On a cold, icy day…

Why hello winter! I had fooled myself into thinking that this was going to be a calm and warm winter. And, as usual with my weather predictions, I was wrong (seriously, if ever I claim to have the inside track on the weather, do what my husband does and prepare for the exact opposite). Anyway, Old Man Winter made his way to North Carolina last night and this morning! Hubs and I woke up to a rather chilly house and an ice covered yard.

Our patio

Our patio

Our power went out around 1:30 or 2 AM and did not get restored until almost twelve hours later (that being said, make sure to give a huge “Thank You” to the linemen / women who work diligently when there are power outages in less than ideal conditions, they do a great job at keeping us warm and safe). We had a brief “tease” that the power would return from 9 – 9:10 AM during which time I quickly plugged my phone in and started to make my morning drink of hot water over lemons. And then the power went out. Thankfully I had gotten a little extra charge on my phone and the water was close enough to being hot to count!

Any morning that starts with a panda mug cannot be that bad, right?

Any morning that starts with a panda mug cannot be that bad, right?

During the time I had with no power I learned a couple things, and I thought I would share:

1. I would not do well in a zombie apocalypse. Seriously, I would be the person who was forever wandering into dark and scary buildings (that I am sure would be filled with zombies just ready to eat me) trying to find a battery to charge one of my electronic devices.

2. I really like heating and air conditioning. Being from the South I have always had a deep respect for air conditioning, however, today, as I sat in my 55 degree house in what amounted to a ridiculous amount of clothes and put my poor dog and cat in their coats and sweaters to keep them warm, my level of admiration for heating definitely increased. I have not included a picture for the reason stated in lesson 3 (karma isn’t so fun or graceful)

3. I am many things and most of the time graceful is at least in the top 20 of that list… however, you put me on an icy sidewalk and let’s just say I make a Inspector Clouseau (Pink Panther movies – the originals)  look graceful. I’m pretty sure Sadie and Beau view the spectacle I made of myself as karma for putting them in coats / sweaters.

More ice!

More ice!

4. It truly is amazing how dependent our personal and professional lives are upon computers. Seriously, when my computer was dead and my phone was borderline, I was probably the least productive I’ve been since the last Lilly Pulitzer online sale (kidding, but only slightly). I mean, everything we do is online now and our methods of communication are for the most part contingent upon electricity and an internet connection.

Anyway, we now obviously have our power back and I am sitting here enjoying what is probably my 5th or 6th cup of tea for the day, still warming up!

5th or 6th cup of tea for the day. Thankfully these are decaf!

5th or 6th cup of tea for the day. Thankfully these are decaf!

I hope everyone is having a great day and for those who are dealing cold weather, please stay warm and safe!

Julie

Creamy Tomato & Spinach Tortellini

So, if you have read this blog for more than one minute, I think you will gather that I have a slight love (and by love, I mean addiction) to pasta! Well, I also know that we are all always wanting easy, tasty recipes that are budget friendly! So, here is an easy meal that fits into weeknight cooking, is family friendly, works with your budget, and is pretty! Enjoy and let me know your thoughts or how you changed the recipe up! Click here for the PDF Version (Creamy Tomato & Spinach Tortellini)

Creamy Tomato & Spinach Tortellini - Simple Ingredients

Creamy Tomato & Spinach Tortellini – Simple Ingredients

Creamy Tomato & Spinach Tortellini

Ingredients:

1 (19 or 20 oz.) package of three cheese tortellini (frozen preferably)

2 Tbsp. butter

2 cloves garlic, minced

3 Tbsp. all purpose flour

1 tsp. onion powder

1.25 cups milk (I had 2% on hand, so that is what I used)

½ cup heavy cream

1 can (14.5 oz.) petite diced tomatoes (undrained)

4 cups (packed) chopped fresh spinach

3 – 4 Tbsp. freshly chopped basil

1 tsp. dried oregano

6 Tbsp. shredded Parmesan (plus a little extra for serving)

Extra Basil, for serving

Crushed red pepper flakes, for serving

Yum!

Yum!

Directions

  1. Cook and drain tortellini according to package directions.
  2. In a large skillet, melt butter over medium high heat. Add garlic and sauté for 30 seconds, next add flour and onion powder. Stir constantly and cook for 1 minute. While whisking slowly pour in milk and cream and whisk until smooth. Continue to cook stirring frequently until simmering. Once mixture is simmering, add tomatoes, spinach, basil and oregano. Add salt and pepper to taste. Cook until sauce has thickened and spinach has wilted. Add Parmesan and stir until melted. Remove from heat.
  3. Add drained tortellini into sauce mixture. Serve immediately.

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I hope you all enjoy this recipe as much as we did! Have a GREAT week and stay warm folks!

Julie