Flipping Over to the Next Chapter

While I am not officially leaving The Chopping Block for good through this holiday season, whenever I start a new job, it feels like a new chapter.  Obviously I have mixed emotions about what’s in store for me.  I’ve absolutely loved the irregularity of my jobs since I quit – from the farmers market getting up at 3:45 in the morning, to not having to be at TCB sometimes until 5:00 p.m. at night!   Now having to get up at a particular time every.single.day I hope I don’t resent it, but such is life.  I have to appreciate all the good in my life!  When I woke up yesterday morning, this was my view through my bedroom window.

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That tree was so tiny when Tony and I moved in over 15 years ago.  I still haven’t put bird seed into our bird feeder – that was Tony’s job and one that I have not picked up since he’s been gone. 

While I had a list of stuff I wanted/needed to get done before today, I tried to soak up the weather, and my last day off of work for who knows how long.  I opened all the windows first thing.  So weird to have temps in the mid-70s in Chicago in November!   If the leaves on our tree weren’t that color I would have thought it was a day in late May!

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I went and bought my monthly train ticket.  $216 for the month.  I lease my car, so I think my mileage will thank me after all the driving I did all summer and fall.  Although I did negotiate a higher mileage rate and just hit 24k miles and have up to 48k for the next 14 months, so I know I won’t go over.  I didn’t fix breakfast until I got back.  Just a quick egg/ham/cheese/spinach sammie on a Kaiser roll with fruit on the side.  Breakfast came in at 10 smart points.

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I then ran more errands:  got my eyebrows threaded at Walmart, bought a new lunch box because I threw my old ones away thinking “I’ll never need these f-ing things again!”, filled up the car with gas.  When I got back I was all set to go on a long walk, but my blood sugar was only 72.  Waaaaah.  So I made lunch, but because it was low carb, didn’t raise my blood sugar that much.  I had ground sirloin in the fridge and made baby Buffalo burgers and topped them on a romaine lettuce salad with carrots and cucumbers – my dressing was Frank’s hot sauce and Ken’s Steakhouse light ranch dressing (best dressing out there in my opinion!) and this whole bowl of food was only 7 smart points.

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So while the temps feel like summer, once it hits late October/early November I am all about braised meats and comfort food.  My store had chuck roast on sale for $2.99 a pound, and I cannot pass that up.  I used Pioneer Woman’s recipe for pot roast.  I actually love the fact that she serves her pot roast over mashed potatoes.  Love.  You guys will be so proud of me, because knowing Jacob was going to join in this dish (Hannah ate mashed potatoes and carrots) I used onions!

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Even though I knew these were going to stew for a few hours, browning the veggies and meat prior to the braise gives such a depth of flavor in the finished product.

This was how the beef looked after two hours – one hour before it was actually done, but this picture was taken before the sun went all the way down. 

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You could really add any veggies you want to this – if I had any mushrooms I probably would have added those as well.  But the best decision I made was adding Hardcore Carnivore rub to the gravy!  I scooped out 3/4 cup of the pan juice and added it to a skillet over medium high heat.  I added 3/4 teaspoon of the rub to the pan sauce, then mixed a tablespoon of water and teaspoon of cornstarch together to thicken the gravy, and poured that over my dinner:  4 ounces of pot roast (5), 1 cup mashed potatoes (5) carrots and celery and I am calling my pan sauce 2 smart points just to be safe.  It was weird eating this when it was still 70 degrees outside, but comfort food at its finest.

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Gah to the awful kitchen lighting, but I guess I’ll have to get used to it for the next few months.  The meat was so fork tender you didn’t even need a knife and the kick from the Hardcore Carnivore rub in the gravy really tied this meal all together. 

So my breakfast and lunch are packed.  My outfit is already laid out and I guess it’s time to get this show on the road.  Here’s to the next Chapter – wish me luck!

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  • Helen
    November 2, 2016 at 6:37 am

    So this means you are starting today? Good luck!

    You know, I had a pot roast out thawing to cook last weekend, and then it went up to 70 degrees on Sunday and I just couldn’t bring myself to do it. Today again it’s going to be high 60s and I brought a salad for lunch, which is sort of my go-to spring/summer lunch. I guess I really do eat seasonally.

    • Biz319
      November 2, 2016 at 6:39 am

      Morning Helen! Yep, first day ???? we will be in the 60s for at least another week.

      • Sue
        November 2, 2016 at 7:13 am

        what will you be doing?

        • Biz319
          November 2, 2016 at 6:22 pm

          Working at another law firm . . .

  • Erin
    November 2, 2016 at 7:36 am

    You can do it Biz! Have a great first day and I’ll be saying a prayer all goes well!

    • Biz319
      November 2, 2016 at 6:22 pm

      Thanks Erin – I appreciate it! 😀

  • Fran
    November 2, 2016 at 7:37 am

    Good luck and have fun, fun at work is important!

    We are on national radio in 45 minutes and we are having so much fun already about it here at work. We can request a song and picking out a song was part of the fun.

    Even though this is not your dream job, I hope in a couple of months you can say you have as much fun there as I have at my job.

    • Biz319
      November 2, 2016 at 6:23 pm

      I love your optimism Fran! I will channel this to my new job 😀

  • Shelley B
    November 2, 2016 at 7:52 am

    Happy first day of your new job! I hope it goes well for you. 🙂

    • Biz319
      November 2, 2016 at 6:24 pm

      Thanks Shelley – my new boss was out of the office today, so it was nice to get a lay of the land before tomorrow. 😀

  • M.J. Jacobsen
    November 2, 2016 at 8:04 am

    Have a great day Biz!

    • Biz319
      November 2, 2016 at 6:25 pm

      Thanks M.J.! 😀

  • Kelly B.
    November 2, 2016 at 8:20 am

    Good luck and I hope everything goes great with your new gig! I’m so glad you still have your weekly “outlet” at TCB to keep your creative cooking juices flowing! Have fun!!! ??

    • Biz319
      November 2, 2016 at 6:25 pm

      Thanks Kelly – I will definitely enjoy my weekly outlet to keep me happy 😀

  • Lynne
    November 2, 2016 at 8:43 am

    Good luck Biz! You’re right – there’s lots to be thankful for…relaxing time on the train to plan/organize and read! The next two months in Chicago enjoying all the sights and sounds of the holidays! Built in exercise walking to and from your new office. Sister time! And something to look forward to EVERY WEEK when you work at TCB 🙂 Have a great day!

    • Biz319
      November 2, 2016 at 6:26 pm

      High five Lynne – I couldn’t have said it better myself. Especially as I was walking from the train to my office and so many homeless people – even a woman and a child in this crappy stroller and I thought to myself “I should stop complaining right now.” Hugs!

  • Andy
    November 2, 2016 at 8:55 am

    I hope you are feeling very proud of yourself. You have a lot of courage and, obviously, the ability to do what has to be done.
    Maybe it was purposeful but you didn’t say what you are doing. My days of commuting into NYC are behind me but I’ve been there done that. From Hoboken NJ to the old WTC Mon-Fri. It was definitely a love/hate relationship.
    Good luck !

    • Biz319
      November 2, 2016 at 6:27 pm

      Thanks Andy! You should be getting your salt soon! Mailed at last Friday I think? You’ll love it!

  • Steph
    November 2, 2016 at 10:03 am

    It’s a weird thing to say about someone you don’t really know, but I’m so damn proud of you. I feel in my gut that there’s something great in store for you – something that brings you the money AND the joy, all in one. In the meantime, you’ll be an asset at the new job and you’ll find the good in it. Thank you for demonstrating courage and grace.

    • Biz319
      November 2, 2016 at 6:28 pm

      Ah Steph, thank you so much for this comment – it means a lot to me! Hugs!

  • Marcia
    November 2, 2016 at 10:35 am

    Good luck! ha on throwing away the lunch boxes. Luckily I didn’t do that when I stopped packing lunches for my big boy, because now I have another one to pack for…

    • Biz319
      November 2, 2016 at 6:29 pm

      That’s true – hand me downs to the little one – who isn’t that little anymore! 😀 Loved seeing the Halloween pics!

  • Sherry Werth
    November 2, 2016 at 2:00 pm

    Best of luck to you Biz! Whatever you do we all know you’ll be great at it!! 😀

    • Biz319
      November 2, 2016 at 6:30 pm

      Thanks Sherry – not only for this comment but for cheering me on for the longest time – hugs!

  • Lisa
    November 2, 2016 at 4:15 pm

    Good luck! I hope you found something you could like equally (or close) as much as the other job.

    • Biz319
      November 2, 2016 at 6:31 pm

      Thanks Lisa – I already know I won’t like it as much, but I have to continue to see the positives – I get to work in the great city of Chicago; work near my twin sister and lots of friends who I can lunch with and relax on an hour train ride to and from work. It’s all good!

      p.s. I love seeing your baby start to crawl – he’s getting so big! Every time I see his face it makes me smile 😀

  • Donna
    November 2, 2016 at 10:19 pm

    That’s a gorgeous colorful tree 🙂 Wishing you well with your new job!

  • Kym
    November 3, 2016 at 4:49 am

    I can not believe all the beautiful shades of fall in your tree photo. I just swoon over the thought of a true fall season. One day soon I hope to make a family trip to see the “leaves change.” I would love to move North but….
    Hope the new job turns out to be a happy second place job until the stars align and you can once again do what you love.