Friday, 29 August 2014

Dog Days of Summer

It arrives like clockwork every year, this feeling of melancholy as summer draws to an end.  Next week everyone will be back to school.  We'll be up early, packing lunches, filling out forms, and adjusting to new schedules.... and I'm not ready.  

The uniforms are washed, and we have fresh pens and paper, but I'd much rather be packing up for another day at the beach.

It was a working summer, and although we tried to plan weekend outings, we didn't get very many items checked off of our summer to-do list.  It's disappointing, and adds another layer to blanket of guilt I sometimes feel as a parent.  I'm grateful for the years I was able to spend at home with my kids when they were smaller, but oh how I wish I could have had another summer with them.

I'm thankful for a big sister that took her brothers to the city for a museum outing, and a baseball game.  And for a big brother that remembered to include his brothers in after-work fishing and golfing. 


We had a wonderful weekend in Kentucky, and the boys had a fun cottage weekend with their dad, but I can't help but feel like I failed them somehow because we didn't get to do all the other things that we hoped to accomplish.

So here we are, heading into the last long weekend of the summer, wondering what we can squeeze into these last few days, and wishing that summer could last just a little longer.

Nurse Loves Farmer living arrows

Friday, 15 August 2014

Summer Weekend in Kentucky

It's already mid August.  Two more weeks of summer vacation before school and hockey schedules rule our lives.  We've done our best to enjoy this summer, despite work schedules that didn't really allow for much of a break.  We managed a weekend trip to Kentucky, as we did last year, to visit friends.  Driving through the night allowed us to arrive while the sun was coming up.

I had to get my Trader Joe's fix, of course.  Hello Cookie Butter.

There was an afternoon of go carts and mini golf.

Not-so-mini golf, and beating the heat in the pool.

And some good old hanging around in the backyard.

Grateful for friends that open their home to us, and long weekends that allow time for summer road trips.

Nurse Loves Farmer  living arrows  

Monday, 28 July 2014

Buffalo Chicken Dip {and a Margarita Fruit Dip!}

I have made this dip four times in the past month.  My kids shovel it back with nacho chips, and it tastes great in a wrap with some avocado slices.  

Buffalo Chicken Dip.

We made it at a Pampered Chef party I hosted earlier this summer.  It's no secret that I love their products, and hosting a party is a great way to check more of their items off of my wish-list for free...or super cheap.  Plus, it's an excuse to eat and drink with friends.  Win win.

We took turns chopping, shredding, measuring, and stirring.

The next generation of home cooks was there too.  I love these girls.

Half a cup of hot sauce went into this dip!

And cheese.  Lots of melty cheese.

We also made a Margarita Fruit Dip.  With tequila.

You can have that recipe too.  You're welcome.

Buffalo Chicken Dip

2-3 boneless chicken breasts (I use 3)
1 (8 oz) package cream cheese, softened
1 cup Ranch dressing (RenĂ©e's Buttermilk Ranch is my favourite)
1/3-1/2 cup Frank's Red Hot Sauce (depending on how hot you like it!)
1 1/3 cups shredded cheddar (or Tex Mex, or Monterey Jack... or any combination)

Cook and finely chop chicken.  I season and steam mine in my new Pampered Chef RockCrok.  Use whatever preferred method you have for moist and tender chicken that will be easy to chop into small pieces.  You don't want to break a chip trying to scoop up large a piece of chicken.  

Mash the cream cheese.  Add the Ranch dressing and whisk together.  Stir in the hot sauce and shredded cheese, combine well.  Microwave for two minutes to melt the cheeses.  Add the chopped chicken, stir, and microwave for one more minute.  Stir and serve with nacho chips.

Margarita Fruit Dip

I tub (250 g) of spreadable cream cheese
1 fresh orange
1 fresh lime
2 tbsp tequila (optional)
1/4 cup of icing sugar
1/2 cup whipped cream or cool whip

Zest and juice the citrus fruits.  Process the cream cheese, icing sugar, fruit juices and tequila until smooth.  Stir in one tablespoon each of orange and lime zest, then fold in whipped cream.  Serve with strawberries, pineapple, or any other fresh fruit.

Thank you for featuring me!

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