Friday, June 30, 2017

Baked Spinach Dip

Baked Spinach dip... this is a spin off of Kerri's Spinach Dip recipe. I've made it three times so far, and every time Lee and I like it even more.
Here's how I made it:

1 bag (16 oz) frozen chopped spinach
1 pkg. dry vegetable soup mix (without noodles)
1 pkg. (8 oz.) cream cheese
1 c. (8 oz.) sour cream (you'll probably want a 16 oz container of sour cream, but you'll only need half of it)
1 packet ranch mix 
*1 cup shredded cheese (mozzarella, pepper jack, whichever you prefer) 
Several sprinkles of shredded parmesan

**Optional: 1 6.5 oz jar artichoke hearts. See below.

Dump your spinach in a microwave bowl. Micro on high 4 minutes, stirring and breaking up chunks after half the time.  

Don't drain water from defrosted Spinach. Stir in veggie soup mix, until vegetables are re-hydrated.

Place cream cheese in small, microwave safe bowl.  Microwave for 1 minute at 50%  power to soften.  Mix in with Spinach and soup mix.

If you have 16 oz sour cream, mix in your entire ranch packet w the sour cream and stir it up. If you have only 8 oz. sour cream, then just use half of your ranch packet. Put 8oz of your mixed ranch dip in with your spinach, veggie soup mix, and cream cheese. Mix everything together well.

Stir in half of your shredded mozzarella cheese. Set the other half of your shredded cheese aside. Sprinkle some parmesan into your mix as well. *The first time I made this, I had this awesome cheese from Sam's club, and that cheese was the main reason I wanted to make a hot Spinach Dip.  Since then, I've made this dip with an Italian blend cheese and it was still great. If you want your dip to have a little kick, you could even use pepper jack. The options are endless.

This is the cheese I bought from Sam's club which inspired me to whip up a hot spin dip recipe, and my handsome cheese model who helped me grate it all up. The name of the cheese was Spinach Artichoke Jack.

Spray an 8x8 baking dish with Pam and dread in your mixture evenly. Bake for about 30 min total, but take your dip out of the oven about halfway through and stir it up. Stirring while it's warm will help break up some Of the cream cheese chunks. Then sprinkle the other half of your cheese across the top. Feel free to add more cheese if you want your dip to be more gooey. If you're a garlic lover like me, you can even sprinkle a little garlic salt on top. I have a garlic sea salt grinder that I pretty much put on top of everything. Finish baking your dip, and then serve warm with tortilla chips.

We've eaten this dip with tortilla chips, pretzel crisps, and celery sticks. All were great, but tortilla chips is my fav way to scoop it out. 

**The very first time I made this dip, I had this jar of artichokes that I drained, chopped up, and stirred into my dip before baking. The next two times I made the dip, I didn't have any artichokes, so I went without, and the dip was still great! I bought this little jar from The Fresh Market. 

Friday Favorites 07/08/17

Hi everyone! Happy Friday!! I have been out of the habit of doing any social blogging lately, but I always enjoy looking back and posts like these to see what we were doing during a certain week in the past. I'd love to get back into the habit of more social blogging, as time allows. Anyways, today I am liking up with Andrea, Erika, and Narci for Friday Favorites to share all of my favorite things from the week.

Yesterday marks week 22 of my pregnancy... woo hoo!! I haven't taken week 22 pic yet, but here is my pic from week 21. Each week we are another step closer to meeting our baby boy, and that is definitely one of my FAVORITE things! You can click here if you want to read my 5 month pregnancy update.

Earlier this week I made this Baked Spinach Dip, and it was delish! Lee and I have been snacking on it all week, and it makes me feel just a little bit healthier than some of the other snacks I would normally go for. Its a little healthy bc it has spinach in it, right? Comfort food is always a FAVORITE of mine. If you need a yummy dip recipe for this weekend, this one is great!

This evening I will officially be off work for a 4 day weekend! We are hoping to spend the 4th of July boating and watching some fireworks, although there is a chance of rain on Tuesday. Celebrating the very best country in the world is definitely at the top of my FAVORITES list. I don't have a pic of myself in it yet, but I'm planning to rock this festive maternity tank this weekend. *I am not being paid to promote this shirt, I simply share links on my blog to items/products that I genuinely like.

Lastly, my favorite thing from this week is this great weather we have been having! It has been warm, but not too hot or humid. I've been eating lunch outside and enjoying the weather as much as possible. The last 2 nights, Lee and I have gone on a walk after dinner. I'm hoping we can keep this beautiful weather through the holiday weekend! Check out this short snapchat video I took at lunch yesterday:

Happy 4th of July! THANK YOU to all of the men and women who have served/are serving to protect our freedom. I am so thankful to live in the beautiful US of A, and I know this country would not be as great as it is without the sacrifice of our armed forces. God Bless America! Stay safe this weekend, friends!

Thursday, June 29, 2017

Pregnancy month 4

Pregnancy month 4... how is it possible that we are halfway to meeting our baby already?! 2017 is flying by! I am torn between being wanting it to be Nov. so we can meet our baby boy and wanting time to slow down so I can enjoy every moment of pregnancy. This past month we got to have our anatomy scan, which is a longer ultrasound that gave us all kinds of good pics of our baby. We got to see many of his organs, all 4 of his limbs, a good look at his head, and even got pics of his tiny little feet. It was incredible! He is developing right on schedule, and we are so thankful. He is very active. I have recently started feeling lots of little kicks and flutters.

I'm still fortunate to be feeling well as far as nausea and morning sickness goes, but I am getting to a point where I'm starting to feel more discomfort when I move certain ways, and at night when trying to sleep. Lee ordered me a Snoogle Pillow, and let me tell you... I am a huge fan! I am listing the Snoogle near the top of the list of fav gifts Lee has given me.  I had a few days this past month where the weather got pretty hot and my hands and feet started swelling... there was a period of 2-3 days where I had no ankles whatsoever. I was afraid I wouldn't get rid of those kankles until Thanksgiving, but thankfully, the swelling has gone down for now. I have no doubt that it will come back as we get deeper into the summer. 

As far as plans for the baby go, you're probably wondering about his name. Lee and I are so stumped in this department. There are a few names that we like but nothing we are sold on yet. We've decided to keep our name ideas to ourselves. We don't want to be swayed one way or another by all kinds of opinions, so we're keeping everyone in suspense until we decide. Once his name is set, we will probably share. :) 

In other plans, we haven't really done anything to the baby's bedroom except clean out one of his closets... Our plan is to finish our basement remodel and then start on baby's room. This his been a long project, but Lee has made some strides in our basement recently! My mother-in-law is a rockstar, and she painted almost all of our living room/stairway for us. It looks awesome!! Lee has recruited a few friends to help lay our floor this weekend, so a few more weekends, and we will be on our way to spending lots of family time downstairs this winter. I am SO excited for this! Also once we finish this project, we can focus on putting together our son's bedroom.

Typing 'our son' is still so awesome. Every time he moves or wiggles I am reminded of how REAL this is, and I am just so thankful. Are you guys tired of reading that on every post yet? I don't know how else to describe all of this... somedays I am overwhelmed (in a great way) at the reality of experiencing pregnancy and planning for a baby. There were so many days where I wondered if this would ever happen for us, and now that it is, I still have a hard time believing it even though the pregnancy is more than halfway through. Pregnancy is so temporary, and it is going by so fast... for those of you who are still waiting and praying for this miracle, don't give up. It is worth every tear, every shot, every pill, every sleepless night, etc. It is already worth all of it, and I haven't even held this precious little baby yet. It's crazy how we can love someone so much without ever having met them.

I'm a little late getting this post finished, so by now, we are only 18 weeks away from meeting our little guy. Here are a few pics of his growth during month 4:
17 weeks

18 weeks

19 weeks
20 weeks, halfway to meeting our baby boy!

P.S.  I am NOT getting paid to promote the Snoogle pillow... I just really love it that much! :)