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, September 27, 2015

Addicted to Nature

"Look deep into nature, and then you will understand everything better."~ Albert Einstein

     Utah is filled with extremely beautiful places to visit.  September is a fantastic time to visit Bryce Canyon which happens to be one of those extraordinarily beautiful spots here on this earth.  My husband and I enjoyed our time there.  Beauty in nature feeds your eyes and your soul.


       The pictures really don't do this National Park justice.  It is just so beautiful.  My husband was also nice enough to take me to see a quilt shop in Cedar City.  Stitching It Up is right there on Main Street.  Some cute quilts and lovely fabric to see and lots of quilt patterns to buy.

     My mom has a ton of apples on her trees this year and she is begging me to come and take some off of her hands. So this time I am including a couple of easy recipes that include apples.

Sunday Best Fruit Salad



  • 1 (20 ounce) can pineapple chunks, juice reserved
  • 2 apples, peeled and cored
  • 1 (21 ounce) can peach pie filling
  • 2 bananas, peeled and diced
  • 3 kiwis
  • 1 pint strawberries


  1. In a small bowl, toss the chopped apples in reserved pineapple juice. Allow to sit for 5 to 10 minutes.
  2. In a large salad bowl, combine the peach pie filling and pineapple chunks.
  3. Remove apples from pineapple juice and add to pie filling and pineapple mixture. Add chopped bananas to reserved pineapple juice and let sit for 5 to 10 minutes.
  4. Peel and slice kiwi and 1/2 of strawberries. Chop the other 1/2 of strawberries and set aside.
  5. Remove bananas from pineapple juice and add to pie filling mixture. Add chopped strawberries; toss together.
  6. Arrange kiwi slices around the edge of the serving bowl and alternate with strawberry slices. Chill and serve.

Apple Butterscotch Cookies

3 cups flour                                                  1 egg
2 tsp. cinnamon                                          2/3 cup apple juice
1 tsp. baking soda                                      1 cup butterscotch chips
½ tsp. salt                                                     ¾ cup apple, finely chopped
1 cup brown sugar                                      ½ cup walnuts, chopped (optional)
½ cup butter, softened                            

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.  Lightly grease cookie sheets.  Mix together flour, cinnamon, baking soda and salt in medium bowl.
Beat brown sugar and ½ cup butter in large mixer bowl until creamy.  Beat in egg.  Gradually beat in flour mixture alternately with apple juice.  Stir in butterscotch chips, diced apple and walnuts.  Drop by rounded tablespoons onto prepared cookie sheets.
Bake for 10 to 12 minutes or until lightly browned.  Let stand 2 minutes then remove to wire racks to cool.
While the cookies are cooling, make the glaze by mixing together:

1 ½ cups powdered sugar
2 Tbsp. apple juice
2 Tbsp. butter, softened

Mix until smooth and spread on cooled cookies.  Makes about 3 dozen.

     Here's a book recommended to me by my niece.  It was a short and insightful read about a teenage boy and girl and how their feelings for each other changed over time.

Sunday, September 13, 2015

To Be or Not to Be....

"Love all, trust a few, do wrong to none." ~ Shakespeare

"We know what we are, but know not what we may be." ~ Shakespeare

      My husband and I traveled to Cedar City, Utah last weekend to celebrate our anniversary a little early.  I have been wanting to attend the Shakespeare festival at Southern Utah University there for some time.  The only other time I attended was with my sister and my Mom before I was married.  So it was quite a few years ago. 
     My husband and I were lucky enough to see three different plays--The Taming of the Shrew, Charley's Aunt and South Pacific.  All three were amazing with extraordinarily talented performers.  By sheer coincidence we were in the Adams Theater on the last night that a Shakespearean Comedy was performed.  They paid tribute to the theater and the performers that graced its stage.  The theater is being retired and a new theater is in the process of being built to be ready for performances next year.


     I was able to finish up my quilt made from the pattern called Vivienne's Journey by Quiltscapes.  I used some more modern fabric instead of traditional that gave the quilt a whole different look.

     I've chosen two recipes that use up some of our harvest vegetables; namely tomatoes and zucchini.  Strangely enough, I ran across three different recipes for Tomato Pie from three different sources recently.  I decided I better give it a try even though it sounded kinda strange.  I compared the three different recipes and took portions from each and made it my own.


Savory Tomato Pie
Dough for 1- 9”pie crust
4 medium sized tomatoes, sliced ¼ inch thick
2 tsp. salt
2 Tbsp. olive oil
3 cloves minced garlic
½ cup diced onion
¼ cup chopped fresh basil (or 2 tsp. dried)
1 ½ cups shredded sharp cheddar cheese
¼ -1/2 cup mayonnaise
Preheat the oven to 450 degrees. Press the pie crust dough into a 9” pie plate. Prick the bottom and sides of crust with a fork.  Bake the pie crust until lightly browned, about 10 or 11 minutes, then cool completely.  Reduce oven temp. to 350 degrees.
While the crust is baking, put sliced tomatoes on folded paper towels and sprinkle with salt and let sit for 15 minutes.  Meanwhile heat olive oil in a skillet and saute minced garlic and diced onion over medium heat until tender, about 7 minutes.  Stir in basil and let mixture cool. 
Blot tomatoes with paper towel to remove excess moisture.  Sprinkle a handful of cheese in bottom of cooled crust.  Next, overlap half of the tomato slices on top of cheese.  Spread half of the garlic onion mixture on top of tomatoes. Sprinkle with half of the cheese. Repeat with layers of tomatoes, garlic onion and end with the rest of the cheese.  Gently spread the mayonnaise over the top of the cheese.
Bake the pie uncovered in the 350 degree oven for 30 minutes or until the cheese is melted, lightly browned and bubbling.  Remove the pie from the oven and allow to cool for 20 minutes before cutting and serving.

Blueberry Zucchini Bread
1 egg
¼ cup oil
1 tsp. vanilla
¼ cup applesauce
½ cup sugar
1 cup shredded zucchini
½ cup white flour
½ cup whole wheat flour
½ tsp. salt
½ tsp. baking powder
1/8 tsp. baking soda
½ tsp. cinnamon
1/8 tsp. nutmeg
1 cup blueberries
Crumb Topping
¼ cup butter
¼ cup flour
¼-1/2 cup oats
¼ cup brown sugar
Preheat oven to 350 degrees.  Lightly grease 1 8x4” loaf pan. In a large bowl, beat together egg, oil, vanilla, applesauce and sugar.  Fold in the zucchini.  Mix in the flour, salt, baking powder, baking soda, cinnamon and nutmeg.  Gently fold in the blueberries.  Put batter in prepared loaf pan.  Combine crumb topping ingredients and sprinkle on batter.  Bake for 60-70 minutes.  Cool 20 minutes in pan.  Turn out on wire rack and cool completely before cutting. 
You can also use this recipe to make delicious muffins. Put batter in greased muffin tin and sprinkle with crumb topping.  Bake for 20-25 minutes.

    Well, here it is the play that I was able to see in Cedar City.  It might be controversial today, but I really enjoyed the play and the book by William Shakespeare.