Monthly Archives:

October 2014

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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!

Beef

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!

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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!