Date Night!

Thanks to Joe for scoring us free tickets to the movie theater he works at, Tony and I took advantage of Tuesday night half price meals and $3 draft beers and $3 house wines!  We saw the Informant with Matt Damon – I am not going to say anything to spoil the movie for anyone, you’ll have to decide for yourself to go!   I gotta post quick, I still have to watch Biggest Loser!

Breakfast: 2 ounces Italian whole wheat bread, 1/2 cups egg whites, 1 ounce 75% reduced fat Cabot cheese, 1.5 ounce steak and red pepper and spinach.


With a nectarine on the side – it was okay, maybe a bit under ripe?


Lunch was leftover beef stew from last night, along with cucumber and red pepper slices with a drizzle of light honey mustard dressing.



So we get to the movie theater, get seated with menus and no one even comes by in 20 minutes!  So we go to the bar, and we see a bartender behind the bar, and still nothing!   So I say kind of loudly, we’re kind of thirsty!  He came over and said that he was training, and couldn’t serve us!  Just then, a nice girl came up, took our drink and food order and escorted us to our seat.  Turns out they are training new staff for a new theater that is being opened, and thought a Tuesday night would be a good night to train!  Luckily, we got our first round on the house! 😀

Only a couple pictures, since the theater is kind of dark.  Tony took this cool picture of my wine!  It was a chardonnay and not bad!


We split an appetizer:  Olive tapenade – a mixed olive tapenade with goat cheese on a grilled baguette.  I don’t even like olives, but the goat cheese won!

For my entree I got: Wagyu Beef Burger Duo – with applewood smoked bacon, lettuce on a brioche bun with house potato chips.  Each burger was about the size of a biscuit?  Perfect size and about 8 chips on the side.  It was delicious!   I am guess dinner was around 750 calories?

I took advantage of the complimentary blanket!


Stats for the Day:

  • 1591 calories
  • 61 fat
  • 118 protein
  • 109 carbs
  • 13.6 fiber
  • 30 minute Jillian Power Sculpt this morning before work!
  • 45 minute walk at lunch

Okay, I have to watch Biggest Loser – we’ll discuss tomorrow night! 😀


Windy with a low of 42 degrees!

What??  Yep, we’ve stepped both feet directly into it!  I’ll never understand Chicago weather – we’ll still probably have an 80 degree day in October!  But Halloween will always be crappy! 

Breakfast was a leftover steak sammie.  Two ounces of whole wheat Italian bread, 1 egg, 1.5 ounces 75% reduced fat Cabot cheddar, 1.5 ounces steak and two kiwis.


I got a mixed bag of fruit on the $1 rack – these kiwi were perfect!


Lunch was a cup of my BSI – Broccoli Cheese Soup, 2 ounces of whole wheat Italian bread, 1 ounce mozzarella cheese (for Pam grilled cheese) and a small apple.  I brought some of this soup to my co-worker, and we both decided my Homemade Panera Broccoli Cheese soup kicks this soups ass!


I knew today was going to be chilly, and comfort foods hit the spot when its cold!  Just to show you how low maintenance I am, I woke up at 7:50, took a shower, blew dried my hair, got dressed, made breakfast, made lunch, and put dinner in the crock pot and was out of my house at 8:30 and sitting at my desk at 8:44 – nice!

I call this 5-minute beef stew, because it can literally be thrown together in that amount of time.  I even put the meat in the crockpot in one huge frozen piece!

5 Minute Crock Pot Beef Stew

  • 1.25 pounds beef stew meat
  • 4 large potatoes, peeled and diced
  • 4 large carrots, peeled and diced
  • 3 cups good beef broth
  • 1 teaspoon Italian seasoning
  • 1 tablespoon cornstarch
  • 1/4 cup water
  • salt and pepper to taste (needed more seasoning at the table!)
  • Makes 6 generous servings: 279 calories, 8.3 fat, 22.6 carbs, 2.8 fiber and 27.5 protein per serving

Put the frozen beef on the bottom of the crock pot, add the veggies on top, pour broth overtop (enough so the meat and veggies are covered) sprinkled with Italian seasoning, salt and pepper and put the lid on – I set mine for 10 hours.  Our crock pot tends to run hot, so I started it out and when Tony got home from a meeting, turned it off, then restarted it at around 3:00.  Loved the smell coming in the door!


I scoop out the meat and veggies and pour the broth into a pot on the stove.  I bring it to a low boil, then add the 1/4 cup of water that has been thickened with corn starch and stir for 2 minutes until it gets thick.  Then put the gravy, meat and veggies together, give it a good stir and dinner is served!  I also had a side salad with Annie’s Goddess dressing.


And then I put my Artisan bread in a 350 degree oven for 10 minutes to get it nice and warm.  I had 1.5 slices of bread, pat of butter and 1 serving of the stew.  My camera battery died JUST as I was taking a plate of my stew – I am having it for lunch tomorrow so you’ll get a pick tomorrow night! 😀

Stats for the Day

  • 1448 calories
  • 52.6 fat
  • 109.9 protein
  • 149.9 carbs
  • 23.3 fiber
  • 31% of calories from fat
  • 45 minute WINDY walk with my co-worker!

My weigh in isn’t until Wednesday, but I stepped on the scale and was pleasantly surprised to see 160.9!  I started my challenge 5 weeks ago at 167.6.  Of course, now I have jinxed it and will probably weigh in at 163 on Wednesday!  But one thing I realized is that while I am eating around the same calories, my percentage of fat recently is between 28 and 32%.  There were some days where 60% of my calories were from fat (thanks cheese!) so maybe that’s the difference?

In other news, BSI is hosted this week by Coco at Balance, Joy and Delicias!  She’ll post sometime tonight with the new ingredient this week.

Hope everyone had a good start to their week – see you tomorrow night! 😀

Beautiful Day and BSI – Chickpeas!

What a beautiful day it was today!  I enjoyed it because I think fall is about to bestow upon us this coming week!  Since we went out to breakfast yesterday, today was at home Mama Rini’s!  One fried egg, 1 piece of bacon, 1 ounce of bagel, 1 tsp. light cream cheese, 3 ounces of frozen hash browns, 1/2 tsp. vegetable oil the potatoes fried in, and 1 kiwi.


The boys first football snack was Steak Tartar.  Beware if you make this, you need to get the meat at a good butcher!  This is our butcher’s 99% lean ground sirloin.


This is one pound.  You add chopped anchovies, minced garlic, 1 egg, lots of pepper and salt – they ate it on good rye bread.  (Gross!)

At the library yesterday, I finally was able to pick up the Biggest Loser Bootcamp DVD – its usually always checked out.  I ended up doing 30 minutes of it – I liked it, but then I like Bob’s training technique better than Jillian and Kim.


Then I took our dog for a walk to the river, even though the leaves are falling the grass is still green!


And the river was quite busy with the boats!


I got this whole bowl of tomatoes for $4!  I used my trusty baja fresh salsa recipe – it never fails!



Make sure to start out at a high heat – you want the charred bits to give the salsa an extra smokey flavor.


I had four jalapenos total, and left the seeds in two and deseeded two.  Can you see the black flecks and the cilantro – yum!


So this weeks BSI is being hosted by Healthy San Diego Living – and she picked Chickpeas!  At first glance I was like, what am I going to do with that ingredient?!


I had a ton of broccoli I needed to use up, so I decided to add the chick peas to the soup to thicken it up – it turned out really good!

Broccoli Cheese Soup with Chickpeas

  • 1 tsp. olive oil
  • 1 tsp. butter
  • 2 teaspoons minced garlic
  • 2 tablespoons flour
  • 1 cup 2% milk
  • 1 quart of chicken broth
  • 1 cup water
  • 12 ounces of fresh broccoli
  • 1 can of chick peas, rinsed
  • 6 ounces of cheese
  • sprinkle of fresh grated parm on top
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • pinch of dried thyme

Melt the butter and olive oil.  Add garlic and cook for a couple minutes.  Add flour and stir for one minute.  Slowly add the milk to make a roux.  Add chicken broth, water, broccoli and chick peas.  Simmer for 20-30 minutes until broccoli is tender.  I used  my stick blender to puree.  Removed from heat then stirred in the grated cheese.  This makes 8 cups and each cup comes in at: 198 calories, 12 fat, 12 carbs, 2.1 fiber and 11.2 protein.


My lunch was one up of soup with an ounce of tortilla chips on the side.


I also made two loaves of Artisan bread – so simple and delicious!  I gave Joe a slice with butter and cinnamon and sugar – he loved it!  Here’s how the dough looks after 2 hours of rising.



While the boys had Italian beef sandwiches, I decided to make an Italian beef pizza!  6 ounces of dough, 1 ounce Italian beef, 1 ounce of Italian sausage, 1.5 ounces mozzarella cheese.  I ate 3/4 of it – delicious!!


Stats for the Day

  • 1269 calories
  • 49 fat
  • 58 protein
  • 146 carbs
  • 10.9 fiber
  • 30 minute BL Boot Camp
  • 15 minute walk with Ed

Gotta scoot!  Curb Your Enthusiasm is coming on and Tony and Hannah are counting down the minutes to the Season Premiere of Dexter!  Do you watch it?!

See you tomorrow night!

Handy Husband!

I tend to just take it for granted, but I LOVE that my husband is handy!  He can fix just about any problem around the house, and the maintenance on the cars?  He’s #1!  Turns out both my brake pads needed to be replaced on the Explorer and $75 dollars and one hour later – new brakes!  Thanks Tony! 

It’s so funny, but our dog Ed usually sleeps with Hannah until the wee hours of the morning, and then for some reason, comes into our bedroom and sleeps on the floor, on a blanket at the foot of the bed.  It isn’t until one of us says “morning!” to the other one than all of a sudden he feels he can just crawl into bed and join us.  And while he is perfectly capable of jumping straight on the bed, he does his slow crawl as if to say “is it okay to come into bed, well I’ll just go slowly and maybe they won’t notice!” 

This mornings greeting was when Tony said “Mama Rini’s?!” and Ed was in our bed immediately!   I don’t know what it is about diner coffee, but I love it!


And I always love the butter/jelly bowl!  I heart jelly, but didn’t have any this time.


My Aunt Bea used to make hot pepper jelly and give it out every year at Christmas.  She passed away years ago, but I think I need to bring that tradition back!  All my nieces and nephews call me “Aunt B.” already anyway!

i threw caution to the wind and ordered the corned beef hash breakfast.  Words cannot describe the crunchy exterior with the tender softness of the potato!


But I didn’t eat all of it!  My guess is my plate (what I ate) came in at 489 calories, 31 fat, 17 protein, 32 carbs and 5.5 fiber.  The picture below is what I left behind.


Then we went to the grocery store to pick up a couple things – they had tomatoes on sale for .49 cents a pound so I picked up a big bag – 7 pounds!  It wasn’t until I looked at the receipt and realized that they had charged me for vine ripened tomatoes at $1.99 a pound!  I quickly went to the service desk and got my $10.05 dollars back – always check your receipt!

This particular store has a wonderful deli, but also a wonderful bakery.  Just take a look!



This devil dog kind of reminds me of a homemade Suzy-Q!  And they always have fresh bread, that is warm to the touch.


So when we got home I tried to finish my crab bisque from the leftover crab from Tony’s birthday dinner.  I used the shells to make the stock.  I simmered the shells in 6 cups of chicken broth.  The broth was amazingly good!


The soup, however, did not turn out.  It never got thick and I think I overdid the garlic in the soup!  So while my soup was scratched for lunch, that didn’t interfere with a delicious Pam grilled cheese sandwich.  I used 1 slice of Pepperidge Farm 15 grain bread, 1.5 ounces of “white cheese” from our cheese ends we get at the store.  For whatever reason, the cheese pooled to one side – this delicious sammie comes in at 181 calories, 7.8 fat, 12.6 protein, 14 carbs and 2 fiber.


Tony was hungry by the time he finished working on the car.  I ended up picking off the meat from our fried chicken dinner leftovers, and made a chicken salad, bacon and tomato sammie – he said it was really good!


Hannah was working so it was another date night for me and Tony.  Tony always complained about mine and Hannah’s music, so for his birthday I got him an mp3 player.  We enjoyed listening to young Frank Sinatra and Dean Martin.  I cracked open the last of my Sam Adams!  And while I am sad to see Summer Ale go, I love Octoberfest!


It was a gorgeous afternoon – Ed just loves being outside!


He doesn’t sit still though!  I made this one black and white.


Since the deep fryer was still out,  I decided to make potato skins as an appetizer for us.  We each had 3 ounces of potato skins, 1 ounce of cheese and 1 piece of cooked bacon.  I added 1/2 tsp. of oil for the frying, so each serving comes in at 227 calories, 12.2 fat, 12.3 protein, 19 cabs and 1.9 fiber.  Here they are out of the fryer.



For dinner I had to use up some steak.  Then I realized I had shrimp in the freezer, so scampi shrimp was added!  I love how pretty the tails are on this shrimp when raw!


I added 1 ounce of scampi butter to my cast iron skillet and let the butter melt while the shrimp cooked, then added them just at the end.


I had three steaks to cook and have plenty of leftovers for breakfast tomorrow!  Love the grill marks!


I ate 5 shrimp, half my steak and about 1/2 ounce of scampi butter.  Dinner comes in at 354 calories, 11.1 fat, 58.4 grams of protein, 1.3 carbs (no insulin for dinner!) and 0 fiber.


Stats for Today:

  • 1251 calories
  • 62 fat
  • 101 protein
  • 67 carbs
  • 9.4 fiber (not enough!)
  • 43% of calories were from fat
  • no exercise (but I did clean my closet! :D)

Joe is coming over for football tomorrow – I need to get my picks in.  We are doing a confidence pool and low and behold guess who came in first last week – me!  The boys will be having steak tartar for an appetizer, then cheezy beef and sausages for the entree.

Hope everyone enjoyed their Saturday – see you tomorrow night!  😀

Long Day = Weird Eats!

I had to be to work so early, I didn’t really feel like eating anything, but being diabetic I don’t have an option!  So I grabbed one of these on the way out the door – it wasn’t too bad!


I had that around 7:30, but by 10:30 I was really hungry, so I mixed up a packet of oats, chopped 8 almonds and drizzled with 2 tablespoons sugar free pancake syrup – that hit the spot!


Hannah knew I was going to have a busy day, and she brought me a Skinny Latte to keep me going – thanks Hannah! 


So I talked briefly about guilty pleasures last night and how I love the new show Glee.  Well, turns out I have other guilty pleasures too!  I haven’t had this in ages!


Yep – SPAGHETTIOS!  I think I am the only grown up who eats these – the only thing missing was a slice of buttered white toast on the side!


The only thing I didn’t take a picture of was my soup eaten at my desk at around 6:45 p.m.  It was 3/4 Wisconsin cheddar soup!

When I got home I relaxed for a bit, decided I was still hungry and made a plate of nachos! 

  • 2 ounces tortilla chips
  • 1/2 ounce queso cheese
  • 1/2 ounce cheddar cheese
  • .25 ounces lean beef with taco seasoning


And I may have splashed each chip with Tabasco! 😀

What food is your guilty pleasure?

We have nothing planned for today, which I love!  I have to do a deep clean of my closet – I don’t wear half the stuff I own and its time to get organized – I may make ask Hannah to help me!

Stats for Friday

  • 1340 calories
  • 49.6 fat
  • 59.6 protein
  • 167 carbs
  • 21 fiber
  • 33% of calories from fat
  • no exercise (unless you count the million times I walked from my desk to the copier!)

Hope everyone is enjoying their Saturday – see you tonight. 😀