Smoked Sausage Pasta

My twin sister joined WW yesterday.  We are both WW alums – both having lost 70+ pounds on the program back in 1999.   She tried to start a WW program at work – she only needed 15 members out of an office of over 100 (possibly more!)  365 and couldn’t drum up enough people.  But she didn’t let that stop her, she found another office in her building who offered an at work program, and was able to have the people interested in her office to join the other office.  That office even does a video hook up with their NY office so they can join the meeting remotely – how cool is that?

The only thing I’ve hated about WW is that every.single.year they come out with a new program.  I mostly realize it’s for current members to change things up, and also a way to get new member and well, let’s face it, sell new product!  I can’t tell you how many times I went to a WW meeting in January to see all these women lined up buying all the cereal bars, containers, journals etc., only to not see them three weeks from then.

So my sister found an online calculator that calculates the “smart point” of any given food or recipe.  Fiber is no longer on the table because fruits and vegetables are now zero points, even in baked goods, so they figure you’ll get enough fiber through that avenue.   OMG, back in the day my sister and I would scour the grocery store for the packaged foods that had the highest fiber value so it would end up being lower in points.  So crazy.  So what are they focusing on now?  Calories, saturated fat, sugar and protein.  That’s basically it.   I don’t know what the point range is, but my sister said that the lowest point range would be 30 points, and she gets about 27 flex points a week based on exercise, so that’s what I am going with for this illustration.

First up yesterday was my apple/granola/sugar free caramel parfait.  Shhhhh.  I cheated on Chobani.  I thought I had one more plain Greek yogurt in the fridge, but couldn’t find it, so stole one of Hannah’s Dannon Oikos triple zero vanilla yogurt.  It’s 120 calories and 15 grams of protein!  This parfait comes in at 349 calories, 12 fat, 51 carbs and 34 protein, or 12 Smart Points.

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So based on a 30 point day, that’s not too bad – just over 1/3 of my day.  I don’t eat many snacks – the only time I really do is if my blood sugar is really low.   But this breakfast kind of really spikes my blood sugar – and because of the vanilla yogurt vs. my plain Greek yogurt, this was almost too sweet for me and I ended up eating 3/4 of it.  When I left for my lunch time walk, my blood sugar was 248!   No worries, I was going on my walk at lunch, so that would bring it down.  Being that it was higher than I normally have it, I walked about a mile and a half from my office before turning around and heading back.  As soon as I got about 1/4 mile from the office, I could feel my blood sugar starting to drop, but it didn’t feel too bad – I just knew I’d have to put my lunch together as soon as I got back.

Well, my blood sugar was 49!!  How it dropped 200 points in a 45 minute walk is beyond me, but luckily I had everything chopped and prepped for my leftover pork loin tacos.  Six tortilla chips, 3 ounces of pork, 3/4 ounce of Cabot chipotle cheese, 1 tablespoon pomegranate seeds, baby spinach cilantro and Trader Joe’s avocado salsa.  With the carrots and cucumbers, lunch came in at 405 calories, 18 fat, 20 carbs, 5 fiber and 32 protein – or 11 Smart Points.

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But here’s the weird thing about having low blood sugar.  Obviously I don’t need to take insulin because I am trying to raise my blood sugar with food, but you want that feeling to go away so fast, that you just keep eating, and by the time I finished that plate, I realized I never compensated for the food after my blood sugar could have come around, and of course, then it was 303 when I tested it before hitting the gym after work.

So I ran/walked 1 mile, did 10 minutes of upper body, walked another mile, and then did 10 minutes of stretching.  When I got home my blood sugar was a perfect 111.

As I was driving home I realized I never put the beef roast in my crock pot for French dip beef sandwiches that I had on the menu.  I remembered that Cabot cheese sent me some Dreamfield’s Pasta and thought I had smoked turkey sausage in the fridge, and just like that, I decided that’s what I was making for dinner.  If it were just me and Jacob, I totally would have made a quick marinara sauce, but Hannah isn’t much of a fan.  I know I said I wasn’t going to be a short order cook anymore, and I am not, but it is nice to have a dish that all of us can eat, and one that is healthy to boot.

  • 3/4 box of Dreamfield’s pasta, cooked for 9 minutes and drained (about 8 ounces dry)
  • 12 ounces Eckrich smoked turkey sausage, sliced
  • 2 cloves minced garlic
  • 1 tablespoon butter
  • 1 tablespoon flour
  • 2 cups broccoli, chopped
  • 2 cups baby spinach, chopped
  • 1 cup 2% milk
  • 2 ounces Cabot light cheddar cheese, shredded
  • 2 teaspoons dried parsley
  • 2 teaspoons chopped green onion (for Hannah and Jacob – how nice am I?!)

Cook the pasta for 9 minutes and drain.  Set aside.  While the pasta is cooking, put a large skillet over medium heat, and start to brown the sausage.  Add in the garlic and cook until it starts to get a bit brown, about 2-3 minutes.  Add in the butter and let melt.  Stir in the flour and cook for 1 minute.  Slowly pour in the milk, stirring constantly until the sauce thickens – about 5 minutes.    Add in the chopped broccoli and cook for 2-3 minutes, just until the broccoli is tender.  Then remove from heat, stir in the shredded cheese, dried parsley and salt and pepper to taste.  Add back in the cooked pasta and toss to coat.  Each serving is about 3/4 cup of the pasta and 3 ounces of the sausage.

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Everyone gave this two big thumbs up.  It was just enough sauce to coat everything, but not too much, which probably brought down the calories a bit.  Wen I ran it into calorie count it ended up being 459 calories, 20 fat, 48 carbs, 6 fiber and 23 protein, or 14 Smart Points.

So if I were on WW I would have used 30 of my daily points and 7 points from my earned activity points.  Leaving me with just 20 extra points for the remaining 6 days.  I decided to hold off on my final WI for the month of January until Sunday the 31st, and I’ll post that on Monday.  But in just looking at my stats, I know I can do a bit better on the quality of the food I eat – not to say it isn’t healthy, but I’ve never really paid attention to saturated fat before.   We’ll see how it goes!

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So I had my next to last appointment with my doctors office to see if I qualify for the year long diabetic clinical trial.  The next step?  A continuous glucose monitor!  I’ was so excited when I read this in the initial information packet.  Basically it’s a sensor that goes under your skin that connects to a receiver.   I’ve always thought it would be so cool if you could just look down and see where you were at.   And even though I test my blood sugar at about the same times every day – pretty much before each meal and before I go to bed.  I’ve always wondered what my blood sugar stats would look like while I sleep.

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Oh hello muffin top!  Now you see where all my weight is – ha!  So that’s the monitor that sticks to my skin, but has a small sensor line that goes under the skin – didn’t hurt a bit.  In a week I was shown a video on how to take it out and then put it on the other side of my body.   They set up my machine at the doctors office, but it would take two hours before I could add in a calibrating blood glucose number from my regular test strip, so I wasn’t really shown how the receiver worked and didn’t even know what questions to ask, so I just took everything with me and decided I would figure it out later.

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That’s what it’s supposed to look like – my actual blood sugar at the top (90 in that photo above) and a chart showing the ups and downs of blood sugar over the course of a day.  What did mine look like?

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Huh.  I downloaded the instruction manual, did google searches and could not figure out how to see my stats.  So I texted that picture to my doctors office, and she replied back “that’s what it is supposed to look like – you can’t see the numbers because this is a double blind study.”  Rat farts.  So I suppose after the next two weeks if I don’t make it in the study I could possible ask for the results?  I may also look to see if my insurance company might cover this though.  I mean, wouldn’t it be in their best interest to help me control my diabetes better so I don’t have to spend money on doctors and hospitals later in life because I didn’t have such good control? 

So two weeks from today we’ll find out if I made it.  It’s such a fine line of having my A1C too low or too high – like .3 on the scale – so 7.2 to 7.5 is the A1C range they want me to be in.  I am at 7.3 now, but if it goes up to 7.6 or lower than 7.2 I don’t qualify.   But I figure it’s all for science, and I have to tell you that looking back, I don’t think I normally would check my blood sugar 4 times a day on a weekend – there have been times when I wake up on Monday and check my blood sugar, only to see my last reading was from Friday night – yikes!  So for that reason alone, this has been a positive experience.

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  I am off to make a spinach and egg white omelet, hash browns, light turkey sausage and sliced fruit for breakfast, which will be 8 Smart Points.  Open-mouthed smile

Hope you have a wonderful weekend – come back Monday for my January WI.  And for those of you who have asked, Joe and I are still alcohol free for the month.  Open-mouthed smile

Toasted Coconut Pancakes

Monday night I had my make up yoga class.  I kept checking my email because all day long it looked like I was the only one that signed up.  I didn’t like that.  If I go to a group fitness class, I am the one with my mat to the way back of the room.  Like always.  What was I going to do if I was the only one in the class?  There was no where to hide.  I contemplated not showing up, but considering I missed the Saturday class, I didn’t want them to see my name on the sign up sheet and think “she’s such an asshole for not showing up for classes she signs up for!”

I walked in, and the instructor said “are you Biz?”  Yep!  I asked if I was still the only one, and she said she was.  I said off handedly, “if you have to cancel the class because it’s just me, I completely understand.”  She replied “nonsense!  I love having just one student because I can really concentrate on them.”  Fudge crackers.

She asked me my level.  EXTREME BEGINNER.  Yes, I am shouting that, because I wanted to make sure she knew I really had no idea what I was doing.  I think I know three yoga poses by name.  But off we went.  Doing the opening stretches, and that’s when she asked me if I liked to “challenge myself.”  Well, yes, my inner former athlete started to emerge, as well as my competitiveness, and we ended up doing about 30 minutes of complete core work within the 75 minute class.  Some poses I was shaking like a leaf, other poses I was thinking “wow, I am getting stronger!”

The end result?  I LOVED IT.  She was able to push and stretch me into the right positions – what I thought was straight, really wasn’t, and once she moved me into the right position it was like a light bulb went on over my head.  The class zoomed by.  We talked during quiet stretch times, and I think it was a blessing in disguise that I missed that Saturday class.  But what it also taught me was what the fudge am I so afraid of?  I think it’s just my natural instinct to run towards my comfort zone, not away from it.  But I also consider myself an adventurous person, so it’s an interesting dichotomy I find myself in, and I am hoping going forward that I let down the walls of my comfort zone to see what else is on the other side.

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I already know what one of the first things that’s on the outside of my comfort zone – aerial yoga!  I just noticed the aerial equipment Monday night.  That’s definitely going on my list of things to try.  Have you ever tried it before?!  And yes, I am still sporting the Christmas nail polish.  I figure I can let it go until the end of the month Open-mouthed smile

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I bought unsweetened coconut when I was making granola for family at Christmas time.  Um, okay – shredded coconut and unsweetened coconut are two very different animals.  I had no idea how much sugar was actually in shredded coconut.  It’s been sitting in my pantry for the longest time, and I stumbled across Minimalist Baker’s Toasted Coconut Pancakes, and knew I was going to use the unsweetened coconut for this recipe.   Not sure if you’ve been to Dana’s blog, but she and her husband John are mostly vegetarian.  Dana is lactose intolerant and bakes mostly dairy and egg free.  I did switch up her recipe a bit – I used regular flour, and used a regular egg for the flax egg.    So if you want her vegan version, please see the red link above.

Toasted Coconut Pancakes
Serves 8
A delicious, slightly sweet pancake - perfect for the weekends or for a quick breakfast on a weekday morning.
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Prep Time
10 min
Cook Time
10 min
Total Time
20 min
Prep Time
10 min
Cook Time
10 min
Total Time
20 min
138 calories
17 g
23 g
7 g
3 g
5 g
66 g
31 g
3 g
0 g
1 g
Nutrition Facts
Serving Size
66g
Servings
8
Amount Per Serving
Calories 138
Calories from Fat 54
% Daily Value *
Total Fat 7g
10%
Saturated Fat 5g
25%
Trans Fat 0g
Polyunsaturated Fat 0g
Monounsaturated Fat 1g
Cholesterol 23mg
8%
Sodium 31mg
1%
Total Carbohydrates 17g
6%
Dietary Fiber 2g
7%
Sugars 3g
Protein 3g
Vitamin A
1%
Vitamin C
0%
Calcium
12%
Iron
4%
* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2,000 calorie diet. Your Daily Values may be higher or lower depending on your calorie needs.
Ingredients
  1. 1/2 cup shredded unsweetened coconut
  2. 1 tablespoon sugar
  3. 1.5 teaspoons baking powder
  4. 1 pinch of sea salt
  5. 1 cup white flour
  6. 2 tablespoons quick oats
  7. 1 large egg
  8. 1 tablespoon coconut oil, melted
  9. 1 tablespoon agave nectar (Trader Joe’s sells it cheap!)
  10. 1 cup unsweetened almond milk
Instructions
  1. Heat a dry skillet over medium low heat. Add the 1/2 cup shredded coconut to the pan and toss until the coconut because slightly browned. Once cooled, stir with the 1 tablespoon of sugar.
  2. On a large bowl, mix the cooled coconut/sugar mixture, baking powder, salt, flour and oats together.  In a small bowl, beat the egg with the coconut oil, agave nectar and almond milk.  Add the wet ingredients to the dry ingredients and just mix until combined – lumpy is good!  (thank goodness, am I right ladies?!)  Let the batter sit for at least 10 minutes, if you have the luxury – 30 minutes is awesome because the baking powder has a chance to do it’s magic.  I used a 1/3 cup measure for my pancakes and got 8 pancakes.
Adapted from Minimalist Baker
beta
calories
138
fat
7g
protein
3g
carbs
17g
more
Adapted from Minimalist Baker
My Bizzy Kitchen http://www.mybizzykitchen.com/
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I smeared a teaspoon of crunchy almond butter in between the pancakes, topped with a tablespoon of pom seeds and some chopped ham on the side for some protein.  Holy yum, these are delicious!  And these were super filling too – I ate these around 8:45 in the morning and I didn’t eat lunch until nearly 2!

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I’ve been getting lots of steps in and even ventured out Monday and yesterday to walk during lunch.  Monday I was almost too warm it was near 40 degrees and no wind.  I darkened that top left hand picture to send it to my brother and sister to show them how much grey hair I have.  So not ready to die it yet though!  Yesterday I got nearly 20k steps!  It wasn’t that hard either.  I walked 20 minutes before work, 40 minutes at lunch and after work I did 30 minutes of strength and finished off with a 2 mile walk.  When you break it up like that, it doesn’t seem so bad. 

PicMonkey Collage - fit bit

That lower right hand pic?  Holy balls – it was so cold!  I looked at my weather app and it said 28 degrees – no problem!  But it was super windy and I didn’t bring my hat to work.  So I used an extra jacket that I had in the car and wrapped it around my head and ears.  My North Face jacket is so warm, not sure how I survived a Chicago winter without one before.  When I got back to my desk, it said the wind chill was 16 degrees – no wonder it felt so cold!

And with all these steps, I have a new badge – I’ve reached the Monarch Badge – since Tony got me my first Fitbit in March of 2014 (my last gift from him!) I’ve walked 2500 miles!

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It helps that my Fitbit friends ask me to join challenges on the Fitbit app – if I see someone gaining on me I have to get moving!  Thanks Laura for inviting me to this weeks Workday Week Shuffle!

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Fran, I wanted to show you my screen saver at work – I think I use your photographs more than any other for my work screensaver.  Love this one!

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And because you all know I have a sick sense of humor, I loved this on Instagram:

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I won’t be anywhere near 20k steps today – I realize that I have to give my body a break in between days like yesterday.  But guess what?  I still watched two hours of t.v. last night!  I finished watching Biggest Loser and I have to watch American Idol – I’ve watched every season since the beginning!  I stopped watching Hell’s Kitchen – it’s the same show with just different people.  If I hear Gordon Ramsey yell “it’s RAW!” one more time, I’ll poke my eyes out.

But, I am watching Master Chef Junior!  One of my high school field hockey friends daughter Addison made it into the Season Finale which airs on Friday night this week.  That would be so exciting if she won!

addison_0

Make it a great day!

Jalapeno Popper Pizza

My sister texted my brother and I on Friday that she was taking her youngest through our high school because she’ll be starting high school in the fall and is already picking out classes and seeing what kinds of extra curricular activities and sports are available to her.  Um, it’s a lot.   Um, try 23 sports including field hockey (duh!), water polo and badminton.   And for extra-curricular activities?  Try over 70!  Including: vegetarian/animal rights group; robotics and gospel choir.

Since we went to such a big high school, there are a number of famous alumni.  My sister snapped this picture of the “wall of excellence” and my brother texted “did Thomas Lennon go to school while you guys were there?”  If you don’t know the name Thomas Lennon, you may know one of his favorite charactors:

OPRF

Yep, Lt. Dangle from Reno 911 graduated in 1988 – my twin sister and I graduated in 1986.  I tried to find a year book that he would have been in, but could only find my 1984 year book quickly.  So I give you Biz and Jennifer circa 1984!  Can you tell which one is me?  I know my niece is going to excel in high school – she’s very much like Hannah as a student – she loves homework, projects, writing notes in different colors, having different colored file folders depending on the class – you get the idea!  Can’t believe she’ll be the class of 2020!  Ten years after Hannah graduated from school. Open-mouthed smile

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Here is a link to the notable/famous alumni of our school.   Yep, it includes Jeff Mauro of Food Network fame and Kathy Griffin!

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So you know Party Pizza Friday is alive and well if you follow me on Instagram.  I don’t consider my pizza night a “cheat meal” per se, but I do look forward to it every week, and it’s the one dinner I don’t measure out everything on my plate.  I was trying to think of a different type of pizza to make, and found Damn Delicious’ Japapeno Popper pizza and was like “why the fuck haven’t I made that before!” 

I used half of my no rise pizza dough for the pizza (2 cups water, 1 teaspoon yeast, 1 teaspoon salt and 1 cup water), and I adapted my recipe to what I had on hand.  So mine was inspired by Chungah’s post.  The ingredients below are for one 12 inch pizza.

  • 2 tablespoons room temperature cream cheese
  • 2 ounces sliced mozzarella cheese
  • 1 sliced jalapeno
  • 3 pieces of candied bacon, chopped
  • 1/2 cup canned corn, drained
  • 1 tablespoon poppy seeds
  • 1 teaspoon olive oil

Roll out the dough.  I use my Baking Steel, so it was hot in the oven at 425 degrees.  Spread the cream cheese on the bottom of the pizza that’s on parchment paper.   Top with the sliced mozzarella cheese, the chopped bacon, the sliced jalapeno and the corn.  Brush the crust with olive oil and sprinkle with the poppy seeds.  Bake for 10-12 minutes.

PicMonkey Collage - pizza

So good!  I loved the poppy seed crust, the cream cheese gave it just a bit of tang, then you get the sweetness from the candied bacon and corn, and then that pop of salt from the bacon.  Delish!

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Jacob had to work most of the day on Saturday and Hannah was off.  I love spending the day with Hannah.  About once a month she does a big stock up shop at Walmart – one of her favorite stores.  I only had to replace our bottled water for $12, but somehow managed to spend $92!  Easy to do in a store that big – I was just happy to be getting so many steps in outside of the gym!

My eats were on point over the weekend – I know that Friday night is my night of indulgence, so I made good choices the rest of the weekend.  Top right – breakfast both Saturday and Sunday – egg white omelet with feta cheese, turkey sausage, pom seeds and a cutie.  Saturday lunch was out with Hannah – I ordered posole and it was so good – I ended up bringing 3/4 of it home and had that as a leftover on Sunday for lunch.  Saturday night Hannah and Jacob went out, so it was dinner for one – I made a beef and veggie stir fry.   And Sunday night I made this Cuban Mojo pork roast – so good, but I am waiting to make it again because I think it will be amazeballs on a grill.  And for the record, both my step-son, his wife and I are still alcohol free this month!  Joe texted me a picture of wings and waffle fries and said “this would really go good with a beer!”

PicMonkey Collage - good eats

I’ve been keeping up with my workouts over the weekend – something that normally went by the way side last year.   I’d do great M-F and then all bets were off on the weekends.  I went to bed at 11:00 p.m. on Friday night because I had my hot yoga Saturday morning – and I fucking overslept!  Luckily they have a 24 hour cancellation after the class, so I can make up the class and will be going to a 7:00 p.m. class tonight with no penalty.  Whew!  I guess I needed the sleep!

PicMonkey Collage - workout

The top and lower left hand pick?  That’s my new Kutting Weight top.  I am 5.2 and at my last WI I was 174 pounds.  Nearly all of my weight is in my tummy area, and I am sure other women who have this problem of the “muffin top” find it difficult to do some exercises if your stomach is moving in a different direction of the rest of your body.  Just try doing jumping jacks with a loose pair of sweat pants and a loose shirt and you’ll know what I mean!   I don’t know if their claim of “regardless of whether you’re using the suit for weight loss in a competitive sport or for your own health and fitness goals, the Kutting Weight sauna suit can help you achieve your your ideal physique. The sauna suit clothing is the most advanced product for enhancing weight loss in the fitness industry.”

All I knew was that when I looked at the tank, and read some reviews, it looked like this would be the perfect shirt to keep everything in one place.   I am going to have to do a video soon to show you, but I absolutely love this tank.  It’s tight, but doesn’t feel like I am restricted in any way.  And when I did my quarter mile run intervals at the gym, it was seamless – I didn’t feel any giggling, my tummy fat stayed in place and I could almost picture myself running at a healthy weight!  (let’s not talk about that I have about 34 pounds to go to be at the top end of a healthy weight for my height!).   It’s pricey – $39.99 but with free shipping and I literally got it in two days.  You can’t wash it in a washer – you have to hand wash it and let it hang dry.  One woman said she would wear it about 5 times before washing it – when I take it off it’s pretty wet with sweat, but the neoprene dries super fast and it didn’t smell after the two times I wore it over the weekend.  I’ll keep you posted on that. 

I did find it interesting that when I looked at the sizing chart – the size L was suggested for someone who was 5.7” to 5’11” who weighs between 170-190 pounds!

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Yesterday I made some soup and my copycat Starbuck’s lemon loaf for a friend of mine who had emergency surgery last week.  She’s recouping nicely, but thought it might be nice to drop some food off to her and her family.  So many people brought me stuff after Tony died, that I only think it’s fair to pay it forward.  This time though, I got the glaze perfect!  I need to rewrite the original recipe – turns out I needed twice as much powdered sugar, but I had a ton leftover.  And um, for the record?  This lemon loaf is insulin worthy!

PicMonkey Collage - lemon loaf

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I have some fun family news!  Tony’s nephew and his wife added a baby girl to their family of three.  Brother Maddux is now a big brother to a sister named Hazel Bonita!  The middle name is after my MIL – happy to say the baby is home and in perfect health.   They live in Tennessee so not sure when I’ll met her yet, but that’s the beauty of social media – I’ll get to see her a lot before I even meet her!

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Hope you all had a great weekend!  See you on Wednesday, until then, you can stalk me on Instagram.   Hugs!

New Blog!

Shhhh.  Don’t tell anyone, but today is my brother Charlie’s 50th birthday!  For some reason or another, my brother doesn’t want much fanfare for this birthday.  I mean, come on, what better way to celebrate than on your 50th birthday?!   I told him that I wanted to send 50 balloons to his office at the Apple HQ in Austin, but he quickly replied that he’d rather have the money that I would have spent on the balloons than the actual balloons.  This is also the same person who cringes at spending $30 for a plate of food on a business trip that can easily be expensed, i.e., not being paid out of his own pocket.   Every bite of food he would put in his mouth he’d think “that’s a $5 bite!”  Um, to say we are complete opposites when it comes to spending money on food, that would be an understatement.

But he does have some exciting news!  Long time readers will remember that not only is he an amazing writer on his blog Back to the Fridge, but he’s also a published author of the book “Why Your Last Diet Failed You and How This Book Won’t Help You on Your Next One.”   Not only that, but he’s constantly writing fiction and non-fiction where he writes about it on this blog.   And because he doesn’t have enough creative outlets either, he’s also writing music and plays piano – has taught himself how to play the flute and violin, and guitar, just to name a few instruments.

Oh, and all this while being a smart computer guru at Apple HQ – which is why I now know why I have Cupertino weather on my iPhone, because while Austin is Apple’s National HQ, Cupertino is the WORLD HQ.  I always thought it was random on why I had that weather on my phone!

But I digress.  What this all boils down to is my brother has now brought all of his passions, writings, music, etc. all under one roof!  I actually have only spent one minute on there because it just went live today, on his 50th birthday, which wasn’t a coincidence, but I hope you will all stop by and leave him a birthday message on his new blog – you can click here to get there.  Tell him his favorite sister Biz sent you! Open-mouthed smile

One of my longstanding projects is to get all my old photographs in order – I have boxes and boxes of photos in my basement, which are just decaying year after year and I need to start preserving them before they are lost.  But, being that I’ve had this blog for 7 1/2 years, I was able to put a compilation of photos together. 

PicMonkey Collage - charlie

And I like that he thinks he’s my Mom’s favorite, but we all know that’s not true.

charlie favorite

In 2012, Charlie was diagnosed with non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma.  It still seems unreal that he went through that and has now been cancer free for the last two years after chemo and radiation.  It was weird because he lived so far away from me that I didn’t see the day to day struggle he must have gone through while trying to get well.  It wasn’t until he came to visit and I saw his bald head that it really sunk in.  This is actually one of my favorite pictures of my brother hugging my Mom, and when I look at it, I get all teary thinking we could have lost him.

charlie no hair

He’s funny.  He’s super smart (I think me and my twin sister split a brain!) but most of all he’s always there for me if I need him.  When Tony got sick and it didn’t look good, Charlie called me and said “do you want us to come up?”  I said yes, and he and his family finished Thanksgiving dinner at a friends house, went home, packed their bags and drove 20 hours to be with me and stayed right through until Tony’s memorial.  That meant more to me than they will ever know.

So I hope you go wish him a happy birthday!  Wish I could be with you, but we’ll have fun when I visit in March! 

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I’ve gotten a couple dozen emails from blog readers asking if I will go back to blogging five times a week.  It makes me happy that you guys miss me on Tuesday and Thursdays, but I am enjoying the extra time I have on the days I don’t post.  Like yesterday morning.  I woke up at 6:45.  All I had to do was take a shower and get ready for work, but I still had an hour and fifteen minutes before I had to leave for work.  Plenty of time to make scones! 

Normally I put my scone batter in the freezer before cutting them to get really nice clean lines, but I didn’t have the luxury to do that yesterday morning, so I rough cut the scones but left them in a circle, and then five minutes before removing them from the oven, I cut them through and let them finish baking.  Jacob was getting ready for school as I was taking them out of the oven and I told him he could have one for breakfast.  After I posted this photo below, he felt he was gypped because I had the sugar free caramel sauce at work, and not at home.  Jacob, they are so much better with the caramel sauce! #sorrynotsorry

Apple Cinnamon Scones
Serves 8
A super light and delicious scone that can easily be made in less than a half hour - before you even go to work - try it sometime!
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Prep Time
5 min
Cook Time
20 min
Total Time
25 min
Prep Time
5 min
Cook Time
20 min
Total Time
25 min
225 calories
42 g
31 g
4 g
5 g
2 g
91 g
160 g
7 g
0 g
1 g
Nutrition Facts
Serving Size
91g
Servings
8
Amount Per Serving
Calories 225
Calories from Fat 34
% Daily Value *
Total Fat 4g
6%
Saturated Fat 2g
10%
Trans Fat 0g
Polyunsaturated Fat 0g
Monounsaturated Fat 1g
Cholesterol 31mg
10%
Sodium 160mg
7%
Total Carbohydrates 42g
14%
Dietary Fiber 2g
6%
Sugars 7g
Protein 5g
Vitamin A
3%
Vitamin C
1%
Calcium
16%
Iron
5%
* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2,000 calorie diet. Your Daily Values may be higher or lower depending on your calorie needs.
Ingredients
  1. 2 3/4 cups flour
  2. 4 teaspoons baking powder
  3. 4 tablespoons sugar
  4. 1/2 teaspoon salt
  5. 1 egg
  6. 6 ounces unsweetened almond milk
  7. 1/2 a cup of shredded apple
  8. 1 teaspoon cinnamon
  9. 2 tablespoons butter, shredded*
  10. 4 teaspoons sugar free caramel sauce
Instructions
  1. Heat oven to 425.  Mix the flour, baking powder, sugar cinnamon and salt together.  Mix the egg and almond milk together.  *I always keep sticks of butter in the freezer when I make scones or biscuits.  Put the shredded butter in the flour mixture and just toss to coat, trying not to touch it too much.   Toss in the shredded apple and toss to coat.  Pour in the milk/egg mixture and just mix until combined.  When it’s almost combined, pour onto a floured piece of parchment paper on your kitchen counter.  I usually wet my hands so the dough doesn’t stick to my hands.  Shape in a round and press down until the dough is about an inch thick.  Using a sharp knife, cut into 8 pieces.  Move the parchment paper directly to a baking steel, baking stone, or cookie sheet.  Bake for 12-15 minutes, then cut the rest of the way through the dough, and cook an additional five minutes or until they are lightly golden brown.
  2. Once cooled, drizzle with 1/2 a teaspoon of the caramel sauce.
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calories
225
fat
4g
protein
5g
carbs
42g
more
My Bizzy Kitchen http://www.mybizzykitchen.com/
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OMG, so good!  I could never get Tony to eat any of my scones because he had one bad scone in 1989 and swore he would never eat another one for the rest of this life, and he never did.  Mine are not dry, they are moist and delicious.  I rounded out my breakfast with egg whites with feta cheese and some fresh strawberries.  Delish!

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Today is my rest day!  I’ve been killing it at the gym lately – I’ve averaged about 16k steps this week!  My strength training is getting really good and it’s my new routine to hit the gym for an hour after work M-Thursday.  But I have to remember that I am nearly 48 years old, so I chose Party Pizza Friday as my rest day.  I also signed up for another hot yoga class tomorrow, but notice it’s with a new instructor, so we’ll see how that goes.

They say it takes 21 days to form a habit.  Well, it’s been 21 days for me to kick the habit of no wine.  I know, I don’t believe it either!  I haven’t talked to my step-son directly this week yet, but I am sure he’s still alcohol free too so far this month – that was our deal.  But I have to say, I probably will continue to abstain for the unforeseen future.  I know adding it back in won’t help me get to a healthier weight, so it will just have to be on the back burner for now.

Happy Friday and happy birthday again to my brother!  Let’s show him so love on his new blog!  I hope you have a wonderful weekend – see you on Monday, but in the meantime, you can follow me on Instagram (my bizzy kitchen).  Make it a great day!

Braised Short Ribs Over Creamy Polenta

I think the only thing that can surpass Hannah’s love of Starbuck’s is her simultaneous love of both Wal-Mart and Target.  Whenever she wants to go to either of those places and asks Jacob or I to go with her, our question to her is “are you only picking up a couple things or walking around the whole store?”  Because she loves to spend a minimum of two hours at each store!

She called me at work yesterday telling me she bought me something from Target.  I told her she shouldn’t spend her money on me, but she said as soon as she saw it, it screamed me, and well, she just had to buy it.  So when I got home yesterday, this is what I was presented with:

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PIZZA PAJAMAS!  Omg, I absolutely love them.  They aren’t too thin, or too heavy.  I told her if I could I would wear them to work today.  Oh, and Jacob bought me a new pair of slippers because someone (ahem, Roman!) ate through my other pair of slippers!   I will most likely have these jammies on within five minutes of coming in the door each day.  Thanks Hannah!

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Like I am sure most of you do, I meal plan using my stores sale flyer.  If chicken breasts aren’t on sale, I am not having chicken breasts that week.  And while I’ve stated before that I am no longer a short order cook for dinner, the truth is, my home cooked dinner is about the healthiest thing the kadults eat during the day.  They both are a grab and go kind of breakfast person – bowl of cereal, bagel and cream cheese, etc.  Lunch?  Usually eaten out – tacos, Burger King, etc.  So while I could be selfish and just make whatever I want (chicken tikka masala!) I am taking into consideration their likes and dislikes.  Jacob is easy, because even if he doesn’t like something he’ll eat it.  Like pizza – he’s not a big fan, but he’ll eat it come Party Pizza Friday!

So when I saw boneless short ribs were on sale for $3.99 a pound I knew I would be making something with short ribs.  I knew the meat would be tender, so that was a plus for Hannah.  I knew she’d like the vegetables and gravy, and I knew she’d love the creamy polenta too, so I threw caution to the wind and made Mario Batali’s short ribs.  Except I modified the recipe to serve a normal amount of people and decided to serve it over cheezy polenta.

Braised Short Ribs Over Creamy Polenta
Serves 6
Is there any better taste than super tender beef over cheezy polenta? Delicious for Sunday dinner and is even better reheated the next day.
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Prep Time
10 min
Cook Time
2 hr 30 min
Total Time
2 hr 40 min
Prep Time
10 min
Cook Time
2 hr 30 min
Total Time
2 hr 40 min
527 calories
37 g
103 g
21 g
42 g
8 g
502 g
581 g
5 g
0 g
12 g
Nutrition Facts
Serving Size
502g
Servings
6
Amount Per Serving
Calories 527
Calories from Fat 190
% Daily Value *
Total Fat 21g
33%
Saturated Fat 8g
38%
Trans Fat 0g
Polyunsaturated Fat 3g
Monounsaturated Fat 9g
Cholesterol 103mg
34%
Sodium 581mg
24%
Total Carbohydrates 37g
12%
Dietary Fiber 6g
23%
Sugars 5g
Protein 42g
Vitamin A
150%
Vitamin C
27%
Calcium
18%
Iron
21%
* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2,000 calorie diet. Your Daily Values may be higher or lower depending on your calorie needs.
Ingredients
  1. 2 tablespoons olive oil
  2. 1.5 pounds boneless beef short ribs, cut into 2×3 pieces
  3. kosher salt and pepper
  4. 1/4 cup all purpose flour
  5. 4 carrots, peeled and chopped
  6. 3 stalks celery, chopped
  7. 4 cloves of garlic, roughly chopped
  8. 1 bottle Blue Moon Beer (or beer of choice)
  9. 1 cup tomato sauce (I used leftover pizza sauce)
  10. 1 cup beef broth
  11. thyme off two sprigs, roughly chopped
  12. rosemary off two sprigs, roughly chopped
Gremolata
  1. 1/3 cup fresh chopped parsley
  2. zest from 2 lemons
  3. 2 ounces fresh horseradish grated
Cheezy Polenta
  1. 3 cups boiling water
  2. 1 cup white cornmeal
  3. 3 ounces light Cabot cheese
Instructions
  1. Preheat the oven to 375 degrees F.
  2. In a large, heavy-bottomed ovenproof skillet or Dutch oven, heat the olive oil over high heat until smoking. Season the short ribs aggressively with kosher salt and pepper, and dredge them in the flour, shaking off the excess. Place them, a few at a time so you don’t overcrowd the pan, in the hot oil and sear until deep brown on all sides, about 15 minutes per batch. Transfer the short ribs to a plate and set aside.
  3. Add the carrots, (onions because I know you’ll add them!), celery, and garlic to the skillet and cook over high heat until browned and softened, 6 to 7 minutes. Season the vegetables with salt and pepper, and stir in the beer, tomato sauce, chicken stock, and herbs. Scrape the bottom of the skillet with a wooden spoon to dislodge the brown bits, and bring the mixture to a boil. Return the short ribs to the skillet, cover, and place it in the oven. Cook for 2 hours.
  4. Uncover the skillet and continue to cook for 30 minutes, or until the meat is fork-tender. Remove from the oven and use a ladle or a kitchen spoon to skim the fat from the braising liquid.
  5. To make the gremolata, combine the parsley, lemon zest, and horseradish in a small bowl, and toss loosely by hand.
  6. To make the polenta, bring 3 cups of water to boil, add in the cornmeal and whisk for 3-4 minutes over medium high heat. Remove from heat, stir in cheese and season with salt and pepper.
  7. To serve, put about 3/4 cup of polenta on the bottom of the bowl, add the braised short ribs, and sprinkle with the gremolata on the side.
Adapted from Mario Batali
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calories
527
fat
21g
protein
42g
carbs
37g
more
Adapted from Mario Batali
My Bizzy Kitchen http://www.mybizzykitchen.com/
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This made six servings.  I wish the last picture was better and did it more justice, because this is comfort food at it’s finest.  The meat was so tender (although I did have to chop up Hannah’s so fine that you’d think I was feeding a baby that didn’t have any teeth yet) but we all gave this two giant thumbs up.  And don’t skip the gremolata – the lemon and horseradish kicks made this dish for me.

I knew if nothing else, Hannah would eat bread.  I made up a batch of Artisan Bread in 5 minutes over the weekend and only used 1/4 of the dough to make this loaf.

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I stuck the rest of the dough in the fridge and last night Hannah said she felt like macaroni and cheese, so I made mac n cheese using unsweetened almond milk and light Cabot cheese and added in some chopped broccoli.  I saw the dough and told Hannah I thought I’d make another small loaf of bread and she said “why not make a giant loaf?!”  Um, that would be cheddar cheese on top.

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I am pretty sure Hannah’s favorite food is carbs.  I ate 1/2 of once slice of bread (although I could have eaten half that loaf!) and one cup of the macaroni and cheese.

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**********************

I am happy to say our temps are on the rise – the last couple days have been pretty brutal, although it’s to be expected for January Chicago weather.

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The highs over the weekend are going to be in the upper 30s, so pretty sure I’ll be pulling out my shorts. Open-mouthed smile

******************

So excited that I finally booked our tickets to Austin!  Cannot wait to spend time with my brother and his family and my step-son and DIL.  Shelley, I’ll get in touch with you soon to see what day works best for you to meet for lunch – can’t wait to finally meet you in person after all these years!   So proud of your amazing race in Houston last weekend!

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Time to get this show on the road – but I’ll leave you with this.  I saw this on Instagram yesterday and thought it was worth a share.  Life is 10% of what happens to us, but the other 90% is how we handle that 10%. Make it a great day!

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The Best Gluten Free Pizza

I had a wonderful weekend.  One thing I am trying to do is to keep my healthy living during the week, spill into the weekend.  I cannot tell you how many weeks, months, years that I do really well Monday through Friday, but come Friday night all bets were off, I’d drink too much, eat too much pizza, and if I ate like shit on Friday night, why not just have a cinnamon roll as big as my head for breakfast on Saturday?  And if I ate like shit Friday night and Saturday morning, why not eat fried chicken and mac n cheese for dinner on Saturday night?  And while I am at it, why not open that can of corned beef hash you have in your pantry for Sunday brunch along with candied bacon and a couple eggs with cheese?

Whew, it’s no wonder that I’ve been struggling with my weight all these years.  Well, I know I’ve had reasons in the last few years for not putting myself first.  Maybe it’s just the clarity of not drinking wine that’s made me step back and realize what’s important, and while my Party Pizza Friday will always be a staple, it can’t and won’t let it be a jump start to a weekend of eating crap.  I am done with working so hard during the week only to erase all the good with bad habits.

One thing that has helped me, just in the last couple Saturday’s, is knowing that I have to get up for hot yoga.  I did my second class on Saturday, and not sure if the room was hotter, or I was able to do more, but I was dripping with sweat after the class and again it went by in the blink of an eye.  Tia, you’ll have to come with me one of these days!  

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It sets the whole tone for the weekend.  I didn’t want to just hit up McDonald’s after yoga to just erase what I worked off, and came home and had an open faced egg sammie with an apple on the side – it was perfect!

I had plans with Hannah and my Mom for lunch, hitting up Verizon to upgrade my Mom’s phone (she’s on my plan) and seeing the movie Carol.   The temps hadn’t dropped yet and it was a balmy 30 degrees when we hit the road.  Look at me – with mascara AND lipstick! Open-mouthed smile

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We went to P.F. Chang’s for lunch.  Um, if anyone has any concerns about the economy, just go to Woodfield Mall in Schaumburg.  It was a sea of humanity, and at 1:15 the restaurant was nearly full!  We split the fried green beans, and I ordered the vegetable lo mein because it was off their “delightful” menu and stated it was under 600 calories.  This was again a giant amount of food and I ended up bringing half of it home – but it was delicious. 

So the movie?  It was good.  BUT SO SSSSSLLLLLOOOOWWWW.  Like so slow.  All three of us nearly fell asleep at one point or another and we all didn’t really know what we were getting into because the trailer was sort of nondescript, but with Cate Blanchett getting an Oscar nomination for it, we figured it would be movie theater worthy.  Well, it wasn’t.  If you have this on your list of movies to see, save your $11 matinee ticket and wait for it to be on HBO or Netflix by the summer.  It was, however, a great day spent with my Mom and Hannah – I mean, really more for my Mom since she was not only with her favorite child, but also her favorite grandchild as well – the double whammy! 

********************

I hit up the gym on Sunday as well.  I am almost finished with Episode 6 of Making a Murderer – I am steering clear of all the hoopla I’ve seen online until I get to the end.  It’s so good though!  It makes my treadmill workout go by so fast – I ended up doing a 5k in 50 minutes on 8% incline and 3.8 mph.

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We had to buy a new Keurig  – our other one was three years old, and um, let’s just say that I forgot to maintain the filter and it kind of got gross, and all the cleaning that Hannah tried on it, well, it wasn’t working out too well.  If you know Hannah, that means just knowing what kind of gunk was still in the machine, she pretty much would never use the Keurig again.  As luck would have it, the Keurig 250 was on sale at BB&B, I had a bit of money left on a gift card from Christmas, and with the 20% off coupon, it ended up costing $65 out the door – nice!  This one reads up to 40 different types of K-cups too so that it makes the perfect cup of coffee each time.  And because all three of us drink so much coffee, it was worth it.  One of my favorite smells in the world – fresh brewed coffee – and that first sip of the day is life changing. Open-mouthed smile

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*****************

I’ve talked about the Cooking Club that I am in here and here.  My friend Courtney is generous enough to host it at her house every month.  Each month Courtney picks out a “head chef” for the night, and depending on what that cook wants to make, will dictate the rest of the menu for the night.

Well, it is of no shock to anyone that I offered to show and make my copycat Lou Maltanti’s Chicago Deep Dish Pizza.  When you read the directions, it sounds so complicated, but I’ve made it so many times, after the dough comes together (and I’ve kept the dough in the fridge for over a week just fine) you can be eating deep dish pizza faster than take out.  But I suddenly realized that one of the women in the group has a gluten allergy.  Fudge crackers.  There would be no way for her to eat the main dish of the night.

I figured there had to be a great gluten free pizza recipe out there so I started a bit of research.  But after just looking at the first several recipes I came across, I knew I didn’t want to use almond or coconut flour, or flax meal, sweet potatoes, xantham gum or quinoa.  I WANTED IT TO TASTE LIKE REAL PIZZA!  And yes, I am shouting there.  At lunch on Friday I hit up Mariano’s and discovered that Bob’s Red Mill has a gluten free baking flour that I thought might work.  The price wasn’t too bad – I mean, a bit pricey for flour, but not too crazy – the 22 ounce bag cost $4.29.  I also realized that Red Star Yeast has a gluten free version too, so I picked that up too.

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I decided to blend up my no rise pizza dough with a bit of the Chicago deep dish pizza ingredients and ended up coming up with this:

The Best Gluten Free Pizza
Serves 8
The closest real deal gluten free pizza you'll ever have!
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Prep Time
5 min
Cook Time
15 min
Total Time
20 min
Prep Time
5 min
Cook Time
15 min
Total Time
20 min
54 calories
7 g
4 g
2 g
1 g
1 g
42 g
297 g
0 g
0 g
1 g
Nutrition Facts
Serving Size
42g
Servings
8
Amount Per Serving
Calories 54
Calories from Fat 21
% Daily Value *
Total Fat 2g
4%
Saturated Fat 1g
5%
Trans Fat 0g
Polyunsaturated Fat 0g
Monounsaturated Fat 1g
Cholesterol 4mg
1%
Sodium 297mg
12%
Total Carbohydrates 7g
2%
Dietary Fiber 1g
3%
Sugars 0g
Protein 1g
Vitamin A
1%
Vitamin C
0%
Calcium
0%
Iron
1%
* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2,000 calorie diet. Your Daily Values may be higher or lower depending on your calorie needs.
Ingredients
  1. 2 cups of Bob’s Red mill Gluten Free 1 to 1 Baking Flour
  2. 1 package Red Star Yeast
  3. 1 teaspoon salt
  4. 1/4 cup white corn meal
  5. 1 cup tap water
  6. 1 tablespoon butter, softened
  7. 1 teaspoon olive oil (to brush on the edges of the pizza)
  8. that’s it
Instructions
  1. Mix the baking flour, yeast, salt, and corn meal together.  Add water and bring dough together.  Put the dough on the counter and kind of stretch it out a bit, and rub the tablespoon of butter all over the dough, and then roll up and knead for a couple minutes, adding a bit of the gluten free flour on your counter if it starts to get too sticky.
  2. I let this dough rise for about 45 minutes, but you could just roll it out and bake it at this point.  I bake mine on a Baking Steel at 425 degrees for 15 minutes.    This is enough dough for two 12 inch pizzas.  I put half the dough on a piece of parchment paper and shape it in a circle.  I add pizza sauce, and whatever toppings you want, and then before going into the oven, brush the crust with the teaspoon of olive oil.
Notes
  1. You can just make this dough, roll it out and bake it right away. Let it rest for 30-60 minutes - totally up to you. I put the second half of the dough in my fridge, let it get to room temp in 15 minutes and baked it up and I couldn't tell the difference from the first pizza, so not sure the rise time would make much of a difference in the taste of the end result.
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calories
54
fat
2g
protein
1g
carbs
7g
more
My Bizzy Kitchen http://www.mybizzykitchen.com/
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best gluten free pizza3

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best gluten free pizza 2

Guys.  I am going to say that after the dozens, hundreds, thousands (possibly millions!) of pizzas I’ve made over the years, this dough ranks at the very top.  It has the best of both worlds for me in a pizza – a crispy crust, but still a bit of a chew in the middle.  Hannah took that last three pictures for this post, and after we finished taking the pictures, she had a piece and said “I am not sure what a gluten free pizza is supposed to taste like, but this is a great pizza.”  EXACTLY!  That was exactly what I was going for, and the fact that I nailed it on my first attempt makes me absolutely giddy.  I can’t wait for my friend at Cooking Club to try this.  Hopefully I haven’t set the bar too high with my review of this, but considering how much pizza I’ve had in my life, I think I know great pizza when I taste one, and this one is delish.

If you try this, can you do me a solid and let me know if you like it?!  Please feel free to share with your friends and family who have gluten allergies too.

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Our week is starting out brutally cold again this Monday – it’s -6 degrees right now with a wind chill of –23.  I’ll be hitting they gym at lunch for strength, and after work for cardio.  I am on a mission to lose my 4.2 pounds these next two weeks!

Hope you had a great weekend – I’ll see you Wednesday for my adaptation of Mario Batali’s Braised Short Ribs over Cheezy Polenta.  Make it a great day!

Very Berry Sauce

I have a new product to me that you guys may already know about.  I love my parfaits, and while I normally make my own granola, I haven’t made any in a couple weeks.  When I was on an office run for Diet Coke, I went down the granola aisle to see what I could find.  We all know that while granola is healthy, it is on the calorie bomb side.  As luck would have it, not only was this Kashi granola on sale for $2.99 a bag at Mariano’s, it was also the least caloric – only 110 for 1/3 of a cup, which is the perfect amount for a parfait.

Hannah bought a bunch of frozen fruit at Walmart (I think on Instagram I said Aldi –oop!)  – the mix I used to make it is the Great Value Whole Berry Medley with no sugar added – it as whole strawberries, blackberries, blueberries and raspberries.  Each one cup serving is 80 calories, .5 fat, 17 carbs, 6 fiber and 1 protein.

Very Berry Sauce
Serves 1
A super delicious and healthy sauce perfect for parfaits.
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Prep Time
1 min
Cook Time
5 min
Total Time
6 min
Prep Time
1 min
Cook Time
5 min
Total Time
6 min
66 calories
16 g
0 g
0 g
1 g
0 g
288 g
7 g
10 g
0 g
0 g
Nutrition Facts
Serving Size
288g
Servings
1
Amount Per Serving
Calories 66
Calories from Fat 4
% Daily Value *
Total Fat 0g
1%
Saturated Fat 0g
0%
Trans Fat 0g
Polyunsaturated Fat 0g
Monounsaturated Fat 0g
Cholesterol 0mg
0%
Sodium 7mg
0%
Total Carbohydrates 16g
5%
Dietary Fiber 3g
13%
Sugars 10g
Protein 1g
Vitamin A
0%
Vitamin C
163%
Calcium
3%
Iron
4%
* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2,000 calorie diet. Your Daily Values may be higher or lower depending on your calorie needs.
Ingredients
  1. 1 cup whole berry medley fruit
  2. 1/2 cup water
  3. 1/2 teaspoon sugar
  4. 1/2 teaspoon cornstarch
Instructions
  1. In a small pan, heat the whole fruit and water over medium low heat for about 4-5 minutes, just until the fruit starts to defrost and release it’s juices.  Mix the sugar and corn starch together.  Bring the heat up to medium high, add the sugar mixture and cook for 1-2 more minutes until the sauce starts to become thick.  Don’t worry, once it cools the sauce will thicken.  Once cooled I put in a mason jar to bring to work.  You could easily quadruple this recipe (which is what I plan to do this weekend) and store each in a pint jar to just grab and go.
Notes
  1. Feel free to use any frozen fruit you have on hand. The possibilities are endless 😀
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calories
66
fat
0g
protein
1g
carbs
16g
more
My Bizzy Kitchen http://www.mybizzykitchen.com/
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This was so good.  The fruit was on the tart side, with just a hint of sweetness and you get the tang from the yogurt and then just a pop of sweetness with the granola.  That whole parfait was just 305 calories and super filling.

My Mom and I are getting together tomorrow for lunch/shopping for a new cell phone for her at Verizon/then a movie.  While we were on the Verizon site I noticed I had racked up 115,000 points and I didn’t know what the hell I could get for that many points!  Well, turns out unless I want to shell out $165 for a $360 purse using 20,000 points, not much.  So I put in my zip code and sure enough, one of the restaurants we frequent was on the “list.”  For a mere 1,000 points, I got a buy one/get one entrée free for up to $12.  Score!

Weird to me?  Going to this place and not ordering a Boddingtons!  I am still going strong with the no alcohol and ordered an iced tea.

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I ordered the steak kabob plate, described as teriyaki glazed beef kabobs with steamed veggies and a plain baked potato.  Perfect!

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Holy balls that is a lot of food!  I ate one of the skewers, half my potato and about 1/2 a cup of veggies.  When I got home I weighed my leftovers – 5 ounces of beef, 12 ounces of veggies and 5 ounces of potato!  What the what?!  I’ve been going to this restaurant for years and I told the owner Vince as we left “your portions are just too big!”  I said you could have split my dinner in half, charged someone else the same $15 and the profit margin would be so much higher.  His response?  People expect big portions.  What the What?  I wish I would have taken a picture of Jacob’s pasta dish – it literally was served in a serving dish that was the size of something you’d see at a family style dinner at a wedding. 

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That above is the leftovers sans the baked potato.  Crazy!  I mean, I am all about using leftovers, but it’s no wonder that America has an obese problem when restaurants serve this ridiculous sized portions.  The food was delicious though!

So that brings us to my first two week WI of the year.  On January 1st I was . . .

177.9 

On January 15, I am .  . .

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So I’ve lost 3.8 the first two weeks of 2016!  I’ll take it.  Like I said the first few days of not having my wine my brain went into “I can eat more food because I am not consuming wine anymore!”  But calories are calories, no matter where they come from.  I also curbed my night time snacking week two.  So my goal is to be 169.9 by January 31.  That’s another 4.2 pounds and now that I am in the groove, I have no doubt that I’ll hit that number.

For the first time in a long time I am believing in myself, that I can actually set a goal and stick with it.  And you know what?  It feels pretty good!

Alright, totally have to scoot – I had a ton of computer problems this morning so I have exactly 8 minutes to get my ass out the door – Happy Friday and have a great weekend!  See you Monday, until then, “see” you on Instagram. Hugs!