Life, laughter, and lots of great food!
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July 7, 2018

Welcome to the weekend, my friends! We’re home at last and we’ve unpacked from our road trip. (You can watch the highlights from the trip on Instagram and read more about it in the travel section on the website.) We spent most of this past week attempting to stay as cool as possible indoors and out of the Phoenix heat. I’m not going to deny that returning to the desert was a rude awakening after our lovely weeks of cooler weather with green trees and grass as far as we could see.

My brother’s family arrived yesterday to spend a week with us before our annual family camping trip. Yes, we’re headed back out in the camper next weekend, but it’s just for a few days this time and I won’t be needing pages of packing lists. Phew.

On the blog this week, I shared some of our favorite foods to cook and eat while traveling. We ate it all this summer: from simple cheese plates (AMEN for easy dinners after a day of driving), to Best Ever Taco Meat, Dill Pickle Chicken Salad, Garlicky Rice and Peas with Kielbasa, Breakfast Tacos, Cheddar Sausage Biscuits, and so much more. Check out Cooking On The Road for all the recipes.

Are you already a fan of homemade spice mixes? Spice mixes are a terrific timesaver, maybe even a bit of a game changer when it comes time to cook dinner in a hurry. And homemade spice mixes? They are better than the mixes you can buy from the grocery store. I’ve been making my own for years, but if you’re new to the spice mixing game, Homemade Taco Seasoning is the place to start.

Is the heat index through the roof where you live? If so, this Pina Colada Ice Cream is just what you need to take the edge off the crazy heat. Although, if you’re here in Phoenix, AZ with me, I’m not going to promise you an instant air conditioned world if you make it. However, it just might be delicious enough to make you forget the heat for a few minutes.

What I’m CRAVING: Grilled Apricots with Sweet Cream by The Reluctant Entertainer, my favorite Southern Peach Cobbler, Fresh Peach Fritters by Bunny’s Warm Oven, and these Apricot Crisp Bars. (Can you tell that I am ready for peach and apricot season?)

My FAVORITE THING this week is the giant book of madlibs (link HERE). My kids laughed so hard for endless miles on the road while they were filling in the questions and then reading it back to each other. They’re still laughing over some of the more ridiculous answers.

What I’m READING: Educated: A Memoir (link HERE) by Tara Westover. I read this one in barely a day while we were driving last week. I literally could not put it down. This book is an unforgettable memoir of a girl who, after being kept out of school, leaves her survivalist family and goes on to earn a PhD from Cambridge University. The extremes of Tara’s childhood are revealed slowly in bits and pieces throughout the book. It’s a story of abuse, survival, and family above all else.

“I find friendship to be like wine, raw when new, ripened with age, the true old man’s milk, & restorative cordial.” Thomas Jefferson

Wishing you a beautiful week full of little things that make you smile!

Mary