In The Spirit

Happy end to your Monday!

My day was busy today – lots of stuff to do and not enough time, but I at least got the most important things finished before 5.

I made a little snack plate around 4 today to hold me over until dinner.


I knew dinner wouldn’t be very long after Nick got home, so I didn’t want too big of a snack – this little plate was perfect.


Some celery, TJ’s hummus, and these Toasted Asiago Kashi crackers I found this weekend. I’d never seen this flavor before – they were really good, especially dipped in the hummus.

As soon as it hit 5, I turned off my computer, started a load of laundry and got working on dinner.

I’m not sure how it happened, but I created a pretty good dish tonight!


 Creamy Chicken Sausage Cacciatore


I looked up some basic cacciatore recipes and ended up making a whole new spin on it!

  • 2 Roasted Garlic Chicken Sausages
  • 8 oz. sliced mushrooms
  • 1 lb. frozen peppers and onions
  • 1-2 cloves garlic
  • 1 cup broth
  • 1 can crushed tomatoes
  • 1 Tbsp tomato paste
  • 1 tsp crushed red pepper
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1/2 tsp pepper
  • 1 Tbsp oregano
  • 1 tsp basil
  • 1 Tbsp sherry
  • 1 Tbsp balsamic vinegar
  • 1/4 cup ricotta cheese
  • 8 oz. whole wheat pasta
  1. Dice chicken sausages and crisp up in a bit of olive oil. Add in mushrooms to pan.
  2. Once mushrooms are cooked, take mushrooms and sausage out of pan.
  3. Add 1 tsp oil and add in onions and peppers.
  4. Let cook until softened and add in garlic, broth, tomato paste, and crushed tomatoes.
  5. Bring to a boil, lower the heat and add in seasonings. mushrooms, and sausage.
  6. Stir in sherry, balsamic, and ricotta and let simmer 5-10 minutes.
  7. Serve with whole wheat pasta.


I loved the little bit of creaminess from the ricotta and the mix of balsamic + sherry in the sauce gave it such a deep flavor – like it had been cooking all day!

This weekend, I finally bought more of my favorite tomato paste –


This really is the most clever idea ever: tomato paste in a tube.

You know how most recipes only call for 1 Tbsp? This solves having to buy cans of it and freezing it or forgetting about the extra and having to toss it later. You just use what you and keep the tube in the fridge – easy!


Nick and I are watching ELF right now, and it never fails to make me laugh and get me excited about the holidays  :)

I’ve got to put the sheets on the bed and get back to the movie!


Soup Solo

The one thing I don’t like about working from home 2 days a week? I don’t get to eat lunch with Nick!

I miss him when I don’t see him in the middle of the day – we always eat lunch together at work, so it’s strange when I eat at home by myself.


At least I had some good leftovers to have for lunch – especially for today! I went to the post office at lunch today and it is only 37 degrees here!


I heated up a bowl of the Ribollita from last night and toasted some whole grain baguette to have along with it.

Soup = the perfect lunch for today…no new snow, but it’s still outside.


I had the same amount of bread I had last night, but I sliced them thinner so I would have “more slices” ;) Tricky, huh?


2 of the small slices are on the bottom of the bowl, under the soup, and the other 3 are on top for dipping.

All buttered with 1 tsp of Kerrygold, aka the best butter ever, split between all the bread.


And a tangerine!


Citrus is the best ending to a meal, I think.

Well, maybe second after chocolate.


Fun Giveaways + Blog Stuff!

Travel, Eat, Love Sur La Table giveaway + new selfhosted site

LAST WEEK of Project Feed Me!! Here’s the Week 9 Item

LARABAR giveaway from Iowa Girl Eats


What’s your usual lunchtime routine?

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Monday Musings

Last night, Nick and I both decided that we needed another day off…I think all weekends should be 3 days instead of 2.

I mean, we need one day to do fun stuff, one day to get things done (laundry, cleaning, etc) and then one day to actually relax, right?

Even though we both agreed, it didn’t change the fact that it is still Monday morning and work starts in 25 minutes.


The only things that make most Mondays bearable for me?


  • a good breakfast
  • coffee
  • our local morning radio show
  • How I Met Your Mother


I actually did not want oatmeal this morning – I was so hot in the house a few minutes ago and couldn’t even think of having a hot breakfast, but I didn’t have anything to eat for a cold meal!

So, I just waited a few minutes and made it anyways. Now I’m glad I did  :)


  • 1/2 cup oats, 1 cup water, pinch salt
  • 1/2 banana, sliced
  • 1.5 Tbsp crunchy pb
  • cinnamon!


Basic bowl of oats, but so good. It’s nice to have a simple breakfast every now and then.

Off to eat, dry my hair, and get to work!


What are your favorite things about Mondays?

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Sunday Supper

Whew! Sundays just get away from me…or, really, they just keep me from blogging  :)

And I love it!

First things first:


Nick and I tried this ice cream last night, and it. is. awesome.



The bites with the coconut-caramel? I’ve never had any ice cream like it! It was so good, and tasted just like a slice of german chocolate cake.

Even Roxy was begging for some.


We kind of watched/kind of slept through the 2nd half of the GA Tech/Clemson game, woke up just in time to see the end and went to bed.

We had to go to church early this morning because Nick was doing sound, so breakfast was fast + easy.


We each heated up some cinnamon rolls and had a tangerine on the side.


The cinnamon roll recipe I used is from MyRecipes, but I used all whole wheat flour instead of the mix they call for – everything else is the same!

Taking our coffee on the road, we headed to church this morning in the most beautiful weather.

No snow today, but the sky was blue and the sun bright. This one section we drove through looked like Narnia…all the bare tree branches covered in snow, glittering in the bright morning sun. I could have walked around for hours! Everything was just spotless and bright and beautiful.

Lunch was spontaneous today – we were planning on coming home, but ended up at our local place, the New River Grille, today. And since we were originally coming home, I didn’t have my camera with me. But it wasn’t anything new: blackened chicken, side salad, and some green beans. And about half of Nick’s fries :)

After we got home, we got started on some stuff around the house – everything needed to be cleaned, dusted, etc, and I had laundry to work on. Nick vacuumed the house for me while I baked muffins, dusted, cleaned the bathroom, and did laundry.

And we got everything done!

I’m happy I picked this dinner to make today because it was easy and quick to make.


I made Ribollita, an Italian soup that is served over bread.


I read a bunch of recipes for it, and kind of followed most of them but made just a few small changes.

  • 1 diced chicken sausage instead of bacon or pancetta
  • 2 cans of white beans
  • 2-3 cups of fresh spinach
  • vegetable broth
  • crushed red pepper sprinkled in


I had some whole grain baguette that we sliced, spread with a little Kerrygold butter, and served in the soup. The one slice at the bottom of the bowl absorbed the broth and it was the best piece!

And this will be dessert:


The muffins I made earlier left me with some extra batter that wouldn’t fit in the muffin tin, so I made Nick and I each a little tiny cake in these ramekins.

I’m trying to figure out if I can post the recipe for these or not – I got it out of one of those Coffeehouse Mystery books that I love by Cleo Coyle. If I can post it, I’ll post it soon!


Here are some of the ingredients that went in – they turned out great!

I hear that mini cake calling…and then pajamas :)


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