Monday, May 22, 2023

History at Brandywine


History at Brandywine Battlefield

We are fortunate to live a little over an hour away from the Brandywine Battlefield near Chadds Ford, PA.  Traveling the road to the Philadelphia airport we pass right by the entrance to the state park and historical site and say "someday, we are going to make a visit."  Well, a few weeks ago on a beautiful day we decided on the spur of the moment to take a drive and visit this historical site.   We joked that we are history buffs, but we knew very little about this battle and we were not even sure who won!  Spoiler alert - it was not the Patriots!
A few miles down the road from our home is this wonderful farm market...and besides great produce they have wonderful baked goods.  We love the apple cider donuts so we stopped for one to enjoy with our coffee along the trip.
The park opened at 10 AM with a tour (if a guide was available) at 10:30.  We arrived in the parking lot about 10:25 and a man walking past asked if we were here for the tour...we said yes, and he said he was the tour guide and would wait for us at the Ring Home - where George Washington made his headquarters.  We popped into the Visitors Center and paid for our visit, then headed to the Ring House.

We found a family with two young boys and another man with his dog waiting for us....and the guide started the tour.  He was a volunteer and was so well informed about the house and the Ring family.   He also explained that the battle did not take place so much on this site...a few miles away but this was where the colonists retreated and they tried to keep the British at bay....

The inside of the house was beautifully restored and our guide explained that the Ring's were quite well to do...
Our guide explained how Washington used this room as his headquarters and showed us the map that Washington's scouts had provided...which was bad information and made for the British advantage.

He had one of the young boys in our group try on the jacket...

and made sure his little brother got a try, too.
We then made our way over to the Gilpin House...this family was not quite as prosperous as the Ring family and it was interesting to compare the homes.

Our guide explained how the furniture in this house was the original...or closer to the original than the reproductions in the other house.  This is an Octarora clock made in Lancaster County.
On this property was this beautiful sycamore tree...over 400 years old.  It was amazing...and we were told that Andrew Wyeth - you can see his work at the Brandywine River Museum just a few miles away and a lot of the battle took place right near the river there - painted this tree many times.
I could not resist taking this photo of the tree through the old windows of the house....wondering how those people long ago must have felt as they looked out at this view during the battle!
Our guide was so wonderful...he spoke a very long time and we enjoyed every minute.  We asked for a recommendation for lunch and he directed us to the Chadds Ford Tavern.
A very old historic tavern that was the perfect spot for lunch that day.

We had fabulous crab cake sandwiches...and the fries were SO good!

After all that history I toasted all the brave colonists with a glass of wine!
After lunch we returned to the visitors center to watch the film that describes the battle and the famous people who were there...including Lafayette.  This was his first battle in America and he was wounded.  
This was a great day trip and it was wonderful learning about all the history of the battle. You can visit the website here to learn more - 
We are so glad we took the time to visit...and it has inspired us to find other historical sites within a short drive!
Do you have historical places near you that you have enjoyed?  I would love to hear about your adventures!  Please leave a comment below - I love hearing from you.
Wishing you a great week and a Happy Memorial Day Weekend!

Monday, May 15, 2023

Amazon and Trader Joe Buys


Finally got to Trader Joe's !

There are no Trader Joe's in our area...the nearest one is about an hour drive.  But, recently we took a drive on a beautiful May morning and did some shopping at TJ's, Costco, and enjoyed a great lunch.  Here is what I brought home...since we were over an hour away at this store and were stopping some other places on the way home I did not purchase any dairy or frozen items.  Next time I will be sure to make sure the cooler and some ice are in the trunk.

First up, this salad kit.   We usually get the Greek Salad from Costco and decided to try this one.  It was very good...we liked the addition of the roasted chickpeas.

Always on the lookout for a good pizza sauce, so can't wait to try this.

We usually buy these from the bulk section at Wegmans...but the last time we were there the bulk section was gone.  Enjoyed these last night with a good movie.

I needed green onions ( scallions ) for a recipe.

Taco seasoning was a good price so I picked up a few of those.

Always like to have a marinara sauce on hand...usually buy Aldi's organic version, but giving this a try.

This was not TJ's, but a stop at Costco.  Has anyone tried this?  We just recently found it and love it.  I was making air popped popcorn and topping it with melted Smart Balance spread....but I found myself making TOO much popcorn.  This is SO good and it is already popped and I can control the portion size.

Amazon Buys
I like to wear a tinted moisturizer and the one I like was only a 15 SPF...I had my check up at the dermatologist and saw they were recommending CeraVe products, so I ordered this.  I have only used it a few times, but I like it.  Goes on smooth, a little coverage, and does not smell like sunscreen.

We had one of those old "rabbit ear" wine openers and it was getting I am looking forward to using this.

This was listed as one of the favorites by Susan at 
Between Naps On The Porch.  I had several bottle of stainless steel cleaner and put off buying this because it was a bit expensive at $18.95...but WOW, it is SO WORTH IT!   I used it and it took water spots off of the dishwasher and refrigerator that have been there forever.  It does not streak, seems to keep fingerprints from happening, and is a great product.  
Thanks for the tip, Susan!

That's it for now...except to say it was a sad day when I had to dig out all of my Bed Bath and Beyond coupons and throw them out.  Yes, I know some stores are taking them for a few more weeks...but I had a huge packet tucked away in my desk, another bunch stored in the glove compartment of the car...just in case I was out shopping and needed more than were tucked in my purse!  Sad to see the stores well as the Christmas Tree Shop that is right next to the BBB near me.  Hoping for some other good stored to fill in those spaces!
So...what have you purchased or ordered recently?  Any good finds to share?  Please let me know in the comments below...comments make my day and I love hearing from you!
Have a great week !

Tuesday, May 9, 2023

Easy Taco Casserole


Easy Taco Casserole

This post is a bit late for Cinco de Mayo...but since we enjoyed the leftovers of this dish last night I thought I would share it.  We decided we won't wait for May to make this again.

I usually make a chicken dish in the crock pot for Cinco de can find that recipe here - 

Baked Chicken Santa Fe

This year we were not having any guests for dinner and it was a crazy, busy week.  I had a tube of crescent rolls in the refrigerator that needed to be used.  I searched and found this recipe!

5 Ingredient Taco Casserole

Start by taking one tube of crescent rolls and place them in a greased 13x9 pan.

I used a mini roller to spread the rolls out as evenly as I could.

The recipe called for ground beef...we don't eat much beef so I used ground turkey.  I think it would be fine to use any plant based ground product as well.  I browned the turkey and broke it up...

Then added one packet of taco seasoning...

2/3 a cup of water...

2/3 cup of salsa...

Simmer for a few minutes until thickened...

and spread evenly over the rolls.

Then comes the cheese!

I used a little more than the one cup called for in the recipe.

Bake at 350 degrees for about 20 minutes until the crust is golden brown.

Cut into squares and serve with your favorite toppings.  I used avocado, a little more salsa, some sour cream, and crunched up tortilla chips.
With a margarita it made the perfect Cinco de Mayo dinner.
I wrapped the leftovers in foil and put them in the freezer.  Yesterday we went for a drive and some shopping and we were tired when we arrived I took two squares of this dish out of the freezer, popped them in a baking dish, added a splash of water and re-heated it in the microwave.  Did the same toppings...and it was wonderful.  Also...full disclosure...had another margarita, too !
Did you do anything special for Cinco de Mayo ?  Have a great recipe to share ?  I love reading your comments - please let me know if you have a special dish or if you try this one.  Thanks for stopping by Our New Vista...have a wonderful day!

Trip !

  TRIP !!! And not the trip we were looking forward to...out for a walk and waiting for the crosswalk to say WALK.  A tractor trailer turned...