Do You Believe in Heaven?

It was an attorneys birthday yesterday, so we had breakfast treats.  I knew there were going to be bagels, so I brought stuff to make an egg white/bacon/cheese breakfast sammie.  Lori, I always think of you when I eat a bagel!

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That was super filling, which was a good thing, because I had one boss wrapping things up before leaving for a spring break trip with one of her kids, and my other boss had a brief due yesterday.  I eventually heated up my soup around 2 – no picture though, there wasn’t any time.   But happily, my boss finished her brief during normal working hours, which doesn’t happen sometimes.  The very first day I worked with her she had a brief that was due in Chicago and I worked with her and another attorney until 4:00 a.m., only to get home at 4:20, get up at 7:00 and drive downtown to file it. 

Later in the afternoon we did have birthday treats again – I normally never partake in the birthday treats – I don’t deem them insulin worthy, but um, this fruit tart?!  INSULIN WORTHY!  I had a small slice of it – it was delicious.

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I was happy I was able to leave work on time, because Tony and I had a date night before I work this weekend.  We met at Wok n Fire – $3 beers and half price appetizers – score!  We had Sopporo on tap, fried calamari and beef skewers for apps.

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I ended up getting steak Kung Pao for my dinner – I was so full from beer and apps, I only ate half of this – so spicy good though! 

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We had plenty of time to relax at dinner – the movie Monuments Men didn’t start until 6:45 – it was nice not to be in a hurry.  Okay, two new movies that I have to see – first up:

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That movie Tony and I will both see.  The movie Ted killed us it was so funny.  Invariably there will be previews that Tony takes one look at me and says “that’s why you have a Mother, daughter and sister to see that movie with!”

I can’t wait to see this movie:

 

Do you believe in Heaven?  I do.  I am not overly religious by any means.  I grew up going to church and I believe in God but as an adult, I never felt the urge to go to church every week. 

When my Dad died at home over 15 years ago, we were all there when he took his last breath.  I saw angels in the corner and I suddenly knew that everything was going to be okay.

As luck would have it, when my grandma died in Virginia when I was a Freshman in college, I just so happened to be playing field hockey on the East coast and got to see her before she passed away.  Right before she died she said “Johnny is here.”  That was my grandpa.  I like to think that when you die you get to see all your loved ones again.

What do you believe?

I have to get this show on the road – I made this creamy tomato and tortellini soup for lunch today – thanks for the recipe Renee – it looks amazing!!

Happy Friday – make it a great day!

I was cut! Sort of.

Usually when I get up and cook and blog before work, Tony is still sleeping.  Nothing wrong with that but I try not to make too much noise.  I was looking for my non-stick skillet yesterday morning to make an omelet, and I couldn’t find it.  I could have made a ton of noise looking in the dish washer (which I know I am not supposed to do with non-stick!) or root around our one cabinet that is too small to hold all the cookware that we have.  I ended up just getting a small pot figuring that would work just as well.  Um, no.  I usually pour my egg whites in the pan, put a lid on it, go get dressed and then when I come back – it’s done and I just flip it into my container to take to work.  Um, no.  It stuck, so I ended up with scrambled egg whites.

Plan B!  B breakfast burrito panini.  I am sure I am not the only one that has a panini maker at work. Open-mouthed smile

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I love the tiny Wholly Guacamole containers.  And I love these tortillas too – 8 grams of fiber per tortilla!

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I went swimming again at lunch.  I know it’s weird to want to swim when it’s so fricken cold.  Our high today?  SIX FRICKEN DEGREES!  Gah.  But the pool room is super warm and so is the water.  It’s just the walk from the pool to the shower locker room that sucks ass.  I was the only one there, and I am happy that the life guard is confident in my swimming skills by now, because she doesn’t sit in the life guard chair, she just sits in the office.

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Lunch was leftover lemon pasta from the night before.  Still so tasty!

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So on Monday when it was so slow at the restaurant that I got cut after one table, the GM asked me to call in before work last night to see if I needed to come in.  I called at 4:30 – not gonna lie I was hoping the whole time that they would say they wouldn’t need me.  I like my weekday evenings home with Tony.  But she said I was assigned to the bar and it was probably going to be busy because we had live music in the bar.  So I go from one extreme – hope I don’t have to work! to the other – rats, I have to work.

I get there and find out we’ve had two bigger parties cancel last minute, and after being there all of 20 minutes, I got cut.  Hooray!  I get to come home to Tony!  I ended up getting home 45 minutes later than usual, but not a big deal.  I quickly changed into my comfy clothes – I mean, doesn’t everyone put their pajamas on within 5 minutes of walking in their door after work?  I had sloppy joes on the menu for tonight, but if I don’t have to work late at the law firm, we are going out to dinner and a movie tonight!  Here is my recipe for sloppy joes – please ignore the shitty ass pictures from 2009 – thank you.

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Although that picture isn’t much better – still trying to find the right white balance under my florescent light – any suggestions are welcome!  My joes are topped with spicy pickles, mustard and Frank’s red hot wing sauce.  And nothing goes better with sloppy joes than tater tots!

Time to go warm up my car.  Usually by this time of the winter there is at least a glimmer of spring – but not this year!  Make it a great day!

One-Pot Lemon Garlic Chicken Pasta

Breakfast tacos were back on the menu.  #love  I made them at home and reheated them at work.  I popped them in the toaster oven to crisp up again, then got busy at my desk and got back to them in the nick of time – nearly burned them!  These were extra crunchy – they were filled with egg whites, baby spinach, cheddar cheese and taco sauce.

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Work was busy, so that was nice – makes the day go by so much faster.  It’s funny because one of my bosses almost apologizes when he gives me a lot of work, and I keep telling him I’d rather be doing real work than making scratch pads out of scrap paper any day of the week.

I had a break and got to the gym to swim and try out my new goggles.  They were perfect!  They had a nice suction and I didn’t have raccoon eyes after swimming with them for 35 minutes.

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Lunch was more leftover chicken noodle soup and some cucumbers with ranch and hot sauce.

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I’ve said it before, but lately Tony hasn’t been the biggest fan of red sauce in pasta.  OMG, I could eat a good marinara with a spoon.  Check out Veronica’s spaghetti and meatballs – I may have to make this for one of my lunches next week.  Tony isn’t a fan of balls either (but I am!). Open-mouthed smile

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I found a recipe on Pinterest, didn’t pin it, but printed out the recipe and the link on the bottom of the printout is so tiny I can’t read where I got it from.  Dammit!  So if this is your recipe – thank you.  I adapted it a bit because you know I left out the onion and I reduced the amount of olive oil from 1/4 cup to 1 tablespoon.  This makes 4 servings:  444 calories, 14 fat, 33 carbs, 1 fiber and 43 protein.

[amd-zlrecipe-recipe:24]

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I also added a bit of crushed red pepper to mine.  The verdict?  We really liked this.  The sauce was not too lemony and it tasted like a spring pasta dish to me, even if we are going back to arctic air.  At the rate we are going, I am not sure that we’ll ever see spring this year!

I am on the schedule at Zeal tonight.  I am going to call before I go over and see if they need me before heading over there.  While it is only a 10-15 drive from my office, it’s a 45 minute drive from my house and I’d rather save the gas if they don’t need me.

I feel like making an egg white omelet for breakfast – off to get that started and to heat up my car – it’s only –3 degrees but with the wind chill feels like –19.  I think we need to move to Key West!

Make it a great day!

Just Ask.

Last week I was paying our phone/internet/cable bill and I thought to myself.  $250 bucks seems like a lot of money for all this!  We have AT&T U-verse.  We have basically every channel you could want, a DVR, and 3 other receivers in the house.  I jumped on line and saw all these specials for new customers and thought “what are they doing for me – a customer whose been with them since 2009?!”  So I called them up.  I said, “I don’t want to change anything that I have, but I just want to pay less money for it.  A few minutes of conversation and the guys said “I can sign you up for a “promotional” 12 month plan, everything stays the same except you will now pay $195 and I upgraded your internet speed.”  Done!  So my advice for you today – call your phone/cable company and just ask to spend less – you never know!   That’s a $660 dollar yearly savings!

A couple weeks ago I bought these mini flat breads, not really with any idea of how I was going to use them.  Duh.  Breakfast pizza!  Each one of these flatbreads is 140 calories.  I scrambled egg whites, then topped my flatbread with deli ham, the scrambled egg whites, baby spinach and cheddar cheese, then put it in the toaster oven.

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I had every intention of doing T-25 at lunch.  Even though I had to work a double, I didn’t think working a Monday night would be anything like working a Friday or Saturday. I tested my blood sugar and it was 144.  Not as high as I would have liked it, so I drank an orange juice and headed to the gym.  As soon as I pulled into the parking lot, I realized I forgot the office laptop!  Oh well, I ended up doing the bike – keeping the RPMs above 100 on the random hill climb and did just under 8 miles.

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I had leftover chicken noodle soup for lunch, and thought I should have brought a sandwich or salad to go with it.  I remembered that my gym just opened a new café, so I decided to get a salad on the side.  I got the grilled chicken chopped salad with chick peas, cucumbers, a little bit of bacon bits and an amazeball dressing – kind of a cross between a balsamic and ranch?   This was a super filling lunch.  What’s cool too is that since I pay my gym membership monthly, anything I buy just goes to my house account and I pay it at the end of the month.  I can grab a water bottle or a balance bar on my way out and they just put it on my tab – nice!

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I had no idea what to expect when I got to work.  I’ve worked at some restaurants where Monday can be a busy night.  There were three servers on last night and when I looked at the reservation book, there was just one reservation at 7:00 for 7 people.  I got to work on my side work.  You know, the glamorous part where I get to roll 100 rolls of silverware!

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We don’t really get stations at all, but just rotate the tables.  I was finally up at 5:45 for a 2 top.   It’s Northwest Chicago restaurant week through March 2.  Over 30 restaurants in the Northwest suburbs of Chicago are participating.  At our restaurant, for $35 you get your choice:

  • Choice of Italian Beef Eggrolls or Umbriago (which is our classic Caesar salad)
  • Choice of Zuppa de Peche or Tenderloin Tornados
  • Choice of Cannoli Cake or Chef’s Choice Gelato

I think that’s an awesome deal.  The woman did the pre-fix menu and got the zuppa de peche, which she ate every bite of.  It’s chock full of scallops, lobster, mussels and shrimp over linguine with a light tomato broth.

That’s a picture of the zuppa de peche on the left there.  Jacky, every time I see our imported meat and cheese board which is on the right, I think of you!

Well while my table was eating, it became quickly apparent that 3 servers were too many for a night like that, and since the other two servers work full time there, I decided to bow out and let them work the room and hopefully they made some money.  I ended up ordering a pizza to bring home – I get a 50% discount on food.  So after paying for my pizza, I walked with $5 and was home by 8:00!  Nice!

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And thanks to Tony, I can swim at lunch today!  He went out and bought me new goggles.  I don’t know what it is, but the only brand of goggles that work for me are Speedo brand.  I wonder if they will make me swim any faster – ha!

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I have breakfast tacos on the brain this morning.  I am off to get some cooking done before I have to head to work.  Let me know if you save any money on your cable/phone/internet bill!  Make it a great day!

Beer and Stromboli

Saturday night went much better than Friday night at the restaurant.  I only had a four table station, and picked up a couple random tables throughout the night but it was completely manageable and I think the guests got the best service from me.  And I think my service showed when I got a $100 tip on a $165 tab – nice!

After getting home late both Friday and Saturday night, and then sleeping in both mornings, not gonna lie that getting up to my alarm this morning was a bit tough.  What’s going to be even tougher is that they are expecting to be busy this week, and until they hire and train more staff, I am working doubles tonight, Wednesday and Friday.  Should be an interesting week!

Yesterday after doing the fastest grocery shop with Tony in our life – seriously we were in and out of the store within 15 minutes – we stopped at our local pizza place to get some beer and lunch.  Tony hadn’t eaten anything yet so he was hangry!  I sadly, woke up at 10:00 with low blood sugar, so I had already had a Chobani and piece of toast.  We started out with fried calamari.  I love this restaurants marinara sauce.

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Do you like calamari?  I have to say, I never even knew what it was before I met Tony!  This had a cornmeal crust on it – very good.  Of course, it tasted even better after a couple of Boddington’s!

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I have never had their stromboli before, so I decided to try it out.  OMG – flakey crust and of course, with the marinara dipping sauce, it was so good – I ended up barely eating half of this monster stromboli – and it was only $8.50!  I had sausage, pepperoni and pepperoncini.

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I thought for sure I’d take a nap when we got home, but I got my second wind and cleaned the kitchen, mopped the kitchen floor, and then caught up with American Idol on the DVR – I am on the fence if I am going to continue to watch this season – no one is really jumping out at me just yet.   I made a simple chicken noodle soup and a 3 cheese grilled cheese sandwich.  Tony was underwhelmed with the three cheeses – what??!!

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And when we were at the store yesterday, it was Tony who remembered to pick up some peanuts for Kyle and Lyle!  We are definitely getting closer to getting another dog – I just want to wait for the weather to get a bit nicer – the thought of having to walk a dog in sub-zero weather isn’t all that appealing to me just now.  Lyle loves nuts!  (that’s what she said).

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I am going to bring T-25 to work to do at lunch today.   I didn’t work out at all over the weekend because I was just too tired.  I am hoping since it’s a Monday night I won’t get home at midnight tonight like I do over the weekend.  We’ll see!

Time to put my shizz together – make it a great day!

Gelato

Using up one of my previously baked potatoes from last weekend, I scooped out the potato from half of a baked potato and scrambled that with egg whites and baby spinach.  Then when I got to work, I stuffed the scrambled eggs back into the potato half, topped it with two thin slices of hot capicola and a piece of Swiss cheese and broiled it for 10 minutes.  So cheezy good!

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I knew yesterday was my rest day.  Working a double on Friday is enough of a workout to me.  I had some errands to run for work and picked up some soup and salad from the salad bar – it’s probably the most vegetables I’ve had all week!

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Mariano’s has about 8 soups daily – I like that they give you not only the nutritional information, but the ingredients as well.  Of course, the vegetarian chili won hands down because it had NO ONIONS!

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This was quite good, although it didn’t really have the thickness of a chili, more like a soup – but for 90 calories a cup, I’ll take it!

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I also got a bag of these chips – so good!!  And only $2 a bag – blue corn tortilla chips – super thin and crunchy – I love all the textures of quinoa and flax seeds in these chips. I think it’s funny that they have to put a disclaimer on the bag stating that the chip on the front of the package is enlarged just to show texture and detail. 

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While our winter never seems to end, I enjoy seeing signs of spring in other places in the world.  That’s why when I saw Fran’s latest pics of her walks, I LOVED this one and decided to make it my screen saver – thanks Fran!  So I get a view of Holland while sitting in Chicagoland!

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So I’ve told you that my boss has a SIL that also has a food blog – A Life From Scratch.   As luck would have it, my boss was taking her oldest son back to his house for a sleep over and I got to see Courtney just as I was leaving to head to work.  I wish I would have thought to take a quick picture of us!  Courtney, next time we’ll have to meet for lunch so our visit can be longer!  Hope you had a fun girls night out at ZaZas!  You can check out my vlog of me eating mussels for the first time at ZaZa’s for Tony’s birthday back in 2011. Open-mouthed smile

Since it was the opening weekend at the restaurant I was prepared to be busy!  What I wasn’t prepared was getting a 7 table station – gah!  I think one of my best attributes as a server is talking about a food, and when I have that many tables, it’s hard to give the personal attention I want to give.  But it went okay – I walked with $190 and was home by 11:30, so not too shabby!  One of the special appetizers last night was a crab cake stuffed shrimp with lemon butter – this one got rave reviews!

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And one of the special desserts last night is salted caramel gelato that’s mixed with chocolate chips and Garrett’s hand crafted caramel crisp popcorn.  Zeal is the only restaurant licensed to sell their popcorn, so it’s a pretty big deal.  I didn’t have time to take a picture of it, but I kept telling Tony that I was going to bring some of that salted caramel gelato home to him, but kept forgetting.  So a couple weeks ago when I was at the grocery store, I bought a small jar of salted caramel gelato home for Tony. 

Holy shizz.  This stuff is the real deal.  We both could not stop eating this gelato and Tony kept saying “your diabetic and shouldn’t be eating this! “  I think he just said that so that he could get the rest of it.  I bought a second flavor and this was amazeballs too!

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But we quickly decided that we shouldn’t keep this in the house – it’s just too tempting.  Oh, and about 220 calories for 1/2 a cup!   But when I was at Mariano’s, I had to text this picture to Tony – the mother lode of Talenti Gelato!

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Although I may have to bring home some of the fruit gelato – do you think I can make that a serving of fruit??!!

I have to thank Tami for my newest Corning Ware!  I won this on her blog a few weeks ago – I love that it has a travel/storage lid too!  Thanks Tami!

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I’ve had a pretty lazy day so far.  We slept in this morning, and then Tony made me one of his amazing breakfasts – this was a ham, shredded potato egg hash with sausage on the side – yummers!  This is breakfast and lunch though. Open-mouthed smile

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With the rain we had earlier in the week, it melted most of the snow off the deck so now the squirrels can find their food.  Lyle was very happy once I brought out the peanuts and bird seed for him – he’s getting fat!

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I hope tonight is just as successful at the restaurant – I will have to say when I left there were so many people in the bar area that they had to bring tables into the foyer so people had somewhere to sit!  I just hope I don’t get a 7 table section again though. Open-mouthed smile

Enjoy your weekend! 

I love Long John Silvers

More breakfast muffins were on the menu yesterday!  One of my bosses came in late because he had to go to the DMV, so when he got in I heated one up for him.  I think everyone needs a treat after spending time at the DMV!  He loved them and said it was a sneaky way to get vegetables into a breakfast!

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I was happy that when I was getting ready for work yesterday I remembered I had another pair of swim goggles and tossed them in my bag.  Um,  now I remember why they are in the basement, because they sucked ass.  So I ended up doing my water taxi and floaty board swim workout again for 30 minutes.

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What you don’t see in most of my pics is my middle – that’s where all the fat I carry goes.  So while I do appreciate the compliments that say I look great, the photos are a bit misleading – I still have about 30 pounds to go to get to my goal weight.

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Lunch was the last of the sourdough pizza!  This time with pickled jalapenos – so good!

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So once upon a time, Long John Silvers and I were BFFs.  Like 3 times a week BFFs.  I never really ate seafood growing up, but I would eat the chicken planks and the shrimp.  I mean with all that breading and dipping sauce it really could be anything on the inside, but I literally thought I was eating healthy back then by eating the shrimp – I mean, isn’t seafood good for you?!

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The best part about getting Long John Silver’s is all those little bits of breading that are in the bottom of the box.  Well, that and that you can have hush puppies too.  I loves me some hush puppies!

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So I had Long John Silvers on my brain when I was making dinner last night.  I had shrimp tacos on the menu.  I made a super quick beer batter – this could not be simpler.

  • 1/2 pound peeled deveined shrimp
  • 1/2 cup flour
  • 1/2 can beer (I used Miller Lite – no way in hell I would waste my Sam Adam’s Cold Snap on a beer batter!)
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon black pepper
  • 1/4 teaspoon paprika

Mix all the batter ingredients together, then toss the shrimp to coat.  It’s going to be a little bit thinner than pancake batter.

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I wish these pictures were better, but well, I was hungry – but these were delicious AND I got the little crunchy bits – just like Long John Silver’s!

I have a new app I need to share with you – it’s the perfect app for when you are waiting in line at the deli, stuck at a train crossing – PLOPSICLE!!

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My friend Christina’s husband created the app, and I am totally addicted.  You’ll thank me later!

So I took the night off from exercising.  After working a double on Wednesday, I just didn’t have the energy after working yesterday.  I started to beat myself up for it, but then when I was looking at the T-25 exercise chart, I realized that there are two rest days every week, so I decided that Thursday and Friday will be my rest days for T-25.  No more guilt! Open-mouthed smile

This weekend is going to be insane at the restaurant – our opening weekend!   I just hope they don’t give me an 11 table station like they did last Saturday – that was a bit insane.  Big bucks, no whammies!

Happy Friday – make it a great day!