Happy New Years Eve!

So I am at work, at the copier, when the office manager says “do you have much else that has to get out today?”  I said I would be done in about 15 minutes for two packages that had to go out FedEx.  She says “as soon is that’s done go ahead and leave for the day.”    Mind you its 11:45 in the morning!!  What??  But it gets better!  My office was supposed to be open on Friday, but they are closing it, so I am off until Monday!  Yippee!

So after I drop my FedEx packages off, I see the sign glowing from afar.  It’s still not the new year yet, right?  This is what I brought home for me and Tony:

extra crispy please!

extra crispy please!

 I did pretty good though – I only had a little bit of the skin, most of the breast meat, all my potatoes, none of the cole slaw and about two bites of those amazing buttery biscuits!  Ed was very happy with our leftovers at lunch!

So Hannah and I went to the store for our New Years Eve dinner/snacks for later tonight.  Here’s what she picked up for her dinner:

she's going to add a couple mini egg rolls to round out her meal

she's going to add a couple mini egg rolls to round out her meal

Tony and I are doing surf and turf – a little twist to the surf is that I am making seared Ahi Tuna.  Right now its marinating in teryaki sauce, wasabi powder and minced garlic.  We are also going to split a NY Strip steak.

The ahi tuna was on sale - this steak only cost $5.80!

The ahi tuna was on sale - this steak only cost $5.80!

Here is a look at our total purchase. 

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We plan on having cheese fondue later tonight with crusty bread, broccolini, and sliced apples.  We have baked brie and crackers and I bought shrimp for shrimp cocktail.  Here’s how they look raw.  I always buy the ones that are peeled and deveined – it saves so much time and is worth the little extra money:

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I boiled a pot of water, salted it and then added the raw shrimp.  It only takes about 2 minutes for them to be pink.  Make sure you have an ice bath for them to stop the cooking process.  Then they’ll chill in the fridge until I am ready for them.

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This will be my last post of 2008!  I’ll take plenty of pictures to post tomorrow. 

Here’s wishing everyone has a safe, fun New Years Eve – see you next year

Also, don’t forget to bookmark my site for a great giveaway on Friday, January 2!   Cheers!

Back to eggs. . .

Yep, back to my usual – egg white sausage mcmuffin!  I used the WW english muffins.  I like them but usually only buy them when they are sale, which isn’t very often! 

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I can’t believe it’s New Years Eve already!  We usually have a surf and turf dinner at home, but Tony doesn’t have much of an appetite these days.  I was thinking of making a few appetizers then?  Anyone have any ideas?

I don’t think I’ve actually gone out on New Years Eve for 20 years?  It makes me nervous with all the drunk people, plus I think there is the expectation to have THE BEST time and it ends up being just an okay time.

Who’s going out tonight?   See you tonight for my lunch/appetizer? post!  Happy New Year!

Don’t forget to bookmark this site for my January 2 giveaway and weight loss/personal challenge post – I think it will be fun!

It’s not New Years Yet!

I’ve “talked” to some of my blog friends about my Friday post which will be a weight loss/personal choice challenge – whether it be to lose weight, exercise more, or simply drink more water every day.   It will be posted on January 2nd, along with my first of the month giveaway (so stay tuned!).  That being said, I stopped at our local beef stand on the way home for lunch today.  I texted Tony and said “beef or hot dog?”  I didn’t get a response, and as it got closer to my turn I ended up getting one of each with a side of small fries.  Oh, and hot peppers for me!

So this was my combo plate.  I will say that I ate all of my half of hot dog, 3/4 of my fries and half of my beef sandwich.  Needless to say, Ed was very happy to get out leftovers in his bowl!

I'm from Chicago, so I LOVE a juicy beef that makes the bread all soggy!

I'm from Chicago, so I LOVE a juicy beef that makes the bread all soggy! And the cheese counts as one dairy serving, right?

 The good thing about coming home at lunch is that I was able to throw dinner together in the crock pot.  It doesn’t matter how much we spend on a crockpot, but it always heats up too much!  I could put something on 10 hours at 8:00 in the morning, and Hannah will come home at 3:00 and say that the juices are boiling.  What?  That’s not supposed to happen!

Today’s crock pot recipe turned out great – I took out our 2.5 pound roast from the freezer this morning and put it on the counter – so maybe 4 hours of thaw time?  I then sprayed my crock pot, but the roast in with quartered white potatoes (no peeling required!) and baby carrots. 

My “sauce” was 1 teaspoon of olive oil in a pan, to which I added 2 tablespoons of garlic.  I cooked the garlic until just about when they started to turn brown.  To that I added 1/2 teaspoon salt, 1/2 teaspoon pepper, 1 tablespoon beef bouillon, 1 bottle Sam Adams lager beer, 1 tablespoon of brown sugar, 1 tablespoon Dijon mustard and 1 tablespoon of apple cider vinegar.  I just stirred this with a whisk until the beef bouillon and brown sugar dissolved.  Then I just poured it over the beef.  Here’s what it looked like before cooking:

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Here’s what the veggies look like after they are cooked – love cooked carrots!

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I strained the remaining juices and got out as much fat as I could.  Then I mixed together about a tablespoon of flour with 2 tablespoons of water and mixed well.  I added the juices to a pan on my stove, added the flour mixture until it was thickened – about 5 minutes.  I added salt and pepper to taste.  Finished plate;

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I liked the fact that while the meat was tender, it wasn’t so tender that it fell apart – still had a nice bite to it!  And gravy, who doesn’t love that?

All kidding aside, I know its time to pay more attention to what I eat and to start exercising again – its been probably 3 weeks since I went to the fitness center?  And I belong to two gyms!  It’s crazy. 

So bookmark my site for my January 2 giveaway and “personal goal” challenge. 

See you tomorrow for New Years Eve!

Blue skies. . .

I walked out my back door this morning to see this gorgeous sky!

 

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I’ve been eating a lot of eggs for breakfast lately, so I thought I would have oats.  Banana, dark chocolate chip, roasted almond oats!  I had exactly 8 ghiradelli (sp?) dark chocolate chips.  I reheated my oats at work and then put the almonds and chocolate chips on top.  The chips started melting and once they did, I stirred it all around – SO GOOD!

 

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When I go home for lunch I am going to put together crockpot pot roast with potatoes and carrots.  I took the meat out frozen this morning and its on my counter – hopefully the 5+ hours in the crockpot will thaw/cook the rest! 

See you tonight for lunch/dinner post – have a great day!

My co-workers really know me!

So because I was gone over the holidays, I left all my Christmas loot at work.  So happy to bring it all home tonight!  My friend “W” at work put her presents to me in this box – love it!

isn't this THE cutest box EVER!

isn't this THE cutest box EVER!

 Then she put a bunch of cool stuff from Williams-Sonoma.  Lots of cookie cutters, recipes on making sugar cookies, a HUGE spatula, little “green man” whisk, cheese slicer, meat tenderizer, spoon rest, veggie peeler and omelet pan.  Thanks W!!  

along with my other loot - a snowman night light, snowman tray with Panera gift card, and a vegetarian cook book!

along with my other loot from co-workers! - a snowman night light, snowman tray with Panera gift card, and a vegetarian cook book!

Turns out they know I like snowmen AND cooking!  Thanks guys! 

So I came home from lunch and brought home Jimmy John’s.  I ended up with the unwich and cut it up and made it into a salad.  I added chopped cucumbers and carrots to bulk it up.

with light caesar dressing

with light caesar dressing

Although by 3:00 I was starving!  So I reached into my back up drawer and heated up 1/2 package of Ramen noodles.

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For dinner tonight I did a dry-rub boneless pork tenderloin.  This one is small, about 1.75 pounds.  Even though it has a “pop-up” button, Tony suggested that I use our probe and take it out at 160 degrees.  Good thing I did, because it never popped!

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On the side I made mashed potatoes and garlic/parmesan green beans. 

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So I am still playing around with my camera.  I know NOTHING about cameras, but since this new one has a TON of different settings including a cuisine button, I’ll just play it by ear.  Very fun so far though!

Off to do another load of laundry and relax – see you tomorrow!

Monday morning. . .

and back to work.  Luckily even though I was off last week, so were many other people at my office so the piles I thought would be on my desk aren’t as big – whew!

Breakfast was a homemade mcmuffin with 4 ounces of mandarin oranges.  I am still trying to figure out my camera, so be patient!

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Okay, my break is over.  I am going home at lunch today to check in on Tony so for the time being, my lunch/dinner post will be posted together at the end of the day.   See you tonight!

Merry Christmas!

Whew, what a busy day!  So happy that we were finally able to celebrate today!  Joe came over around noon and we had our immediate family Christmas – got a ton of stuff, but my favorite things were my new camera, Joe gave us gift certificates to the high end movie theater that he works at (can’t wait to do that again!) and Hannah made me four pairs of earrings to go with a shirt she bought me.  Inside was a note giving me breakfast in bed and a closet makeover!

I still have to read the instruction manual to the new camera and load the software on my computer – but here’s what it looks like.  And, you guessed it, blue is my favorite color!

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My old camera (the one that took that picture!) is only 3 megapixals, this new one has 10.1!  Can’t wait to figure out how it works!

So my parents-in-law, sister-in-law, nephews and grand nephews came over to exchange gifts.  You can imagine my surprise when my father-in-law walked in with this!

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Are you kidding me?!  Yes, that is a 42 inch flat screen, high definition television!  I was so dumbfounded I didn’t really know what to say!  Of course, Tony and I said it was TOO MUCH but they said since we’ve been through a lot, they felt we deserved it.  THANK YOU SO MUCH!

So I made lasagna, penne pasta with alfredo sauce and a chopped salad.  Here’s how it looks after resting:

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Here is the easy recipe!

Easy Meat Lasagna (adapted from a recipe from www.recipezaar.com)

Directions

1.       Brown ground beef, Italian sausage, onion and garlic.

2.       Add salt and next 5 ingredients; stirring until well mixed.

3.       Simmer 1 hour.

4.       Combine cottage cheese, eggs, pepper, 2 tablespoons parsley, Parmesan cheese and 1/2 of mozzarella cheese; in a lasagna pan, layer noodles, meat sauce, and cheese mixture; repeat.

5.       Top off with layer of noodles, sprinkle evenly with remaining mozzarella cheese.

6.       Bake at 375 degrees for 30 to 40 minutes, or until cheese mixture is thoroughly melted.

7.       Let rest 10 to 15 minutes before slicing.

So I am off to load my new camera software and read the instruction manual.  Hope everyone had a good weekend!

See you tomorrow!