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, April 24, 2016

Quilt Retreat!

"Good books, like good friends, are few and chosen; the more select, the more enjoyable."~Louisa May Alcott

Last week was our Tooele County Quilters Quilt Retreat.  The theme was spring Fling. We made butterfly treat bags for everyone and cute spring lanyards for everyone to wear.  We put in a lot of work and it turned out so fun.  It was held at the Grantsville City Library.  There were over 30 women who signed up to come.  It lasted for three days.  We had Lee Stout come and sharpen our scissors for us.  Rachel also came and showed us some stretches we could do when we felt stiff and sore.  Anita did a spectacular trunk show for us.  We had tootsie roll pops to pick for prizes and each day there were drawings for other prizes.  Every retreat needs good food.  On Friday we all headed over to Casa del Rey for Mexican food for lunch and on Saturday we had different salads and fruit with breadsticks from Dominos.  It was so fun to spend time with my quilting friends!

These are some of the beautiful quilts Anita brought to show us.  She's such a talented lady!


     Here are just two of the recipes from the salads we ate at the retreat.

Frito Salad
¼ cup purple onion, diced
2 tomatoes, diced
¼ cup green pepper, diced
1 can black olives, sliced (optional)
1 avocado, diced (optional)
1 (15 oz.) can ranch style beans (can use kidney or pinto or a combination)
8 oz. Catalina dressing
10.5 oz. bag Frito chips
Mix onion, tomatoes and green pepper in large bowl.  Add olives if desired.  Drain beans and add.  Stir in the Catalina dressing.  Marinate for a few hours.  Stir in Frito chips and avocado (if desired) just before serving.  Makes about 6 servings.

This salad is more of a dessert than a salad.  So we'll just call it a dessert salad!

Cookie Salad
recipe by Chef in Training
2 (3.4 oz.) packages Vanilla instant pudding
2 cups buttermilk
12 oz. Cool Whip
1 (20 oz.) can pineapple tidbits, drained
2 (11 oz.) cans mandarin oranges, drained
1 package fudge-striped cookies
In a large bowl, stir pudding packages with buttermilk until well combined.
Fold in Cool Whip.
Stir in pineapple and mandarin oranges.
Crumble cookies up into bowl and stir into salad.  Reserve a few cookie crumbs for garnish on top.

     I read this book these last two weeks.  Such a sweet story.  If only we could raise our children with as much thought and care today as they did back in the days of this book.  We would be living in a much better society.

Mary Anne made these cute little treat bags for the last day of our retreat!

Sunday, April 10, 2016

Spring Break

"You have to accept whatever comes and the only important

thing is that you meet it with courage and with the best that

you have to give."~ Eleanor Roosevelt

     Our family, at least part of us, spent Spring Break in Pagosa Springs, Colorado.  We didn't do a whole lot but it was very relaxing.  We did a little swimming and went on a hike in the snow to a waterfall called Treasure Falls.  It was partially frozen and very beautiful. 

      We spent part of one day in Durango, Colorado.  I got to visit two different Quilt Shops and we visited the Durango Museum.

   I spent some time this Spring working on this quilt.  I saw this quilt in a quilt shop in New York and had to buy the stencil so I could make my own.  I love the umbrellas and the machine quilting that Michelle did with the clouds and raindrops.


  Spring is the time of year that goes from cold temperatures all the way to hot temperatures and every possible kind of weather can be involved.  Mostly it has been cold here so far with a few warm days.  Here are the recipes that I've found for such weather.

Broccoli and Cheddar Soup with Potatoes
1 medium onion, diced
4 carrots, peeled and sliced
2 stalks celery, diced
3 cloves garlic, minced
4 Tbsp. butter, divided
4 Tbsp. flour
4 cups chicken broth
2 cups milk
3-4 medium potatoes, peeled and diced small
Salt and pepper to taste
5 cups broccoli florets
3 cups shredded cheddar cheese
Cook onion, carrots, celery and garlic in 2 Tbsp. butter in large stock pot. Add chicken broth and bring to a low boil.  Add potatoes and broccoli; cover and let cook for about 6 minutes or until potatoes are tender. In medium saucepan, melt 2 Tbsp. butter and add flour.  Whisk together and cook 1-2 minutes.  Slowly stir in milk.  Cook until mixture thickens.  Add shredded cheese and cook until cheese is melted.  Stir cheese mixture into the vegetable mixture and cook about 1 minute.  Salt and pepper to taste.  Makes about 6 servings.

Oatmeal Cranberry Applesauce Muffins
1 ¼ cups whole wheat flour
1 ¼ cups oats
1 tsp. baking powder
½ tsp. baking soda
¼ tsp. salt
 ½ tsp. cinnamon
1 cup applesauce
½ cup buttermilk
½ cup brown sugar
¼ cup oil
1 egg
 ¾ cup dried cranberries
½ cup cranberry sauce
Preheat oven to 375 degrees.  In a large bowl combine flour, oats, baking powder, baking soda, salt and cinnamon.  In a medium bowl combine applesauce, buttermilk, sugar, oil and egg.  Make a well in dry ingredients and add applesauce mixture and dried cranberries.  Stir until just moist.  Fill sprayed muffin cups 2/3 full, adding a tsp. of cranberry sauce in the middle of each cup.  Bake for 16-18 minutes.  Makes 1 dozen.

     I enjoy a good book about the Amish and this one had a really good story line.  I enjoyed the characters in the book and could relate to a few of them.