He Made It To The Lake!

My uncle passed away yesterday.  He’s been sick for nearly a year, but it was still hard to hear.  He’s actually my Aunt’s third husband, but they have been together for probably 27 years.  And he’s the only Great Uncle that Hannah remembers.

They have a lake house at Smith Mountain Lake in Roanoke, Virginia.  Their main home is in Richmond, so the other day my uncle said “I want to go to the lake.”  Hospice wasn’t even sure he’d make the three and a half hour drive.  But he made it!  It was his favorite place to be.

It’s funny because when Tony first met Dave I told him “my uncle was a warden in a prison.”  He expected his demeanor to be like Wilfred Brimley.  Dave was nothing like that – he walked into the restaurant when they first met, went right to Tony and kissed him on the cheek!  He was bigger than life – let’s just say the room lit up when he entered it.

I’ve spent many many summers at the lake house.  One of our favorite things to do is to put life jackets on and just float.

Hannah had a special connection with Dave, whom she called Papa.  She became his right hand man when she visited and would help Dave with the chores.  It broke my heart to tell her yesterday that he had passed away. 🙁

And I will always remember Dave as the captain of the boat!

 

The lake house just won’t be the same without him.  I am just hoping he found my Dad and they are splitting a Dr. Pepper. 😀

This is one of the plaques that’s on the porch at the lake house – I know my Uncle Dave did!

He wasn’t overly religious, so there will be no typical funeral.  I’ll find out today what the plans are and most likely will be in Richmond next weekend.   I probably won’t post again until Monday – I hope you all have a great weekend and give your family an extra hug this weekend! 😀

No Sushi for You!

I had planned on yesterday being a rest day, especially after running two days in a row.  I guess if I was more consistent in running my hips and knees would get used to it.  I ended up doing my 30 minute stretch before work – I feel so good when I am finished stretching – which means I never stretched nearly enough before.

Are you sick of seeing my breakfast muffins?  I am not sick of eating them.  I was trying to describe them to my Mom (who reads every day – Hi Mom!) and the consistency is almost like a quiche, especially the longer they sit in the fridge.  I bake them at 350 for 10 minutes in my office toaster oven (doesn’t heat up very fast).  I added a 140 calorie Greek yogurt to the mix to up the breakfast calories – still this whole plate comes in at 379 calories, 9 fat, 35 carbs, 3.5 fiber and 39 protein.

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Since it was 91 degrees out and I wasn’t working out at lunch I decided to hit up a thrift store that’s about 5 minutes from my office.  I bought a couple cookbooks (Emeril Lagasse Book for $1!).  What I didn’t buy, but Skippy, I was thinking of you when I saw this!  Um, she and I are both a little obsessed with snowmen. Open-mouthed smile

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And I actually owned this exact record – it brought back memories of my old record player – I would listen to my records and sing at the top of my lungs – who remembers this record player?  You could push the turn table up and you could carry it around like a suit case.

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I am sure DeBarge thought he was so hot in that outfit – I wonder what he thinks of it now?!

When I got back it was another salad day . . . TACO salad!  One head of romaine lettuce, baby spinach, canned white corn, jalapeno, 100 calorie guacamole and my dressing was 1/3 cup of my salsa mixed with 2 tablespoons fat free ranch.  And no, this isn’t too many jalapenos – I ate every one. Devil  This giant salad, which took me about 45 minutes to eat, comes in at 485 calories, 21 fat, 45 carbs, 10 fiber and 35 protein.

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When Tony and I were grocery shopping over the weekend, when we were leaving there was a woman handing something out – it was a coupon for 50% off your entire dinner bill at a new restaurant called One Buffet.

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Mara, it’s right down the road from Joseph’s grocery store.  For dinner, it’s all you can eat for $11.79 for adults.  The first time through I got this plate:

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Shitty pictures, but you aren’t missing much because it all pretty much tasted the same way – the shrimp was overcooked, the fried chicken was awful – the star on this plate?  The green beans!  I think what lured Tony in the beginning was the word “sushi” on the flyer.  Um, not a raw piece of sushi in the joint, and cooked sushi just doesn’t do it for him.  So no sushi for you Tony!  But then I reminded him it’s all about me and I was happy with my dinner so it’s all good! Smile with tongue out

But then I saw that you could build your own stir fry – winning!  This was spectacular, and the reason I will go back.  I had tons of veggies, fake crab, shrimp, and beef!  I asked them to make it spicy and they delivered.  I opted for about 1/2 cup of noodles over the rice. 

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And they had a dessert bar – I did get some fruit, a couple macaroons (had no idea how good these are!) and an almond cookie, which is my favorite.  Oh, and that elephant ear (I think that’s what its called?) was amaze balls too. Open-mouthed smile

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Sadly, Tony will not go back, as stir fry as a little too many veggies for him – but Mara if you want to hook up there sometime when school starts again – I am game!

I didn’t even know that trampoline was an Olympic sport!  Check out this girl though – she’s only 16!  I can’t get over how high she gets!  It’s supposed to be 100 today!  Make it a great day!

In between and Guess What Smells in Biz’s Pantry!

Tony had to get up early for a meeting yesterday so I set my alarm for the same time.  I don’t know how he does it, but once his alarm goes off, he turns it off and gets up and gets moving.  Me?  I hit the snooze – but not for long, maybe 15 minutes.  It was perfect – our house was a chilly 50 degrees I had the down comforter on and with Tony out of the bed I could spread out.

I got up at 6:20, and turned off our fan.  Yes, we pretty much sleep with a fan on for background noise pretty much year round.  Once I was up, Tony was up and the fan was turned off, our dog came out of the bedroom all confused!  But it was the perfect opportunity to get him outside for a walk.  He’s getting old so sometimes you have to coax him to go down the back stairs. Sad smile

When I got back from the walk, I blogged, did 20 minutes of the 30 minute stretch, took a shower and got dressed for work.  This is where the “In Between” title of my post comes into play.  You see I am in between a size 14 and 12.  The 14’s are too big, the 12’s are a bit tight.  I have exactly three pairs of pants that fit me correctly at this moment, and because I have more 10’s and 12’s than 14’s – pretty sure that is more motivation to move the scale in the right direction. Thumbs up

I had two more breakfast muffins and a bowl of watermelon – I picked a good one because this is super delicious.  I didn’t realize it until last night when I was putting my food into fatsecret.com that my breakfast only came in at 236 calories, 9 fat, 25 carbs, 1.1 fiber and 15 protein!

Show of hands how many of you actually use that melon baller you just had to have? Winking smile

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But these muffins are really filling.  I tested my blood sugar before heading out at lunch – I thought for sure with the watermelon it would be in the low to mid 200’s which is what I wanted – sadly, it was only 150.  So I did a walk/sprint routine for 50 minutes.  I basically walked until I got to a subdivision near my office that doesn’t have much traffic, and the houses are kind of far apart.  I would walk from one mailbox to the next, then sprint to the next one.  I did that for about 15 minutes, then just walked back to my office.  It felt great!

I was thankful to have a cold salad for lunch – I totally redeemed myself from the salad the day before!

Spicy Shrimp Noodle Salad

the whole recipe comes in at: 406 calories, 6 fat, 61 carbs, 9.8 fiber and 27 protein.

Ingredients:

  • · 4 ounces cooked pasta
  • · 3 ounces cooked shrimp
  •   1 cup steamed broccoli
  •   ½ cup raw carrots
  •   ¼ cup steamed edamame
  •   ¼ cup light coconut milk
  •   2 tablespoons Thai chile paste
  •   ½ teaspoon soy sauce
  •   1 teaspoon sriracha sauce

In a large bowl I mixed the coconut milk, chile paste, soy sauce and sriracha together. Then tossed everything else in the pool, mixed well and put it in a large container to bring to work. The sauce totally got soaked up in the noodles – it was flavorful spicy, loved the hint of coconut – I will definitely make this salad again.

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And it’s a pretty generous portion too!

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I defrosted some really thin round steak and grilled it on the grill for literally a total of three minutes – it was three thin slices that Tony and I split between our steak sammies – only about 4 ounces of beef per sammie.

When I sent to get my buns out of the pantry I was hit with “what the fuck stinks in my pantry?

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Yep, without my personal assistant/maid and my lack of smell, pretty sure I need to make a mental note to clean out my pantry more often.

Dinner was super quick – I sauteed up some red peppers and mushrooms (I ate mushrooms!I – used some of the 40 calorie Swiss cheese on our buns, made a quick au jus with beef broth and Italian seasoning and baked up some fries.  Pretty sure french fries count as a vegetable if you bake them. Open-mouthed smile  Dinner comes in at 579 calories, 18 fat, 71 carbs (eeks!) and 27 protein.

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It was garbage/recycling night last night too – another job that’s become my responsibility since my assistant moved out – and discovered I have a shit load of cooking magazines.  I can’t bare to throw them out!  If anyone lives in the NW suburbs of Chicago – maybe I can give them away – just leave a comment if you want them.

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Have you been watching the Olympic trials?  So inspiring.  It reminded me of when I ran track in high school.  It’s hard for me to believe that this picture is 30 years old already – how the hell did I get that old?  I am sure I envisioned my legs being that muscular when I was running today – just sans the 80’s glasses!  And back then I didn’t have a giggly muffin top. Open-mouthed smile

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Swimming is an event that I envy because I am not a good swimmer and they make it look so easy.  Ryan Lochte is trying to best Michael Phelps.  I loved watching this video!  Enjoy and make it a great day! 

Breakfast Muffins and Spaghetti Con Crema Di Peperone

I think yesterday was my perfect temperature day – it was 64 degrees when I woke up, it didn’t get hotter than 73 degrees.  Last night we had a cool breeze coming through the window requiring just a light blanket.  Now if I can only find a place that stays like that I’d be a happy camper!

Right now it’s 51 degrees – by Thursday afternoon we will have 100 degrees – it just boggles my mind that we can live in a place that can vary by 50 degrees in just a matter of days.

So over the weekend when I was cleaning out my fridge, I noticed I had some refrigerator biscuits.  I thought of making savory breakfast muffins for the week.  The idea actually came from Kim of Mo’Betta – she made bubble up pizza for her kids and they loved it!

Savory Breakfast Muffins

makes 12 – each one is 95 caloires, 4.4 fat, 6.7 carbs, .2 fiber and 7 protein

Ingredients:

  • 1 cup liquid egg whites
  • 3 slices thin sliced Swiss cheese, chopped
  • 3 ounces deli ham, chopped
  • 1 cup baby spinach, chopped
  • 3 large eggs
  • 2/3 cup skim milk
  • salt and pepper
  • dashes of hot sauce
  • 10 refrigerator biscuits

I cut up my refrigerator biscuits and divided them into my muffin tin.  Then added the chopped spinach, ham and cheese.  I mixed the egg whites, eggs, milk, salt, pepper and hot sauce and using my 1/4 cup measuring cup – divided the egg mixture between the muffin tins.  They baked at 375 for 17 minutes.

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My breakfast:

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Well, my dough didn’t bubble up as much as I thought it would – so next time I would just put the biscuits on the bottom of the muffin tin and skip the step of quartering them.  Super tasty – it tastes like a breakfast casserole in a muffin! Open-mouthed smile

I couldn’t wait to get outside at lunch.  I ended up being gone 55 minutes!  I did my usual walk a song, run a song – my legs wanted to go super fast yesterday (for me) for some reason – felt good!  My only problem was that I forgot my hat and my hair was all in my face.

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I declared last week that this week was going to be the week of the salad!  I bought a six pack of romaine lettuce and a big package of cole slaw mix.  I grilled a chicken over the weekend.  My dressing?  A 100 calorie pack of Wholly Guacamole mixed with Trader Joe’s light champagne dressing – delicious!

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The problem with this salad?  Um, raw cole slaw mix kind of tastes like ass.  I even let the dressing sit for a while, but I couldn’t eat it – so I ate the romaine, carrots, cucumber and chicken.  I’ll have to kick today’s salad up!

Like any food whore, I get my share of food magazines.  One I love to read cover to cover is La Cucina.  When I saw their recipe for Spaghetti con Crema di Peperone, I knew I wanted to make it, but I wasn’t sure Tony would be on board with a red pepper based sauce.

I did alter the recipe a bit because I didn’t add the proscuitto or arugala, but subbed in baby spinach and shrimp to ours. This really is a great week night recipe because it was ready in exactly 30 minutes.

Spaghetti Con Crème di Peperone

  • 1 teaspoon olive oil
  • 1 pound red peppers (three large)
  • 1/2 pound roma tomatoes
  • 2 cups water
  • 1/2 teaspoon sugar
  • 1 tablespoon fresh oregano (or 1 tsp. dried)
  • salt and pepper
  • I also added crushed red pepper to my plate

While you bring your pot of water to boil for the pasta, heat the olive oil in a stock pot.  Thinly slice the peppers and cook them for 5 minutes over medium high heat.  Add water, tomatoes, sugar, salt, pepper and oregano, reduce heat to medium low and cook for 15 minutes.

Using your stick blender, blend the sauce.  Once the pasta is cooked, toss the pasta into the sauce and let it sit for a couple minutes.  This is a rather thin sauce but it did stick to the pasta – I ended up spooning a bit more of the sauce in our plates.

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Here is the picture from the magazine:

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My plate:

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We both loved it – it was very light – perfect summer night pasta. Open-mouthed smile  The best part is that the whole sauce recipe comes in at 195 calories, 6 fat, 35 carbs, 11 fiber and 6.3 protein – or about 50 calories per serving.

A couple of things I found on Pinterest over the weekend – I love this one!

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And this one made me laugh – maybe because I have a twin sister and I am the older one by 30 minutes!  And not kidding, when I was six I remember crying my eyes out.  My Mom asked me why I was crying I told her I thought I only got to celebrate my birthday for 30 minutes and Jennifer got the rest of the day!

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Off to do 30 minute stretch before work and hoping today’s salad doesn’t taste like ass.   Make it a great day!

I took a nap!

Tony and I had a great weekend – Monday mornings seem to come too soon, I could really use another day off.

Most of this post will be in pictures – Tony made me a delicious breakfast on Saturday, I ate everything but the bagel because it had started to turn moldy – while it didn’t have any mold on it, it tasted moldy – but the spicy eggs and bacon were amaze balls.

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One of my former co-workers who lives by me just got out of the hospital – she and her husband have three boys under the age of six, so I got Bizzy in My Kitchen and cooked up some food for them.

I made about 30 tacos – just made an assembly line and cooked them on my rectangle skillet so I was about to pan fry them 9 at a time.

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I also made 18 banana muffins.  My MIL taught me the secret to great banana bread or muffins was to let your bananas get almost rotten before you use them.

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I used this recipe for the muffins – the only thing I did differently was to add an oat and brown sugar topping.

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And then I made a big casserole of macaroni and cheese.

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I dropped the food off Sunday and spent an hour catching up with her – it was great to see her, but I miss her at my office. Sad smile

Tony picked up this tiny speaker, but the sound is not tiny at all.  I think it was $20 and we can hook up our phones and listen to Pandora when we sit outside and grill.

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We grilled a beef brisket on Saturday night – unfortunately I put too many coals in there so the heat was higher than we wanted and we ended up overcooking it. Sad smile  However, I tried broccolini for the first time and loved it!  We also enjoyed a bottle of this – so light and refreshing!

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Yesterday afternoon when I got back from my friends house, Tony and I ran some errands and then went out to eat.  I put this menu on Facebook with the question, “which one would you get?”  I went with the spicy giardinera burger.

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It was no shock when I got a lot of comments “you mean you didn’t get the french onion burger?”  The food was good – both Tony and I could only eat half of our burger, but the service sucked ass.  We saw our server when she took our order and when we asked the bus person to find our server so we could get the check.

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Then we came home – I still needed to clean the bathroom and kitchen.  But what I really wanted to do was take a nap.  In my younger days I was the Queen of the naps – it was always me who took a nap on holiday’s – I would just sneak off and take a nap.  It was only for a half hour or so but it was so nice – I typically think I need to keep doing something, so it was nice just to relax.

We redeemed ourselves with a grilled pork roast last night – cooked perfectly.  I think I’ll make pulled bbq pork sandwiches for later in the week for dinner.  I made a quick horseradish sauce for the pork – it was 1 tablespoon light sour cream, 1 teaspoon Dijon mustard and 1 teaspoon fresh horseradish – yum!

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So it’s my weekly WI – while I didn’t exercise as much as I wanted last week, I have good news!

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I am down 1.2 from last week!  I’ll take a pound a week!

Gotta run and put my food together for the day – I have a new breakfast muffin recipe for you tomorrow, but here is a sneak preview:

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What was the highlight of your weekend?  Make it a great day!

I wish I could grill every day at lunch.

Our temperatures have been stunning the last couple days.  The heat is gone and its been replaced by 80 degree days and temps in the high 50’s at night – perfect sleeping weather. Open-mouthed smile

Friday’s I grill at my office – my store had carne asada on sale for $2.99 a pound.  Usually its already marinated, but this time it wasn’t.  I googled some marinating recipes and stumbled upon this one – while everyone knows I can handle the heat, I cut back on the chipotles, so while this wasn’t spicy, it was super flavorful.

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And being the nice office Chef that I am, I brought my cast iron skillet and cooked up some peppers and . . . ONIONS!  Although when we were cleaning up I only used half the onion and I threw the rest out – I thought one of my co-workers was going to faint because she loves them so much – oh well!

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It was a perfect day to eat outside on our office patio too – I found the stand umbrellas so that made it much more pleasant.

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I also made cilantro lime rice, crock pot refried beans and homemade tortilla chips – my store sells yellow corn tortillas for .39 cents for a package of 10 – so I quarter the tortillas and deep fry them – 40 chips for .39 cents sure does beat the $4 bag of Tostitos!

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Everyone licked their plate clean so that is a good sign!  It’s a nice way to eat up two hours between prepping, cooking and eating.  The only thing missing was the Corona with lime or margaritas! Martini glass

Hannah came into town to watch six kids today – all day!  Three families are doing some sort of event in Chicago from noon to six – and three of the six kids have baseball this morning so she started babysitting at the baseball park at 8:30 this morning and will probably babysit until at least 8:00 tonight – some nice $$!

I picked her and her boyfriend up and we went to Friday’s for dinner.  We had a coupon for a free appetizer, and you can’t go to Friday’s without getting the fried green beans – it counts as a vegetable, right? Winking smile

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I got something new on the menu –

Mediterranean Chicken Skewers: Grilled in a lemon-garlic sauce and served with a tzatziki cucumber yogurt sauce on the side. Served with jasmine rice pilaf, fresh vegetable medley and grilled pita.

This was so good – the chicken was juicy and tender, the veggies were crisp tender.  Hannah and I ended up getting the same thing.

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It was nice to see them!  I came home and Tony and I caught up on our DVR – turns out Friday night we tape a lot of stuff and I was in bed by 11:30 – nice!

I am going to be cooking up a storm this weekend for a friend of mine.  She was just in the hospital for a week, and she and her husband have three small boys under the age of six.  I think I am going to make a boat load of crunchy tacos, some mac n cheese and some banana chocolate chip muffins to drop off at her house tomorrow.

I also need to organize my fridge/pantry/freezer – without Hannah, I don’t keep up on the organizational stuff as much as she did! 

I plan on getting to the gym today too, although its so nice out I may hit up the trails by house – but some exercise will take place today. Open-mouthed smile

Any plans for your weekend?  Hope the weather is nice where you are!  I found this on pinterest – love it!

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So Many Scrabble Players!

Thanks to everyone who offered to play Words with Friends!  Right now I have games going on with blog reader Carol and Debbi (check out her baked salsa rice with green chiles, lime and cilantro – yum!).  However, they found me and I have no idea how to “find” you when you gave me your player name – so can you help me figure that out?

So I had the last of my zucchini quiche, but the American cheese layer was so hard to cut into that I ended up just chopping it up and warming it up that way – while it doesn’t look that pretty, the taste was good! Open-mouthed smile

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Don’t you love my photography skills of capturing the plastic knife and leaving the paper towel on the side?  I don’t know how I didn’t become a food stylist. Open-mouthed smile

I had errands to run at lunch yesterday – shopping for my works Friday barbecue.  I am making grilled steak fajitas with grilled onions (how nice am I?!!) grilled peppers, homemade refried beans, cilantro lime rice, homemade tortilla chips and two salsas – it’s a new marinade for me with the steak, so I’ll post the recipe tomorrow if it works out.  Tony was nice enough to give me the number of Jimmy John’s in case it sucks. Be right back

I had plans to hit up a Mediterranean restaurant that was near the grocery store I was going to.  I totally had a taste for falafel and hummus.  Sadly, the restaurant was out of business so it was on to Plan B.   Next door was a restaurant called “Chubby’s.”   Um, pretty sure it was restaurants like that, that made me Chubby!

I did good though – I got the Grecian chicken on a pita – asked them not to grill the pita (they usually grill it in oil or butter) and had the tzatziki sauce and dressing on the side.   I threw out the dressing altogether – it was mostly oil with a little bit of seasonings.  I used about 2 tablespoons of the tzatziki, or half the container in this picture.

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I had burgers on the menu until Tony told me that he went out to lunch with a co-worker and had a burger.  So I switched it up and made Salisbury steak.  I love this dinner – it literally comes together in about 20 minutes.  I ended up giving 1/4 of this plate to our dog – does he live the life or what?

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Guess what?  I even ate a few mushrooms and liked them! Open-mouthed smile

Okay, so I just got into Pinterest yesterday, and I am already addicted!  Holy shizz.  So many recipes, craft ideas – I can already see what a time suck it’s going to be! Open-mouthed smile

Check out what I found – tons of work out videos for free – including 30 Day Shred and Insanity!!

And check out how to make Sharpie coffee mugs – so cute! 

Hannah is in town today to babysit for one of her regular families so we are having dinner out tonight – not sure where we’ll go but I can’t wait to see her face! Open-mouthed smile

And now another poster I found on Pinterest – although I woke up late today – but my goal was 4 times at the gym this week and I still have the weekend – only one more trip and I’ll hit my goal!

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Happy Friday – make it a great day!