Easy One-Pan Lemon Salmon Dinner

In the midst of moving and packing and renovating while trying to keep life as close to normal a possible, I caved and tried out sheet-pan dinners. And I am IN LOVE! Read More


Home Sweet Home

I’ve been a little lacking in keeping up with this blog since we found out we were moving back home last year. It’s been a whirlwind—hubby’s new job offer  came while we were in Disney last September, and three and a half weeks later we were packed and moved. Easy-peasy, right?

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Signs of Spring

We are buried under a half-foot of snow in eastern Pennsylvania, but this week still showed some early signs of spring. Yes, I know that technically spring is still over a month away, but a girl can dream of warm, sunny days even in February, right? 😉

Wednesday was beautiful – 61℉ with mostly sunny skies. I went for what started as a short walk–and finally strolled back in the front door 6.4 miles later.

A beautiful day for a nice long walk.

A beautiful day for a nice long walk.

Unfortunately, as soon as the sun went down, temperatures plummeted, and by midnight it was snowing. I really can’t complain–this is really the first storm of the year. Until now it has been a very mild winter (almost North Carolina like).

A snowy morning. At least Pup was happy--she loves the snow.

A snowy morning. At least Pup was happy–she loves the snow.

Of course, I expect snow this time of year–it is February in the Northeast. But, I also know that there is one other awesome sign of spring that happens this time every year. Truck Day!

If you aren’t a baseball fan, you may be looking at the screen like I am insane right now. Heck, you may be doing that anyway. 😉

Truck Day is the day the MLB teams pack up all the equipment for spring training and head south, in most cases to Florida or Arizona.

I woke up on Monday morning to this:

I am a Phillies fan, but Hubby is a Red Sox fan, so this just made my week! Wednesday, the Phillies truck followed behind.

I love that Phanatic!

Next stop, Spring Training! Pitchers and catchers report on Monday. ❤

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Are you on the lookout for signs of spring? What are some of your favorites? 


Fall Apple Desserts

I am a magazine junkie–Southern Living, Cooking Light, Coastal Living, Food Network… You get the idea. In the last week or two, all the September magazines are rolling in, and I am drooling over a lot of the fall recipes–but none more than the desserts.

Apples and pumpkin galore! Yum!

I will never make it through them all, but I thought I would share a few of the most tempting apple deserts, in case anyone wants to give them a try.


Apple-Cream Cheese Bundt Cake (From Southern Living)

Southern Living says: This delicious apple bundt cake features a sweet cream cheese filling and homemade praline frosting.  Garnish the frosting with extra toasted pecans.

Seriously, doesn’t that look amazing? I actually liked that half of the cover better than the other side–and the other side was Brad Paisley!


Love this coffee cake! <3

Love this coffee cake! ❤

One of my go-to apple deserts is this Apple Coffee Cake with Crumble Topping and Brown Sugar Glaze recipe from Food Network. It comes from Emeril Live!–goodness I miss that show! Hubby asks for this cake all year round!

(Just a note, I usually leave off the glaze–while it is good, I don’t think it is necessary.)

Cooking Light says: Sweet, crunchy apples make for a delicious plate of party “nachos.” Just slice some apples, arrange on a plate, and get creative. While I chose to make a slightly sweet peanut butter glaze, you could easily drizzle with honey or melted chocolate, or sprinkle cinnamon, nuts of your choice, or anything—the options really are endless. Slice some apples and have fun!

Source: Forget Keeping the Doctor Away: Slice Up the Ultimate Apple Nachos


Need more? Country Living has 40 apple deserts in this article!


Lazy-day Caramel Apples

Lazy-day Caramel Apples

Or, you could go the easy route and try one of my favorites –a chopped apple, a drizzle of caramel sundae sauce, and maybe some chopped walnuts or pecans. Healthy and easy! 😉


Whatever your choice, enjoy!   ❤

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What’s your favorite apple recipe? Favorite fall fruit? Anything I missed? Feel free to share!   🙂 


Creamy Chicken and Vegetable Soup

Hubby and I have felt a little under the weather lately, thanks to a brutal allergy season.  Nothing serious–just the usually stuffy head, sore throat, watery-eyed fun that comes with walking out the front door in the morning. 😉

IMG_8826The other day, we just wanted comfort food for dinner, and what is more comforting when you aren’t feeling well than a piping-hot bowl of soup?

Yummy roasted vegetables--my favorite!

Yummy roasted vegetables–my favorite!

I started out thinking I would make a standard hearty chicken noodle soup, but until I got all the veggies and chicken in, there was no room for noodles!

After the wine

After the wine

This was super-easy to throw together–I just roasted a bunch of vegetables, browned the chicken, added the roasted veggies and a bit of wine, cooked a few minutes, and added the stock. Just before serving, I added a splash of cream and a bit of fresh-grated parmesan cheese. Easy-peasy!

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Before the cream–probably would have been great just like this!

Easy Chicken and Vegetable Chowder

  • Servings: 6-8
  • Print

Ingredients

1 lb Creamer Potatoes, cleaned and quartered
3 Cups Mushrooms, Cleaned and sliced
2 Leeks, halved and thinly sliced
1 Onion, Diced
2 Tbsp. Olive Oil, divided
1.5 lbs. Boneless, Skinless Chicken Breast, cut into 1-inch chunks
1.5 tsp. Montreal Steak Seasoning
1 bag Frozen Mixed Vegetables (12-16 oz)
1 cup Dry White Wine
1 box Chicken Stock (4 cups)
1/4 Cup Half and Half
1/2 Cup Shredded Parmesan Cheese

Instructions

  1.  Preheat the oven to 400˚F. Prepare Potatoes, Mushrooms, Leeks, and Onion and add to a baking sheet. Add salt and pepper (to taste) and 1 Tbsp. Olive Oil. Mix with your hands and spread the vegetables on the baking tray evenly. Roast until tender and lightly browned, about 20 minutes.
  2. Meanwhile, season the chicken with the Montreal Steak Seasoning (or other seasoning blend of your choice). Let sit 10 minutes.
  3. Add the remaining Olive Oil to a Dutch Oven over medium-high heat. Add the chicken and cook, stirring occasionally, until lightly browned. Add the frozen vegetables and cook another 5 minutes, stirring occasionally.
  4. Add the roasted vegetables to the Dutch Oven. Add the wine and stir. Bring to a boil and cook 2 minutes, stirring.
  5. Add the chicken stock. Reduce heat to medium low. Cover the pot and cook 20 minutes.
  6. Stir in the Parmesan and Half and Half. Taste for seasoning, and add salt and pepper if needed.
  7. Serve and enjoy!

Yum! Tasty and (mostly) healthy!

Yum! Tasty, hearty, and (mostly) healthy!

I used salted chicken stock (I prefer Kitchen Basics brand), and the Montreal Steak Seasoning has a lot of salt, so I went light on the salt on the veggies and didn’t add any more salt to the chicken or mixed vegetables. I did add extra pepper. Hubby thought it was perfect, though I did salt it a bit at the table.

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Do you ever get a soup craving in summer? Have a go-to dish when you are feeling blah? Please share! 🙂

 


Name of the Game   

Anyone who followed this blog from the beginning knows that I debated for years what name I wanted to publish under – a pen name, my maiden name, my married name, or some combination. I made changes more than once before realizing I was putting the cart before the horse, ultimately deciding to stick to my married name until I was ready to start sending query letters.

writing.jpgNine or ten months ago, after much debate and conversations with family, friends, a few published authors, and, of course, hubby, I made the decision to pursue publication under my maiden name. Not quite ready to go through the pain of making the change, I decided to sit on the decision for a while, just to be sure.

As I sat here last week writing a query letter, ready to send my baby out into the world, I realized the time has come. I made a list of everything I need to change (my goodness, that is a long list) and started checking things off. Writing this post was toward the top of the list.

In the coming days, I will be changing my page on Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, etc. I have already changed this site, though I do have a few more tweaks up my sleeve.

I have to admit, it is weird to see a different name atop my site, but I am excited about the next steps on my road to publication, and this is just another stepping stone.

 

Kicking back and reading a good book,

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A Quick Weekend Getaway

Sometimes, you just need to get away, even if it is January. Or, more likely, especially in January. 😉

More beach walking

Perfect day for a beach stroll.

It is no secret that I could spend all day, every day at the beach, so when Hubby suggested a January getaway to the beach, I jumped at it! After all, Carolina beaches in January aren’t too cold, right?

Well, kind of.

Surf competition in front of the hotel

Surf competition in front of the hotel

On our 3-day trip, we had one day of mid-60s and sunny, one of 50 and rain. And one bright and sunny, with a high of 34. Brrr.

And every minute was worth it. We had an ocean-front room, so even in the cold, we could watch (and listen to) the waves crashing on the shore. We brought a whole stash of board games and a computer for Netflix. All in all it was a beautiful, relaxing weekend.

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Perfect!

And the last day may have been cold, but the sunrise made it all worth it. ❤

Have you ever take an off-season vacation? Where did you head? Did you find it to be as peaceful and relaxing as I did? Please share! ❤Blog Signature


Princess Puppydog

Bored in the car.

Bored in the car.

Jon and I don’t have kids–we have a pup.  We didn’t plan it that way, but we love our life and our baby, even if she is a five-year-old dog. 😉

We always planned to have one of us home with the kids once we had them.  The opportunity for me to leave my job and stay home presented itself about six years ago, and we decided to give it a try before there were kids in the picture.   At some point we realized kids likely weren’t in the cards, but we were already used to my being home, so we stuck with it.  Which is how I became a childless housewife in 2014 (or, as my husband likes to call it, a stay-at-home puppy mommy).
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Delirious Laughter

I’ve been running around a lot this summer, feeling like I am being pulled in way too many directions at once.  It happens to everyone at some point, and a lot of it is because of my own inability to say no, so I am not complaining.  Besides, I like to be busy! 🙂

Unfortunately, one of the side effects of this is that my brain keeps going even when I want to just go to sleep.  For the past several weeks, I have slept between 20 minutes to 4 and a half hours a night.  Ah, insomnia (which my mom made sure to let me know I got from her–via Twitter, in the middle of the night.  Thanks mom! Couldn’t you have given me your pretty blue eyes instead? 😉 ) Read More


Ten Years Already!!

I’m not really here–really I’m not.  In actuality, I am off with my hubby today, celebrating our tenth wedding anniversary!

I plan to be back on Wednesday with a regular post, after we enjoy a long weekend celebrating our anniversary and his 34th birthday.  🙂 Just for fun, I figured I would share a post I wrote last year about how my hubby, Jon, and I met.  (He is lovingly referred to as Pookie in the below post–he was still shy about being outed with his real name. 😉 ) Read More