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!

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  • Jan
    August 30, 2014 at 9:55 am You must be jumping for joy. Tony wants food again and you are going to NYC. Very happy for you Biz!!!!!!! You are a star!
    • Biz
      August 31, 2014 at 9:38 am I know - its a win/win isn't it Jan?! :D Thanks for voting!
  • Docklady
    August 30, 2014 at 9:56 am Congratulations Beth! I knew you would be one of the finalists: )
    • Biz
      August 31, 2014 at 9:38 am Thanks Laura! And thanks for making me step up my walking steps to try to catch up with you, which I never will by the way :D
  • sara
    August 30, 2014 at 10:02 am CONGRATS! That is super awesome. :)
    • Biz
      August 31, 2014 at 9:39 am Thanks Sara! Hope you guys had fun last night on the town! :D
  • MB
    August 30, 2014 at 10:05 am Congrats! So happy to hear you won the NY trip and you get to feed Tony. Cheers!
    • Biz
      August 31, 2014 at 9:39 am Thanks MB! :D
  • Bonnie
    August 30, 2014 at 10:08 am Wow! You are heading to the Big Apple! Congratulations!! That is a gorgeous photo of you!! I'm a watermelon purist so don't think I'll be seeking that yogurt out!! Glad Tony is feeling better. Enjoy your long weekend. Best, Bonnie
    • Biz
      August 31, 2014 at 9:40 am Thanks Bonnie - I've never been to NYC so I can now cross that off my bucket list. :D Enjoy our gorgeous weather!
  • Abbe@This is How I Cook
    August 30, 2014 at 10:09 am What awesome news! I am so happy for you and I think you have this in the bag! Or the apple, so to speak! Tony looks great and you look totally fabulous, my dear! Just float on a cloud this weekend. You deserve it!
    • Biz
      August 31, 2014 at 9:40 am Thanks Abbe - hugs! :D
  • Andrea@WellnessNotes
    August 30, 2014 at 10:14 am SOOO excited for you!!!! Have a wonderful weekend!
    • Biz
      August 31, 2014 at 9:41 am Thanks Andrea - hope to get some major steps in today - it's a gorgeous 78 degrees. :D
  • Thekitchwitch
    August 30, 2014 at 10:22 am So excited for you! You're gonna be great!
    • Biz
      August 31, 2014 at 9:42 am Thanks Dana! :D
  • M.J. Jacobsen
    August 30, 2014 at 10:23 am Super excited for you! You and Tony have a fun, relaxing weekend! Sounds like you will be bizzy in your kitchen, glad Tony is hungry!! :)
    • Biz
      August 31, 2014 at 9:42 am Yep, and I made corn fritters last night and he absolutely loved them. :D
  • Erica
    August 30, 2014 at 10:45 am SOOOOO happy for you! I bet you win the whole darn thing <3 <3
    • Biz
      August 31, 2014 at 9:43 am From your lips to God's ears! :D
  • Joanne
    August 30, 2014 at 10:58 am Congratulations on being one of the final four! Good luck in NYC!
    • Biz
      August 31, 2014 at 9:43 am Thanks Joanne! I still can't believe it! :D
  • Louise
    August 30, 2014 at 10:59 am Yayyyyy for you and Tony. Sometimes when things look the bleakest that is when the sun shines!!!! I just know you will take home the whole thing and that sure is a pretty photo of you. Have a great weekend and enjoy the break from computer land :)
    • Biz
      August 31, 2014 at 9:44 am Thanks Louise - thanks for all the shout outs and votes! :D
  • Helen
    August 30, 2014 at 11:03 am Congratulations! I love that some good things are finally happening for you my friend.
    • Biz
      August 31, 2014 at 9:44 am Thanks Helen - me too! :D
  • LaLa
    August 30, 2014 at 11:18 am So excited that Tony is doing good and getting his appetite back!!! He is looking good, too!!! Enjoy your weekend, we are headed up to Rachel's later today. Sounds so weird to say that. Love you and Tony!!
    • Biz
      August 31, 2014 at 9:49 am Thanks Laura - I like how close Rachel is to Charlie's work! :D
  • Kym
    August 30, 2014 at 11:34 am I too am making your salsa just not the vast amount you are. Sadly , I have not taken up the art of canning. Glad you are taking the weekend off.
    • Biz
      August 31, 2014 at 9:50 am Well, with this new deluxe canner, I will definitely be canning more often - just set it and forget it!
  • Joyce
    August 30, 2014 at 11:50 am Am so, so glad you are going to NY. All those....even middle of the night votings so I would not forget during a busy day ahead.......WELL WORTH THE EFFORT. Sometimes I am up working while it is quiet at three or four am, and that was such a perfect time to head on over and VOTE! Good job Girl!! Congrads! And I helped! lol
    • Biz
      August 31, 2014 at 9:51 am Thanks for your votes Joyce - I totally appreciate it!!
  • Carol at Wild Goose Tea
    August 30, 2014 at 1:33 pm The photo is wonderful. CONGRATULATIONS about the trip to NY. I have never been there. I am sending you good vibes for the contest. How thrilling!!!
    • Biz
      August 31, 2014 at 9:51 am I feel the vibes - thanks! :D
  • Lori
    August 30, 2014 at 5:24 pm Woo Hoo!! Too bad NYC is so far from me upstate. Enjoy the city! When do you go?
  • Christine
    August 30, 2014 at 5:56 pm So glad to hear Tony's appetite is back! That pizza looks sooo good. Beautiful photo! Congratulations! Hope you have a great trip to New York! And have a great holiday weekend! :)
  • Aimee Racicot
    August 31, 2014 at 12:31 am Congratulations Biz! NYC here you come. Amazing!! I'm so excited for you. Glad to hear Tony is regaining his appetite. This is a great post. Hope you're enjoying the weekend.
  • Laura
    August 31, 2014 at 9:37 am Big congrats! ! We love Lou Malnati's pizza too!
  • Shelley B
    August 31, 2014 at 10:10 am Yeehaw!!! Congratulations, Biz!! I've never been to NYC - enjoy!! Glad Tony's feeling like eating again. And he wanted PIZZA! ;)
  • elizabeth
    August 31, 2014 at 11:52 am Congrats!! Let me know if you have any questions or want any good NYC-related suggestions. :)
  • Fran
    September 1, 2014 at 3:59 am That is so cool! I now have a soon to be famous friend in the US! So happy for you. Tony definitely looks better than last year. Enjoy your long weekend sweety, a computer break can be so nice sometimes.
  • Melanie
    September 1, 2014 at 7:48 am Hi Biz. I know I'm a day late and a dollar short here, but WHOOP, WHOOP, WHOOP! I had my fingers crossed that you'd get to the next stage and now I'm certain you'll be the winner! I meant to comment last week when you posted your head shot from the last big promo you did--such a beautiful picture and I love the red blouse on you. I'd forgotten about the one in the camel sweater--just as fabulous. And Tony, man he's looking good...a little thinner maybe, but that twinkle in his eye!
  • A Life From Scratch
    September 1, 2014 at 12:50 pm CONGRATS to you - you should be very proud. I'm excited for you!!!! Can't wait to read all about your trip :) and like I said on Instagram, you look so pretty! :)
  • Erin
    September 1, 2014 at 1:28 pm Have a great time in New York! I've never been... Tony is looking great and I'm glad his appetite is coming back!
  • Kim
    September 1, 2014 at 2:41 pm Well, dang - somehow I missed the IG announcement - CONGRATULATIONS!!! So excited for you!!! Gorgeous picture!!! You are going to be awesome in NY!
  • Christine
    September 1, 2014 at 9:20 pm I love reading your blog and look forward to it each day...though I never comment. I made sure to vote for you. So glad you are heading to NYC!!
  • Roz@weightingfor50
    September 2, 2014 at 2:57 pm WOOOOOOOHOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO!!!!!!
  • Jessica @ Blog-Inspired Cooking
    September 2, 2014 at 3:23 pm That is so cool that you're going to New York! You're welcome for all the votes (four times each day!) :) Tony is looking so much better than a few weeks ago and glad to hear his appetite is coming back. I couldn't imagine not wanting to eat! Hopefully his next Mayo Clinic visit is his last and he's all better. Good luck to both of you!