Sunday, July 7, 2013

Holiday Recap

We had a very low key July 4 weekend. In fact, I'm pretty sure we completely forgot it was even a holiday until we heard the fireworks at the park near us. No picnics, no parties, just lots of resting and relaxing and watching Pirates baseball and Downton Abbey (we have finished watching all 3 seasons now and eagerly await season 4).

We did make ourselves a small holiday treat: Hot Artichoke Dip (recipe below) with tortilla chips.
I love this dip, but it is cheesy and fatty and not healthy, so we don't make it very often. Artichokes, mayonnaise, sour cream, parmesan, and hot sauce heated until bubbly and gooey - yum!
After an afternoon of snacking on the dip, we ate salad for dinner. It was easy, cool, and healthy. Mixed greens, cucumber, tomato, carrots, green olives, kalamatas, avocado, hard boiled egg, goat cheese, and shrimp with homemade Poppyseed Dressing (recipe below). I love this poppyseed dressing. I think it's the honey that makes me like it so much.
After 2 days of afternoon artichoke dip snacking followed by dinner salad, I wanted something different. We still had some avocado, so I decided I wanted grilled avocado, tomato, and smoked Gouda for dinner. One of the best grilled cheese sandwiches I've ever made.
Sunday morning was brunch morning. We don't often make a big breakfast/brunch at home. We are either too busy with chores/errands or have too much other cooking planned, but with a 4 day weekend and my mom in town to help, we had some extra free time and extra help. SP made French Toast and fried bacon. It's my favorite fruit time of the year, so I insisted on blueberries, raspberries, and cherries on top my French Toast. Delicious. Especially with the dash of nutmeg, dashes of cinnamon, and splash of vanilla in the egg & milk mixture.

We didn't do much cooking, and nothing was especially complicated or fancy, but everything was really tasty and satisfying. Sometimes, a very low key holiday celebration is just what is needed.

Poppyseed Dressing:
3/4 cup canola oil
1/3 cup honey
1/4 cup red wine vinegar
2 T poppyseed
1 T Dijon mustard
a little onion salt
pepper

Hot Artichoke Dip:
1 can artichoke hearts, chopped
1 cup sour cream
1 cup mayonnaise
1/2 cup parmesan
hot sauce (as much/little as you like)
salt and pepper

Mix all ingredients well, spread in baking dish, sprinkle more parmesan on top, bake at 350 until bubbly and melty. Serve with tortilla chips.

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