Monthly Archives:

June 2015


My Bizzy Kitchen Goes on Vacation!

Well the day is finally here!  Come 5:00 today, Hannah and Jacob will pick me up and we’ll start on our road trip to Virginia.  Jacob’s Mom is going to be staying at our house to watch the dogs.  Thanks Val!  But it got me thinking.  I don’t have keys to my house.  I know Tony had one on his key ring, but I know I’ve put his keys someplace where I wouldn’t lose them, and well, I’ve “temporarily” misplaced them!   You may be asking “Biz, you don’t lock your house?” and the answer is well. . .no.  Usually someone was always home.  If Tony was away, I’d be home, if we were both away Hannah would be home.  I do have a dead bolt on the inside of the house to lock at knight, I just can’t unlock it from the outside.  I thought Val might appreciate being able to lock the door from both sides!

So I saw that you can find keyless entry locks so that you just enter a passcode and no one needs a key, they just need to have the password.  I asked Jacob if his grandpa, who is handy, could install one and he said he probably could.  Jacob texted me while at Home Depot and we picked out one that would work, only it didn’t work with the type of door I had, so he returned it and got another one.  Now here is something that I am very proud of – Jacob installed it all by himself!  It took him three hours, but it works perfectly, and now we can actually lock our door.  Thanks Jacob!

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And yes, I know I need to power wash my back door – it’s on the list of things to do this summer.

So I will be taking a blog break and won’t post again until July 8!  I think my longest blog break since I started this blog in September 2008 – if someone would have told me I would still be blogging near seven years later, five days a week, I would have doubted that I would have stuck with it this long, but I actually love it.  When Tony was sick it was my way of being social while he was sleeping, or we had quiet nights at home and he’d fall asleep by 7 p.m. on a Friday night. 

I will, however, be keeping up with the 101 Days of Summer Challengers via email and Facebook while I am gone.  These are such a strong group of women!  I had to post this to my blog because this post by my blog friend Errign really struck a cord with so many of the challengers:

So, I logged on this morning intending to post about my breakfast & run today because that’s my preferred way to check in, but I couldn’t stop thinking about all of the posts I’ve been reading on here lately. I see so many beautiful, strong, powerful women who are making healthy choices for themselves EVERY DAY, and then getting so down about a small slip up. Life isn’t perfect, I’m not perfect, you’re not perfect. Being healthy isn’t about judging yourself, comparing yourself to others, or making yourself feel bad about making a choice that isn’t the norm for you. Having one “bad” meal or missing a workout isn’t going to ruin everything for you, but letting your negative thoughts get in the way of your healthy choices just might.

You are all SO inspiring. You get up and move when it’s hot or raining and when you’re tired, sad or lonely. You make healthy choices 90% of the time – why bring yourself down over that 10%? You know what I did last night? I went out with friends and I ate cheese fries and buffalo tenders for dinner. Did I feel guilty? No, because I know that one meal isn’t my norm, and is not going to make me gain 10 pounds. I ate it, I liked it, I had zero regrets or misgivings, and I got up this morning and got into my normal routine of exercise and breakfast. I honestly didn’t even think about it, because it wasn’t a big deal. I am, just like all of you, healthy, empowered and strong, and I think that life is for living, not for feeling guilty. So, today, I challenge all of you to focus on the positive things that you did today, and share them on this post tonight/whenever you get a chance. Hugs – have a great day!

Thank you Errign for clarifying that this is lifestyle – the operative word being “life” and that life is not perfect.  It involves treats, and cheese and wine on occasion.  And there is nothing wrong that.  I am happy to say that I’ve been able to arrange a lunch with Errign while I am on vacation – she’s not working at the moment so her weekdays are pretty open and we’ve “known” each other since about January of 2009?!  Now she’s happily married with a baby on the way.  Super bummed my schedule didn’t permit me to meet up with Rachel and Dave, or my dear friend Janine (Skippy Mom).  But we will meet one day – promise!

So while I will be on Instagram (are you following me?!! My Bizzy Kitchen – duh), and keeping in the loop on emails and Facebook, the blog will be on vacation.  So while I won’t be posting any recipes or delicious food here for a while, go ahead and check out what my friends are making!

Courtney had me at this super summery roasted shrimp with garlic and lemon.  I could seriously slice up a bagette and call this dinner!


You know how I could eat Mexican just about every day, and this Mexican goddess dressing is screaming my name!  Thanks Ashley – can’t wait to try this with my family next week on vacation!


I am all over savory breakfasts vs. sweet ones – this Breakfast Fried Rice screams me – can’t wait to make this Jessica! (1)

Alright – time to double check my packing list and get this show on the road – “see” you when I get back!  Have a wonderful 4th of July!


Vacation Mode

Over the weekend I found these new to me wraps. 

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They don’t feel quite like a flour tortilla or a corn tortilla, but I thought shit – for 50 calories and 6 grams of fiber per wrap, I’d make a breakfast panini out of them.

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The verdict?  Just okay in the panini – they didn’t crispy up like flour tortilla so, just the edges were kind of crispy, but the rest was chewy.  I think I’ll use them like a regular wrap with the rest of them.

Still super busy at work and I even contemplated working through lunch yesterday.  But then I saw how some of my 101 Days of Summer Challengers are posting positive things they are doing on our Facebook group page and email string, and I just put on my shoes and got out there.  Across the street from our office are thousands of these “weeds” but don’t they look pretty?

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I ended up getting in 2.5 miles before heading back to my desk – I always have to keep in mind #wycwyc!

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Have you tried Bush’s Beans latest bean flavor Sweet Heat?  OMG, so spicy flavorful good.  But 1/2 cup serving is 170 calories and doesn’t look like much.  So I decided to heat up A WHOLE can of green beans and tossed the baked beans with that and had a side of reheated Greek Chicken – so filling and delicious and this took me a long time to eat – the whole plate is 390 calories!

After work Hannah and I ran a bunch of errands to get ready for our vacation.  My Aunt has a Keurig so we went to Aldi and stocked up on k-cups, went to Wal-mart to get a few things.  We were walking in the back of the store by the frozen pizzas, and well, this stopped me in my tracks.

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1/4 of the pizza was a serving for 290 calories – not too bad!  So we came home and heated it up.  The verdict?  It was spicy, but it was still a fucking frozen pizza and as I was eating it, I was thinking to myself I could have made one of my no rise pizza doughs in a minute and made a much better pizza.  Worse than that?  I ate 1/2 the pizza!  It wasn’t even that great.  It was like I was already in vacation mode and didn’t give a shit.  But that stopped me in my tracks even more.  What exactly should vacation mode mean to me?  I need to switch the focus off of food, although food will be front and center all of next week, to focus on the family members I will be seeing, the change to read some books I downloaded on my kindle, float in the river.  I can’t start out the vacation thinking it’s one long giant buffet table at Vegas.  I won’t have my next WI until July 8, and I need to stay at 169 or see a loss.  So THAT’S my vacation mode – still getting my 10k steps in a day, spending time with family and basically dominating at all the board games.  Charlie, you’ve been warned.

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So while I was eating that third slice of shitty frozen pizza, I canned my salsa!  I was lucky enough to be given this deluxe electronic canner from Ball.

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This is truly worth the $300 price tag.  I used to have a giant canning pot – but to heat the water to a boil because I had to have water an inch over the tops of the jars, it would take forever to come to a boil, and the whole kitchen would be sopping wet with the steam.  No more!  Simply add 48 ounces of water in the pot.  Add your clean jars, sans the lids, and hit pre-heat and they heat the jars for 12 minutes.  Take the jars out, fill the jars with salsa, wipe the rim, and gently put on the lids and rings, close the lid and press the salsa button and 40 minutes later your jars are canned.  I can only fit 4 pint jars in at a time, but once that 40 minutes is up, I just hit reset, and start with the second batch of pre-heating the jars.  I ended up with 10 pint jars of salsa – plenty to bring on vacation.

This is totally off track, but if you love pickles as much as I do – you’ll try this.  My brother or Mom brings me Fickle Pickles from Texas.  They are so good – different from any other pickle I’ve ever eaten.  Well, when I eat all the pickles and am left with the brine – I simply add more cucumbers!  This time I added some fresh dill from the farmers market, and cut up about 4 Kirby cucumbers and in a few days you’ve got crisp pickles!

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I did end up getting all my steps in yesterday too – I think I am on day 10 or 11 of having 10k or more!

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The stretching felt so good before work yesterday, going to do the same this morning.  TWO WORK DAYS LEFT before our road trip begins!  Woop!

Make it a great day!  Question of the Day:  How do you treat vacations?  Just eat whatever and make it up when you get back?  Do you decide which meal you may splurge and keep on track?  Curious!



I just couldn’t think of a title, but guys, I’ve been bizzy at work – like all day busy and it reminds me of the old days.  Even though I know it will go back to boring when I finish this project, I love the feeling that I am actually contributing to the firm other than making people food, hot coffee drinks and emptying out the dishwasher!

It was a glorious morning.  I was up at 6:30 and out of the house by 6:45!  I was only going to do 2 miles when I realized that I time to squeeze in an extra mile.  Um, do you think my first mile I was still a bit sleepy?!  Actually, that first mile is almost all uphill – it’s a slow incline but a pretty big incline from beginning to end before getting on to flatter ground.  Check out my third mile time – I actually jogged a bit of it!

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I had my spinach/cheese/egg white microwaved egg topped with homemade salsa, some diced potatoes and the best watermelon I’ve had all summer.  Wish I could eat buckets of it – but it really spikes my blood sugar all by itself.

My co-worker forgot her gym shoes, but said she’d be fine in flip flops.  She was, but it’s hard to walk that fast but three miles is still three miles no matter how long it took us – we did end up picking up the pace thorugh!

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Lunch was just leftover pot stickers.  Not as good as the night before because the crispy bottom goes away, but I ended up putting them on a paper plate with a tablespoon of water, putting another paper plate on top and then kind of re-steamed them in the microwave – still tasty though!

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I took this picture near the window in the kitchen and when I put it on my desk, I stepped away for a moment and when I came back my boss said “why didn’t you tell me you were going to order Chinese food, I would have ordered some!”  Yes, my pot stickers do look and taste restaurant worthy, but after working with me for ten years she should know by now how my fucking lunches look, no?!  She is a Lean Cuisine lunch eater and the other day I took her dish out of the microwave and I’d be hard pressed if that Lean Cuisine was more than five bites of food.  Crazeballs.

I had pre-vacation errands to run after work!  Pick up contacts – check.  Pick up insulin – check.  Go to the thrift store for more shorts – double check!  Here is how I pack when going on a trip.  I make triple sure that I have all the things that would be a pain in the ass to replace while on vacation – medication/contacts/power cords, etc.  Once I know I have those things packed I pretty much figure if I need anything else I can buy it on the road.  You’ll know that when I went to college I just used hefty garbage bags to throw my shit in and just stuffed them in the back of my parents car.  My sister packed for college like she was going to not be home in four years at all!

I did pick up this t-shirt because it was only $1 – screams me!

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Hannah was working last night so I made a dinner only Jacob and I would love.  I would call this plate “50 shades of khaki” because it is all one color, but the flavor was good – sauerkraut, twice baked potato, corn on the cob and pork chops.  Jacob loves pork as much as I do – yeah!  After one bite I told him “Hey Jacob, ya know what?  Pigs taste good!”  He must think I am completely nuts – but in a good way!

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So check out my steps – even without my after work workout!

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And I have read the messages on my app, but for some reason it keeps telling me I have 28 friend notifications.  I may have to google that to reset it.

A couple more link love shout outs today!  My friend Shauna was one of the other cooking finalists in the Extended Stay America cooking contest I did last year.  She blogs at Have Yourself a Time and has the most genius way of making FIVE MINUTE guacamole that I am sorry I didn’t think of it a long time ago.  Mom, you’ll love this method!  My Mom just recently started liking guacamole.  I don’t think she even tried it until she was 70!  Check out her method here.

My friend Nicole, who I have yet to meet in real life but we keep meaning to meet one way or another when she is back in the Chicago area, made a delicious tomato and mozzarella salad of ricotta toast. RICOTTA TOAST!  How could I have not had ricotta toast before in my life?  Screams summer, and truth be told, I could have that with a glass of wine and call it dinner.

It may be stormy later today, and while I should head out this morning to get my walk in, I am a bit stiff so have opted to do 30 minutes of Classical Stretch before work.  I will hit the gym at lunch if the weather doesn’t permit walking outside.  Only THREE more days of work before vacation!  But who’s counting?!

Make it a great day!