Stuffed Mushrooms

Does anyone else walk down every aisle at the grocery store to get more steps in?  No?  It’s good and bad.  Good that you are getting more steps in, but bad because you tend to throw stuff in the cart that wasn’t on your list.  This Scramble though, was a good decision.  It was in the egg aisle (duh) – they had several different varieties to chose from – I chose the rancheros one because it didn’t have any onions in it – black beans, yellow and red peppers, jalapenos.  

I won a gift card to Corner Bakery, so I picked up some egg whites and a cup of fruit, and topped it with the rancheros – two tablespoons below is only 30 calories and 1 smart point.  I thought it would be spicier with the jalapenos, but you all know I have hot sauce at my desk. 😀

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It was a gorgeous day yesterday – we have really lucked out with our weather while my friends on the West Coast are melting.  I had to private message my friend Rhonda my temps when I think it was 62 here and it was 119 where she lived.  Fuck dry heat – 119 is hot no matter what!

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My sister and I decided to do the River Walk at lunch.  

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We walked by this bike rental station, and one day this summer, we are going to rent one of those bikes – its only $30 for an hour – I think we would laugh so hard riding this bike!   

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I had more lasagna soup for lunch.  I really never get sick of this soup 😀

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I had defrosted ground beef to make a burger salad, but when I was doing a quick rearrange of the refrigerator, in the back saw that I bought these mushroom caps last Saturday and they needed to be used up.  I still had some Italian sausage leftover, so I decided on the spur of  the moment to make stuffed mushrooms for dinner.  I just used my teaspoon measure to scrape out the fills to make room for the filling.

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scrape the sides

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Now I know this doesn’t look that appetizing, but it was delicious!

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Stuffed Mushrooms
Serves 3
Who says you can't have stuffed mushrooms for dinner?! These are spicy, meaty and delicious - feel free to pair with a side salad or fresh fruit for dinner.
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Prep Time
5 min
Cook Time
15 min
Total Time
20 min
Prep Time
5 min
Cook Time
15 min
Total Time
20 min
274 calories
8 g
54 g
21 g
14 g
8 g
189 g
497 g
5 g
0 g
12 g
Nutrition Facts
Serving Size
189g
Servings
3
Amount Per Serving
Calories 274
Calories from Fat 191
% Daily Value *
Total Fat 21g
33%
Saturated Fat 8g
42%
Trans Fat 0g
Polyunsaturated Fat 3g
Monounsaturated Fat 9g
Cholesterol 54mg
18%
Sodium 497mg
21%
Total Carbohydrates 8g
3%
Dietary Fiber 1g
5%
Sugars 5g
Protein 14g
Vitamin A
12%
Vitamin C
10%
Calcium
14%
Iron
8%
* 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. 6 mushroom caps
  2. 6 ounces cooked Italian sausage
  3. 1/2 cup part skim ricotta cheese
  4. 1/2 cup tomato sauce
  5. 1 tablespoon minced garlic
  6. 1 teaspoon Italian seasoning
  7. 1 teaspoon crushed red pepper (reduce or eliminate for less spicy)
  8. 1 ounce cheddar cheese, finely grated
Instructions
  1. Heat oven to 400. Prepare mushrooms by scraping out the gills of the mushrooms, careful not to cut through the bottom of the mushroom. Set aside.
  2. In a skillet, brown the Italian sausage (taken out of the casing) and garlic together until cooked through. Add in the ricotta cheese, tomato sauce, Italian seasoning, crushed red pepper and cook an additional minute.
  3. Divide that mixture among the six mushroom caps. Top with the shredded cheese and bake for 15 minutes.
Notes
  1. These could easily be prepared over the weekend to pop in the oven for a quick week night dinner. They would last a few days before they would need to be baked. You could also freeze them, and defrost in the fridge during the day while you are at work.
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calories
274
fat
21g
protein
14g
carbs
8g
more
My Bizzy Kitchen http://www.mybizzykitchen.com/
****************

SUMMER BUCKET LIST:

As yesterday was the first day of summer, I realized I didn’t have a “bucket list” of things I wanted to do.  I know the summer will be over in the blink of an eye – I am waiting to walk into Walmart any day now and see the school supplies lined up.

One of the things I wanted to do was go to Green City Market, and I am going on Saturday.  They are going to have a Chef’s demo at 10:30 and so many vendors – check it out!  Any Chicago peeps want to meet me there?  Either way, I am going to go.  I’ll be sure to get a lot of great produce and get in lots of steps. 

I need to start doing some research about what else I want to do this summer.  Kayaking on the Chicago River was one of them, but we watched a guy kayaking by himself yesterday on our walk, and there is just too much boat traffic for my  liking.  I may see if they have kayaking near where I live that isn’t so crowded.

What’s on your bucket list this summer?  Do you make a list or just wing it?!

On my way to Weight Watchers for WI – I was a bit snacky and had wine this past weekend, but I also killed it in the step department, averaging 16,000 steps a day.  We will see!  

Make it a great day!

Skinny Lasagna Soup

I am pretty bad about putting stuff in the freezer and then never remembering what’s in there, or stuff gets buried to the bottom – the only thing I don’t like about my freezer being on the bottom, is that even with the drawers, inevitably stuff gets shoved to the bottom.  I used to have a list of things on the refrigerator of what was in the fridge and freezer, and cross it off as I used it, but with a stainless steel fridge, I don’t have the magnetic capability to do that, and just taping a list to my fridge seems tacky.  Plus I like the clean look of stainless steel.

Usually the top drawer is for ice and the kadults ice cream, but I realized I stashed away some of my strawberry shortcake waffles, so this breakfast sammie was quick to put together.  Waffle (4), scrambled egg white with lite mozzarella cheese (2) drizzle of sf pancake syrup (1) and strawberries and bananas.  I used the everything but the bagel seasoning on the eggs and love this sweet/savory combo.

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My sister and her friend were available to walk – it looked like it was going to storm at one point, but we made it.  The temps were in the low 70’s – love!

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I had forgotten that there was a private event in our main lunch room yesterday, and the lunch I brought was being held hostage.  I couldn’t enter the room until the event was over at 2 p.m. – I saw the email that said we couldn’t use the room, just missed the part about not storing our lunch in there.  Luckily I accessorized my lunch with chicken tortilla soup from Corner Bakery – this was so delicious.  Note to self, make chicken tortilla soup!

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Well, so much for heating up the lunch I brought.  I got super busy and made this picky plate with stuff I had in my lunch bag and fridge and ate this at 4:00 p.m. – 3 points for the cheese, 1 for the ham and the rest was zero.

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Joe, I forgot to send you this picture below – it was as close as I could get because they had security all around the Civic Opera House for the Transformers new movie – it was the Chicago premiere last night.  

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Even though I drove to the train, it was only 68 degrees and sunny and I couldn’t not walk home.  I texted Hannah and Jacob “will one of you drive me back to my car later tonight?”

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Hannah texted me back, “no problem – I’ll drive you.”  Followed up with “we have a surprise for you!”

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Hannah and Jacob have become a landscaping duo – they bought chain saws and a couple hours later had the giant tree in my backyard cut to the edge of the woods and trimmed all the debris on the trees in the yard and driveway.  I tried using that giant saw, it was heavy!  I told them I’d be happy to help, but on the cleaning crew.  I quickly changed clothes, got my lasagna soup started and spent about 45 minutes clearing all the trimmings to the side yard so that the lawn service could mow the grass today.

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Even though the bottom trunk of the tree was pretty dry, the top parts were still green, and try as they might, they could not burn this pile.  It may take a couple weeks for it to dry out before we try again. 

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Is this not the cutest picture ever?!  Hannah bought a hammock – much like the one Shelley got her husband – I have to ask you though Shelley, does Paco go in the hammock by himself?  They sat in there while the kadults worked in the yard – and if Hannah is lying in it, the dogs pile on top of her too.  

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Long time readers will know that I’ve had a love affair with lasagna soup for several years now.  I love how versatile it is – you can switch up the protein, add in veggies, switch the type of pasta.  It suddenly dawned on me last night that I should try to make it a bit healthier by reducing the amount of Italian sausage – I bulked it up with zucchini and mushrooms and the result is that the base of this soup for 1.25 cups is only 3 smart points.  I left the points of the pasta out, because it depends on how much and what type you use – I never store the noodles in the soup if there will be leftovers because they will got soggy and gross.  I just reheat the noodles in the soup when I eat it later, and the noodles stay al dente.

I realized I forgot to download a picture of the soup, but I’ll fix that when I get to work.  I am sitting on the train right now about 20 minutes from downtown Chicago.  I love being able to blog on the train ride to work, the only downside is that I’ll sometimes get bumped off my server, so I have to save my blog post every few minutes just in case.  Not a big deal considering I have an hour train ride!

Another gorgeous day in Chicago – I finished my day with just over 21,000 steps.  I’ll likely walk home from work again tonight – it’s a great way to wind down the day.  

Make it a great day!

Skinny Lasagna Soup
Serves 6
I reduced the Italian sausage to just 8 ounces for the whole recipe, and bulked it up with mushrooms and zucchini - so good!
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Prep Time
5 min
Cook Time
20 min
Total Time
25 min
Prep Time
5 min
Cook Time
20 min
Total Time
25 min
215 calories
16 g
29 g
12 g
12 g
4 g
467 g
863 g
10 g
0 g
7 g
Nutrition Facts
Serving Size
467g
Servings
6
Amount Per Serving
Calories 215
Calories from Fat 111
% Daily Value *
Total Fat 12g
19%
Saturated Fat 4g
22%
Trans Fat 0g
Polyunsaturated Fat 2g
Monounsaturated Fat 5g
Cholesterol 29mg
10%
Sodium 863mg
36%
Total Carbohydrates 16g
5%
Dietary Fiber 3g
14%
Sugars 10g
Protein 12g
Vitamin A
22%
Vitamin C
35%
Calcium
6%
Iron
19%
* 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 cups no sugar added tomato sauce
  2. 6 cups chicken broth
  3. 8 ounces Italian sausage, removed from the casing and crumbled
  4. 6 ounces tomato paste
  5. 2 tablespoons Italian seasoning
  6. 1 teaspoon crushed red pepper
  7. 1 tablespoon minced garlic
  8. 1 cup chopped mushrooms
  9. 1 cup chopped zucchini
Instructions
  1. In a stock pot, cook the Italian sausage for a few minutes, until it starts releasing some of the fat. Add in the mushrooms and zucchini, and cook and additional 5 minutes. Add in the garlic and cook for one minute. Stir in the tomato paste and cook for 1 minute. Add in the chicken broth, tomato sauce, Italian seasoning, crushed red pepper and reduce the heat to simmer, and cook for 10 minutes. Add in pasta of your choice, and add fresh Parmesan cheese.
Notes
  1. * I used my zero point marinara for the tomato sauce - feel free to use jarred sauce in place of the tomato sauce, just check the nutrition lable on prepared pasta sauces - lots of them have sugar as the second ingredient. I think Rio's brand is a low point option.
Adapted from The Farmsgirl Dabbles
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calories
215
fat
12g
protein
12g
carbs
16g
more
Adapted from The Farmsgirl Dabbles
My Bizzy Kitchen http://www.mybizzykitchen.com/

Greek Chickpea Salad

I know a lot of people would be upset at temps in the low 60s in the middle of June, but that is my favorite temperature.  Just cool enough to need a light jacket, but you aren’t sweating balls walking to work.  I really wished I could have worked outside yesterday!  Oh, but wait, when I did that, I worked farmers markets and had to be up at the crack of 4:00 a.m. – never mind!

I guess I was feeling patriotic because I didn’t realize my parfait was red, white and blue until I put it together.  With 1/4 cup of granola on top, this parfait comes in at 5 points.

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My sister couldn’t walk yesterday, so I stopped by her office for a bit on my walk.  Gorgeous puffy clouds.  Love.

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Last Friday my sister had a work event, so it was a solo Fun Food Day Friday for me.  I found a Mediterrean Grill called – Olive Mediterranean Grill (OMG) –  OMG is right – this plate was bursting with flavor.  The chicken was spicy and tender, the rice seasoned so well.  The hummus was so creamy, and that chickpea salad?  I would eat a whole plate of just that side dish alone.

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That chick pea salad . . . couldn’t get my mind off of it!  So over the weekend I tried to recreate the spicy chicken and the chickpea salad.

Here’s the marinade for one pound of chicken breasts:

  • 1.5 tablespoons dried oregano
  • 1 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1 teaspoon onion powder
  • 1 teaspoon basil
  • 1 teaspoon thyme
  • 1 teaspoon parsley
  • 1 teaspoon paprika
  • 1 teaspoon lemon pepper seasoning
  • 1/2 teaspoon cayenne pepper
  • 2 tablespoons lemon juice
  • 1 tablespoon extra virgin

Mix together and marinate chicken breasts for two hours, or overnight.

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Greek Chickpea Salad
Serves 6
A great side dish with spicy grilled chicken in a pita, or use it as a dip for sliced cucumbers or tortilla chips at your next BBQ.
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Prep Time
5 min
Total Time
5 min
Prep Time
5 min
Total Time
5 min
115 calories
13 g
7 g
5 g
4 g
1 g
114 g
235 g
2 g
0 g
3 g
Nutrition Facts
Serving Size
114g
Servings
6
Amount Per Serving
Calories 115
Calories from Fat 48
% Daily Value *
Total Fat 5g
8%
Saturated Fat 1g
7%
Trans Fat 0g
Polyunsaturated Fat 2g
Monounsaturated Fat 1g
Cholesterol 7mg
2%
Sodium 235mg
10%
Total Carbohydrates 13g
4%
Dietary Fiber 1g
3%
Sugars 2g
Protein 4g
Vitamin A
18%
Vitamin C
55%
Calcium
6%
Iron
5%
* 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 diced English cucumber
  2. 1 cup diced peppers (I used a yellow pepper)
  3. 1 cup canned chickpeas (from a 15 ounce can, drained)
  4. 1/4 cup crumbled feta cheese
  5. 1/4 cup chopped fresh cilantro
  6. 1 teaspoon dried dill
  7. 2 tablespoons Wishbone EVOO Caesar dressing
Instructions
  1. Mix everything together. I left out the icky red onions that are in most recipes, but feel free to add this if you like. I just mixed this together and left it on my counter for 30 minutes before serving it. Next time I'll add diced tomatoes or roasted red peppers.
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calories
115
fat
5g
protein
4g
carbs
13g
more
My Bizzy Kitchen http://www.mybizzykitchen.com/
I love this dish.  So light and fresh!  And I just realized I didn’t add radish to the recipe, but there is diced radish in there too – you could basically add any veggie you want – I imagine this would be delicious with grilled zucchini!  After putting the recipe into the Weight Watchers recipe builder, this is 3 points per 1/2 cup.

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My pita lunch:  homemade naan (2), 4 ounces chicken (3), chickpea salad (3) and fruit for dessert.

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I used to think that I didn’t like fruit salsas.  I texted this picture to my family last night, and my twin sister gave it the stink eye and said “No thanks!”  Jenn, you really need to try this, it’s amazing!  The recipe was from the Weight Watchers website, but I tweaked it a bit.  I left out the sugar completely because the fruit was sweet enough on its own, and I reduced the oil to just 1 teaspoon for the whole recipe, so it’s basically zero points.

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If that doesn’t scream smmer, not sure what does.  I think I am going to make this into a dish for my family reunion next month.  It’s typically finger food, but I may grill up some chicken and then slice them into medallions and top it with this salsa.  

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Since I did all my grilling on Sunday night, I just reheated my chicken in my cast iron skillet for a few minutes to warm it up while I made the salsa and butternut squash fries.  I have leftovers for lunch which makes me very happy!

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After dinner I put on a jacket (it was 59!) and got in a quick 25 minute walk before it got too dark.  Not a bad view at the end of the day.

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Hoping my sister can get away from work and we can get our walk in.  If not, no big deal.  I tried to wake up to walk to the train this morning, but I hit the snooze way too many times, even though I was in bed at 10:45.  I may walk home though and have Hannah bring me back to my car later on if it’s not raining.

Question of the Day:  are you a fan of fruit salsa?  

Skinny French Toast Sticks

Friday night was of course, Party Pizza Friday.  I normally pick up a frozen deep dish to cook at home, but the problem with that?  Leftovers.  And Lou Malnati’s is not that point friendly.  I looked up their menu on the train ride home Friday night, and realized they had a tiny personal deep dish pizza that serves 1!  It looks big in this picture, but it’s probably 4-5 inches across?  Perfect!  I looked up the nutrition and it was 14 smart points – totally doable!

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I didn’t realize until AFTER I ate it that while the menu said a personal pizza serves 1, the nutritional value said that it as two servings.  🙁  So my baby deep dish pizza was 28 points.  I still love you Lou, but really?!

While you all know that I only buy my clothes at thrift stores and garage sales, a few items I do buy new – underwear, bras and bathing suits.  Hannah and I went to get a mani/pedi but there was a 30 minute wait, so we walked down to Ross.  Not sure why I never thought to go there for bathing suits before, they had hundreds! 

I picked this one up for our vacation next month.  I love the shorts, and the stripes help distract my muffin top.  Thoughts?!

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Out of all the colors to choose from, Hannah chose black.  I love the colors I picked – its written down but I don’t have it with me, but its OPI.  We both got the hot rock pedicure ($35) and the no chip manicure ($35) and as we were getting the rock massage, we both said “why don’t we do this more often?” Um, because of the price tag!  $90 with tip, but it was worth it for me, because I had two  in grown toe nails that were killing me – Tony used to take care of that for me – my Mom and I are both prone to them.  So that in itself was worth the $$.

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The kadults and I watched a movie together Saturday night.  We had big storms roll through, it rained pretty hard.

I woke up yesterday morning and the weather was amazing – 65 degrees, no humidity.  Love.  I had a taste for French toast and thought maybe I could use the vanilla Premier Protein for the batter.

Skinny French Toast Sticks
Serves 1
Using Premier Protein in your batter bumps up the protein in these French toast sticks - perfect for dipping!
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Prep Time
5 min
Cook Time
5 min
Total Time
10 min
Prep Time
5 min
Cook Time
5 min
Total Time
10 min
610 calories
59 g
186 g
7 g
14 g
2 g
242 g
493 g
22 g
0 g
4 g
Nutrition Facts
Serving Size
242g
Servings
1
Amount Per Serving
Calories 610
Calories from Fat 67
% Daily Value *
Total Fat 7g
12%
Saturated Fat 2g
11%
Trans Fat 0g
Polyunsaturated Fat 2g
Monounsaturated Fat 2g
Cholesterol 186mg
62%
Sodium 493mg
21%
Total Carbohydrates 59g
20%
Dietary Fiber 2g
9%
Sugars 22g
Protein 14g
Vitamin A
5%
Vitamin C
0%
Calcium
26%
Iron
22%
* 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 slices Healthy Life bread, but into three pieces
  2. 1/2 cup vanilla Premier Protein
  3. 1 large egg
  4. 1 teaspoon cinnamon sugar (I use McCormick)
  5. coconut oil spray
Instructions
  1. Heat a skillet over medium heat. Mix the vanilla Premier Protein, the large egg and the cinnamon sugar in a bowl. Dip the bread into the batter, letting it soak up the protein shake. Spray your skillet with coconut oil spray, and cook the French toasts sticks for 2-3 minutes per side, or until desired doneness. Serve with sugar free pancake syrup.
Notes
  1. Health Life bread (3) egg (2) protein shake (1) pancake syrup (1) = 7 smart points total
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calories
610
fat
7g
protein
14g
carbs
59g
more
My Bizzy Kitchen http://www.mybizzykitchen.com/

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I really liked these.  Even with the light bread (I would have loved to use French bread – but that would kill on the points!) these were perfect dippers.  I use Smuckers sugar free pancake syrup – it’s by far the best sugar free pancake syrup on the market, and it’s usually the cheapest too!

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Tony’s car needed new tires.  Hannah and Jacob switch off using that car with their own depending on their schedules, which is why I held onto it.  It will finally be paid off in October, but the tires were really worn down, so I went to Sam’s Club and got new tires.  I was told it would be 30 minutes, so I walked behind Sam’s Club in the neighborhood – glorious day – 72 degrees and my favorite puffy clouds.

I started heading back thinking my car would be done, but they sold me the wrong tires initally, and the process to exchange the wrong tires with the new tires turned into a 30 minute process – no one knew how to account for the $80 rebate I got on the first set, the second set of tires had no rebate.  I could see the cashier getting really flustered and I told him “no one is dying on the table, it’s all good.”  He thanked me for my patience – he said he’s gotten yelled at from customers before.  That did remind me of Tony, because he had little patience when it came to stuff like that.

In the end, not only was the second set of tires $140 less, they also gave me the $80 rebate and a $30 store gift card for my patience.  Score!

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I went grocery shopping after that.  Chicken legs and thighs were .99 cents a pound, and chicken breasts were $1.29 a pound.  I grilled ahead for the week and for dinner last night.   

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I made a chick pea salad that reminded me of a salad I had for lunch last Friday.  I am going to post that recipe tomorrow, because it’s delicious.  I tried a new naan bread recipe yesterday.  I had a recipe on here, but there are some recipe plugins I used in the past, but then for some reason, the recipe just goes away when the plugin goes away.  These were tasty, but didn’t get fluffy like they normally do.

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The storm on Saturday night took down yet another tree in my backyard.  Luckily it didn’t hit anything since it was in the back of the woods.   There is so much dead wood in the back of my property, but I imagine it would cost thousands to get it cleaned out.  Although every time we go to the back of the property, Hannah remarks at how big it is, and I can see her planning to build a cottage for her and Jacob back there. 

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I am sad to say I had both wine and extra snacks this weekend.  I was really missing Tony yesterday – it would have been the perfect day to sit outside and listen to Frank Sinatra and watch him smoke his cigar and me taking a million pictures of him like I did.  I am so happy I have so many pictures of him.  It was the third Father’s Day without him and 19 years since my Dad died.  

But, today is a new day.  The snacks and wine are gone, I’ve got healthy meals planned, including this recipe – I am using some of the grilled chicken from last night to make this Grilled Chicken with Strawberry Chili Salsa – the salsa is made with strawberries, pineapple, and jalapenos and sounds so refreshing!

Happy Monday – how was your weekend??  Make it a great day!

Weekly WI and Butternut Squash Fries

I don’t know what made me think to walk to the train station from my house.  To tell you the truth, I didn’t really know exactly how far it was from my house to the train station.  I am kind of glad that I didn’t look it up because it was 2.6 miles one way, and I may have had second thoughts had I known that!  It was cool (okay 70) and a overcast.  Not knowing how long it was going to take me I made sure to leave in time so that if I missed the earlier train, I’d still make the next train (which is my normal 7:13 train) and not have to wait another 35 minutes for the next one if I missed that one.

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I love this backpack Hannah got me for my birthday.   The straps are so comfy – I was able to fit my laptop, and all my clothes to change into work in there.

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Not too bad!  It took me 41 minutes to walk there and I had 7 minutes to spare before the train came. 

While I knew I had my 61 point day last Friday, I tracked everything all week and closed my week only 9 points in the negative – without using any activity points.  So I was a bit shocked at the 2.6 gain on the scale.  However, I drank a ton of water on my walk to the train and while on the train.  Either way, not going to let that number derail me – because I feel . . . smaller, if you know what I mean.  I did have wine last weekend, and even though it accounted in my daily points, I am ditching alcohol this week.  We’ll see if that makes a difference on the scale next week.  It’s all good!

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I made a breakfast burrito – lavash wrap, eggs and egg white scramble, 1 piece of bacon, diced jalapeno and tomato with cherries on the side.

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I had a great meeting at Weight Watchers.  Cheryl our leader is so funny and engaging.  I had a talk with her after the meeting about the Focus Group and how I didn’t like it, and she said that she’s yet to attend, but was also thinking it wasn’t for her because she wasn’t into meditating, and it was my thoughts exactly.  I am sure it’s helpful for others so I am not discounting it, but life is too short not to do what you want to do.

I hit up the farmers market at Daley Center on my way back to the office.  I picked up Rock n Roll Thai red curry chicken and decided to take a picture from my bosses office since he was out of the office.  Not a bad view at all!

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While I was walking to the train station I was stopped at a light and just happened to look up and saw this giant cloud above the building – I am so lucky to be able to work in the great city of Chicago!

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Hannah had told me that she would pick me up from the train last night, but it was so nice out, I texted her and told her I’d walk home.

From one extreme to another!  Tall buildings in Chicago to farmland at home.

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Do you guys remember the book Country Mouse and City Mouse?  It used to be one of Hannah’s favorites.  I love being a country mouse at home and a city mouse during the day. 😀

So not surprising, after all that walking I was hangry when I got home at 7:15.  Thankfully thanks to Jennie-O, I have frozen turkey burgers at the ready – they cook in about 10 minutes.  Just enough time to heat up my deep fryer for these butternut squash fries.

For some reason I thought butternut squash would be high in points like sweet potatoes, so I was thrilled when I put them in my WW app and saw they were zero points.  Yes, I deep fried these, but I will always advocate that a good deep fryer holds the temperature so that hardly any oil gets absorbed into the food.  However, I did add 1 smart point for the oil.  And, let’s just say sprinkling with everything but the bagel seasoning when they came out of the fryer?  Best idea evah!

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AMAZING!   I will probably have butternut squash once a week from now on.  So good.  That cheese?  That’s the lite mozzarella from Trader Joe’s that is only 1 smart point for a whole ounce – it is so melty good.  The bun is Healthy Life brand is only 2 points.

Check out my steps!   I had planned on walking to the train this morning because it was only going to be in the upper 60s, but it was raining.  And truth be told, I am a bit sore from all that walking – my neighborhood is pretty hilly and you don’t notice it as much when you are driving.  So I am making today a rest day, or “light” walk day, because I know I’ll be exercising over the weekend.

If you haven’t already (and if you did – thank you!) can you send me some comment love over at The Chopping Block?!  You’ll finally get the recipe for my Everything Bagel Quiche I’ve been taunting you with on Instagram.  

I discovered this week that I have one of the top 10 blog posts of all time – coming in at number 4 with my Copycat Starbuck’s Muesli bread – and the only blogger to be in the top 10 for 2017 posts.  So thank you for your support over there, it means a lot to me!

Hope you have a wonderful weekend.  I have a low key weekend planned, which is alright by me.  I am still decluttering my closet and getting rid of the size 14 and 16 clothes that I’ve been holding on to.  I may need Hannah’s closet organizational skills to help me 😀

Make it a great day!!

On Top Of Old Smokey!

The days I think I am going to be busy at work, don’t turn out that way.  The days I think are not going to be too busy, are the days that are, and yesterday was one of them.  I hit the ground running, but luckily I have a stash of Premier Protein in the mini fridge near my desk, so I had this 2 smart point shake to start the day.

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A couple hours later when things settled down, I ate the second half of my breakfast – Chobani (2) with banana and a tablespoon of granola (1) with a hard boiled egg on the side (2).

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It was near 90 degrees when it was time to meet my sister for our lunch walk.  Instead of the pedway, we just did laps at Macy’s on State Street.  It’s about 10 stories high and we spent 40 minutes walking around and to the top.

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Look at how gorgeous this mosaic ceiling is!  Our reward for getting to the top, although you could take an elevator!  You can read about the history of the building here.  And after reading that article, I now realize it’s 9 stories tall.

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Lunch was a delicious chicken and mozzarella wrap with shredded rainbow carrots – I cooked the chicken in Trader Joe’s chile lime seasoning, so good.  But after I snapped this picture, I added Frank’s hot sauce 😀  The lavash is 2 points, the chicken was 4, the mozzarella 1 and cherries for dessert.  I’ve lucked out on cherries so far this year – absolutely delicious and I don’t mind spending $8 for a big bag of them.  I wouldn’t give a second thought to spending $8 on a bottle of wine!

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We are awaiting the power cord to be shipped so I can use my Insanity DVD’s.  So last night when I got home from work, I turned on FitTV on U-verse – you have to subscribe to that channel, but there are half a dozen free workouts every month.  I picked a 35 minute Jillian strength workout with hand weights – I used 5 pound weights – I am feeling it in my shoulders this morning!

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The kadults weren’t home, and the dogs were pretty good about staying on the couch during my workout – that was until it was time for stretching.  Um, apparently Rummy feels it’s perfectly acceptable to step on my stomach.

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And Roman was nice enough to bring me his toy, that was wet with his spit because he’d been chewing it the whole time I worked out.  

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This one is my favorite though – like “grandma, when are you going to be done and play with me?!!”

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I found some meatballs in my freezer – I remember they were from Sam’s Club.  I threw out the package but wrote on the ziploc that each meatball (which were big!) was 5 smart points.  I boiled water for pasta while I worked out, so this dinner came together in no time.  I had more of my zero point pasta sauce – I had about 1.2 cups of pasta (7) with the meatball (5) and a tablespoon of shaved Parmesan (1).  I added in the baby spinach at the end.

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This is pure comfort food in a bowl.  While my sister has pasta several times a week, I don’t have it that often, so it was a delicious treat.  After factoring in my coffee creamer throughout the day, I ended with 28/30 for the day, but with my 61 point day last Friday, I am negative 9 points for the week.

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I had to laugh at one of my first blog posts that was also called On Top Of Old Smokey – from October 2008!  It kind of looks like I threw the food in the garbage and then scooped it up and put it in a bowl and took a picture 😛

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Kym, looks like I used Italian seasoning or dried parsley back then too! 😀

I am on my way to Weight Watchers to weigh in this morning.  My sister has physical therapy for her knee, so I won’t meet up with her until our meeting at lunch.  Not sure what the scale will say, but I am glad after my high point day last Friday, that I stayed within my points the rest of the week.  We shall see!

Happy Thursday my friends! Make it a great day!

Kind of Insane?

Monday night I was sitting on the couch with Rummy.  It was really windy, when all of a sudden I heard this loud THUMP!  My neighbors tree fell into my driveway.  Luckily it missed the house, the cars and there was no damage other than having a giant tree in my driveway!

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Since we live in the sticks, there are no street lights and didn’t get a good look of how big the tree was until yesterday morning.  I made a phone call to have a guy give me an estimate – most of the tree was on my neighbors property, but she called me and told me she was going to have her tree guys come in the afternoon.

I had such a busy day at work yesterday, the guy who initially called me, called twice again but I couldn’t pick up the phone to answer it.  Hannah called me later, and I picked up the phone and she said “I am paying the guy to cut down the tree, you don’t have to worry about it.”  Nice!

Below is another slice of my everything but the bagel quiche – no worries, the blog with the recipe will be up later this week on The Chopping Block’s blog.  I seriously want to put this everything seasoning on . . . everything!  Breakfast came in at 8 points.

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My one boss had a filing yesterday and the other is going to be out of the office tomorrow and Friday and I never got to leave for lunch.  I told my sister and our friend Jenny to go ahead without me on the lunch walk.  By the time I filed everything, it was nearly 4 p.m. and I finally fixed my lunch!  4 ounces of beef, 3 tablespoons hummus, veggies and fruit.  7 smart points.

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I was able to leave on time, which was good.  I was actually fine with having a late lunch because that meant I could just do insanity as soon as I got home.  As I got on the train, I looked down on my fitbit to see how many steps I had gotten, I still did a lot of walking around in my office, and realized my fitbit died – no battery.  I got the low battery notice the day before, but I usually have a few days before it goes completely out.

So I stopped by CVS on my way home to pick up a new battery.  And guess what else I picked up?  A bag of gummy bears that were at the checkout.  Why on earth would I do that, when I was about to exercise?!!  It didn’t stop me from eating 3/4 of the bag though.  Two steps forward and one step back.

It was almost as if I was thinking “well, you had a 61 point day last Friday, so you’ll probably have a gain, so why not?

I threw the remainder of the candy in the garbage so it never entered the house.  We couldn’t find the cord to the Xbox to hook up the Insanity DVD.  Hannah ordered a new one, so we went with Plan B.  Hannah was somehow able to “airplay” a Shaun T free video that was online.  Um, I forgot how hard these videos are!  If you want to see part of my workout, Hannah did a bunch of boomerang videos and I put them on Instagram (mybizzykitchen). 

35 minutes later I was done – and I also remembered how good it felt to do the stretch at the end of his videos.  So kind of insane workout, even if it wasn’t Insanity. 😀

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I still wasn’t very hungry, but I fixed a grilled cheese sandwich – 2 slices healthy life bread (2) with an ounce of Trader Joe’s lite mozzarella (1) and an ounce of potato chips (4).

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I didn’t figure out what happened about the tree until I got home.  Apparently the guy I called to get the estimate from, after he came out and quoted me $300, I told him I was going to have to wait to hear from my neighbor who had her tree people coming later that afternoon.  Unbenownst to me, the guy I talked to came to the house, saw tree damage at my other neighbors house, and cleaned up all the tree debris and only charged us $200 for our portion.

Hannah and Jacob had earlier gotten saws and thought they could cut down the tree in our driveway, but after ten minutes, getting hardly anywhere, and sweating buckets, when the tree guy said he couldn’t a hold of me to get the go ahead, Hannah took charge and said “SOLD!”  She told me later if the quote had been $500 she would have paid it.  She said they were there for about 4 hours.  And when I got home last night, it’s as if it had never happened!

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Still not sure why I thought buying the gummy bears was a good idea, but after I put in all my food, I magically ended up with 30 points for the day.  Let’s be honest, not the healthiest 30 points I could have had, but that’s the best part about life, every day is a new day to make it a better one than the day before.

I still plan on doing a Shaun T video tonight, even if the cord hasn’t come yet – usually with Amazon prime we get stuff within a day, so we’ll see.  My quads are definintely feeling the workout from last night.  Hopefully today I’ll be able to get out at lunch.  I am night secretary tonight too, so that’s a variable, although the last few Wednesday’s no one has signed up and I am able to leave at 5:30.

Happy Wednesday – make it a great day!