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appetizer

Appetizer

Cooking Club! Chipotle Bang Bang Shrimp Bites

It was nearly 55 degrees by the time I got to work yesterday, such a beautiful day.

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I knew it was going to be a busy day, it being the last full day at the office.  I had a taste for oats for some reason, so hit up Pret for their steel cut oats – so creamy and only 4 smart points.  They have tiny cups of brown sugar and granola that go with the granola, so I am calling my “extras” 3, with sliced banana, so breakfast came in at 7 points.  I’ve packed all my bowls, so my glass coffee mug had to step in.  I couldn’t use it anyway because the coffee machines were already packed for our office move.

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And Pret again for lunch!  This was a bacon and egg breakfast sammie – this bread is amazing, I haven’t looked up the points yet, but I am calling it 10. 

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TODAY IS MOVING DAY!  I am sure you guys are sick of having me talk about it, but this has been my life the last two weeks.  Packing boxes, throwing out old shit (my boss had papers in his office from 1979!).   Still so much to do, but if I end up throwing stuff in a box just to move it, that’s what’s going to have to happen. 

So it was a nice reprieve to have Cooking Club last night! Courtney is always the hostest with the mostest!

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Our Cooking Club meets every two months.  Courtney assigns the head chef, the theme of the dinner is decided and everyone is assigned either a signature drink, appetizer, side dish or dessert.  

I was assigned an appetizer.  I have to be a bit creative because I come straight from work.  Courtney had already told me she was making queso fundido, so I wanted to do a lighter app to balance it.  I cooked the shrimp and made the sauce the night before, then had Hannah meet me at the train station to bring me my food and I assembled this in a couple minutes at Court’s house.

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Everything was delicious.  Lindsay made a cucumber and honeydew melon sangria; Courtney made queso fundido; Tina made chicken and salsa verde enchiladas with a pineapple avocado salsa; Catherine brought chips and salsa; Mary Beth made a Mexican street food corn salad (so spicy good – I could have eaten the whole bowl!); Julie made a cowboy caviar salad with roasted corn, black beans, black eyed peas, avocado and cherry tomatoes with a delicious dressing (middle picture below); and because we hadn’t eaten enough, finished with Donna’s sopapilla cheese cake pie that was amazing and definitely insulin worthy.  Pretty sure everything I ate will be on my dinner menu next week 😀

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Great food and friends, delicious wine and so much to be thankful for in this crazy mixed up world we live in.

I was also happy to meet my friend Mary Beth’s new adopted son Jude.  I want to share his picture, but I didn’t want to post it without her permission, but I know I’ll be doing some babysitting in the near future – he looks like a cabbage patch doll, is only 2 months old and stayed awake the whole time just looking at everything that was going on around him.  MB, he can come to every Cooking Club get together 😀

I have a busy weekend!  Tomorrow I am a culinary judge for the ACT-SO program on the south side of Chicago – I have to be there bright and early at 8:00 a.m.  And on Sunday my Mom and I are going to the White Sox game.  Joe, I keep meaning to call you this week, but it’s been crazy, but I plan on spreading some of your Dad’s ashes at the game on Sunday – it’s the first game I’ve gone to since he passed away.  A co-worker of mine has season tickets in the first row on the 3rd base side that she couldn’t use.  The weather is supposed to be sunny and 60 – perfect baseball weather in my book!  I’ll try to take some video for you. 

I hope you have an amazing weekend!  Make it a great day 😀

Appetizer/ Healthy/ Vegetable/ Weight Watchers

Healthy Egg Rolls – Pork and Shrimp!

You’ll want to make these easy pork and shrimp egg rolls – make a batch over the weekend and reheat later in the week!  But first. . .

Thanks for all the nice comments about my “do-over!”  It’s a clean slate, right? Open-mouthed smile  And what better way to start the day than with an almond café mocha green monster.

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I drank it on the way to work, and it was delish!  I wasn’t sure what I was going to do to workout yesterday, but then I saw that Suzi needed people to join her in doing just two strength training routines this week, and I told her I was in.  I don’t do enough strength training as it is, so this was just the push I needed. 

I went on pinterest and found this workout – I liked it because it was both upper and lower body at the same time.

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Um, holy shizz, this was hard.  My legs felt like telephone poles after the first three sets.  I actually had to break up the first 5 sets in half to give myself a minute break in between.  This took me exactly 30 minutes to complete.  I wanted to finish the workout with some running, but I have a blister on the back of one of my feet, and the shoes rubbing against it hurt too much.

So I took my shoes off and walked a slow mile.  The shoes ended up going off the end of the treadmill.  A man walking to the treadmill next to me asked “did you run so fast your shoes fell off?!”

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So I made another potato crusted quiche, but I am not posting this recipe just yet – it needs some tweaking first.  One slice was one of my bosses breakfast, I had it for lunch and I still have two servings left.  With strawberries and blood oranges on the side – the orange was super sweet!

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And of course, after doing that strength routine, later in the afternoon I had to move 25 boxes from one side of the office to another – my legs were screaming by the time I got home.  Even Tony noticed it when I walked in.  Today I am swimming and hopefully my muscles will relax in the pool.

Over the weekend I made pork and shrimp egg rolls.  I’ve had a jones for them lately but for the longest time haven’t been able to find egg roll wrappers, just wonton wrappers.  I adapted it from this recipe.

Pork & Shrimp Egg Rolls

  • makes 10:  125 calories, 4 fat, 17 carbs, .9 fiber, 6.6 protein and 422 sodium

Ingredients:

For the filling:

  • 2 cups broccoli slaw mix, chopped
  • 1 cup bean sprouts, chopped
  • 1/2 cup ground pork
  • 1/2 cup raw shrimp, peeled and deveined
  • 1 clove garlic
  • 1 tablespoon fresh grated ginger
  • 1 teaspoon sriracha
  • 1 teaspoon hoisin sauce
  • 1 teaspoon Chinese five spice
  • 10 egg roll wrappers

For the sauce:

  • 2 tablespoons soy sauce (low sodium)
  • 2 tablespoon rice wine vinegar
  • 1 tablespoon fish sauce
  • 1/2 tablespoon cornstarch mixed with 1/2 tablespoon cold water

In a small pan, whisk together the sauce ingredients and heat until the cornstarch is dissolved, just a few minutes, set aside.

In a skillet, add the shrimp and pork and cook until the pork is almost done, about 5 minutes.  Add remaining filling ingredients and cook for a few more minutes.  Add sauce and stir until combined.  Let cool slightly.

Lay your egg roll wrapper like a diamond in front of you.  Make an egg wash of 1 egg mixed with 1 tablespoon of water.  Put 1/4 cup of the filling in the wonton wrapper, brush all the sides with the egg wash, roll up and then brush the seams with more egg wash.

Now I deep fried these, so when I was figuring out the calories, I added 1 tablespoon of oil for oil absorption, although since our fryer holds a temperature so well, these were not greasy at all.

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Last night Tony made his famous fried rice.  I reheated the egg rolls in our toaster oven on the convection setting at 400 for about 7-8 minutes.  Nice and crispy!

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Gah, I hate my kitchens fluorescent lighting!  These pictures don’t do the egg rolls any justice, but they are delicious. Open-mouthed smile

So my Koo-Dohz for the day:

  1. I worked out
  2. had a healthy Green monster for breakfast
  3. packed 1/3 cup of granola for my afternoon snack instead of bringing the whole bag
  4. didn’t eat any of the Matt’s cookies that were sitting out at my office
  5. got to bed by 10:45   oops, it was more like 11:15!

I have to give out some link love today – my blog friend Aimee just PR’d her last 5k!  Go check out her race recap.

And Lara’s little baby Graham is six months old – and she and her husband made THE cutest video of his first six months.  Got me all teary because my baby is going to be 21 next month!

I have to get my butt in gear, I’ve been making Chobani blueberry pancakes in between of writing this post and I have to leave for work in 15 minutes and I am still in my pajamas. Open-mouthed smile  Wouldn’t it be nice to be able to work in pajamas?!

Make it a great day!

Appetizer/ Seafood/ Weight Watchers

Best Spicy Shrimp Cocktail Ever

spicy shrimp cocktail

What a wonderful weekend we had.  The weather was amazing, and I was really bizzy in my kitchen this weekend.

I forgot to tell you yesterday that the flea market we went to on Saturday was pretty gross – I mean like worse than some garage sales.  But I did get a new fish spatula and some Greek seasonings, but other than that it was a total bust.

I had to have a pretty tight game plan because not only did I have to prep the food for my SIL’s Mexican fiesta yesterday, I also had to prepare her lunches for the week too.  So I split my tasks in half – did about 3 hours of cooking on Saturday and did about 2 hours on Sunday – not too bad. 😀

I want you guys to know that I really love my family who came over because otherwise you’d never see this in my house.  Ever.  I carmelized onions!

I also sauteed up some really good peppers – love the colors. 😀

Tony grilled up my cherry salsa ingredients – thanks Tony!

I went to the farmers market yesterday and bought 2 big bunches of basil for $2.  I made a bruschetta with garlic toast – so garlicy good.  I don’t really have a recipe for it, I just add tomatoes, garlic, balsamic vinegar, olive oil, basil and asiago cheese and keep tasting until it I like it.

I am not a baker at all, but when I saw Veronica’s coconut poke cake, I knew I could recreate it.  Although I baked mine in a bundt pan.  Somehow I am missing my second 8 inch cake pan – I’ll need to replace it.

The secret to her cake is that a:  it’s a cake mix (can’t really screw that up!) and b: when the cake first comes out of the oven and is hot, you poke holes in the cake and pour a can of cream of coconut over the cake until it absorbs.  Don’t use coconut milk because it isn’t the same.  I thought I might have a hard time finding it, but sure enough it was right next to the coconut milk.

For someone who doesn’t bake too much, I think it turned out pretty good.

But I have to say that I think this Mexican shrimp cocktail I made was my favorite dish of the day.  I found the recipe here, and made only a few changes.  I reduced the lime juice to 1/3 cup (which was 2 limes for me) and I used the zest of both limes.  I ditched the 1/4 cup chopped green olives and 1/4 cup chopped white onion and used only 1 serrano chile, which was just enough heat so everyone could enjoy it.  And while this is considered a Mexican seafood cocktail in the original recipe, I only used shrimp – feel free to add a combination of crab, squid, etc.

This was such a great combination of flavors – and Tony wants me to make it again, so it’s definitely a keeper. 😀

And after everyone left and I cleaned half the kitchen (I had to run the dishwasher twice last night!) Hannah and I went on a 50 minute walk – one of my goals is to only take one day off from exercise a week, and that was this past Saturday.

While I didn’t count points yesterday, I don’t think I did too bad – the running total in my head is around 40 points.  Hope you had a great day Jody!  By the way, my SIL Jody has lost over 16 pounds on WW so far – this past week she lost another 2.2 pounds!  I like to think its because of my delicious lunches I provide for her, but it is all her – keep up the great work!

It’s Monday again, so I have to get ready for work and pack my gym bag – I am either going to run a 5k or bike at lunch today, haven’t decided which yet.

Did you have a great weekend?  Make it a great day!

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