Fourth of July Picnic

John and I have been taking advantage of the nice weather and going on picnics on my day off. John starts work at 4am so we like to head to the park at 8 or 9am.  That makes it a late breakfast for me and lunchtime for him.  I thought it would be nice to come up with an easy stuffed sandwich that I could make the day before.  That way we could hop in the car as soon as John was done with his morning cheese chores.

John making feta
This is an old picture of John making feta. He doesn’t like having his picture taken so I have to sneak up on him.

I had my recipe books open which makes my son very happy.  I told him what I was looking for, he suggested using his favorite salad recipe.  This recipe was contributed to “A Taste of Tradition” Mt. View Church recipe book in 1998 by none other than my sister-in-law Ann.  We make this salad all the time as a light supper, especially during the summer.  Stuffing it into a loaf sandwich turned out perfect!

I also like this salad/sandwich because it uses three of our cheeses, Quark, Maasdammer, and Cheddar.  What’s not to love about that?

Elizabeth making cheddar
Making cheddar is a physically demanding job, just ask Elizabeth.

I do recommend choosing your bread carefully.  We loved the sourdough artisan loaf for flavor, but the chewy crust forced the filling to squish out a little bit.  It’s okay to get a little messy on a picnic, right?

Layered Basil Salad Sandwich

Layered Basil Salad Sandwich

  • Artisan bread loaf
  • 2 medium carrots, grated
  • 1 cup frozen peas
  • 1/2 cup quark*
  • 1/2 cup mayonnaise
  • 1 teaspoon Dijon mustard
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon pepper
  • Lettuce, shredded (the amount will vary depending on the size of the loaf)
  • 1/4-1/2 pound deli ham slices
  • 1/2 red onion, sliced thin
  • 1/4 cup Maasdammer** grated
  • 1/4 cup sharp cheddar, grated
  • 2 hard boiled eggs, sliced

Mix the carrots, peas, quark, mayonnaise, mustard, salt, and pepper in a small bowl.  Set aside.
Cut off the top third of the loaf and dig out the center, leaving an inch of crust to make a bowl.  Fill the bread bowl with lettuce all the way to the top, this layer will compress.  Layer the quark filling evenly over the lettuce, followed by the ham, red onions, cheeses, and eggs.
Cover with the top of the bread loaf and wrap tightly in saran wrap.  Chill for a minimum of four hours, can be made 24 hours in advance.  Slice in wedges for a round loaf or thick slices for an oblong loaf.

*you can substitute sour cream
**you can substitute Swiss cheese

Larrabee State Park
Relaxing at Larrabee State Park

8 Things I Learned from my Dad

My siblings and I have been blessed with the best Dad. Ever.
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Yes, we’re a little biased, but it’s hard to find another who is consistently showing us how to live life to the fullest. Here is a list of some of the many things our Dad exhibits on a daily basis!

  1. There is always room for grace. Always. If someone made a mistake, hurt you, or is just plain being a selfish, grace is always part of the solution, if not THE solution.
  2. Listen. Be it with a smile on your face or a concerned brow, listen to understand not just to fix it and move on to the next thing. Sleeping
  3. Be humble. When life is really amazing and everything you have worked hard for is finally happening, don’t brag about it.
  4. Stewardship. You have been blessed! Whether it be with little or much, care for what you have to the absolute best of your ability.

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    The little baby being introduced to the Holstein is my sister Katherine. We learned at an early age not to be afraid of the cows, even if they were so much bigger than us!
  5. Show some respect. Respect your elders, yourself, others, and respect the blessings you have been given and the God who gave them to you.
  6. Work for it. If something is important to you (even something small) and you want it to be successful, you’d better work. Hard.

    My Dad working in the milking parlor when he was younger.
    My Dad working in the milking parlor when he was younger.
  7. Lead by example. Your family and the people around you are watching. Through good times and especially the bad times, every one of us is an example whether we like it or not. Make the choice to be a positive one!

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    Exact same parlor, only this is my brother Chris helping out.
  8. Pray. Even if you think you are in control, the simple fact of the matter is you’re not. But you have the ear of Someone who is, a Savior who can help you get through whatever mess you have gotten yourself into.

Now, whether we can actually live up to our father’s legacy is to be seen!slide8 I believe one of the reasons this man is such an inspiration is because people see his heart on a daily basis. A heart that above all else strives to follow his Lord, the ultimate and perfect Father. As a family, we are very thankful to have been blessed with such a solid, encouraging, caring man of God!

Happy Fathers Day!!

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Our nightly walks were a tradition. The little blonde rocking her nightgown, white shoes, along with her barn coat is me…I don’t think I ever learned the difference between a farm girl and a princess!