I wish I could grill every day at lunch.

Our temperatures have been stunning the last couple days.  The heat is gone and its been replaced by 80 degree days and temps in the high 50’s at night – perfect sleeping weather. Open-mouthed smile

Friday’s I grill at my office – my store had carne asada on sale for $2.99 a pound.  Usually its already marinated, but this time it wasn’t.  I googled some marinating recipes and stumbled upon this one – while everyone knows I can handle the heat, I cut back on the chipotles, so while this wasn’t spicy, it was super flavorful.

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And being the nice office Chef that I am, I brought my cast iron skillet and cooked up some peppers and . . . ONIONS!  Although when we were cleaning up I only used half the onion and I threw the rest out – I thought one of my co-workers was going to faint because she loves them so much – oh well!

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It was a perfect day to eat outside on our office patio too – I found the stand umbrellas so that made it much more pleasant.

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I also made cilantro lime rice, crock pot refried beans and homemade tortilla chips – my store sells yellow corn tortillas for .39 cents for a package of 10 – so I quarter the tortillas and deep fry them – 40 chips for .39 cents sure does beat the $4 bag of Tostitos!

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Everyone licked their plate clean so that is a good sign!  It’s a nice way to eat up two hours between prepping, cooking and eating.  The only thing missing was the Corona with lime or margaritas! Martini glass

Hannah came into town to watch six kids today – all day!  Three families are doing some sort of event in Chicago from noon to six – and three of the six kids have baseball this morning so she started babysitting at the baseball park at 8:30 this morning and will probably babysit until at least 8:00 tonight – some nice $$!

I picked her and her boyfriend up and we went to Friday’s for dinner.  We had a coupon for a free appetizer, and you can’t go to Friday’s without getting the fried green beans – it counts as a vegetable, right? Winking smile

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I got something new on the menu –

Mediterranean Chicken Skewers: Grilled in a lemon-garlic sauce and served with a tzatziki cucumber yogurt sauce on the side. Served with jasmine rice pilaf, fresh vegetable medley and grilled pita.

This was so good – the chicken was juicy and tender, the veggies were crisp tender.  Hannah and I ended up getting the same thing.

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It was nice to see them!  I came home and Tony and I caught up on our DVR – turns out Friday night we tape a lot of stuff and I was in bed by 11:30 – nice!

I am going to be cooking up a storm this weekend for a friend of mine.  She was just in the hospital for a week, and she and her husband have three small boys under the age of six.  I think I am going to make a boat load of crunchy tacos, some mac n cheese and some banana chocolate chip muffins to drop off at her house tomorrow.

I also need to organize my fridge/pantry/freezer – without Hannah, I don’t keep up on the organizational stuff as much as she did! 

I plan on getting to the gym today too, although its so nice out I may hit up the trails by house – but some exercise will take place today. Open-mouthed smile

Any plans for your weekend?  Hope the weather is nice where you are!  I found this on pinterest – love it!

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So Many Scrabble Players!

Thanks to everyone who offered to play Words with Friends!  Right now I have games going on with blog reader Carol and Debbi (check out her baked salsa rice with green chiles, lime and cilantro – yum!).  However, they found me and I have no idea how to “find” you when you gave me your player name – so can you help me figure that out?

So I had the last of my zucchini quiche, but the American cheese layer was so hard to cut into that I ended up just chopping it up and warming it up that way – while it doesn’t look that pretty, the taste was good! Open-mouthed smile

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Don’t you love my photography skills of capturing the plastic knife and leaving the paper towel on the side?  I don’t know how I didn’t become a food stylist. Open-mouthed smile

I had errands to run at lunch yesterday – shopping for my works Friday barbecue.  I am making grilled steak fajitas with grilled onions (how nice am I?!!) grilled peppers, homemade refried beans, cilantro lime rice, homemade tortilla chips and two salsas – it’s a new marinade for me with the steak, so I’ll post the recipe tomorrow if it works out.  Tony was nice enough to give me the number of Jimmy John’s in case it sucks. Be right back

I had plans to hit up a Mediterranean restaurant that was near the grocery store I was going to.  I totally had a taste for falafel and hummus.  Sadly, the restaurant was out of business so it was on to Plan B.   Next door was a restaurant called “Chubby’s.”   Um, pretty sure it was restaurants like that, that made me Chubby!

I did good though – I got the Grecian chicken on a pita – asked them not to grill the pita (they usually grill it in oil or butter) and had the tzatziki sauce and dressing on the side.   I threw out the dressing altogether – it was mostly oil with a little bit of seasonings.  I used about 2 tablespoons of the tzatziki, or half the container in this picture.

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I had burgers on the menu until Tony told me that he went out to lunch with a co-worker and had a burger.  So I switched it up and made Salisbury steak.  I love this dinner – it literally comes together in about 20 minutes.  I ended up giving 1/4 of this plate to our dog – does he live the life or what?

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Guess what?  I even ate a few mushrooms and liked them! Open-mouthed smile

Okay, so I just got into Pinterest yesterday, and I am already addicted!  Holy shizz.  So many recipes, craft ideas – I can already see what a time suck it’s going to be! Open-mouthed smile

Check out what I found – tons of work out videos for free – including 30 Day Shred and Insanity!!

And check out how to make Sharpie coffee mugs – so cute! 

Hannah is in town today to babysit for one of her regular families so we are having dinner out tonight – not sure where we’ll go but I can’t wait to see her face! Open-mouthed smile

And now another poster I found on Pinterest – although I woke up late today – but my goal was 4 times at the gym this week and I still have the weekend – only one more trip and I’ll hit my goal!

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Happy Friday – make it a great day!

So Many Apps and Food T.V.!

I have to give Tony props.  He knows I eat, breathe and live food.  When we first got together and I was meal planning, I’d ask “how about pork chops on Thursday?”  He was like “how the hell do I know if I want pork chops on Thursday?!”

In the 12 years we’ve been together, I am pretty sure Tony has watched way too many hours of cooking shows with me – and this summer is no exception.  Not only do we have Hell’s Kitchen (2 nights in a row!) we also have MasterChef too!   And let’s not forget about Chopped and Next Food Network Star.

It just dawned on me though that I almost always walk out of the room when he starts watching “his” t.v., i.e. war movies, MMA, John Wayne films.  So Tony, I declare I will watch “Tony T.V.” with you any time you want, and I won’t even have my cell phone with me to check Facebook!

I’ve also just signed up with Pinterest too – just another way to waste some time, but I am sure I’ll be addicted to it soon enough.

Which brings me to Apps.  I have discovered the wide world of apps and its addicting.  Although I do have one beef with apps – I love Scrabble!  But no one in my family will play with me anymore because I basically dominate. Open-mouthed smile  So when I found Words with Friends I was stoked!  I let the phone pick my opponent – I make the first move, and then nothing.  No response – after three days of five different games going, no one ever played back.  Pretty sure they are scared of me.

So if anyone is on Words with Friends, will you play with me?  I’ll promise I’ll be nice. Open-mouthed smile

I emailed my workout buddies yesterday that I stayed up way too late the night before last and when the alarm went off I thought “hells to the no.”  But I didn’t want to cop out and send an email that I didn’t make it to the gym, so I got my butt up and out the door.

Um, it was already 77 degrees at 6:30 a.m.!  And for the record, in case you were wondering, you can never have too many pictures of clouds, trees and sunsets. Open-mouthed smile

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I ended up pounding out just over 7.5 miles on the bike – my thighs were on fire by the end, I was sweaty and felt great to start the day out like that.

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I have no pictures of breakfast and lunch because it was a repeat of yesterdays breakfast and lunch – zucchini quiche and lasagna soup.  However, I did notice yesterday that the noodles in the soup were kind of absorbing all the broth, so I brought in some chicken broth to fix the soup yesterday – um, bad mistake, the flavor was all off and reheating the soup almost made the noodles soft as baby food. Sad smile

So when I got home from work Tony asked “what’s for dinner?” and I realized I never defrosted the pork chops!  “How about we got out?”  You really don’t ever have to ask me that twice, as much as I love to cook, I like to eat out equally as much.

We hit up Wool Street – so far we have yet to be disappointed in this place.   Tony and I both love Rolling Rock, but I’ve never had it on tap – holy shizz is this a good beer on tap!

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I didn’t end up having any fruit with breakfast, and with my lackluster soup which I only ended up eating 1/2 of, I was hangry by the time we got to dinner.  I ended up getting the trio of sliders – two pulled pork and one burger – the burger was overcooked (hard not to do because it was tiny) but the pulled pork is amaze balls.  I asked the bartender “if you happen to stumble across any sliced jalapenos back there and they end up on my plate, I am okay with that.”

I ate the whole bowl of jalapenos – maybe 15-20 slices.  For the record, Tony doesn’t usually kiss me for 24 hours after I eat a jalapeno. Devil  I have spicy lips!

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So all in all, while I haven’t figured out the calories, I think as a whole I did okay.  I mean, who can say no to beer and pulled pork on hump day?!

I have Heather to thank for our daily Inspiration today – I saw this on Facebook yesterday – thanks Heather – love it!

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Off to the gym – Day 3!  Make it a great day!

My husband knows how to get in my pants.

My husband knows me SO well.  When I got home from work last night I was just about to go downstairs to get my comfy clothes on, when he yelled “I got you a couple treats – they are in the fridge!”  It’s okay that he tells the dog the same thing. Open-mouthed smile

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Yep – alcohol and cheese!  Pretty sure I got undressed when I saw these – ha – this is a family blog.  I am sure my Mom and MIL are shaking their heads right about now. Embarrassed smile

Seriously though – Mikes lite lemonade is really good – not too sweet and 109 calories each.  And that cheese?? AGED FONTINA.  Swoon.  This one was delicious – pretty sure I nibbled on an ounce of this as I was making dinner last night.

But I digress – I went to the gym before work yesterday!  I emailed my “workout buddies” yesterday morning to thank them for giving me the nudge to get out of bed.  I know it takes 21 days to make a habit – so I am down 1 day, 20 more to go.  I ended up doing 15 minutes of the weight machines, and then 45 minutes on the treadmill.

I ended up doing a mix on the treadmill – I did five minute routines for lack of a better word.  The first 4 minutes was walking at 3.2 mph at a 15% incline.  The last minute I put the treadmill flat and sprinted – each sprint I had to go faster, until my last sprint was at an 8 minute mile pace! Open-mouthed smile

I loved the email responses I got from my buddies, but I think Debbi’s takes the cake:

So how many days a week do you plan on going to the gym in the morning?  When you hear the alarm go off and want to hit the snooze, you can picture me putting onions in your lunch if you miss your workout!  So tomorrow, alarm, think onions.  That should make you get up!  Or at least chuckle.”

Thanks Debbi!

Breakfast was another zucchini quiche, but I used a casserole dish instead of a pie plate since I had forgotten mine at work.  The only thing I did different was I didn’t chop up the American cheese, I just kinda layered it on the top – it got super brown!

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I had some of that 50% reduced fat Italian sausage I had leftover from our grilled pizza that needed to be used up.  I ended up following this recipe – the only changes I made was that I used 8 ounces of the reduced fat sausage, added baby spinach and 8 ounces of whole wheat rotini noodles.  I like big servings of soup – I made this recipe 4 servings of 2.25 cups.

Nutrition Information

Calories: 301 ; Total Fat: 13 g ; Saturated Fat: 6 g ; Polyunsaturated Fat: 1 g ; Carbohydrates: 26 g ; Protein: 22 g ; Vitamin A: 194 RE ; Vitamin C: 28 mg ; Calcium: 221 mg ; Sodium: 1000 mg ; Iron: 3 mg ; Fiber: 3 g

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This was really good – and while it did taste like lasagna, it also reminded me of another version of grown up spaghettios. Open-mouthed smile

Our grocery store had raw shrimp kabobs on sale – 3 sticks for $3.39, and they also had Greek marinated beef kabobs – each were $3.50.  I combined the two to make a week night surf and turf. 

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I don’t know when I’ll learn to stop making such huge portions – I have to remember “it’s just me and Tony!”  We could have easily split a beef and shrimp kabob – our dog thanked us for the leftovers – he even at the shrimp and tails!

It was so hot – still in the mid-90’s when I got home from work, so I used our Weber in the back – I have the gazebo at least to stand under so I am not so hot.

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And I grilled a whole zucchini, only for Tony not to have any – in the middle is 1/2 a cup of Italian Rice-a-Roni – done in our rice maker in about 20 minutes.

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I do have some leftover shrimp that I plan to make some spring rolls with later in the week – today I still have leftover quiche and soup for lunch – which means I have time to hit up the gym again this morning before going to work.  I’ll email my workout buddies later this morning. Open-mouthed smile

I think I need to rent this movie – check out this inspirational video!!

Zucchini, Ham, Potato & Cheese Quiche

Just as I was fired up to get to the gym, or do any kind of workout, life got in the way yesterday.  If you fail to plan, you plan to fail.  But I love all my workout buddies who offered to help me this week – you guys rock! Open-mouthed smile

Had I made my quiche on Sunday, I wouldn’t have had to get up early to make it yesterday morning.  I thought “no worries – I’ll work out at lunch!”  Um, I was so concerned about how to transport my now hot quiche to work (I found a box in my basement, wrapped the pie plate in foil and put it behind my drivers seat) that I was half way to work and realized I never packed my work out bag. Sad smile

But my quiche was delicious!  So delicious that I had one serving for myself and sold the remaining three pieces to three of my co-workers.  Yes, they pay me for my food, thank you very much. Open-mouthed smile  So last night I had to make another one!

Zucchini Quiche with Ham, Potato and Cheese

makes four servings:  247 calories, 9 fat, 16 carbs, 1.5 fiber and 22 protein

  • 4 ounces deli ham
  • 1 cup liquid egg white
  • 2 large eggs
  • 1 cup 2% milk
  • 2 teaspoons minced garlic
  • 2 cups shredded zucchini
  • 4 ounces deli American cheese, chopped
  • 1 medium potato (mine was 6 oz)
  • salt, pepper, crushed red pepper to taste

Directions
Heat oven to 350. Spray Pam in a non-stick skillet. Add garlic and cook for 1 minute. Add shredded zucchini and ham and cook for about 5 minutes over medium heat.
Meanwhile, mix eggs, egg white, milk and cheese. Cook potato in microwave on baked potato setting. Let cool slightly. Slice and place on bottom of pie pan. Sprinkle with salt and pepper.

Add the zucchini ham mixture on top of potato mixture, and spread evenly. Pour egg mixture over the top, and sprinkle with a bit more salt and pepper. Bake for 45 minutes. Let cook 15-20 minutes before cutting.

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I ended up using only 1/3 of that block of ham.

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My plate with a pear on the side.  This breakfast was super filling surprisingly – and comes in at just 295 calories, 9.45 fat, 29 carbs, 4.1 fiber and 23 protein.

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Lunch was leftover Chinese from last Friday night – I was kind of concerned because as I was weighing the food out of the Chinese box, the broccoli was kind of limp.  I measured 10 ounces of broccoli, 3 ounces of beef, 2 tablespoons of sauce and added 1/2 cup of Tony’s skinny noodles from his dish.  Lunch comes in at 477 calories, 9 fat, 73 carbs, 17 fiber (not sure that’s right??!!) and 29 protein.

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And then I forgot we had to return the rental car last night – it was supa hot though – the car said 94 degrees at 5:30 p.m.!   And it was super windy, I almost lost my plate of chicken to the wind when I was grilling.

We had probably the best corn on the cob so far this season – not even sure where its from (definitely not local) but it was delicious.  I had a grilled boneless, skinless chicken thigh – never was a dark meat girl (that’s what she said) but now I love it – so much more flavorful than chicken breasts.

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Dinner came in at 394 calories, 12 fat, 53 carbs, 4.5 fiber and 22 protein.  I didn’t realize until after dinner that my calories were only just over 1100 for the day, so I made some popcorn – 3 cups for 165 calories. Open-mouthed smile

Stats for Monday

  • 1331 calories, 41 fat, 174 carbs, 28 fiber and 77 protein
  • no exercise
  • average blood sugar 107

So today?  I am prepared.  I made another quiche last night for breakfast and I also made a Lasagna soup that is amaze balls – yes, I can eat soup in 90 degree heat. Open-mouthed smile

Question of the Day:  Can you eat hot soup in the summer?

I love the song in this inspirational video – I am off to the gym before work!  My workout buddies will get picture proof when I get back – thanks for keeping me accountable today!

Make it a great day – and Tammy – I hope this inspires you today to get on that treadmill today! Open-mouthed smile