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, April 23, 2013

Garden of Weedin'

"To plant a garden is to believe in the future."--Unknown

"When weeding, the best way to make sure you are removing a weed and not a valuable plant is to pull on it. If it comes out of the ground easily, it is a valuable plant. "~Author Unknown

     We planted peas a few weeks ago and even though the weather has been very unpredictable and cold,  they have managed to keep on growing.


     This was a fun quilt to make.  The blocks were simple as was the applique.  This pattern is called Fantasy Garden designed by Nancy Rink.

     Crepes are a tasty treat in the Spring.  They can be eaten for breakfast, lunch or dinner.

Basic Crepes

3 eggs                                                              1 ¼ flour
2 cups milk                                                      ½ tsp. salt
3 Tbsp. butter, melted

     Mix all ingredients in blender until well mixed.  Heat a medium non-stick frying pan over medium heat.  Pour ¼ cup mix into pan and rotate pan until bottom is completely covered with batter.  Let cook until crepe begins to brown and use rubber scraper to flip crepe over and continue to cook until light brown.  For sweet crepes add ½ tsp vanilla and 1 Tbsp. sugar to the batter.  The crepes can be filled with pie filling, pudding, fruit, whipped cream, or a cream cheese filling.  Sprinkle with powdered sugar.

     For dinner crepes fill with meat, gravy, cooked veggies, cheese or a cheese sauce.

     My friend gave this recipe to me a few weeks ago.  It's easy to make and pretty tasty.  Thanks, Jayme.  I think I'll try putting some diced asparagus in it sometime.

Ham and Swiss Casserole

1-8 oz. pkg. egg noodles, cooked and drained                       1 cup sour cream
2 cups cubed fully cooked ham                                              ½ cup chopped green pepper
2 cups shredded Swiss cheese                                                ½ cup chopped onion
1 can cream of celery soup

Layer half of the noodles, ham and cheese in a greased 9x13” baking dish.  Combine the soup, sour cream, green pepper and onion in a large bowl.  Spread half over the noodles, etc. in the baking dish.  Repeat layers and bake uncovered, at 350 degrees for 40-45 minutes or until heated through.  Makes 6-8 servings. 


     My family enjoyed this treat a few weekends ago.  It's so easy to make and so good.

Blueberry Sky Pie
8 oz. pkg. cream cheese                                  8 oz. container whipped topping
6 oz. can frozen lemonade                              21 oz. can blueberry pie filling
14 oz. can sweetened condensed milk            2 graham cracker crusts
Beat cream cheese until creamy; add lemonade and sweetened condensed milk.  Mix until well blended.  Fold in ¾ of the whipped topping and 2/3 of the blueberry pie filling.  Spread into graham cracker crusts and chill.  Garnish with whipped topping and remaining pie filling.  Makes two pies.


     I enjoyed this murder mystery.  The main character is a percocious eleven year old girl who enjoys dabbling in chemistry.  I hope in future books she gets along with her sisters a little better.

    My friend, Susan, made this little snap purse for me.  The opening is made using a metal tape measure enclosed in a fabric casing.  It easily opens and snaps closed. 

Wednesday, April 10, 2013

Life is a Picnic on the Beach!

“I do not exist to impress the world. I exist to live my life in a way that will make me happy. ”
Richard Bach, Illusions: The Adventures of a Reluctant Messiah

     Last week we took off on a twelve hour drive for Spring Break.  The road trip ended in Solvang, California.  Solvang is a town that was originally settled by Danish immigrants.  It has a charm all it's own.  It's famous for it's bakeries and pastry shops.  I enjoyed the farmer's market they have each Wednesday.  A common mode of transportation in the town is bicycles built for four or more.

The nearby town of Buellton is the home of Ostrich
Land and a colorful quilt shop called The Creation Station.


     We loved the time we spent at the beaches near Santa Barbara.  The boogie boards were a hit with the kids.




     That last picture reminds me of a book I read just after my husband and I were married.  The book was given to my husband by his parents and it was one of the few he read as a teenager.  It's an allegory of a seagull that rises to be the best he can be-- Jonathan Livingston Seagull by Richard Bach.

     My daughters, my daughter-in-law and I enjoyed a girls night out by eating out at a local restaurant and making some wooden pallet signs.  This seems to be the current trend going on here.  This is the sign we made for my yard.

Twice a year, in the Spring and in the Fall, the family gets together and we have Chinese Sundaes.  Some people call them Hawaiian Haystacks.  This is an easy meal and everyone can make theirs just how they like it.


Chinese Sundaes

1.     rice                                                              8.  tomatoes, diced

2.     chicken, cooked and diced                          9.  shredded cheese

3.     bacon, cooked                                             10. cream of chicken soup, more

4.     cream of chicken soup, dilute with 1/2 can of milk                  11. crushed pineapple, drained

5.      chow mein noodles                                    12. coconut

6.     celery, diced                                                13. maraschino cherries

7.     green onions, sliced


            Heat soup and chicken in crockpot.  Serve buffet style and layer as desired on individual serving plates.