Homemade Saltine Crackers

When it comes to entertaining, I like to surprise family and friends with unexpected little treats. I think it's fun to serve something a little out-of-the-ordinary along with the usual suspects like veggie and fruit trays, on special occasions.  So, I look forward to including homemade dips, homemade bread and butter pickles, homemade potato chips, fancy (and sometimes stinky) cheeses and homemade jams on my snack table menu. However, one of my all-time favorite ways to spoil my guests is by whipping up a batch or two of these simple, homemade, saltine crackers!

Slow Cooker Two-Bean Turkey Chili

Well, the school year is back in full-swing for all of us, maybe it is for you too by now. It's always a little bittersweet for me when the kids start a new year, and it's tempting for me to turn into a big pile of mush over the fact that soon both of them will be another year older. However, the summer of 2018 was a pretty awesome one for us and we got out and about for a lot of fun and adventure. Truly, I feel that we made the best of our time off together. So, I'm trying to focus on the amount of travel we experienced together, what we learned on our outings and all the amazing sights we saw.  I'm also focusing on the positive aspects of the start of the school year.

Lemon & Herb Brine for Poultry

Until recently, the boneless, skinless variety of chicken breast was definitely the cut of meat that I least enjoyed grilling at home. Not because I didn't like to eat it, but because we always ruined it! Without fail, and no matter how we seasoned it, any super lean chicken breast that went on to our grill turned out bland and embarrassingly dry on the plate. I even tried prepping the meat with a few marinades and the end product was always just underwhelming to me. So, I pretty much gave up on those expensive cuts of meat and relied on the much more forgiving and economical darker cuts of poultry, like drumsticks and thighs for our barbecue dinners.

Southwestern Brown Rice Salad

I've been all about hearty grains lately.  My crew loves dishes made with comforting white rice, but I've been trying to increase our nutritional game a bit, so I've been mixing grains such as bulgur, barley and brown rice into the menu rotation more regularly.

Recipe Recap with Friends #1: Chilled Summer Salads

Hi everyone we are back from vacation and I must say it feels great to be home! We visited New Orleans, Louisiana, Pigeon Forge, Tennessee, Nashville, Tennessee and had a one night stay at our new favorite lake in Hot Springs, Arkansas! It was a fantastic time for my little family, seriously we all had a blast! I will be sharing all about the interesting places and attractions we visited on our big family road trip (along with boatloads of pictures!) in an upcoming post.

While we were traveling, one of things we enjoyed the most was being out in the cool mountain air, but now we are happily back in our central Texas home and boy, is it humid and hot. So today I'm sharing links to a few of my previously-posted chilled salad recipes that I think are terrific dishes for extra warm August days. Also, this post is kind of a big deal because I've enlisted the help of some of my amazing blogger friends on this cool subject and today is my first official Recipe Recap with Friends post!

Pineapple Dream Poke Cake

It's almost August and my kids have been on summer break for seven weeks now with just three more weeks of summer fun to go. This summer has been a bit different for me as a mom, and it's been a little easier to get out and about now that the kids are getting bigger. My rug rats are now ages 11 and 5 and although they still passionately bicker over ridiculous things at times, overall they're much easier to reason with these days. They are also much more cooperative when it comes to packing up and getting out of the house compared to back when they were, as a pair, ages 6 and 1.
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