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, November 23, 2014

Give a Little Thanks!

"The Pilgrims made seven times more graves than huts. No Americans have been more impoverished than these who, nevertheless, set aside a day of thanksgiving." ~H.U. Westermayer

     The Tooele Quilt Guild displayed some of it's member's quilts at the Nuttal's Bernina shop in South Jordan.  Customers were allowed to come and view the quilts and vote on their favorite.  Here are a few that I liked.

     The Thanksgiving Holiday is well on it's way.  Here is a recipe that will help use up that leftover turkey (use turkey in place of chicken).  Your family will love it!

Chicken Broccoli Stuffing Casserole

1 package chicken stuffing mix
2-3 cups cooked chicken
2 cups steamed broccoli florets
1 cup shredded cheddar cheese
1 (10 ¾ oz.)can cheddar or cream of chicken soup

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.  Prepare stuffing mix according to package directions, using 1 ¼ cups water.
In a large bowl, combine chicken, broccoli and soup.  Transfer to a greased 11x7” baking dish.  Sprinkle with shredded cheddar cheese and top with prepared stuffing.  Bake, covered, for 20 minutes.  Uncover and bake for 10-15 additional minutes.  Makes 6 servings.

        This cookie recipe works well for either Thanksgiving or Christmas.  It's quick and easy.

Jam Thumbprint Cookies

1 cup butter                                                    2 ½ cups flour
2/3 cup sugar                                                  ½ cup jam
1 egg
½ tsp. almond extract

     Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Cream butter and sugar together in medium bowl until smooth.  Mix in egg and almond extract.  Mix in flour until dough is formed.  Roll dough into 1 inch balls and place on baking sheet lined with parchment paper.  Make a small dent in the center of each ball using your thumb or a small round measuring spoon.  Fill each hole with your favorite jam ( about ½ tsp.).  Bake for 12 to 15 minutes or until very lightly browned.  Let cool for 1 minute on cookie sheet.  Makes about 3 dozen. 

(You can also roll each ball in finely chopped nuts for a crunchy variation.  Or you can make a glaze to drizzle over the cookies  after baking by mixing together ½ cup powdered sugar, ¾ tsp. almond extract and 1 tsp. milk.


     I enjoyed reading this book by Mitch Albom.  We should all have a little more faith no matter what religion we are.  We should also have a lot more tolerance and understanding of all religions.

Sunday, November 9, 2014

November Notes

"Blessed are those who can give without remembering and take without forgetting."~Elizabeth Bibesco

     This is the barn block of the month quilt that I have worked on this past year through the Quilt, Etc. quilt shop in Sandy, Utah.  We got to work on a regular block each month and as a bonus we got to work on a barn block.  Then at the end of 12 months we got to put the blocks together and design our own quilt.  I am happy with how my quilt turned out.

     This is a fast, easy dish that can be made in 25 minutes.  This recipe is adapted from a recipe from

Creamy Tomato and Spinach Pasta

1 Tbsp. olive oil                                               ½ tsp. salt
1 small onion, diced                                        1 (8 oz.) can tomato sauce
2 cloves garlic, minced                                   2 oz. cream cheese
1 (15 oz. ) can diced or crushed tomatoes     ¼ cup grated parmesan cheese
½ tsp. dried oregano                                       ½ lb. penne pasta or pasta of choice
½ tsp. dried basil                                            2 cups coarsely chopped fresh spinach
Pepper to taste

Cook pasta in a large pot of boiling water according to pack directions until tender.  Drain in colander.
Meanwhile cook onion and garlic in large skillet in olive oil until softened, about 5 minutes.  Add the tomatoes, oregano, basil, salt and pepper.  Stir in the tomato sauce.  Cut the cream cheese in small pieces and whisk into the tomato mixture until cheese is melted.  Whisk in parmesan cheese gradually until melted.  Add the fresh spinach and gently stir into the sauce until it has wilted, 3-5 minutes.  Add the pasta and stir until well-coated with the creamy tomato sauce.  Serve warm.  Makes 4 servings.


1 1/8 cup water                                               1 Tbsp. yeast
3 cups flour                                                     3 Tbsp. melted butter
1 Tbsp. sugar                                                  seasoning salt
2 Tbsp. powdered milk                                    garlic powder
1 tsp. salt                                                        parmesan cheese
2 Tbsp. butter                                                  grated cheese

Add first seven ingredients in a bread machine.  Select dough setting.  When dough is ready roll out on an 11x15” baking pan that has been coated with cooking spray.  Using a pizza cutter, cut dough in 1 inch strips.  Brush with melted butter.  Sprinkle with seasoning salt and garlic powder.  Sprinkle with parmesan cheese and grated cheese.  Let rise about 30 minutes.  Bake in 350 degree oven for 15-20 minutes.

     I loved reading this book by Gloria Whelan.  Homeless Bird is about a girl in India who is married and widowed at a young age.  Because she learns to read and becomes proficient at the skill of embroidering she is able to overcome many hardships and find happiness in her life.