On Top of Old Smokey

Okay, so you know how I’ve said that Hannah doesn’t really like meat all that much?  Like almost never!  Except for chicken, any red meat is pretty much out of the question, unless its really tiny and cooked to death.  Any hint of pink inside and it will quickly be put in a napkin and placed on the side of her plate.

She came into the kitchen as I was putting together the meatballs. 

Hannah: “What are you making?”

Me: “Meatballs.”

Hannah: “How big are they going to be?”

Me: “About the size of golf balls.”

Hannah: “Could you make some for me, but make them tiny and cook them really good?”

Thus was born the tiniest meatballs I have ever made:

Ours came in at 1 ounce each, her marble size ones were .3 ounces!

Ours came in at 1 ounce each, her marble size ones were .3 ounces!

I didn’t really follow any real recipe.  Just used up what I had on hand.  I had leftover meat from our burgers and used the rest of the homemade garlic bread crumbs.  Then tossed in some Italian seasoning, fresh shredded parmesan cheese and a splash of egg whites.  I pan fried them in a smidge of canola oil and Pam.


I had 6 ounces of cooked penne, 4 ounces of sauce, 3 meatballs and a tablespoon of Parmesan cheese.  I almost forgot the crushed red pepper!   Don’t worry, after I  took the picture I sprinkled my plate very liberally!

562 calories, 16 fat, 67 carbs

562 calories, 16 fat, 67 carbs

So I want to say there has to be thousands of 100 packsout there.  Doesn’t matter what it is.  100 pack Cheetos, 100 pack oreo cookies, pretty soon they’ll be coming out with 100 pack meatballs!  My friend Cassie at work picked up these for $1.  The outside of the package looks so welcoming!

Little Debbie brand

Little Debbie brand

Here’s how big they are!

Yep, just a little bigger than the size of a large paperclip!

Yep, just a little bigger than the size of a large paperclip!

Isn’t that rediculous!! 

My kitchen is a mess.  Two things mostly happen when I make dinner – every once in a while I’ll set off the smoke detector, but the one constant is I make the biggest mess!  I seriously can use about 5 different spoons and 8 bowls to make one dinner.  It makes Hannah nuts.  So much so, that I’ll be cooking, I’ll reach for something, and she’ll say “I already put it away!”

See you guys in the morning!

Are there. . .

some tasks that either you or your spouse are better at, so that job just is always handled by that person? 

For me and Tony, its snow removal.  Tony is a master at snow removal!  The sidewalk next to our house, even the deck off the front door that we hardly used gets a clean sweep!

Me, not so much.  If I can get to my car without falling I am satisfied with that! 

So Hannah is taking Tony to get his hair cut this afternoon – first time since his surgery!  My first thought last night was “how is he going to get through all that ice and snow out the back door with his crutches?”

Hannah and I talked about it – there is probably a good 2 inch layer of snow RIGHT outside the back door.  We thought about pouring hot water over it, hoping it would melt and we could shovel it.  We proposed this idea to Tony, and I think he thought we were both nuts! 

So I sent Hannah to the store last night to get some salt to melt the ice.  Poor thing, she came back with two 40 pound bags of water softening salt!  She didn’t realize there was a difference.

So at lunch today, I went to the Hardware store and bought a 50 pound bag of Ice Busters.  I then picked up Subway for me and Tony, went to the bank to get him some cash, and then went home to lay the salt down.  I am hoping by the time Hannah gets home from school she’ll be able to shovel a nice clear path for Tony.  Fingers crossed!

Now onto lunch, I got the 6 inch turkey Subway, no cheese or oil, extra hot peppers though!  And quite possibly the best potato chip ever made:  Miss Vickie’s Jalapeno Kettle Chips!  1/2 a bag sets me back 100 calories – and let me tell you, its hard to resist reaching back into that bag and finishing them off!

Lunch comes in at 385 calories, 11 fat and 52 carbs

Lunch comes in at 385 calories, 11 fat and 52 carbs

Tonight is a simple dinner – spaghetti and meatballs!  See you then!

A different kind of sammie. . .

When I was at Trader Joe’s last weekend I picked up some white pitas – and made sure that they were the kind that you can open up and stuff.  I’ve bought some in the past that are just pitas and impossible to open up.  And these came in at only 120 calories!

  • 1 pita
  • 1/2 slice bologna (so good, don’t judge!)
  • 1/2 cup egg whites
  • hand full of baby spinach
  • 1/8 cup Mexican cheese
  • 1 6 ounce container of Fage 0% (LOVE IT!)
  • 3 ounces canned mandarin oranges
367 calories, 7 fat and 42 carbs

with the Fage yogurt and mandarin oranges: 367 calories, 7 fat and 42 carbs

So who watched Top Chef last night?  I thought the All-Stars food was awful – as soon as I saw Nikki making chicken livers I knew this seasons team would win.  Too bad about Jeff getting booted, but sometimes he thinks just a bit too much.  Sometimes simple is better!
Morning break is over . . .see you at lunch!

It helps to have all the ingredients

when you do a menu plan!  I COULD HAVE SWORN I had zucchini in the fridge, but a thorough search proved fruitless. 

On to Plan B!  Since we were having marinated tuna steaks, I decided to go Asian tonight.  The steaks are from Trader Joe’s and they are very reasonable – two steaks only cost about $5.50.

Each steak weighed in about 4.5 ounces, for 150 calories

Each steak weighed in about 4.5 ounces, for 150 calories

 Now there is A LOT of marinade and I usually drain them very well and only brush a tad of the marinade during the cooking process.   So since I didn’t have any zucchini, I decided to do a quick stir fry of what veggies I did have:  broccoli, carrots, water chestnuts, bean sprouts and pea pods.  I stir fried them really quickly in our cast iron wok pan.  PREPARE TO BE JEALOUS!

Yep, that's right.  Tony has a Le Creuset Cast Iron Wok Pan!!

Yep, that's right. Tony has a Le Creuset Cast Iron Wok Pan!!

It’s probably my favorite possession of his!!  It holds the heat so well.   But since we’ve been married for so long, I like to consider it ours!

So what is Forbidden Rice you ask?

Purple Rice!

Purple Rice!

One of my local grocery stores did a total makeover, trying to be more “Whole Foods.”  Well, during the process, they had an aisle where everything is 50% off!    That’s my kinda aisle!

So turns out you need to read all the words on the package?  It was 1 3/4 water to 1 cup rice and for some reason, I thought 1 cup of dry rice wouldn’t be enough, so I ended up doubling it.  Um, one cup uncooked makes 3 cups cooked!  Let’s just say there is a lot of leftover rice!   And it took about 45 minutes in my rice cooker vs. 20 minutes of regular rice.  At one point Tony wanted to know if dinner was going to be served at midnight! 

But it did have more fiber.  The weird thing is that it looked black as soon as I took it out of the cooker!   It tasted like a cross between brown rice and regular rice, and while cooking smelled strangely like popcorn!   The back of the package said that the legend is that  Forbidden Rice was once grown exclusively for the Emperors of China to enrich their health and ensure their longevity.  Probably marketing BS, but who knows?

I cooked the tuna steaks on our cast iron stove top grill pan.  Um, have you figured out I love cast iron?   The only problem with this grill pan is that it is A PAIN to clean.  It’s soaking now as we speak.  One side is a grill and the other side is flat and it cooks up the best pancakes.



So we just watched American Idol auditions in Salt Lake City, and wouldn’t you know it, an Osmond made it through!   And I noticed a religious tone to the song selections – coincidence?

Top Chef comes on Bravo in a half hour – I am anxious to see what recipes they put together for Super Bowl.  Tony has requested steak tartare, and a crab and artichoke dip.   I am going to thaw my leftover Italian Sunday Gravy for the entree – I think my step-son is going to love it!

Off to relax – see you tomorrow!

My mystery soup . . .

Turned out to be pasta sauce!   As soon as I started thawing it in the microwave, and I started smelling it, I realized my mistake.  Oh well, I did have a back up!

Since I didn’t eat my potato and chili yesterday, I heated that up and had it with my baby spinach salad I brought to go with my “soup!”

  • 7 ounce plain baked potato
  • 1/2 cup canned chili
  • 1/8 cup shredded Mexican cheese
  • 1.5 cups baby spinach
  • 1 cup raddichio (I never know how to spell that)
  • 1 medium carrot chopped
  • and the last of my balsamic vingar my mom got me from her trip to Italy.  SO GOOD!
523 calories, 17 fat and 76 carbs

523 calories, 17 fat and 76 carbs

I am going to spend the rest of my lunch break catching up on all your blogs!  I hate it when work gets in the way of doing that!

Come back tonight for Marinated Ahi Tuna, Forbidden Rice and Parmesan Zucchini!