Taking a Blog Break This Week

Good things are happening guys, and this week is going to be a very busy week for me.  I can’t go into details just yet, but for this week, the blog has to take a back seat to my life.  I promise I’ll share my news next Monday!

Friday I was in Chicago and my sister and I decided to try out Revival Food Hall on Clark Street.   But we made one mistake – going there at noon on a Friday!

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Yep!  That was the line at noon – the guys at the front guestimated that it would be a 30 minute wait before getting in, so on to Plan B.  She was on her lunch hour, I had an appointment, so we went to a place I used to go to on the regular but hadn’t been to in probably 20 years – Silk Road off of LaSalle.   Kung Pao chicken with non-breaded chicken.  So many onions, but it was tasty. I barely ate half though – the portions are insane.

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We had leftovers for dinner Friday night, and it was early to bed for me since I get up at 3:45 on Saturday mornings.  My boss at the shop was not there because he and his wife were at the hospital having their baby.  I was in charge, and everything went so smoothly.  In an hour and 15 minutes we had four markets packed and ready to roll.  My boss usually does the Kenosha Market, but I took his place, and too his car since mine isn’t big enough for all the stuff that needs to go to that market.  Kenosha is just over an hour drive, and my market didn’t start until 9:00, but I got there by 7:45, even stopping to get gas and coffee.

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As I unloaded the car and started walking back to my tent to set up, I saw the skies and thought “I am about to get really wet!”

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I barely got my tent up when it started pouring.  I dragged as much of my stuff under the tent as I cook, but I was soaked to the bone.  Then a cool front came in and I was freezing.  I normally have an extra jacket, shirts, etc. in my car, but I didn’t have my car.  It finally cleared up around 10:30, and the sun came out a few times, only to have the market close 30 minutes early for the next bad wave of storms.

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My hands always looked like I had just gotten out of a long bath – all pruney!

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I was so happy to come home and take a hot shower and get warm.  By the time I made it back to the house at nearly 5:00 p.m., the sun was shining and it was a beautiful 75 degrees.  Which meant grill time.  I stopped at Jewel on my way home from work and noticed that they had New York strip steak on sale for $6.99 a pound.  My steak cost $5.24.

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Those mushrooms are from the Lincoln Square farmers market from River Valley Ranch.   The girl at the stand gave me a mixed bag at the end of the market – I believe those are cremini mushrooms.  She also gave me oyster mushrooms, but I was a bit afraid to try them – they are not the most attractive vegetable.  I used my Hardcore Carnivore rub, and grilled it a total of 8 minutes – 2x2x2x2 to get those grill marks.   I added some leftover fries the kadults had in the fridge.

Sunday’s market was a complete opposite to Saturday’s.  Gorgeous blue skies, low 70’s – low humidity.  We also got some new signage which helped with sales, and we sold out of pretty much everything by 1:00 – a full hour before the end of the market.  At one point I had 15 people in line and all the other vendors around me were wondering if we had crack in our veggie burgers – they didn’t mine waiting 15 minutes in line to get frozen burgers or a veggie burger wrap.

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My buddy Alberto had to pick up his wife, so after we got everything in the store, I told him to go ahead and I’d take care of inventory and set him up for his market that was this morning.  I was home later than usual, and as I was driving home, passed by Trader Joe’s and I suddenly got the taste for their orange chicken and fried rice.  One cup of the chicken is 9 smart points and one cup of the fried rice is 6 points.  I think I only had eaten 10 points before dinner because it was such a busy day, so it’s all good.

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And last night I binge watched another three episodes of Grey’s Anatomy – now on to season 3.  Such a good show.  I don’t know why I didn’t watch it when it was on t.v., must have been opposite something Tony may have like to watch.  Who knows.  I had all the windows open.  The temp was around 60 degrees last night.  I had a light throw blanket on, a glass of merlot, and hung out with the dogs.  It was so nice.  This is where they like to sit when the windows are open – so many smells and sounds.

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I am headed back downtown today and tomorrow.  I promise, it will be worth the wait when I tell you what’s going on in my life!  I hope you have a great week – I have a feeling this week is going to be the beginning of something great for me, and I am really happy!

Ma’am–Get Back in Your Car!

After having a big dinner on Thursday night, even though I normally try to eat a big breakfast on my market days, I just wasn’t hungry at all.  I haven’t made one of my one point fruit sauce to make a 6 point parfait.  On top was butterscotch granola that I bought from the farmers market – so good!

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1 cup Chobani (3) 1 cup of my fruit sauce (1) and 1/2 ounce of granola (2).   Guess who else loves Chobani?!  The dogs – especially Roman.

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I packed my lunch and was out the door to get to work.  I was three miles from my work when I got into a fender bender.  Totally my fault.  I was merging to exit, while another car was merging onto the expressway.  But the traffic stopped dead in front of me and I hit the guy in front of me.  The damage was minor.  I wasn’t frazzled at all, but by the time I got out of my car to see if the guy in front of me was okay, he already had 911 on the phone.  I realized he had Onstar and it called for him.  He said he felt dizzy and that he was about to faint.  He asked if I had any water, so I got in my lunch bag and gave him a bottle of my water.  When I told the dispatcher that he said he felt dizzy, they went ahead and called an ambulance. 

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Most of the damage was to my car because he had a Yukon Danali, and he only got a few scratches on the right side of his bumper.  Once he was cleared by paramedics, the state police took us off the expressway to a safer place to finish the report.  I got out of my car and went over to ask this man if he needed anymore water, and that’s when the officer in the car using her loud speaker said “Ma’am, get back in your car!”  When she brought me my paperwork I told her I was just asking if he wanted any water, and she said that she’s seen it too many times where people get into fights over accidents, so she wanted to be safe than sorry.

I texted my boss and told him I was running late.  It’s lucky that our market starts at 4, because even with my delay, we still got to the market 30 minutes early.  Whew.  But because I was late, I didn’t have time to check all of our stuff, just had to pack and go.  I kept running through my head the checklist, and it didn’t dawn on me until we got to the market that I forgot a bank.   Luckily I have my own square, and there was a Chase bank across the street, so I just got my own bank and all was good.  Surprisingly though, when I got to the shop, my boss handed me a card.  I was thinking “did he already buy me a card because I got in a car accident on the way to work?”  I opened it when I got to the market – it was a nice card, thanking me for all my hard work.  Nice!

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We got new signage too, which was very helpful.  Especially when I have a lot of customers, the ones waiting I direct to the board to review and ask any questions when it’s their turn.

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I brought a sriracha turkey sandwich on a low carb wrap.  I didn’t know Dietz & Watson even made that, but it was delicious – especially with the addition of our signature mild roasted red pepper coulis.

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I was wondering on my drive home what I was going to fix for dinner.  I realized that I still had leftover stuffed shells and thought of heating those up.  But my daughter, also in tune with the waste less food, cleaned out my fridge yesterday afternoon and found ground beef that needed to be used up, so she made taco dip for dinner.  And when I got home, I was presented with this:

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Thank you Hannah!  She had a rough day too – her school stuff was all messed up – basically they said she was missing one form which held up financial aid and told her that she was a “delinquent student.”  After spending nearly two hours at the school, it doesn’t look like that last piece of paper will be approved in time for her to start classes this semester, which will put her a semester behind.  She’s always told me that the staff at her school were very rude, unhelpful, etc.  So much so that she almost stood up and ripped the piece of paper that was lacking right in front of the financial aid person and walk out altogether.  I have no idea where she gets that from?! 

Thankfully Jacob was there to bring her off the edge.  I told her it isn’t a big deal, and then started to sing her one of my favorite Peter Gabriel songs – Don’t Give Up!  That made her laugh and all is well.

I am going to Chicago to have lunch with my sister today – Revival Food Hall opened this week, and we are dying to try it out.

Happy Friyay!  I hope you have a wonderful weekend, and remember what’s most important in life:  family, friends and health!  Everything else is just icing on the cake. Open-mouthed smile

Hanging with Hannah

All three of us had the day off yesterday.  I was up around 8, and I think the kadults got up around 10.  It was nice having a quiet morning.  My store where I buy my blue corn tortillas just came out with mini corn tortillas and I couldn’t wait to make mini breakfast tacos with them.  I asked the kadults if they were up for that for breakfast – both overwhelmingly approved, until I realized I had no eggs!  So while they ran to CVS on an egg run, I got busy cooking up sausage that needed to be used up before going bad.  Still trying my best not to waste food, although I did have to throw out two avocados that got pushed to the back that were way overripe.  I got 1/4 of one whole avocado that wasn’t bad.

This is what my plate looked like:  three baby tacos at 2 points each, with fruit on the side.  However after we looked at that picture, we both thought it could be better.  (3 corn tortillas – 3; 1 egg – 2 1/2 ounce cheese (1).

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So we carried that plate all around the house trying to see which lighting was better.   I had my camera, she had her camera, and we ultimately decided the side table next to the couch was the best spot.

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And of course, the dogs are always curious!

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This was the winning photo.  When my friend Whitney decorated my house, she bought that plaque – it’s true – food is my true love!  I had to reheat my tacos because they were stone cold by the time I got around to eating them around 11:00.

Since we were all off, I decided to check out the market I normally work at and go to the restaurant I’ve been wanting to try since I started at that market.  I even put makeup on and jewelry on!

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It was interesting being on the other side of the tent.  I had to say, unless someone called me over to their tent, I would just walk on by.  We did pick up some of that Mirai corn from Twin Garden Farms.   Plan on having that for dinner tomorrow.

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While I looked at the menu before we got there, once I opened their menu and saw that they had a full page dedicated to burgers, I decided to go with a burger.  Although we did do a meat charcuterie for an appetizer.

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This was delicious.  And there was pickled fennel on the platter which was really tasty. 

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The burger was perfection.  Super flavorful meat – they were able to do it closer to medium than medium rare, but still juicy.  I chose romaine and crispy poblano peppers as a topping with a side of broccolini and a small cup of their Guiness cheese sauce.  I was only able to eat half my burger it was so filling.

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I would have loved to sit out on their outdoor patio, but it was pretty hot out, but we all agreed we’d make the 25 minute drive to go back there.

Another work day for me in Lincoln Square today.  It rained pretty hard this morning, and there is a 40% chance of rain from 5-6 which is our dinner hour rush, so hopefully it will blow over.  It was a fun day off yesterday.

Right now I am making more of my one point fruit sauce to make a parfait.  I did buy butterscotch granola at the farmers market yesterday which is amazeballs.  I never thought to add butterscotch chips to my granola before!

Hope you all have a great day!

Grilled Pork

Best Wet Rub Ever

Yesterday I was up at 7:20. Got my coffee, wrote my blog, did some computer work, when all of a sudden I looked up and it was 9:00 a.m. and I had to leave for WW in 15 minutes.  I chose to wear a hat vs. jumping in the shower (klassy) and was able to make this quick egg white omelet to go before heading out the door.  More leftover baked potatoes to the rescue.  Three ounces of diced baked potato (3), two ounces of chopped deli ham (2) with spinach and 1/2 ounce of mozzarella cheese (2) and 3/4 cup of egg whites (1).  And I bought half a big cantaloupe off the dollar rack that was probably the best I’ve eaten all summer – tasted like candy.  The smell of cantaloupe always reminds me of my Grammy’s house when we stayed with her in the summer.  I can picture myself sitting at the end of the kitchen table, swinging my legs back and forth because they didn’t reach the floor, watching my grandma cook at the stove while the front door was open and a summer breeze blowing through.  It’s amazing that food can bring you back to a place and time that you can remember like it was yesterday, and it was probably 42 years ago.

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In case you are wondering, I gained 1.4 pounds the last two weeks, bringing my total summer weight gain to 3.2 pounds.  WTF.  But, I will have to say, that being on WW helped me not gain 30 pounds this summer, so I’ve got that going for me.  But one of the things I noticed is that I almost always eat more stuff than I need to when I am alone.  Case in point yesterday.  Hannah worked the morning shift and Jacob worked the afternoon/evening shift.  Hannah and I planned on running errands together which I was looking forward to.  She said she was going to take a quick nap since she was up so early, so I finished up some chores while she slept.  She had a work event to go to at 6, which would leave us plenty of time. 

Except she slept until 5:40.  And what did I do while I was waiting for her to wake up?  Eat.  I ate a slice of cheese.  Then it was a small bag of gummies.  Then it was a few tortilla chips.  I find that when I am alone, food is my friend for the moment and I have to stop that.   I seem to eat better on the days I work.  It’s a lot easier to graze throughout the day when I am home.

In my quest to waste less food, I decided to use up some tofu that Hannah brought from her work that wasn’t going to get used and was nearing it’s expiration date.  I did a quick marinade with a tablespoon of black bean paste.  I have this dried pasta that I love because each dried nest of pasta is exactly one ounce, so easy portion control.   I did stop by the store to pick up a few things, and knowing I was going to have stir fry for lunch, picked up bean sprouts and peapods for .82 cents.

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But guess what guys. I was completely out of sriracha?!  I know, I can hardly believe it myself.  I put this pic on Instagram and said “luckily I had Thai chili paste in my fridge and used that.”  My astute foodie friend Jacky told me that, um, it’s the same thing as sriracha – doh!  Good to know Jacky!

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My friend Alison was leaving for a mini vacation with her family and wondered if I could use any of her tomato bounty.  When I got to her house and saw that she literally had three Trader Joe paper bags full of tomatoes, I thought it a shame she couldn’t reap her own bounty.  So I told her I would can her tomato sauce!

PicMonkey Collage

I started with 2/3 of the tomatoes you see on the counter there, because that basically filled up my biggest pot.  When I make giant amounts of pasta sauce, I don’t really have a recipe.  Although long time readers will love that because my friend loves onions, I added onions to this sauce.  I call this my “basic” sauce, because it can be dressed up any which way.  Add ground beef to make a bolognese, use it for pizza sauce.  Stir in ricotta cheese for stuffed shells.  The possibilities are endless!  For that size pot, I added 2 tablespoons of grapeseed oil, one small chopped onion (rough chop because I use my stick blender at the end), about 2 ounces of diced deli pepperoni (my secret ingredient!) with one 6 oz. can of tomato sauce.  I let that cook for about 5 minutes, then just threw the grape tomatoes in, and quartered the big tomatoes, and let that simmer on low for about two hours.  I then added about 2 tablespoons Italian seasoning, 2 tablespoons of sugar (the tomatoes were on the tart side), 1 teaspoon salt, 1 teaspoon cracked pepper, and 1 tablespoon of butter and stirred that all together.  Then just blended with my stick blender.

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My FreshTech canner is so much fun to use.  I add my clean jars to the canner, then press “preheat.”  The canner sterilizes the jars in 12 minutes.  I then add my sauce to the jars, put the lids on, place them back into the canner and press “tomatoes” and press “1” from the programmed recipe panel.  Then I walk away, and 40 minutes later the canning is done.  The best part is that I can start the process all over again right away.  I just hit the stop/reset button, add my next batch of clean jars and repeat.   Since I got 12 pint jars of sauce from using 2/3 of the tomatoes, I decided I’ll make her salsa with the rest today.

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When I was picking up a few things at the store, I saw that they had a small pork shoulder on sale for $7.  It was 3.5 pounds.  I knew I was going to cook it on the Weber grill, but I was wondering what kind of rub I wanted to do.  The obvious choice was to use my beloved Hardcore Carnivore Black rub.   But knowing that Hannah wouldn’t eat it at all, and Jacob and I love spicy food, I decided to make a savory/sweet wet rub.

  • 1 teaspoon Hardcore Carnivore Black
  • 1 teaspoon The Spice House Milwaukee Iron rub
  • 1/8 cup brown sugar
  • 2 tablespoons of olive oil
  • that’s it

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Whenever I need advice on BBQ, I reach out to my Instagram friend Scott of Grillin Fools.  Not only does he showcase some of the best BBQ on his Instagram account, but he also has a website.   Anything and everything you need to know about BBQ can be found on that site.  I was trying to figure out what temperature to pull the pork out, and through reading some of his posts, decided that 180 was the right temperature.  I texted him last night if he thought that it would be a high enough temp before resting, but didn’t hear back from him right away, so I just went with my gut and pulled it at 180.

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Once off the grill, I wrapped it in foil and stuck it in my microwave to rest for 45 minutes before slicing.  You guys.  This is hands down the best pork I’ve ever cooked in my life.  The meat cut like butter, it was super juicy and tender, and the bark on the outside of the pork was pork candy.  The little bit of brown sugar caramelized on the grill, and with the perfect seasoning with the Hardcore rub with the extra spicy kick of the Milwaukee Iron seasoning, it was the perfect pork roast.

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I ended up making a pork sandwich.  That is a dinner roll with three ounces of the sliced meat, topped with sauerkraut that I sautéed with just a teaspoon of my pineapple garlic sriracha bbq sauce, then topped with 3/4 of a slice of reduced fat provolone.   Perfection in a sandwich – tender juicy pork, spicy bbq sauce with the saltiness of the sauerkraut and provolone.  Swoon.  I am definitely looking forward to using up the leftovers of this roast!

So today is more getting Bizzy in my Kitchen making salsa.  I already told Hannah we’d be keeping a jar for ourselves as payment for the work, which is minimal at best.  Then we are actually going to go to the farmers market I usually work today.  Since I switched with the owner on Monday, he’s doing my usual market this afternoon.  Other than the granola guy next to me and the cheese girl on the other side, I’ve never really walked around the market before!   And after parking my car, I always pass by this restaurant, and Hannah and I will stop in for some apps and a glass of wine after checking out the market.  Fun!

Oh, and I have to share this – one of my favorite food photographers is Daniel Krieger.  And when I think I have taken a better than average food photograph, I usually tag him on Instagram.  But he has about 150,000 followers on Instagram, so I realize the likelihood of him actually liking a picture I tag him in is slim to none.  But check it out!

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Holy balls – he liked not one but TWO  of my photos.  Just check out one of his photos:

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Is that food photography perfection, or what?! 

Alright, time to get this show on the road on my TO DO list.  I didn’t cross too many things off of it yesterday Open-mouthed smile

Make it a great day!

Stuffed Shells with Cherry Tomato Sauce

Stuffed Shells with Cherry Tomato Sauce

I woke up yesterday morning at 4 a.m. to get ready for work and I had the worst stomach ache.  Which is weird, because that hardly ever happens.  But I know I have to eat something because once I get to the shop I have to hit the ground running packing everything up.  I had a toasted English muffin with a schmear of peanut butter.  After a while my stomach settled down.  Weird!  It was a pretty sunrise when I got to the shop.

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I was doing a new market for me, so I was unsure of how it would go.  The previous record for this market was $1006, so that was my goal to beat that.  This one ran from 7 a.m. until 1:00 p.m.

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And for the first hour and a half.  Ghost town!  We were situated right by the Metra station, but hardly anyone walked by.  A Frenchman who sold hummus and olives next to me told me that he keeps telling the market director that this market shouldn’t open before 9, but they won’t listen.  So I walked up and down the street with my breakfast burrito demo and took “vendor” orders for $5 each instead of $8 to get the ball rolling.  I walked back with 7 orders.

I hardly ever sell our mini cheesecakes, so I was determined to sell at least half that I had, and I did.  I did a demo of our mini mixed berry gluten free cheesecake it it was a hit.

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I did the bulk of our sales between 10:00 and 12:00 and ended up with a new sales record – $1126!  I am a tad bit competitive, no?! Smile with tongue out

After work, I headed to Hannah’s work to get lunch.   My stomach was feeling fine and I was really hungry.  She made me their “El Dorado” sandwich.  Grilled turkey panini with chipotle sauce, bacon and cheese.  I ate half and am calling it 10 points because it was on sourdough bread.  So good. 

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We were talking about what to make for dinner, when I remembered that I had ricotta cheese and baby spinach at home.  I am still participating in the Food Waste Challenge, which is going really well.  It does make you think to use up what you have vs. going to the store a few times a week.  Well, I did have to stop at the store for large pasta shells.  That’s one type of pasta I rarely keep stocked in the pantry, even though it’s one of Hannah’s favorites.  As I was walking through the store, I stopped in my tracks. 

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Halloween candy!  Not only is it out, but it’s also on sale, which is weird to me.  I love fall, and Halloween, but when the temps are 50 degrees and there are leaves on the ground.  Not when it’s close to 90 degrees outside.

My friend Alison grew a garden this year and has a bounty of tomatoes.  Like three large Trader Joe’s paper bags filled with tomatoes!  She and her family are on vacation this week, so she asked if I could use them.  Why yes I can.  Actually I am going to be making giant batches of my base pasta sauce and then can it for them to use later on.  They should at least get a benefit from their hard work of tending to a garden!

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Aren’t these gorgeous?!  Normally I would have cheated and bought sauce to make it easy on myself after a long day at the market, but after I took an hour nap I caught my second wind.  This cherry tomato sauce is so easy, it really could be made on a weeknight.

Stuffed Shells with Cherry Tomato Sauce
Serves 4
A great way to use up a bounty of tomatoes!
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Prep Time
15 min
Cook Time
15 min
Total Time
30 min
Prep Time
15 min
Cook Time
15 min
Total Time
30 min
1210 calories
221 g
22 g
15 g
43 g
5 g
523 g
310 g
14 g
0 g
9 g
Nutrition Facts
Serving Size
523g
Servings
4
Amount Per Serving
Calories 1210
Calories from Fat 133
% Daily Value *
Total Fat 15g
23%
Saturated Fat 5g
23%
Trans Fat 0g
Polyunsaturated Fat 3g
Monounsaturated Fat 6g
Cholesterol 22mg
7%
Sodium 310mg
13%
Total Carbohydrates 221g
74%
Dietary Fiber 11g
44%
Sugars 14g
Protein 43g
Vitamin A
54%
Vitamin C
30%
Calcium
19%
Iron
26%
* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2,000 calorie diet. Your Daily Values may be higher or lower depending on your calorie needs.
Ingredients
  1. 2 cups cherry tomatoes
  2. 1 tablespoon olive oil
  3. 1 tablespoon garlic, minced
  4. 1/2 cup water
  5. 1 teaspoon crushed red pepper
  6. 1 tablespoon Italian seasoning
  7. pinch of salt and pepper
  8. 2 tablespoons heavy cream
  9. 20 cooked pasta shells
  10. 1 cup part skim ricotta cheese
  11. 2 cups baby spinach
  12. 1 teaspoon garlic
  13. 1/2 teaspoon crushed red pepper
  14. 20 slices turkey pepperoni
  15. salt and pepper to taste
  16. 2 ounces part skim mozzarella cheese
Instructions
  1. In a pan, heat olive oil and once the pan is hot, add the garlic and cook for about a minute.  Add in the cherry tomatoes and cook for a few minutes, stirring to coat the cherries in the oil and garlic.  Add the water, crushed red pepper, Italian seasoning and salt and pepper and turn the heat to medium low, put a lid on the pot, and cook for 15 minutes.  Meanwhile, in a food processor, add the ricotta cheese, baby spinach, crushed red pepper, salt and pepper and pulse until combined.  Using a teaspoon, fill each shell with a heaping teaspoon of filling, finishing off with a slice of turkey pepperoni.  Your sauce should be ready by now.  Rinse out the food processor, add the tomato sauce and pulse until it’s pureed.   Return to the pot, stir in the heavy cream and taste to see if it needs more salt.
  2. Pour half of the sauce mixture into a casserole dish.  Place the shells in the sauce.  Top with the mozzarella cheese, and bake at 400 degrees for 15 minutes.   Hannah isn’t a big fan of red sauce, so I served the extra tomato sauce at the table for Jacob and myself.
beta
calories
1210
fat
15g
protein
43g
carbs
221g
more
My Bizzy Kitchen http://www.mybizzykitchen.com/
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I made this with five shells as a serving, but after plating, I realized 4 would be plenty and it was.  Each plate with the 5 shells comes in at 11 smart points.  I had 15 points going into dinner, so it’s all good.

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When I was at the market trying to drum up breakfast business with the other vendors, I came across Standard Market, and they had the most amazing bread display.  I didn’t have my phone with me, but if I work this market again, I am definitely going to take one.  When Hannah was little I used to make her rainbow bread for her sandwiches.  I would make four different loaves of bread, all a different color, then use 1/4 of each colored dough to make my loaf and bake it.  I haven’t thought about rainbow bread in years.  So imagine my surprise when I saw rainbow bagels!  They sold me a 4-pack for $4 (vendor price!) and I surprised Hannah with them.

This morning she is working at the coffee shop.  I woke up at 7:30 this morning to a text of her breakfast – she made a bagel sammie with the rainbow bagel.

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The dogs ended up sleeping with me last night.  They do hog the bed, but I don’t mind.  In the morning, Roman is extra snuggly as he wakes up.  So cute!

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I have WW this morning.  I didn’t go last week, and not sure what the scale will say.  I always do a sneak peak weigh in at home on WI day, but I stepped on it right out of bed, and the battery is dead and I don’t have any replacements.  Oh well, it is what it is.

Since I worked yesterday I have today and tomorrow off this week.  I have lots of pasta sauce to make and canning to do – among the usually laundry list of things to do.  Make it a great day!

Freckles, Goats and Ducks!

I can’t believe how fast the weekend goes by, especially since I work the farmers markets both days.  Our weather was perfect, in the mid-80’s – a little less humidity, which helped a lot.  Doesn’t mean I didn’t sweat a lot, but during the market hours when I was selling, it wasn’t too bad.

The highlight of my weekend though was going to my friend Whitney’s sons 7th birthday party.  Long time readers will remember that Whitney is the interior decorator that decorated the front half of my house, or basically the part of my house that I want to live in the most.  It doesn’t matter that she’s an attorney by day, she has an eye for design! 

I went straight from the market to her house.  Hannah met me there and brought me a shirt to change into.  Luckily she had a petting zoo, so if anyone smelled my farmers market sweaty body, they could blame it on the animals!

I was starving by the time I got there, and she had delicious catered food – just balls and a beer made me very happy.  Um, meatballs!

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Can I tell you who was most excited about the petting zoo?  That would be Hannah.  Seriously, I might have to have a 1/2 birthday celebration in September because she loved hanging out with the animals!

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My friend’s nephew has THE BEST freckles I’ve ever seen.  And can I ask why boys always get the best eyelashes??!!

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He was actually laughing in the next picture I took – the kids took turns putting feed on their tummies and letting the animals eat – it was super cute, but I loved how this picture turned out.  And all these pics were taken on my iPhone. Open-mouthed smile

I don’t need to bore you with the details of the markets this weekend – it’s kind of like wash, rinse repeat.  I enjoyed each market, talking to the customers as usual and both markets went by really fast. 

I have to give a shout out to Hannah though.  Half way through the market I saw that she texted me, and it was nearly an hour before I was able to respond.  She said “don’t worry about dinner – I’ve got it!”

crock pot french dip

Don’t blink your eyes.  My daughter made French dip crock pot sammies!  They are delish.  The meat was so tender.  And even though she added whole sliced onions to the crock pot, she left them big enough so I could pick them out.  And on top is my work’s house made giardiniera.  And she picked up Turano Bread mini sub sandwiches, so this was the perfect dinner after a long day.  Thanks Hannah – love you to the moon and back!

So this is a super quick post, because I am actually working a farmers market today and am leaving in a few minutes – at the crack of 4:00 a.m.!  But then I have the next two days off, so it’s all good.  My “weekend” will be delayed by a day – no big!

What was the highlight of your weekend?!  Make it a great day!

Beef!

Deconstructed Steak and Potatoes

Another market day yesterday meant a bigger breakfast.  I tried to see if I could use Olivio spray on my breakfast grilled cheese.

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The answer to that questions is a big fat no.  While it browned my bread, it didn’t make it crisp like a buttered grilled cheese – next time I’ll spend the extra point for 1 teaspoon of butter.  The inside tasted good!  Two slices Pepperidge Farm 15 grain bread (7) two ounces steak (2) scrambled with egg whites, spinach and reduced fat cheddar cheese (2).  11 point breakfast, but this kept me full for a long time.

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As I was driving to the shop, I kept watching my temperature gauge go up and and up and by the time I pulled into the shop parking lot, saw this:

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This is how your face looks after packing up the car in that kind of heat:

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We got to the market an hour early, but usually the parking lot is already half full of vendors.  Yesterday one whole side was empty until 20 minutes before the market started.  I was able to get a better picture of the mural that’s painted on the wall.

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It was hot.  It was windy.  There were times when we had no traffic so I had Edmundo demo a couple wraps for samples to get the ball rolling.  That did the trick.  While I didn’t sell that many cases of burgers, we cooked up a bunch of salads and wraps.  Even in these weather conditions, I still managed to sell $950 – which isn’t too bad considering this is a small market.

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I put on Instagram that we could make dinner for you!  Salads or wraps only $8 each!   I was so happy to see blogger Laura comment “My favorite veggie burger of all time!!!  I keep them well stocked in my freezer!”  Thanks Laura for your support!

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I have a regular customer at the Lincoln Square market who has a son that LOVES our gluten free vegan seed and nut bars.  I just had to snap a picture (with permission!) of him holding it.  He’s about to be 2 next week and had the best chubby thighs.

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I brought a sriracha chicken and provoloe sandwich on my pita bread with the hopes of using one of our skillets to turn it into a grilled cheese.  But by the time I was hungry for it, our dinner rush hit and I never ate it at the market.  Driving home I took one bite and it was so dry.  I forgot I was also going to add some giardiniera or our mild sauce to the sammie, so I ended up eating the chicken and the cheese and my bag of grapes on the drive back to the shop.

By the time I got home, I was really hungry!  Don’t let this dish fool you – it literally was ready in 10 minutes.  You know why?  Because I am not wasting my food!  I used up leftover baked potatoes that I had in the fridge, as well as steak.  I literally pictured what the dish would look like in my head on my drive home and am happy that this turned out amazing.  Best part is that this whole plate is only 8 smart points!

Steak and Potatoes
Serves 1
A great way to use up leftover steak and baked potatoes.
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Prep Time
2 min
Cook Time
8 min
Total Time
10 min
Prep Time
2 min
Cook Time
8 min
Total Time
10 min
281 calories
17 g
79 g
11 g
27 g
6 g
243 g
97 g
2 g
0 g
5 g
Nutrition Facts
Serving Size
243g
Servings
1
Amount Per Serving
Calories 281
Calories from Fat 100
% Daily Value *
Total Fat 11g
17%
Saturated Fat 6g
28%
Trans Fat 0g
Polyunsaturated Fat 1g
Monounsaturated Fat 4g
Cholesterol 79mg
26%
Sodium 97mg
4%
Total Carbohydrates 17g
6%
Dietary Fiber 2g
7%
Sugars 2g
Protein 27g
Vitamin A
5%
Vitamin C
25%
Calcium
5%
Iron
14%
* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2,000 calorie diet. Your Daily Values may be higher or lower depending on your calorie needs.
Ingredients
  1. 3 ounces steak
  2. 1/2 teaspoon Hardcore carnivore black rub (or seasoning of choice)
  3. 3 ounces potato
  4. 1/2 cup zucchini, diced
  5. 1/8 cup mushrooms, chopped
  6. 1 teaspoon butter
  7. 1 teaspoon blue cheese
  8. pinch of dried parsley
Instructions
  1. Heat a skillet over medium heat.  Spray the skillet with Pam.  I sliced my leftover baked potato so that I used three rounds of potato which turned out to be 3 ounces.  I Pam fried them with salt and pepper for about 2 minutes a side then put them on my plate.  Add the butter to the pan, more Pam and sauté the zucchini and mushrooms for about 3 minutes.  Set aside.  Lastly, turn up the heat to medium high and cook the steak until desired doneness – I did 2 minutes a side, but almost cooked it too much – I am much more of a medium rare/rare beef eater, but I was busy catching up with Hannah while I talked.  So my beef was medium – still delicious though!
  2. To plate:  three rounds of potatoes on the bottom, cut the steak into three slices and place on top of potato rounds.  Top with the zucchini/mushroom mixture and sprinkle of blue cheese and dried parsley.
beta
calories
281
fat
11g
protein
27g
carbs
17g
more
My Bizzy Kitchen http://www.mybizzykitchen.com/
beef

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I hope to make this again when it’s not 10:00 p.m. at night so I don’t have the awful fluorescent kitchen lighting, but for only 8 points, this was a show stopper of a dinner even if it was just for me. Open-mouthed smile Because it’s all about me, right?!   The only thing I may do next time is melt a second teaspoon of butter with one teaspoon A-1 sauce for a one point pan sauce to drizzle over the top. 

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Today I am making my second peach pie.  Long time readers may remember that the summer of 2014, Tony declared that peach pie was his favorite pie.  How did I not know that the nearly 14 years we were married?  He wasn’t eating much, and any time he merely suggested something that might sound good to eat, I was all over it!  So in July of 2014 I made my first peach pie.  But we never had a chance to eat it and I gave it to our neighbor.  We had to head back to Mayo Clinic, and when we got back, Tony’s appetite was gone again and even the smell of me cooking made him want to throw up. 

But my friend is having a carnival themed birthday party for her son tomorrow, where there will be a blue ribbon pie contest.  I knew it was time to not only make my second peach pie, but hopefully taste it this time too.

peach pie

Doesn’t that look delicious?!  (and insulin worthy!)

My to do list is much smaller today, which is nice.  I am actually working the next three days in a row.  Normally I have Monday off, but my boss needs someone to do a market on Monday because that market is having a videographer coming out to film that market, where vendors may get interviewed, and he wants me to be “the face” of The Eating Well.   Which means three days in a row I’ll have to get up at the crack of dawn, but such is the life of farmers markets!

It’s actually a perfect day to bake – it’s going to be a rainy day.  And I think Jacob and Hannah work this afternoon, so I may have the house to myself for a few hours, which is funny that even with only three people living here, doesn’t happen much!  Hope you have an amazing weekend – oh, and happy birthday shout outs to my twin sisters and my besties D&D!   Hope you have a great day ladies!