Tuesday, April 19, 2011

We Do Hard Things - Part I

I went running for the first time in well, who knows when, yesterday. One of the many things I love about running/walking is that it gives me time to ponder. No, I'm not an motivational tune mp3 carrying exerciser. Not that there is one thing wrong with it. I just prefer taking note of the beauty of the things around me and pondering.

This first day back to a life of exercise caused me to ponder....well, the importance of exercise and even more the importance of pursuing a life of excellence. It seems today we live in a world of complacency. The temptation isn't to fail or do poorly but well to only push ones self enough to achieve mediocrity. This got me to thinking about the things I am "inadvertently" teaching my children. You know the things you don't set out to teach them but they learn from your own attitudes, habits and behaviors. I asked myself if I strove for excellence in the things I pursued or was I just happy to complete the tasks given me or that I take on?

I couldn't help thinking of our recently adopted family theme. "We do hard things" When I introduced the theme to my boys I explained to them that we tackle challenges and that when things are tough we think positively knowing that if we work hard and are patient we can and will be able to overcome or accomplish anything. After all that talking I had to take a long hard look at myself. I did a self-evaluation and realized there weren't very many things that I pushed myself to achieve excellence in. I wasn't doing hard things....

Saturday, April 16, 2011

Cooking with Caprece - Warm Bacon Cheese Spread

The first time I had this recipe was on a visit at Christmas time with Caprece and her still small but ever so sweet family. It was the holiday season and we were all the time whipping up yummy things to snack on while we visited with family and friends. This wonderful one landed on the New Year's Eve Menu - we love snack foods for New Year's Eve fixins. It was comfort food at its finest, warm, bread, cheesy and bacon to boot. How can you go wrong with that combination? We ate it with everything...celery, carrots, crackers, chips, and pieces of warm crusty bread until it was gone...every last warm cheesy bite. Note* This was over several days - it re-heats really well - not all at once :) Although it was yummy enough to do just that.

I have since made it several more times for parties and celebrations and it is always a hit. I love it when something is easy AND DELICIOSO! Que Rico!

(I didn't take pictures when I made it....silly, silly me :) I'll post some the next time I make it.

Warm Bacon Cheese Spread
  • 1 round loaf (1 pound) sourdough bread
  • 1 pkg. (8 ounces) cream cheese, softened
  • 1-1/2 cups (12 ounces) sour cream
  • 2 cups (8 ounces) shredded cheddar cheese (I use sharp but it is your preference)
  • 1-1/2 teaspoons Worcestershire sauce
  • 3/4 pound sliced bacon, cooked and crumbled (I am not a fan of cooking bacon - the smell lingers far too long - so I use pre-cooked bacon pieces - you can find them in the salad fixins section of the grocery store)
  • 1/2 cup chopped green onions
Assorted Crackers, vegetables, and chips.

Cut the top fourth off the loaf of bread; carefulliy hollow out the bottom, leaving a 1-in. shell.

I cut the bread crosswise like this and then pull each piece out gently. You want to be gentle because you are going to cube the bread to be used for dipping. After I remove the pieces then I just continue to hollow out the bread until I have a 1-in. shell. Cube the removed pieces and place in a ziplock to keep fresh until later. Take the lid (the top of the bread that you sliced and cube it as well so it can be used for dipping).

In a mixing bowl, beat the cream cheese. Add the sour cream, cheddar cheese and Worcestershire sauce until combined; stir in bacon and onions. Spoon into bread shell. Place lid pieces back on the top of the shell. Wrap the shell in a piece of heavy-duty foil or double wrap with regular foil, Bake at 325 degrees for 1 hour. Serve with crackers, veggies and reserved bread cubes. Yield: 4 cups.

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