A Retreat Weekend Menu



I was honored to be asked to help for the Retreat for Adoptive and Foster Moms, “Beauty for Ashes”.  In planning we knew we wanted to appeal to “that something inside of us” that loves food.  Okay, I know we tell our kids all the time we don’t EAT our feelings.  We looked at the snacks as one more way these wonderful women could find some comfort and relaxation in the weekend.  It was a time where they were feeding their souls and their tummies. And they didn’t have to lift a finger to do this.  We wanted to pamper them in every way.

What a great weekend.  I admire and respect these women and their families so much.  These women have given their hearts and listened to God’s call for their families, and I am truly in awe.  YOU MOMS ARE AMAZING!!!!!!

I can say that my involvement with the ladies (Christine and Nicole) that were organizing this retreat, is definitely God’s hand in my life and I am so thankful and grateful for this.  I have come to know them over the past few years mainly from a journey Roger and I began when we thought that we were going to adopt.  We felt like this was where we needed to go at the time, but circumstances have changed and we are no longer pursuing this.  But from that process we began some friendships that I value so much.  What amazing women!


The Retreat took place at Beulah Beach Camp.  Our kids have gone to camp there for many years and have always said, there is nothing like a Beulah Sunset…so beautiful.  We had a perfect weekend and the weather was perfect as well.

You can almost feel the tranquility…

And I might add I probably took these with a dish in my hands, so imagine if I was really trying…






Our desire was that there would be food out as the women came and went from Main Session and their break out sessions.  We started with making sure there were “munchies” out as they were registering and getting settled into their rooms.  For this time we had some Tortilla Roll Ups, Taco Dip, Veggies, Fruit and then the usual Trail Mix, Peanut M&M’s, Pretzels and Chicago Mix Popcorn, OH YES and let’s not forget the GUMMY BEARS!!! LOTS AND LOTS OF GUMMY BEARS…

We served some yummy Flatbread Pizzas.  We had, Pepperoni and Cheese, Margherita (well, almost, we were not able to get fresh mozzarella so we had to improvise), and Arugula and Blue Cheese.

Next we had Jalapeno Popper Dip, Spinach and Artichoke Dip, Chocolate Covered Oreos, Ricotta Cookies and Baklava.  I would like to share a few of those recipes.  Today we will share the Popper Dip, in a future post we will share the desserts.  The Jalapeno Popper Dip, is a Taste of Home recipe. The recipe includes Bread Crumbs on top, but I chose not to add because we wanted to keep it GF. I have also added some other suggestions for the recipe if you are feeling adventurous.

We used fresh spinach in the Spinach Artichoke Dip and this made for a very “green” color.



Kimmyscucina finished off our cooking with some Overnight French Toast the last morning of the Retreat.  For that yummy recipe, follow the link here.

Let me know what you enjoyed most!  Hopefully for those of you who were not at the retreat, you may get some good ideas for a party or event you may be planning in the future.

Jalapeno Popper Dip

2 8-ounce blocks of cream cheese

1 cup mayonnaise

1 cup shredded cheddar cheese (or monterey jack)

1 8-ounce can of green chilies (chopped)

2 4-ounce cans diced jalapeno peppers (fresh jalapenos would add a nice crunch to this recipe if you have the time to cut them up)

1 cup parmesan cheese

Bread Crumbs (optional)

Olive Oil (optional)

Mix all the ingredients together and put in oven-proof dish.  Bake until crisp around the edges and thoroughly heated.  350 for 15-20 minutes.

Mix bread crumbs and olive oil and crumble on top if you are using.




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