Monday, October 27, 2008

Busy Weekend...

Yah, I know I say this but man are we busy. Lucky for us the girls are at an age now where being too busy doesn't put them off schedule and ruin the rest of the week.

They were off school Friday and unfortunately it was a very, very rainy day but we made the most of it and went to Ft. Myers beach for a nice rainy stroll along the shore. found many treasure and were just able to "be" for a while.

Miles of beach and not a soul around!

Saturday morning came on strong with skating lessons bright and early but we were able to get the rest of our chores and errands done by noon. I spent the rest of the day making food for a Halloween party that we were going to at 4:00. I made Pico de Gallo and Hot Spinach Dip (recipe below). Fun party, nice to catch up and see everyone again! Wendy looked so scary as a witch!!!

My headless Genie and Hula Girl!

The girls woke us up bright and early Sunday morning and the weather was nice and cool so we decided to go for another walk on the beach. What a beautiful walk. We needed sweaters but it made for a nice leasurely non-sweaty walk for a change!

Saw starfish...lots and lots of starfish!

Saw this dolphin right up on shore hunting for his breakfast, 2 big snook that went past! The girls were up with that group of people so they got a really close up view!

Hot Spinach Dip


2 Tbsp butter
1/4 cup onion, chopped
2 cloves of garlic, minced
1 Tbsp AP flour
1-3/4 cups heavy cream
2 packages (9 ounces each) frozen chopped spinach, thawed, well drained
1 can of sliced water chestnuts, drained, chopped
1 cup cheddar cheese, shredded
1 package dry vegetable soup mix
1/2 cup sour cream
1 tsp ground black pepper
1-1/2 Tbsp hot pepper sauce (Tabasco)
1/4 cup Parmesan cheese

  • Preheat oven to 425 F. Melt butter in a large saucepan over medium heat. Add onion and garlic, cook and stir until onion is crisp tender and the garlic is fragrant. about 2-3 minutes.
  • Stir in flour, cook and stir and additional minute. Add the heavy cream and cook, stirring constantly, until mixture thickens, about 2 minutes.
  • Remove from heat. Stir in chopped spinach, water chestnuts, cheddar and the vegetable soup mix, sour cream, black pepper, and hot sauce. Spoon into a 1 quart casserole dish or the pot from your crock pot and sprinkle with Parmesan cheese.
  • Bake dip until bubbly and the cheese is melted, about 15 minutes. Serve warm or in your crock pot.
I served this with tortilla chips but bread would work just as well. This went over really well and was something rich but different!

As Always...

Happy Entertaining!!!



Valerie Harrison (bellini) said...

The kids would have loved their down time just as much as mom did....dolphins by the shore and all. Living in a condo Hallowe'en just passes us by these days:D But I try and celebrate in some small ways:D

Cathy said...

What a nice time with your girls. Every so often we see a seal on our coast. Its always a surprise and generates lots of excitement. They can put on quite a show.

Peter M said...

You know it's dips like these that foil me each time at a party. I just hover anround them, fill up and then have no room for dinner...damn!

Patsyk said...

I love hot spinach dip! I could eat the whole thing by myself... I guess I'm not that much for sharing!

Núria said...

Ain't it lovely when the beach is all for you? Aaaahhhh I love to do that with my family and the dog, specially in Autumn and Winter.
Nothing better than a spinach dip after a good walk! ;D

Cathy - wheresmydamnanswer said...

What great pictures!!!
This recipe looks great so much better than the ones I have made in the past!

Melissa said...

I love spinach dip so much. Never made my own.

I never realized how close you were to Ft. Meyers. My dad spent the last 5 years of his life in Naples. It was so peaceful down there. Love the pic of the girlies on the beach. ;)

Darius T. Williams said...

Don't you just love when you're able to just be?

And that dip...lovely!


Judy@nofearentertaining said...

Hey Val-My kids love just doing nothing outside together! I could really do without Halloween but the kiddies love it!

Hi Cathy-A seal would be a ton of fun. This dolphin was just so close to them!

Hey Peter-This one was definitely one of those.

Hi Patsyk-I had to share but would make more next time!

Hi Nuria-It was so nice having it to ourselves.

Hi Cathy-This recipe was really good. I saw a basic one and changed it all around.

Hey Melissa-Yep we are attached to Ft. Myers by a bridge.

Hey DTW-Love when I am just able to "be"...doesn't happen nearly often enough!

Anonymous said...

the starfish are so cool; and the dip looks like the one i haven't made in about 5 years. geesh! :)

Ivy said...

What a lovely beach and it's always exciting to watch the dolphins, although in Greece we never see them near the shore. That spinach dip sounds so good.

Thistlemoon said...

Sounds like a great weekend Judy! I always appreciate living in FL when we come across dolphins in the wild!