It’s All About the Cheese and Weekly WI

Thanks for everyone’s patience on my $25 Cabot Cheese giveaway – I posted it on April 6, and then with all the work drama quickly forgot about it. 🙁  Really, how could I forget the cheese?!

There were some wonderful entries, but I narrowed it down to my Top 5 and will pick a winner from that group.

First up:  Debbi Does Dinner Healthy made a simple but delicious apple and cheese sandwich – I’ve always loved the apple/cheese combo, and my Dad actually used to melt cheddar cheese on top of his apple pie – at the time I thought that was simply gross, but now I get the sweet/savory combo.  And look at the glorious melty cheese! 😀

Next up is Candace – I love her Thai Breakfast tacos and maybe the use of sriracha put it over the edge for me! 😀

Next up is Sara for her roasted red pepper goat cheese quesadillas – she had me at goat cheese though! 😀

Next up is Melissa from I Was Born To Cook – with her goat cheese, grape and pecan truffles.

Next up is Heather from Girlichef with her Whole Wheat Goldfish.  How cute are they??!!

And the winner is . . . . Heather!  I love, love, love goldfish, and as soon as I find that fish cutter I plan to make these – congrats!  Send me an email at mybizzykitchen@gmail.com and I’ll forward it to Cabot cheese so you can get your loot.

Tony and I were picking up our new dishwasher which was right near Weight Watchers.  Than plan was to both get up – he’d drop me off at WW, go pick up the dishwasher and then come back and get me after my meeting.  We woke up at 7:45 – the dog got into bed, and the next thing we know its 8:35!  Um, the meeting started at 8:30!

But I found there was a 10:00 meeting, so I went in and weighed in . . .

I met all my goals except for one last week – I had wine, which I know I have to kick to the curb during the week.  I am glad I am still more than 10 pounds lost so I can keep my sticker! 

Hope you are enjoying your weekend so far – hopefully by this afternoon I’ll have a working dishwasher!  

Question of the Day:  Do you have a dishwasher or do you wash by hand?   I’ve had a dishwasher for almost 11 years now and I can’t imagine not having one.  My 70 year old Mom is getting her first dishwasher installed next week!

See you Monday!

Flashback Friday and Tots

Work is so busy but I am thankful that my day goes by fast!  Because I am so busy I haven’t had the time to stop by your blogs and see what you guys are up to – I promise to catch up over the weekend! 😀

I didn’t have bagel Wednesday this week because I knew I was having pasta for lunch that day and I try to spread out my carb intake.  I knew there were going to be leftover bagels at work, so I just made an egg beater/spinach patty at home, then assembled my breakfast sammie at work – topped with a slice of swiss cheese.  Breakfast comes in at 8 PointsPlus.

I went to the gym with my co-worker – today is my last free pass then next week I’ll have to get to the gym by my house in the morning before work, and then find a place to walk during lunch.   I ended up running a 5k on the treadmill in 38:17 – not bad! 😀

More leftovers!  It was so weird not to have a real meal plan this week since I only grocery shopped for Easter.  We still had some leftover chicken tacos (the kind Hannah and Tony had) and I ended up making chicken tostadas – two tostadas came in at 9 PointsPlus.

It’s been so cold and rainy in Chicagoland – I am really, really getting sick of it.  I have been craving a burger all week, so I stopped at the store on my way home for some ground beef and buns.  Here is something weird about me – if I don’t like something, I typically won’t buy it – I don’t like tuna, mayo or sliced tomatoes, and Tony loves all three.  I had some tomatoes from Easter that I didn’t use – even though it felt like winter outside, just the look of these tomatoes screams summer.

It’s no secret I love tater tots.  And specifically the OreIda brand that are extra crunchy.  If we are at a restaurant and I have the option of tots, I get them every time. 😀

So my plate is a 4 oz. burger, swiss cheese, the bun and tots – the tots were dipped into my own dipping sauce – ketchup and mustard mixed together with salt and pepper.  The first time Tony saw me do that I think he questioned the fact of why he was with me! 😀  Dinner comes in at 13 points.

Now it’s time for Flashback Friday! 😀  I hope my Momma doesn’t mind.  This picture is from the summer of 1968 – my Mom was a young 28 years old in this picture.  It’s weird to think that now I am 15 years older than my Mom was in that picture!  And she sewed most of our clothes when we were little – like the outfits we are sporting in this pic. 😀

Stats for Thursday:

  • 30 points
  • 45 minute treadmill at lunch, 3.4 miles all together 😀
  • average blood sugar 132

I am going to WW tomorrow and will post tomorrow with my WI – as well as announce the winner of my Cheese Giveaway that I totally forgot about with all the work drama.  So you still have time to enter your favorite cheese recipe for a chance to win a $25 gift basket from Cabot cheese!  Thanks Randi for the reminder!

Happy Friday!

We just laugh!

Growing up my Mom went back to work when my sister and I were 8 years old.  At the time I thought it was so cool that my Mom had to take a bus and the “L” to work – of course years later I learned what a hassle commuting was.

There was a gas station on the corner where my Mom got off the bus.  Inside the gas station they had a candy vending machine.  For .10 cents I would get these:

 My sister and I would split this package while waiting for my Mom to get off the bus.  Except we usually got there about 30 minutes before my Mom was ready to get off the bus (I am sure to get away from our grandma, but that’s a whole other post).  Every time I bus would come to the corner we’d wait for people to get off, the bus to move forward, and to see if she was getting off.  We would jump up and down when she got off the bus!

Well, Hannah is the same way about Hanging with Hannah nights.  I actually worked a little late so didn’t get home until almost six last night.  She had my bathing suit laid out, my outfit to change into – she was so happy to see me come home! 😀

Before I talk about Hanging with Hannah, I didn’t realize that yesterday was Administrative Assistants Day, which really is a made up holiday if you ask me.  But the attorneys brought in bagels, danishes and fruit and my bosses gave me a gift card. 😀

I had a turkey bowl in the freezer, but then had 1/2 a cinnamon scone from panera, some fruit, and my bowl – all together breakfast comes in at 10 points.

I went to the gym at lunch – ended up doing 40 minutes on the elliptical on level 8, and did almost 4 miles 😀  I was a sweaty mess and decided I better shower before going back to work.  Um, the showers?  I felt like I was at hotel!  Each shower stall was about 6×6 feet, had frosted glass doors, and really cool glass tiles.  The best part was the Kohler shower head – you could make it like rain, or then turn it and it was one straight line like a waterfall – so cool!  The price of the memebership may be worth it just for the shower. 😀

I had leftover pasta from the other night – except half the amount of pasta and I added 1 cup of steamed broccoli – even though you only see two pieces of broccoli, it was mostly on the bottom.  Lunch is 8 Points.  (and I found a good place to take pictures at lunch with plenty of natural light!)

So after Hannah and I got dressed for the gym, we always check out the pool situation to decide what we are going to do.  There were a couple lanes opened, so we decided to do 20 minutes of cardio – its a different kind of elliptical machine – not sure how to describe it but its kinda like mountain climbing and its hard – we were both huffing and puffing after 20 minutes!

Then we got in the pool – only one lane was available, so we shared a lane.  I have to say my swimming skillz are getting better!  I have finally gotten my arms, legs and breathing to work together!  Kerstin and Shelley would be so proud!  We did laps for about 20 minutes, then got our fun on with the weighted rings – OMG, we literally laughed our asses off. 

We have six rings, and no matter how hard I tried, Hannah would always get 4 and I’d only get two.  Well, she is a better swimmer than me, so I have to give her that. 😀  At one point a couple older ladies were coming close to our area – we basically had the whole side of the pool to ourselves.  We gave them the stink eye though and they went to the therapy pool.  And then Hannah says “that’s right bitches, step aside.”  That just cracked me up!

Then it was hot tub time – our favorite part of the night – there is nothing like a hot tub at the end of a long day.  But after 10 minutes we were both starving, so off to Chipotle we went.  I got the steak bowl with black beans, pinto beans, and cilantro lime rice.  I ate 3/4 of it with some chips, so dinner comes in at 13 points.

Then we watched American Idol – I totally want Casey to win! 😀

Stats for Wednesday:

  • 34 points
  • 40 minute elliptical at lunch
  • 20 minute elliptical at gym
  • 20 minutes of laps
  • 20 minutes of fun with the weighted rings
  • average blood sugar 144

Question of the Day:  Did your Mom work when you grew up or was she a stay at home Mom?   Did you wait for her to come home if she did work?

Happy Thursday – two days til the weekend – woot! 😀

Best Chicken Tacos!

It’s funny because at work, I am extremely organized.  If you need to find one piece of paper, I am the one to find it.  Tony always jokes with me that I leave my organizational skillz at work and they don’t make it on the drive home. 😀

I’ve spent the last few days organizing at work, and it’s funny, I think “I wonder if Hannah would organize it this way?”   I will admit I am tired when I come home, but in a good way.  And I forgot to tell you guys that our dishwasher broke . . . the Thursday before Easter!  And I have told you that I am the queen of using every dish, utencil, etc., while cooking, but I’ll tell you, since having to hand wash all the dishes, I am getting to become a cleaner cook – just the swift kick in the ass I needed.  (But we’ll have our new dishwasher by Saturday at the latest!).

I went to the gym yesterday morning with the intent of doing laps, but the pool was too Bizzy.  I ended up getting the therapy pool to water jog with aqua dumbells.  It was really hard – I jogged and did upper body for a full 30 minutes – my arms were so tired by the end and I was actually sweating. 

I kinda look like this, except without the footies :

Right next to me were some old people like this:

I told Tony that I was giving the old people the evil eye if they tried to get into my space. 😀  Kidding, I am a very nice to old people. 😀

I had prepared my food the night before, but by the time I got back home from the gym, I literally needed to leave in 1o minutes.  Got all my stuff together, even had time to make coffee 😀 and realized half way to work that I forgot my camera.  So while my tacos were leftovers today, the picture below is from when I made them over the weekend.

You didn’t miss much for breakfast – just a typical egg sammie – I stole this picture off of Google.   With my egg, ham, cheese, bread and apple, breakfast was 8 points.

Tony was flipping through the channels on Saturday and he stopped it on America’s Test Ktichens to have me watch how they made chicken tacos.  The first word I heard was “chipotle peppers” which meant I was in, Tony was out.  So while I made taco seasoning chicken tacos for Tony and Hannah, they missed out on the best chicken tacos I’ve ever had – I literally had to stop myself from taking more chicken out of the bowl!

America’s Test Kitchen’s Chicken Soft Tacos

  • makes 6 servings (calories for chicken mixture only) each 4 oz. serving: 210 calories, 4.9 fat, 3.5 carbs, 35 protein, 1 fiber – 5 PointsPlus

Ingredients:

  • 1 teaspoon canola oil
  • 4 cloves garlic, minced
  • 2 teaspoons minced canned chipotle peppers in adobo sauce
  • 3/4 cup chopped cilantro, divided
  • 1/2 cup orange juice
  • 1 Tablespoon Worcestershire sauce
  • 1.5 pounds boneless, skinless chicken breasts
  • 1 teaspoon yellow mustard (in my opinion brought the whole sauce together)
  • pinch of salt and pepper
  • flour, corn, or tostadas of your choice
  • any desired toppings, tomatoes, cheese, etc.

Heat the oil in a skillet over medium heat until shimmering.  Stir in the garlic and chipotles and cook, stirring constantly, until fragrant, about 30 seconds. Stir in 1/2 cup of the cilantro, Worcestershire and orange juice.

Nestle the chicken breasts into the skillet and bring to a simmer, cover, reduce heat to medium-low, and cook until the thickest part registeres 160-165 degrees, about 12 – 18 minutes, flipping halfway through.

Remove the chicken from the pan and transfer to a cutting board.  Shred into bite-sized pieces using 2 forks.  Continue to simmer the sauce over medium heat until it starts to reduce, about 5 minutes.

Remove from heat, whisk in the mustard and remaining cilantro.  Stir in the chicken and season with salt and pepper to taste.  Serve with tortillas and desired toppings.

I can’t describe what a unique flavor this is – it’s slightly sweet because of the orange juice, but then you get the tang of the mustard at the end and the brightness of the fresh cilantro.  This one is a keeper – for me.  And actually when I was packing my lunch I thought how much my old WW buddies would have loved this lunch. 🙁  

The other thing missing from this picture is the “refried” beans I made.  I thought I had refried beans, but I didn’t so I drained a can of cannelli beans, put it in a small sauce pan with 1 4 oz. can of green chilis.  I heated it for about 10 minutes on low heat, then used a potato masher and mashed it up – it looked like baby food, but it was so good!

I was able to use my free gym pass at lunch yesterday though – so I did 2.75 miles in 35 minutes, all while watching Pregnant and 16 on MTV.  I think every teenager should watch that show – it’s so sad seeing these super young girls having to grow up so fast when they have a baby.  Hell, it made me grow up when I had Hannah and I was 23!

We have so much leftover ham, I am trying to find ways to use it up.  I asked Tony what he had for lunch and he was like “I had a ham sandwich.”   Rats.  I thought he wouldn’t be up for having ham for dinner, because I found a recipe I wanted to make.  Cheesey Baked Penne from RecipeGirl.  I copied her recipe pretty much verbatim, except I reduced the provolone cheese and Parmesan cheese down to 1/2 a cup each instead of a full cup.  And I didn’t bake it – Tony doesn’t like baked pasta, and it looked perfect the way it was – and this literally took about 15 minutes to put together.

When I told him what I was going to make he was all over it – he loves ham and peas. 😀  I made this 6 servings since its so rich, it comes out to be 390 calories, 13.8 fat, 45 carbs, 1.4 fiber and 2.6 grams of protein, or 10 PointsPlus.

I did end up adding some pasta water to the sauce – I didn’t want a cheese sauce, but rather the sauce to just coat the pasta – this was pure comfort in a bowl. 😀

I have to tell you though I was hungry a lot yesterday.  I think I added about 10 points in extras because I was so hungry – a handful of peanuts, a piece of cheese and ham while making dinner, crackers and cheese after dinner.  I think maybe I need to add more protein?

It’s Wednesday so its . . . Hanging With Hannah! 😀  We are going to go to the gym and swim and then pick up Chipotle and probably come back and watch American Idol.  😀

Stats for Tuesday:

  • 41 points
  • 30 minute water jogging
  • 40 minute treadmill jogging (2.75 miles)
  • average blood sugar 151

Happy Wednesday!😀  Make it a great day!

1 Point Blue Cheese Sauce and BSI – Broth

only 2 points 😀

I always like how she puts a “G” on the grapefruits 😀

I forgot to tell my MIL before she left how much I enjoyed the grapefruit she brought me from Florida – she also brought me oranges too. 😀

 My friend Jacky reminded me of a great way to eat grapefruit – which is to broil it.   While Jacky used sugar, I used 1 tsp. of honey per side.  This is a messy dish, the grapefruit gets so juicy after being broiled – I ate the grapefruit as my fuel before doing Jillian’s 30 day shred before work – it wasn’t too heavy and I was able to work out at a nice intensity – although after only working out only once last week, my stamina has waned. 🙁
 
 The rest of my breakfast was eaten at work – in a microwave safe dish I put 1/2 cup egg beaters, 1.5 ounces leftover Easter ham, 1/2 cup baby spinach and .5 ounces of goat cheese, then just cooked in the microwave for 2 minutes (4 PointsPlus).  On the side I had a 1.5 ounce piece of leftover bread – all together breakfast comes in at 8 points.
 
 

Work is so crazy busy, but I love it like that.  Although it was so busy I wasn’t able to check out the gym next door – but I did spend a total of about 30 minutes of my day moving boxes, so I am going to give myself full credit for working out a full 60 minutes. 

My freezer came to my rescue for lunch today – it was leftover Tuscan Chicken soup with pesto – and some carrots and celery on the side that was dipped in leftover horseradish dip – lunch was only 6 points.  I actually submitted this recipe to Dana – she’s this weeks BSI host and she chose broth.  Remember, you don’t have to submit a new recipe – check back in your archieves!

We have so much leftover food, I am going to try to use it all up before grocery shopping.  I sliced up the leftover beef roast from Easter really thin.  I got my cast iron skillet super hot, and just “fried” the beef just until warmed through.  I decided to make a blue cheese sauce on the side – I figured out the points after I made it – 1/8 cup of sauce is only 1 point!

Blue Cheese Sauce (would be good over cooked broccoli too!)

  • 1 tablespoon butter
  • 1 tablespoon flour
  • 1 cup skim milk
  • 2 ounces crumbled blue cheese

Melt butter.  Add flour and cook for 1 minute.  Slowly add milk and keep stirring until all the milk is incorporated and the sauce is thick.  Remove from heat and stir in blue cheese crumbles.

My dinner: 4 ounces beef, 1/8 cup blue cheese sauce, 4 ounces cooked white rice and leftover greenbeans my MIL made – dinner comes in at 11 points.

Stats for Monday:

  • 32 points (okay, I had some wine!)
  • 30 minutes of 30 day shred, level 1
  • 30 minutes of moving boxes at work
  • average blood sugar 140 (better!)

Biggest Loser is on tonight – who is still watching and who do you want to win?

Have a great Tuesday 😀  It’s still rainy and cloudy in Chicago – maybe by May we’ll get some sun?

I am off to the gym to swim 😀

Weekend Recap and a Winner!

I hope everyone had a great Easter weekend – it went by so fast even with having Friday off of work!  Before I get to the recap, I have to announce the winner of my 500k pageview giveaway. . . .winner, winner, lobster dinner of the cookbook giveaway is:

True Random Number Generator 36

Betsy says:

My current favorite (and not too healthy, might I add) is Bakerella’s Cake Pops Book. I’m making the Easter eggs and chicks for this weekend – so adorable!

Congrats Betsy!  Please send me your street address to mybizzykitchen@gmail.com and I’ll get the cookbooks out to you. 😀

My MIL, SIL and I shopped on Friday – it was nice to have that extra day to get ready.  Tony and I love these garlic crisps – we buy them at Fresh Market even though they are $3.99 for a small container – they are so addicting.  Tony thought we could make them ourselves, and we actually like our version better.

We can buy French bread at our local store – 2 loaves for .99 cents.  I simply mixed together 4 tablespoons olive oil, 4 teaspoons minced garlic and 1 teaspoon of garlic salt, and brushed that over the sliced bread and baked it for 15 minutes, or until the bread is completely crisp. 

My favorite appetizer of the day – the garlic crisp with goat cheese and super thin proscuitto on top.  Next time I’ll drizzle a bit of balsamic over the top – yum!

Next up is something I had completely forgotten about – this will age me, but growing up we could buy shrimp cocktail in a jar – you could literally it eat with a fork, and I remember my mom saving those shrimp jars and we’d have orange juice in them for breakfast.  I couldn’t find those – so I bought cooked salad shrimp, tossed it with cocktail sauce and poured that over room temperature cream cheese – holy yum – so simple, yet so delicious over a crips cracker.

And while I was working on other things, Tony put together this relish tray – he loves those black olives with the pits in them – I love the salami and pickled jalapenos!

Another favorite though is the quickest to put together – 5 minute roasted red pepper hummus.

  • 1 15-ounce can chickpeas, rinsed
  • 1 glove garlic
  • 1/4 cup olive oil
  • 2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
  • 2 tablespoons tahini
  • 1 teaspoon ground cumin
  • pinch of salt
  • cracked pepper
  • 1/4 teaspoon paprika
  • 1 7 oz. jar of roasted red peppers, undrained

Throw everything into a food processor – add a splash of water to get the right consistency.  So delicious!

We had so much food – I really didn’t take a lot of pictures in the heat of the cooking.  I did a spiral ham on the gas grill, a beef roast in the oven, my Italian Sunday gravy in the crockpot – my MIL brought delicious green beans, strawberry pie that was out of this world and cupcakes. 

My plate:

My MIL’s strawberry pie – holy cow I will need to get this recipe – its not low calorie, but its not very sweet which is why I loved it.

And my MIL didn’t want any of her pictures on the blog, so I will give you my nephew and his girlfriend – she makes the best bacon wrapped water chestnuts, but the picture came out blurred of her dish, but here’s a picture of them in my back yard.

She’s a really sweet girl – and she has some kick ass tattoos – I liked this one – I’ll have to ask her next time what the dynamite symbol is for!

I did not go to my WI on Saturday.  I needed to regroup with all the stress, but I think it may have backfired – I haven’t counted a point since last Thursday, so I have to get back on track stat.  I have the free membership at the gym near my new office this week so I plan to take full advantage.  Another bad thing about not exercising?  My average blood sugar last week was 170!  Eek!

Goals for the week:

  • minimum of 60 minutes of exercise each day
  • count all my points
  • no alcohol
  • drink a minimum of 64 ounces of water each day

So here’s to having a clean week and I promise to go to my WI on Saturday!  Happy Monday!

Saddest Text Ever and Flashback Friday

My parents-in-law are in town for Easter weekend.  They picked up Tony and then headed in the direction of my new office to have lunch with me.  Just before I left, I got a text from one of my WW buddies at my old office.  When I left on Monday I saw that she had a couple of my lunches (a soup and something else – can’t remember!) that hadn’t been eaten yet.

I look at my phone and it says:

I have officially eaten my last Biz lunch.  The experience was wonderful with a dark cloud of sadness hovering.  Thank you for all the love and effort you put into every meal.  I washed my dish and had no where to bring it  . . .

It actually almost brought tears to my eyes – I miss my friends so much!

Literally a minute from my new office is the Lucky Monk.  Tony and I have been there lots of times – my MIL ordered a portabello mushroom burger with smothered onions.  She joked at me about it with all the onions – I actually took a taste of the mushroom part and it wasn’t bad – I think I need to give portabella mushrooms another chance.

I got a turkey burger – probably one of the best I’ve ever had – it was moist, flavorful and juicy.  I had it with a slice of pepper jack cheese – I had a few of the fries – my guess is the burger is 11 points and the fries I ate were 4, so lunch comes in at 15 points.

My parents-in-law treated too – thanks Carl and Bonnie!

We had kind of a late lunch, so when I got home I just put some baked potatoes in the oven, grabbed a glass of wine and just hung out with Tony.  He didn’t have much of an appetite for dinner, but I already had planned to cook a steak.  I used a new dry rub that Rachel sent to me (she’s back to blogging so check her out!) from North Carolina.  I loved it!  Had a nice spicy kick to it.  I sprinkled it on the meat about 15 minutes before grilling it.

This was a 1.3 pound steak.  I grilled it 4 minutes on each side, then 3 minutes each side, let it rest for 10 minutes and then sliced it up. 

My plate – and after Tony smelled the steak, he ended up having 1/2 a potato and a piece of steak – it was cooked perfectly if I do say so myself. 😀

I am still trying to find my prom pictures to send to Shelley.  But I thought for this Flashback Friday, Nicole could appreciate this picture – she and I went to the same high school (I’ll neglect the fact that I think I graduated 15 years before her though!) and Jacky went there too

My Dad came to almost every single sporting event I had in high school – field hockey in the fall, indoor track in the winter, outdoor track in the spring and softball in the summer.  Most of the time he was embarrassing, but in hind sight he was so supportive and without him, I would have pictures like the one below – I give you 1983 Biz:

What a crazy week I’ve had.  I am glad I have today off, and am looking forward to being Bizzy in the Kitchen this weekend – I am having 11 people for Easter. 😀  I am just hoping that the sun will show up some time this weekend – I am getting tired of the rain.

I am off to the gym for my last chance workout before my WI tomorrow – I am contemplating just going but not getting on the scale – I haven’t worked out once this whole week! 

Happy Friday and I hope you have a great weekend – you still have time to enter my latest giveaway – I’ll pick a winner on Monday. 😀