Cucumber boats

Hi!
Today I am sharing a really easy and fresh appetizer recipe, perfect for summer as well as some Rocco pictures and stories of course. 🙂

I made these little cucumber boats for a work event last week and everyone really liked them. I was going to make them last weekend for a barbecue we hosted at our house for all my husbands co-workers but then realized this maybe wasn’t quite the right appetizer to serve to 8 manly men. Although it would have been entertaining!

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Cucumber Boats
Cucumber, peeled and sliced “medium” on mandolin
Top with vanilla soy yogurt or whatever yogurt you like
Sprinkle with unsweetened coconut
Top with sliced strawberry

This is the yogurt I used and I really liked it! It was the first time I’ve ever tried vegan yogurt. It’s quite tasty but also quite high in sugar so I wouldn’t eat it on it’s own.

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As I was making these at work I felt like I was giving out samples at Costco! By the way, people throwing elbows to get to samples at Costco is probably my biggest pet peeve in the world! Last weekend I watched a lady abandon her cart-with her child in it- to dash over to the samples of tortilla chips. Really? Had she really never tried tortilla chips before?

Moving on.

Rocco is now 4 months old and he just received the last of his vaccines. He now weighs 9 pounds!

Both ears stick up all the time like this now:

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He has tennis ball fuzz on his nose because he spends 80% of his waking time eradicating fuzz from tennis balls.
This picture makes me laugh. This is from his first week home with us. Look how small he was!

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My shirt says “be awesome”. Because sometimes you just need a reminder 🙂

Rocco is teachers pet at puppy school because -obviously- he’s the cutest.

He burrowed under these pillows.

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I’m amazed at how many nights my husband and I are left sitting on the bare floor holding a bone or dog toy and Rocco is sleeping peacefully on one of our pillows. Honestly, how do these dogs train us so well?!

Have a great week!
Laura

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Chopped Kale Salad with Lemon Dijon Dressing

This salad is insanely good. Saturday I ate a mountain of it and it is perfection! I would say this is a good “beginners” kale salad. Meaning, it’s a good one to start with if you are terrified of eating raw kale and cabbage. For the record, I don’t really love cabbage, but when everything is diced up tiny it’s a game changer! Chopping all the veggies up into tiny pieces is crucial!

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The raisins add just the right sweetness and the lemon dressing cuts the bitterness of the kale. This salad would definitely impress dinner guests and kale gets better after soaking in dressing for a while, unlike lettuce salads that get wilty. Ick.
I am not listing exact amounts of any of these ingredients because it totally depends on how much you want to eat and how many people you are serving and how much you like kale versus cabbage versus cucumber. You get what I’m saying.

Chopped Kale Salad
Kale, chopped into tiny pieces
Red cabbage, chopped into tiny pieces
Cucumber, chopped into tiny pieces
Broccoli sprouts
Raisins (red or yellow but yellow are prettier in this dish)
Sunflower seeds
Pine nuts

Lemon Dijon Dressing
1/3 cup olive oil
3 tablespoons lemon juice
2 teaspoons maple syrup, agave or honey
1 teaspoon dijon mustard
salt to taste
1/2 teaspoon diced garlic (optional)

Rocco is doing great. He is so potty trained I would say he’s almost too potty trained. He won’t go to the bathroom anywhere BUT our back yard. Not the front yard, not on walks, just in the back yard. This really became an issue last weekend when we took a road trip with him! He probably went 8-10 hours without going. Normally he goes every 2 hours. Finally we got him to go but seriously! Poor guy.
On a side note, I got a fun manicure for the Fourth of July. It was cute while it lasted (3 days).

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Rocco rides around in a dog car seat. It’s the best for little dogs. He basically gets to ride around in a dog bed that’s tethered to the car and he’s safely strapped in.

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We saw a bear on our trip too! It was so close. And so cute!

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Rocco can now sit, lay down, “give 5” and roll over. Roll over is hysterical and I just posted a video of it on Instagram (rocco_the_minpin).
Have a great week and try to stay cool in this heat!
Laura

Southwest “Chicken” Salad with Creamy Avocado Dressing

I have so many great stories to share and so little time as usual! Let’s start with the salad recipe. This is one of the best salads I’ve made in a long time and I’m really excited about it! I’m also really excited about this fake chicken! I normally don’t buy fake meat because I don’t think it’s that great or that great for you but I kept reading good things about this stuff so I decided to try it.

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And I liked it! It looks so much like real chicken it’s eerie.

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But it has healthy ingredients and lots of protein which is great. It’s also nice to just be able to buy something from the grocery store that’s already made. Nothing I have to do but heat & eat which is great in the summer because I’d rather be out playing than in the kitchen.

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This salad is just perfection in my opinion. Greens, corn, black beans, fake chicken and avocado/tomatillo dressing. Heaven I tell you! I used a tomatillo salsa to make the dressing but any salsa would work. This is just for 1 serving so multiply as needed. I don’t trust avocado dressings to save for long so that’s why I just made a single serving and not my usual huge batch.

Look at this recipe card I made on picmonkey! So fancy, I know. Right click to save…

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And now Rocco stories!
He just had a checkup and weighed in at 7.6 lbs so he’s still light but getting really tall!
I just barely bought him a proper dog bed this week. Up until now he’s been sleeping in a puppy bed and/or blankets which he seemed to like but he outgrew his puppy bed so it was definitely time for an upgrade. What a difference that made! He LOVES his bed! He sleeps in now! This morning I got up before he did and when I opened his crate door he didn’t even get up. He chose to lounge in his bed instead! He sleeps on his back which I think is hysterical.

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He destroys squeaky toys in a matter of minutes now. I bought a bag of replacement squeakers on amazon to try to give his toys new life but he is going through those pretty quickly. This lamb’s face says it all:

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Have a happy 4th of July and be safe!

Laura

P.S. Follow Rocco on Instagram! His name is rocco_the_minpin (Rocco James) 🙂