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Dog Days of Summer and Cashew Chicken Quinoa Bake


A vacation frequently means that the family goes away for a rest, 
accompanied by a Mother who sees that the others get it.

Marlene Cox

Saying goodbye to my WpgBesty was not easy.

It never is.

We did it the night before and although I found that easier, I still woke up with tears in my eyes.

After I brushed them away, I put on my big girl panties and got ready for our next adventure.

We were off to Edmonton!

My Uncle and his family have had a rough year. I write this blog about my life and I don’t feel it would right to tell other people’s stories but their year has been TOUGH.

Luckily throughout it all a few very happy things happened too!

One of my cousins Ash, built a new home for her family and another, Bree, had her first baby!

It was great to visit with them J They really went the extra mile for us. My Uncle and Bree drove in with her newborn and my other cousin Meg’s youngest. Ash took the day off work and prepared an awesome lunch spread for us!

After lunch we took the kids to the park and for a nice walk.











After our visit we went to our hotel and checked in. Our hotel had a pool with a waterslide! As soon as the girls saw it we HAD to go in lol

They both LOVED the waterslide! We were surprised that HBear wasn’t the least bit hesitant… she couldn’t even touch the bottom of the pool. We were not the least bit surprised at SBean’s reaction, “MORE MORE!!!!” Her and Ninja went down again and again and again lol



By the time we got out it was time to get ready to go to Ninja’s Brother’s house. It has been a year and a half since he lost his son. Again, they have had a rough year L Ninja’s brother had just had his surgery on his face (they found melanoma and he had it removed recently) so Ninja and HBear went over for dinner to visit while SBean and I ate McDonalds in bed at the hotel.





The next morning we got up and realized the weather SUCKED. We had planned on leaving early to go back to Cochrane to go to the Fair but with the weather being rainy and cold we decided to go to West Edmonton Mall for a few hours before heading back. We got there early and nothing was open yet so we just walked around.



When everything opened we took a walk through an African exhibit. It was pretty cool. We followed a 6 year old boy, Timothy’s life. We walked through and saw what his “house” looked like, what he ate and what the hospital looks like that he and his other family and friends go to with HIV. It was a great learning exhibit and HBear was very interested in what she read.

After that we bought the girls tickets for a train ride around the amusement park and a ride each.







Me on the same ride many moons ago :)
We left after lunch and piled into the van and cranked the heat! As we drove this is what greeted us!!!!


WpgBesty laughed and said “What? You forgot your tank top AND your snow tires?” LOL Alberta weather is so wonky!


Thank goodness the next day was sunnier and warmer! We decided to stay an extra day and get some more quality time in with SweetPea and my Sis and BIL J

We started by taking them on their first Geocaching trek! We went to a beautiful park above the Bow River. It is where we did wedding photos for my Sis’s wedding.



The many stages of a family picture LOL




Next, we checked out the Farmer’s Market, had a picnic and hiked to find another cache.













When we got home we just hung out and ate… some more!! LOL My BIL made 2 batches of homemade bagels while I was there! He had to make 2 batches because I ate the first 1 pretty much by myself!!! For our last dinner he made pizza!! We then went for a walk to the park to try to walk off 4 pieces of delicious thick crusted pizza!









After a wonderful visit it was time for more teary goodbyes L




My Mother always warned us to be careful of wild horses on the highway! LOL


The girls fell asleep right away. The week was so full of adventure, laughter, friends, family, walking, more laughing, and late nights that they were DONE! It is good that they slept because by the time we got to Golden we could already see the smoke. While we were away our Valley and Washington were under fire. We had been warned but had no idea what we were in for...



Golden
Roger's Pass
Kalamalka Lake
Kelowna Bridge
Thank you to everyone who helped make our vacation so FABULOUS! I will cherish these memories forever J

I made a 1 pot bake the other day. It was super tasty! Everyone was a bit skeptical at first but we ate it ALL so I would say this one was a winner!

Cashew Chicken Quinoa Bake
Adapted from Fit Foodie Finds

1 cup quinoa, rinsed and uncooked
1 cup onion, minced
2 medium peppers, chopped into bite-sized pieces
1 cup mushrooms, sliced
3 large chicken breasts, diced into bite-sized pieces
½ cup hoisin sauce
2 cloves garlic, minced
2 tablespoons soy sauce
½ tablespoon fresh ginger, minced
1 cup water
1 cup cashews, roasted and slightly salted
Chives for garnish


Preheat oven to 375 and spray a casserole dish with cooking spray.

Place quinoa on the bottom of the casserole dish 



and layer onions, mushrooms and peppers on top. 



Place sliced chicken on top of veggies.


Mix  hoisin sauce, garlic, soy sauce, ginger, and water.


Evenly pour sauce over chicken breast.


Bake for 45 minutes, uncovered. Remove from oven and add cashews and bake for another 10 minutes.


Garnish with chives.




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