Weddings, Ravioli & A Zoo!

I have been so busy lately, I feel like a hamster on a wheel. No kidding! My oldest daughter is getting married on May 30th this year, and guess who she chose to plan her wedding? ME! 

So I have been knee deep in wedding plans for months and months. It is going to be a small and intimate affair, but it takes a lot of planning to give even the simplest of weddings. 

We are trying to stay within our budget and that takes a lot of work and commitment too! But I am almost finished and ready to breathe a real sigh of relief. Having fibromyalgia makes it much harder to push onward, especially when I am having a flare day or week or month! 

To add to my business…we recently had a house full of teenagers and young adults, when my daughter and her fiance came home from college over spring break. We got her wedding dress altered. She had her bridal shower. Yaddah..yaddah…yaddah…the list goes on and on. 

Another bad picture…this is what happens when they come in from college…they tend to wreck the guest room. Also known as the office ’round here.  But isn’t the back of her dress fabulous! I love a corset back. So exciting! Seeing my daughter in a wedding gown is just too surreal. 

In other news…we recently went to the Asheboro Zoo with some sweet friends of ours. It was a fun trip, although very tiring for me. We got a lot of exercise walking the zoo for hours.  We saw some lovely exotic birds. I just love the flamingos. 

This little green bird was my favorite, wish I had one! 
My very sweet friend Ami and me. Fun times! Looking forward to the summer and more free time.

On the homeschooling front, I have been entertaining my two year old with stamps during school time. She absolutely loves the little wooden stamps by Melissa and Doug. She loves to identify the animals and then stamp them repeatedly. She has a recent infatuation with her Big Bird costume. She will wear it all day, if I let her. It is fun, after all of these years to have another little girl to play dress up with. She really loves frilly, girly things. This makes me so happy.
How do you entertain your “littles” while your older children school? It is a challenge, but these stamps are a fabulous idea! 
Check them out on Amazon for just $11.99 ! Follow the link here: 

In My Kitchen!
I recently cooked up a wonderfully, yummy pasta dish. I wanted to share that special recipe with you. Please excuse my terrible photos. It was a cold and cloudy day…so no natural light to be found. But I took pictures anyway, maybe a crummy picture is better than no picture though! Ha! Ha! This is a simple recipe and perfect for those busy days that I have had recently. Days when I feel like, that there is never enough of me to go around. 

I adapted this recipe from Healthy Homestyle Cooking By Evelyn Tribole I love this cookbook and it has been a regular go to for me over the years. Such helpful suggestions for  healthier substitutes for commonly used ingredients.  I especially love her suggestion of using applesauce in place of oils in my baking. It is amazing how moist, unsweetened applesauce can make in breads, cakes, etc. 

Anyway…getting a bit off track there. Back to this fabulous recipe.  I adapted it by using cheese stuffed Tortellini that I buy in a huge bag at Costco, instead of the Ravioli.  But it was just as fantastic! My whole family LOVED this. Went back for seconds. I doubled the recipe to feed my large family of 6. 

I served it with a hot crusty roll and a nice green salad. Viola! A whole meal in minutes! I love that you do not have to cook the sauce, it is heated by the Tortellini or Ravioli, whichever you choose to use! I think this would be fantastic on Fettuccine too! 

                Costco sells the yummiest five cheese Tortellini
Give this recipe a whirl! You won’t regret it!
Cheese Ravioli with Rosemary and Lemon

  • 1 (16 oz) package of cheese ravioli
  • 1 cup fat-free cottage cheese
  • 1/2 cup evaporated skim milk
  • 1 teaspoon of dried rosemary
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground black pepper
  • 2 teaspoons fresh lemon juice
  • 1/4 cup finely shredded Parmesan cheese
  • 3 tablespoons snipped fresh chives
  • 1 teaspoon finely shredded lemon peel
  • Lemon wedges (optional)

Cook the pasta according to the directions on the package. Drain and set aside. If necessary, cover to keep warm. 

Meanwhile, in a blender of food processor, blend or process the cottage cheese, milk, rosemary, salt and pepper until smooth.  Set the cottage cheese mixture aside.  

Drain the ravioli and transfer it to a bowl.  Drizzle the lemon juice over the hot ravioli and gently toss.  Then pour the cottage cheese mixture on top and gently toss until coated.  

To serve transfer ravioli to plates.  In a custard cup, combine the Parmesan cheese, chives and lemon peel.  Sprinkle the mixture on top of each serving.  If desired, serve with lemon wedges.
Makes 4 servings.  

At only 321 calories per serving, this is a fantastic recipe! 
Pardon the terrible picture! It really is YUM!

Hope you have a lovely day! Keep Smiling! 

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