My mom just stepped out on our rental house’s lanai and said, “It’s cold out here!”
Oh no, mother. Chicago is cold. Michigan is cold. We are quickly headed for COLD. Vacation is officially over and unfortunately, it is time once again to navigate an airport with a 1-year-old.
And work. For all of 2 days this week, but still. Work. Beach > work.
We’ve actually had terrible weather on Anna Maria Island. Rain and overcast. We finally made it to the beach yesterday with a cart full of food, drinks, chairs, towels, toys, etc. and in less than an hour, it started raining despite weather.com’s promising forecast for the afternoon. I told my mom I was going to stay put and wait it out, but she disapproved of my plan. We went back to the house and hung out until an hour or so later when the weather had passed, and we ventured back to the beach.
It just doesn’t feel like vacation should be over with only one abbreviated beach day. 🙁
Plus, social media has warned me as to what we’re heading home to: lots of the white stuff. Parts of Michigan got 8 inches of snow while we were away and we have quickly gone from an extended Indian summer…straight to winter.
After Thanksgiving, it’ll truly be back to the grind of life. With all of the holiday shopping madness thrown in. It’ll be time for menu planning and hearty soups and evenings by the fire. This recipe caught my eye on Pinterest and it did not disappoint – full of chicken and pasta with loads of veggies and flavor, with just a touch of heat, there’s nothing not to love!
- 1 Tbsp olive oil, divided
- 3 Tbsp unsalted butter
- 1 small onion, chopped
- 1 cup carrots, sliced
- 1 cup celery, chopped
- 1 red bell pepper, chopped
- 4-6 garlic cloves, minced
- ¼ cup all-purpose flour
- 5 cups low-sodium chicken broth
- 2 (14.5 oz) cans Fire Roasted Diced Tomatoes, not drained
- 1 tsp sugar
- 2 bay leaves
- ½ tsp dried oregano
- ½ tsp ground cumin
- 3 chicken bouillon cubes
- 1 tsp dried parsley
- ¼ cup loosely packed fresh basil, chopped
- ¼ tsp crushed red pepper flakes
- ½ tsp salt
- ¼ tsp pepper
- 2 cups (~10 oz) uncooked whole wheat macaroni
- 2 cups whole milk
- 1 cup grated Parmesan cheese
- 1 lb white meat rotisserie chicken, shredded
- Heat olive oil and butter in a large pot over medium-high heat. Once melted and hot, add the onions and carrots and cook for 4 minutes. Add celery, red bell peppers, and garlic and cook for 2-3 minutes.
- Sprinkle in flour and cook, while stirring, for 3 minutes. Gradually stir in chicken broth followed by tomatoes, sugar, bay leaves and all remaining herbs and spices. Bring to a boil; cover, and reduce to a gentle simmer for 15-20 minutes or until vegetables are tender.
- Meanwhile, cook pasta according to package directions until al dente. Drain and set aside.
- Stir in milk and Parmesan cheese until smooth; bring to a simmer. Add the chicken and pasta and cook an additional 2-3 minutes. Serve hot.