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.

Tuesday, July 25, 2017

Pioneer Day!

"We must be sure that the legacy of faith received from the pioneers who came before us is never lost." ~ M. Russell Ballard

     Today, July 24, we here in Utah celebrate the Days of '47 or Pioneer Day.  There is a big parade, a rodeo, fireworks and lots of people get the day off from work.  My husband and I were lucky enough to get tickets to the rodeo.  This year they built a brand new stadium at the Utah State Fair Park for the rodeo.  Here are some pictures of the highlights from the rodeo.

    One of my sons was married this last week.  He and his new wife celebrated with a beach themed reception.  It was a beautiful day.  We made a lot of cookies to add to the festivities.  We served pineapple Dole Whips because we knew it would be a really hot day.  Since my son moved out I was able to make his old room into my new sewing room.  I sewed new valances for the windows and my husband even helped pay for a new sewing machine that I have been saving for.  It's a Baby Lock Crescendo.  I'm still trying to learn how to use it but so far I LOVE it!


Chocolate Sugar Cookies
¾ cup butter, softened
1 cup sugar
1 large egg
1 tsp. vanilla
1 ½ cups flour
¾ cup cocoa powder
1 tsp. baking soda
 1/8 tsp. salt

In a mixer bowl with a paddle attachment, beat the butter for 1 minute on medium speed until smooth and creamy.  Add the sugar and beat on medium high speed until fluffy and light in color.  Beat in the egg and vanilla on high speed.  Scrape down the sides of the bowl as needed.

Sift the flour and cocoa together in a medium bowl.  Whisk in the baking powder and salt until combined.  On low speed, slowly mix into the wet ingredients until combined.

Divide the dough into 2 equal parts and roll each portion out onto a piece of parchment to about ¼ inch thick.  Stack the pieces, with parchment paper in between, onto a baking sheet and refrigerate for at least one hour. 

Once chilled, preheat the oven to 350 degrees.  Line 2-3 baking sheets with parchment paper. Remove one of the dough pieces from the refrigerator and using a cookie cutter, cut the desired shapes.  Transfer the cut cookie dough to the prepared baking sheet. Re-roll the remaining dough and continue cutting until all is used.

Bake cookies for 8-10 minutes; the cookies will still appear soft.  Allow to cool on baking sheet for 5 minutes, then transfer to a wire rack to cool completely before icing.  Ice and decorate cookies as desired.  Makes about 3 dozen cookies.
Sugar Cookie Icing
1 cup powdered sugar
2-3 tsp. milk
2-3 tsp. light corn syrup
¼ tsp. almond extract
food coloring

In a small bowl, stir together powdered sugar and milk until smooth.  Beat in corn syrup and almond extract until icing is smooth and glossy.  If icing is too thick, add more corn syrup or milk.  Divide into separate bowls, add food colorings to each to desired intensity.  Outline design on cookie with a small tip in a decorating bag and then fill in the rest of the cookie with a spoon.  Add decorations while icing is still wet.

Sunday, July 9, 2017

Busy Summer

"What's hard by the yard, is a cinch by the inch."~ Anonymous

     This has been one busy summer and it's not slowing down anytime soon.  I can't believe it's already half over.  I was able to go to a couple of quilt shops when I was in San Antonio.  The first one was called Sew Special Quilts and the second one was called Las Colchas.


     Here's one of those great summer recipes because it's a really good treat and really easy to make.

S’more Krispy Treats
(Recipe by Chef in Training)
¼ cup butter
1 (10 oz.) bag regular marshmallows
1 box of Golden Graham cereal
1-2 cups chocolate chips

In a large pan, melt butter over medium heat.  Add marshmallows and keep stirring until the marshmallows completely melt and you get a marshmallow sauce.  Remove from heat.  Add Golden Graham cereal and stir until they are all well coated. Stir in the chocolate chips. Grease a 9x13” pan and press S’mores mixture down evenly in pan. Let cool.
It is best to use frozen chocolate chips so they hold their shape better.  Room temperature chocolate chips will still work, they will just melt.


     Here's another book by Josi Kilpack.  I loved this story because I couldn't figure out how all the issues could be worked out to everyone's satisfaction and somehow it does.