just call it Ham Chowder.

Cheddar Potato Chowder with Ham

2 cups water                                                     ¼ tsp. pepper
2 cups diced unpeeled red potatoes                  ¼ cup flour
1 cup diced carrots                                           2 cups 2% milk
½ cup diced celery                                           2 cups shredded cheddar cheese
¼ cup chopped onion                                       1 cup cubed fully cooked ham
1 tsp. salt

            In a large heavy pan, combine the first seven ingredients.  Bring to a boil.  Reduce heat; cover and simmer for 10-12 minutes or until tender. 
Meanwhile, place flour in a large saucepan; gradually whisk in milk.  Bring to a boil over medium heat; cook and stir for 2 minutes or until thickened.  Remove from the heat.  Add cheese; stir until melted.  Stir the ham and the cheese sauce into undrained vegetables; stir until combined.  Yield: 7 servings.

This is a little table runner that I made last year.  It came in a kit that I got from SewN'Save in Clearfield.

This is a quilt that I made for my sister for her 50th birthday.  I got the pattern from a quilting magazine.  It's another quilt that has minky as the backing.

Saturday, November 5, 2011

Let it Snow!

"For beautiful eyes, look for the good in others; for beautiful lips, speak only words of kindness; and for poise, walk with the knowledge that you are never alone." --Audrey Hepburn

Run, little deer!

Payson Lakes

Utah Lake Overlook

Last weekend was one of those that we actually didn't have a ton of stuff to do so we took my mom on a drive up around the Nebo Loop.  There were a lot of hunters out scoping the area for deer.  We got to see a doe and I shot her with my camera (the only way I like to shoot a deer).  We drove by Payson Lakes and made a quick stop at the Utah Lake Overlook.  It seemed as though you could see forever.  We kept going and came across an area called Devil's Kitchen.  It reminded my daughter of a mini Bryce Canyon.

Devil's Kitchen

We had lunch at Dalton's in Payson.  The French Dip Sandwiches were great as well as the halibut sandwich.  The battered fries and onion rings were so good!  The mud pie in the deli case looked so good but we were all too full to try it.

Dalton's restaurant in Payson

A couple of weeks ago I bought a mini donut maker on a whim and we've had so much fun with that thing.  I've discovered that you can use just about any muffin recipe and make fun little donuts.  On-line I've read that people also use cake mixes.  So far, we've made chocolate donuts with chocolate frosting and little sprinkles, pumpkin spice donuts dipped in cinnamon sugar, applesauce donuts dipped in powdered sugar and today we made lemon poppyseed donuts dipped in lemon glaze.  They disappear really fast around here.

Here are a couple of little quilts that I finished in October.  The turkey quilt pattern is from Briarwood Cottage out of Idaho Falls and the scarecrow quilt pattern comes from Ashby's Attic.  It's fun to make smaller quilts when you find you don't have a lot of time on your hands to get the big one's finished.

I read an interesting book.  It's called One Thousand Gifts: A Dare to Live Fully Right Where You Are by Ann Voskamp.  The author was challenged to show gratitude for 1000 things in her life and tells how accepting that challenge enriched her life.  I found the book intriguing even though there was a lot of repetition and the last chapter included some very strange stuff.  Overall, I found myself wanting to show more gratitude in my life for even the small things.