book club? yes, please

When my friend Lauren mentioned starting up a book club, you’d think I’d just won the lottery with the giddiness that I felt. What could be better than an excuse to meet with a group of girls each month to discuss a book, socialize and enjoy appetizers? Well, a little wine wouldn’t hurt…but I’ll save that for a year from now, post-baby.

Our kickoff meeting was scant in attendance, but not in book ideas or fresh food. We discussed all the book options submitted, and finally settled on one that seemed interesting, but safe, for our first discussion in a month. I can’t wait to dive in when I’m in Hilton Head for the long Labor Day weekend.

As with any truly memorable gathering, we enjoyed simple, but delicious food. Lauren, who hosted, was gracious enough to prepare us a taco dinner. Tacos are a lot like salads to me: When someone else prepares them, they seem to taste much better than when I prepare them myself.

Lauren, an avid Trader Joe’s shopper, used only the highest quality ingredients. I was a bit jealous, because if my husband didn’t eat twice his weight in protein every day, we could afford to buy only organic meat. But as soon as we have a place that accommodates a deep freezer, we’re buying a farm-raised cow. I can’t wait! Wow, tangent…

As much as I wanted to make a decadent chocolate dessert for the occasion, knowing it was a small crowd meant I would be bringing home too many leftovers. So I opted for a simple fruit dip. In retrospect, semi tart, crisp apple slices would have been the perfect fruit to pair with this dip. Next time, I’ll be prepared.

Fruit Dip


  • 2 8oz. packages of cream cheese, softened
  • 1/2 cup pure maple syrup
  • 1/2 cup chopped pecans
  • 1 tsp vanilla
  • 1/4 to 1/2 cup unsweetened almond milk (depending on how thick you want it)

Simply blend all ingredients, and voila!

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I'm a full-time wife and semi-stay-at-home mom to four young kids. Day to day, I help my husband with his small business, but when I have any extra time, you can find me cooking or being active outdoors with my family. We live at the foothills of the North Georgia mountains and are embracing modern homesteading month by month.

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