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April 2012


Homemade Pickles

Why do weekends have to go by so fast?  Seems like I just get into the groove of getting stuff done, and in the blink of an eye, its another work week.

I did have a great weekend though!  Tony and I went out to dinner Friday night, and while it was a crappy day, it was a perfect day to be bizzy in my kitchen.  One fatal flaw though – I made the three hour baguette bread again, only I forgot to add the salt. Sad smile 

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They looked pretty but the taste and texture was off – luckily I have a friend who is on a low sodium diet, so I dropped the bread off at her house yesterday.

One of the dishes I am making for me and my SIL this week is The Sandwich King’s turkey burgers with homemade pickles.  Why I have never thought of making my own pickles before is beyond me – I especially love dill pickles.  The only thing I changed from the original recipe is that I used regular distilled vinegar instead of champagne vinegar and I actually have pickling spices from Williams & Sonoma – I am ignoring the fact that these were supposed to be used up by December 2011!

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First I put my cut cucumber and dill in my jars:

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Then I needed to pour the hot vinegar mixture into the jar – I had twice as much vinegar for the one cucumber that I used – but I had another idea for the rest of the vinegar you’ll see later on.

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It was kind of hard to hold the camera, pour the hot vinegar mixture in and not burn myself or drop the pot.  I didn’t realize until I’d filled up the jar that some of my seasonings kinda bunched up at the top.

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No worries!  A quick shimmy of the jar and the seasonings disbursed nicely.

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Then just top them off with a lid – let come to room temperature and refrigerate 24 hours.

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These were delicious!  They were crisp and perfectly dilly – not even sure that is a word, but I am sticking with it. Open-mouthed smile

With the rest of the vinegar brine, I chopped up some jalapenos and radishes.  It looks so pretty!

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I did the same thing – let them come to room temperature and then refrigerated them.  The next day, the radishes turned the brine pink!

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I also deep cleaned our bedroom closet (its been years since I did a full clean out people!) and got all our laundry done – not only washed, but dried, folded AND put away.  That never happens! Open-mouthed smile

Hope you all had a great weekend – off to do my 30 minute stretch – I haven’t done it since Friday and my heel is telling me so!

Make it a great day!


Weekly Menu and Weekly WI

I’ve had such a lazy morning!  I didn’t wake up until 9:15 this morning, and seriously could have spent the whole morning in bed just watching movies.  It’s chilly out, rainy.  But the last WW meeting was at 10:00 this morning so I got my ass moving.

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Yep – up .2.  I’ve been hovering around 165 for weeks now.  I keep saying I need to step it up, but saying and doing are two different things.  So this week my mantra is:


Yesterday I had a delicious breakfast – 6 ounce baked potato hash with spinach, 2 ounces of breakfast sausage and egg beaters.

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I couldn’t walk yesterday at lunch – my blood sugar was only 85 and I didn’t want to have to eat just to work out.  It actually worked out perfect because I bought my grocery store flyer with me and in an hour I had my whole meal plan for the week and grocery list done.

Lunch was the last of my spicy tomato soup with meatballs – so good!

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Tony actually felt up to going out to eat last night – he LOVES sushi.  The raw stuff, tuna, shrimp heads, fatty tuna being his favorite.  This restaurant used to be in a funky strip mall, but they moved it to a brand new stand alone restaurant about a half mile from where it was.

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I realized after I got home that I never took any pictures of our dinner!  But here’s basically what it looked like from another trip.


Right now I am cooking down some tomatoes for pasta sauce and baking bacon.  Have you ever baked bacon?  Just bake it at 400 degrees for 10-15 minutes, depending on the thickness.  I bought some apple smoked bacon in the discount bin – 75% off thank you very much.  I just store it in the fridge until I need it, or I can chop it up for bacon bits.

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baked bacon

So what’s on my menu this week?  For me and my SIL’s lunches:


I am also going to make more of the three hour baguettes – they didn’t last long last week!

Check out this cheese I found at the grocery store – blue cheese sliced cheese!  Wouldn’t this be delicious on a burger?!  Have you ever seen this cheese before?  I got four slices for $1. 😀

I probably won’t blog tomorrow, but come back Monday to see how the dill pickles turned out!  Enjoy your weekend!


To Be 20 Again

I am happy to say that Hannah has gotten a verbal acceptance froim Roosevelt University as a transfer student!  She won’t get the official letter until she completes this semester and sends them her final transcripts, but it’s a done deal.

I am so excited for her.  To be 20 and have your whole life ahead of you full of possibilities.  I wish I had known what I wanted to do way back then.  I wasn’t the best student, so after they dropped the field hockey program I was in after my freshman year, I was going to “take a year off” and just get a job.

Well, here I am, 25 years later, and I never went back.  It’s probably the biggest regret I have was not graduating from college.  I wish I would have know back then how much cooking would have given me so much joy.  I could have gotten a degree in home economics, become a recipe developer, worked at a magazine like Cooking Light.

Instead I make copies and have to wait until I get home to start cooking – which is really when I feel my day begins. Sad smile  So proud of you Hannah – I know you’ll do awesome!  We have a campus tour and meet with her advisor on May 16.

Guess what?  I didn’t have a breakfast parfait yesterday – I know shocker!  But you know what the good news is?  I wrote a couple days ago that I bought Stoneyfield Farms Greek yogurt and it didn’t taste anything as good as Chobani, so my good friend Emily at Chobani is gonna hook me up with some yogurt – she asked which flavor I wanted and I said “anything!”  Thanks Emily!

I had an everything bagel – it started out at 4 ounces, but I picked out the inside dough of the bagel and brought it down to 2.5 ounces – still get all the great bagel flavor.  I had it with a slice of mortadella, egg beaters and 1/2 an ounce of swiss cheese.

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It was partly cloudy, but chilly when I started my walk.  By the end the sun came out and I didn’t even need my jacket.  I ran/walked for 50 minutes at lunch.


We had a work lunch I had to pick up at Panera so I decided to pick up their Thai Chopped Salad.  This is so good – it’s described as:

All-natural, antibiotic-free chicken, romaine, Thai cashews, fire-roasted edamame, red peppers, carrots, fresh cilantro & wonton strips all tossed in low-fat Thai Chili Vinaigrette and drizzled with peanut sauce.

The vinaigrette and peanut sauce make this salad – the whole thing comes in at 470 calories, 19 fat, 45 carbs, 5 fiber and 36 protein.

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I had chicken parmesan on the menu, only to realize while putting it together, I had no bread crumbs.  My stuffing mix from Thanksgiving that was in the back of the pantry?  Saved the day.  I just put it in my mini chopper.  Tony loves buttered noodles, so I made bow tie pasta on the side.  Although he accused me of not putting enough parmesan cheese on his noodles – if it were up to him he’d have parmesan cheese with a side of noodles. Open-mouthed smile

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Why I made us two chicken breasts I have no idea – they were huge.  We both ended up eating only half, and now I have to figure out how to use the leftovers.  Any ideas?  I added a tablespoon of red pepper pesto to my noodles – a bit of spicy goodness.

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I was super snacky yesterday for some reason.  I had a cookie and two cinnamon twists at work yesterday – simply because they were on a table right by my desk and I just picked them up as I walked by.  And last night I had some snack mix – CVS sells generic brands of snacks – this bag of snack mix and generic funyuns are both $1 each!


While it’s a small bag, Tony and I (well, mostly me) ate almost the whole bag last night while watching t.v.   I need to drink lots of water today in the hopes of getting rid of all the sodium before my weigh in tomorrow.

My brother posted this on facebook:

And now, for your reading pleasure, it’s the complete cancer story, told only as Charlie Hills can tell it, in IMAX 3D. You’ll laugh. You’ll cry. You’ll wish you’d spent five minutes doing something else.

Check out my brother Charlie’s Blog post – he’s started writing again!  You can keep up with him and how his cancer treatment is going at his blog, Back to the Fridge.  I love you Charlie!

I loved everyone’s comments yesterday about difficult bosses you’ve had – but I think Skippy’s takes the cake!

Stats for the day:

  • 1608 calories, 63 fat, 176 carbs, 11.5 fiber and 68 protein
  • 45% calories from fat, 34 from fat and 21 from protein
  • 50 minute walk/run at lunch

Question of the Day: If you were 20 again, what would you change, or would you change anything?

Make it a great day – Happy Friday!