Saturday, December 31, 2011

Insanely Delicious Layered Salsa Dip

I've probably posted this recipe at some point over the years but a.) I'm too lazy to look for it and b.) I don't really use a recipe anymore I just wing it, so this is the new and improved wing-it version:

2 bricks of cream cheese softened to room temp
1 tub of sour cream
1 cup of salsa (mild, med. or hot, depending on your preference)
1 envelope taco seasoning mix
2 cups grated sharp cheddar
*sliced black olives
*guacamole or avacado chunks
*sliced jalapenos

In a large bowl whisk together the softened cream cheese and salsa.  Spread into a pan and cover the bottom completely with this first layer.  Use the same bowl (saves on clean up, girls!) and whisk together the sour cream and taco seasoning, then spread that over the cream cheese layer.  Grate roughly 2 cups of cheese and layer that on top of the sour cream mixture.  *Dot the top with black olives, guacamole, sliced jalapenos or more salsa - these are all optional.

Serve with tortilla chips and be VERY careful, it's been descibed as stupidly-insane yummy. I can vouch for that too since I'm the one who described it that way!


Farewell 2011

Today on this New Year's Eve day as the family watches our annual New Year's Eve Lord of the Rings marathon (blu-ray extended versions - it wont be over until around 9pm) and the chili simmers in one crockpot and the wassail simmers in another, I thought it would be a really good time to shake the cobwebs off this old blog and take a look back at 2011.

In some ways, 2011 was a really fantastic year.  In other ways, ways that are entirely too personal and that cannot be shared here, it was one of the worst years I've experience in my adult life. However, as my Christian friends are always faithful to remind me, trials bring about growth and sanctification and great and painful trials bring about these things in a deeper way than you ever thought possible.  So as much as I hate great and painful trials, just like we all do, I thank God for the sanctification that comes as a result of them.  Putting the negative stuff aside I'd like to dwell on those things that made 2011 a fantastic year.

So many great things happened and just a few of those were

• our 14 year old's grade 8 graduation (they make a big deal out of that here in Ontario) and then entering high school
• the super fun Canada Day fireworks/bbq party we held and all the people who came (oh yes, Lord willing we're doing that again next year, it was so much fun)
• our 4 week road trip out to Washington (and the side trips we took to Devil's Tower in Wyoming and Mt. Rushmore in South Dakota) to see family (and meeting this Squirrel and Mrs. Squirrel in Montana on the way back home)
• mine and my husband's rededicating ourselves to a healthy, solid marriage (which has resulted in a better relationship for us than we've ever had, I highly recommend it to all married couples!)
• the ongoing success of my graphic design business primarily at my zazzle shops
• the ongoing, tireless, faithfulness of my friend Kim to put up with my bazillions of faults and warts and forgetfullness and remain my friend despite it all (and always being an encouragement towards bettering myself, and making me laugh too)
• the blessing of being able to see almost all of my extended family after 10 years of being away from home
• the news of yet another grandbaby coming in the spring of 2012 (it's a boy!)
• the successful knee surgery and quick recovery for our oldest daughter

The more I think about it the more I could add to this list and make it really really really long, but I won't do that.  Suffice it to say, I am continually and incredibly blessed by so many things that it almost seems sometimes like it's too much. I know I certainly haven't done anything to deserve it.  However, God knows what He's doing and I won't question that.

With tomorrow being the New Year, I think I'm going to make a couple/few resolutions.  Now, it's been forever since I've done this so I don't know how well I'll stick with them but I'm putting it in writing this time so maybe someone reading can help keep me accountable once in a while and ask how things are going with these resolutions.

1. Lose another 20 pounds.  I've lost roughly 30 pounds this year (it fluctuates, sometimes it's 30, sometimes it's 35, my scales are picky) but it's that last 20 that really needs to go so that my clothes fit the way they should. The plan to do this is to continue working out (cardio and toning), continue to avoid junky snacks (I've done pretty good there) and continue to eat healthier foods overall.  I've leveled out over the last month so I need to step up the cardio and toning and that should make a difference.

2. Stop drinking coffee at night.  Horrible habit and I really want to wean myself off the caffeine after dinner.  This one should be fairly easy and I plan to begin this tomorrow.

3. Improve my church attendance record!  Between hubby's work schedule, not being able to sleep when he's on the midnight shift, going weeks or months at a time with only 1 vehicle, illnesses (mine or the kids), snow and whatever else, it makes it pretty rough to make that drive into town and get to church.  We all miss our church and the fellowship and that's yet another reason that we're looking forward to moving into town and out of the country by the summer of 2013, Lord willing.  I'm not sure if we'll be able to be at church more in 2012 than we were in 2011 but I'm sure going to try.

Well, that's about all I have to share today.  The funny thing is, one of the most trivial things I'm looking forward to in 2012 is being able to say it's my birthday on 12-12-12.  I know it sounds silly, but it's kind of cool at the same time. 

Happy New Year everyone, may you be richly and wonderfully blessed and may it be your best year ever!

Graphic design by Carla Rolfe