Sunday, November 21, 2010

Low Impact Snow Zone

We are getting ready for an East Coast winter. Snow boots have arrived, I am trying to find an alternate commute in case my train isn't running, and we went to purchase chains for Justin's car. The route he takes to school has a few Emergency Snow Route roads and we want him to get to school safely. I already had chains for my car, purchased when I went to Montana for Christmas several years ago. I understand that many people here get snow tires or studded tires, but we were trying to save some time, hassle, and money so went to look for chains.

We went to our local Pepboys Auto Store, despite our previous negative experience. This was the closest and most convenient parts store. You'd think we'd have learned our lesson from all the other things that have gone wrong since living here, but alas, we just went to the store expecting to get what we wanted.

We looked around for a few minutes and then I went to the help desk asking for chains. The salesman told us they don't carry chains because this is a "low impact snow zone." Are you kidding me? Philadelphia? The same city that by February 10, 2010 broke its snowfall record with a whopping 70.3 inches? The salesman proceeded to tell us we wouldn't need them. He's lived here a long time and has never needed them. What happened to trying to sell product to your customer?

I understand the city has plows, salt, etc. . . to help make the roads safer, but really, no chains? Not to worry though, my in-laws found some on Amazon for us so we will be good to go out and brave the roads. Hope you enjoyed the photo at the top, taken during Philadelphia's Snowmageddon of 2010.

Thursday, November 18, 2010

Southwestern Chicken Soup

I have never been all that great in the kitchen. I like the idea of cooking and trying new things, but when it comes down to planning it all out and actually executing it, I haven't been very successful. Or shall I say motivated? Until this past month. I felt like we were kind of in a rut for our evening meal rotation and I wanted a change. I am all for eating more healthy options, but not at the cost of taste. I also find that so many recipes call for too many ingredients and not stuff that we typically stock. I took some time at Barnes & Noble to select a few cookbooks, ones with healthier options, limited ingredients and for busy people. I had already been doing a monthly meal calendar which definitely helped with grocery shopping/budgeting, but this month I added 3-4 new recipes to each week and wanted to share one of my new favorites. It is super easy, makes a lot, and best of all, is really delicious. Give it a try!

Southwestern Chicken Soup
  • 2 pounds boneless, skinless chicken breasts, cut into bite size pieces
  • 3 quarts water
  • 12 chicken bouillon cubes
  • 2 cups salsa
  • 1 box Spanish rice (I used Rice-a-Roni)

In a large pot mix the chicken, water, bouillon, salsa and Spanish rice. Bring to a boil. Boil 3 to 4 minutes. Reduce heat and simmer for 10 minutes. Serve hot.

Suggested side- corn bread

A 1 cup serving has 110 calories, 4 g fat, 30 mg cholesterol, 10 g carbs, 13 g protein and 1088 mg sodium.

Enjoy and let me know if you have any tasty, quick recipes to share.

Monday, November 15, 2010


Back in October I had the opportunity to head down to Johnson City, TN for my 10 year college reunion. I'm that old ; ) Justin had some exams he couldn't miss so I made the trek on my own. I had known for awhile that I'd be on the East Coast making the trip a lot more convenient so emailed all my roommates so everyone could make plans to be there. And they were! We went to a beautiful college in east TN, Milligan College, and fall is amazing there.

Here is a picture of the chapel and then down to the left, the library. The weather was gorgeous, pushing 80 on Saturday.

We spent Friday taking a self guided tour of the campus. So much had changed, building-wise, but in way, it was just as we left it. I have so many fond memories of my time there.

Here is a picture of a cross in the courtyard with one of the education buildings behind it.

Milligan's mascot is a buffalo, so here we all are posing with "Buffy." From left to right is: Laura, Rachel, me, Mara and Nancy.

Rachel and I were both Biology majors so here we are in The Science Buliding posing with one of the anatomy models. So many hours spent there!

Saturday was the actual Class of 2000 reception, followed by a Firehouse catered lunch (delicious BBQ), a Homecoming parade and then the Fall Festival with inflatables and kettle corn. Saturday was also Laura's birthday so we went out on the big town of Johnson City for a tasty dinner at Jack's City Grill.

Sunday morning I went to Grandview Christian Church, where we all attended church while in college. It was great to visit with so many friends. The trip was short, I headed back to Philly Sunday afternoon, but the memories were perfect. Thanks for making the trip everyone!