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2 posts from February 2010

February 16, 2010

A Charlotte Winter - 2010


When it snows in Charlotte, it is a really big deal because we rarely get snow.  It usually fizzles out in the mountains before it reaches the Charlotte area.  Our winters here are usually mild compared to what they were in Woodbine, Maryland where we used to live before we moved to Charlotte 5 years ago.


Last week, though, was different.  We got the most beautiful snowfall.  I love our beautiful mature trees and how they capture the snow when it falls.  And, when the snow lands gently on the branches, it is so beautiful.



It looks like a winter wonderland.


It was so beautiful, in fact, that I decided to put on my boots and my coat, over my flannel pajamas, and scanter out with my camera and take some pictures.


I went out my front door and looked to my left and this is what I saw.  Isn't it pretty?


I scooted along my sidewalk, trying not to slip and fall on my butt, and I looked at my neighbor's house.  It was so pretty I took a picture.


Then I turned around in my driveway and took a picture of our home.


Then another as I got closer to our mailbox.  The snow wasn't a wet snow, it was a dry, powdery, snow - my favorite kind of snow.


When I got to the street, I looked to my right and thought "this sure is treacherous," but I knew that it wouldn't last long, so I didn't worry about it.


I stood in the snow in the front of our home and I took another picture.  I love the way our home looks when it snows.


The trees are so tall and pretty.


I love Charlotte in the winter, especially when it snows.  My kids miss the snow in Woodbine, though.  They miss all the fun they had playing in the snow for days at a time.


I love our home. Isn't it pretty in the snow? 


I even love our Town Councilman neighbor - I voted for him too.


But most of all, I count my blessings, and I realize just how lucky we are.  I wish we were able to use our fireplace though.  Still haven't got that fixed since the fire of 2009 that could have been a real disaster.

Do you have any winter memories you'd like to share?  I'd love to read about them!



February 02, 2010

Tortellini Soup With Chicken and Spinach


Looking for a delicious soup that is quick and easy to make? The idea for this soup came from my sister's friend. But as with most things I make, I can't leave well enough alone. Having made a few changes, here is the simple recipe for a great meal in a bowl.  This is so good, it's a must try!



1 lb. boneless chicken breast tenders
2 32 oz. cartons of chicken broth
2 cups water
1 large onion, peeled and left whole
1 clove of garlic, peeled and left whole
1 pkg. fresh spinach
3 or 4 carrots, shredded or sliced thin, your choice
1 pkg. (I used 19 oz.) frozen cheese tortellini



Heat a small amount of olive oil in a frying pan. Season the chicken tenders with your favorite seasoning. Today I used Emeril's Original Essence. It's a good all purpose seasoning to use for just about anything. Season the chicken liberally and brown it well on both sides. Remove to a plate to cool.

In a large soup pot, pour in the two cartons of chicken broth and water, add the whole onion and garlic clove, and the sliced or shredded carrots, cover, cook slowly and allow the onion and garlic to become soft. In the meantime, shred the cooled chicken into bite sized pieces.

When the onion and garlic are nice and soft, remove and discard them. The idea here is to flavor the broth but not have any pieces of onion or garlic floating around in your finished soup. Add the shredded chicken, spinach and tortellini. Give it a gentle stir, cover and let it simmer through until the spinach is all wilted and the tortellini are nice and soft, just a few minutes. Some of the Emeril's Essence will come off the chicken and will flavor the soup such that you won't have to add any extra salt, pepper or any other seasonings. How easy is that?


Serve in big bowls and offer a sprinkling of Parmesan if you like.  From start to finish you can have this on the table in less than an hour.  This is a keeper.


Enjoy!  - Beth

Would you like to print this recipe?  Just click on the recipe box below and print away!


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