Happy Halloween!

My office always dresses up for Halloween, which I think is awesome.  I love Halloween!  When Hannah was little we had the best Halloween parties.  But as the years have gone by, the interest to dress up has lost interest in everyone.  Well, except for me!  Damn those people, I will be dressing up today!  You’ll just have to stop by tomorrow and see what I came up with this year.

By far my favorite costume was when I was Guy Fieri back in 2011.  Look at how nice the weather was!  I was grilling hot dogs on the deck of our office, short sleeves and capri pants!

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I did a #tbt (throw back Thursday) on Instagram yesterday and guess who liked it and commented?  Yep, Sunny Anderson!  I swear we will be best friends one of these days!

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Although with the picture so tiny on the right, it kind of looks like I am flipping everyone off!  I kinda like being a badass like that.

So I decided to make breakfast pizza yesterday.  I know many of you wonder “how does she get so much stuff done before work?!”  Well, the answer is simple.  I give myself a heads start.  Thursday night, right before I bed I put the dough together – 2 cups flour, 1 teaspoon salt, 1 teaspoon yeast and 1 cup of water.  Just mix it all together, put some olive oil in a bowl, mix the oil around the dough, then stick it in your fridge overnight with the oven light on.  When you wake up, the dough will be perfect!

Yesterday morning when I got up I took the dough out of the oven and heated it to 425.  I took 1/4 of the dough, rolled that out, put it on my pizza pan and topped it with my toppings:  jarred pasta sauce, 2 slices chopped deli ham, chopped spinach, 1/2 cup of cooked egg whites (that I did in the microwave for 1.5 minutes), chopped into chunks, then topped with mozzarella cheese and oregano.  It needs to bake for 10-12 minutes.  I popped it in the oven and hopped in the shower, and as soon as I was out of the bathroom, my timer was going off – perfect! 

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That whole pizza?  420 calories, 54 carbs, 34 protein and 3.4 fiber – so filling too!  The other 3/4 of the dough will be good in the fridge for another week.  I actually think the longer the dough sits, the better it is.

So I remembered my gym shoes to go to the gym!  Guess what I forgot?  Socks!  I managed to get in 2 miles on the treadmill before the backs of my ankles were screaming to stop.  I was going to buy a pair in the tennis club gift shop, but the cheapest pair was $15 – no thanks!  I need to keep a checklist when repacking my gym bag after washing my clothes!

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I was watching The Chew (duh) and they had these cute twin girls Lilly and Audrey Andrews who have just come out with their first cookbook.  They are 12 and absolutely adorable!

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I would have loved to be 12 years old and know exactly what I wanted to do with my life.  Their goals?  Go to business school, then culinary school, and then open their own restaurant.  They made a minestrone soup to eat before trick or treating so you have a nutritious dinner before eating too much Halloween candy.  So cute.

I did a remake of last nights dinner for lunch – more taco salad!  This time I mixed my salsa verde with 1 tablespoon of ranch dressing for the dressing – so flippin good – I promise there is a bed of spinach underneath all this deliciousness!

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I should take a picture of what this plate looks like 10 seconds after I take a picture, it becomes one giant ball of food all mixed together – I may have had some tortilla chips on the side for dipping.  This ended up being too much food, and I ended up eating only about 2/3 of it.  That’s how much my breakfast pizza stuck with me!

I signed up to make my award winning Buffalo Chicken Chili for our work pot luck today.  Since I was going to be bizzy in my kitchen last night making chili, I decided to pick up Chinese food for dinner – this wonton soup?  $1.75!  It doesn’t look like much, but it was delicious, especially after I added some sriracha to the broth.

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On the side – crab rangoon and an egg roll.

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Sadly, I won’t probably get a single trick or treater, but I buy candy every year just on the off chance that someone decides to ring our bell.  I’ll have our outdoor lights on, so fingers crossed!  Too bad it’s only going to be a high of 41 degrees today, with a 40% chance of snow.  Yep, I said the “S” word.  Dammit! I am so not ready for it.  Our winter seemed SO long last year that it doesn’t seem fair that we are already back to cold weather.

If you follow me on Instagram (My Bizzy Kitchen), you’ll get a sneak peak as to what my costume is today.  I plan to have fun even if we do have party poopers at my office!

Show of hands if you are dressing up today?!  I hope more than my hand is up!  Happy Halloween!  Make it a great day!

Someone You Should Know

You all know that I LOVE Instagram.  I am finding so many cool people to follow.  Not surprisingly, I do follow a lot of chefs, famous or not.  Some who are going through culinary school (#jealous!) and Chef’s like Graham Elliot, who actually takes a lot of pictures of his wife and says stuff like “I can’t believe this hottie married me!”  Aw, so cute!  Sometimes I have no idea how I stumble upon new people there, but several months ago, I started following Catfish with Ketchup.   Elizabeth grew up with a sister who had Downs Syndrome, and her name is Leanne.  Growing up with Leanne inspired Elizabeth and her husband to adopt a daughter with Downs Syndrome.  Then Josie became part of the family, then six months later their own biological daughter was born Merryn.  Merryn is considered the Mother Hen even though she’s six months younger than her sister, she wants to do everything for JoJo – brush her hair, help her get dressed, help her up and down the steps.  And then this past May they had their third daughter Lydia, who seems to be smiling all the time.

Leanne somehow calls her niece Josie “Catfish with Ketchup” hence the name of her Instagram page.  You can check out her blog here too – she has such an amazing perspective on life, and it just makes me appreciate that our kids were healthy growing up – I can’t imagine the day to day struggles she faces while raising a child with not only mental, but physical difficulties as well.  She has an awesome sense of humor – start following her in Insagram.  I promise you won’t regret it.  Josie LOVES Taylor Swift and likes to give performances on a whim which her Mom shares on Instagram – too cute!

So yesterday I ate the last piece of quiche for breakfast (I did share 1/4 of the quiche with my boss earlier in the week) and decided to have a Chobani with it.  I don’t know about you guys, but I am. . . well, I am a refrigerator pusher person.  Meaning I just push stuff in the back to make room for more shit in the front.  Every other week or so I’ll clean it out, pull something out of the depths of the back of the fridge and say “shit, I wish I remembered that was there, I would have eaten that!” and then tossing it straight into the garbage.  My keen eyes spotted a Chobani in the back – score!  I threw that in my bag with the rest of my food and headed to work.

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Except, what was that??!!

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Dammit!  The expiration date was September 16.  I put that on Instagram and asked “would you eat that?!”  The overall consensus?  Throw it out.  So that’s what I did.  But sadly, I had already taken insulin anticipating eating that, so when lunch rolled around, my blood sugar was only 138.  Then one of the secretaries went to lunch, then the other one did, and when I thought I might eat and then go out walking, I actually had work to do, so I never went.

I ended up bringing leftover black bean soup that I made using Courtney’s Mom’s recipe.  If you need to feed a crowd for Halloween – this one will do the trick!  I think I still have seven containers in my downstairs fridge!  On the side I made a whole wheat quesadilla with mozzarella cheese and spinach.

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Look at that cheesy goodness!

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When I got home from work, the new flyer for Sur La Table came in the mail.   I puffy heart that store.  I mean, just look at it!

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I can’t afford much in that catalog, but one thing did catch my eye – the fruit and vegetable spiral slicer – it’s only $35!  But I need another kitchen appliance like I need a hole in the head, but I still want it.

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I realized I had ground beef that either needed to be cooked, or thrown in the freezer, so I decided to make a taco salad.  Tony wanted just rice, so I took my portion of rice and tossed it with cilantro and lime, and the taco salad started coming together.  You can’t see it, but there’s chopped spinach on the bottom, then sliced jalapenos (supa spicy!), cucumbers, shredded carrot, the cilantro lime rice, 2 ounces of ground beef taco meat, and about 1/4 of an avocado chopped.  Some taco sauce, and after the pics were taken, I put a bit of ranch over the top.  On the side a few tortilla chips for dipping.  That was so tasty, I am having that for lunch again today!

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You can’t really ever go wrong with taco salad, am I right?!

My friend M.J. messaged me on Facebook last night to a link to a recipe – Dill Pickle Soup!  I haven’t been to Noble Pig’s site in a while, and must have missed this recipe.  I am super intrigued by it – I think M.J. said she’d try it too – it not only has diced up dill pickles in it, but also pickle juice!

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Go check it out and tell me if you’d make that or not.  I think Tony just threw up in his mouth at just the thought of this soup!

Alright, time to get this show on the road – I made pizza dough last night, so I am using 1/4 of the dough to make breakfast pizza – just enough time to make it, throw it in the oven and jump in the shower while it bakes.

Happy almost Halloween!  Make it a great day!

 

UPDATED:  Thanks for the reminder Teresa – please click here to vote for my Honey Roasted Almond Shortbread Bars!

Spicy Bahn Mi Meatball Soup

When I was heating up another slice of my zucchini potato quiche, I remembered that I had a container of baby spinach in the work fridge, and decided to make a side salad to go with it.  There is a restaurant in South Barrington that has the best quiche called L’Eiffel Bistro – so light and fluffy!  And their quiche always comes with a side salad.  I was going to pretend I was dining out at a brunch restaurant instead of eating breakfast at my desk at work.  Just chopped baby spinach, half a Fuji apple and about a teaspoon of light balsamic dressing.  Yum!

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I tested my blood sugar before working out – 209 – perfect!  Except for one thing.  I forgot to pack gym shoes – doh!  It was a crisp 55 degree day outside, but it was sunny, so my flip flops got my steps in.  It was so windy though!  I love that some of the trees are still so colorful.  I think this weekend though is when we’ll have to do our yard – right now it looks like a blanket of leaves, but we have this one giant tree that drops all it’s leaves at once, so we wait for that to happen.

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Luckily I have a drawer in the bathroom in our office that has a hair dryer, my toothbrush and toothpaste, a brush and . . . 20 year old hairspray!

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Look at how rusty that can is!  I swear it’s at least 20 years old, but it’s still about 1/3 full!  When I had this at home, every time Hannah cleaned out the bathroom drawers she wanted to throw it out, but I always saved it from the garbage and put it back. 

So on Sunday when Mom and I went out to eat, we both got these delicious Pho bowls of soup.  Sadly, I left my leftovers in the car.  It was pitch black when I got home and I just forgot to grab it.  It only went down to 50 degrees Sunday night, and I didn’t want to take a chance on it, so I had to throw it away.  But when I was cleaning out the fridge over the weekend, I realized I still had some Bahn Mi meatballs left, so I decided to make a quick version of Pho.  Now I am sure that the restaurant we went to spent hours preparing their broth – I mean, it is all about the broth with a Pho.  But I didn’t have that kind of time, so here is my quick version.  This is enough broth for one person.

  • 2 cloves minced garlic
  • 1 tablespoon grated fresh ginger
  • 2 whole cloves
  • 2 cups beef stock (vs. beef broth – mine was Kitchen Basics)
  • 1/2 teaspoon sugar
  • 1 tablespoon fish sauce
  • 1 tablespoon sriracha

Put all of that in a stock pot, bring to a boil, and simmer for 15 minutes.  I had leftover pasta in my fridge, and I sauteed up some zucchini, and sliced some jalapeno and had some basil leaves to throw in.  When I got to work I added the pasta and zucchini and broth to my soup bowl, and heated that up in the microwave, while I put my leftover meatballs in the toaster oven under broil to heat up.  Once the broth was hot, I just added the meatballs, and had a sliced lime to squeeze over the top.  Now this isn’t as good as the Pho I had at the restaurant, mine had beef tendon in it to give it a depth of flavor, but for a Pho on the fly?  This was really good!

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Super filling, spicy and delicious.   I could quite possibly eat soup every day and never get sick of it.

So I asked Tony if he felt like pot pie for dinner.  He didn’t really comment, so I said “or I could make you some plain chicken and some mashed potatoes” and he said that was fine.  Well, I thought I bought chicken cutlets because they were cheaper than chicken breast last week, but turns out I bought chicken tenders!  So I walked into the living room and said to Tony “I bought chicken tenders by mistake so I am going to make chicken tenders if that’s okay.”  He said “what happened to the chicken pot pie?!”   I am not sure he was listening to me earlier, but now my brain had already made the turn to chicken tenders.  And not just any chicken tenders – Long John Silver chicken tenders! 

If I could only eat at one fast food restaurant for the rest of my life, it would be Long John Silver’s, with Arby’s as a close second.  I loved getting the chicken planks, and having the little bits of fried batter in the bottom of my to go box.  Sadly, the closest one is 30 miles away.  No worries, I check every once in a while to see if one is closer!  This is super easy though.  I made 8 tenders (I ate 3, Tony ate 1 and I saved the rest).  Just add 1/2 a cup of flour to a bowl, add 1/2 teaspoon salt, 1/2 teaspoon pepper, 1/2 teaspoon paprika and a pinch of cayenne pepper and then stir in 1/2 a cup of beer.  Mix and then while your fryer is getting to 350, let the chicken soak in that batter.

These were pretty skinny, so they took only about 3 minutes to cook.  On the side I had mashed potatoes and sauteed zucchini, and I made a dipping sauce of 1 tablespoon sour cream mixed with one tablespoon whole grain mustard.

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Shitty kitchen lighting photos, but these were delicious – light, the chicken was tender and the crunchy outside – I guess this will have to make due until they build a Long John Silver’s closer to home!

I remembered my FitBit yesterday and just squeaked in my 10,000 steps – woop!

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More leftovers are on the menu today – more zucchini potato quiche – I think this morning I am going to have a Chobani with it, and then leftover black bean soup for dinner.  We’ll see if Tony is up for bay scallop risotto for dinner tonight.  Our high temperature today is only going to be 48 – thankfully I packed my gym shoes so I’ll be hitting the gym at lunch.

Question of the Day:  What’s your fast food guilty pleasure?  Make it a great day!

Cabot Farmhouse Reserve Zucchini Potato Quiche

So I had my follow up with the knee doctor before work yesterday morning.  You all know how I love my “me” time in the morning before work, but I figured I may as well get it over with.  Since I got my cortisone shot nearly a month ago, my knee feels great.  So I walk in, give them my name and they can’t find me on the list.  Huh.  They phoned the house on Friday reminding me of the appointment yesterday.  She asks me what my doctors name is and she said “Oh, looks like they made your appointment at the Huntley office because that’s where the doctor is today.  I’ll just call them and tell them you are on your way.”  WTF?!  The other office is nearly 20 miles away from where I was, and I had to be at work in an hour.  And the Huntley doctor office was 20 miles to my office!  So now I have to go again this morning, only this time 15 minutes earlier.  Rat farts.

But, I got to work early and was able to heat up my quiche in the toaster oven, so the cheesy goodness got all melty on top.  One of the reasons I love making quiche (and need to remember to make them more often!) is because it’s 4 breakfast knocked out in one dish.  While I do love a crust on quiche, I don’t miss it nearly enough when I use baked potatoes on the bottom.  Another reason to bake up a bunch of potatoes over the weekend, so you can make this quiche!  And I puffy heart the Farmhouse Reserve Cabot Cheese – so good!

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I paired it with some grapes and this was a totally filling breakfast.  So here’s the deal – there is potatoes in the quiche, there are lots of carbs in the grapes, so I thought by giving myself half the amount of insulin I would need to work out at lunch, I would be golden.  Um – not so much.  15 minutes before I was going to go on my walk, my blood sugar was 117.  Damn.  So I decided to eat my lunch, take no insulin, and then walk later in the afternoon.  I made chicken tortilla soup over the weekend – more broth based so Tony liked it.  I didn’t really write down what I was throwing in there, but I used the remainder of my rotisserie chicken last week – I picked off all the meat, and then used the carcass to make my stock.  Added a 28 ounce can of tomato puree, 1 tablespoon taco seasoning (I think the cumin was too strong in the last batch I made) and then added some corn.  I had mine with some more shredded cheese and tortilla chips on the side.

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While it looks just like a lot of broth, I promise there was some goodness in there!

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My blood sugar after I ate lunch?  Only up to 136!  Dammit.  So no work out yesterday.  I didn’t want to keep eating shit because then it would be a wash, so I ran an errand at lunch just to get away from my desk.

I ended up making burgers last night for dinner.  Who needs a bun when you have homemade potato chips on the side?!  My burger has some fresh mozzarella melted on it, I put it on some chopped Romaine, and had some chips on the side.  Tony’s skinny burger was probably 1/3 the size of mine – I still love a VERY pink center in my burger, he needs his to be very well done.  Aren’t you happy that I shared yet another shitty fluorescent dinner picture?  You’re welcome.

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And a huge shout out to my friend and blog reader Laura D.  I saw her at my Mom’s concert and she gave me some goodies like she always does when I see her – she is so considerate!  We are FitBit friends too, and she kicks my ass every.single.day.  Like 15,000+ steps a day – and last week had a 26k day!  Um, how did she know I love snowmen and hot shit?!

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And she remembered last year how hard it was to find the pumpkin spicy M&Ms for my step-son last year, so she gave me two bags to forward to him.  Thanks Laura!  And I love how I have a random knife on the counter too.

Last night since it was a football night, I got to watch Biz TV.  I can almost always find something interesting on the Discovery Health channel.  Yep – I watched a show about kids that never grow up – it was an 8 year old girl who was the size of a baby, a 29 year old man who looked like a 7 year old, and a 31 year old woman from Brazil who couldn’t communicate, but loves getting dressed up and dances whenever she hears music.  I was in the back family room while Tony was in the front of the house watching football. I sent him this text:

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I guess Tony doesn’t appreciate a good documentary! Open-mouthed smile

Alright, bright and early again I go to the knee doctor.  Happy Tuesday – make it a great day!

More Balls! Apple Fritter Bites

My Dad used to always joke that somehow when he was driving by Dunkin Donuts, somehow an apple fritter jumped into his car and made it’s way home to our house.  Huh!  My Dad was also insulin dependent diabetic, and I believe pretty much every food he ate was “insulin worthy” but none more than an apple fritter.   Well, the apple didn’t fall far from the tree, because given the chance to pick anything at Dunkin Donuts, I would pick the apple fritter hands down every time.  Well, a Boston cream stuffed donut comes in a very close second.  Guess how many calories and carbs are in an apple fritter from DD?  410 with 60 grams of carbs.  Holy balls.

So when I was strolling through Pinterest last week and saw these apple fritter bites, I was sold.  I literally went to bed Friday night and said “I am turning on the deep fryer as soon as I wake up to make these!”  The only thing I did differently was reduce the glaze by half – half was plenty!  It ended up 24 balls – each one is 71 calories and 12 grams of carbs each.  And two hit the spot!  Fuji apples are my apple of choice in pretty much any apple recipe – they hold their shape and are the perfect sweet/tart combo.

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And then I went crazy on picmonkey!

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But here’s the deal.  They pretty much have to be eaten within a day at most.  Yesterday morning, the glaze had absorbed into the balls, and they were soft and icky tasting.  So if you make this, only fry as many as you think you’ll eat – I think the batter would hold in the fridge for several days, no problem.

Our weather was absolutely gorgeous this weekend.  Near 70, bright sunny skies.  We took advantage and sat outside Saturday night.  While I was in a t-shirt, Tony was all bundled up to enjoy his cigar.  His cigar smoking window is slowly coming to a close this fall.  I love this picture of him.   I know he’s thinking, why is she taking another picture of me!  Well, because I love you, that’s why.

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I enjoyed a glass of wine – classed my box wine up by putting it in a wine glass.  I like the reflection of the trees in the second picture too.

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It was already dark by the time we ate – I made a grilled turkey breast with baked potatoes on the side.  Delish!

I received a box of Cabot cheese over the weekend because I am on the “Cheese Board” for Cabot cheese.  I was shocked when I opened the box to find 100 INDIVIDUAL PACKAGES OF CHEESE!

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Well, it’s supposed to be handed out for trick or treating.  I feel bad though because of where we live, we get ZERO trick or treaters.  It makes me so sad because I love Halloween.  But I will just be generous to family and friends – I brought two big ziploc bags to my Mom and sister yesterday.

I met up with my sister for my Mom’s concert – she sings with Sing To Live Community Chorus and this is one of their two concerts of the year.   It’s was a wonderful performance as always – they did songs of the 70s and it was wonderful.  The arrangements are always very unique.  While there are probably 80-90 people in the chorus, they had smaller ensembles perform – this group of women are all breast cancer survivors and they performed “I Will Survive.”

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And then afterwards, since I am Mom’s favorite, just she and I went out to eat.  She read on my blog that I had never been to a Vietnamese restaurant before, so she suggested Saigon Pho in Forest Park.  We started out with the spring rolls – I admired their wrapping technique because apparently this is a cooking skill I have yet to master.

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And we both ended up with noodle bowls – my Mom got the chicken and fish ball one – note to self – don’t ever eat a fish ball again – it tastes like ass.  And I think my Mom tried half of one and decided that was enough!  Other than that, she loved hers.  Mine?  Beef and beef tendon pho.  I don’t actually eat the tendon, but it gives the broth an awesome flavor.  I accessorized mine with bean sprouts, jalapeno and sriracha.

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And then I came home and Tony and I watched the series finale of Boardwalk Empire.  Although Tony had to explain the ending to me – I had forgotten who that character was – and I am being vague because I don’t want to spoil it if you haven’t seen it yet.

I have a follow up appointment this morning before work for my knee – it’s been feeling great!  I think I can push myself a bit harder this week too.  I’ve been a bit nervous to do too much for fear of injuring it, but I think I am fine now.  No WI this week because it’s well, you know, that time of the month and I never weigh myself that week.   Sorry if any men other than my husband read this blog (Hi Larry!).

It’s supposed to be 77 degrees today – a bit of Indian summer and I love it!   Happy Monday – find something to be happy about today and hang on to it – hugs!

UPDATED:  ALMOST FORGOT TO LINK TO MY RECIPE CONTEST!  PLEASE CLICK HERE TO VOTE – THANK YOU!

More Balls! Bahn Mi Balls That Is.

I have no idea what it is, but Friday’s at work seem like as long as Monday – Thursday does.  I had to laugh at some of your comments about office people eating other peoples food, and LTR sent this eCard to me and it had me laughing out loud!

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Thanks sweetie!  My egg cooker I normally use at work was in the dishwasher that was still going, so I ended up making my egg/egg white in a bowl in the microwave – it was just okay, not sure what it is about that microwave cooker that makes the eggs taste like you cook them on top of the stove.  But I had bacon in it, so that makes everything better.

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So to continue the tortilla chip saga, my boss went searching for the bag of chips, you remember the ones that just had crumbs in it, and came to my desk and said “where are the chips?”  I said I threw the bag out because it was nothing but scraps.  She said “there were still some chip crumbs in there, why did you throw them out?”  I said “because it was MY bag of chips, so I can do anything I want with them.  She just walked away.  But all throughout the morning she’d yell “I can’t believe you threw out the chips!”  She thought she was being funny, but it was like nails on a fricken chalk board.  I finally left to go walk outside since it was beautiful, told her I was leaving and she said “I hope you come back in a better mood!”

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That was the look of my face when I started to walk.  Seriously, if I could have quit right then and there, I would have.  But, being in the sunshine on a gorgeous 70 degree October day, by the end of my walk, I had a smile on my face.

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Lately I’ve just been having these highs and lows of emotions, and I don’t know what the hell is going on.  I feel sorry for myself one day because I am stuck in a job I hate, then I make a great meal and think that I am lucky enough to afford the food we have in our house.  And then I read the story about this woman.  Tony told me about her last week.  She has an inoperable brain tumor and if she were to ride it out, it would be the most horrific pain she could ever even imagine.  So she’s decided to die on November 1, on her terms with her family and loved ones around her.  She just got married last year!

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And I have to tell you, after reading that story, my attitude quickly turned around – why the fuck am I pissed about tortilla chips?!  Isn’t it crazy how something you read can just turn you around?  Has that ever happened to you?

And after my walk, I got to have balls.  Bahn Mi Pork Meatballs that is!  I have never been to a Vietnamese restaurant, but I know I would love it.  The complex flavors of cilantro, fish sauce, lemongrass, sriracha – it made a wonderful lunch!

The night before last I made the pickled veggies and the balls – I cooked the balls about 3/4 of the way through, knowing I was going to be reheating them in the toaster oven at work.  No one likes dry balls! (that’s what she said)

For the veggies:

  • 2 large carrots, cut into matchsticks (2 cups)
  • 1 large diakon radish, cut into matchsticks (2 cups)
  • 2 tablespoons sugar
  • 1/2 cup rice vinegar
  • 1 cup water
  • 1 teaspoon sesame oil

Put the veggies in a large jar.  Mix the sugar, vinegar, water and sesame oil in a 4 cup measuring cup, mix until the sugar is dissolved, pour over the veggies, making sure they are all covered, and let them sit for 24 hours.

For the balls:

  • 1 pound ground pork
  • 1/2 cup chopped cilantro (use less if you don’t like it as much as I do!)
  • 4 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1 tablespoon fish sauce
  • 1 tablespoon chopped lemongrass
  • 1 tablespoon sriracha
  • 1 tablespoon Thai chili paste
  • 1/2 teaspoon sugar
  • 1 tablespoon cornstarch
  • 1/2 teaspoon cracked black pepper
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt

Mix everything together, making sure all the ingredients are incorporated.  Here’s a tip.  Take a small portion of the pork mixture and cook it off and try it – does it need more heat, more salt?  The recipe above was tweaked after the third try – I thought it had to be spicier and that’s when I added the Thai chili paste.

Instead of the traditional crusty bread a Bahn Mi sandwich is usually on, I used my toasted sesame naan bread.   For the base I mixed 1 tablespoon of plain Greek yogurt with about 1 teaspoon of sriracha, put my pickled veggies on, my heated up balls and then more fresh cilantro.

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I ended up putting my naan bread in the toaster oven and that was amazing – it became light, soft and fluffy again as if I had just made it.  This was the perfect balance – sweet/savory/spicy/sour/crunchy – I could probably eat that every day and never get sick of it.  Tony on the other hand?  He saw me making the meatballs the night before last and I think he was thinking “I hope she doesn’t think I am eating those!”

I posted my steak and pomme frittes on Instagram the night before last – guess who like it?!  Sunny Anderson! I am pretty sure we’ll be BFF’s one day. Open-mouthed smile

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I ended up buying another frozen pizza – this one was actually pretty good – the crust had cornmeal in it, and the sausage was very flavorful.  I picked us up some salad at the salad bar, and for some reason, didn’t take any pictures other than the picture of the box of pizza.

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It was funny because as I was getting this pizza out of the package, my phone beeped.  It was my friend Jacky and all I could see that it was a message on Instagram and it said “Guess what tonight is @mybizzykitchen? #tgif!  Of course, I was jealous that she made her own dough – I need to make some dough and bread this weekend for sure.

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I hope wherever you are, you find whatever makes you happy for the day and hold onto it.  There is so much horrible stuff going on in the world, you just have to step back sometimes, take stock in what you have around you, and choose to be happy.

I hope you have a great weekend!  It’s beautiful this weekend here – in the high 60s – 70s – and Tony and I are going to grill out, drink some wine and listen to some music.  Cheers!

Happy Birthday Bonnie!

Today is my MIL’s birthday!  Hope you have a great day Bonnie!  

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While she is in sunny Florida, um, let’s just say that I am not a fan of seeing this temperature in October:

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I usually never wear a coat to work until at least December, but I had to put a sweater on yesterday – there was frost on the ground too.

While I could have eaten another naan breakfast pizza, I decided to make egg white, spinach and cheese tostadas with my salsa verde.  I am pretty sure you could put that salsa on anything and I’d eat it!

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The morning dragged at work, so I couldn’t wait to get to the gym.  After strength, I decided to run/walk for 2.5 miles.  Although someone was on MY treadmill.  I don’t know what it is, but there are probably 20 treadmills to choose from, but I always use the same one.  Except someone was on mine yesterday, so I had to use one of the newer ones – I adapted though while watching The Chew!

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The shows theme was “Thrifty Thursday” which you know I am all about saving money on food.  But one of the dishes was a black eyed pea and kale salad.  Can’t get around that recipe!  Every New Years Eve or New Years Day, my Mom would give each of us ONE black eyed pea for good luck and it would take us about three glasses of milk to swallow that one pea!  Still haven’t been a fan of black eyed peas since.

I used more of my leftover rotisserie chicken to make a bbq chicken panini at work.  My co-worker brought in this habanero Cabot cheese, and on tasting it by itself, it literally was too hot for me.  But, put on the sandwich balanced with the sweetness of the bbq sauce, it totally worked.

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I’ve had a craving for red meat all week.  Last week at the store, I scored and got two 7 oz. steaks for 75% off because that was the last day of the sell by date.  I brought them home, salt and peppered them, and individually froze them.  I defrosted one yesterday when I was at work.  Tony opted for a skinny burger and some of my pomme frites.  Just something about the combination of steak and pomme frites makes me feel like I am eating at a fancy French bistro!

The trick with the frites is to fry them twice.  Cut your potato in matchsticks, then heat your fryer to 350 degrees.  I only cut up one potato, but I had to fry them in three batches so they didn’t overcrowd the basket.  Cook until slightly browned, then drain on a paper towel.  Once all the batches are done, turn the fryer up to 375, then finish them off until medium brown and they are nice and crispy.  I fried a stalk of rosemary too, then chopped the rosemary and sprinkled the fries with salt and the chopped rosemary.  I love our cast iron grill pan, even though it smokes up the whole house!

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I did my customary 2x2x2x2 method – cooking each side of the steak for 2 minutes exactly in one direction, then flipping and cooking 2 minutes on each side in the opposite direction – I am all about the grill marks!

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And I always put a pat of butter on my steak while it rests.  Damn that was good if I do say so myself!

So here is one of my pet peeves at work.  People eating my food.  Specifically, my boss.  I brought in probably a 3/4 bag of tortilla chips earlier in the week.  I was sharing my salsa verde with one of my co-workers who loves that shit.  I usually keep my chips on, in or around my desk, but my boss just helps herself.  All the time.  So I hid them in a cabinet in the kitchen.  Yesterday when I was pulling out my tostada shells for breakfast out of this same cabinet, I moved the bag of chips out of the way and noticed that it was super light.  Huh.

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Work food thieves have been present in pretty much every job I’ve had, and I will never understand it.  I’ve had sandwiches missing, whole lunch bags that had my name clearly written on it.  It’s just so insensitive!  Have you ever had food go “missing” at work before?

For some reason I can’t sync up my Fitbit, but I got in 11,646 steps yesterday.  Bam!

And today I have Bahn Mi Pork Meatball to make a Bahn Mi sandwich.  I pickled carrots and daikon radishes too last night.  I love Thursday night football night – let’s me spend more time in the kitchen! 

Make it a great day – Happy Friday!

Oh, and please vote for my recipe!  I realized that you can vote once every 24 hours, so if you voted the first time at 4 in the afternoon, you have to wait until 4 in the afternoon the next day.  I appreciate your votes – you can click on this link to get there.  Hugs!