Wednesday, July 31, 2013

dog days

There's something about the sounds of summer that only the bright sunshine can match in terms of light and happiness.  I can almost hear how crystal clear the water is, as it gently splashes along the shore, soft waves in the glistening sun.

I can also hear how our family has embraced its newest furry family member this summer, when I hear giggling and laughter along with the sounds of excited barking.

Although owning a dog is a lot of work, and it's true when experts say it's like having one more child that will never really grow up (but will forever unconditionally love you), it's been quite a learning experience, and an adjustment to our "we-now-need-to-plan-and-not-just-leave-on-a-whim" nature.

We learned that our pup really can tell when one of us is feeling sad...and comes right up to us with lots of kisses.  We learned that even if we have to leave him for a few hours to do other summer activities...when we return he shows us just how much he misses us.  We also learned that he knows which one of us will give in to his whims and give him treats (*ahem* the biggest "kid" in the family)...and can smell chicken a mile away, sitting next to the stove with smiles and perfect manners.

And our unconditional love to him is no different.  No matter how naughty he's been, chewing on things or pulling table cloths so all that's on top tumbles to the floor...he seeks our forgiveness and his smile tells us he wants to just join us in the moment. Join this crazy loving family with whatever we're doing or playing.

And we can't forget that we mere humans act the the same way too.  We often make a fuss, bark at each other or just push each other's buttons...just so we can feel included too.  For attention.  For love.

And with the various distractions we've had in our home with renovations, dog training, day trips, and keeping our sanity, we need to sometimes look at all those distractions, and maybe remove just one.  Be a little lazy, even if it's for just one day, and lay around giving each other attention, so we don't have to seek it.

So here's a recipe that is child and dog friendly (although only the skinless roasted chicken bits for the dog!) that I love to use time and time again. It's easy to make...

...and gives us a little extra time to enjoy those dog days of summer.

Greek Inspired Chicken Salad
adapted from Allrecipes 

Sometimes in the heat of summer, it's too difficult (or I'm too lazy) to cook.  I like this recipe since it uses pre-roasted chicken.

  • 3 cups diced cooked chicken (I used roasted chicken, skin removed and diced)
  • 2 large stalks celery, diced (optional)
  • 1/2 red onion, diced (I didn't have red on hand, so I used regular onions.  It would be fantastic with red)
  • 6 tablespoons mayonnaise
  • 6 tablespoons greek yogurt
  • 1 (4 ounce) package feta cheese, crumbled
  • 2 teaspoons dried dill weed
  • 1 tsp. thyme
  • 1 tsp. rosemary (optional)
  • 1 pinch salt and pepper to taste
  • In a serving bowl, mix together the chicken, celery, and red onion. 
  • In a separate bowl, stir together the mayonnaise, yogurt, feta cheese, and dill. 
  • Pour over the chicken mixture, and stir to blend. 
  • Taste, and season with dill, thyme and rosemary.  
  • Add salt and pepper as needed. 
  • Serve immediately, or refrigerate until serving.

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