BSI – Parmesan Cheese!

Knowing I was going to a French bistro for lunch, breakfast was easy – 1/2 a bagel with 5 calorie butter!

It made sense to meet my Mom at the restaurant – we got there right at 11:30.  At first glance it didn’t seem like the restaurant was even opened, but by the time we left almost every table was full!

We started out with a cheese platter – not sure exactly what cheeses we ate, the server (who was wonderful by the way!) explained that two were cows milk and one was goat cheese.  I loved all three!

Served with toasted bread – so fricken good!

This was my favorite bite – goat cheese on apple!

I was kind of worried what Hannah would order – she is my chicken finger ordering girl, but she finally decided to get a ham crepe.  Yep – no swiss cheese for her!

I got the quiche lorraine.  I was kind of surprised about the tomato sauce on the bottom, but it was really good!

And all of our meals came with a small salad with a delicious Dijon mustard dressing:

Then it was on to my favorite store!  Sur la table.  We were greeted with tiny baked donuts!  I didn’t have one, but Mom and Hannah said they were really good!

And then I drooled over the tiny Le Creuset pans – aren’t they so cute?!

I ended up getting a new spout for my olive oil and a covered butter dish.  We normally leave butter on a plate at room temperature all the time, but Hannah doesn’t like the fact that it isn’t covered.  So for $8, I made Hannah’s day!

Then this sign stopped us in our tracks!

We were offered to pick a chocolate off of a tray – I picked a hazelnut ganache – not exactly sure what it was but I ate half of it – it was insulin worthy!

Then on to Hannah’s favorite store – DSW!  My daughter is a glutton for hand bags and shoes!  This store was really big!

She was one happy camper because she bought these.  Her intention is to buy a black dress for prom, so she wanted bright shoes – pretty sure these fit the bill!  She was grinning from ear to ear!

Hannah had to go to work, so Mom and I went to a thrift store and then she dropped me back off at home.  She saw I had a box of grapefruit from my parent-in-laws, and I gave her a couple.  They were off to the side so I forgot they were there!  I decided I needed to use them up, so I made grapefruit granita!

Grapefruit Granita

  • 2 1/2 cups fresh grapefruit juice
  • 1 cup boiling water
  • 1/3 cup sugar

5 grapefruit was just enough to get 2 1/2 cups of juice

You add the sugar to the juice then pour in hot water until the sugar dissolves.  Simply put in a container with a lid and put in the freezer.  This morning I took it out, used a fork to scrape the granita and it is SO GOOD!  So refreshing, it’s like biting into a fresh grapefruit!

I can definitely see this as a summer dessert - slightly sweet and so refreshing!

I had defrosted pork chops for dinner.  I knew I was going to make twice baked potatoes on the side, but I needed a vegetable.  I haven’t gone to the grocery store yet, but realized I had fresh broccoli that was still good.  A look into my cheese drawer I remembered I had Parmesan cheese, and since BSI is Parmesan cheese I decided to make this my BSI recipe.

  • 1 head broccoli, cut into bite sized pieces
  • 4 cloves of fresh garlic, sliced
  • salt and pepper
  • 1 teaspoon olive oil
  • 1/3 cup fresh grated parmesan cheese
  • lemon zest
  • juice from 1/2 lemon

Bake at 400 degrees for 25 minutes, sprinkle with Parmesan cheese and bake an additional 5 minutes

Remove from oven and toss with lemon zest and lemon juice.  I loved this!  The garlic got nice and crispy and the lemon zest and juice really made this dish.  Only problem is that it didn’t stay hot for very long!

I used really good Parmesan cheese

My plate – don’t freak out about the size of my pork chop – I only ate 1/2 of it!

It was a great day!  Thanks for coming out to lunch Mom!

Plans for today:

  • meal plan
  • grocery shop
  • read Sunday paper
  • bake bread!

Tony was flipping channels yesterday and stopped at America’s Test Kitchen show.   He said they made an Almost  No Knead bread that looked amazing.  You make the dough in about 2 minutes, then let it rest on the counter from 8 to 18 hours.  Then you bake it in a dutch oven!  I have 20 minutes before I put it in the oven – he said the sound of the crunchy crust was amazing!

Hope everyone enjoys their Sunday!  See you tomorrow! 😀


Boston Style Coffee

Growing up my Dad had his art studio in the basement.  The coffee pot was the first thing going every morning, and would be on all day long.  My Dad would shout out from the basement “can someone throw me a pack of cigarettes and bring me a cup of coffee?”

I’d open the drawer that had the carton of cigarettes – Virginia Slim Menthol – and would toss them down – he’d catch them every time!  Then it was time to make the coffee.  My Dad was diabetic so he used Sweet-10 in a squeeze bottle.  That stuff tasted awful!  It had such a sickeningly sweet taste on the tongue.  Next was milk, because my Dad liked his coffee Boston Style – which meant lots of milk!

Invariable on the way down it would start to spill, as I put too much coffee into it, and I’d have to take a few sips so there wouldn’t be coffee spilled on the basement steps.  I believe it was then my love of coffee began.  And I still like it the way my Dad liked it – although my artificial sweetener choices are way better!

As luck would have it, last week when I went to the Economy Shop with my Mom and sister, I found an almost identical coffee cup my Dad used to drink out of!  .50 cents later – it was mine 😀

I made another breakfast burrito, except instead of canned diced potatoes, I used hominy!  This burrito:  1 egg, 1/2 ounce cheese, 4 ounces diced zucchini, 1/4 cup hominy, 1 ounce diced canadian bacon in a low carb wrap.

But I thought it was missing something!

hot picante sauce!! that's better!

I had dreams of doing all three levels of 30-day shred at lunch, but didn’t think I would have time to do all three, still take a shower and get back to my desk.  Turns out I was right!  Doing the warm up of Level 1, Level 1, skipping the warm up of Level 2, Level 2 and the cool down to Level 2 took me 50 minutes!

thanks for kicking my butt Jillian - even though I like Bob better! 😀

Lunch was very orange!  I had my Red Pepper Soup:

And then I had an Arnold Thin sammie on the side – 1 ounce of deli ham and a slice of pepper jack cheese and LOTS of yellow mustard!

No Party Pizza Friday.  I know, it pains me to even write that because I have a buffalo chicken pizza I want to make ever since I saw it on Em’s blog!   But I had the second best thing – tacos!  Except it’s lent.  No meat.  I don’t really like fish.  So I made fish tacos for people who don’t like fish!

the fixins - diced red pepper, guacamole, refried beans, sour cream and CHEESE!

Then I deep fried these babies – while they did not have instructions to deep fry, I did it anyway – and they were done in about 3 minutes!  And not greasy at all.

of course I added hot sauce at the table!

I had two tacos and about an ounce and a half of chips.  Hannah didn’t go out last night so we watched a movie we rented called Deadline with Brittany Murphy.  It may be one of her last movies to come out, but if you ever come across this movie – throw it out, walk away and you’ll get an hour and fifteen minutes back of your life!

Loot! I got two packages this week – I love getting packages in the mail!  First up – my win from Lisa’s giveaway – a Progresso Soup bowl, two cans of soup and an electronic jumping rope!

And then I got a package from Megan for my BSI win – coconut milk!

Trader Joe's loot - I am especially excited about the instant oatmeal and the Indian dish - I've seen it before but never have had the courage to put it in my basket!

Don’t forget, two days left to submit BSI – Parmesan cheese!  I am actually thinking of making a Parmesan cheese cookie, but I have a couple other ideas too.  You’ll have to come back tomorrow to see what I ended up with!

One of the best thing about reading food blogs is getting great recipes to try!  I have a couple that I am going to fix this weekend.  Check out:

Angel in the Kitchen’s Marinated Chicken – this will be a perfect week night dish because it marinates overnight with rosemary, olive oil, and lemon.   Tony and I were just talking about how we both liked Greek chicken and I think this will be amazing!

Weekly Bites Authentic Mexican Enchiladas – she says the secret is in the sauce!

My lunch soup this week?  Buffalo Chicken Soup!  I seriously can’t wait to make this.   I just found this blog – it’s called “My Fiance Likes It, So It Must Be Good!

And I plan on redeeming my mac and cheese and cheese.  I bought 75% reduced fat Cabot cheddar cheese and evaporated skim milk.   Fingers crossed it comes out as good as it does in my head!

Plans for today:

  • Lunch with my Mom and Hannah at L’Eiffel Bistrot and Creperie.  While they have snails and frog legs, I’ll probably get quiche or savory crepe – who knows?
  • Tony did the laundry this week so no laundry – thanks Tony!
  • Clean out my refrigerator (I think Hannah swore at me under her breath when things started falling out!)
  • Put tax stuff together for accountant.

FYI, if you have all your prescriptions at one pharmacy, they can do a print out of all your expenses for the year!  I go to Walgreen’s – turns out in 2009 I spent $1,984 – just in prescriptions and test strips!

Hope everyone has a wonderful Saturday – see you tomorrow! 😀

Fail to Plan . . . Plan to Fail

Yesterday morning I had plenty of time.  I’d made the Cooking Light Mac n Cheese the night before, I was drinking coffee, finishing posting my blog, reading some of yours.  I took a shower, got dressed get everything in the car and as I am driving to work, I realize: I never packed my breakfast!

I only had time for McDonald’s.  I ordered the breakfast burrito and the yogurt parfait.  The burritos came with a potato patty, which I took one bite out of 😀 and then threw out.  So then before I eat the burritos, I decided to see how many calories they were.  One was 300 calories! Thank God I looked because I probably would have eaten both of them – and they weren’t even that big!

The best part about this burrito?

this was surprisingly really good - really flavorful heat!

The parfait was good – I am glad that the fruit wasn’t frozen, which usually happens when I order it.

I was on my own for working out, and did the Biggest Loser DVD again – this time I did 5 minute warm up, 20 minutes high intensity cardio and then 20 minutes of the Boot Camp – Holy Shit that last part was hard!   But I just love Bob’s gentle pushes “I know it’s hard, you are strong, you can do this!”

So about half way through two guys come in to use the treadmills.  I ask if they mind if I continue, that I’ve only got 20 minutes to go, and they were fine with it.  It was just kind of awkward with them in the room.  Then one of them says to the other “I think that guy on the left was on the Biggest Loser show!”  I then say “this is a Biggest Loser DVD.”  A few minutes later, the guys says “I remember that blond girl – she was on the show too!”  Duh!

So I had high hopes for the Cooking Light Bacon Ranch Mac N Cheese.  I am not posting the recipe until I tweak it some more, but if you are curious, the recipe is here.   The only substitution I made was I used cream of celery soup in the milk mixture instead of cream of mushroom, simply because I don’t like mushrooms.  The seasonings were garlic powder, onion powder and fresh dill.  It was about the blandest macaroni and cheese I’ve ever eaten – I couldn’t even taste the dill.

Luckily my Tabasco sauce came to the rescue!  I also think the three cheese blend was another problem – since there are only 5 ounces of cheese in the whole recipe, I think if I had used 75% reduced fat Cabot sharp cheddar the cheezy flavor would have been more pronounced.  You know I love my cheese! 😀  And even though I am going to tweak the recipe, I am going to submit this Friday First to Christina’s blog today – it is the first time I made it!

2 cups comes in at 497 calories

I was going to get a side salad at the cafe in the building next to us, when one of my co-workers let me go through her “food drawer” in the office fridge.  I had a spinach salad with a tablespoon of blue cheese dressing with fat free raspberry vinaigrette – perfect!

As I was leaving work I couldn’t help but thank my lucky stars that I didn’t live in New York with all the snow they are expecting: 10 to 20 inches!  And look how light it was at 5:00!

Tony made dinner last night!  I had defrosted a pork roast with the intention of Tony making a type of pork caccitore (sp?!), but he was feeling just good ole plain roasted pork with rosemary and garlic.  It was delicious!  On the side he had baked potatoes, which had been rubbed with a bit of olive oil and then seasoned with coarse salt and cracked pepper.  The skin is the best part of his baked potatoes!

since these were huge, I ate half of the smaller one

And since I couldn’t decide which picture to use of the pork – you will be getting all three! 😀

the roasted rosemary has a wonderful flavor

My plate: 4 ounces of pork, sauerkraut (which Tony and Hannah can’t stand, but I could eat it out of the can cold!) and 1/2 potato with fat free margarine and salt and pepper.

don't let the pink scare you on the pork - it was perfectly done and juicy!

Stats for the Day:  45 minute BL DVD and

even with the burrito, I got a B for the day - I'll take it!

I got some loot in the mail from some wonderful bloggers, but my camera battery died, so I’ll show the loot tomorrow!

Off to make my breakfast – I won’t make that mistake again! 😀  Happy Friday!

Oh – and any Chicagoland readers out there – I am helping a co-worker of my sister with meal planning using a sale flyer.  It just so happens she shops at Caputo’s.  I put together a meal plan and grocery list for her – so if anyone who shops at Caputo’s would like the shopping list with recipes, just leave a comment and I’ll email it to you.


Yep, couldn’t think of a better title than that!  Thanks for all your support with my last post about my numbers – I am glad I was able to push a few of you to get your blood work done!  😀 Nicole is going to post about triglycerides on her blog today – check it out if you have a chance!   She also answered a question for me on her blog yesterday too – thanks Nicole!

Breakfast yesterday was an egg white/zucchini/pepper jack cheese burrito with clementinas on the side.  So filling!

This low carb wrap has 12 grams of fiber!

Before I went to work out, I checked my blood sugar and it was 101 – perfect!  Except when I exercise that number drops like a stone, so I decided to drink a 10 ounce bottle of apple juice to bring up my blood sugar number so I could work out.  Only problem??  As soon as I started to run on the treadmill, the apple juice was sloshing around in my stomach – I thought I was going to be sick!

So I ended up with a suck ass 45 minute walk on the treadmill at 4.0 mph.  So while I was disappointed I didn’t run the whole time, I told myself “at least you moved for 45 minutes!”

Lunch was leftover Cincinnati chili from our chili dog night.  I diced in a 3 oz. baked potato, added 1 tablespoon ff sour cream on top and had cucumbers with ff ranch on the side.

And then about 4:00 I could feel my blood sugar start to drop.  I tried to bring it up with this – Reese’s peanut butter cups are my bosses favorite candy and we always have them on hand.

While tasty, that didn’t work, so I drank half a can of this.  I used to love orange and grape Nehi as a kid – do they even make Nehi anymore??

While I was getting ready for work yesterday, I looked up at my menu board and realized I had chicken parmesan sandwiches on the menu – only one problem – I never made the marinara sauce!!   We bought 5 pounds of tomatoes over the weekend because they were .69 cents a pound.

Luckily Tony was able to make the sauce – but it was a battle.  That’s the only thing about making sauce from tomatoes – some are tart, some are sweet.  He played around with it all day and it came out delicious in the end.  I plan on making a pork cacciatore for dinner tonight with the sauce.  😀

My inspiration for dinner came from Bon Appetit magazine – they had a chicken parmesan burger on sour dough bread.  You put a chicken breast with basil and Parmesan cheese in a food processor and make chicken patties, then cook them, put mozzarella cheese and sauce on.   But when Hannah asked what we were having for dinner, she said “leave the food processor alone!”  See, she loves my traditional chicken parm!  But I still had the sour dough bread on my brain, so I made chicken parm grilled cheese sammies.

this was the inspirational sammie

And here is mine!

My sandwich ended up being 3 ounces of bread, 4.5 ounces of chicken, 1 ounce of mozzarella cheese, and about 1/3 cup marinara sauce.

I had an ounce of salt and vinegar chips on the side

Stats for Wednesday: 45 minute walk on treadmill

I made Cooking Light’s Bacon Ranch Mac n Cheese for lunch today – I’ll post the recipe tomorrow if it tastes good!

Only 2 more days til the weekend!  Hope you have a great day! 😀

Good News and Bad News

So I had my quarterly doctor appointment with my endocrinologist last week, and I got the results of my latest blood test.  Know your numbers! Not just for diabetics, but you should have your blood work done at least once a year to see where you are.

Okay, I am off my soap box!  The critical number I always look at is my A1C number.  Anything below a 7 is considered a “controlled” diabetic.   I was shooting close to six, but I am happy with this number!  I know Nicole will be proud of that number!!

6.4! 😀 I know my dietician friends will love that number!

The bad news?  My cholesterol and triglycerides are through the roof! 😦

Okay so my cholesterol should be under 199 - mine is 203 - not that bad, but my triglycerides are 400 and shouldn't be over 149! Shit.

So he gave me a prescription and we’ll see if that helps – my next blood test is at the end of May.  He did write me a note that said “Diabetic control very good.”   Anyone out there with diabetes, especially insulin dependent diabetes knows it’s almost a part time job figuring out what to eat, how much to eat, how much insulin to take, how to not crash while working out – I am proud that all my hard work pays off! 😀

Okay, now let’s get on with the food!  Egg white hash never looks pretty, but it tastes so good!  This batch is 1/2 cup canned diced potatoes, 1/2 ounce turkey pepperoni, 4 ounces shredded zucchini and 1/2 ounce of cheddar cheese.  On the side 1.5 ounces of my Artisan bread and 1 small Asian pear.

I made another batch of my Thai basil chicken in baked wontons.  This batch is 4 ounces of chicken in 4 wonton wraps.  I kind of overcooked the chicken just a tad, but it was still delicious!  I knew that wouldn’t be enough for lunch so the night before I threw together this soup.  I am calling it a “pho” soup, but it might not be legit!

Biz’s Vegetarian (oops, its got chicken broth) Spicy Pho Soup

  • 2 cups chicken broth (okay, you could sub veggie broth!)
  • 1 tablespoon oyster sauce
  • 1/2 sliced jalapeno
  • 1/2 cinnamon stick
  • 1 tablespoon peppercorns
  • 1 chunk of fresh ginger
  • 1 ounce vermicelli Thai noodles
  • 1 teaspoon sriracha sauce
  • 4 ounces diced zucchini
  • 3 ounces shredded carrots

Simmer broth, jalapeno, cinnamon stick, ginger and peppercorns for 20 minutes.  Remove everything, but put the jalapenos back in.  Add noodles, zucchini, carrots and sriracha sauce, and simmer an additional 15 minutes, until vegetables are tender, but still have a bite to them.

Best part?  The nutrition! This whole bowl comes in at 227 calories, 6.9 fat, 26.6 carbs, 4.8 fiber, 15.5 protein.  It’s low in saturated fat and cholesterol.   It’s high in manganese, niacin, phosphorus, and potassium – and very high in Vitamin A and C!   And it’s fricken delicious! I love the added heat of the sriracha sauce in the broth!

I love my Ramen soup bowl - it was $2.99 at World Market!

I was on my own working out yesterday.  My library has  a pretty big selection of exercise DVD’s, but sometimes it takes a while to get one – especially The Biggest Loser series.  I lucked out the last time I was at the library and got this DVD:

I love that it's only Bob!

This was hard! What I like about it is that you can “build” your own workout:

I ended up doing the 5 minute warm up, 20 minutes of high intensity cardio and 20 minutes of the strength training

I swear they must have done about 10 minutes of abs!  What I like about Bob’s training style is that it’s gentle.  When I felt I couldn’t hold the plank much longer he says “I know it’s hard, but you are strong and you can do this!”  It’s just what I needed!  😀

Tony was up to the plate for dinner last night, since we had roasted whole chicken – he put it in the oven at 4:30 and by 6:00 it was perfect!  I forgot to ask him what seasoning he put on top, but it was delicious!

I still can't wait for beer can chicken weather though!

My plate: 4.5 ounce chicken breast (I had the first bite with skin, then gave the rest to the dog!), 1/2 cup mashed potatoes and 3/4 cup green beans.

My blood sugar was in the 65 range later in the evening, so I had two of these.  They call them Clemen”tinas” – they are so tiny and cute – and absolutely delicious!  I like no seeds!

Stats for the Day:  45 minutes of BL DVD and

Yeah!! I got an A!

When is the last time you had your blood work done?

Gotta jump in the shower and get my ass to work – happy hump day!

Oh and this weeks host of BSI is Fun Fearless Foodie – Secret Ingredient:  Parmesan Cheese!  Um, she had me at cheese! 😀