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?
The weather in NC was fabulous–but that wasn’t enough to make up for all the family events we missed out on when we were far away. Of course, that was one of the main reasons we jumped at the opportunity to move back to PA a few months ago.
The months since we are back have flown by–birthday parties, drinks, and dinners, weddings, holiday get togethers. All things we had to either plan months in advance or skip when we lived far away.
It has been beautiful in PA–60s and 70s two weekends in a row. It is showing us what summer will hold–playing outside with the kids, pool parties, baseball games, and more fun in the sun.
And we wouldn’t have it any other way.
Do you live close to your family? Have a lot of family events? If not, how do you chose what events to travel for, and which to skip out on?
For years, Hubby and I have tried to eat a primarily from-scratch diet with lots of fresh veggies and fruits. Over the last year or so, we have tried to cut back on sugar a bit too.
It’s not that we never have an all out sugary dessert–we do, though we have tried to cut back on portions. But, we have also looked for other, healthier options to satisfy my sweet tooth.
I have never been a ricotta cheese fan, but a few of my favorite traditional desserts (mmm, cannoli) are ricotta based, so when I heard about this one, I decided to give it a go.
This is super-simple, and can be made with any fresh or frozen fruit. I like to use whole milk ricotta, but part skim works, too. (With the full-fat ricotta and frozen cherries, this is approximately 170 calories, with 24 g carbs, 19 g sugar, 2 g fiber, 7 g fat (5 g saturated), and 6 g protein.)
Cinnamon Ricotta Cherries
- 1/2 cup Frozen Cherries
- 1/4 cup Ricotta Cheese
- 1 tsp. Honey
- Dash Cinnamon
- Slightly defrost the cherries, either by placing in the microwave for 30 seconds or allowing to sit at room temperature for 15-20 minutes.
- In a small bowl, mix cherries with a dash of cinnamon.
- Top with Ricotta.
- Drizzle with honey. If desired, sprinkle with more cinnamon.
I use a 2 Tbsp. cookie scoop to serve the ricotta–2 scoops equal 1/4 cup. This is also great with fresh strawberries or mixed berries, fresh or frozen blueberries, or (hubby’s favorite), fresh pineapple. A little treat without a ton of added sugar. 🙂
Do you have a favorite quick sweet treat that is a little on the healthier side? A go-to shortcut dessert? Let us know in the comments.
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.
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).
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. ❤
Are you on the lookout for signs of spring? What are some of your favorites?
It’s been a while since I posted here and things have really changed in the last few months. Shortly after my last post, Hubby was offered a great new job–an opportunity that was just too good to pass up.
Of course, it did require us to relocate for the second time in three years. Read More
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. 😉
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!
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!
Easy Chicken and Vegetable Chowder
|1 lb||Creamer Potatoes, cleaned and quartered|
|3 Cups||Mushrooms, Cleaned and sliced|
|2||Leeks, halved and thinly sliced|
|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|
- 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.
- Meanwhile, season the chicken with the Montreal Steak Seasoning (or other seasoning blend of your choice). Let sit 10 minutes.
- 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.
- Add the roasted vegetables to the Dutch Oven. Add the wine and stir. Bring to a boil and cook 2 minutes, stirring.
- Add the chicken stock. Reduce heat to medium low. Cover the pot and cook 20 minutes.
- Stir in the Parmesan and Half and Half. Taste for seasoning, and add salt and pepper if needed.
- Serve and enjoy!
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.
Do you ever get a soup craving in summer? Have a go-to dish when you are feeling blah? Please share! 🙂
Sometimes, you just need to get away, even if it is January. Or, more likely, especially in January. 😉
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.
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.
And the last day may have been cold, but the sunrise made it all worth it. ❤
One of the hardest parts of living in North Carolina is that most of my family and friends are five hundred or so miles away. The second hardest part is missing the lovely colors of fall in the northeast. Sure, the leaves change in North Carolina, too, but it always seemed more dramatic up north–brighter, more varied colors that just seem to stick around longer.
As much as I love life in the south, I have to admit I have been just a bit homesick.
When we relocated almost two years ago, we decided to rent our house in Pennsylvania out for a while the housing market recovered a bit. So far, we have been lucky. We have a great tenant who loves the house almost as much as we did. 🙂
Unfortunately, some storms did a bit of damage to the house, and we are now enjoying the fun of insurance claims and working with contractors–from five hundred miles away.
Do you see where I am going with this?
The best way to cure homesickness is to decide to spend two months living with your parents in your thirties. 😉
Just kidding, of course! Actually, I have been in PA for about three weeks now, and I am loving all the time I am getting to spend with family and friends–though I could do without the insurance stuff. If my parents and I would have gotten along this well when I was a teenager, I may not have moved out. 😉
In the last week or so, the colors have just started to change on the trees, and I am in heaven. I absolutely love this time of year–though my allergies are not a fan! 😉
That being said, it is really hard being away from Hubby (who is diligently working in away in North Carolina, happy to skip the fall experience–or at least the temperatures that go with it). But, in only a few weeks, I will be back in North Carolina, escaping before the frigid northeastern winter sets in.
Who says you can’t have the best of both worlds? 😉
Do you have a favorite place to be at a certain time of year? Maybe the beach in the summer, the north in the fall, or the south in spring (some of my favorites)? Please share! ❤