Happy New Year!

Wow, I can’t believe another year is in the books!  I can’t believe in 2014 I’ll be 46 years old.  Seems the older I get the faster life goes!

It’s cold in my part of the world – like –4 degrees but with the wind chill feels like –15.  Jacky, I hope you keep warm when you go to work downtown!  I feel for you!

chinese 030

I never did a full grocery shop so I just had to put stuff together that I had on hand – breakfast was a 3/4 cup egg white omelet with shredded zucchini, 1/2 ounce mozzarella with leftover steak on the side and blackberries.  I ate this around 9:15, worked out and didn’t feel like eating lunch until nearly 1:30, that’s how filling this is!

chinese 033

I was so happy to see the pool was completely empty!  It felt nice to swim again – it’s probably been almost a month since I hit up the pool.  It’s just such a great all over workout, and being in the water feels like summer to me, even if I see the snow outside!

chinese 034

On Sunday when I went to my Mom’s house, I was worried there wasn’t going to be enough chili for everyone, so I ended up making a pinto bean vegetarian chili with carrots and celery.  It was just okay – almost too many beans!  I brought the balance of it home, doctored it up a bit and it’s good, but not great.  If you have a veggie chili please link to it in the comments section – I’d appreciate it!  I had 1.5 cups of chili over 1 cup of cooked angel hair pasta (not that you can see it in this pic!) with 1/2 an ounce of mozzarella on top.

chinese 004

I knew I was dehydrated from the weekend, but didn’t realize how much until by 10:00 I had already finished my second 25 ounce glass of water!  I wish I could get in the habit of drinking as much water at home on the weekend as I do during the week at work.  One of the things I need to work on in 2014.

Tony and I both had a chinese jones going on, so I picked up food on the way home – I got a small beef and broccoli, and egg roll and wonton soup – I may have had to add some sriracha to kick them up a notch. 

chinese 007

chinese 009

And I have leftovers for lunch today – love it!  I was perfectly satisfied until I got my hands on crack Chex Mix – gah!  I mindlessly ate two cups of it while watching t.v. last night – another habit that’s come back that I need to break in 2014.

Stats for the Day:

  • 1850 calories, 108 fat, 240 carbs, 107 protein and 37 fiber
  • 40% of calories from carbs, 41% from fat and 18% from protein
  • 35 minute swim

So I saw on the restaurants Facebook page that the Chef plans on bringing out a “breakfast bar” at 1:00 a.m., so that makes me think it’s going to be a long night for me.  I have to be there at 4:30, so I’ll work until 4:00 and then head on over.  I’ll miss hanging out with Tony – we normally watch Kathy Griffin and Anderson Cooper together – she always kills me how she tries to make Anderson Cooper laugh!

Hope you have a safe and happy New Years Eve!  See you in 2014!  Happy New Year Tony – I love you!

The Great Onion Debate–We Win!

Regular and long time readers will know that Tony and I despise onions.  Growing up our families cooked with them on a regular basis.  We would complain that we don’t like onions, our mother’s response would be “you can’t even taste them” to which we would reply “then why put them in anything?!”  I believe it was on our second or third date that we both learned of our hatred of onions and I think it was at that point that I thought to myself “I need to marry this man!”

I tried to shun them from my daughter.  I was successful until the age of 12 when she went to a sleepover.  They ordered a veggie pizza and not to be rude, Hannah took a piece of pizza that had peppers and onions on it.  When I went to pick her up the next day she ran to me and said “Mom, I had onions on a pizza and it was delicious!”  Sigh.

Flash forward a few years and Tony calls me at work.  He says “I have no idea what your daughter is cooking, but the whole house stinks of onions!”  When I called her later that day and asked what she fixed for lunch – she said “just caramelized onions with butter.”  She literally caramelized half an onion and ate it straight out of the pan.

So in November when I was helping my Mom with her churches chili dinner, I diced so many onions for her signature chili I thought for sure I would smell them on my hands for days.  I ended up bringing a container of the chili home, and upon inspection, I couldn’t really “see” the onions, so I heated it up and it was actually quite delicious.  I sent her an email saying that I loved her chili, even if it had onions in it!

Which brings us to yesterday.  My brother decided that we should have a taste test – sample the exact same chili except for the addition of onions in one.  I was bringing my award winning Buffalo Chicken Chili and I made a pinto bean veggie chili.  My Mom made the two test samples of chili.


My brother set up the ramekins – six in all – 3 of them contained the chili with onions, 3 without.  You had to rank the top three chilis that you thought had the most flavor.  My brothers argument is that onions enhance the flavor of food – not just make the food taste like onions.  His analogy is the same as adding salt to cookies – the salt enhances the flavor of the cookies, but they don’t taste salty.


My brother kept the “official” tally after each taste tester. You know when something is official is when you write it on your pad of paper.


Let the tasting begin!


PicMonkey Collage onion

The verdict???  After all the tastes were added up – ramekins 1,  4 and 5 contained NO ONIONS and received a tally of 15 votes.   Ramekins 2, 3 and 6 contained onions and received a tally of 12 votes!  Tony and I win!!  After all was said and done – my onion loving family (sans me) thought that the chili with no onions had more flavor.  Of course, my brother being scientific said that one test does not necessarily prove the hypothesis that onions don’t have flavor.  All I know is that Tony and I feel vindicated that onions don’t really belong on this earth.

All the grandkids except Hannah were there – it doesn’t happen very often so we had to take pictures – you’d think it would be easier now that they are teenagers and 20 somethings – but out of a couple dozen shots, this was the best one!


And I had to smile at my Momma taking pictures – she’s so short she had to raise her arms to take her picture!


And there was a lot of laughing!


And now its back to reality.  Monday.  Gah.  I have been so used to sleeping in this last week.  I work at the law firm today, then it’s a double tomorrow.  Since we had July 5 off earlier in the year to have a long weekend, I have to work on New Years Eve – and then I found out I am working the bar for New Years Eve at the restaurant.  We have a liquor license until 3:00 a.m, but I am hoping they are sticking to their 1:00 a.m. closing time!

Time to get my stuff together – make it a great day!

Oh hello!

Yesterday was a long day.  One of the secretaries was out at the law firm, and I was steady busy all day long.  It was a creepy drive into work – very foggy!

loot 020

loot 026

I ended up planning my food for the day – first time in a while!  Breakfast was an egg white zucchini omelet, with about 1/2 an ounce of mozzarella in the middle, 4 ounces of leftover steak and blackberries on the side.

loot 004

That whole plate comes in at 374 calories and a whopping 41 grams of protein.  This plate took a long time to eat AND it stuck with me for a long time!

My plan was to hit up the pool at lunch – just an all body workout to get me back in the game.  When I pulled into the parking lot I thought “score – hardly any cars!”  Wouldn’t you know that every lane was filled and homey don’t share a swimming lane if she doesn’t have to.  So Plan B.  Treadmill while watching The Chew.  I ended up running/walking for 30 minutes, 2.2 miles, then cool down of 5 minutes and stretching for 5 minutes.

loot 029

Lunch was a taco salad – chopped romaine, carrots, celery, 4 ounces of cooked taco ground beef, light ranch and lots of hot sauce.  Yum!

loot 006

I had planned on eating some of my buffalo chicken chili for “dinner” since I was bringing it to work for the chef to try, but it was busy right off the bat.  I had a cup of chicken noodle soup and that had to hold me for a while.   My brother and his family, my Mom and Tony came to the restaurant for dinner last night!  It was kind of weird because in all my years of working in the restaurant/bar industry, I am not sure I’ve served my family for a whole dinner!   One of the specials we had on the menu last night was a 16 ounce Porterhouse pork chop – holy cow, did that look delicious!  I love thick cut pork chops but Tony isn’t much of a fan.  I may just have to buy that meal for 50% off – it was only $18!  I wish I had a picture of it, but this is similar.

Grilled Porterhouse Pork Chop with Sorghum

So we have runners who bring the food out – so each seat at a table has a “number” so that the food runner doesn’t have to come to the table and ask “who ordered the gnocci?”  My Mom was in the #1 spot, and when I got to my niece, she said that she and her Mom were going to split the pork chop special.  I was thinking in my head “I wonder where the bone is and if they can split that into two plates?”  I was concentrating on that so that by the time I got to my brother, I just walked away from the table.  As soon as I started punching in all the orders to send to the kitchen, I thought “I never got my brother’s order!”  Having my family there just threw me off my game, but luckily they know me!   This is again a picture off of google images, but he ordered the meatballs over creamy polenta with marinara sauce – the meatballs are stuffed with proscuitto, mozzarella, and basil.


And then just as my family table was finishing up, I got to work a party of 15 people with another server.  Super nice people, easy going, but they didn’t sit down until nearly 8:30 and then the Chef came out and talked to them for a while, brought out an assortment of appetizers, and chopped salads.  I didn’t get home until after midnight, but it was worth it – even after tipping out I brought home $170.  Not too shabby!  And for the record, we declare our tips – cash or not.   Next week I found out that I am working the bar area for New Year’s Eve – should be fun!

But after working all day and being on my feet for 7+ hours, I was beat this morning.  Tony and I slept in, watched t.v.  I didn’t even get out of bed until noon other than to make coffee!   My brother and his family are going to see The Hobbit today – they saw Walter Mitty yesterday because of the time it was playing before dinner last night.  So I am going over to my Mom’s tomorrow for the day to have lunch with everyone – my sister and her kids are coming over too.  I told my brother that I would bring over my buffalo chicken chili for chili mac for lunch – he said that he might make a batch of Texas chili – which is said has no beans.  I said “that’s like Cincinnati chili” and he said “no, that’s Texas chili!”  When I asked if he used brisket he said just ground beef and no beans.  I am sure I will win!

So by the time the chili was heated up, there was only a handful of people left, so they heated up just one of the containers I brought.  They all loved it!  And the Chef said that he loved that it was a “light” chili – which it is – there’s no fat, all fresh ground chicken breast, and veggies.  Yum!  I was cleaning tables when it came out and by the time I went back it was all gone.  I ended up bringing the second container home and had a cup with a small glass of wine before hitting the sack.

I hope to catch up on some computer work today – turns out if you work 16 hours in a day you don’t get a lot of time to check out Facebook, check email or even read comments on your own blog!

Stats for the Day:

  • 1313 calories, 57 fat, 117 carbs, 82 protein, 36 fiber
  • 39% of calories from fat, 35% from carbs and 25% from protein
  • 2.2 mile walk/run in 30 minutes
  • average blood sugar 102 – nice!

Enjoy your weekend – its 45 degrees here today and everything is melting – love it!  After Christmas, I am totally over snow.  But I still love my snowmen!  Big shout out to blog reader and friend Laura (docklady!) who sent some gifts through my Mom.  Love them – thank you!!!

loot 015


It turns all different colors when you turn it on!  And then she got me a snowman mug, hand towel and holiday spoon from Pampered Chef – so cute!

loot 032

21 Day Sugar Detox

I had plans to spend the day with my brother, but unfortunately, he was sick yesterday.  It started with one of his girls on Monday, his other daughter got sick on Tuesday, and yesterday, it was Charlie’s turn.  I can’t afford to get sick – especially today when I work both jobs, so Tony and I ended up spending the day together.  After getting up early with a low blood sugar yesterday and after writing yesterday’s post, it was only 8:15 so I decided to go back to bed.  I didn’t wake up until after 10!  And then Tony and I just watched t.v. in bed until probably 11:30.  I wish every day could be like that!

We had to pick up our prescriptions and run a couple errands, then stopped for lunch at our local Italian restaurant.  We can’t not get a Boddington’s on tap when we go there!

detox 002

I actually went in thinking “I’ll get a nice salad” when out of my mouth came “I’ll have an Italian beef on garlic bread with marinara sauce on the side with tater tots please.”  It was nearly 1:30 and I was hungry!  I didn’t even take a picture of it, but this will give you an idea.  Um, and dipping an Italian beef sandwich into marinara sauce doesn’t suck.  I also mixed in hot gardiniera into my coleslaw and that didn’t suck either!

italian beef

I had another beer with lunch and by the time I got home I was so full.  I only ate half the plate, but with the beer it just was weighing me down.  I am so out of my routine it’s not even funny.  I’ve worked out only once in a week.  and I am started to feel . . . puffy.  Do you know what I mean?  I’ve had a nice time off from work, but it’s time to get back into the game.  Happily, this is the first time in YEARS that I am not starting January 1 off with “this is the year I’ll lose weight!”  My final WI for the year is next week – my hope is that I have maintained my WI from December 1 – 155.  My hopes were to lose another 5  pounds in December, but with my erratic work schedule this month, I’ll say maintaining would be a victory.  I just need to get it in gear.  One thing that I fail at miserably when not at my desk job?  Drinking water!  I don’t think I had two full glasses of water each day I was home off from work.

Which brings me to my next challenge.  Blog reader Peggy and her husband Brian do a 21 day sugar detox.  Brian has the sugars just like me, and she said it was remarkable how his blood sugars stabilized while on this 21 day sugar detox.  He is not on insulin, so he has to manage his diabetes through diet and exercise.  He’s done a terrific job handling diabetes – so proud of him (and for Peggy who preps most of their food!).

Starting January 6, she has a page on Facebook for this 21 day sugar detox challenge.  Here is a snippet of what to expect.


While I don’t advocate keeping foods out of a healthy diet permanently, I am actually looking forward to changing things up for a few weeks and for this to give me inspiration in the kitchen again.  Luckily I still have Sunday’s completely off from work, so that will be my food prep day for the week.  It’s funny because I haven’t meal planned for a whole week.  It always boggled my mind that people go to work without food and just wing it every day.  Well, now I know that without a plan, it’s easy to eat like crap, because it’s convenient!

Have you ever done this plan before?  Did you see any results?  Let me know if you want to join the group and I’ll provide Peggy with your information to add you to the 21 day detox board for daily inspiration and motivation.  I’ve LOVED having my Healthy for the Holidays page on FB.  So many great ideas!  And one idea that I didn’t even think of came from Peggy.  On days I work at the restaurant, I am usually so hungry by the time I get home, it’s easy to pick up fast food or reheat leftover pizza.  Why did I not think to just make a pot of vegetable soup to reheat?!   It’s easy, healthy, and especially since I go to bed shortly after I eat, it won’t weigh me down like pizza will!

Basically its taking a step away from refined carbohydrates (bagels, English muffins, potatoes, ALCOHOL, and replacing that with lean protein (beef, chicken, scallops, shrimp), veggies like broccoli, cauliflower, zucchini, peppers, spaghetti squash, etc.   It also includes nut butters and nuts (almond butter, tahini, flax seeds) and dairy.  Although I’ll have to get the plain Greek yogurt and add honey and cinnamon to it on my own.  I can only use stevia and honey for sweeteners.  Um, pretty sure I’d never use molasses as a sweetener!

So I am excited about this.  I hope that 2014 brings me closer to my goal.  I don’t have an “end date” per se, just need to get my ass back in the gym and fine tune my nutrition.   Is anyone interested in joining this group?  Just shoot me an email at mybizzykitchen@gmail.com with your Facebook name and Peggy can add you to the group – since she’s done this a few times, she’s got some great ideas!!   Like Greek burgers and crock pot cheeseburger soup!

Alright, I have to get my ass in gear.  I have to iron my work shirt for tonight.  I also am bringing my Buffalo Chicken Chili to the restaurant tonight – if the chef likes it, he’s going to put it on the special menu!

It feels weird that it’s Friday – yesterday felt like Sunday all day.  Make it a great day!

Best Christmas Present Ever!

It’s weird being at the hospital on a holiday.  The Outpatient Pavilion where Tony was to have his colonoscopy closed at noon.  His appointment wasn’t until 11:15, so by the time he was ready to go in and I was to sit in the waiting area, I was the only one there.

nocancer 011

Here’s the deal about me and Tony.  I am always 100% positive, and Tony is usually 100% negative.  We somehow meet in the middle most times.  He was convinced his colon cancer had returned, I just refused to believe it.

nocancer 001

So when I was called back into the recovery room and he was sleeping, I waited a few minutes only to have the doctor to come in to tell us the news.  She immediately said “Oh hi!” to me, as if she knew me.  She showed us the pictures – NO CANCER!  He does have some polyps that have to be removed, but it was the best news ever.  Then the doctor said “are you one of my patients?”  When I said no, and realized I recognized her as well, we finally figured out we went to high school together – even graduating the same year – small world!  I should note that our graduating class was 1000 people! 

Tony was so tired because you have to do the “prep” the night before – he was up and down 40 times and didn’t get any sleep.  We took it easy the rest of the day and I simply made pasta for dinner – mine with Italian sausage, spinach and red sauce – Tony’s with just butter and Parmesan cheese. 

nocancer 003

And later that night, we watched my favorite movie of all time – It’s a Wonderful Life.

nocancer 007

At the end of the day, it doesn’t matter what’s under the tree at Christmas, it’s all about family and friends.  Even Clarence said “Remember no man is a failure who has friends.”  I consider each of you my friend and I appreciate all the thoughts and prayers sent out way – it is appreciated way more than you’ll ever know.

Christmas morning I was up before Tony and made myself grilled grapefruit.  My PIL ship me a box of Florida citrus and it makes me so happy – it’s just so good!  All I do is drizzle a teaspoon of honey on each side and broil it for about 5 minutes. 

nocancer 014

And later I had this orange, even though it looks like a grapefruit too!

xmas 2013 001

When Tony got up we ate a later breakfast – panettone, sausage and eggs.  I never had panettone before I met Tony – it’s a super light cake – not sure really describe it, but it’s so good!  We split a mini one.

xmas 2013 034

xmas 2013 036

I headed to my Mom’s for Christmas dinner in the afternoon.  My brother Charlie and his family are in town from Texas, and my sister and her family and Hannah and her boyfriend were there too.  13 in all!  I took pictures of everyone, but sadly for a portion of the pictures I had the wrong setting on my camera – so these are the ones that turned out!

xmas 2013

My Mom made turkey, stuffing, mashed potatoes, green beans, glazed carrots, fruit salad – everything was delicious!  My Mom makes the best mashed potatoes!

xmas 2013 019

We ended up exchanging gifts – I have to say the best one I got was that my Mom was in cahoots with Tony.  About a month ago when I was meeting my Mom at church, Tony handed me a box that was taped up and said “could you give this to your Mom and don’t ask any questions.”  Um, okay.  I completely forgot about it, and yesterday figured out what was in the box – my old VHS tapes of Hannah when she was little.  We taped the day she was born and every year I watch it on her birthday.  On her 20th birthday, I nearly ripped the tape in the VCR – so on her 21st birthday I was too scared to watch it!  With my brother’s help, my Mom transferred the VHS to DVDs.

xmas 2013 028

Now I can safely watch the tapes before and not be worried they will be ruined.  Thanks Mom and Charlie!

So all in all – it was a wonderful Christmas.  Tony being healthy being the best gift of all!

I got up early this morning because my blood sugar was 49 – gah!  I thought I ate enough Chex Mix to be high this morning!  My treat day is done, back to the routine as best as I can.  I have today off from work, and will be meeting up with my brother sometime today – maybe just hanging out at my Mom’s or maybe a movie – I want to see the Walter Mitty movie!

How was your Christmas??  Hope you have a wonderful day!  Stop Dreaming.  Start Living!

A Restaurant Dinner at Home

I had every intention of being a lazy person yesterday because its my one day of the week that I don’t have to be anywhere.  Tony made me brunch – spicy scrambled eggs, hash browns made out of frozen french fries and toast with jalapeno jelly.  The battery of my DSLR is being charged – underneath my desk at work.  I plugged it in Friday and completely forgot it.  I’ll be picking it up on my way to the restaurant tonight, but my iPhone had to do all the work yesterday!

anniversary 002

While Tony was watching football, I watched Biggest Loser that I had on the DVR.  As soon as the show was over, I got my workout clothes on and got Insane!  I did a 40 minute plyo cardio routine – its been a while since I did any cardio and I thought I would die, but surprisingly, I did the whole routine without stopping.  Don’t get me wrong, it’s still hard, but it goes to show that strength training really helps – probably more than cardio!

anniversary 009

I put on my Healthy for the Holidays page on Facebook that my goal for 2014 is to fine tune my nutrition.  The problem is getting hungry after I work at the restaurant.  For example – Saturday we ate brunch around 11, so by the time I was ready to leave for work at 3:45, I wasn’t hungry.   I ended up eating a cup of soup around 5:30 and by the time I was heading home around 10, I was hungry!  I ended up fixing a hot dog and chips for “dinner.”  I need to plan meals for that time of night too.  Blog reader Peggy had some good ideas – making my own homemade “frozen” dinners so I can just heat up when I get home.  Bonnie suggested salad with lean protein – takes a long time to eat and its filling.  Lynne suggested something eggy, like an omelet.  And my sister suggested Mason Jar Meals ala Big Red Kitchen.  Thanks for the ideas ladies!

For Tony’s football food, I made him one of his favorites – steak tartar.  Ew.  I wouldn’t even try it.  It’s ground sirloin mixed with anchovy paste, one egg yolk, salt and pepper.  That’s it.   He spreads it over party rye bread and it couldn’t make him happier.

anniversary 004

For our anniversary dinner, we decided to make steak, crab cakes and asparagus and edamame risotto.  Our store sells canned crab meat for $9.99 for a 16 ounce can.  It had some pretty big pieces of crab in there!

anniversary 017

anniversary 011

I ended up using half the can for 4 crab cakes – I used this recipe from Food Network.  There was hardly any binder at all so these were really good.  We ended up buying one steak – well, it was 16 ounces – for less than $9 dollars.  We spent under $20 for this meal that would have easily cost us $60 in a restaurant.

anniversary 015

I made the crab cakes earlier in the day and kept them in the fridge so they wouldn’t fall apart when I cooked them.  Look at all that crab meat!

anniversary 023

Because our steak was so thick, I ended up cooking it 3x3x3x3 – and then 2 minutes on each side.  Perfect mid-rare!  And I am very proud of my grill marks. Open-mouthed smile

anniversary 025

anniversary 029

I made a butter sauce with fresh rosemary and garlic to pour over the steak.  So good!

anniversary 035

I wish the picture was better, but this plate of food was delicious.  Best part though?  We ate at the dining room table!  Helen and I talk about our distain of eating dinner in front of the t.v. every single night.  We only use our dining table when we have company over, which isn’t that often.  So Tony, thank you for spending 45 minutes at the dinner table last night – best Anniversary gift ever!  I love you!

I am taking a blog break until Thursday.  I have to work tonight at the restaurant.  My brother and his family are in town too.

Long time readers will remember that in January of 2011, Tony was diagnosed with colon cancer.  We knew he had to have another colonoscopy and back in October I made an appointment for him – the next available time wasn’t until January!  Well, he’s having some symptoms again, and they were able to squeeze us in tomorrow morning.  So on Christmas Eve we’ll be at the hospital.   Please send all your good thoughts our way that it’s anything but cancer again.  Not sure Tony could handle that again.

I hope you all have a wonderful holiday with family, friends and good food!  Hugs from My Bizzy Kitchen!!

Ugly Sweater and Snowmen!

Every year I put together our firms holiday lunch.  It’s just one less thing my boss has to worry about it, and it usually works out really well.  This year we decided to throw in an ugly sweater contest.  When I was at Good will on Thursday, I bought this red sweater with fur around the collar and arms.  I bought tiny ornaments meant for a table top tree and sewed them on.  After about a dozen, I figured that was enough!

sweater 001

The prize was a $15 Starbucks card, so I ended up stopping by Walgreen’s to pick on up on my way to work, when I saw this headband and I knew I was going to buy it.  I wore it all day long!

sweater 003

I also have yet another snowman coffee mug – this one is huge!

sweater 005

I ended up eating breakfast around ten because our luncheon didn’t even start until 2:00 – we close the office early and then just leave the restaurant around 5.  I had a Chobani, a cheese stick and an English muffin.

sweater 007

So I had reserved this private room at a restaurant near our office back in October.  I’ve had several conversations between then and yesterday, even going so far as to go to the restaurant on Wednesday to talk about how I wanted the tables set up, where I wanted appetizers to be placed, etc.  They even showed me how to close the pocket doors for more privacy, as she said the restaurant could get very noisy.  Perfect!  So imagine my surprise when I got there early, that there were people in our room.  I asked if they were just finishing up, when the hostess said “no you’ll be sharing that private room with a party of 14.”  WTF?! 

I asked to speak to the GM, they said he stepped out – I knew that because he was smoking outside.  When he came back in, I said “are you finished with your cigarette so you can take care of this!”  He then proceeded to tell me that how could I expect to have a private room all to myself during the holidays when they are so busy.  Really?!  I was mad.  It didn’t help that I was hungry, my blood sugar was dropping – one of the attorneys said “I didn’t know you could be so forceful!”  I scanned the entire restaurant, found some corner tables that I wanted to be put together for a 12 top and told the manager he had to make it happen.  But what I didn’t want was a long table because half the table couldn’t hear what the other half of the table was talking about.  The apps didn’t come out until nearly 2:45.  The food was okay – the apps were a little tasteless, but my turkey burger was good.  Reuben egg rolls and calamari.

sweater 014

I got a glass of wine – stat!

sweater 012

The turkey burger comes with avocado and a raspberry jelly that’s really good.  The mac and cheese was pretty good too.

sweater 017

My co-workers gave me some loot too – I plan on bringing my gifts to the office next Friday – I just sort of ran out of time!  My one co-worker got me this bottle of hot sauce – can’t wait to try it!

sweater 008

And my other co-worker gave me this snowman night lite – an organization called Pioneer Center for Human Services makes these lights as part of their fundraising.  She made the donation, and in turn gave me the snowman night lite – love it!

sweater 022

Speaking of loot – reader Kym sent me this snowman spatula and a SQUIRREL card – how appropriate is that for me!  Me?  Not Wish You a Merry Christmas?”  and on the inside it says “That would be nuts!”  Love it Kym – thank you so much!!!!

sweater 023

And guess what I got in the mail yesterday?  My $5,000 check for winning the Spark People slow cooker contest!

sweater 020

It could not have come at a better time.  Not only with the holidays, but it will be nice to catch up on some bills, and still have a cushion in the bank.   Now I just need to find more recipe contests to enter!

Tony and I will be celebrating our 13th wedding anniversary tomorrow!   It’s hard to believe we’ve been married that long, but it seems like we’ve been together forever, if that makes any sense.  New readers can read about how me met here.  We are dining in – making crab cakes and steak and sharing a bottle of Asti.  No better way than to spend a date night in on a Sunday.  I love you Tony!

sweater 024

Have a great weekend!