Monthly Archives:

September 2014

Poultry/ Uncategorized

We Have A Diagnosis!

So there is one clear difference when Tony is not home and I am home by myself.  Mind you, that doesn’t happen very often.  Even with a household of two people, I think I can count on one hand how many times in recent months I’ve been home alone.  You see, Tony LOVES t.v.  He loves movies, sports, MMA – you name it.  From the moment he wakes up until the moment he falls asleep, the t.v. is always on.

Me?  I love music!  So when Tony left for Mayo on Sunday, within minutes I found myself blaring my Pandora station and loving it.  Our Nissan Rogue came with Sirius XM radio free for the first year.  I loved it!  No commercials, so many stations to choose from.  I love all kinds of music:  blue grass, gospel, Pop, 80’s, etc.  I love it all.  So when I got an email saying there was a Barbra Streisand station I nearly peed my pants.  I LOVE Barbra Streisand.  I’ve loved her since I heard her sing in A Star Is Born.  My Mom and Aunt had a lot of her albums.  But you want to know what my favorite Barbra Streisand movie is of all time?  Yentl!   When I heard her sing “Papa Can You Hear Me” I was hooked.  The story line, the music.  I love everything about it.

So when I was driving to my dr. appointment yesterday I was belting out all the songs in my car to this Yentl Medly!

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But my absolute favorite song that Barbra Streisand did was a duet she did with Judy Garland.  Totally aging myself here, but I don’t care.  Their version of Happy Days Are Here Again always puts me in a good mood!  Here’s the weird thing though.  That was on the Judy Garland Show in 1963 – Barbra Streisand was 21 years old and Judy Garland was . . . 41!!  So weird!

So back to the doctor appointment – I am skipping ahead because I know you guys are all waiting with baited breath to see what the hell is wrong with my knee.  Well, it is not a torn meniscus!! Hallelujah!  But it’s something called Plica Syndrome.   I guess the plica are remnants of tissue from the fetal stage of development, and while during the second trimester they usually diminish, mine didn’t.  I blame my twin sister.   My one foot is 1.5 sizes smaller than the other.  I blame her for sitting on the smaller foot.  I have arthritis now, I have diabetes, and now I have knee tissue that didn’t develop normally while we were “womb-mates.”  I think she got all the good nutrients from our Mom!

All kidding aside, it’s good news.  No surgery.  They ended up giving me a cortisone shot and I was back to work.  He said within a couple days it would feel a lot better, and then in a couple days I can resume working out, although nothing too strenuous to start: i.e. no running, stair climbing or Insanity.  But walking and swimming are just fine.  Whew! Crisis averted!

And if my good news wasn’t good news enough, Tony’s check up at Mayo went great.  His lab work looks good, and while tired after the quick two day turn around trip, it went well!   Thanks for all your extra prayers and virtual hugs! Open-mouthed smile

I was a busy beaver getting everything ready for birthday breakfast treats.  I made cinnamon chip scones, my homemade Nature Valley granola bars, and zucchini muffins.  I also made a strawberry sauce and brought Chobani for people to make breakfast parfaits.  Strawberries were ridiculously expensive last week – $4.99!  So I skipped to the freezer section and bought an 8 ounce bag of strawberries for .99 cents.  They were delicious!  I just cooked them down with 1 teaspoon of sugar.

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I’ll post the zucchini muffin recipe later this week – they turned out amazing – super moist.  I added raisins and coconut – yum!

I posted the picture of my grilled chicken on Instagram yesterday morning.  Not kidding, Sunny Anderson changed the way I cook chicken – I never thought to use scissors to cut out the back.  I linked to her in my comment and was so excited she responded back!  I love the hash tag #teamskin – (and hi Marie!)

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I brought a couple pieces of pizza for lunch but for the life of me couldn’t find it.  Turns out it was in between two grocery bags when I brought in the treats, and didn’t realize it until I was packing my stuff up at the end of the day.  So I got Jimmy John’s – I ended up only eating half of it though –  I forget how big the sandwiches are there.  Um, I may have had a few cherry peppers!

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Tony made it home from Mayo around 5:00.  It was so nice kissing his face when I got home!  I had leftover rotisserie chicken from when I made my Mexican pizza over the weekend.  I decided to make a super simple chicken and dumpling dish for dinner. [amd-zlrecipe-recipe:89]

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Super quick and easy weeknight dinner.  Tony said it reminded him of the inside of a pot pie!  All I know is I have leftovers for lunch today. #winning

Time to get this show on the road.  I slept in this morning and now I have 15 minutes before I have to leave the house and I haven’t taken a shower yet – no worries!  Make it a great day!


Salted Caramel Apple Pie

This weekend was the perfect blend of relaxation, productivity and family.  Saturday we had my husband’s nephew over for lunch.  I was so happy to have company over after not having company for months (well, other than my Momma  – hi Mom!) that I only took one picture!  I made homemade cheezy beef sandwiches, and homemade potato chips.  And well, since the fryer was there, decided to make some beer battered jalapenos on the side.

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Chris stayed for a couple hours and it was nice to catch up.  We ate kind of a late lunch, so when I asked Tony what he felt like for dinner, he couldn’t think of anything and I said “what about a cheese, meat and fruit plate?”  Done!  I could easily eat this every day and never get sick of it, well, other than the lack of nutrition except for the fruit!

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Tony and I both love procuitto – what I don’t like is the $14.99 price tag!  Check out and see if your deli has what are called proscuitto ends.  I got this one for less than $3.00.  I put it in the freezer before 10 minutes before slicing so I can get nice thin shaved slices – it pairs so well with cantaloupe!

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Tony left for Mayo Clinic yesterday.  He has his check up and tests with the cardiologist, and while I wish I could be there with him, since I only have one vacation day for the rest of the year before I get unpaid time off, we decided he should make the trip by himself.  So he left around 11:30 yesterday morning and I, or course, like any football Sunday, got bizzy in my kitchen.  I made a batch of granola for my co-workers birthday, zucchini coconut muffins, strawberry sauce for parfaits, and then I made another recipe for a recipe contest.  I decided my odds of winning recipe contests would increase the more I enter!  Sebastiani Vineyards is sponsoring a “Pizza My Way” pizza contest.  You just have to make the dough and sauce from scratch.  I entered my Mexican Pizza.  Next week I am going to make my Reuben Pizza.  Janine, you make tons of good pizzas – you should enter too – first prize is $10,000!

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Before I knew it, it was time to head to my Mom’s house.  Hannah and her boyfriend were meeting me there.  I got there about an hour before.  Mom and I sat outside, enjoyed a glass of wine and some of the bruschetta spread I made.  There’s no real recipe for my spread.  I just seeded and threw some tomatoes in my food processor with basil, garlic, olive oil, splash of balsamic, salt, pepper and fresh Parmesan cheese – I threw the cheese in whole, didn’t grate it, so it had little chunks of Parmesan cheese in it.  The crostini was just French bread sliced thin, brushed with olive oil, Italian seasoning and salt and pepper, baked at 350 for 12-15 minutes until crisp.

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I ended up grilled a whole chicken.  Just washed, rubbed dry, then brushed with melted butter, salt, pepper and Italian seasoning.  My Mom has a two burner gas grill, so I grilled it indirectly – once side off (the side the chicken is on) and had the other burner on high.  This 5 pound chicken (well, before I cut out the back) took about an hour to cook.

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I made a giant batch of my homemade mac n cheese, because Hannah loves it.  She loves the tiny shells, as she’s convinced that the shaped pasta has more flavor – this was the only picture I had of it!  It has diced black forest ham in it.  I took it to my Mom’s and baked it at 350 for about 20 minutes just to heat through.  Then I mixed 1/2 a cup of Italian style panko bread crumbs with 1 tablespoon melted butter and put that over the top and finish it up under the broiler until the top is nice and brown and crispy.  Hannah didn’t give the chicken a second look once she set her eyes on the mac n cheese!

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For dessert, I decided to make a Salted Caramel Apple Pie.  When I make my granola, I boil the sugar and brown sugar until it gets a caramel color before mixing it with the dry ingredients.  I wondered if I could do the same for the apple pie, so threw caution to the wind and decided to give it a go.  I used my favorite pie crust recipe here.


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The secret to a good pie is to try to get all the apples the same size.  Also, Fuji apple is my go to apple for any baked apple – plus they are Tony’s favorite to eat.

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It was dark by the time we ate it, so there are no pics of the finished product, but boy was this insulin worthy!  I served it with a side of vanilla bean ice cream.  We had such a good time, Mom put out lots of candles.  We had wine with dinner and coffee with dessert.  Lots of laughs!

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PicMonkey Collage - kiss

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Hannah is quite a bit taller than my Mom, I love how she bends down to hug her!  It was a nice evening – happy belated birthday dinner Momma!

Well, time to get this show on the road.  Have to put together all the food I made for the birthday girl in the office.  She’s now my age, so I can’t really call her old now, can I?! Open-mouthed smile

I have my follow up with my doctor at lunch to let me know if in fact I have a torn meniscus or not.  Fingers crossed it’s nothing serious.  Send good thoughts Tony’s way for a good check up this morning.  Make it a great day!


Still grilling while we can.

This weekend actually feels like the beginning of August – temps in the high 70s this weekend, no rain in the forecast. I love it!

On the way to work I picked up another protein box (thanks Heather!) for breakfast.  There was a bit of a line, but I wasn’t in a hurry, so I had time to look in the pastry case.  Shouldn’t have done that – they have baby scones for .95 cents each!  That made it on my plate, and while I usually leave the cheese for last, this time the vanilla bean scone won out.  I could literally eat that ever day and not get sick of it.

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Before work I decided to make a chicken stir-fry for lunch.  I had leftover brown rice and spicy green beans, all I needed to do was cook up the chicken to go with it.  I found this at the grocery store a few weeks ago, and it reminded me of the pepper vinegar my grandpa used to have on the table all the time.

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So right when the chicken was finished cooking, I tossed in a bit of that spicy vinegar, some chile paste and a touch of hoisin sauce.  Put it in a container and threw it in my lunch bag.

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I threw the green beans rice and chicken together, heated it up, took a couple bits of the chicken, and quickly realized my chicken was bad.  I don’t have a very good sense of smell, which is one of the winning reasons Tony married me – he could fart like there’s no tomorrow and I am none the wiser. Open-mouthed smile

But here’s the deal – I had already given myself the insulin needed to eat that food, and there wasn’t food to meet the insulin.  I quickly dumped the bowl in the trash, went to Mariano’s and bought one chicken finger off the hot food buffet, paid for it at the cashiers that are right there, and ate it while I shopped.  Whew – crisis averted!

My nephew is coming over for lunch today, so I decided to grill up a chuck roast on the grill to then slice then, mix with au jus, and make cheezy beef sandwiches for lunch today.  Tony has had a taste for a plain burger with a caprese salad on the side, so that’s what I was making for our dinner.  Heat the grill up once, cook twice!  Actually, my coals were so awesome, I wished I had more stuff to grill up!  So while we listened to a Doug Benson podcast, the chuck roast cooked for about an hour, and then I threw our burgers on.  I actually cooked the burgers on indirect heat, and only seared them at the end to get the crispy edges.

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Tony’s perfect plate:

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And my perfect medium rare burger with mozzarella cheese and hot giardienera.  Yum!

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Tony leaves for Mayo tomorrow afternoon for some checkups and tests on Monday.  He’s doing the trip solo since I only have 1 vacation day left for the year.   I am going to Mom’s tomorrow to celebrate her birthday which was last week.  We are going to grill a chicken, and have a side salad and I am making Hannah’s favorite ham macaroni and cheese – I sent her this text yesterday from the store:

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Hannah is of the assumption that “shaped” pasta has more flavor.  So if she bought Kraft mac n cheese, it had to be a character shape.  But she does like my homemade better. Open-mouthed smile

Hope you have a great weekend and enjoy the weather if it’s nice!  Hugs!