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 18, 2016

September Sentiments

“Don't be afraid to fail. Don't waste energy trying to cover up failure. Learn from your failures and go on to the next challenge. It's OK to fail. If you're not failing, you're not growing.” ~ Anne Sullivan



    This month, my husband and I celebrated our 33rd wedding anniversary.  I am very blessed to have a husband that supports me in all of my quilting craziness.  He accompanies me often when I want to go to a quilt show or a sale.  He also gives me helpful advice when I'm working on a quilt.  This year we celebrated by eating at the Cheesecake Factory and seeing the movie "Sully".   We both really enjoyed that movie.  I highly recommend it.  This is the quilt that I was able to finish this summer.  I love how it turned out.  These are my favorite colors!  The pattern is called Twilight Trellis.  I ordered the kit from McCall's Quilting.



Here are a couple of recipes that my husband and I enjoy.


Spanish Rice
6 slices bacon                                                  1 T. brown sugar
1 medium onion, finely chopped                    1 T. Worcestershire sauce
1 small green pepper, finely chopped             1 tsp. salt
1-28 oz. can tomatoes, cut up                         1 tsp. chili powder
1 cup water                                                     1/8 tsp. pepper
¾ cup long grain rice 
In a large skillet, cook bacon until crisp.  Drain on paper towel; crumble and set aside.  Drain fat from pan, reserving 2 tablespoons drippings in skillet.  In the bacon drippings cook onion and green pepper until tender.  Stir in undrained tomatoes, water, rice, brown sugar, Worcestershire sauce, salt, chili powder and pepper.  Cover; simmer about 30 minutes or until rice is done and most of the liquid is absorbed.  Top with the crumbled bacon.  Sprinkle with cheddar cheese, if desired. 

Carrot Cake Cookies with Cream Cheese Frosting
3 cups flour
1 tsp. baking soda
1/2 tsp. baking powder
1/2 tsp. salt
2 tsp. cinnamon
1/2 tsp. ginger
1/4 tsp. nutmeg
1 cup butter, softened
1 cup sugar
1/2 cup brown sugar
2 eggs
2 tsp. vanilla
2 cups finely grated carrots
8 oz. cream cheese, softened
8 Tbsp. butter, softened
1 tsp. vanilla
4 cups powdered sugar
Preheat oven to 350 degrees.  In a mixing bowl, whisk together flour, baking soda, baking powder, salt, cinnamon, ginger, and nutmeg.  Set aside.
Beat together butter and sugars until creamy, Blend in eggs and vanilla.  Add half of flour mixture with mixer on low speed.  Mix in the carrots and then mix in the rest of the flour.  Scoop dough on cookie sheets lined with parchment paper using a 1 1/2 Tbsp. scoop.  Bake in preheated oven about 11-12 minutes.  Cool for a few minutes and then remove to a wire rack to cool completely before frosting.
 For the frosting, whip together the butter and cream cheese until light and fluffy.  Mix in vanilla and powdered sugar and whip again until fluffy.  Frost each cookie.  Makes about 4 dozen cookies.
     I recently finished reading this beautifully written book by Josi Kilpack.  It is the story of the courtship of Henry Wadsworth Longfellow and Fanny Appleton.  It's a story of persistence, patience and true love.