Slow Cooker Chicken and Mushroom Pasta

My sister’s family visited for a few days last week and although the physical distance between us makes me a bit sad, it makes the times we do share feel that much sweeter and special.  When we only have three days together, we make the most of it.  I welcomed her family that first evening with cozy bowls of this chicken mushroom pasta along with a heaping platter of this salad.  I relish being around the table together, sharing a meal, nourishing our bodies and our hearts.

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Cornmeal Quinoa Waffles with Honeyed Cinnamon Ricotta

After writing last week’s post and reminiscing about my past dreams of living in Maine, I realized how far I had come in my struggle to have a content heart.  For the longest time, my eyes failed to see the beauty around me because I was so focused on all that I didn’t have but so badly wanted.  Looking back now, it all seems crazy.  Today I find it difficult to comprehend just how much I have.  I am more able to appreciate the little things around me.  The leaves are changing into a splendor of colors, and the air feels clean and crisp.  This past weekend we enjoyed doughnuts at the cider mill and apple picking afterwards.  Small joys build a grateful heart.

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Weeknight Clam Chowder

For years when I was growing up, my dream had been to someday live in Maine.  There is something absolutely magical about Maine, and whenever I have traveled there my heart feels alive and happy.  I love the rugged beauty of the New England coast, the quiet rolling mountains, the distinct charm of the quaint villages and towns.  There’s wild blueberry picking, and lobster rolls and clam chowder abounding at every restaurant and roadside stand.  We had a family trip planned for this past summer and it was going to be our first time sharing this place with our children.  Plans were suddenly changed when we found out about my grandmother, and our trip to Maine turned into a trip to Hong Kong (which was also special, but just different).  As a consolation, we cuddled up and read Robert McCloskey’s One Morning in Maine while dreaming of being on the shore, and I made a big pot of chowder.

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