Shrimp & Avocado Salad

   Are you all staying safe and dry? We have had the craziest weather this summer! Check out this hail photo from a couple of weeks ago: Dale ran out and saved this little lady from meeting her maker! See … Continue reading

Cucumber Caprese Salad

  This is my FAVORITE Gotta Have It, Tastes Like Summer, Salad!  This recipe comes from my Mother In Law, except she doesn’t use a recipe, so here goes nothing.  Play with portions as you see fit!

Cucumber Caprese Salad

{click title to print}

Cucumber Caprese Salad (2)

Ingredients

  • 2 cups Cherry Tomatoes
  • 2 whole Cucumbers, Sliced with a Crinkle Cutter Then Halved
  • 2 cups Fresh Mini Mozzarella Balls
  • ½ teaspoons Kosher Salt
  • 5 whole Basil Leaves, Roughly Chopped
  • 1-½ cup Balsamic Vinegar, Reduced

Preparation Instructions

In a small saucepan, bring balsamic vinegar to a boil. Cook for 10 to 20 minutes, or until balsamic has reduced and thickened like a glaze. Remove from heat and allow to cool.
Wash 2 cups cherry tomatoes, slice cucumbers and do a rough chop on your basil leaves.
In a bowl, combine cherry tomatoes, cucumbers, basil, drained Mozz balls and kosher salt. Toss carefully with balsamic glaze. Serve cold.

  These can also be plated as an appetizer, just put 1 tomato, 1 cucumber half slice and 1 mini mozzarella ball on a toothpick!  Makes a beautiful platter for your summer party!!!!!

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Enjoy!

~T

Cucumber Caprese Salad (1)

Mulberry Picking, Mower Races & A Simple Summer Supper

  Thanks for letting me have a break yesterday.  Phew, it was a crazy day.  The worst part of the vacation has to be either the drive home, or the pile of laundry, bills and phone call messages to swim through.  I have lots of photos to share from our Colorado trip, but I am going to need some time to weed through them.  So instead, you are getting some “Summer Snaps” from life at the Ferguson household………

  We have Mulberry trees the grow all over our back yard.  They make a terrible mess, the chickens eat them and poo purple, and the kids get them all over their shoes.  {Which is why there is a STRICT no play shoes in the house rule!} 

  But, boy are they sweet and yummy and FREEEEEEEE!  We pop em in our mouths, green stem and all, and they are delicious.  Every once in a while, when I am feeling generous, I let the kids have them on a teeny tiny dollop of Breyer’s Vanilla ice cream. 

  Yeah, I am cool like that.  😉

  Next time we will wait to do our Mulberry gathering until Daddy comes home, so he can help us do the ol’ shake the tree with a clean sheet under it trick.  It took forever our way!  But our harvest sure tasted good!

mulberry collage censored

  I censored the following photo for the safety of my kiddos, after some perv stole a picture of Destiny fully clothed sitting on her new bedspread, we try err on the side of caution on the blog now.  The bottom right photo was of Paxton’s berry stained buns.  It was interesting to me, that when I posted the uncensored pic on my personal page, which to me feels safe, I got turned into Facebook, who removed the collage!  {sigh}  Some people!

  Do you know how many bathtub pictures and naked baby pictures I see on my newsfeed everyday? And I never once reported them.  OH! And don’t even get me started on the scantily clad women in the ads on my sidebar.

Oh well.  What can you do? 

  Moving on….

  We recently sold our John Deer mower to get a Grasshopper mower, but before we got rid of it, we held some MOWER RACES.  Guess who won?

Yup, this girl. 

  What do you mean Grasshoppers are naturally faster than John Deers?

FIIIINE, you are right, but it was still fun to lap slow traffic a couple of times. 

  After that, poor, poor, sad Paxton did not WANT to ride on the green mower anymore.  He had to wait his turn to ride with Daddy on the Grasshopper.

  As you can see by the photo below, he was not feeling it……

  Gotta love my almost 3-year-old!  We don’t call ‘em “The Trying Threes” for nothing!

mower races

  Last but not least, I re-photographed an oldie but goodie simple summer staple around here.  I enjoy seeing the changes in my photography as I learn more.  You know what they say, the only photographer you should compare yourself to, is YOU!

Potato Stick Chicken Salad

2011’s shot 

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Vs.

2013’s shot

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YAY! Improvement!  It’s so fun to work hard, and see growth.

  Now go make that salad, it’s a favorite!

Hugs, T

Florida Bound & BLT Chicken Salad with Homemade Dressing

  Guess what?! I get to go to Florida and meet my preemie miracle identical twin nephews, Colby and Brayden!  Brayden is home already, but please pray Colby can come home while I am there so I can be the most help to Chad and Lauren!  He is still having a bit of trouble and hasn’t been released yet.  God is so good to have blessed my brother and sis in law with such healthy baby boys. The NICU nurses said it was such a nice change to take care of healthy babies that just happened to be early.  (They were born at 32 weeks on Mother’s Day!)

  I  can’t wait to get my hands on the little Monkeys!  Pray I will be ok without my own little ones though, this will be the first time and the longest time I have ever been away from them.  Makes my heart hurt just THINKING about it!

 Oh and while you are praying anyhow, say a prayer for Dale.  He does such a great job managing the kids, the house and the cooking, but let’s all pray he has an extra great week with extra obedient kiddos! 🙂

  Anyhow, on to the food part of this post.  You how there are just some recipes that HAVE to be made year after year during a certain season?  We have a collection of salads we make each and every summer, despite my love of new recipes!  🙂   This, is one of them……

BLT Chicken Salad with Homemade Dressing

click title for easy printable

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FOR THE SALAD:

  • 10 cups Torn Leaf Lettuce (more Or Less Per Your Taste And Crowd Size)
  • 10 ounces, weight Grape Tomatoes, Halved
  • 8 whole Hard-boiled Eggs, Sliced
  • 12 strips Of Bacon, cooked and crumbled
  • 4 whole Grilled Chicken Breasts, Sliced

FOR THE DRESSING:

  • 1 cup Miracle Whip Or Mayonnaise
  • 8 Tablespoons Of Your Favorite BBQ Sauce
  • 4 Tablespoons Very Finely Chopped Onion
  • 2 Tablespoons Lemon Juice
  • 1 teaspoon Black Pepper

Make dressing ahead of time and chill. Mix salad ingredients per the proportions you want, based on your crowd size, and top individual salads with dressing before serving.

Enjoy!

  I’ll tell you all about my trip when I get back home!!!!!!!!

~T

Southwest Chicken Chop Salad

  Have you ever paid Lauren, of Lauren’s Latest a visit? She has some reallyreally fantastic recipes, and she does NOT help my new recipe obsession. I am Oh-so glad my friend, Joy sent me the link.  I promptly printed off and knew I had to make it! 

Mmmm!  Voted the NEW number 1 best summer salad at our house.  That vote includes all of my 4 little Fergusons!

  I made a few changes, but you can go see her original here.

Southwest Chicken Chop Salad

adapted from Lauren’s Latest

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Ingredients:
4 cups diced chicken
1 red or yellow pepper, diced
1 can black beans, rinsed and drained
1 can sweet yellow corn drained
1 10 oz box cherry tomatoes, sliced in half
6 green onions, sliced
1 large romaine heart, washed and chopped
1 head of curly leaf lettuce, washed and chopped
1 bunch cilantro, snipped
3 just under ripe avocados, diced
1 cup Mexican cheese shreds

4 cups crushed “Hint Of Lime” Tortilla chips (don’t skip the lime ones, it MAKES it!)

For the dressing:
1 cup mayonnaise or miracle whip
1 cup sour cream
1 tablespoon ranch seasoning
1 tablespoon taco seasoning
2 drops of doTERRA lime oil (or 2 T. lime juice if you don’t have your oils yet) 🙂
Splash of milk until dressing consistency
salt & pepper, to taste

Directions:
Chop chop chop all the separate ingredients.

  In a medium bowl, mix diced pepper, beans, corn, tomato halves, green onions and snipped cilantro.

   Store washed lettuce separately, and only chop what you think you’ll need for one meal, otherwise, the knife causes the lettuce to brown quickly!

In a small bowl, stir all dressing ingredients together until smooth. Refrigerate until serving time. 

  Just before supper, in a large serving bowl, mix together enough salad ingredients: lettuce and that great pico you  made, along with some Mexican cheese, all per your taste.  Toss with dressing, crushed tortilla chips and cubed avocado. 

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  We ate on this for a couple of suppers and I had it every day for lunch, I loved it THAT much! By keeping your ingredients separate until right before serving each time, you are able to keep it longer!

  I seriously could make this all over again and eat it every day for lunch, it is SO fresh and good! And that dressing?  To DIE for!

Thanks Lauren, for another great “Keeper”!

Hugs, T