Coffee Crusted Filet Mignon and Pecan Cake

Last Thursday night was our nice dinner at the hotel restaurant.  Guess what?  I actually wore a skirt!  I know, crazeballs.  Sadly, no picture I took turned out so you’ll just have to trust me on that!  I did wear my hair down and put makeup on though!  I am really contemplating getting my hair cut chin length again – its really starting to get too long for my liking.

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I met several of the girls in the hotel bar before dinner.  It was just so nice hanging out with such a great group of women.  I don’t do that often enough.  I started out with a glass of pinot grigio, knowing I would switch to Cabernet with my beef for dinner.  For those of you who saw that picture of wine on Instagram, you’ll know I shot that using my iPhone 4 – using the Camera+ app.  This is a “special” filter called “depth of field.”

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We had our choice for dinner, and I am not going to lie, I almost contemplated getting the 28 ounce pork chop!  Tony isn’t a fan of pork much anymore, but in the end, I was in beef country, so I went with the coffee crusted filet mignon.

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The sides were passed around family style.  Oh my word, was this filet good – I have coffee grounds my favorite beef marinade, but I think next time I do a steak, I’ll have to do a coffee bean crust.

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And what would be on my plate next to my steak?  Only the best mushrooms I’ve ever had.  Tony and I think they must be baby portabella mushrooms – all I know is that they were still fairly firm and when I had a bit of the steak with a mushroom, it was the perfect bite.

I normally don’t get desserts, but when I saw pecan cake I thought “that is probably insulin worthy!”  Yep!

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I sent that picture of the pecan cake to Tony and his response was “I’d knock you over to get to that.”  It was super sweet, but I managed to eat 1/3 of it!   It was a lovely dinner and I was happy to hit the hay around 11:00 that night – my bed was so comfy and quite possibly the best pillows I’ve slept on.

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The view in the mornings weren’t bad either!

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Just one more recap tomorrow and then I will be done with my Texas experience.  Thanks for reading along this week! Open-mouthed smile

I ended up making granola bars the night before last.  Um, guess who likes my granola now??  Tony!  He eats it with his fruit and yogurt in the morning.  I knew I was going to have half a granola bar for breakfast, and decided to make a quick egg white omelet with Everything Cabot Cheese.  If you can find this cheese, buy it – love the poppy seeds in it!

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I had legs on tap for strength training.  I am following Bite Sized Fitness (you can find her on Facebook here)   One of the exercises was called Good Mornings – what?  I looked it up and its for your lower back, glutes and hamstrings – Most of the seven exercises were 10-15 reps for 3-5 sets.  Yowza!  I am feeling it this morning.  Then I finished up with 2 miles on the treadmill for cardio.

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Lunch was leftover grilled shrimp from the other night with brown rice and chopped asparagus.  There wasn’t much asparagus left, so I accessorized my lunch and bought a small container of Szechwan green beans to go with it.  So good!

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Even though I microwaved the shrimp, they were still so good, not rubbery at all.

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While I was changing after my workout, the t.v. in the women’s locker room was on Extra, and I heard that they released the trailer for Dumb and Dumber To.  Tony LOVES the first one – its so stupid it’s funny.  The new movie comes out in November, so I know we will definitely see that in the movie theater.   I give you another episode of Texting with Tony!

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Luckily the rain had stopped and I was able to grill out.  We bought some marinated steak at the grocery store – it’s usually really flavorful, but this time it wasn’t for some reason.  I wouldn’t know though since I put all kinds of hot sauce on mine!   Since we are watching Tony’s sodium intake, I made a batch of stovetop refried beans, except this time made two batches – Tony’s didn’t have any added salt or hot stuff, mine was exactly as I wrote the recipe.   Each of my tostadas had:  1 tablespoon of the stovetop refried beans, 1 ounce of the grilled steak, lettuce, red cabbage, Garlic and Herb Cabot cheese and hot sauce.  Here’s the recipe for the stovetop refried beans – so good and cheap to make!

Stovetop Refried Beans


  • Makes 10, 1/2 cup servings: 135 calories, 6 fat, 15 carbs, 4.5 fiber, 4.8 protein and 291 sodium
  • Ingredients:
  • 2 1/2 cups dried pinto beans
  • water (I’ll explain below)
  • 2 tablespoons minced garlic
  • 2 tablespoons red pepper flakes (this were on the spicy side, adjust as needed)
  • 1 tablespoon paprika
  • 1 teaspoon cayenne pepper
  • 1/4 cup hot sauce of choice
  • 1 teaspoon ground cumin
  • salt to taste


  1. Rinse the beans well. Put in a pot and cover with enough water so that there is 3-4 inches of water above the dried beans. Cook with a lid on, medium low heat for 2 1/2 hours, checking periodically to make sure the beans aren’t sticking and there is still enough water covering the beans.
  2. At this point, I just took it off the heat and let it sit until cool. Drain the beans, reserving the liquid, then put in the food processor. Add the garlic, red pepper flakes, paprika, cayenne pepper, cumin, and hot sauce and start to puree. Add enough of the cooking liquid until desired texture – I love creamy refried beans, so I added 2 cups of the liquid. Season with salt to taste.

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While I was taking my pictures, um, someone wanted to join me!  Although this is not Kyle or Lyle!

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This squirrel would just gingerly pick up a peanut and then jump off the table and run down the deck stairs.

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Luckily he left my dinner alone!

So another one of the women I met at the Texas event lives in the town I grew up in River Forest.  Her oldest goes to the same Junior High that I graduated from way back in 1982!  Again, small world!  I had the pleasure of getting to know her at the dinner Thursday night.  She has 4 kids, and I can tell when we were traveling back home together that she’s traveled quite a bit in her lifetime, not the once a year like me!  She was born in France but moved to the United States when she was 12.  I think she’s lived in France, London, Canada and now in the Chicagoland area.

Meet Vanessa from Chef Druck!

A few of the dishes that I need to make asap:

Hope you have a chance to check Vanessa out – it was nice meeting you Vanessa!

Alright, I have to get my gym clothes out of the dryer, put my food together and take a shower and get out of the house in 25 minutes – no problem!  Make it a great day!

Disclaimer: This trip was provided to me free from the National Cattlemen’s Beef Association to review for the blog. All opinions are my own.

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  • Fran
    June 12, 2014 at 6:53 am

    Even I had to laugh at some scenes of Dumb & Dumber.

    Girl I’ve said it again, you are so beautiful but even more when you pay attention to how you look.

    • Biz
      June 13, 2014 at 3:39 pm

      Aw, thanks Fran – you are so sweet! Hope you get some walking in this weekend without rain! 😀

  • thekitchwitch
    June 12, 2014 at 7:00 am

    Yep, those mushrooms look like creminis (baby bellas). Yum! I had to laugh at the new squirrel–he knows where the treats are!

    • Biz
      June 13, 2014 at 3:39 pm

      I think the word is on the street about us! SO JEALOUS of your Italy trip! Can’t wait to read all about it.

  • Helen
    June 12, 2014 at 7:23 am

    I would race Tony to knock you over to get that cake!

    • Biz
      June 13, 2014 at 3:40 pm

      I am confident I can’t make that cake healthier – it was so rich!

  • Kym
    June 12, 2014 at 7:42 am

    Looks like Tony, Helen and myself will be expecting you to come up with a copy cat version of that cake. Oh My Goodness it looks beyond yummy! I will also be waiting impatiently for your version of coffee crusted steak.I like the action shot of your little squirrel buddy. Noooo, I don’t want the Texas post to be over. I guess I am going to have to find some other event for you to attend. (all expense paid of course 🙂 I really enjoy reading your perspective and seeing the photos.

  • Courtney @ Don't Blink. Just Run.
    June 12, 2014 at 8:47 am

    I might knock you over for that dessert, too! That bed looks sooooo comfy!

    • Biz
      June 13, 2014 at 3:42 pm

      Yep, I think I was asleep in 30 seconds vs. the 60 seconds when I am at home Courtney!

  • Sam
    June 12, 2014 at 9:07 am

    You’re gorgeous, Biz! That steak sounds amazing, and they probably are baby bellas, my fave!

    • Biz319
      June 14, 2014 at 9:17 am

      Thanks Sam! I am definitely going to try to find those mushrooms – such a meaty taste and the texture isn’t off putting like regular mushrooms to me.

  • Heather
    June 12, 2014 at 10:03 am

    Good mornings are one of my favorite exercises! SOoooooo good for your hammies! 🙂
    And you look GORG in that first picture, Biz. Simply beautiful!

    • Biz319
      June 14, 2014 at 9:18 am

      Aw, thanks Heather! And yes, I love the good mornings – so many new exercises to me!

  • E. Jane
    June 12, 2014 at 10:28 am

    You look so pretty! The food looks wonderful too, but the cake is definitely insulin worthy!

    • Biz319
      June 14, 2014 at 9:19 am

      Thanks Jane – and I am not sure there is a healthy way to make that cake!

  • Jersey Girl Cooks
    June 12, 2014 at 10:39 am

    Nice dinner! Glad you got to be Vanessa. We have been at numerous events together and she is great!

    • Biz319
      June 14, 2014 at 9:19 am

      So glad you know here too – yep, she seems to be the Queen of these type of events – super down to earth too. 😀

  • Aimee
    June 12, 2014 at 11:00 am

    Those mushrooms look delicious. OK so does the cake!! You look spectacular all dolled up. I don’t get dressed up very often, but it is fun to do every now and then. I’m going to check out the Good Morning exercise. I’ve been doing a lot more strength training since my injury.

    • Biz319
      June 14, 2014 at 9:20 am

      Thanks Aimee! And I have to say, since getting back into the strength training this last week? I am not as sore as I was – I used to hobble around for a good 15 minutes after getting up, now, not so much!

  • Erica
    June 12, 2014 at 11:27 am

    TJs has a coffee rub seasoning that is amazing! You should try that on your steaks. Those shrimpies….now I want some! I’ll have to check out some of the Bite Sized Fitness workouts. Have a good one

    • Biz319
      June 14, 2014 at 9:21 am

      What?! I need to hit up TJs! I wish there was one closer to my house though. I’d love to hear your opinion of Bite Size Fitness – you being the exercise guru after all!

  • Karli
    June 12, 2014 at 12:04 pm

    You looked beautiful that night as always! If you recreated that crust, please blog about it. I MUST EAT IT AGAIN.

    • Biz319
      June 14, 2014 at 9:22 am

      Thanks Karli! I think I’ve come up with a pretty good rub – hopefully it will be on the menu this week! 😀

  • Louise
    June 12, 2014 at 12:13 pm

    Sounds like a great trip to TX. We like when you go to seminars and learn things. Makes for interesting blogs!!!

    OMG that steak and mushrooms and asparagus looks delish!!! Any kind of mushroom is fine with me.

    Squirrels…..guess what I found at the Good Will Store…..a squirrel stamp!!! Guess I need to send “yous guys” a card in the near future!!!!! Have a great day!!

    • Biz319
      June 14, 2014 at 9:22 am

      OMG, a squirrel stamp Louise – how fun is that! 😀 Enjoy your weekend!

  • Carrie @ Season It Already!
    June 12, 2014 at 1:16 pm

    ~ I also have an iPhone 4. I downloaded the camera+ app ages ago, but forget to use it. Do you think it takes better pictures overall? Do photos take up more room?
    ~ I used Baby Bellas (Cremini Mushrooms) a lot now! Ever since they came in one of my Plated boxes. They are really good roasted, too!
    ~ I love filets – my favorite cut. And coffee. Hmm…
    ~ Yes, that Everything Cabot looks up my alley. But it is cheese…
    ~ I love Jeff Daniels on Newsroom. His character is so much different from Dumb and Dumber. It’s hard to go back, watching that now!
    ~ I have a squirrel that visits me outside my window at work now. He spent one whole 8 hour-day gathering acorns and burying them in the flower boxes. It was crazy! Now he comes back only when he’s hungry. I’ve named him Nutjob.
    ~ Thanks for introducing us to ChefDruck. She’s my kind of girl! I’m following now and agree to have to try the fire-roasted tomato soup (hello? tomatoes!) and the pudding. I love pudding, but I’ve never really made anything but instant before. (SAD!)

    • Biz319
      June 14, 2014 at 9:24 am

      I don’t usually keep a whole lot of pictures on my phone, but I can store 1000 before it’s “full.” I definitely think the iPhone cameras have come a long way – I know some food bloggers and people on Instagram who ONLY use their iPhones for photos and there are some awesome pics out there.

      And for the record, perfect name for a squirrel – NUTJOB!

  • Kim
    June 12, 2014 at 2:02 pm

    The other day I was sitting on the deck and a squirrel came right up on the deck – kind of creepy!!!

    • Biz319
      June 14, 2014 at 9:25 am

      They are friendly these days, aren’t they?!

  • Sherry Werth
    June 12, 2014 at 2:07 pm

    I haven’t commented in several days, but I’ve been reading the blog & enjoying it! And found several new ‘friends’ to follow!
    I started back to WW & I think I gained 2 lbs. just looking at that darn cake!! lol Also my plan is to get back to the gym next week and the Bite Sized Fitness may have the routines that I’ve been looking for. 🙂

    • Biz319
      June 14, 2014 at 9:26 am

      Hey Sherry! Thanks for catching up with me! Yep, I need to go back to where I was – getting the strength training in – this week? Giving up the wine for water, getting the strength and cardio in. I just did 10 minutes of abs – holy balls are my ab muscles screaming back at me saying “where the hell have you been?!” 😀

  • Lori
    June 12, 2014 at 6:45 pm

    I love doing the good morning! That’s one of my favorite exercises 😀

    It seems like very fall I start growing my hair out and then get it cut short in summer because it drives me nuts LOL

    • Biz319
      June 14, 2014 at 9:37 am

      Yep, its getting to the point that I feel like going REALLY short, but then I just chicken out and throw my hair back into a ponytail!

  • Erin
    June 12, 2014 at 7:14 pm

    I saw that trailer in my office this morning; nothing like laughing your ass off in front of a bunch of stuffy coworkers! Don’t know that I’ve ever had coffee crusted steak; I will have to try it the next time I defrost a big hunk o’ beef!

    • Biz319
      June 14, 2014 at 9:37 am

      Didn’t that trailer kill??!!

  • Lisa
    June 13, 2014 at 5:16 pm

    That dinner looks superb!!!

    • Biz319
      June 14, 2014 at 9:38 am

      It was delish! Hope your husbands back is better by this weekend – I love how the pets kept him company – especially Fat Kitty!

  • Christina
    June 16, 2014 at 12:35 am

    We share the soup whore trait! I adore soup and can eat it year round also. In the fall I go weeks eating just soup because I anticipate the cooler weather.