Love Note!

I am really so lucky.  I have a roof over my head, food in my fridge, great kids, but most of all – I love my husband! Seriously!  I love coming home every day knowing he is here.  When he is out of town on business, and I hear his car pull up in the driveway, I still get butterflies in my stomach.  We met almost 10 years ago, but it feels as if we have been together forever.  Have your read how we met??   He tells me every day he loves me.  He tells me I am beautiful, even when I don’t feel it – how cool is that? 

and he wants the world to know he loves me! 😀

Words from my husband:

While my amazing wife Biz compliments my activities the outdoor maintenance of our home I think everyone needs to understand how much time she spends keeping our house a home.  My efforts pale in comparison to what she does daily, and yet she compliments me.

While I understand that she is not as inclined to jump on to the dirty end of a shovel, she has never once shied away from any unfamiliar outdoor activity.

I tell this story only to illustrate why I love this woman so much!

We moved into a new home. We had a big back yard. Biz and I decided to grow a garden, and what an amazing garden it would be. I should at this point make it clear that my wonderful wife had grown up in a city environment and outdoor stuff was not her forte.

We inherited a compost heap and decided to till that into our garden. With a true Pioneer Woman gusto, my remarkable bride dug into that heap with her hands. She spread it all over our new garden, as I worked the tiller. We were forming this land into a Garden of Eden where all vegetables would thrive. I was working the business end of a large tiller, and Biz was mixing in compost as I went.

We were about fifty percent done when I saw Biz run.  When I say run, I should say sprint.  Most of you probably don’t know that my amazing wife was at one point a scholarship athlete.  She won a scholarship at Southern Illinois. In addition she was also quite the high school track star.  I only mention this because the speed at which she ran startled me.  It was remarkable.  She moved like a gazelle.

When I eventually tracked her down she said only this “There are mice in the compost! “  She said this with an amazing volume.

As it turned out, we had interrupted a nest of mice, they were newly born and unable to see. They were teensy weensy blind mice.   To Biz however, they were rabid death mice on the move!

I would like to make it clear that Biz’s contributions to this household far exceed anything I may do outside, or inside.  With that said, she no longer goes anywhere near the compost heap!  Gosh I love her!

Biz is back – thank you for that lovely note Tony! 😀  I love you!

Okay, by now you know I don’t like to waste much food.  I had two kabobs left over from last night, so I decided to make an egg white omelet with the leftovers!  1/2 cup egg whites, 2 ounces of steak, 1 ounce of zucchini, 1/2 ounce of red pepper and 1/2 ounce of my 75% reduced fat Cabot cheese.  Only problem?  There was so much filling, my egg white kind of fell apart and it became and egg white scramble!

with 1 oz of bread: 379 calories, 31 carbs, 39 protein, 10.2 fat and 4.5 fiber

Whenever I read my grocery store sale flyer, and see that boneless, skinless chicken breasts are $1.49 a pound, I can’t help but think of Chicken Tikka Masala!!  Yep, this is the fourth round of making this!  On the base is 1/2 cup cooked rice:

And since I shared this with my co-worker, she shared her strawberries with me! 😀

On the way home, I picked up this weeks secret ingredient in the BSI recipe contest.  BEETS!

They were bunched together, so one bunch included three beets.  I did the self check out, and since there was no bar code, I just pressed the button for beets, it said how many, I punched in three and they rang up at $9! Okay, there is no way I was going to pay $3 a beet!  But I was wrong – I took it up to the counter and I had rung in three bunches, so I only paid $3 for three – phew!

First off, I didn’t even know you could eat the leafy green tops.  Second of all, I wasn’t sure if I had to peel them?  I did though.  And when I started to cut them, they started to bleed!

Do you like Terra Chips?  My plan was to make beet chips, but I couldn’t cut them thin enough so they ended up being really soggy.  I am not giving up though!  I am planning on drying them out in the oven, and then finishing them up in the fryer – we’ll see if that works!

Dinner last night I decided to make Italian burgers.  I had a bit of ground beef and Italian sausage that needed to be used, so I just added garlic, fresh basil and salt and pepper to the mix.

because of the Italian sausage, you really need to cook these longer than regular burgers

They were still juicy though!  And next time I might add a bit more basil 😀  My plate:  burger, 1/2 ounce of the goat cheese mozzarella (which is amazing!), 2 ounces fries and baby carrots.

Dinner: 719 calories, 60 carbs, 40 protien, 35 fat and 7.7 fiber

I also made a second attempt at rye bread!  This time it was a success!  I used a recipe from Cook’s Illustrated, which has yet to fail me.  I was a bit suspect though – it only called for 1/4 a teaspoon of yeast!

Makes 1 large round loaf.   Published January 1, 2008.

An enameled cast-iron Dutch oven with a tight-fitting lid yields best results, but the recipe also works in a regular cast-iron Dutch oven or heavy stockpot. (See the related information in “High-Heat Baking in a Dutch Oven” for information on converting Dutch oven handles to work safely in a hot oven.) Use a mild-flavored lager, such as Budweiser (mild non-alcoholic lager also works). The bread is best eaten the day it is baked but can be wrapped in aluminum foil and stored in a cool, dry place for up to 2 days.

Almost No-Knead Rye Bread (printer friendly version here)


1 5/8 cups unbleached all-purpose flour (8 ounces), plus additional for dusting work surface
1 1/8 cups rye flour (7 ounces)
2 tablespoons caraway seeds
1/4 teaspoon instant or rapid-rise yeast
1 1/2 teaspoons table salt
3/4 cup plus 2 tablespoons water (7 ounces), at room temperature
1/4 cup plus 2 tablespoons mild-flavored lager (3 ounces)
1 tablespoon white vinegar


  1. 1. Whisk flours, caraway, yeast, and salt in large bowl. Add water, beer, and vinegar. Using rubber spatula, fold mixture, scraping up dry flour from bottom of bowl until shaggy ball forms. Cover bowl with plastic wrap and let sit at room temperature for 8 to 18 hours.
  2. 2. Lay 12- by 18-inch sheet of parchment paper inside 10-inch skillet and spray with nonstick cooking spray. Transfer dough to lightly floured work surface and knead 10 to 15 times. Shape dough into ball by pulling edges into middle. Transfer dough, seam-side down, to parchment-lined skillet and spray surface of dough with nonstick cooking spray. Cover loosely with plastic wrap and let rise at room temperature until dough has doubled in size and does not readily spring back when poked with finger, about 2 hours.
  3. 3. About 30 minutes before baking, adjust oven rack to lowest position, place 6- to 8-quart heavy-bottomed Dutch oven (with lid) on rack, and heat oven to 500 degrees. Lightly flour top of dough and, using razor blade or sharp knife, make one 6-inch-long, 1/2-inch-deep slit along top of dough. Carefully remove pot from oven and remove lid. Pick up dough by lifting parchment overhang and lower into pot (let any excess parchment hang over pot edge). Cover pot and place in oven. Reduce oven temperature to 425 degrees and bake covered for 30 minutes. Remove lid and continue to bake until loaf is deep brown and instant-read thermometer inserted into center registers 210 degrees, 20 to 30 minutes longer. Carefully remove bread from pot; transfer to wire rack and cool to room temperature, about 2 hours.

here is how it looked after rising overnight

And then when I got home last night – this is what it looked like:

The finished product?

Look at all the holes of goodness!

next time I'll bake this in a loaf bread so I can use as sandwich bread (for maybe a Rueben??!!) 😀

Stats for Tuesday:

  • 30 minute, 6 mile bike ride at the gym
  • 45 minute walk with four pound weights at lunch
  • 1,541 calories, 121 carbs, 124 protein, 60 fat and 14.2 fiber

I’ll leave you with two pictures.   Hannah getting in the picture while I was taking pictures of the bread – yep, Hannah is a smores lover!

And our dog with his “new” friend.  This duck squeaks every time he bites it.  Until that sound goes away, Ed still thinks its alive!

and yes, that is one of his bones by his paw! 😀

Tonight we are having dinner with my step-son Joe and his new girlfriend.  We are going to The Lucky Monk.  Their burgers are out of this world – check out the menu!

40 thoughts on “Love Note!

  1. You have the sweetest husband ever. 🙂 I love that you guys are still in love after many years together!!

  2. Aww… you have the best husband ever! That story is too cute!

    Have fun tonight with Joe, I know that the meal is going to be great!

  3. Rachel Palmieri

    First, the love between you and your family is absolutely inspiring! Second, thanks for talking up the Cabot 75% reduced fat cheddar. I finally tried it and it’s awesome, as you already know. I am such a cheese lover and never go below 2% milk fat so this is a heck of a find!

  4. Dear Biz and Tony! Great post!! My dear sweet husband prides himself on being the “King of Romance”, *picture all of our friends sticking their finger in their mouths pretending to gag*. I forwarded your blog post to him just to let him know some total stranger out there is trying to take his title. Good job Tony!!! My husband has a VERY competitive nature, I suspect as most men do, might be fun to see what he does. I still get butterflies too, we are the luckiest women in the world!! Blessing to you both for many more mushy years ahead! ~LeslieMichele

  5. So I just wrote a post all about why I don’t want my husband to know I blog… after reading this, I’m second guessing myself. I’m all ferklempt!

    Rye is my absolute favorite bread and that one looks yummy!

  6. I would have went running for my life as well, when I saw those mice!!!

  7. Aw, your husband is so sweet! The burger with goat cheese mozzarella sounds super delicious and the bread is gorgeous!

  8. how sweet 🙂 love the note!

  9. OMG, that Tony is a keeper!!!!! Sweet, sweet, and sweet! Love the part about you sprinting…because of the mice!

  10. you and tony are so sweet. i love these stories and the happy bliss that radiates from you both whenever you mention eachother!!!!!!!! seriously, so cute 🙂

  11. Biz this made me smile so big! I am so so happy to hear about your love and how wonderful your relationship with Tony is! What a blessing!!

    I need a couple slices of that rye bread! I would love nothing more than a hot pastrami sandwich!

    Delicious burgers as usual. You make the best grilled food!!

  12. This made me smile! I love your love for each other. Nowadays, especially, I just love hearing couples who are still so in love after years of marriage. You are BOTH lucky because you both seem like amazing people! Hopefully I’ll snag a “Tony” one day, too. 🙂

  13. What a fun little post by your husband! I’d run too, if I’d seen mice in the compost!

    I love Tikka Masala! I’m bookmarking the recipe!

  14. fattiefatterton

    Awwwwww, you guys are so sweet together. I love it!! 😀

  15. omg, you have such an amazing husband! thanks for sharing his ‘portion’ with us.
    the two of you make an awesome couple, truly meant to be together.

  16. How sweet 🙂
    Love the doggy photo playing with the duck 🙂

  17. Awww how sweet is Tony?! I love the story! I’d freak out too!

    The beets at my store were really expensive! It was price per bunch and ea. bunch only had 3 or 4 beats and it was $5.49! I didn’t buy them, I’m too cheap. I might figure something out w/ canned beets – that’s more in my price range! hehe Yes, you can eat the greens! I’ve used them in a soup before and they’re delicious – they hold up nicely and are a bit firmer than the big spinach leaves.

    Love Hannah’s nose piercing. You can really see it in that pic and I think it suits her beautifully! 🙂 Such a pretty girl w/ a great smile!

  18. That was a nice note Tony!

    Love the rye bread, that’s next on my list! And, kind of nice you don’t need that much yeast!

  19. What a cute story – you two are a couple of lovebirds and it’s so sweet to see!

    Ed reminds me of my Paco, with all of his things around him. Paco would have torn the stuffing out of that duck within the first hour, however.

    Beets! Never had a good one. It will be interesting to see how your recipe turns out.

    Nice work walking with the weights!!!

  20. LOVE the love note! It looks like we are both lucky…JD and I have been together for nearly 16 years and we are still so much in love and still best friends.

    Not a fan of beets, so I’m skipping the BSI this month…but I will try the rye bread recipe. Looks great!

  21. Wow, you are so lucky (both of you), your love shines through in that note.

    Funny you made the Tikka Masala I have that on the menu for tonight and I’m so excited, even more so now that I saw your post!

    Love the dog, mine has an old stuffed Eeyore of mine that she carries around like a puppy most of the time and cries at, but occassionally shakes it in full kill mode, so funny.

  22. You and Tony are so cute! Makes me smile after a particularly hectic day in DC!

  23. That is such a sweet note! I love when my husband leaves me notes in the morning before he goes to work..

    Mice would have had me sprinting too. Omg. I am not a fan.

  24. Yall are the CUTEST COUPLE EVER!!!!!!!!! Tony, you are a good man!! 🙂

  25. Have fun at dinner!

    Cute note from Tony 🙂

  26. I was expecting the story to say you ran from bees not mice. But if you’re not use to them then I bet they’re scary.

  27. fitandfortysomething

    how great your hubby is 🙂
    i think i am very lucky too!
    your dog looks like a younger version on my Pepsi1

  28. Your Tony is one sweet guy…I love the story of how you two met! You both are so fortunate to have found each other!

  29. It cheers my heart that you and Tony found each other b/c you both deserve the best! So sweet. I’ve got your Chicken Tikka Masala on my “to make” list! It looks so good. My dog got a duck for Easter that said “Quack quack quack, Happy Easter” every time she bit it. She loved it to death! She finally tore it’s voice box out and it’s now just a skin bleaching out in the yard–lol!

    Hey, I have a barbecue sauce giveaway going on right now and Sophia said it reminded her of you (probably b/c there’s a spicy sauce!) so I thought I’d tell you about it. Check it out!

  30. S’mores are so good. And OH MY GOODNESS I WANT THAT BURGER.


    Your husband is so sweet- it’s wonderful that life is so HAPPY for you, Biz! Not enough people are happy. It always makes me smile to come and read your blog.

  31. You really do have the sweetest husband ever! I loved the story about the compost! Those baby mice would’ve freaked me out, too! I probably would’ve started jumping up and down like a girl versus running with the grace of a gazelle, however 😉 So cute 🙂

  32. How aboslutely sweet!! You guys are adorable!!

    I want that burger, too….

    Mice??! Um, no…. can’t handle it!

  33. Awwww hubs is so sweet!!

  34. awwwwww- you and your husband are so adorable. I love it. Lots of great eats but oh my… I want to make that rye bread. Looks amazing. Cute pic of the puppers 🙂

  35. I’m assuming Tony reads your blog…and was really touched by your last post! He is so awesome, you are so awesome, you’re both an awesome couple together! 😀

    Oh wow. Rye bread. Looks freaking amazing and chewy and dense. Pastrami sandwich? With coleslaw, Russian dressing, and swiss cheese! 😀

  36. AWWWWWWW that made my heart melt

  37. Cute story!

    I’m a total beet lover, though i didn’t know until i tried roasting them. Wrap each one up in foil with a wee bit of olive oil and roast em. The skins rub right off after the roasting and then you can use them in any old recipe. You might even be able to fry them after a shorter roast? dunno..

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