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, May 13, 2012

Happy Day to Mothers Everywhere!

"An ounce of mother is worth a pound of clergy."--Rudyard Kipling

     This Mother's Day turned out to be really nice.  My husband and children worked hard to put a wonderful dinner on the table.  Last year he made blackberry crumble with ice cream for dessert.  It was such a big hit that I requested it again this year.  The recipe is from the book Blackberry Crumble by Josi Kilpak.

Blackberry Crumble

(From the book with the same name by Josi Kilpack)

4 cups fresh or frozen blackberries                 ½ cup rolled oats
2 T flour                                                          ½ cup brown sugar

3 T sugar                                                         ½ tsp. nutmeg
½ cup butter                                                    ½ tsp. cinnamon
½ cup flour                                                      1 tsp. salt

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Mix berries, 2 T flour and 3 T sugar together in a large bowl. Spread in an 8x8 pan. In a mixing bowl, combine remaining ingredients; adjust spices to taste. Use a pastry blender to cut ingredients together until pea-sized crumbles form. Sprinkle over the top of the berry mixture. Bake for 45 to 55 minutes or until crumb topping is browned. Let cool slightly. Serve warm topped with vanilla ice cream or whipped cream, if desired.  Serves 6.

Note: You may want to add a little lemon zest to the topping.

     Yesterday, I was able to spend some time with a couple of friends at the HMQS quilt show held at the South Towne Expo Center in Salt Lake City.  The quilts on display were absolutely incredible.  No picture that I take can do any justice to show just how beautiful they were.  My friend, Shelly Dahl, had a quilt on display and won a prize in the Sparkling Star category (or something like that).  The quilt that won Best of Show was created by a woman from Wyoming.  There were quilts from all over the United States exhibited.  Many of them were embellished with tiny swarovoski crystals.

     Mothers are always trying to find ways to improve their lives and get more meaning out of their days.  I just finished a remarkable book.  It is called If Life is a Game, These are the Rules, written by Cherie Carter-Scott.  It's a small, sweet book that is full of valuable information that just might be life altering.  I enjoyed every chapter.  My husband read it first and we've had some very thought provoking conversations since.  I highly recommend it.

Thursday, May 3, 2012

May Days!

"All that I am, or hope to be, I owe to my angel mother."--Abraham Lincoln

     I am having so much trouble wrapping it around my brain that it is May already.  I know that summer will be here in the blink of an eye and I am definitely not ready. 
     I guess we'll start with a cute quilt.  This one is from Quilt Soup (not only do you get a cute pattern but you also get a recipe--bonus!!).  It's called "We Be Jammin'".

     I read the book Northanger Abbey by Jane Austen last month.  It was good but my favorite has still got to be Pride and Prejudice.  I guess it reminds me of my girlhood growing up with four sisters and a dad who reminded me a little of the famous Mr. Bennett.

     Here are more pictures from our California trip.  We went to Yosemite National Park.  There is absolutely no way that you can take a bad picture there.  Any direction you faced the scenery was gorgeous.  I'm glad we were there in April so we avoided the crowds of the summer months.


     The best dessert ever is fruit pizza.  My husband will agree.  He requests it every year for his birthday.  It's great in the Spring when the fresh fruit is available.  Thanks to my sister for a great recipe.


Fruit Pizza


            ½ C. margarine            2 ¾ C. flour

½ C. shortening           2 tsp. cream of tartar

1 ¼ C. sugar                1 tsp. soda

2 eggs                          ¼ tsp. salt

Mix ingredients together as for cookies.  Press into a cookie sheet.  Bake at 400* for 10 minutes.  Cool.


            Beat 12-16 oz. of cream cheese, 1/2 C. sugar, 3-5 Tbsp. fruit juice (use juice saved from draining canned fruit).  Spread onto cooled crust.

Use pineapple, mandarin oranges, strawberries, mangos, grapes, bananas, cantaloupe, raspberries, kiwis, etc. and arrange on top of sauce on the crust.


            Combine remaining fruit juice left from draining canned fruit with 3 Tbsp. cornstarch. Cook until thickened. Cool slightly and drizzle over entire fruit pizza.  Chill for several hours.