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, June 22, 2014

June Fruit

"Humility is not thinking less of yourself, it's thinking of yourself less."~C.S. Lewis

     While we visited Oregon this month, I found a cute quilt shop in Cannon Beach called Center Diamond.  They had some cute, beachy quilt patterns and fabric.


     I loved the lighthouse quilt patterns because we were able to hike to three different lighthouses.  The series of patterns that includes these lighthouses is called Sentries of Light.  Check out their website.  Here are pictures from some of the sights we saw.

Cape Mears Lighthouse

Tillamook Rock Lighthouse

Cape Disappointment Lighthouse

Cannon Beach is also the home of the famous Haystack Rock where during low tide you can check out the amazing tide pools there.  I loved the colorful starfish.
Haystack Rock

     Summer is a time for strawberries and they just happen to be in season now.  Here are a couple of recipes that I tried out on my family this month and they gave them a thumbs up.

Strawberry and Yogurt Ice Pops
2 cups yogurt                                      1 cup strawberries, sliced
1 banana, sliced                                  ½ cup blueberries

     Put all ingredients in blender and blend until somewhat smooth.  Pour mixture into 10 to 12 small paper cups.  Put a popsicle stick in each cup.  Put in freezer and freeze for 5 hours.  To serve, peel off paper cup and enjoy.

     I got this recipe from Baking with Blondie.  This recipe also makes delicious cupcakes.

Strawberry and Yogurt Bundt Cake

1 cup butter, softened                                    ½ tsp. baking soda
2 cups sugar                                                     ½ tsp. salt
3 eggs                                                                1 cup yogurt
3 Tb, lemon juice, divided                             12 oz. fresh strawberries, diced
Zest of one lemon                                           1 cup powdered sugar
2 ½ cups flour, divided

     Preheat oven to 325 degrees.  Grease and flour 10” Bundt pan.  Sift together 2 ¼ cups of the flour, baking soda and salt.  Mix in the lemon zest and set aside.

     With an electric mixer, cream together the butter and sugar until light and fluffy.  Beat in the eggs, one at a time, then stir in 1 Tb. Lemon juice.  Alternate beating in the flour mixture and the yogurt.  Do not over mix.

     Toss strawberries with the remaining flour.  Gently fold them into the batter.  Pour the batter into the prepared Bundt pan.  Bake for 60 minutes or until toothpick inserted in the center of cake comes out clean.

     Allow to cool at least 20 minutes.  Then turn out onto a wire rack and cool completely.  Whisk together the remaining 2 Tbs. of lemon juice and the powdered sugar.  Drizzle over the top of the cake.

     Along with all the strawberry recipes, here is a book called Strawberry Girl by Lois Lenski.  It's another kid's book that I enjoyed reading.  It's about a family that moves to Florida in the early 1800's.  I enjoyed the accents of the different characters.

Sunday, June 8, 2014

Summer Patches

“If you don't see the book you want on the shelves, write it.”
Beverly Cleary

“Problem solving, and I don't mean algebra, seems to be my life's work. Maybe it's everyone's life's work.” ~Beverly Cleary


“I had a very wise mother. She always kept books that were my grade level in our house.”~Beverly Cleary

     We just returned from vacation in Oregon.  We had a fantastic time there; spending time hiking in the woods and wandering on the beautiful beaches.  We drove through a quaint town, called Yamhill, that is near McMinnville.  The well-known children's author, Beverly Cleary was born in McMinnville and lived in Yamhill until she was six years old.  We found her childhood home in Yamhill.  We also came across this spectacular barn with 5 quilt blocks on it.

     We drove south to Tillamook and went to the cheese factory there.  A unique thing about the town of Tillamook is that many of the businesses there have a quilt block painted on them.  This is not only to promote tourism but to also remind the residents of Oregon of their great pioneering heritage and honor those who passed on their quilting skills to future generations.  I loved this!


     In the car, I was able to finish binding this quilt, called Summer Patches by The Gingham Girls.

     A few years ago I read the autobiography of Beverly Cleary called A Girl From Yamhill.  I also enjoyed her second autobiography called On My Own Two Feet.  Her children's books are so fun to read to kids.  Those shown below are just a few of my favorites.