Saved By Blue Balls

It’s so weird to have such nice weather in February, that it’s hard to figure out how to dress, what coat to wear.  It was still around 40 degrees when I left the house, but by the time I got downtown it was already 52 degrees.  The weird thing is seeing what other people were wearing downtown.   As I was waiting at a stop light, I saw two women standing side by side.  The woman on the left still had her UGG boots on, North Face down coat and scarf on – while the woman next to her was wearing a mini skirt, bare legs, sandals and short sleeved shirt.  I was just fine in my fleece jacket and actually took it off once I was on the train.

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As I do with my weekly meal prep, I baked off a few baked potatoes to use later in the week.  Gotta love a 10 pound bag for $1!  I normally take the potato filling and mix that with the scrambled egg mixture, but I wanted fruit too and used just 2 ounces of the baked potato shell (2).  I scrambled a whole shredded zucchini with one egg (2), then topped it with an ounce of 50% reduced fat Cabot cheese.  6 points for breakfast.

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My twin sister and walking buddy had the day off yesterday, so it was just me on my walk.  I started walking southwest of my office in a different direction than I usually take.  The streets weren’t nearly as crowded in this area (maybe Greek town?!) because of President’s day.  I got about half way through my walk when I realized that I smelled something amazing – and it was coming from an Indian restaurant.  I stopped to look at the menu and saw they had buttered chicken, fresh naan, basmati rice, and all of a sudden I had thoughts of ditching my lunch that I brought.  I was literally standing there thinking “okay, I still have 22 weeklies left before Thursday’s WI, lunch would probably set me back 15 or so points . . .”  The internal dialogue went on for a couple minutes when I decided to walk around the block and see what I decided.

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Yep – giant BLUE BALLS!  For you non-WW peeps, blue dots are shown on your calendar for the day if you eat within your healthy range – which for me is 27-37 points.  It was a sign to just eat the fricken lunch I brought!  Happy to say I continued on, sans the Indian food.  I don’t know if I’ll ever not be tempted by the smell of certain foods (burgers/fries/pizza/Indian food/Greek food/Italian food . . . !)  I was saved from making a poor food choice by blue balls!  Never thought that would happen to me! Smile with tongue out 

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And I packed a delicious lunch!  Baby pork tacos – 3 mini Mission corn tortillas (3) three ounces leftover grilled pork (3) topped with red cabbage and salsa, cucumbers carrots and apple and not shown, 1/2 a serving of tortilla chips so lunch came in at 8 smart points.  And was delicious!  I found this mini tortillas at Wal-mart – a package of 24 was only $1.79.

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I worked a bit late and missed my usual train, but had time to walk around for about 30 minutes before catching the 6:00 p.m. express train, which got me home in :57 minutes – nice!  I can’t help but walk through the French Market which is below my train station.

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I had my banana and an 1.5 ounce of my Cabot cheese for a snack for the train ride home (3), but I would have given my right arm for this thing of beauty!

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“Delicious milk chocolate cup filled with chocolate moose, topped with fresh fruits and glaze.”  #swoon  Pretty sure that’s insulin worthy!

It was only Monday night and I am already off my meal plan, but in a good way.  I had forgotten I defrosted a small steak over the weekend and never used it, and it had to be cooked.  It had already been sprinkled with Hardcore Carnivore Rub, so dinner came together in a matter of minutes.   After I cooked the steak in my cast iron skillet, I added 1/3 cup sliced mushrooms, sprayed the pan with Pam and cooked them for a couple minutes.  Then added 1/2 teaspoon butter, 1/2 teaspoon flour and cooked that for about 30 seconds, then added 1/2 cup of beef broth and cooked until the pan sauce thickened, just a couple minutes.

My twin sisters daughter Claire LOVES boxed mashed potatoes.  I had a small package of potatoes, but I actually made them completely different from the package instructions.

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That package said that there was six 1/3 cup dry servings in the bag, to make 2/3 cup prepared potatoes with butter and milk.  When I opened the bag up I thought, there is no way that there is six servings in here, and sure enough, it was only 5.  So I calculated the whole bag to be 11 smart points.  In a microwave safe measuring bowl, I heated up 2 cups of water for 3 minutes (or until boiling), I added 3/4 cup of unsweetened cashew milk to the water, a teaspoon of Everything But the Bagel seasoning and parsley, and whisked it up.  Each 1/2 cup serving is only 6 smart points, making my dinner just 7 smart points.

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This was literally ready in about ten minutes – perfect on a night when you get home from work a bit late.  That dinner put me at 26/30 points for the day, which left me with 4 points for dessert.  Which you’ll have to wait until tomorrow for the recipe.  My friend Liz reposted a recipe for her blood orange scones – they looked amazing, but with heavy cream a whole stick of butter for 8 scones, I knew I had to come up with a healthy, yet tasty alternative using her recipe as inspiration.  I made 16 baby scones that come in at just 4 smart points each – perfect for a picky plate breakfast this morning with a hard boiled egg and fruit.

Hope you had a great start to your work week – here’s to having a great Tuesday!

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Skinny Twice Baked Potatoes and Weekly Menu

What an amazing weather weekend we had!  Not only was the weekend gorgeous, but this was the first full weekend I’ve had off in the longest time – I think since last May?!  I worked the weekends at the farmers markets over the summer, then at The Chopping Block on the weekends.  One of the first things I did was call my Mom up and ask to get on her social calendar.  She’s a busy woman!  All I knew was that I was going to her neck of the woods and we were going to lunch and a movie. 

We never discussed where we were going, so to be on the safe side, Saturday morning I made a 4 point smoothie – a Premiere chocolate protein shake, 1/2 a frozen banana, 1 cup of coffee and 1 cup of ice and used Hannah’s Ninja blender to blend it all up. 

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In my pajamas, no bra – thanks for the great photo Hannah!  Aren’t these mason jars amazing?  They hold 24 ounces and for $5 at Wal-Mart you can get a set of four lids with a straw for a grab and go breakfast. 

Hannah was off on Saturday and offered to do my hair and make up.   Hair done, before makeup.  I see more and more grey hair but I am not at the point where I want to die my hair because I know I’ll be horrible with the upkeep.

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Sunroof open – check!  Eyebrows on feel – check!  Makeup on – check!  AND JEWELRY – check!  Hannah was actually my stylist.  If she could just get up every day and make me look good, I would appreciate it.  It’s not too much for a Mom to ask, right?!

We settled on Prasino in LaGrange because it was right across the street from the movie theater.  Perfect!  That way we wouldn’t feel rushed.

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Super cute restaurant.  The service was excellent and I really liked the mediterranean plate that I got.  My Mom’s short rib tacos were a bit on the dry side before she got to the avocado side.

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How cute is my Momma?!   I had to try the sweet potato and coconut bisque – it was delicious and I need to recreate a healthier version of this at home, because I am sure it used full fat coconut milk or heavy cream.  I only ordered a cup and my Mom and I split half of the cup.

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My plate, which I ate 3/4 of and called 12 points.  I wasn’t sure how much olive oil was in the hummus.

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We saw the movie Lion.  I won’t do any spoilers in case you have it on your list of movies to watch, but we both enjoyed it a lot.   And of course I had to take a picture of the two of us together to put on Facebook just to remind my brother and sister who Mom’s favorite is. Open-mouthed smile

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As I was downloading my pictures, when I got to the one above, I thought “I think my face looks a little thinner.”  While I am wearing a size smaller pants, I really haven’t “felt” that much of a change in my body since I’ve been recommitted to Weight Watchers.  I went back and found a picture from late November for comparison.  Is it just me, or can you see a difference?

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The kadults were up early yesterday morning to open the coffee shop.  After the dogs settled in bed with me for a bit, I got up at 7 a.m.  It’s so crazy because I never used to be a morning person.  I’d stay up until 2 in the morning on the weekends, then sleep until noon.  What a waste!  I got so much done before 10:00 a.m. yesterday morning:  made a batch of granola using prunes and a bit of brown sugar for sweetness (recipe coming later this week – Errign, you are going to love it!), a batch of very berry sauce for parfaits later in the week; another batch of cashew milk waffles for sweet/savory breakfast sandwiches later in the week and the rest for the freezer; and I cooked off the rest of the overnight naan dough that’s been in my fridge.  This time using Everything but the Bagel seasoning from Trader Joe’s – I want to put this on everything!

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After Hannah and I went grocery shopping and ran a couple errands, I was all prepared to go on a walk/run, but my blood sugar was only 77.  I ate a banana and some strawberries, but could only walk for fear of having my blood sugar tank on me.  I managed to hit just over 10k steps yesterday.  Short sleeve shirt in February #love.

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It was still light out by the time I rounded the corner to my house at 5:15 – look at how tall my pine trees are in front of my house!

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Here was my grocery total this week, which included a $13 chuck roast that’s going to be a dinner this week for all three of us:  $42.84

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Meal Ideas This Week:

Breakfast:

  • breakfast baked potato
  • steel cut oats with fruit and eggs (maybe Starbuck’s sous vide again – which my friend Beth pointed out are 5 points, not 4, but still worth it!)
  • mini bagel sandwich
  • egg white and spinach pita pocket
  • parfait

Lunch:

  • grilled chicken picky plate
  • leftover crockpot Italian beef salad
  • zucchini lasagna boats
  • mini pork tacos with avocado and refried beans
  • leftover Friday

Dinner:

  • grilled pork chops with skinny twice baked potatoes
  • crock pot Italian beef on naan bread
  • meat ravioli with homemade marinara
  • grilled chicken Caesar salad
  • Thursday is leftover night
  • Nancy Silverton’s pizza dough – I am thinking garlic/pepperoni/spinach*

*Nancy Silverton is the famed baker of Le Brea Bakery in California, but if you have Netflix, you have to watch her episode on Chef’s Table.  I love these cooking documentaries on Netflix.  It’s funny because as I was writing part of this blog post last night, my sister messaged me on Facebook and asked if I had seen it – of course my response was, “duh!”  I liked the detail in the pizza dough link above – my plan is to make the dough on Tuesday night for Friday night pizza.

I was so happy to light up my grill for the first time in 2017!  Sadly it was nearly dark out by the time the coals were ready, but Hannah hung some lights up on the gazebo frame and that helped.

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I already grilled up the meat for a pork chop dinner last night, and to have pork later in the week, and I grilled four bone in chicken breasts for the later in the week.  Here’s my meal prep tip to you though – if you plan on grilling meat to use later in the week, cook it about 80%, that way when you use it in a dish later, the chicken won’t be dried out.  And always try to grill bone in – the flavor is so much better.

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My brother and his family sent me Robert’s Reserve Texas Style Hatch Marinade, and that’s what I used to marinate my pork in for about 6 hours before grilling, as well as a drizzle over the top right before eating.  It’s delicious – spicy flavorful and only 15 calories for 2 tablespoons.  Texas folks can find the marinade at HEB.  (Tony used to call the store HIV when we visited his son – and it used to drive Joe crazy whenever Tony said “why don’t we stop by the HIV on the way home and pick up some beers!”

Here is the “skinny” twice baked potato recipe – still 6 smart points but a very generous serving for 6 points!

Skinny Twice Baked Potatoes
Serves 4
A great side dish to any grilled meat.
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Print
Prep Time
5 min
Cook Time
1 hr
Total Time
1 hr 5 min
Prep Time
5 min
Cook Time
1 hr
Total Time
1 hr 5 min
264 calories
37 g
17 g
9 g
9 g
4 g
223 g
109 g
2 g
0 g
5 g
Nutrition Facts
Serving Size
223g
Servings
4
Amount Per Serving
Calories 264
Calories from Fat 81
% Daily Value *
Total Fat 9g
14%
Saturated Fat 4g
21%
Trans Fat 0g
Polyunsaturated Fat 1g
Monounsaturated Fat 4g
Cholesterol 17mg
6%
Sodium 109mg
5%
Total Carbohydrates 37g
12%
Dietary Fiber 3g
11%
Sugars 2g
Protein 9g
Vitamin A
6%
Vitamin C
18%
Calcium
15%
Iron
13%
* 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 large baked potatoes
  2. 1/4 cup plain Chobani yogurt
  3. 1/4 cup unsweetened cashew milk
  4. 2 ounces 50% reduced fat Cabot cheese
  5. 1 teaspoon everything but the bagel seasoning (or salt/pepper combo)
  6. 1/2 teaspoon smoked paprika
Instructions
  1. Heat oven to 400 degrees.  Bake potatoes for 45 minutes, or until a knife goes through cleanly.  Let cool slightly.  Slice in half, remove the potato pulp to a bowl, leaving about 1/4 inch of the potato shell.  Mix the potato with the yogurt, cashew milk, cheese, seasoning just until combined.  I kind of like my twice baked potatoes lumpy but feel free to add another splash of cashew milk to make the filling creamier.  Put under the broiler for 3-4 minutes, until the cheese gets melty and sprinkle with the smoked paprika.
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calories
264
fat
9g
protein
9g
carbs
37g
more
My Bizzy Kitchen http://www.mybizzykitchen.com/
We will have temps in the 60s the next several days and a slight chance of rain on Thursday, which I will take all day long.  Hopefully my sister and I can walk again together this week – we walked together three times last week and it’s nice to catch up with her without distraction.

I also did all my laundry – folded it and put it all away!  I took the Weight Watcher’s weekly focus of Clearing the Clutter challenge seriously, as did my sister when she Facetimed me on Saturday night showing me that she was getting rid of clothes that don’t fit (some to me!) and giving the rest away to Goodwill.  It will be nice to have everything in order this week clothes wise this week. 

Alright, time to get this show on the road – make it a great day!  And I had to laugh at this – my friend Allyson sent this to me over the weekend, and it literally made me laugh out loud – love it!

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Make it a great day!

-2.2!

My sister and I declared 2017 the year of Weight Watchers.  Not that we haven’t done that before, but what we told each other is that good or bad, we’d go to the WW meeting every week and weigh in no matter what.  No matter that I was out of weeklies five days before WI.  No matter that my sister had a 60 point Valentine’s Day dinner with her husband.   We both have though we’ve gone “off the wagon” before, only to skip several weeks in a row, and that mind set just sets you up for failure.

But I really didn’t know what to expect.  I’d had two gains in a row in February – .6 and 1.8 and I didn’t like the direction that was going in.  I’ve talked about journaling and how I was consistent every day in writing in my journal.  I wrote all kinds of things in there from meal plan ideas, things I want to work on, inspirational quotes I find on social media.  But what I found is that I would go back and re-read stuff I wrote from a few days ago to a couple weeks ago, and this kept me inspired and my head in the game.

Once the journaling stopped in February (I have no reason why) things just got . . . out of focus for lack of a better word.  I was talking to another lifetime WW at the meeting yesterday and even though she’s been on WW for 16 years and was lifetime, the second she stopped coming to meetings over time the weight would always creep back.

So I was pleasantly surprised that I was down 2.2 – only 4.8 pounds until I’ve lost 20 pounds since December 26?!  How crazy is that?!  

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Since my sister and I went to the WW meeting before work to weigh in, I had time to accessorize my breakfast.  I put my food together before going to work, and on the train ride I put it all in so I see how my day is lining up.  Too many points for lunch?  What’s on the dinner menu, etc.  When I entered my steel cut oats with banana and blueberries, it was only 5 points (1.25 cups that I made from Quaker Oats – so creamy good!).  I knew if I didn’t add some protein I’d be starving and I knew I was going to be busy at work, so I stopped at Starbuck’s to pick up some hard boiled eggs.

But they didn’t have any.  What did they have?  Sous Vide egg whites!  Two for 170 calories and 13 grams of protein.  Thank God I used my gift card because I am not sure I’d shell out $4.76 for two Sous Vide eggs, but then I tasted them.  And quickly decided $$ or not, these were worth every cent.  

I put the nutrition info into the WW app and these two egg whites of goodness are only 2 smart points each.  I was only going to eat one, but said F that – and ate the second one almost immediately while it was still hot.  I already know this is going to be my breakfast again today it was so good.  They almost taste like mini egg soufflés!

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I was able to get away at lunch to go back to meet my sister for the WW meeting.  We talked about eating out, and how to plan for stuff like that.  This weeks topic  is “Make A Clean Sweep.”  Decluttering your space so that it can help you feel more in control and less stressed.

She challenged us to take a small fifteen minute project to see what we could declutter – not a giant “clean out my closet from head to toe!” where you get all enthusiastic, pull all your clothes out of your closet and throw them on the bed, only to lose interest over the sheer task of it all, and walk away.  And when it comes time for bed and those clothes are still on it?  Either A:  sleep on top of the clothes, or B. push them all off the foot of the bed.  Not that I have experience with either one of those options, I was just giving you an example 😀  I go in spurts – but what happens is that stuff I can’t find a home for just ends up in my basement and that’s a HOT mess.  Now that I have weekends off again, I plan on taking a couple hours over the weekend to declutter that space. 

Lunch was quick and easy – leftover Greek chicken from the night before, one pita, some carrots and an apple – not pictured was a small container of tzatziki for dipping – lunch came in at 8 smart points.

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Work was super busy, I worked about 30 minutes overtime, but was able to catch a train that was express – nice!  I was still home by 7:00 which was nice.  I had chicken thighs that I needed to cook up.  I used to hate chicken thighs growing up – I was a breast and wing person only.  But I can’t beat the price!  I had six chicken thighs in this package.

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While I heated my oven to 375 I just mixed together 1 teaspoon olive oil, salt, pepper, lemon zest, lemon juice and garlic and marinated the  chicken in that for all of 10 minutes while my oven got to temp.  I cooked the chicken, skin side down, in my cast iron skillet for 30 minutes, or until they reached 165.  They will rest and reach to 170 so they won’t be overcooked.  I just did a quick sauté of zucchini/yellow squash/.5 cup cooked orzo on the bottom.  I am calling dinner 9 points, even though I don’t think the chicken I ate was 5 points as I took off the skin (but I licked it first before giving it to the dogs!), but better save than sorry.  This picture was with my iPhone.

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This one was from my DSLR:

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I am counting the days until its light again when I get home Open-mouthed smile

I am looking forward to having the whole weekend off!  I am working as the night secretary after work tonight for 2 hours, but other than that, wide open!  My Mom and I are going to lunch tomorrow and then see the movie Lion.  I know nothing about the movie, other than my friend Lindsay from Cooking Club said it was really good.   It will be nice to spend time with my Momma, you know, as her favorite child and all.

I hope you all have an awesome weekend.  It’s supposed to be close to 60!  

Here is some weekend motivation for you to stay on track – make it a great day!

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Overnight Naan Bread

I was so happy to see the sun again yesterday morning, but it was deceiving because it was really cold.  It was 26 when I left, but with the windchill it felt like 18 – me no likey.  But, one day closer to spring weather, so I am hanging my hat on that.

My main boss was out yesterday so I was really looking forward to getting my space organized, something I truly felt I haven’t done yet, but needed time to settle in.  But, I was still super busy.  Got farmed out to a couple other attorneys, and my associate had a list of things for me to do, so I hit the ground running as usual. 

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Breakfast was so delicious that I didn’t even mind eating it at room temperature while I ate and worked.  Healthy Life English muffin (2), egg whites with spinach (1), 2 ounces steak (2) and one slice of low fat American cheese (1).  With apples and blueberries on the side.  It is sprinkled with just a bit of cinnamon sugar, but a whole teaspoon is 1 point, so I don’t count that little dusting.

My sister had a meeting around lunch time so we didn’t go walking until 1:00 p.m. and that breakfast held me well.   Since it was still cold out we walked to the State of Illinois Center (Thompson Building) and just walked around indoors for a while.  I’ve always loved the lobby of this building.   It’s crazy that they may tear the whole thing down to build a 115 story building! 

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Shocker, I did not pack a lunch.  I hadn’t used any of my $20 weekly budget for eating out for a while, so we walked around to see what our lunch options were.  KFC, Taco Bell, the usual basically.  But we both stopped at M Burger.

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I saw that they had a “Fowl Mouth” burger, and you all know I can swear like a truck driver, so I was sold.

FOWL MOUTH BURGER
TURKEY PATTY, SPICY BBQ, PEPPERJACK, LETTUCE, PICKLE, ONION
4.99

When she asked me how spicy I said “very spicy!”  What I didn’t realize until I took the first bite was that the bottom layer of the burger was fresh sliced jalapenos.  Yes please! 

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We spent the most of our lunch hour walking and talking, so we each took our lunches back to our offices.  Jenn got the chicken fingers, but said they were pretty dry.  Um, my turkey was about a ten napkin lunch!  We split the fries, but they were really skinny fries, and got cold by the time I got back to the office.  After I reheated my burger in the oven for 30 seconds, I stuck the half order of fries in the microwave, and managed to overcook them – just as well, because I figured this burger to be about 10 points.

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The burger patty had a nice texture, but truth be told, not sure I could tell it was a turkey burger vs. a beef burger because of all the toppings, but it was delicious nonetheless. 

I had hopes of hitting up my office gym after work, but worked about 30 minutes late, and because of all the running around in my office (I was working for an attorney two floors above me so did LOTS of stairs yesterday) when I checked my blood sugar it was 144, and I like it to be about 200 before working out because it will drop at least 100 points at that time of night.  So even without a “formal” workout, I ended yesterday with almost 17,000 steps!

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I think the number one question I get from blog readers, or Instagram followers is how I have time to cook so much.  Well, first off, I love to cook.  And second, I meal plan/meal prep and I think ahead for the next day and see if there is something I can do the night before that might be a short cut for the next nights meals – whether it’s breakfast, lunch or dinner.  Making steel cut oats the night before for example.

My store had Greek marinated chicken on sale so I knew I was going to have a chicken pita for dinner one night this week.  I usually make my naan bread on the weekend because it takes an hour to rise, and then rolling 16 pitas out, cooking them one at a time in my 6 inch skillet is a bit time consuming.  So I wanted to see if I could streamline the process.  The answer to that question?  Hells Yes!  I put the dough together in a matter of minutes the night before last, stuck it in the fridge and let it rise in the fridge and I was ready to go when I got home from work last night, so dinner came together in about 20 minutes.

Overnight Naan Bread
Serves 16
By making the dough the night before and letting it rise in the fridge overnight, you can come home to fresh baked naan on a weeknight in a matter of minutes!
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Prep Time
5 min
Cook Time
24 hr
Total Time
24 hr 30 min
Prep Time
5 min
Cook Time
24 hr
Total Time
24 hr 30 min
146 calories
25 g
1 g
4 g
4 g
1 g
49 g
122 g
2 g
0 g
3 g
Nutrition Facts
Serving Size
49g
Servings
16
Amount Per Serving
Calories 146
Calories from Fat 30
% Daily Value *
Total Fat 4g
5%
Saturated Fat 1g
4%
Trans Fat 0g
Polyunsaturated Fat 1g
Monounsaturated Fat 2g
Cholesterol 1mg
0%
Sodium 122mg
5%
Total Carbohydrates 25g
8%
Dietary Fiber 1g
4%
Sugars 2g
Protein 4g
Vitamin A
0%
Vitamin C
0%
Calcium
4%
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. 3.5 cups flour
  2. 1/4 teaspoon salt
  3. 1.5 teaspoons baking powder
  4. 1 teaspoon baking soda
  5. 1 tablespoon sugar
  6. 1/4 cup really warm water
  7. 1 teaspoon yeast
  8. 3/4 cup unsweetened cashew milk
  9. 5.3 ounce plain Greek yogurt
Instructions
  1. In a large bowl, mix the flour, salt, baking powder and baking soda together.  Heat 1/4 cup of water in the microwave for about 15 seconds.  You just want it warm enough to dissolve the sugar.  Add the sugar to the warm water, and mix.  Add the yeast and let the yeast sit in the sugar water for 5 minutes.  Add the yeast/sugar mixture, the cashew milk and yogurt to the flour mixture and stir until just combined.  Please note you may need to add a couple more splashes of cashew milk to get the dough to come together – sometimes I need it, sometimes I don’t – have no idea why!  I added about 2 tablespoons to this recipe.
  2. Place in a ziploc bag that is sprayed with Pam.  Throw it in the fridge the night before you want to make the naan and walk away.  Once home, take the dough out and cut into 4 pieces.  Cut those pieces into 4 pieces, so you have 16 portions.  I am a bit anal when it comes to having the same size breads, so I weighed out the whole dough recipe, divided that by 16 and got 1.6 ounces, so that’s how many ounces the dough is per portion.
  3. Roll out into a 6 inch circle.  I brush my pan with a big of olive oil, then cook the naan on one side for about 1-2 minutes – you’ll see the top start to bubble up.  Sprinkle any seasoning you want – sesame seeds, onion flakes – whatever!  Flip and cook for an additional 1-2 minutes.  Repeat until you cook all the naan.
Notes
  1. Once cool, these freeze amazingly well. I’ll take one out of the freezer and toss it in a ziploc and throw it in my lunch bag for the next day and it defrosts nicely.
  2. *The cook time includes the overnight rise in the fridge. But hands on time is only about 30 minutes total to cook off all 16 naan if you were doing them all at the same time.
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calories
146
fat
4g
protein
4g
carbs
25g
more
My Bizzy Kitchen http://www.mybizzykitchen.com/
PicMonkey Collage

This is the seasoning I used – I bought it at a farmers market last summer and am almost out!

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I actually added dried onions to mine too, but they kind of burned, so I guess I wouldn’t recommend that.   My dinner:  three ounces chicken (2), pita (3), tzatziki (1), red peppers and romaine (0) and potato zoodles on the side (4).

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These pita are so light and fluffy, probably because the yeast had so much time to do its magic in the fridge overnight.  I only cooked off 4 last night, and the dough will be good for several days, and I’ll probably finish cooking them off and freezing them on the weekend when I have more time.  I may even do party PITA pizza Friday this week!

Please let me know if you make this – I promise this is a winner and can easily make it on your weekly dinner menu.  

Today is my weekly WI and I honestly have no idea how I did this week.  After my 46 point day on Friday I reigned it in the rest of the week, but without any weekly points for some wiggle room since Friday, I have no idea.  But my sister and I have promised to hit every weekly meeting and weigh in no matter what, so it is what it is.   I overcame what could have been a giant binge on Valentine’s day this week, so that in and of itself makes this past week a success.

quote

Make it a great day!

Pork Jalapeno Popper Tacos

I actually don’t mind getting a Timehop that stops me in my tracks.  Obviously nearly 99% of all my Timehops are food related because it grabs the memories from Instagram and Facebook.   Yesterday I had two Tony memories:

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I remember that he called me last minute and wanted to know if I could break away from work and meet him for lunch.  I think this was the first time we went out to eat after his January 2014 nine day hospital stay.  I remember he ate hardly anything and I ate nearly my whole Reuben sandwich Smile with tongue out

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Jacky, you’ll laugh because I went back to the post where Tony gave me this basket.  That night I didn’t go on the computer at all and we caught up on some of our DVR shows.  When I woke up the next day to blog for the day, when I turned on the computer, this is what he put as the background picture.  (For new readers, it’s a long story about this blogger – I had one of my most controversial posts in 2012 – you can check it out here if you feel like it).

vday-032_thumb

But neither of those posts made me teary.  Sad, yes, but I just continued on with my day and got myself ready for work. 

While I said I was going to up my protein for my meals this week, for some reason Chobani always keeps me full.   I made this banana parfait with my one point fruit sauce (this time cranberry and blueberry) with one Nature’s Valley granola bar crunched over the top.  This whole thing was only 6 smart points.  I actually like how you can see the Chicago skyline in the reflection with our blue skies with puffy clouds Open-mouthed smile

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My co-worker picked up a McDonald’s parfait that was maybe half the size of mine and 7 smart points.   Um, mine was better Open-mouthed smile

mcdonalds_parfait_02

My sister and I were walking buddies again yesterday.  We both decided we don’t walk north very often, and as we were chit chatting away, I realized we were right by The Chopping Block so we stopped by so she could look around.  I saw some people I hadn’t seen in a while, so that was nice.

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It was high 40’s, and with that weather I am fine with a fleece jacket.  In fact I probably would have been okay in just a t-shirt.  I know Shelley you are shaking your head on that one!   And Mom, I am fully prepared for you to tell me that I need to trim my bangs 😀

Since I spent nearly my whole lunch hour walking, I ate lunch at my desk.  I wasn’t feeling what I meal planned, so I had an egg white spinach sandwich with a serving of pretzels (which I already ate before taking this picture!) with carrots/cucumbers at Goddess dressing.

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It wasn’t until I was leaving work, and walking through the train station and everyone was buying chocolates at Fannie Mae and buying flowers with the special vendors that were there, that I really missed the thought of racing home to Tony and making us a nice Valentine’s dinner.   The kadults had plans, so it was just me.  The longer the train went along the tracks closer to home, the more I was thinking “just get a deep dish pizza and a bottle of wine!”  And I was 90% sure that’s what was going to go down, regardless that I’ve already spent my weekly points and have no extras left for the week.  Who cares?!

Turns out I do care.  I turned my mindset around, and as I walked to my parked car, talked myself into coming up with something that I already had at home, and within my points for the day.  Here was my inspiration:

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Leftover ground pork from my pork egg rolls over the weekend, jalapeno and this Laughing Cow cheese that I picked up because it was on sale.  Can’t remember the last time I bought that!  This recipe is for one, but obviously you can multiply it for however big your family is.  Maybe I should write my recipes out for more than one serving?! Smile with tongue out

Pork Jalapeno Popper Tacos
Serves 4
A different alternative to your standard Taco Tuesday - Laughing Cow Cheese is melted into the pork and jalapenos - so good!
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Prep Time
5 min
Cook Time
10 min
Total Time
15 min
Prep Time
5 min
Cook Time
10 min
Total Time
15 min
344 calories
14 g
70 g
23 g
21 g
13 g
170 g
366 g
2 g
0 g
9 g
Nutrition Facts
Serving Size
170g
Servings
4
Amount Per Serving
Calories 344
Calories from Fat 204
% Daily Value *
Total Fat 23g
36%
Saturated Fat 13g
63%
Trans Fat 0g
Polyunsaturated Fat 1g
Monounsaturated Fat 8g
Cholesterol 70mg
23%
Sodium 366mg
15%
Total Carbohydrates 14g
5%
Dietary Fiber 3g
11%
Sugars 2g
Protein 21g
Vitamin A
18%
Vitamin C
33%
Calcium
48%
Iron
7%
* 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. 3 ounces lean ground pork
  2. 2 tablespoons jalapeno (chopped – adjust to taste)
  3. 1 teaspoon ground cumin
  4. salt and pepper to taste
  5. 3 corn tortillas (mine were 3 for 4 points)
  6. 1 laughing cow wedge, spicy pepper jack
  7. 1/4 cup broccoli slaw, chopped
  8. 1 chopped radish
  9. 1/8 of avocado, chopped
  10. cilantro, tomato and lime for garnish
Instructions
  1. In a skillet over medium heat, add the pork and jalapeno together.  I just used a bit of Pam cooking spray on the bottom of my pan.  Cook until the pork is no longer pink.  Remove from heat and stir in the laughing cow cheese wedge and ground cumin and stir until it melts.  Taste pork mixture and season with salt and pepper as needed. In each corn tortilla, place some of the broccoli slaw, then some of the pork/jalapeno filling and Pam fry the tacos for about 2 minutes a side.  Top with the chopped radish, avocado, cilantro and lime and dinner is served!  The Weight Watchers app put these tacos at 3 points each – so 9 points for the whole plate, and I ended my day with 29/30 points.
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calories
344
fat
23g
protein
21g
carbs
14g
more
My Bizzy Kitchen http://www.mybizzykitchen.com/
2.14.17 019

These were so good!  I am trying to think, but I don’t think I’ve ever used ground pork in making tacos before.  Tony didn’t like the smell or taste of pork the last couple years before he passed away, but I am not sure he would have gone for these even when he did like pork.   Hannah thinks that cumin smells like an old man’s armpit, and I could just hear Tony yelling from the living room “What Smells Like Ass?!”  If I ever write a cookbook, that’s going to be the title Open-mouthed smile

And a huge thank you to my parents-in-law for sending me this sweet card – thank you and love you!

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So I didn’t succumb to my typical emotional eating – #nsv!  I had a nice cup of coffee after dinner and that was it – kitchen closed!

Here is your Wednesday Words of Wisdom – make it a great day!

inspiration

Steak and Shrimp with Creole Pan Sauce

I read that Helen and Caron thought that my overly snacky high point Friday was due to my two glasses of wine, but sadly, that was not the case.  I’d already eaten at least 15 points by then, and I will tell you that the snacking of 31 points was ALL day – not just at night, which is when the urge to snack usually rears its ugly head.

I think what it was, is that I’ve already gotten into the “comfort zone” of Weight Watchers.  I mean, I’ve been down this road so many times, I KNOW the program inside and out, but I think my motivation waned a bit, maybe my eye balling 1/2 a cup of ice cream was more like 2/3 cups – you know the drill.  I have to realize that I need to keep my focus to continue losing the weight.  I am back to journaling, which I did religiously every day since January 1 – but once the calendar flipped to February 1, so did that daily motivation that I need to keep my head in the game.

I did fine over the weekend after Friday night – stayed within my points and both days got nearly 15k in steps.   But as I was meal planning decided to up the protein game with my meals this week.

Breakfast was a steak “picky plate.”  One PB2 muffin (4) that I microwaved for 20 seconds at work which made it taste like it just came out of the oven.  Four ounces of pan seared steak (4), a hard boiled egg (2) and half a tangelo.  10 points for breakfast and I was full for HOURS.  I ate breakfast between 9-9:30 and didn’t eat lunch until nearly 2:30.

Mid-morning I texted my sister to see if she would be up for walking at lunch and she said yes!  We had temps in the mid-40’s with sunshine, but in the shade it was still  a bit chilly, so we kept walking on the sunny side of the street.

It takes us about 7 minutes from each of our offices to meet up, then we set the clock for 30 minutes, so that I have time to walk back to my office and heat up my lunch before my lunch hour is over.

Lunch was leftover Jennie-O turkey chili.  Six smart points for 2 cups, with a side of tortilla chips for dipping (4).  I got busy right when I got back to our walk, so this isn’t the best picture, but this sure was tasty!

Remember when I was talking about getting your monies worth with the cable bill, and how I felt like I wasn’t getting my $600 of entertainment by having the FoodNetwork and HGTV stations and cut down to basic cable?

The same is true with my Y Membership.  I don’t go often enough, and I think after this month (since I’ve already paid for February) that I am giving it up.  I have a free gym at my office and I can just as easily leave my desk at 5 and go down and workout before catching a later train home.  And now that the weather is getting nicer a gym really isn’t that necessary.  

So before I give up my deluxe gym completely, I decided to see how much I can actually use it this week.  I have an hour train ride home, and decided to see how a banana and a premiere protein shake would be as a pre-workout fuel.  I figured it was just long enough to give me the necessary carbs I need to get in the workout I want without my blood sugar dropping, and give me enough time to digest the shake so it wasn’t all giggly in my tummy by the time I got to the gym. 

I felt fine during my workout: 2000 meter on the rowing machine (took me 12:09), abs for 5 minutes, then 30 minutes on the treadmill for 2 miles.  Happy to say my cough is completely gone, although now Hannah is sick, so I hope I can keep healthy.  

I had 22 points spent before dinner (10 breakfast, 10 lunch and 2 for the protein shake) so a low carb dinner was in order.   I whipped this dinner up in a matter of minutes and it was so delicious!  I added the points up in my head and said it was 6 points on Instagram last night, but it’s actually 7 points – oops!

Steak and Shrimp with Creole Pan Sauce
Serves 1
A quick and easy week night dinner that's fancy enough for a crowd!
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Print
Prep Time
1 min
Cook Time
9 min
Total Time
10 min
Prep Time
1 min
Cook Time
9 min
Total Time
10 min
375 calories
8 g
268 g
16 g
48 g
7 g
386 g
902 g
5 g
0 g
6 g
Nutrition Facts
Serving Size
386g
Servings
1
Amount Per Serving
Calories 375
Calories from Fat 145
% Daily Value *
Total Fat 16g
25%
Saturated Fat 7g
37%
Trans Fat 0g
Polyunsaturated Fat 1g
Monounsaturated Fat 5g
Cholesterol 268mg
89%
Sodium 902mg
38%
Total Carbohydrates 8g
3%
Dietary Fiber 2g
8%
Sugars 5g
Protein 48g
Vitamin A
17%
Vitamin C
59%
Calcium
13%
Iron
20%
* 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. 3 ounces beef
  2. 3 ounces shrimp
  3. 1 zucchini, thinly sliced
  4. 1 teaspoon butter
  5. 1 tablespoon half and half
  6. 1/2 teaspoon Creole seasoning
  7. 1/2 teaspoon Hardcore Carnivore Black
Instructions
  1. Heat a cast iron skillet over medium high heat. Sprinkle the room temperature steak with the Hardcore Carnivore rub. Cook steak 2-3 minutes per side, depending on how thick your steak is.
  2. Remove steak to a plate. Reduce heat to medium low. Spray the skillet with Pam. Add the shrimp and cook for about 1-2 minutes. Set on the plate with the steak. Finally, add in the zucchini and cook for 1-2 minutes. Remove the zucchini to the plate, and in the pan melt the butter. Stir in the half and half and Creole seasoning (mine is spicy so 1/2 teaspoon was plenty) and pour over the plate.
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calories
375
fat
16g
protein
48g
carbs
8g
more
My Bizzy Kitchen http://www.mybizzykitchen.com/
 

This was so delicious.  I wonder if my brother or sister would eat this?  Not sure either one of them is a fan of shrimp.  And because I didn’t eat until nearly 8:30, I was completely full and had no desire to nibble on anything, and ended my day with 29/30 points.

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

My timehop reminded me that it was TWO years since the Sun-Times article came out about Tony being the ultimate White Sox fan.  You can check out that article here.

And if you missed it, my latest blog post is up on The Chopping Block – my take on Sopa Azteca – only 100 calories per cup or 2 smart points – you can find the recipe here – so good! If you could pop over there with some comment love, I’d appreciate it! 😀

Here is a workout for today that needs no equipment.  I plan on doing this as soon as I hit publish.  Make it a great day!

Hash Waffle and Weekly Menu

I don’t know what it was about Friday, but I was snacky as shit. 

snack

I normally don’t have wine in the house anymore, but I had 1/3 of a bottle left from my #livefully  party which was 10 ounces – or basically a point an ounce.  After that it was crazy.  I found myself looking for something to eat like every 15 minutes!  But I have to say, I am proud of myself for actually tracking everything I ate.  I even weighed or measured out the food too!  I have no idea why, but in looking back through my eats, I realize I need to bump up the protein big time.  It keeps me fuller longer.  And thanks to my WW app, I stopped my snack total at 31 because I was out of my weekly points, and my WI isn’t until Thursday.  So I just have to be extra careful with how my 30 points are spent each day until WI.

Saturday morning I made hash waffles.  They are the latest craze in the WW people I follow.  I first saw Sophie (who is “Tracking Is The New Black” on Instagram) make these hash waffles back in December and I finally got around to making them.  While she used frozen shredded potatoes which were thawed, I just shredded a raw potato for mine, and it worked just fine.  The recipe is for one waffle – which when put in the WW recipe builder app, comes in at 6 points for just the waffle, and 2 points for my pepper jelly topping.

Steak Hash Waffle
Serves 1
Another great way to use up your waffle maker - make hash waffles!
Write a review
Print
Prep Time
5 min
Cook Time
8 min
Total Time
13 min
Prep Time
5 min
Cook Time
8 min
Total Time
13 min
273 calories
28 g
210 g
8 g
22 g
3 g
268 g
324 g
1 g
0 g
4 g
Nutrition Facts
Serving Size
268g
Servings
1
Amount Per Serving
Calories 273
Calories from Fat 73
% Daily Value *
Total Fat 8g
13%
Saturated Fat 3g
14%
Trans Fat 0g
Polyunsaturated Fat 1g
Monounsaturated Fat 3g
Cholesterol 210mg
70%
Sodium 324mg
14%
Total Carbohydrates 28g
9%
Dietary Fiber 2g
10%
Sugars 1g
Protein 22g
Vitamin A
6%
Vitamin C
13%
Calcium
7%
Iron
16%
* 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. 5 ounces potato, shredded and squeezed dry
  2. 1 ounce sirloin steak, cooked and chopped
  3. 1 egg
  4. 3 tablespoons egg whites
  5. salt and pepper *
Instructions
  1. Heat your waffle maker on the highest setting and preheat.  Mix the above together into a batter, and mix well.  Pour evenly in your waffle maker.   Cook for 6-8 minutes, or until desired doneness.  Mine was crispy at 8 minutes.  Since the batter was kind of thick, for the last minute I pressed my waffle maker down to make sure I got that crispy potato crunch.
Adapted from Tracking Is The New Black
beta
calories
273
fat
8g
protein
22g
carbs
28g
more
Adapted from Tracking Is The New Black
My Bizzy Kitchen http://www.mybizzykitchen.com/
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* you can use any spice seasoning you want – cajun, Tabasco, the possibilities are endless!  I used 1/2 teaspoon of this jalapeno pepper – so good!

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While you guys know I LOVE my sweet and savory combo, I melted one tablespoon of Tabasco pepper jelly with one tablespoon of Smuckers sugar free syrup to drizzle over the top for 2 extra smart points.  On the side was banana and blueberries for dessert.  You guys just might as well drop the mic on this one.  Crunchy, sweet, salty – is it wrong that I want to add Cabot cheese to these waffles to kick it over the top next time?!

This kept me full for hours.  I didn’t eat lunch until nearly 3 in the afternoon when I stopped by the coffee shop where Hannah and Jacob work.  It’s become my weekend treat to take an hour to just relax, meal plan, etc.  The soup that day was chicken noodle, and somehow Hannah knew I like a lot of cracked pepper on my soup.  Did I tell you that Jacob gave me his old Mac Book Pro?  He got a new computer a while back and let me have his old one.  The only problem was that I needed to have it plugged in all the time because the battery was shot, hence why he needed a new one.  That didn’t bother me though because I usually have it plugged in while I watch t.v. in the living room.

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But it works just fine now.  I had it unplugged from 8 in the morning until 10 Saturday night before it beeped that it needed to be charged.  Nice!  I still had time to make it to the gym before it closed.  I did 45 minutes on the treadmill on 8.0 incline at 4.0 mph.

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Here is the after – but I just had to show you how my eyebrows are on fleek!  I had a different girl at Wal-mart thread my eyebrows and it barely hurt at all.

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With last weeks grocery shop at a mere $25, I knew I’d be spending more this week.  Still not too bad!

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$23.24 of that budget went to stocking up on meat – I thought I’d show you what I got for that amount of money, and see if it compares to what your local grocery store prices are. 

PicMonkey Collage

So here are my ideas for the week:

Breakfasts:

  • Chobani parfait with try #2 of PB2 granola (that hasn’t been made yet)
  • Steel cut oats and toasted walnuts and blueberries (from Oprah’s new cookbook)
  • PB2 Banana Muffins picky plate breakfast (that are 4 points each and I’ll share that recipe tomorrow)
  • egg white and spinach breakfast tacos
  • Pork and apple breakfast sausage with egg white avocado toast

Lunches:

  • leftover frozen chili
  • shrimp cocktail picky plate
  • spaghetti squash pasta with pepperoni and mozzarella
  • beef and broccoli stir fry
  • leftovers on Friday of whatever needs to be eaten up

Dinners:

  • beef with zucchini noodles and red pepper orzo
  • baked chicken thighs with rosemary potatoes and spinach
  • pork and broccoli slaw egg rolls (made over the weekend – delish!)
  • skinny New Orleans BBQ shrimp and beef
  • Party Pizza Friday (it’s been too long since I’ve had pizza!)

I am actually glad I had most of this post written yesterday, because I worked late at The Chopping Block last night.  We didn’t get out until nearly 10:00 p.m. (our class ran long) and I drive my friend home because the public transportation isn’t the best on the weekends, and me driving 15 minutes out of my way saves her 45 minutes of walking to and from the train.

It was a fun class – great people, worked with my buddy Chef Nick (pictured below!) doing a surf and turf class.  But a sad one because it was officially my last day of work there.  I’ve only been working one day a week and it’s not worth my time anymore and it takes a huge chunk out of my weekend.  I will still be blogging for them on a regular basis, and I’ll still be involved in their social media and will be a “guest” worker at fun events like Apple Fest.  I really wish I could have made that my full time job, but you can’t always get what you want in life.

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I met some amazing people there that I otherwise never would have met, and for that I will always be grateful.  I need to write a nice note to Shelley the owner thanking her for the opportunity to work at such a great place.

So now I am back to just one job.  A year ago around this time I was just quitting my law firm job, and here I am a year later back at another law firm.  But I had an amazing year and I wouldn’t change a thing.  Except winning the lottery.  Smile with tongue out

UPDATED:  My next post is up on The Chopping Block’s website – you can check it out here – two point Sopa Azteca!  If you could leave me some comment love there, I would appreciate it. 😀

Alright, time to get my stuff together – happy Monday – make it a great day!  Here’s some Monday Motivation:

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