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.

Wednesday, June 24, 2015

Civil War

"Those who deny freedom to others deserve it not for themselves."~Abraham Lincoln

"Be sure to put your feet in the right place, then stand firm."~Abraham Lincoln

     Part of our trip to Pennsylvania included a visit to Gettysburg.  Of all the presidents that this nation has had the one that I probably admire most is Abraham Lincoln.  He had a hard job to do and he stuck with it until it was finished and never compromised his values, even at the cost of his own life.  The following is a few pictures of Gettysburg.

     This is my Civil War inspired quilt.  The pattern is called Vicksburg by Red Crinoline Quilts.

       For the past 5 days our air conditioning has been out.  Unfortunately it has been the hottest days of the year so far.  I have definitely not been in the mood to cook or even turn on the oven.  Two of my sons found the recipe for Dole Whips and that's what we had for dessert on Sunday.  I found the recipe for the Chicken Lettuce Wraps a few weeks back and decided now was the perfect time to try them out.  Both recipes come from the Six Sister's Stuff blog.  I used canned chicken in the place of tuna.  I also skipped the Miracle Whip and sweet relish.  I sprinkled on a little soy sauce, some diced celery and a little diced purple onion.  Both recipes are perfect for summertime and very refreshing!

Tuna Lettuce Wraps
Serves: 3
  • 1 can of tuna, drained
  • 1 tablespoon of sweet relish
  • 1 tablespoon of Miracle Whip
  • 1 teaspoon of Dijon mustard
  • ½ teaspoon of lemon juice
  • ½ Avocado diced
  • 16 cherry tomatoes, diced
  • Dash of black pepper
  • Lettuce or Lettuce leaves
  1. Combine tuna, relish, Miracle Whip, Dijon mustard, and lemon juice in a bowl, until well combined.
  2. Place the mixture on a lettuce leaf.
  3. Top with chopped avocado, tomato, and pepper.
  4. Enjoy!

Disneyland Dole Whips
Recipe type: Dessert
Serves: 3
  • 1 (16 oz) bag of frozen pineapple chunks (I used Dole)
  • 4 cups vanilla ice cream
  • 1 teaspoon lime juice
  • 1 teaspoon lemon juice
  • 12 ounces pineapple juice
  1. Puree frozen pineapple in a blender. It works best if it is about halfway thawed. To that, add the ice cream, lime juice, lemon juice, and half (6oz) of the pineapple juice. Blend together until it is well mixed.
  2. Freeze the mixture for about 2 hours to set up.
  3. Scoop into glasses or bowls and pour the remaining pineapple juice over each serving.
  4. We found it made about 3 servings, but you can easily double or cut the recipe in half. Dream of Disneyland and enjoy!

     This is one of my favorite books on Abraham Lincoln.  I loved all the photos.  I feel it shared his life's story accurately.

Sunday, June 7, 2015

Shop Hopping!

"We need old friends to help us grow old and new friends to help us stay young."~Amish Proverb

     For quilters, this past week was one of the most fun of the whole year.  Yes, it was shop hop and I had tons of fun going to the different quilt shops with my youngest daughter and one of my closest friends.  The theme for the Utah Shop Hop this year was "Quilts on Broadway".  Here are a few of the highlights.



Here's one more Amish recipe that I tried tonight and the family loved it.  It has only four ingredients!

Baked Ranch Chicken Breast

           1 (1oz.) packet ranch dressing mix                             6-8 pieces chicken breast
           2 cups bread crumbs                                                    1 stick butter, melted

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.  Combine ranch dressing mix and bread crumbs.  Dip chicken breasts in melted butter and then in bread crumb mixture.  Bake on foil-lined baking sheet uncovered for 30 minutes or until done.

     My oldest daughter found this recipe on the back of the oatmeal canister.  She had to try it out and we all enjoyed the fruits of her labors.


Raspberry Coconut Bars

¾ cup butter                                                    2 cups sweetened coconut (divided)
¾ cup brown sugar                                          1 ½ cups old fashioned oatmeal
¼ cup granulated sugar                                  ¾ cup raspberry preserves (jam)
1 cup flour

Preheat oven to 375 degrees.  Beat butter, brown sugar and granulated sugar together until fluffy.  Add flour, 1 cup coconut and oatmeal; mix together.  Set aside 1 cup of dough.  Press remaining dough evenly over bottom of a 9x13” pan.  Spread raspberry preserves over the dough.  Crumble remaining dough over the preserves.  Sprinkle 1 cup of coconut over the dough.  Bake for 25 minutes.  Remove from oven and allow to cool completely.  Cut into squares and serve. 

     I found this book in one of the Amish gift shops in Pennsylvania while we were there.  I had to come home and download it on my kindle because it sounded so intriguing.  This is about an Amish man who ends up running for president and surprisingly the American people are ready to have a candidate that has some old-fashioned values.  I am almost finished reading it.  I had better go now and finish up the last few chapters!