Weekend Recap and Winner!

We totally lucked out with the weather on New Year’s Eve.  It was 51 degrees in Chicagoland and we had no problem grilling our dinner out on our deck in t-shirts!  I am just happy all the dirty snow is melted. 😀

We have stayed in for New Years for as long as I can remember – too many assholes out there.  We usually do a surf and turf, and this year was no exception.  I decided to make it a progressive dinner – we had appetizers around 6:00, then dinner around 9:00 and then a tasting plate of cheese, sausage and crackers around midnight.

I did his and hers appetizers.  Tony loves escargot.  The first time I tried it was when we were in Florida together right before we got married.  The smell of the melted herbed butter with garlic was intoxicating!  But I took one bite of the snail and almost tossed my cookies – I did dip my bread in the butter though!

While we have had it in restaurants with puff pastry on the top, I decided to bake two of these:

I already had the snails in our pantry – you can buy them at Whole Foods and Fresh Market – only $4.99 a can.   I baked the puff pastry separately, then set aside to cool.  Next I used my muffin tin and put 5 snails in each tin (using a 6 muffin tin pan), put in a healthy tablespoon of butter into each cup, added garlic, salt, pepper and parsley.  Bake at 450 for 15 minutes.

I then spooned the mixture into the puff pastry cups.  Tony loved it! 😀

My appetizer?  Goat cheese stuffed jalapeno poppers.  I mixed 2 ounces of crumbled goat cheese with 2 tablespoons fat free cream cheese, then whipped that together.  I cut three jalapenos in half, divided the cheese mixture among the six halves, then dipped each one into panko bread crumbs and baked at 450 (since the stove was already at that temp) for about 7 minutes.

I actually took this picture the next day - the pics the night before didn't turn out 🙁

Then Tony took over for the entree – grilled steak with lobster tails.  He takes all the lobster meat out of the shell, dices it up pretty big, puts fresh rosemary on the bottom of the shell, and then pours a tiny bit of butter over the top.  These cook in a cast iron skillet on the grill until the lobster is cooked through.

I love how colorful the shell is.

I hate how stingy Tony is with the garlic butter 😀

One word: delicious! I of course could not eat all the lobster - half of it was left and I measured out 6 ounces of meat!

We had a pretty low key weekend actually.  The usual housework, laundry, cleaning etc.  We took down all our Christmas decorations much to Tony’s delight.  He would be happy if I put up the tree Christmas Eve and took the tree down on December 26!  I did a clean sweep of both our fridges, freezers and deep freeze.  I actually had to climb into my deep freezer to clean it that’s how big it is!  I bought these canvas totes from the Dollar Store which work out perfectly.  I have a tote for chicken breasts, red, meat, veggies, etc.  Love starting the year somewhat organized 😀

Do you subscribe to Food Network’s magazine?  I absolutely love how they have a picture for each dish and as soon as I saw the split pea soup with smoked turkey I knew that was going to be made.  I have never even cooked with a smoked turkey leg before – but it ended up having about 14 ounces of meat on it!

Split Pea Soup with Smoked Turkey 

Course: main meals
PointsPlus™ Value:    6
Servings:  9 

Preparation Time:  5 min
Cooking Time:  420 min
Level of Difficulty:  Easy

Ingredients

1 pound(s) dry split peas
2 cup(s) Carrots
14 oz cooked skinless dark meat turkey (one smoked turkey leg)
7 cup(s) water
1 cup(s) celery
1 Tbsp dried parsley
1/2 tsp table salt
1/2 tsp Durkee Pepper, Black Ground

Instructions

Pick over dried peas and rinse. Place in bottom of crock pot. Add celery, carrots, salt, and pepper and mix well.
Add the smoked turkey leg to the top of the peas. Cover and cook for 6 hours.
Remove turkey leg and let cool. Pick off meat and toss back into soup, cook an additional hour.
Top with plain yogurt and serve with bread if desired.

make sure to pick through your dried beans before adding to crock pot

our leg cost $3.98

while it cooks with the skin on, I removed it before adding the meat back in - its weird because when its shredded, because of the smoke it actually looks like ham

6 PointsPlus points per cup - totally delicious and filling - and Tony deemed this recipe a keeper 😀

Some other memorable meals from the weekend – chili mac – 1 cup of my Buffalo Chicken Chili with 1 cup whole wheat shells with baby spinach and dashes of Frank’s hot sauce – 11 PointsPlus:

And a 4 oz. sirloin burger with Dijon mustard, 1 ounce pepper jack cheese, dill pickles and lettuce on a Rudi’s Organic Whole Wheat Bun and 3 ounces of potato fries on the side – 16 PointsPlus.

And I lucked out this weekend that Hannah didn’t have to work so much, so we made our almost weekly trip to Goodwill.  I got a couple great finds – this french bread bowl cost $3.99 – its made from California Pottery and this particular dish is selling on eBay for $25 😀

love the color! right now its holding fruit on my dining room table

And normally they have all their good purses locked up, but when I was walking along the wall of regular purses, as soon as I felt this one, I knew it was 100% leather, the stitching was perfect, and the hardware was sturdy – I bought it for $6.99 – and purses by this same manufacturer sell for between $45 and $125 dollars!  I couldn’t find the exactly the same one I bought, but I think I made a great deal!

Has anyone ever heard of this purse before?  You can tell I am not exactly with it with designer bags!

And now if you’ve made it down this far. . . the winner of my New Year’s Giveaway is . . .

24

Morgan says:

My number one goal is to move out of my mother-in-law’s house. And it had BETTER happen, or else there will be a homicide and someone will end up in jail. Which one of those two I will be is anybody’s guess at this point, as is who the other person will be.

I am going to put my number two goal as well, which is to lose the last 17 pounds that would officially put me into the “normal” range of the BMI. I’ve got a whole year – surely I can accomplish that!

Congrats Morgan! Send me your address to mybizzykitchen@gmail.com 😀

Stats for Friday:

  • 46 points (including my 30 point NYE dinner!) 😀
  • no exercise

Stats for Saturday:

  • 43 points
  • 55 minute treadmill workout which included a 41 minute 5k

Stats for Sunday:

  • 34 points (with 30 flex points left for the week)
  • no exercise

Off to the gym to swim – make it a great day! 😀