Monday, November 28, 2011

Layered Taco Dip

I love furniture!  My favorite thing is to go to antique stores and consignment stores to find old furniture that has character.  Preferably the cheap kind!  I see the value in old expensive furniture, but our budget just doesn't quite match up.  I had been looking for a corner cabinet to go in our dinning room.  My mother in law found this one which was perfect!  It just needed a little touching up to update it.

Before:  ugly wood and silver hardware.

Close up of silver hardware.

I painted the inside with the same color as our dinning room walls and spray painted the hardware with oil rubbed bronze (my new favorite can of spray paint)!

The finished product before it was staged.

Spay painted with ORB

Close up

This is a typical layered dip.  It fulfills my Mexican cravings quite well.  Just try it for yourself and make it your own!

Layered Taco Dip

  • 1 can of Frito's bean dip
  • Guacamole
  • 1 cup sour cream
  • 1 cup mayonnaise
  • 1 packet of taco seasoning
  • Shredded cheese (I prefer white cheddar)
  • Salsa
  • Pickled Jalapenos
  • Optional layers:  diced tomatoes, black olives, green onions
  • Serve with tortilla chips
Layer dip in ~8X8 dish.  Layer bean dip, guac, mix together next three ingredients in a separate bowl (mayo, sour cream, and taco seasoning) and add on top of guac, shredded cheese, salsa, and pickled jalapenos.  Enjoy!

Sunday, November 27, 2011

Polenta Stack with Black Bean and Chickpea Salad

A few months back, we had the pleasure of adopting a sweet goldendoodle named Hank.  He was previously a clients dog and due to unfortunately circumstances he needed a new home.  I fell in love immediately!  How could you not love that face!  

Hank & Alex

Hank is an amazing dog.  He looks awesome, everyone loves him, and he has the best personality.  

Love him!

Alex loves using him at his shows because there is no need to worry about him biting anyone. He loves adults and kids!  

I had to babysit Hank in the van at one event after we discovered that he DOES NOT like gunfire!  The police did a demonstration with police dogs that involved gunfire and he freaked out.  It might be his ONLY flaw.

Most of all, Hank is making a difference in the lives of others.  Alex brings him up to my work frequently to do therapy with my patients.  Those who are in the memory care clinic especially love him.  I think even when the rest of the world can't understand you, there is an unspoken bond between a person and a dog.  It makes my heart smile to see him light up their faces.  Even though they forget who he is with each visit, they are just as happy to be re-introduced the next session.  It is such a blessing to have this sweet dog in our lives.  Now he is living with my in-laws due to the lack of space for another dog at our house. We make frequent stops to see him throughout the week and take him with us whenever time permits.  He is just a love!

I know grilling season is coming to an end, but we have still had some great warm evenings.  I found this recipe on my friend Tracy's blog.  It was my first time cooking polenta and I loved it.  It comes in a tube and is the consistency of grits.  This is a great vegetarian dish that is still a well balanced meal.  Enjoy!

Polenta Stack with Black Bean and Chickpea Salad

  • 1 can black beans, rinsed and drained
  • 1/2 can chickpeas, rinsed and drained
  • 1 pint cherry tomatoes
  • 1/2 cup basil, chopped
  • 1 1/2 cup feta cheese
  • 1 tube prepared polenta, cut into slices
  • 1 zucchini, cut into slices
  • 1/2 bottle roasted red peppers, drained (I omitted this since I don't like peppers)

Heat grill. Coat the inside of four 18" pieces of tin foil with cooking spray. Combine the beans, tomatoes, basil, and half of the feta in a bowl. Place 1/4 of the bean mixture in each piece of foil. Add the sliced zucchini, then polenta, then roasted red peppers, and finally the remaining feta cheese. Grill on a slow cooker grill for about 30 minutes, or on a gas grill for 10-15. Serve and enjoy!