99 Luftballons

Sorry for the late post.  For the second time in as many weeks, someone committed suicide on my train line.  Last night the train stopped indefinitely 20 miles from my stop.  Luckily Hannah was just finishing up work and drove the 40 mile round trip to picked me up.  It was right around the time Jacob got off of school so we did an impromptu dinner out.  By the time I got home it was 10:00, I stayed up late enough to watch The Voice on the DVR and hit the hay.

THANK YOU for all the wonderful comments, Facebook messages and texts and virtual hugs from yesterdays post.  It means more to me than you’ll ever know and I will be forever grateful and know I will look back on them in the days, weeks and months to come.  And I am sorry if I scared some of you with the blog post title that I may be giving up blogging – nope, you are stuck with me until who knows when?! 😀

My step-son just sent me this video, that I totally forgot I had on my YouTube channel.   This actually made me smile and laugh when I saw it – it was taken in March of 2011.

Hope you enjoy!  I know that Tony and our dog Ed are happy to be together again.  Make it a great day!

The Last Post

The last post that I wrote before Tony passed away was a mere seven days before he died.  I ended that post with this:

“I just wish Tony was home where he belongs, yelling at me from the living room “what smells like ass?!” when I cook Indian food in the kitchen while he’s watching Sunday football.  I want my life back.  I know it will get there, but I know we have a long road ahead of us.  I know Tony will appreciate all the comment on here and on Instagram when he can read them, so thank you to the moon and back for the support these last few weeks.”

When I read that paragraph, the one sentence that jumps out at me is “I want my life back.”  As much as used to internally complain about just sitting at home watching t.v. while Tony fell asleep at 7:30 p.m., I would literally go back to that life in a second.  I guess the saying is true, you don’t truly know what you miss until it’s gone.

I am really writing this post for me.  I’ve been reading my posts from November 2014, mainly because I don’t really remember all the details of that time.   In November 2018 I want to look back at November 2016 and remember what I was feeling two years after Tony died, and not that I just ate a flat bread breakfast sandwich.   I have to stop thinking about the what ifs, if I should have made different decisions about Tony’s care.

And while I know that life goes on, it feels as if I’ve had one foot permanently in the past like it’s in quicksand and one of these days I need to realize that it’s okay to leave the shoe in the quicksand and pull my foot out and keep walking.

“Until you heal the wounds of your past, you are going to bleed. You can bandage the bleeding with food, with alcohol, with drugs, with work, with cigarettes, with sex, but eventually, it will all ooze through and stain your life.  You must find the strength to open the wounds, stick your hands inside and pull out the core of the pain that is holding you in your past, the memories, and then make peace with them.”  Iyanla Vanzant

 

apple pie

Braided Apple Pie

It was nice to have a semi-long weekend.  While I had Thursday and Friday off, I worked Saturday and Sunday at The Chopping Block.   We had a nice Thanksgiving, having my Mom and Jacob’s family over – I think it’s the first time in a very long time that he’s had his Dad and his brother at the same dinner table, regardless of it being Thanksgiving.  Jacob’s grandparents came too, bringing deviled eggs and stuffing, and his Mom joined us later for dessert.

Hannah did the side dishes, I grilled up turkey breasts, wings and legs, and I made an apple pie.   I actually decided to switch up my usual apple pie.  Whenever I think about apple pie, it reminds me of when Tony decided to dress up my apple pie before going into the oven several Thanksgivings ago:

apple-pie penis

This will be a tough week for me as we are nearing the two year anniversary of his death.  I miss how he made me laugh, his hugs and his kiss.   How can it be two years already?!

So as not to start crying, let’s get back to the pie.  I watched several youtube videos on my train ride home last Wednesday night.   I’ve seen braided pies before and thought “could it be that difficult?!”  Well, the answer is yes and no.  Braiding on a table is a lot different from braiding hair, but after a couple tries I got the hang of it.  I also cheated and used refrigerated pie dough.

This is where I got my inspiration from, and this was the look I was going for:

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I rolled out one of the pie crusts and just used my pizza cutter to cut cut it into strips.

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I did not use the outer pieces of the dough because they were too short.  And I added several braids together to do the outer layer around the pie.  I tried to do a lattice top, but by then my dough was starting to get soft, and I figured I should just quit while I was ahead.  Here is how mine turned out.  I actually like how rustic it looks!

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For serving, I added a scoop of Talenti caramel cookie crunch and drizzled with jarred caramel sauce.  Holy balls was this insulin worthy!   The apple pie filling is from The Chopping Block.

Braided Apple Pie
Serves 8
A delicious and different way to make apple pie - try doing the braided dough - it's easier than it looks!
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Prep Time
15 min
Cook Time
1 hr
Total Time
1 hr 15 min
Prep Time
15 min
Cook Time
1 hr
Total Time
1 hr 15 min
456 calories
68 g
11 g
20 g
4 g
7 g
245 g
394 g
36 g
0 g
12 g
Nutrition Facts
Serving Size
245g
Servings
8
Amount Per Serving
Calories 456
Calories from Fat 181
% Daily Value *
Total Fat 20g
31%
Saturated Fat 7g
33%
Trans Fat 0g
Polyunsaturated Fat 4g
Monounsaturated Fat 8g
Cholesterol 11mg
4%
Sodium 394mg
16%
Total Carbohydrates 68g
23%
Dietary Fiber 5g
21%
Sugars 36g
Protein 4g
Vitamin A
5%
Vitamin C
13%
Calcium
2%
Iron
9%
* 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 refrigerated pie crusts
  2. 3 pounds Granny Smith Apples*
  3. 1/3 cup all-purpose flour
  4. 3/4 cup sugar
  5. 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  6. 1/2 teaspoon fine sea salt
  7. 3 tablespoons unsalted butter, cut into small pieces
Instructions
  1. Heat oven to 375.  Peel and core the apples and cut them into 1/2 inch wedges.  Toss apples, flour, sugar, cinnamon and salt in a large bowl and mix well.  Let sit while rolling out the dough.
  2. Lightly dust a clean surface with flour and roll one dish of dough into a 1/8 inch circle.  Gently roll the dough onto the rolling pin and place it into a pie dish (I sprayed with Pam), allowing the excess to hang over the edge.  Add pie filling to the pie and sprinkle the small pieces of butter on top of the filling.
  3. At this point, I put the pie in the fridge while I rolled out the top dough and made my braids.  I did a egg yolk/water mixture and brushed that around the edge of my pie so the braids would stick.  You can alternatively put the second pie layer on top and insert a knife in several places to create vents.  Then using your gingers or a fork, crimp the edges.  Brush the top of the pie with heavy cream and sprinkle with sugar.  Place the pie on a parchment-lined sheet tray, and bake until the filling is bubbly in the center, the apples are tender and the top crust is golden brown, about 45-60 minutes.
  4. Let pie cool before cutting.
Notes
  1. I used 1.5 pounds of Granny Smith apples, and 1.5 pounds of Fuji apples.
Adapted from The Chopping Block
beta
calories
456
fat
20g
protein
4g
carbs
68g
more
Adapted from The Chopping Block
My Bizzy Kitchen http://www.mybizzykitchen.com/
The other highlight of my weekend was spending Friday night with my step-son Joe, his wife Lizz and Hannah and Jacob.  Joe and Hannah were so tiny when I met Tony, only 8 and 10 years old and it’s weird to see them all grown up.  I am so very proud of all of them.

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And with a blink of an eye, the weekend came to a close.  I’ll be working at The Chopping Block at least the whole month of December, and truth be told, even though I am working 7 days a week, working at The Chopping Block doesn’t feel like work. 

I got home late Saturday night, nearly midnight, and Hannah was waiting up for me because she started our holiday decorating!  She and Jacob put up the tree, and she started putting my snowmen around and hung lighted garland around the front windows – I’ll take better pictures later, but it was such a sweet gesture – thanks Hannah!

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How was your long weekend?  What was your highlight?   Here’s to a new week – make it a great day!

Happy Thanksgiving!

Yep, more computer problems at my house, although we think it may have to do with the surge protector that I have.  It’s old, and it was making funny noises, so I plan on getting that replaced this weekend.  I was also a grocery shopping/cooking fool last night, so really I didn’t have time to blog even if I had wanted to.

I am doing fresh turkey breasts, turkey legs and turkey wings on the grill, and I was worried since I waited so long (and too late to buy a frozen turkey!) that they would all be gone, but I literally bought the last two packages of each protein that were on the shelf – whew!

We are having my Momma and Jacob’s family over for Thanksgiving.  There will be lots of food, but I am going to try not to pretend that this is the last meal I will ever eat on earth!  

I finally got my key card so I can access the fitness center and hope to check that out today at lunch.  I am looking forward to a couple days off, and hope to see my step-son Joe and his wife Lizz sometime this weekend – it’s hard when they have their own families and friends to see, that the “step-mom” stop sometimes gets bumped because of lack of time.  We shall see.  Today is also their 4th wedding anniversary!  Congrats!

In any event, I am thankful for all of you.  You’ve been through so much with me, especially these last few years and I appreciate each and every comment, email, text, gifts you’ve sent me over the years.  It means more to me than you’ll ever know.

So until I get my home computer situation fixed, My Bizzy Kitchen will be taking a break until Monday.  

I hope you and your family have a wonderful Thanksgiving.  Hugs!

poe-tree

The Best Buttery Dinner Rolls

So I woke up this morning, walked to my computer to publish my blog post and this is what I saw:

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I was up 45 minutes before I had to leave, and it was still running when I left.  Gah!  Luckily I posted this to my draft folder vs. keeping it on LiveWriter, which I could only access on my desktop.

So enjoy these buttery dinner rolls! 😀

I remember when I dreamed of being a bread baker.  Getting up early to make the dough, let it rise, and greet people as they come in for their morning coffee and hand them samples of my delicious cinnamon bread.  But after working the farmers markets this summer, and having to get up at 3:45 a.m. and all the manual labor that goes with it?!  Um, let’s just say I glamourized that job and I know how hard that work is, and while I wouldn’t mind doing it once in a while, I realize that’s a tough job to have full time.

That being said.  I love bread.  Always have.  I love working with the dough, waiting for it to rise.  There isn’t a lot of hands on time, especially if you let your stand mixer do the work of kneading the bread.  I normally love the hand kneading process, but after watching the Chef’s at The Chopping Block make these dinner rolls in the stand mixer, I was quickly convinced that this was the way to go.  And it is worth the wait.  The smell of fresh bread is probably one of my favorite kitchen smells.

These dinner rolls are literally foolproof – even for a novice.  Just make sure that your yeast is fresh, and all should go well!

Buttery Dinner Rolls
Serves 22
A delicious buttery dinner roll that will become a staple on your dinner table.
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Prep Time
15 min
Cook Time
40 min
Total Time
2 hr 30 min
Prep Time
15 min
Cook Time
40 min
Total Time
2 hr 30 min
191 calories
28 g
18 g
7 g
4 g
4 g
66 g
329 g
4 g
0 g
2 g
Nutrition Facts
Serving Size
66g
Servings
22
Amount Per Serving
Calories 191
Calories from Fat 62
% Daily Value *
Total Fat 7g
11%
Saturated Fat 4g
21%
Trans Fat 0g
Polyunsaturated Fat 0g
Monounsaturated Fat 2g
Cholesterol 18mg
6%
Sodium 329mg
14%
Total Carbohydrates 28g
9%
Dietary Fiber 1g
4%
Sugars 4g
Protein 4g
Vitamin A
4%
Vitamin C
0%
Calcium
2%
Iron
2%
* 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 milk
  2. 6 tablespoons unsalted butter (I actually used salted)
  3. 1 tablespoon sea salt
  4. 6 tablespoons granulated sugar
  5. 1/4 cup lukewarm water (between 110 and 115 degrees)
  6. 1/2 teaspoon granulated sugar
  7. 1 tablespoon dry active yeast
  8. 3/4 cup cold water
  9. 2 1/2 – 2 3/4 cups bread flour
  10. 2 1/2 – 2 3/4 cups all-purpose flour*
  11. 6 tablespoons butter, melted for brushing the tops
Instructions
  1. In a heavy saucepan, gently heat the milk, 6 tablespoons butter, salt and 6 tablespoons sugar until warm and just until the butter is melted. Remove from the heat and set aside to cool.  Combine the warm water and 1/2 teaspoon sugar in your stand mixer.  Sprinkle the yeast on top.  Check the mixture to ensure it’s alive – you should see that the yeast begins to bubble and foam after 10 minutes. Add the cold water to the milk mixture.  Be sure to make sure the milk is not too hot – it should be no longer steaming and feel just warm to the touch – then add that mixture to the yeast.  With a dough hook attachment, mix in the flour, reserving about 1/2 cup of each flour.  Combine well.  Adjust dough consistency as necessary with reserved flour or a bit more water.  Knead for 10 to 15 minutes with the stand mixer, or 15-20 minutes by hand, until the dough is smooth and elastic. Place dough in a bowl covered with a damp towel.  Let it rise until doubled, about 90 minutes.   Butter a 9 x 13 baking dish.  Punch dough down gently and divide into 2 ounces pieces (about the size of a golf ball).  Round the pieces of dough in the palm of your hand.  Place shaped rolls in the baking dish so that they are barely touching each other; cover with plastic and allow to rise until double,d about 30 minutes.   Preheat the oven to 350.  Bake the rolls until well browned and the internal temperature reaches 200 degrees – about 50-60 minutes.  Remove from oven and brush with melted butter.
Notes
  1. *After the initial 90 minute rise, you can keep the dough in a bowl and leave it in your fridge. Just divide the rolls, let them come to room temperature for 30 minutes, then bake as directed above.
  2. The Total Time includes the 2 hour rise.
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calories
191
fat
7g
protein
4g
carbs
28g
more
My Bizzy Kitchen http://www.mybizzykitchen.com/
Here is how the dough looked after 90 minutes:

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I only made half the dinner rolls last night just as a dry run, since I hadn’t actually made these, I’ve only watched the Chef’s at work make them.

img_0810

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You want to have them not touching at this point, because they will still rise for the second 30 minute rise.

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Then bake!  For some reason, mine were done at 40 minutes, so set your timer for 35 minutes and watch accordingly so they don’t get too brown.  Brush with a bit of butter and sprinkle with sea salt.

Buttery Dinner Rolls

I baked mine in my Lodge cast iron skillet, but you could use a cookie sheet, or a cake pan.  These will be a hit on my Thanksgiving table! 

Make it a great day!

Sweet Potato and Gruyere Cheese Gratin

It was a busy weekend working at The Chopping Block.  We are in full season holiday mode, and Saturday was our Taste of Thanksgiving.  We had FOURTEEN dishes for everyone to sample, we had Chef demos going on and complimentary wine tastings.  Sadly, I was on wine sampling and I didn’t actually help cook any of the food, but it smelled amazing by the time I got there because they had already started roasting turkeys and making gravy and stuffing to sample as soon as guests arrived.

First, can I just show you my dream stove?!

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Since The Chopping Block is at the Merchandise Mart, there are dozens of showrooms to look at on my way to work.  I am not a fan of the raised countertop on the island, but I love the backsplash.  And if anyone wants to put that Wolf stove on their Christmas list, it only costs $15,000. Open-mouthed smile

It takes a lot of people to pull off this event.  It all went smoothly though and I know all the guests raved about the food.

PicMonkey Collage - turkey day

Since this was an open house event, everyone could eat as much as they wanted, but no one could take home any leftovers.  So I was thrilled when we got to have a staff Thanksgiving with the leftovers.  That turkey roulade up there was amazing – a spicy herb rub was on the inside.  And I loved the Brussels sprouts too!  But the best side dish I ate was made by Chef Lisa.  Here she’s eating a carb dinner roll #carbsoncarbsoncarbs

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She made a sweet potato and gruyere cheese gratin.  I’ve only recently (like in the last five years) started to like sweet potatoes, but this was a perfect combo of sweet and savory.  I didn’t see the recipe until after I ate it, and no wonder it’s so delicious – lots of heavy cream, roasted garlic and THREE cups of gruyere cheese!  

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When we had our Weight Watcher meeting last week, we started talking about the food on Thanksgiving, writing down the points for the usual things that end up on a typical Thanksgiving table, i.e. mashed potatoes, stuffing, etc.  The leader had a good point that she normally just takes tastes of stuff she will only eat on Thanksgiving.  For her family, she never makes stuffing other than at Thanksgiving, so she’ll skip the mashed potatoes all together.

And that is how this dish could be your yearly indulgence.   Thanks Chef Lisa!

Sweet Potato and Gruyere Cheese Gratin
Serves 8
A once a year indulgence that is worth the smart points and insulin worthy!
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Prep Time
35 min
Cook Time
45 min
Total Time
1 hr 10 min
Prep Time
35 min
Cook Time
45 min
Total Time
1 hr 10 min
353 calories
9 g
106 g
30 g
14 g
18 g
120 g
191 g
2 g
0 g
10 g
Nutrition Facts
Serving Size
120g
Servings
8
Amount Per Serving
Calories 353
Calories from Fat 261
% Daily Value *
Total Fat 30g
46%
Saturated Fat 18g
90%
Trans Fat 0g
Polyunsaturated Fat 1g
Monounsaturated Fat 9g
Cholesterol 106mg
35%
Sodium 191mg
8%
Total Carbohydrates 9g
3%
Dietary Fiber 1g
5%
Sugars 2g
Protein 14g
Vitamin A
113%
Vitamin C
4%
Calcium
45%
Iron
2%
* 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. 1.5 cups heavy whipping cream
  2. 5 cloves roasted garlic, minced
  3. 1 tablespoon fresh thyme, rough chopped
  4. 2 medium sized sweet potatoes, peeled and cut into thin slices on a mandolin or knife
  5. salt and pepper to taste
  6. 3 cups Gruyere cheese, grated
Instructions
  1. Heat oven to 375.  Heat the cream, garlic and thyme together in a saucepan until steaming.  Set aside while preparing the potatoes.  Lightly butter a shallow baking dish or pie dish.  Layer the sweet potato slices on the bottom of the dish in concentric circles.  Season with salt and pepper, then ladle about 1/4 cup of the infused garlic cream on top, and finish with a sprinkling of gruyere cheese.  Continue layering all of the ingredients until the baking dish is full, ending with cheese on top.  Cover with foil, bake on a parchment-lined sheet tray for 40 minutes.  Uncover the baking dish and continue to cook until the sweet potatoes are knife-tender, and the cheese is golden brown and bubbly.  Allow to cool for 10 minutes before slicing.
Notes
  1. To roast garlic, slice the top off a whole head of garlic and expose the cloves.  Place it in a small oven-proof dish and drizzle with a tablespoon of olive oil.  Bake at 350 for 40-50 minutes until the cloves are soft and light golden color.
  2. You could also cook these in individual ramekins, which reduce the cooking time by half
beta
calories
353
fat
30g
protein
14g
carbs
9g
more
My Bizzy Kitchen http://www.mybizzykitchen.com/
Hannah was out to dinner with a friend on Saturday night, so it was just Jacob and I for dinner.   We will almost always have steak when Hannah is not home.  I did a quick seared steak using the Hardcore Carnivore rub, some sauteed mushrooms, lemon pepper green beans, and 1/2 cup of the sweet potato gratin.

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I counted that portion as six smart points, but it’s probably a lot more than that because of the heavy cream.  Um, just so you know, a cup of heavy cream has 821 calories and 88 grams of fat.  No wonder it was so good!  But I am planning on substituting unsweetened almond milk for the heavy cream, which is only 30 calories a cup and will be a nice nutty compliment to the gruyere cheese.  I’ll also be cutting back on that as well and using some 50% reduced fat Cabot cheese.  Once I redo the recipe, I’ll calculate the smart points for that.

Hannah and Jacob are now working together at the coffee shop.  They opened so on my way to work Sunday, I stopped in to pick up something for breakfast.  I was assisting in a Knife Skills class, which doesn’t produce any food at all, so I wanted something I could eat half for breakfast and half for lunch.  Um, this everything bagel was absolutely delicious – I counted it as 15 smart points because of the bagel, full fat cheese and well, the bacon.

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That worked perfectly and kept me full through the whole day.  When I got to the Merchandise Mart, they already have all the holiday decorations out – look at how big this Christmas tree is!

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My 90 days is almost up at The Chopping Block so my 40% discount will kick in right before Christmas.  It’s funny, I mentioned to someone that I am just about to be there long enough to get the discount, and her reply was “I would have guessed you’d been here almost a year already!”   I know I need another snowman item like I need a hole in my head, but look at how fricken cute these spatulas are?!  Only $8.95 before my discount for two.

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I am really looking forward to this week though.  I am off work both jobs on Thursday and Friday, and will be working Saturday and Sunday at the Lincoln Square location.  I’ve worked every day this month since November 3, although I can’t complain, I had lots of days off this summer when not working the farmers markets, so it’s all good.

Tomorrow I’ll be sharing the recipe for these amazeball dinner rolls!  These are hands down the best homemade dinner rolls I’ve ever had.  Light, buttery, flakey, salty – let’s just not talk about the point count though, shall we?!

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Well, time to get my stuff ready for work.  Winter is definitely upon us – last week we had temps in the low 70s, and yesterday I don’t think we got about 45 degrees for the high.  It was bound to happen sooner or later, but I kind of missed the 50s and 60s weather.  I just checked the weather and right now it is 20 degrees.  Time to bundle up!

Make it a great day!

UPDATE:  My next blog post on The Chopping Block just posted – I’d love to have some comment love over there if you could stop by – hugs and thanks!

 

National Diabetes Awareness Month

Yesterday was just a weird day.  I stepped outside to head to the train and had a winter coat on.  While it gets warm during the day, when I leave my house it’s usually in the mid-30s.  I stepped out, pulled out my phone and the weather app said 55 degrees at 7:20 in the morning – nice!  I came back in, switched to a light jacket and headed to the train.

I knew something was up as I got closer to the train station because I could hear a perpetual announcement and people walking away from the train.  Not a good sign.  When I got on the platform, I was informed that a pedestrian was hit further down on my train line and that all activity going in and out of Chicago had come to a complete halt.  My choices?  Wait it out on the train.  Go home.  Drive to the Elgin train station (a good 30-40 drive from where I live) and take a different train line into Chicago, or drive to Rosemont (again, a good 30-40 minute drive) to take the Blue line into the city.  The only option I thought of was to just sit it out. 

I had my coffee.  I had my book (Carrie – almost done with it – love!) the sun was shining, and luckily my boss was out of the office yesterday, so I didn’t feel like I had  to get to work straight away.  So while I embraced this unexpected leisure time, others on my car?  Not so much.  As announcement after announcement kept coming over the loud speaker that there was no news on when we could move, people just got more agitated, got on their phones, canceled meetings, etc.  One man in particular was very vocal about how busy a morning he was supposed to be having and this was messing up his whole day.  By then I could see on my phone that the person that got hit was killed, which normally is always the case.  When it’s pedestrian vs. train, the train almost always wins.

I politely turned around to this man and said “someone isn’t going home to their family tonight!”   I now know that it was a 32 year old man that was struck and killed, and that it is being deemed a suicide.  I’ll never understand why someone would throw away their gift of life. 

I didn’t get to my desk until 11:30.  I have my new WW meeting on Thursdays, but luckily got to go.  I didn’t eat the breakfast I brought because now it was nearly lunch time, so I just ate a quick banana before my meeting.

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-.8.  I’ll take it.  I didn’t grocery shop last week, Hannah did some meal planning, but a couple nights I’d get a text “hey Mom, sorry, Jacob and I ate a late lunch so I didn’t fix what was on the menu.”  So I had to wing it with what I had.   My only exercise has been walking, and while I routinely get around 15k steps a day walking to the train and my lunch time walks.  I haven’t been to the Y in the longest time and plan on cancelling that membership.  Guess why??  BECAUSE MY NEW OFFICE HAS A FREE FITNESS CENTER!!  It actually is run by the office of the building, and tomorrow I should get my key card.  It’s on the 3rd floor.  I also discovered that my office also has a tenant lounge.  What the what?  Also run by the office of the building, it has tables, comfortable couches, ping pong, t.v.’s.  That’s nice to know when it’s crappy outside I’ll have some place to eat my lunch if I wanted.  Hope to check that out tomorrow too.

I used nearly the remainder of my $20 treat budget for lunch.  In the lobby of my building is Pret, they pride themselves on organic coffee and natural foods.  I didn’t realize it was a “grab and go” so I changed my decision because the wrap I wanted had red onions in it – ew.  I got the hummus and crisp veggie wrap (pickled red cabbage – so good!) and a cup of their tomato feta soup, which said was 110 calories for the smaller portion for the soup.

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The sandwich according to the WW app was 9 points.  When I looked up the soup – 13 points.  I am not believing that though – no way a 110 calorie soup could be 13 points, so I called it four and moved on.  Both were delicious by the way.  I’d definitely use that as a weekly treat in the future.

The train ride home was uneventful.  Until about four stops (or 20 minutes) before my stop, I could feel sweat start to pour down my neck.  Dammit.  Low blood sugar.  Not sure why this has been happening lately.  There are just so many variables with managing blood sugar.  Anywho, I tested it and it was 58.  I had nothing to eat.  No glucose tabs, nothing.  I knew I could make it to the CVS once I got off the train, but by the time I got to my stop, my whole back was sweating and my shirt was completely soaked.   I walked into CVS as if I were walking through mud, and reached for the first thing I saw, which was a snickers bar and started eating it before I even paid for it because no one was at the register.

When my blood sugar drops like that, it really takes the wind out of me.  I had an errand to do, which I did, but the whole time I was walking through the grocery store, I felt like I could just lay on the ground and take a nap right then and there.  I made it home.  I picked up chicken fingers for the kadults, and took two for my buffalo chicken salad.  This was really tasty and 10 smart points.

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Hannah and Jacob were going on a coffee run, and Hannah said “Mom, you don’t look that great, why don’t you just rest for a while.”  So right when they left at 8:00, I laid down on my bed for a few minutes, which immediately turned into over an hour!  I was shocked when it wad 9:15 – and actually thought “is it 9:15 on Friday morning?  I’m late for work!”  Then I saw it was dark out.  Whew!  But I did feel 1000 times better.  And then got busy in my kitchen pre-making deep dish pizza for Party Pizza Friday tonight at my friends house.  Hannah is coming with me, so that will be nice.  I am working all weekend at the Chopping Block, so it will be nice to spend some time with her.

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So that brings me to the actual blog post title – It’s National Diabetes Awareness Month.  There are now about 8 million people walking around with diabetes right now, and they don’t even know it.  Diabetes is a manageable disease, but you have to do the work.  Get regular check ups, test your blood sugar throughout the day and before bed, etc.  Halo Top ice cream reached out to me to spread the word about their ice cream.

“Halo Top is an all natural ice cream that not only tastes delicious, but each pint is less than 400 calories, low carb, high protein, and most importantly, low sugar. You can learn more about each of our flavors on our website. We also just launched 10 new flavors this month, so this is a pretty exciting time for us right now!  Halo Top as a sweet option for those with low sugar diet restrictions. We also have a fun social activation to engage our fans to help raise money for diabetes research and we’re planning to donate up to $10,000.” 

halo top

So far, I’ve only been able to find it at Whole Foods.  I see it all over the WW peeps Instagrams (they now have a birthday cake flavor!) and I think you can eat a whole pint for like 4 smart points because of the low sugar and high protein content.  And best of all, it tastes amazeballs!

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What are your Thanksgiving plans?  In our WW meeting yesterday, we mapped out the points of some of our favorite foods – one slice of pumpkin pie is 13.  A cup of tater tot casserole is 10 points.  We basically mapped out our dinner plates, with the lean turkey and veggies first, and then a tablespoon of the “good stuff.”  Our leader is a lot of fun, and she basically said that she treats Thanksgiving like any other meal, except she’ll focus on stuff she only eats at Thanksgiving, like the stuffing and the pumpkin pie.

My Mom is coming over, and members of Jacob’s family – not sure who all has officially committed to coming, but it will be a nice time.  I plan on grilling a turkey breast, turkey wings and legs, and Hannah is doing the side dishes and I am making desserts.  I may ask my Mom for a veggie side dish and some dinner rolls.  Momma, I’ll call you Open-mouthed smile

Alright, we made it to Friday – make it a great day!