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, August 30, 2015

Peachy Days

"If you are not willing to learn, no one can help you.  If you are determined to learn, no one can stop you."~unknown

     School has started once again in our county.  I have only one child left that is still in school.  Education is of high importance in our family and my advice to my daughter is to make the most of her years left in high school and to do her very best.

     My friend, Patti and I went to Brigham City last week to see a quilt show at the museum there.  It was an outstanding show with beautiful quilts.  The featured quilter was a woman from Austria.  Here are some of the quilts that were displayed in the show.

         Brigham City is also know for its peaches.  In fact each year they celebrate Brigham City Peach Days.  Patti and I stopped at a fruit stand called Paul's Patch located near Brigham City and bought us each a bag of luscious peaches.

     Peaches just happen to be one of my very favorite fruits.  Here are two recipes that we tried and loved.

Sweet and Tangy Pork Chops with Peach Salsa
( from 400 Calories or Less with Our Best Bites)

4 boneless pork loin chops, about ½” thick
1 tsp. olive oil
1 tsp. salt
¼ tsp. ground pepper
½ tsp. smoked paprika
½ tsp. garlic powder
½ tsp. onion powder
¼ tsp. chili powder

2 ripe but slightly firm peaches, diced (about 1 cup)
½ cup red bell pepper, diced
1/3 cup red onion, diced
½ Tbsp. fresh thyme leaves
1 tsp. honey
1 Tbsp. cider vinegar
1/8 tsp. salt
1/8 tsp. chili flakes (optional)

Brush pork chops with olive oil. Combine salt, pepper, smoked paprika, garlic powder, onion powder and chili powder in a small bowl.  Sprinkle over both sides of pork chops.
Heat outdoor grill to medium high heat.  Cook pork for about 3 minutes on one side, flip, then continue cooking until internal temperature reaches 150 degrees F.
While pork is cooking, combine all salsa ingredients and place in refrigerator until ready to use.  Serve each pork chop topped with salsa.


Peach Pie with Sour Cream
(from Allrecipes Magazine June/July/Aug. issue)

1 ¼ cups flour
1/2 cup cold butter, cut into bits
2 Tbsp. sour cream

 Preheat oven to 425 degrees.  Spray a 9” pie plated with non-stick spray.  Pulse flour, butter and sour cream in a food processor until mixture comes together in a large ball.  Pat dough into prepared pie plate to form a crust.  Bake until golden brown, about 15 minutes.  Transfer to a wire rack and cool for about 15 minutes.

4 fresh peaches, peeled and sliced ¼” thick (about 3 cups)
1 Tbsp. lemon juice
3 egg yolks
1/3 cup sour cream
 ¼ cup flour

Reduce heat to 350 degrees. Toss peach slices with lemon juice, then arrange in cooled crust.  Lightly beat egg yolks in a large bowl.  Stir in sugar, sour cream and flour until well combined.  Pour over peaches.  Tent pie with foil.  Place on foil lined baking sheet to catch spills.

Bake 50 minutes. Remove foil tent and continue baking until filling is set, about 30 minutes more.  Transfer to a wire rack and cool 1 hour or more.  Serve with fresh whipped cream.


     I finished reading this book about an amazing girl from Pakistan that stood up for the education of girls and women.  The Taliban saw her as a threat and one of their own shot her in the head one day as she was on her way home from school.  She survived to write her story and became a hero for girls to look up to throughout the world.

Sunday, August 16, 2015

Kindling Fires at Family Campout

"If the world seems cold to you, kindle fires to warm it."~ Lucy Larcom

     We had our annual family campout this past weekend.  Can I just say I love to spend time with my family and I love to spend time in the great outdoors.  I look forward to this event each August.  We camped at a campground in the Uintas called Upper Stillwater.  My oldest daughter took care of providing camping bingo for everyone and camping artwork for the kids.  My husband took care of providing wonderful meals produced from his Dutch ovens.  My daughter got a little creative making s'mores. She tried peanut butter cups and different kinds of marshmallows.  We tried apple pie in the Dutch oven.  Each summer I look forward to time spent in the canoe.  Just like quilting, it feeds my soul.

I was able to go to the Tooele County Fair and check out some of the quilts produced in this county.


Here's the recipe for the Dutch Oven Apple Pie.  It comes from Friends of Old Deseret Dutch Oven Cookbook 10th Anniversary Edition.
12" Dutch Oven
Pare, core and thinly slice 10 cups apples (Granny Smith)
Combine and sift over the apples:
1 cup white or brown sugar
1/4 tsp. salt
3 Tbsp. cornstarch
1/2 tsp. cinnamon
1/4 tsp. nutmeg
Stir the apples gently until they are well-coated.  Place them in layers in the pie shell and dot with butter.  Cover pie with upper crust and bake in a hot dutch oven for 10 minutes (16 coals on top and 10 on bottom).  Reduce heat to 14 coals on top and 10 on bottom and bake for 35 to 45 minutes or until golden brown.
Pie Crust
3 cups flour
1 cup shortening (can be 1/2 butter)
1 egg
1 1/2 cups water
Mix flour and shortening until it has a cornmeal texture.  Beat egg and add 1 1/2 cups water.  Pour half of the egg mixture into the dough.  Using a fork, mix dough as you slowly continue adding egg mixture until it comes into a ball.  Roll out dough and fit into a 12 inch oven.
This is the most requested breakfast when we are camping.
Mountain Man Breakfast
1 ½ lbs. ground mild Italian sausage
½ to 1 whole onion, chopped
1 large package shredded hash brown potatoes
18 eggs, beaten
2 large handfuls shredded cheddar cheese
Brown sausage and onion in a 14” dutch oven.  Layer shredded hash browns on top of sausage.  Mix one handful of cheese with beaten eggs and pour on top of hash browns.  Put the lid on and cook for 25 minutes (10 coals on the bottom and 16-18 coals on top).  Sprinkle one more handful of cheese on top and cook for 20 more minutes or until done.  Serve with salsa.


     I read this book last month as recommended by my friend, Linda.  It was such an enjoyable read.  Each chapter heading includes an inspiring quote by the man who actually made the boat the boys used in the Olympics.  I learned that competing in an event requires not only being in top physical condition but also being mentally strong.  You have to really believe you can do it.