Lemon Orzo Chicken Soup and Jalapeno Pretzel Bun Sliders. . . Holy Shizz

Of course since it was Monday morning and my alarm was set, I did NOT want to get up.  I was so cozy and I knew the house would be cold.  Made coffee – stat.  Then did my blog post for yesterday and then all of a sudden I looked up and I had to leave the house in like 20 minutes!

But first I had to get the dog out of our bedroom.  Even when Tony is feeling well, he’s not much of a sleeper.  He’s lucky to get 5 hours in a night.  But when he has nights he’s not feeling well, he gets the best sleep after I get up and leave.  But once the dog hears commotion going on, he wants out – sometimes.

Yesterday morning was not that day.  I had to bribe him three times with treats to get him to wake up and get outside.  😀

The lovely folks at Chobani sent me a case of yogurt.  I tried their new Apple Cinnamon flavor last week, but I think yesterday’s flavor has topped them all:

So flavorful and delicious – I ended up using 1/4 cup of my Splenda granola,  the 6 oz. container of blood orange yogurt, blackberries, strawberries and banana.  I still can’t get over how filling these parfaits are!  This one comes in at 6.5 points.

Skippy, you’ll be happy to see chocolate chips back on top!

I failed to mention the other reason my legs are sore – not only from my 5 mile run, but as I was leaving the grocery store on Sunday, I had one of those small carts because I didn’t have a lot to get.  I parked in a different section, and there was a small curb (maybe an inch high) that I thought I could just push my cart off and carry on.

Um, not so much – once the wheels hit the street, they stuck and as I tried to push forward I ended up almost going over the whole cart, all my groceries spilled all over the ground and I gouged my shin.  A lovely elderly couple helped me pick up all my groceries. 😀

So I went on weather.com – temp was 30, but felt like 22.  No prob.  I walked the first 15 minutes, ran for 10 minutes, then walked again for 15 minutes.  I have these goofy mittens, but they are so warm.  I bought them at a crap craft fair a few years ago from a little girl who was about 10 years old.  Her Mom had a table of ugly jewelry, and you could tell she wanted to sell stuff too.  They are big, and not sewn very well, but I felt sorry for her and forked over the $5.  But guess what?  They are warm!

And they actually match my scarf kind of?  I didn’t realize I was being such a fashionista!

So it was quite comforting after my chilly walk/run to know I had Lemon Chicken and Orzo Soup waiting for me.  Renee, this is a winning recipe – love the lemony flavor of the broth, although I did simmer a couple slices of jalapeno to make the broth spicier, and of course, left out the onions. 😀  I had two cups, so I am calling it 5 points, with 3 point bread on the side – 8 point lunch.

The only thing I forgot was to add the chopped spinach – I had decided to add the spinach as I heated up my soup so it wouldn’t get so wilty, but I forgot it at home.  This soup is still delicious though – thanks Renee!

Like my friend Mara, I love tiny food.  So I’ve had sliders on my brain.  Not just any sliders – jalapeno bacon sliders to be exact.  While I could have just bought a can of refrigerator biscuits for the buns, I decided to make prezel buns.  I followed this recipe to a T, except I weighed out 2.5 ounces of dough to make slider buns – so I got 14 buns instead of the 8 larger rolls.


1 ½ cup warm water (110°F)
1 package active dry yeast (not instant rise yeast)
2 teaspoons sugar
4-½ cups unbleached all-purpose Flour
2 teaspoons Kosher salt
4 tablespoons unsalted Butter, melted
¼ cups baking soda
1 whole egg, lightly beaten
Pretzel Salt, for sprinkling


In the bowl of your stand mixer (fitted with the dough hook attachment), add the water, yeast, and sugar. Stir and let rest 5-10 minutes until foamy (mine didn’t look all that foamy but still turned out).  My dough didn’t raise much either!

Add the flour, salt, and melted butter and mix using the dough hook until combined well. Cover with a plastic wrap (or a towel) and allow to rise in a warm place for 1 hour or until doubled in bulk (again, mine didn’t look like it rose all that much, but turned out amazingly). Punch the dough down and turn it onto a lightly floured clean surface.

Line 1 large sheet pan with parchment paper and set aside. Cut the dough into 14 8 pieces (2.5 4 1/2 – 5 ounces each). To shape the dough “take a piece of dough and start forming a round, smooth ball by pulling the sides to the center and pinching to seal. Place, pinched side down, on a counter and lightly cupping your hand around the dough ball, rotate your hand in small circles lightly rolling the ball around the palm of your hand.”

Place the ball on the prepared baking sheet pinched seam side down, with at least 1” between each roll. Cover with a towel and allow to rest in a warm place for 30 minutes until they rise & double (mine didn’t rise a whole lot).  Mine didn’t raise a lot either.

Preheat oven to 425°F and place oven rack in the middle position. In a large saucepan, bring 2 quarts of water to a low boil. Remove from heat and slowly add the baking soda (I dumped mine in and it boiled up and overflowed all over my stove – lesson learned! hah) place back on heat and lower to a simmer.  I’ve made bagels before where I added the baking soda too fast and had a volcano of water erupt from my pot!

Place 2-3 of the rolls at a time into the poaching liquid, seam side down. Poach for 30 seconds and then carefully turn the roll over and poach for another 30 seconds. Remove with a slotted spoon to the same prepared sheet pan, seam side down. Repeat with the remaining rolls.

Using a pastry brush, brush each roll with the beaten egg, making sure to coat all sides completely & then prinkle each roll with a little pretzel salt. Using a sharp straight edged knife, cut a slash (or 2) -or- an “X” shape in the top of each roll. Bake the rolls in the preheated oven for 15-20 minutes. Serve hot!

So my dinner ended up being a pretzel roll (5), 3 ounce sirloin burger (3), 1/2 ounce of cheese (1), pickled jalapenos (0) and lots of mustard (0).

On the side I made baked zucchini fries.  In a ziploc bag I put 1/8 cup whole wheat flour, 1/8 cup bread crumbs, salt, pepper, cayenne pepper.  I cut a large zucchini into fries, then tossed them in 1/4 cup egg whites, then did a shake n bake to coat them.  I then sprinkled about 1 tsp. of olive oil over the top of the fries and baked them on a rack over a jelly roll pan at 425 for 30 minutes.   The whole recipe is 5 points, so my side is 2.5 points, so dinner comes in at 11.5 points.

And as much as I tried to focus on the burger because that was amazing, I think the zucchini fries wanted to take center stage!

The zucchini fries were perfectly crunchy.  Although I have to be honest, the deep fryer was on stand by if these didn’t work out!

So I have the day off today – Tony and I are seeing a couple doctors today to try to figure out how to get him well again.  While it isn’t the most exciting Valentine’s Day I’ve ever had, I get to spend the day with him, so isn’t that all that matters?

A year ago Tony was getting ready to have his colon cancer surgery – I can’t believe its been a year already!  We had a Valentine’s Day dinner on February 13, and if you are still looking for something stellar to make for your special someone, try this Bay Scallop Gratin – served with a crusty bread, it is amazing!

Hugs to all of you – make it a great day!


38 thoughts on “Lemon Orzo Chicken Soup and Jalapeno Pretzel Bun Sliders. . . Holy Shizz

  1. All this good food on this blog and it’s the zucchini fries that I want the most! I can’t believe I’ve never made them.

  2. oh no! I hope the shin is healing. Those rolls are so darn cute! Ah! I totally want one. Hope all the appointments etc go well today

  3. I just tried the blood orange chobani this weekend and I LOVED it! So good, and I bet made into a parfait it’s even better!

    I also made baked fries this weekend, but mine were made out of string beans. I think we are on the same food wavelength lately!

  4. Thank you for the chocolate chips. Now if you would be so kind as to send along the zucchini fries and that luscious slider I am sure that no one will be harmed. HOLY WOW! I want, I want, I want – and what is so cool is they are the perfect size as to not be too high in my nemesis. SLURP.

    I, too, cannot believe it has been a YEAR! I hope all the appointments go well today and you get good news. We’ll be here, waiting, to hear. And you are so right – it may be a doctor’s appointment kind of Valentine’s Day, but at least you are together. BONUS!

    I didn’t congratulate you on your fantabulous 5 mile run! [bad Skippy, bad] but know I am so incredibly proud of you. You are amazing and I imagine quite an inspiration to Tony, your friends as you are to me.

    Have fun tonight with your scallops [looks good too!] and we’ll see ya’ on the flipside girlie. Hugs to you all. 😀

  5. mmmmm, I so want some soup now! I love that lemon orzo…I made it with Meyer lemons and it was DEEElish. I’m lovin’ those pretzel buns too – they have been on my ‘to make’ list forever. And the new Chobani flavors are awesome. I love the Apple Cinnamon, and the blood orange is good too. Damn, I’m really hungry now! Thanks Biz! Happy Valentine’s Day 😀

  6. Happy Valentine’s Day to you and Tony! I hope you get the answers you need to get Tony all better. Your recipes look delicious. You have inspired me and I signed up for WW this weekend. I hope I get inspired by your exercise regimen as well!

    • Woot! Go Candace! The thing I love about WW is that nothing is off limits – just as long as you get your heatlhy guide lines in first, then splurge on your 49 flex points – best wishes!

  7. I hope your legs are ok! So nice of people to help you! Once again the parfait, looks am-az-ing, I have got to try that! I guess I kinda make parfaits, except I mix it all together! lol

  8. I love little bites of food too, and those rolls are adorable!!

    I hope your shin is feeling better.

  9. Well good grief on the fall – no wonder your legs are sore. Those zucchini fries look similar to the ones I made for our Superbowl party – they were the surprise hit there as well and the item I had the least leftovers of.

    Happy Valentines’ Day to you and Tony! I hope you have a wonderful day together.

    • I have not really cheson what kind of specialists I would like to work under, but I do believe that it would be fun to work in a Psychiatrist’s office. I originally was going for my B.A. in Psychology, but switched. There are so many to choose from that sound absolutely interesting. Such as working under an Internist or going simple and working under a Family practitioner. Even Gerontologist sounds like fun. I love the “aging population” and they have stories and much to teach.For the moment I am going to take this degree one step at a time and try to find the place that fits me best.

  10. I LOL’d at your mitten story and your fashionista picture – I can always count on you to tell it like it is. Also, I would like you to know that I’m sitting at work and suddenly am craving your baja salsa!

    • I actually brought a jar and chips to my husband’s second dr. appointment today – he tried it after the appointment was over and all I heard were nummy noises!

  11. There are too many delicious things on this post. This soup looks so delicious right now. We have rainy weather here in Vegas and that looks perfect.

  12. Ouch, your poor leg! Nice couple to help you tho! 🙂
    I tried Chobani for the first time, and I love it! I had the passion fruit, and the pomegranate. Glad you mentioned it on your blog!
    Hope you get some answers for Tony, it’s about time!
    I’m going to make the zucchini fries, they just sound so satisfying. 🙂

  13. I hate that you fell down – that kind of thing just is so awful. Glad you got help in picking up your groceries, but I’m sorry that happened in the first place.

    All your food in today’s post looks amazing! Those pretzel rolls? I could just pop them in my mouth, one after another!!! YUMMMMMMMM. 🙂

    Have a good day – hope you guys get some answers!

    • It’s funny because when I told Tony about it when I came back from the store, his first inclination (after making sure I was okay!) was to call the store and get the surveillance footage! 😀

  14. Oh you and your onions 🙂 I am definitely trying that soup, I love orzo anything. Have a great Valentine’s day, enjoy your time together.

  15. So sorry about your fall. Take it easy on yourself, girl. The soup sounds great–I already had gone and snagged the recipe when you fixed the link yesterday. I love orzo and buy whole wheat orzo online to have on hand. The zucchini fries look amazing, too. Have you ever used paprika.com? It’s a place to keep recipes, but features a browser function where you can bring up sites and the paprika will snag the recipe for you, including pictures, ingredients, notes, directions, nutrition data, etc. Pretty snazzy. They have over 100 sites that they’ll download from and add more all the time. I suggested that they add your blog as a site that they automatically download from, because you do such an awesome job of including recipes. Happy V day!

  16. I’d give anything just to sit at your table and eat your burgers, pizzas and various soups. Love them all.

    • Anytime you are in the NW suburbs of Chicago, you have an open invitation – your kiddos are so cute! And I love how your little office closet turned out. 😀

  17. I’m so glad you enjoyed the soup! I know it’s one of my favs now.

    ooooo….if I see those new yogurt flavors, I am snatching them up. I can only imagine how wonderful that blood orange flavor must be!

    and the burgers and fries….oh my. yummmmmmy! Have a great day Biz!!

  18. Thanks again for the recipe Renee – next time I’ll remember the spinach!

  19. The zucchini fries look delicious. I love zucchini and am going to remember this recipe.

    Hope everything went well at the doctor yesterday.

  20. Careful, you! Grocery shopping isn’t supposed to be an extreme sport 😉

    I made this soup, too! I am posting about it tomorrow, I believe 🙂 It was excellent! I used a pound of rotisserie chicken…delicious!

    • Amazing blog! Do you have any helpful hints for asiirpng writers? I’m planning to start my own site soon but I’m a little lost on everything. Would you advise starting with a free platform like WordPress or go for a paid option? There are so many choices out there that I’m completely confused .. Any tips? Cheers!

    • Sindhu, thank you for being our guest designer at IBS! It’s great that you made not one, but two cards for the chlenlage. 🙂 I love the ‘cherish’ label on the second one (so pretty!), and love the clean lines on the first. Have a wonderful weekend!

  21. Those buns are adorable! And now I want to make zucchini fries – I only ever make them in the summer when zucchini is in season, but damnit, only eating winter food in winter gets to you after awhile!

  22. Shoot, so that’s that one supesspo.

  23. My problem was a wall until I read this, then I smashed it.

  24. Judy I wish I could tell you! But frost dates are not organized by zip code. You rllaey need to go to the and follow the instructions. I just added a screencast to help walk you through the process.Depending on where you live, your frost dates may not be listed in my chart. I am working on a solution for those who have earlier frost dates.

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