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, January 28, 2014

It's All Greek to Me

"I count him braver who overcomes his desires than him who conquers his enemies; for the hardest victory is over self."~Aristotle

"Let parents bequeath to their children not riches, but the spirit of reverence."~Plato

"He is richest who is content with the least, for content is the wealth of nature."~Socrates

Here's a beautiful quilt that I found on-line.  It's a block of the month called Asteria-Greek Goddess of the Stars.  I have a weakness for blue and white quilts.  They are so beautiful!


     Dimitri's is a little Greek restaurant in Tooele.  They serve some really good Greek food.  My favorites are their Greek Lemon Rice Soup and their Greek Lemon Potatoes.  I did some experimenting and here are my versions.

Greek Lemon Rice Soup

4 cups chicken broth                           3 Tbsp. lemon juice

1/2  cup uncooked rice                           dash of salt

1 egg                                                  dash of white pepper

In a 2 quart saucepan, bring broth to a boil.  Reduce heat, add rice, cover and simmer until rice is tender, about 20 minutes.  In a small bowl, beat egg and lemon juice.  Stirring constantly, add 1 cup of hot soup, a little at a time to the egg mixture.  Stir mixture into soup in pan and heat.  Do not boil!  Season with salt and pepper.  Serves 4.  This is the basic recipe.  You can also add cooked chicken, diced celery, diced carrots, garlic and/or diced green onion.  Add a little parsley when serving.


Greek Lemon Potatoes

3 lbs. potatoes, quartered                                          3 cloves garlic, minced

2 cups chicken broth                                                   salt and pepper to taste

Juice and grated peel from 2 lemons

     Boil potatoes in large pan with chicken broth, salt, pepper, lemon juice and grated peel from 1 lemon for about 15 to 20 minutes or until somewhat soft.  Drain potatoes and put on a cookie sheet lined with foil.  Drizzle with olive oil and season with salt and pepper, lemon juice and grated peel from remaining lemon and Greek seasoning ( I use a little oregano, thyme and basil).  Broil in oven for about 5 minutes or until browned.

     This recipe comes from Budget
Greek Marinated Chicken
·         1 cup plain yogurt $0.63
·         2 Tbsp olive oil $0.32
·         4 cloves garlic, minced $0.32
·         ½ Tbsp dried oregano $0.08
·         1 medium lemon $0.49
·         ½ tsp salt $0.02
·         freshly cracked pepper $0.05
·         ¼ bunch fresh parsley $0.20
·         3½ to 4 lbs chicken pieces $6.86
1.       To make the marinade, combine the yogurt, olive oil, minced garlic, oregano, salt, and some freshly cracked pepper in a bowl. Use a fine holed cheese grater or a zester to scrape the thin layer of yellow zest from the lemon skin into the bowl. Also add the juice from half of the lemon (about 1-2 Tbsp). Stir until the ingredients are well combined. Roughly chop a big handful, or about ¼ bunch, of parsley and stir it into the marinade.
2.       Add the chicken pieces and marinade to a gallon sized zip top bag. Remove as much air as possible, close the bag tightly, and massage the bag to mix the contents and make sure the chicken is well coated. Refrigerate the bag for 30 minutes.
3.       After marinating for 30 minutes, either cook the chicken on a grill OR preheat the oven to 375 degrees in preparation to bake the chicken.
4.       To bake the chicken, place the chicken pieces in a large casserole dish (9×13). Bake the chicken in the preheated 375 degree oven for 45-60 minutes, or until golden brown on top.
     This is a very intriguing book about a Greek woman who made the ultimate sacrifice for her children.  This is written by her son, Nicholas Gage.

Thursday, January 16, 2014

Make Quilts Not War

“We can be of many nations, but earth is our land.
We can be of many races, but we are just one clan.”
Ricardo Derose

“ All human beings are born free and equal in dignity and rights. They are endowed with reason and conscience and should act towards one another in a spirit of brotherhood.”
United Nations The Universal Declaration of Human Rights Article 1

"Knowledge makes a man unfit to be a slave.”
Frederick Douglass


     I really do believe that we are all children of the same God and we need to forget about power, race and wealth and concentrate more on love and brotherhood.
     A few years ago I read a book that I really enjoyed.  It's called Having Our Say by Sarah and Elizabeth Delany.  It's the story of two sisters who each lived to be over a hundred years old.  And what a story they had to tell.

     Last month while we were visiting the beautiful state of Washington, I was able to visit a cute quilt shop in Port Gamble called Quilted Strait.  Here are a few pictures of some adorable quilts there.

     We also had the chance to visit the Olympic Game Farm in Sequim, Washington.  It's a crazy park that you drive your car through and get to feed all kinds of animals some whole wheat bread.  Even my adult sons loved this.



     It's that season; the time when citrus fruits are readily available.  Here are a couple recipes that we love.

Orange Drop Cookies

1 ½ cups packed brown sugar                         3 cups sifted flour
1 cup butter or margarine                                2 tsp. baking powder
2 eggs                                                              1 tsp. baking soda

1 T. grated orange peel                                   ½ tsp. salt
1 tsp. vanilla                                                    ¾ cup buttermilk or milk

            Cream sugar and margarine.  Add eggs, orange peel and vanilla.  Beat until fluffy.  Add sifted flour, soda, salt and baking powder alternately with buttermilk.  Beat.  Drop onto greased cookie sheet.  Bake at 350 degrees for 10 to 12 minutes.  While cookies are warm frost with
Orange Icing:  Combine 1 T. grated orange peel,  3 T. orange juice and 3 T. butter.  Stir in 3 cups sifted powdered sugar.
Makes 4 dozen cookies.