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, December 18, 2016

Gifts of Christmas

"You can give a great and wonderful Christmas if you remember the gifts God has given you and, as best you can, offer them to others as He would have."~Henry B. Eyring

     I found a cute little panel with a simple doll to make for my grand daughter.  I just know she'll love it.  I even used the instruction part of the panel to make a drawstring bag so she can keep all the parts together when she's not playing with it.



     This is the gift that I made for my friend.  I hope she'll find it helpful when we go to quilt classes.  The pattern is called Classmate by Atkinson Designs.  I love all the little compartments to put sewing notions.

     December 6th brought our annual Quilt Guild Christmas Party.  The theme this year was "Preserving Memories".  We had Emily as our guest speaker to tell us all about her company called Pattern Jam.

     A nice Christmas cookie to take to neighbors for the holidays would be this one called Mint Chocolate Delights from

Mint Chocolate Delights
2 cups flour
2/3 cup cocoa
1 tsp. baking soda
½ tsp. salt
1 cup butter, softened
2/3 cup sugar
2/3 cup brown sugar
1 tsp. vanilla
 2 eggs
1 2/3 cups mint chocolate chips

Preheat oven to 325 degrees.  Combine flour, baking soda and salt in small bowl.  Beat butter, sugars and vanilla in a large mixing bowl until creamy.  Add eggs and beat well.  Gradually beat in flour mixture.  Stir in mint chocolate chips.  Drop by tablespoonfuls onto baking sheet covered in parchment paper.  Bake for 11-13 minutes or until cookies are puffed and centers are set.  Cool on baking sheets for 2 minutes and then put on cooling racks to cool completely.  Makes about 48 cookies.

     The Mistletoe Promise by Richard Paul Evans was a nice relaxing holiday romance novel.

Sunday, December 4, 2016

Christmas In My Heart

"For it is good to be children sometimes, and never better than at Christmas, when its mighty Founder was a child Himself." ~ Charles Dickens, A Christmas Carol


      This is my red and white quilt that was a block of the month.  I finished several of the blocks and then made them into a quilt pattern of my own.  I was happy with how it turned out.

     Here's a fun recipe to use for that special Christmas Brunch or a way to use up the rest of the eggnog in the carton (if there is any).

Eggnog Pancakes
(From Crème De La Crumb)
1 ½ cups flour
3 Tbsp. sugar
1 Tbsp. baking powder
¼ tsp. salt
1/8 tsp. ground nutmeg
2 eggs
1 ¼ cups eggnog
½ tsp. vanilla
3 Tbsp. oil
Maple syrup and powdered sugar
In a large bowl, whisk together flour, sugar, baking powder, salt and nutmeg.  In another bowl beat eggs.  Whisk in the milk, vanilla and butter.
Lightly grease a large nonstick skillet or griddle.  Pour ¼ cup of batter onto the skillet.  Cook for 2-3 minutes until bubbles form in the batter and edges start to look “dry”.  Flip and allow to cook 1-2 more minutes until golden.  Repeat with remaining batter.  Serve pancakes warm with maple syrup and powdered sugar.  Makes 4 servings.

Instead of reading a book, this time I listened to one on cd.  I sure enjoyed listening to Jim Dale perform all the voices in Charles Dickens' "A Christmas Carol".  And thanks to my friend, Linda, for loaning me her cd for a few days.

Sunday, November 13, 2016

Autumn Blessings

"Gratitude can transform common days into thanksgivings, turn routine jobs into joy, and change ordinary opportunities into blessings." ~William Arthur Ward

     This is the wonderful quilt ladder that my son in law made for me!  I am thrilled that I can display 5 quilts at the same time.  I am so appreciative of someone who has skill as a wood worker.

We just had family pictures taken.  These are the people I love with all my heart.  They are the people who will be gathered around our Thanksgiving table.  Family is one of my best blessings!
Here are a couple of vegetable recipes that came from the Costco Connection Magazine that I want to try out for Thanksgiving.
Parmesan Roasted Baby Carrots

4-5 cups baby carrots
¼ cup olive oil
4 cloves garlic, minced
3 Tbsp. grated parmesan cheese
1-2 Tbsp. panko bread crumbs, optional
¾ tsp. salt, more to taste
¼ tsp. black pepper
Chopped parsley, optional

Preheat oven to 400 degrees.  Line a baking sheet with foil.  Spray with non-stick cooking spray.
Place the olive oil, garlic, parmesan cheese, bread crumbs, salt and pepper in a large zip top bag.  Add the carrots and shake until they are well coated.  Spread carrots onto baking sheet.  Bake for 20-25 minutes until tender, shaking pan halfway through baking.  Remove from oven and serve immediately.  Top with fresh parsley and season with additional salt and pepper, if desired.  Makes 8 servings.


 This is the book I just finished.....Autumn Masquerade.  It's actually three different stories by three different authors.  It was a nice relaxing love story times three.

I found these cute little edible turkeys on pinterest.  I just know my grandkids will love them as an appetizer for Thanksgiving!

Sunday, October 30, 2016

Happy Halloween!

"Opportunities to find deeper powers within

ourselves come when life seems most

challenging." ~ Joseph Campbell

     October 5-8 was the Beehive Shop Hop here in Utah.  I was able to make it to all 14 shops that participated.  Here are some of the cute quilts I saw along the way.


     My friend and neighbor went to Idaho with her husband and brought us back some potatoes.  They do this every fall and I'm so lucky to be the recipient of such goodness.  Anyway, I just had to include a couple of potato recipes this time. 


Garlic Oven Fries

2- 2 ½ lbs. russet potatoes
2 Tbsp. olive oil
1 tsp. garlic powder
1 tsp. smoked paprika
Salt and pepper
Parmesan cheese (optional)

Preheat oven to 400 degrees.  Prepare a large baking sheet by putting parchment paper on it.  Scrub the potatoes well to remove all dirt particles.  Cut the potatoes in thin wedges or strips.  In a large bowl, combine the olive oil, garlic powder, and paprika.  Add the potatoes to the bowl and toss to coat.  Spread the potatoes on the baking sheet.  Now you can sprinkle them with the salt and pepper and/or the parmesan cheese or whatever other seasoning you prefer.  Bake for about 45 minutes turning every 15 minutes or so.  (You can also prebake the potatoes in the microwave before slicing them for about 5 minutes to speed up the baking process.)  Serve with ketchup.

Vegetarian Shepherd's Pie
(adapted from Budget Bytes)
  • 2 cloves garlic
  • 1 yellow onion
  • 1 Tbsp. olive oil
  • 3 carrots
  • 2 stalks celery
  • 8 oz. button mushrooms
  • ¾ tsp. salt
  • 1 tsp. dried thyme
  • ½ tsp. smoked paprika
  • Freshly cracked pepper
  • 1 8 oz. can tomato sauce
  • 1 Tbsp. flour
  • 1 cup vegetable broth
  • 1 cup frozen peas
  • 4 cups mashed potatoes
  1. Mince the garlic and dice the onion. Sauté the onion and garlic with olive oil in a large skillet over medium heat until the onions are soft and transparent (3-5 minutes).
  2. While the onions and garlic are cooking, peel and dice the carrots, dice the celery, and slice the mushrooms. Once the onions are soft, add the carrots and celery to the skillet and continue to sauté until the celery begins to soften slightly (5 minutes).
  3. Finally, add the mushrooms, salt, thyme, smoked paprika, and freshly cracked pepper to the skillet. Continue to sauté until the mushrooms have fully softened (3-5 minutes). Add the tomato paste and flour to the skillet. Stir and cook the vegetables with the flour and tomato sauce until the vegetables are coated and the pasty mixture begins to coat the bottom of the skillet (about 2 minutes).
  4. Add the vegetable broth to the skillet, stirring to dissolve the flour and tomato sauce from the bottom of the skillet. Allow the broth to come up to a simmer, at which point it will become slightly thicker. Stir in the frozen peas, and allow the mixture to heat through.
  5. Preheat the oven to 400ºF. Pour the vegetable mixture into a casserole dish, or use your skillet if it is oven safe. Spread the mashed potatoes out over the surface of the vegetables and gravy. Use your spoon to make a decorative pattern in the mashed potatoes, if desired.
  6. Bake the shepherd's pie in the fully preheated oven for 15 minutes, or until everything is heated through. To achieve a browned surface on the mashed potatoes (optional), turn on the oven's broiler (and place the pie under it, if not already), and watch closely until the top has browned to your liking.

     Here are a couple of books that  are fun to read in October.  Both have quilting themes to them.