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!
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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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4 weight watcher smart points

Chicken and Waffles

I finally got a chance to download my pictures from the weekend.  I had such a great time at Kendall College for the high school culinary semi-finals, and saw some of the same people from last year which was nice.

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The students practiced three separate menus and didn’t know until last Friday morning when they got to the college what menu they would be doing.  Vegetarian Indian food for the win!  The kids are grouped in threes, but they were grouped with strangers – not who they go to school with.  It’s fascinating to see who takes the leader roll, who is just fine taking orders and following.  And because someone is a leader doesn’t necessarily mean that they are going to lead their team to greatness.  One girl who I initially thought was quite a good leader, delegated the tasks, etc.  Until I realized she was micromanaging the others dishes so much, she never actually got her dish on the plate.  I could just see the tears welling up in her eyes as the director counted down the last ten seconds.

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All in all, each team did a great job.  But the potato and chick pea dish was really good, and I’ll be making a variation on that dish later this week for one of my dinners.  Loved the spice of that dish.  If any of you live in the Chicago area, you can eat there – the culinary students cook lunch and dinner at their dining hall.  You can check it out here.   

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I finished around 2:00 p.m. so headed to my sisters office.  It’s the longest I’ve walked since I’ve had my cough – it was near 40 and sunny skies.

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I walked passed the iconic parking garage made famous by the Blues Brothers movie – it’s half condos/half parking garage. 

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Here’s a better view – thanks google images Open-mouthed smile

marina-towers-garage

I surprised my sister.  I wasn’t sure I’d have time to meet up with her, but she was able to have coffee with me, and it was close enough to 5 that I stayed for their office happy hour which was fun.

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

Since I spent so little at the grocery store over the weekend, that meant I made a lot of stuff from scratch.  One of the recipes was waffles.  I was going to buy almond milk, but cashew milk was on sale for only $2.49 a container.  Score!  And only 25 calories per cup.  I have a simple Oster waffle maker – I used 2/3 cup of batter per waffle to get 8 waffles out of this recipe.  According to the Weight Watcher recipe builder, each waffle comes in at 4 smart points (or 1 point per 1/4!)

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Cashew Milk Waffles
Serves 8
A simple waffle recipe that is great to make on the weekends when you have more time, and just go from freezer to toaster during the week for a quick breakfast.
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Prep Time
5 min
Cook Time
20 min
Total Time
25 min
Prep Time
5 min
Cook Time
20 min
Total Time
25 min
323 calories
36 g
48 g
16 g
10 g
4 g
94 g
105 g
4 g
0 g
12 g
Nutrition Facts
Serving Size
94g
Servings
8
Amount Per Serving
Calories 323
Calories from Fat 134
% Daily Value *
Total Fat 16g
24%
Saturated Fat 4g
18%
Trans Fat 0g
Polyunsaturated Fat 3g
Monounsaturated Fat 9g
Cholesterol 48mg
16%
Sodium 105mg
4%
Total Carbohydrates 36g
12%
Dietary Fiber 2g
7%
Sugars 4g
Protein 10g
Vitamin A
2%
Vitamin C
0%
Calcium
5%
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 eggs
  2. 1.75 cups cashew milk
  3. 1 tablespoon apple cider vinegar
  4. 1/2 cup plain Greek yogurt
  5. 1 teaspoon vanilla
  6. 1 tablespoon brown sugar
  7. 2 cups flour
  8. 1/4 teaspoon salt
  9. 1 teaspoon vanilla
Instructions
  1. Mix the eggs, cashew milk, vinegar, yogurt and vanilla and let that sit while your waffle toaster gets to temperature.  Mix the flour, baking powder, salt and brown sugar and mix to combine.  Mix the wet into the dry ingredients, and stir until combined.  Use 2/3 cup batter per waffle for eight waffles.  Follow your waffle iron for cooking instructions - mine takes about 4-5 minutes for each one.
  2. These store awesome in the freezer.  Simply go straight from the freezer to your toaster like you would any regular frozen waffle.
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calories
323
fat
16g
protein
10g
carbs
36g
more
My Bizzy Kitchen http://www.mybizzykitchen.com/

For dinner last night I made chicken and waffles.  Tyson brand buffalo tenders are 6 smart points for 3 ounces.  I baked the tenders for 20 minutes, so this was a super quick weeknight dinner.  I cleaned the bathroom (one of my week night chores!) while the chicken cooked.  Then toasted the waffles and topped with a bit more buffalo sauce and 1/8 cup of Smucker’s sugar free pancake syrup, so dinner came in at 11 smart points.

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This is the best of all worlds – sweet/spicy/crunchy/vinegary.  And even though I had half of a Reuben sandwich at lunch when I had lunch out with my friend, I still ended up with 31/30 points for the day.  Don’t worry, I do have fruits and veggies planned in my meal plan today.  But again, I like that I can incorporate my favorite foods into my healthy guidelines.  And I am happy to report that my cough is 90% gone and I hope to get a walk in at lunch – we are supposed to have temps near 50 today and I don’t want to miss out on that.

Make it a great day!

Banana Blueberry Pancakes – 4 SP for 3!

I don’t normally blog on the weekends, but wanted to provide a link to share these delicious banana and blueberry pancakes.  While I was writing the recipe down as I went along, in my head I thought for sure they’d be about 7 smart points a serving, but after I put it in the WW recipe builder, 1/2 a serving, or 3 pancakes, came in at just 4 smart points each – and they are delicious!

Since Hannah and Jacob are on their keto diet (Hannah went to WW for a day, then Vegan for 3 days, then back to keto!) I always have a giant container of this Splenda:

 

Banana Blueberry Pancakes
Serves 2
Low smart point pancakes for the win! Even if you ate the whole recipe, it would only be 8 smart points. Paired with sugar free pancake syrup and more blueberries on top? #winning
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Prep Time
5 min
Cook Time
30 min
Total Time
35 min
Prep Time
5 min
Cook Time
30 min
Total Time
35 min
277 calories
60 g
0 g
2 g
6 g
0 g
229 g
5 g
16 g
0 g
0 g
Nutrition Facts
Serving Size
229g
Servings
2
Amount Per Serving
Calories 277
Calories from Fat 11
% Daily Value *
Total Fat 2g
3%
Saturated Fat 0g
1%
Trans Fat 0g
Polyunsaturated Fat 0g
Monounsaturated Fat 0g
Cholesterol 0mg
0%
Sodium 5mg
0%
Total Carbohydrates 60g
20%
Dietary Fiber 5g
20%
Sugars 16g
Protein 6g
Vitamin A
2%
Vitamin C
17%
Calcium
24%
Iron
8%
* 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 teaspoon vanilla extract
  2. 1.5 teaspoons apple cider vinegar
  3. 2 mashed bananas
  4. 1 tablespoon Splenda*
  5. 1/2 cup unsweetened almond milk
  6. 1/2 cup all-purpose flour
  7. 1/4 cup rolled oats
  8. 1 teaspoon baking powder
Instructions
  1. Mix all the ingredients from vanilla to almond milk well, then let sit for 10 minutes. The vinegar is going to turn your almond milk into buttermilk - nice and thick!
  2. Add in the remaining ingredients and mix well. You can cook them off right now, but I like to let the baking powder do it's magic and let that batter sit for 15 minutes.
  3. Warning: These are going to be a bit hard to flip - there isn't a lot of flour for binding, and these will also take longer to cook - about 3-4 minutes for the first side, and 2-3 minutes for the second side. I took my time with the flip using a fish spatula, but be patient - it will work!
Notes
  1. You can always add vinegar (or lemon juice) to any milk if you don't have buttermilk - usually 1 tablespoons per each cup of milk. It won't be as thick as store bought buttermilk, but it will work!
  2. *I use Splenda Baking Super - it comes in a 32 ounce package at Wal-mart for $6.12 a bag.
beta
calories
277
fat
2g
protein
6g
carbs
60g
more
My Bizzy Kitchen http://www.mybizzykitchen.com/
These pancakes are delicious and really filling.  I almost thought to add a scoop of protein powder, but ditched that idea because I know not everyone has protein powder lying around, and that stuff is expensive!

 

The pancakes are 4 points, the sugar free syrup is 1 points, and the hard boiled egg is 2.   So breakfast only came in at 7 points – 23 points left for the day!  I do have turkey burgers on my menu tonight, and might splurge and make onion rings on the side.  So looks like I’ll be eating a late lunch to get all my points in.  I hate when that happens.  (said no one ever!).

Happy Saturday – make it a great day!

Breakfast Biscuits

Hopefully I am on the road to recovery.  I was still hacking up a lung on Saturday, and I literally spent most of the day on my couch, no matter how many things I put into my journal that I want to get accomplished this weekend.  Oh, like my holiday gift boxes I still haven’t sent – promise family you’ll get them before Valentine’s Day!

I did manage to complete one of my meal plan items for the week – breakfast biscuits.  It’s really so easy and took little effort on my part.  The best thing is that these came in at only 2 smart points each!

Breakfast Biscuits
Serves 5
A great way to meal plan for the week - bake these up on Sunday and you've got breakfast for a few days during the week.
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Prep Time
5 min
Cook Time
30 min
Total Time
35 min
Prep Time
5 min
Cook Time
30 min
Total Time
35 min
779 calories
93 g
12 g
35 g
22 g
10 g
335 g
1325 g
7 g
0 g
24 g
Nutrition Facts
Serving Size
335g
Servings
5
Amount Per Serving
Calories 779
Calories from Fat 315
% Daily Value *
Total Fat 35g
54%
Saturated Fat 10g
50%
Trans Fat 0g
Polyunsaturated Fat 9g
Monounsaturated Fat 15g
Cholesterol 12mg
4%
Sodium 1325mg
55%
Total Carbohydrates 93g
31%
Dietary Fiber 4g
16%
Sugars 7g
Protein 22g
Vitamin A
24%
Vitamin C
71%
Calcium
57%
Iron
35%
* 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. 10 refrigerator biscuits (not flakey Grands)
  2. 1 cup mixed chopped veggies – (I used red pepper and zucchini)
  3. 1 cup liquid egg whites
  4. 1/2 cup unsweetened almond milk
  5. salt and pepper
  6. teaspoon of Italian seasoning
  7. pinch of crushed red pepper
  8. dash of hot sauce
  9. 1/4 cup finely shredded cheese
  10. 1 teaspoon dried parsley
Instructions
  1. Heat oven to 375.  Spray muffin tin with Pam.  Place the biscuits into the bottom of the the muffin tin, pressing down and brining the dough a bit up the sides of the muffin tin.  Divide your veggie mix among the 10 biscuits.  Mix the egg whites, almond milk, salt, pepper, Italian seasoning, crushed red pepper and a dash of hot sauce.  Pour that mixture evenly between the muffin tins.  Divide the cheese on top and bake for 30 minutes.   Let cook five minutes before removing from the pan and store in a ziploc bag to grab and go later in the week.
beta
calories
779
fat
35g
protein
22g
carbs
93g
more
My Bizzy Kitchen http://www.mybizzykitchen.com/
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The possibilities are endless with these muffins – sautéed mushrooms and spinach, add in some chopped ham for protein (I hadn’t gone to the store yet so it was slim pickings for me!) but bake once and you have breakfast for a few days – I had mine with a giant orange for breakfast on Saturday and this kept me full for hours.

When I woke up on Sunday, I still had this nagging cough and finally decided to go to the doctor.  After waiting nearly 90 minutes at the Minute Clinic – I got the diagnosis that I have a COLD.  Yep, that’s all it is.  I had chills and a fever the first night, my nose runs clear, my lungs didn’t sound like I had bronchitis, and I’ve already had the vaccine for the flu and pneumonia.  She did prescribe me an inhaler and some heavy duty pills to help with the cough, but was told to just rest and drink lots of fluids. The hard part is that I “feel” fine except for the damn cough and funny nose.  So if after another week, I am not better, I am to hit up my primary care physician.

I still kept my plan with my Mom yesterday.  She was coming over for dinner and made it to my house after church around 1:00 p.m.  I still had to go grocery shopping, so she came with me.  Since the kadults and I are each doing our own meal plans, I thought I’d give you a run down of my tentative meal plan for the week. 

josephs receipt

I spent $52.87 for my groceries this week.  This included the green beans and polenta I made for dinner last night with my Mom (I already had the pork chops in the fridge), and you’ll notice that the most expensive item on my list is Jennie-O ground turkey breast at $7.45.  I am using it in three recipes this week – another turkey burger, taco wonton bites and using it in a Cincinnati chili.   That turkey burger I had last week was so good, it was worth the price to buy it to me.

Breakfast Ideas:

  • the breakfast biscuits above with fresh fruit x 2 days
  • Chobani breakfast parfait with my homemade granola
  • egg white and zucchini omelette with an apple and PB2
  • breakfast wonton cups with fresh fruit

Lunches:

  • How Sweet Eats Chicken Tortilla Soup x 2
  • zucchini pasta boats
  • leftover Cincinnati chili mac with spaghetti squash
  • turkey wrap with veggie straws and fruit
  • pork fried rice (using leftover pork chops)

Dinner

Sounds like a pretty delicious meal plan, and not too complicated. 

Since I can’t exercise because of my cold, I really have to be spot on with my food in order to have another loss this week.  I was so proud of myself because I drank tea with dinner last night even though I had wine in the house, and my Mom enjoyed a glass of wine.  It was nice hanging out with her, and I went to bed at 10:15 last night to give my body a lot of rest.  Here’s hoping the medicine kicks in soon!

Had to share this photo of my Mom – the dogs love hanging around her at dinner just hoping she’ll share some of her dinner!  I made pork chops with polenta with a lemon pepper sauce with garlic green beans.

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I’ve been using a salad plate lately because it’s the only plate that fits on the shelf below my dining room lamp where I take pictures, but I love how it makes it seem like so much food – this plate came in at 9 smart points.

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For the record, my Momma did share some of her polenta, but saved the pork for herself – I don’t blame her because it was really good!

I was super busy all the way up until 5 p.m. on Friday night at work, so I have a feeling today is going to be a busy day.  Oh well, at least the day will go by fast!

Make it a great day!  Here’s some Monday Motivation:

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Breakfast Tostadas

Breakfast Tostadas

I love cast iron skillets.  Over the years I may have collected, um, let’s say 11 of them?  Here’s the deal though.  I bought all of them at garage sales because they were rusty and had $1 price tag on them.  Guys, if you ever find a cast iron skillet at a garage sale – buy it!  9 out of the 11 cast iron skillets that I’ve acquired are Lodge brand

So what do you do when you find a rusty skillet?  First:  Buy It.  Second:  Season It!   Buy some steel wool at Ace Hardware or any home improvement store.  I actually sprinkle coarse sea salt on the skillet, and using my steel wool, use some muscle and basically sand off all the rust.  Never use soap with cast iron – simply run some hot water over it and scrub until you’ve removed all the rust – from the inside, the handle on the bottom – the whole thing.  Next:  oil it up!  I use canola or vegetable oil.  Lather the whole thing up then bake for one hour at 350 degrees.  I then turn off the oven and let it sit there overnight.  The next morning, it’s ready to go and will be nonstick.  If your skillet ever starts to stick again, just repeat the baking process with the oil and you are back in business.

When you clean your skillet, make sure to completely dry it before putting it away.  I’ll actually put it on my stove on low heat and watch the water evaporate.  Let it cool and then I either spray it with Pam or rub a bit of canola oil on the skillet until I use it the next time.

I posted this picture of my breakfast tostadas on Instagram yesterday, and my friend Lauren wanted to know what kind of pan I was using.  I was at work and guessed that it was a 12 inch pan, but it’s actually a vintage Lodge skillet that is 10 inches.

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So while you won’t be able to purchase that exact skillet because it’s so old, Lodge does sell a similar pan – they call it a griddle pan because the slightly raised edges will hold pancakes, eggs, oil, etc.   And it’s only $24 bucks!  I use this pan for making hash browns, even frittatas because you can obviously go from stove to oven with these skillets.  Have I convinced you to buy cast iron skillets yet?! Open-mouthed smile

Breakfast Tostadas
Serves 1
A delicious way to start your day with these crunchy breakfast tostadas.
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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
968 calories
132 g
402 g
31 g
44 g
12 g
950 g
1525 g
1 g
0 g
16 g
Nutrition Facts
Serving Size
950g
Servings
1
Amount Per Serving
Calories 968
Calories from Fat 273
% Daily Value *
Total Fat 31g
47%
Saturated Fat 12g
59%
Trans Fat 0g
Polyunsaturated Fat 4g
Monounsaturated Fat 12g
Cholesterol 402mg
134%
Sodium 1525mg
64%
Total Carbohydrates 132g
44%
Dietary Fiber 15g
61%
Sugars 1g
Protein 44g
Vitamin A
44%
Vitamin C
1710%
Calcium
42%
Iron
62%
* 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 extra thin mission tortillas (2)
  2. 2 eggs (4)
  3. 1/2 cup fat free refried beans (2)
  4. 3 small baby bell peppers, sliced and sautéed
  5. 1 ounce 50% reduced fat Cabot cheese (2)
  6. drizzle of taco bell fire sauce (0)
  7. drizzle of Trader Joe’s avocado salsa (0)
  8. cilantro for garnish
Instructions
  1. Heat a skillet over medium heat and cook the peppers just until they start to brown but are still a bit crunchy.  About 3-4 minutes.  Reheat the refried beans in the microwave.  Remove the peppers and cook your eggs to your desired doneness.  You all know that I didn’t eat those runny eggs above, but they look so much better in pictures!  Anywho, place your cast iron skillet on medium high heat and spray with Pam.  Put 1/4 cup of the refried beans on each tortilla, then place in the hot pan.  Top with the fried eggs and cheese and cook for about 5 minutes, or until the cheese starts to melt.  The bottom of the tortillas will get nice and crunchy.  Sprinkle on cilantro, taco sauce and avocado sauce and enjoy!
Notes
  1. You could reduce the points if you used scrambled egg beaters. 😀
beta
calories
968
fat
31g
protein
44g
carbs
132g
more
My Bizzy Kitchen http://www.mybizzykitchen.com/
That was a filling 10 point breakfast.  I wasn’t really all that hungry by the time I got to work, but I was about 30 minutes early and realized I should eat something, so I went a couple blocks from work and stopped and picked up panang curry from Pho’s Spicier Thai Cuisine.   It was a bit “hole in the wall” kind of place.

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When she asked me how spicy I wanted it, I blurted out “I like spicy!”  She said “okay – I make medium” and walked away.  It wasn’t until she walked away that I looked down and noticed this heat chart:

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So medium is described as “quite hot” but what I was really worried about was the disclaimer at the bottom that said “be careful if you never been here.” 

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This photo does not do this dish justice.  It was the perfect spicy flavorful that I always look for with a spicy dish.  I don’t want to just taste spice and nothing else.  This had layers of flavor, and a nice peanuty flavor at the end.  I will admit, there wasn’t a whole lot of beef, but I ate half of this dish for 10 smart points.  Next time I’d like to try their pho soups.

It was a demo class yesterday and it was unlike any class I’ve ever witnessed thus far at The Chopping Block.  We had two groups of four women, so we put them on each end so they could easily talk to each other, then had a couple in the middle.  Chef Dionna started going over the menu, talked about her favorite French seasoning salt (which is amazeballs!)  and before we knew it, both groups of ladies lost complete interest and Dionna basically had a personal chef show for the couple in the middle.  So it all worked out in the end, but I don’t know why I would pay $50 for a demo class, and not pay any amount of attention to it?

I will recreate this dish soon – it was a flank steak salad with a warm tomato vinaigrette.   I think I may add some toasted pumpkin seeds when I make it though.

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And the next dish was an Asian marinated salmon with a baby bok choy and carrot salad that is also going to go to the top of my list of things to make.

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We gave the best two pieces of salmon to the couple in the middle who paid attention.  Open-mouthed smile

I am working a private party today so that means I get to demo some dishes: 

· Frisée Salad with Roasted Beets, Toasted Pecans and Oranges

· Chocolate Crêpes with Mascarpone Cream and Homemade Caramel Sauce

Um, I’ve never worked with beets before or made crepes, so this should be interesting!  I may watch a couple youtube videos before I head to work today.  Chef Rachel is super nice though, so I know she’ll be a great resource for me. Open-mouthed smile

Alright, time to get this show on the road – I am working on another blog post for The Chopping Block that’s due tomorrow.  My topic?  Soup and Bread!

Make it a great day!

Frittata

Sausage and Broccoli Frittata

I am definitely going to the grocery store today, but I sometimes love coming up with meals using what I have on hand.  And 9/10 I can always find something to make even when it feels like the fridge is empty.

Last Friday I made this sausage and broccoli frittata.  I had two lone links of spicy Italian sausage, egg beaters that I bought a couple weeks ago that got shoved to the back of the fridge and I forgot was there, and some sad looking broccoli that was on it’s last legs.

Sausage and Broccoli Frittata
Serves 4
A great way to use up those bits and pieces in your fridge at the end of the week - make a frittata!
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Prep Time
5 min
Cook Time
25 min
Total Time
30 min
Prep Time
5 min
Cook Time
25 min
Total Time
30 min
466 calories
8 g
503 g
33 g
34 g
12 g
352 g
824 g
2 g
0 g
19 g
Nutrition Facts
Serving Size
352g
Servings
4
Amount Per Serving
Calories 466
Calories from Fat 300
% Daily Value *
Total Fat 33g
51%
Saturated Fat 12g
60%
Trans Fat 0g
Polyunsaturated Fat 5g
Monounsaturated Fat 14g
Cholesterol 503mg
168%
Sodium 824mg
34%
Total Carbohydrates 8g
3%
Dietary Fiber 3g
12%
Sugars 2g
Protein 34g
Vitamin A
182%
Vitamin C
93%
Calcium
24%
Iron
31%
* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2,000 calorie diet. Your Daily Values may be higher or lower depending on your calorie needs.
Ingredients
  1. 2 cups egg beaters (basically one carton)
  2. 3/4 cup egg whites
  3. 8 ounces spicy Italian sausage, casing removed
  4. 1 teaspoon olive oil
  5. 1.5 cups chopped broccoli
  6. 1 teaspoon crushed red pepper (or to taste)
  7. salt and pepper
  8. 1 ounce Cabot extra sharp cheddar cheese, shredded
  9. chopped baby spinach for garnish
Instructions
  1. In a cast iron skillet (mine is Lodge brand) heat the olive oil and add the sausage and broccoli.   Cook over medium high heat for about 5 minutes.   In a 4 cup measuring cup, mix the egg beaters, egg whites, crushed red pepper and salt and pepper and pour over the sausage/broccoli mixture.  Turn heat down to low, put a lid on the pan and cook on the stove top for about 20-25 minutes, or until the eggs are set in the middle.  Top with Cabot cheese and put under the broiler for 3-4 minutes or until the cheese melts and it’s golden brown.
  2. I calculated this to be 4 points for 8 servings, or 9 points for 1/4 of the pie.  I ate 1/4 of the pie with a cup of cantaloupe – so good!
Notes
  1. Feel free to sub in any protein and veggie - that's the best part of a frittata - best way to use up leftovers 😀
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calories
466
fat
33g
protein
34g
carbs
8g
more
My Bizzy Kitchen http://www.mybizzykitchen.com/
10.9.16WE 002

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Friday night I had so much fun because I got to work outside for a grill class.  It was a small class – only five people and me and the Chef.  We can either do a chef app for class, or make our signature popcorn.  We normally make our popcorn with truffle salt, but because this was a grilling class, I decided to make a BBQ popcorn.  I mixed together ground mustard, smoked paprika, a bit of chipotle powder for some heat and salt.  It turned out really good!

PicMonkey Collage - grill

It was a bit chilly outside, but we turned on the pizza oven (can’t wait to make a pizza in that!) and the gas grills and Big Green Egg going, so it was toasty.  We made peppercorn and bacon burgers with a garlic aioli.  Swoon!  As usual, the night went by really fast and I got to work with one of my favorite chef’s Jason.

I didn’t have to work Saturday so it was a bit of a lazy morning.  Still working with leftovers, I had pizza dough that had been in the fridge for just about a week, so it was all nice and stinky.  I love using pizza dough that’s been in the fridge for days – such a depth of flavor.  2 ounces of dough (5) 2 ounces of leftover grilled chuck roast (2) one ounce part skim mozzarella cheese (2) and an egg on top (2).  Baked on my Baking Steel, this cooked in about 10 minutes, then I finished it off under the broiler because I don’t like a runny egg.  Ew. 

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I was trying to figure out what to make for dinner when my niece called and said she and her husband and kids were nearby and wanted to know if we would like to meet up for a bite to eat.  Yes please!  This is Tony’s nephew Bob and his wife Izzy, so technically my step-nephew and niece, but whatevs.  Their kids are adorable – they just moved back into town a few months back so I am hoping I’ll get to babysit these kids soon.

PicMonkey Collage - HB

It’s only the second time I’ve met Hazel, and she’s absolutely adorable.  Sat in her little high chair for 90 minutes and never fussed once.  And long time readers may notice . . . my tiny ponytail is back! It makes me laugh to see this – because we all know as soon as it gets long enough to put into a pony tail, that’s all that’s happening.  Although it is nice to have my hair back when I work.  We’ll see how it goes.

Our weather has been absolutely amazing – mid 50’s, sunny and obviously no humidity.  Yesterday it was 65 when I went on my walk – the sun felt so good.  I know you can’t tell, but I did hill climbs yesterday – once you get to the end of this road, it’s almost a complete vertical drop.

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I wasn’t originally schedule to work on Sunday either, but after back and forth of me maybe working all day at Merchandise Mart, to maybe doing a morning class at Lincoln Square, I was ultimately scheduled for a class last night.  Normally I get the recipe packets in advance, but all I knew was that it was going to be a soup and bread class – um, basically my two favorite things to make!

It was another small class – I was working with Chef Lisa and she’s super funny and full of energy and likes to talk a lot – love.   She asked me to make a Chef app in place of popcorn, so I went to the Chef app bin and saw a container of mascarpone cheese, a half bag of radishes, and basil.  So a radish crostini was born!  I sliced a baguette and baked them off at 400 degrees for 8 minutes.  While those baked, I mixed the mascarpone cheese with a bit of honey and salt.  I sliced the radishes and marinated them in a bit of olive oil, lemon juice, lemon zest, salt and pepper, then put it all together once the crostini cooled.  Then topped with a bit of basil for some color.  These were light since we were having sausage and shrimp gumbo and broccoli cheddar cheese which are both on the heavier side.

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I mentioned on Instagram that I was going to share the bread bowl recipe, but I am actually recreating the recipe today for dinner tonight along with the gumbo, which I’ll be posting tomorrow.  This picture doesn’t give the bread bowls any justice:

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And I’ll take better pictures of this gumbo which had such a depth of flavor.  I am going to reduce the amount of butter the recipe calls for because it calls for a whole stick of butter.  I’ll probably reduce that to 4 tablespoons.

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And I’ll leave the okra out because it’s a nasty vegetable.  I’ll only eat it if it’s pickled or deep fat fried.

++++++++++++++++

I’ve got to give a big shout out to my blog friend Aimee who did great at the Chicago Marathon yesterday (you can check out her recap here).  So while she was up bright and early to get her game face on, I slept in until 9:00 and started watching the t.v. coverage on my DVR while still in my pajamas and drinking coffee!   She finished in 4:34, which is an awesome time if you ask me.  It looks like her average mile pace was around 10:30 a mile, which is awesome – so proud of you Aimee!  Wish I had $179 to spare to buy your proofs online! Open-mouthed smile

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I have a bunch of stuff on my to do list today – we’ll see if they all get done.  If not, no worries!  But grocery shopping for sure.  And walking outside because it’s sunny and 65 degrees.  And making gumbo.  And bread bowls.  And getting Tony’s car tested for emissions.  And maybe laundry?

I better get this show on the road – make it a great day!

Steak Breakfast Toast

I loved reading all your comments yesterday on my Blog Anniversary – so many readers who have stuck with me for years – I love it!  I forgot to mention that I am running my giveaway until I pick a winner on Friday – so good luck!  And, I did find out that my last giveaway recipient in Canada got my BBQ sauce!  It only took about a month for her to get it though!

I also have to give a shout out to my friends Alison and Cameron.  On Saturday after working the farmers market, I drove by their house, unannounced mind you, to see if they had any more tomatoes they wanted me to can.  What I thought would be a 30 minute stop at most (because she will never let me leave without having at least one beer!) turned into an all afternoon and evening stay!  Thank you for your hospitality, dinner, bonfire and most of all seeing that your chicken Gloria is still alive!

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An animal (maybe racoon?) got into their chicken coop and killed two of their chickens, and maimed Gloria – that is her good eye because her other eye is gone.  They said it was touch and go for a few weeks, but she’s as healthy as can be.

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It was weird staying out on Saturday night.  Mind you, I was home by 10:00 p.m., but I am usually in bed way before that to get up for the farmers market.  Sunday was my first Sunday off all summer.  So I had a lazy morning and had plenty of time to make a nice brunch.  Avocado toast is all the rage.  If you search “breakfast ideas” on Google, Pinterest or even Instagram, you’ll likely get hundreds of hits for avocado toast.  And not that I am at all against that, but I just think steak toast should be the next big breakfast toast idea.

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First of all, can we get a hell yeah on how colorful that plate of food is?!  Hannah reorganized all my “food photography” stuff – various bowls, plates, etc., and I’d forgotten I had this one.  I think I got it at Goodwill for .50.  Anywho, steak toast is great for leftover steak or you can make it the same morning, which is what I did when I was getting ice out of the freezer Sunday morning and saw I had a small steak in the corner of the freezer.  Just a quick minute defrost in the microwave, a little salt and pepper and because it was pretty thin, only cooked for 1.5 minutes a side and let rest.  You’ll notice that I like my steak on the rare side! I also had two kinds of leftover salsa from taco takeout earlier in the week – one red and one green – so spicy good!

Steak Breakfast Toast
Serves 1
A great way to use up leftover steak, and to get your 25 grams of protein in at breakfast.
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Print
Prep Time
3 min
Cook Time
3 min
Total Time
6 min
Prep Time
3 min
Cook Time
3 min
Total Time
6 min
353 calories
26 g
71 g
10 g
37 g
4 g
240 g
504 g
2 g
0 g
6 g
Nutrition Facts
Serving Size
240g
Servings
1
Amount Per Serving
Calories 353
Calories from Fat 94
% Daily Value *
Total Fat 10g
16%
Saturated Fat 4g
18%
Trans Fat 0g
Polyunsaturated Fat 1g
Monounsaturated Fat 5g
Cholesterol 71mg
24%
Sodium 504mg
21%
Total Carbohydrates 26g
9%
Dietary Fiber 2g
6%
Sugars 2g
Protein 37g
Vitamin A
21%
Vitamin C
11%
Calcium
6%
Iron
19%
* 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 ounce sourdough bread
  2. 3 ounces sirloin steak
  3. 1/3 cup egg whites
  4. 1/3 cup baby spinach
  5. 1 tablespoon chopped red cabbage
  6. 1 tablespoon salsa
Instructions
  1. Heat pan over medium high heat, and add Pam cooking spray.  Cook steak 1.5 minutes per side for rare, 2 minutes per side for medium rare, 2.5 minutes for medium, and 3 minutes a side for well done.  If you are cooking your steak to well done, I have a feeling that you don’t really like beef because you are cooking out most of the flavor if you overcook it.   Remove to a plate to rest.  Scramble the egg whites and spinach.  Toast the sourdough bread.  Once the bread is toasted, top with scrambled egg mixture, top with the steak that you’ve sliced thin, garnish with the red cabbage and salsa and serve with fruit on the side.   This comes in at 9 smart points.
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calories
353
fat
10g
protein
37g
carbs
26g
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My Bizzy Kitchen http://www.mybizzykitchen.com/
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I worked at the Lincoln Square location Sunday night to help move inventory because new floors are going in.  I love the fact that it doesn’t matter if you are the GM, head chef, class assistant or dishwasher, everyone is treated as an equal.  No job is beneath anyone and I love the camaraderie so far.  I was driving home when I got this text from Hannah, who had a taste for garlic green beans at 10:30 at night!

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I had my grocery list ready to go yesterday morning, and garlic was already at the top of my list.  Whew, crisis averted!

My Mom came over for the afternoon/evening yesterday.   Since I knew it was going to be a bit before I lit up the grill, I made a charcuterie platter.  Seriously, I could have just had this for dinner and been perfectly happy!

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When I was at her house a couple weeks ago, she handed me a frozen pork loin.  She bought it at Mariano’s super cheap, but when she was portioning it, her measurement was a bit off, and she froze a 3 pound portion, which is obviously way too much for her to eat, unless she wanted to eat every single meal with pork in it for a week.  I defrosted it in my fridge from Saturday night, then took it out of the fridge two hours before I was grilling it to get it to room temperature.  At that time I put on my best wet rub ever, and grilled it in my kettle Weber grill on indirect heat.  My old meat thermometer broke, so I bought a new digital one.   After it had been grilling for about 45 minutes, I took a look to see where we were on temperature, and was shocked that I was only at 60 degrees.  My fear was that it was still frozen in the middle.  Another 15 minutes and I was only up to 75 – wtf?!   But when I touched the pork it felt like it was done – but I usually take the pork off at 145 degrees before resting.

My Momma came over to the grill and noticed that I had Celsius instead of Fahrenheit and my pork was already up to 160.  Luckily after I rested it, it was still super tender and juicy – whew!

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  We had such a nice time hanging out outside. 

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My Mom and I went old school and played this board game – in which I misspelled my word, so even though I stumped her, it didn’t count.  When I played this game when I was little Xylophone was always my go to word because no one expects your word to start with an X.  But guess how I spelled it?!!  ZYLAPHONE!  And I am pretty sure that’s exactly how I spelled it when I was nine, which made it so funny!

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And Hannah and my Mom trying to take selfies Open-mouthed smile

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So this is my first full time week at The Chopping Block!  Most days I don’t work until 3:30 or 4:30 in the afternoon, but Friday I am working from 10:30 – 5:30 which isn’t too bad.  I’ll be able to take the train on that day, which will be nice.  I’ve still gotten my $10 parking with SpotHero – and I loved all your suggestions on finding cheaper parking, but I’ve done the research and that’s the best I can do.  Because of how far I live from Chicago, it’s a $12 round trip to get to Chicago and back, so it’s not too bad.

I slept in a bit today, so didn’t get to my WW meeting.  I finally got new batteries for my scale, and I am done 1/2 a pound from last week.  And yes, getting a pedicure is on my list of things to do this week Open-mouthed smile

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And my decorator friend Whitney will love to see the work that Roman’s done on my “ugly” chair.  Pretty much everyone but me thinks it’s ugly.  He ate the ottoman already, so we threw that out.  Now he’s working his way through the arm of the chair.  When I asked him if he did this, this was his look:

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That doesn’t look too guilty!   My only saving grace is that he hasn’t touched any of the new furniture (well, now almost a year old!) and if he does go to the bathroom in the house, he goes in the basement, in the same spot, which is easy to clean up.

Alright, time to get my show on the road.  I have to do some laundry, get gas, get my workout in before heading out to work.  So much time for activities!

Hope you had a great long weekend – make it a great day!