Monthly Archives:

August 2014


I am going to New York City!

By now, if you follow me on Facebook or Instagram, you know that my recipe was one of the top voted recipes in the Away From Home Cooking contest, so now I’ll face three other dishes for the cook-off in New York with Sunny Anderson!   I had to fill out paperwork, disclosures that I am not a professional chef (ha!) and I had to send a head shot for their announcement yesterday.  I had that photo shoot done back in October and I have actually been trying for a few months to get pictures once the article was published, but to no avail.  He finally came through after I told him “I am a finalist in a national cooking contest with Sunny Anderson of The Cooking Channel and Food Network” that suddenly he was able to send me some.  I couldn’t decide, so I ended up sending four and this is the one they picked:

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The only thing I did was whitened my teeth with picmonkey.   If you haven’t used their photo editing, it’s super easy and most of the site is free.   So I’ll be making my first trip to New York in a couple weeks!  My cousin Sue and her husband live there (hi Sue!) so hopefully I will be able to hook up with them at some point. 

So my co-worker knew I was still looking for the watermelon Chobani, and she finally found it and got one for me.   I added about a tablespoon of my granola on top. The verdict?  VERY TANGY!  Like almost a bit too tangy, but the granola was a good compliment.  My vote is still for the grapefruit – I hope they make that a permanent flavor.

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I had errands to run at lunch, so no walk or workout.  I had two slider ham sandwiches – I put the ham and cheese on the bun, then put it under the broiler to kind of crisp up the bun and melt the cheese – I ended up burning the tops of the buns, so I cut off the burnt part, flipped it upside down and ate them that way – it looks like ass, but it was a tasty lunch.  With sweet potato chips and black grapes.  And just a little bit of yellow mustard.  First bite and I had mustard all over my shirt – I am klassy like that!

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Tony’s appetite is coming back with a vengeance and I could not be happier.  He had a taste for Lou Malnati’s pizza and pistachio gelato.  Done and Done.   We both think Lou Malnati’s is hands down the best deep dish pizza in Chicago – better than Gino’s East, Uno’s or Giordano’s.  If you don’t live in the Chicagoland area, you can have any pizza shipped across the U.S.  Or, you could make my copycat Lou Malnati’s deep dish pizza.  A bit more effort, but totally worth it.

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It was dark by the time we ate it, so no pics of the final product – but this is what it looks like – so fricken good!  The crust is flakey and buttery, you get a bit of sausage in every bite since it’s a layer of sausage, not just pieces of sausage here and there, all the mozzarella cheese and of course, an amazing tomato sauce topping.   We eat had one piece, and then split a second – so good!


And if you want good gelato – check out Talenti.  While sea salt caramel is still my favorite, this one was pretty amazing too – just one spoonful is all you need.  Or the whole jar – your choice! Open-mouthed smile

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We sat outside for a good two hours when I got home – such a better way to spend a Friday night than last week in the hospital – what a difference a week makes!

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He looks a bit thinner than last year, no?


We’ve schedule his next appointment at Mayo at the end of September – it’s just a morning of tests so he’ll drive up on a Sunday, have the tests on Monday, and then head home.  I don’t have a whole lot of vacation days left, and I need to use up three for my trip to New York. 

I love three day weekends!  I just lit the Weber and am about to grill up some tomatoes and jalapenos for canning salsa today.  Last week I hit the jackpot on the dollar rack and bought six packages of tomatoes for $6 – I think I have about 50+ tomatoes!

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I won’t be posting again until Tuesday – going to take a computer break for a couple days.  Hope you all have an awesome weekend!  Hugs!


Wellness Check and I didn’t know.

Yesterday was another “throw shit in a bag” food day for me.  I kind of don’t mind those days – makes you get a bit creative I guess?  Breakfast was the last of my blueberry pancakes – I must have gotten interrupted because this is the one and only shitty pic of breakfast, but it was tasty!

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One of my co-workers asked if she could go walking with me and of course I said yes.  I reminded her “don’t forget your walking shoes!”  It got time to go, I said “I need to run to my car and get my shoes out of my bag.”  I get to my car – no gym bag.  What?!  Yep, me – the one who walks or goes to the gym pretty much every day at lunch, forgot my bag!  So I ended up wearing my flip-flops for our 3 mile walk.  It worked!

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And we saw a snake on our walk yesterday – first time I’ve seen one there!

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I ended up making a taco salad for lunch – chopped Romaine, baby spinach, carrots, pickled radishes, taco meat, white beans – the only thing was that I had balsamic dressing at work and thought that would be gross.  So after our trail walk I popped into Subway and for .50 cents bought some ranch to mix with hot sauce for my dressing.

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So I usually talk to Tony around 11:30 every day just to touch base.  I called and got voicemail, but left a message that said I was going on a walk.  When I got back I called again, got the machine again.  Huh.  By 1:45 I called his cell phone – still no answer.  By 2:00 I was really getting worried – I had never gone that long in a day without talking to him – and he had a blood test.

So I left work and drove home.  You guys, I was a nervous wreck.  I kept thinking “what if he fell on his way to the bathroom” and couldn’t get up.  I kept going to worst case scenarios and then quickly trying to get them out of my head.  When I walked in the back door, I could hear our turbo fan on in the bedroom – by now it’s 2:20 and because Tony turns off the bedroom light on the lamp next to his bed, I had to get a flash light to turn on the light.  When I looked in the bed, he was flat on his back – sound asleep.   I shook him awake and he was so confused, but thank God he was alright.  I guess he couldn’t fall asleep the night before and had finally just zonked out around 4:00 a.m. – so he’d been asleep about 10 hours – the longest stretch of sleep in probably his whole life.  Once I knew he was fine, I went back to work.   Whew!

Tony asked for skinny bone in pork chops for dinner, so I did a quick stop at the store on my way home.  They still had Cabot cheese on sale 2/$4!   I had baked a couple potatoes over the weekend that were hanging out in the fridge, and decided to make twice baked potatoes on the side.  I used the Farmhouse Reserve on my potato  – holy cow is this cheese delicious.  It’s super creamy on the tongue, but it has a bite to it.  Love.

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I tried to make dinner rolls on the side, but they turned out like ass.  I tried to use a mixture of both whole wheat and regular flour, and well, let’s just say they not only looked like ass, but they tasted like ass too.  Once I get more white flour I will try the recipe again.  These basically went straight from the oven right into the garbage.

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So yesterday on Instagram I did a #tbt (throw back Thursday for those of you who don’t know).

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That was from the photo shoot I did last fall for Health Monitor Magazine – you can check out the article here.   Anyway, I put a hash tag of #diabetes – and after I posted it, clicked on that hash tag only to find about a million posts using that hash tag – who knew?!  So I flipped through some of them.  But one caught my eye because her Instagram name was messed_up_dia.  It was a picture of a glucose monitor – I clicked on it, and it said “this is not good.  Need help.  #diabetes #diabetessucks #diabulemia #thin #ana #depressed.  I quickly learned that #ana is anorexia, but what I never heard of before was “diabulemia.”  Well, it turns out that girls that have diabetes are withholding their insulin so that they have a rapid weight loss to stay thin.  I had no idea that was an eating disorder, but it saddens me because while they might not feel the effects of what they are doing now, they are slowing killing themselves – once you start having symptoms like visions loss, nerve damage, etc., it’s too late – you can’t reverse it, only prevent it by managing it.

So I clicked on the #diabulemia hash tag and found another girl who posted a picture of her glucose meter – the number read 31.5 – which is SEVERELY low.  She wrote “no wonder I feel like I’m dying.  Ergh.  Least I feel sick and don’t feel like eating.  Might lose some weight now.”  UPDATE!  Um, turns out this girl is in the UK, so the conversion is different.  I looked it up – her blood sugar is 550!   They want to keep their blood sugar high so that they will lose weight. 🙁

I am in utter shock.  Had any of you heard of this eating disorder before?  I don’t think I could even type if my blood sugar was 31!  It’s just so sad.

I ended up taking one more night off from Insanity, and my knee is all better!  I forgot to tell you that I joined a gym by my house again for the weekends, especially as we head into fall and winter.  They had a special offer for previous members – only $25 from Labor Day weekend through December 31!  Couldn’t pass that one up!  So I plan on hitting the gym this weekend.  I still got my steps in though:

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Well, time to get this show on the road – happy Friday!  Does anyone have fun plans for Labor Day weekend?  We don’t have anything specific, which is okay by me.  Have a great weekend – hugs!


Fritos and Taco Meat

Since I was just grocery shopping mainly for me this week, I relied on my freezer yesterday for breakfast.  We have two refrigerators with freezers.  The downstairs fridge is usually “my” fridge for the bulky stuff like romaine lettuce, bags of tomatoes for salsa, etc.  But I forget that I put shit in the freezer all the time down there.   Sometimes six months goes by without me even taking a peek into it!  But over the weekend I remembered that I had chorizo breakfast tacos in there!  And I did a quick inventory and put a piece of paper on the outside of the freezer to remind myself what’s in there. After I crisp them up in the toaster oven, I add fresh spinach and tons of hot sauce. Open-mouthed smile

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It was a gorgeous day yesterday.  Partly cloudy, blue skies, temps about 78 degrees.  I decided to skip the gym and get my walk in.  I kept texting pictures to my twin sister who works downtown now!  This is a 7 mile bike/walking trail about a 2 minute drive from my office.  I like walking here because I don’t have to worry about getting hit by a car!

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I got 3 miles in at lunch – nice!  Alright, this lunch is going to look like dog food, but it tasted much better than it looked!  I ended up having reheated skinny mac n cheese with the second half of my pork chop, some balsamic cucumbers and fruit.  And everything is better with sriracha, am I right?!

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So I was talking to Tony in the afternoon, and he said to me “You know what I have a taste for?  Fritos.”  Then we continued talking and he decided he wanted Fritos and taco meat.  What?  This coming from a man who normally eats some yogurt and fresh fruit before I come home, and maybe eat a few bites of whatever I make for dinner.  If he would have asked for a whole lobster I would have made that! 

And it worked out perfectly because I did have tacos on the menu, and a childhood friend of mine that I am friends on Facebook with now, knows how much I like spicy shit, so he sent me some hot peppers from his garden!  How nice was that?  I diced up half of the peppers on the left, and after adding them to my nachos, my face was sweaty for a while.  Perfect!

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Tony’s plate:  He ate every bite!  There is about 1/3 of a cup of taco meat, lettuce, tomato, some cheese and Fritos.

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My plate had 1/3 cup taco meat, 1/3 cup white beans, Romaine, tomatoes and cheese – and the super delicious and spicy peppers. 

I ended up giving my knee one more night to rest – I am taking Helen’s advice and ditching the squats for now.   My knee feels 95% better today, so I’ll get back at the Insanity tonight after dinner.  I still got my steps in though, even though I forgot to put it back on after changing my clothes!

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I have no idea what I am making for breakfast or lunch today – should be interesting!  And for once in a long while, I actually have 40 minutes before I have to leave for work.  Plenty of time to power wash the deck before work – ha!

Make it a great day!