Parmesan Chicken Meatball Soup

I was contacted a few weeks ago from Legends from Europe, asking if I’d like to participate in their blogger recipe contest.  I jumped at the chance!  Then quickly forgot about it!

Legends from Europe is on a three-year campaign in the United States to increase awareness of the legendary ingredients:

Grana Padano:


Parmigiano Reggiano:




Prosciutto di Parma and Prosciutto di San Daniele:

       di parma    san daniele

I actually thought that prosciutto was all the same.  I actually never even heard of it or tasted it before I met Tony.  There are two schools of thought – most people think that the Prosciutto di San Daniele is better because it isn’t massed produced like Proscuitto de Parma. 

I once made proscuitto purses stuffed with balsamic fig goat cheese – I need to make these again soon!


But once I agreed to this recipe contest, I was given my star ingredient.  I was thrilled when I was given parmigiano reggiano cheese! 

The first thing I think of is parmesan chicken, but decided to make parmesan chicken meatballs for a soup – thus this recipe was born.

Parmesan Chicken Meatball Florentine Soup

  • makes 4 servings: 1.5 cups of soup and 8 meatballs per serving
  • 311 calories, 10 fat, 24 carbs, 4.5 fiber and 33 protein

Ingredients for Meatballs:

  • 1 pound boneless, skinless chicken breasts
  • 1/4 cup parmigiano reggiano cheese, grated
  • 8 basil leaves
  • 1/4 cup Italian bread crumbs
  • 1 egg
  • 1 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes
  • pinches of salt and pepper
  • 2 teaspoon olive oil

For the soup:

  • 1 28 oz. can of crushed tomatoes
  • 3 cups chicken broth
  • 1 tablespoon balsamic vinegar
  • 1 teaspoon crushed red pepper
  • 2 cups chopped baby spinach
  • pinches of salt and pepper

Put all the soup ingredients in a stock pot over medium low heat.  Put all the meatball ingredients in your food processor.  Pulse, just until everything is combined – if you puree it too much they won’t hold together.   My batch made 32 marble size meatballs.

Once you have your meatballs rolled out, heat up 1 teaspoon of olive oil over medium high heat.  Sear the outsides of your meatballs – I ended up doing this in two batches so I didn’t overcrowd the pan. You don’t want to fully cook the balls because once they are browned, add them to the soup and they will continue to cook in the soup.  You’ll have super tender meatballs when you do it this way.

Once all the meatballs have been incorporated into the soup, simmer for about 10 minutes.  Remove from the heat and stir in the chopped spinach.  Garnish with shaved parmiagano reggiano on top.


Parmiagano reggiano cheese has to be stamped as such, otherwise its just parmesan cheese.

legend 005

legend 012

legend 018

You can see the basil and crushed red pepper in each ball.  I just like to say balls.

legend 021

This is the tomato sauce I used – its super thick with just the tiniest bit of tomato chunks.  Me no likey big tomato chunks. Sick smile

legend 024

legend 044

legend 048

This is a winning soup (first prize is $1,000!).  The soup has a nice kick to it from the crushed red pepper, I love the subtle flavor of the balsamic vinegar, and of course the cheezy meatballs are amazeballs. Open-mouthed smile  My SIL and I will be enjoying this next week for one of our lunches!

Thanks to Legends from Europe for letting me participate in your contest!

Tony and I are off to run some errands, have lunch out and do some grocery shopping.  We are having grilled turkey breast tonight with mashed potatoes!

And I am going to be lunching it at my Mom’s house tomorrow with Hannah to celebrate her birthday a week late.  I am going to make a classic breakfast casserole and fresh fruit salad – can’t wait to see Hannah again!

Enjoy your weekend!

I’m gonna to lap you, crazy bitch!

There are just some things that I cannot photograph well (well, a lot of things!), but an egg white hash has to be one of them.  I had a 6 ounce baked potato in the fridge and diced it up with Canadian bacon, 1/2 cup egg whites and 1 cup chopped baby spinach – and of course a sprinkling of cheese. Flirt male

hannah 003

So while this may look like someone ate a beautiful spinach and egg white omelet, then threw up in a bowl, this was super tasty.  With a piece of toast on the side, breakfast comes in at 443 calories, 15 fat, 41 carbs, 4.1 fiber and 32 protein.

So you may or may not know this about me, but I am pretty competitive.  After playing field hockey, doing shot put for indoor and outdoor track (as well as being a sprinter!) then playing softball (Tony still can’t believe I didn’t turn out a lesbian given my choice of sports!), turns out I like to win. 

So I decided to swim yesterday.  While I am not the best swimmer, I do like swimming because its an all body workout – I feel it in my back, my thighs my arms.  As luck would have it, a little Chinese woman got in the pool at the same time as me.  I suddenly imagined that we were going for gold!  After I put my goggles on, I looked at her and gave her the stink eye – I was there to win!

Okay, it doesn’t matter that this woman was in her 60s, I was there to win and she helped me push myself that much harder – I lapped her!  And while she was a super sweet lady, I had to envision her as my arch enemy – hey, whatever works to push yourself, right?!

I ended up swimming almost non-stop for 30 minutes – which doesn’t seem like much, but I was definitely flush and breathing hard.  It felt good!

My blood sugar before my workout?  229 – when I got back to my office, it was 75 and I was hangry!  I ended up having 3/4 a serving left of the kung pao chicken from my tacos earlier in the week.  I stir fried some broccoli slaw and broccoli, then accessorized my meal by hitting the Chinese restaurant across the street for some steamed brown rice and Szechwan green beans.

hannah 007

While I asked for my green beans not to be cooked in oil, I am not so sure.  But they tasted amazing – nice and crisp and supa spicy!  Lunch comes in at 524 calories, 17 fat, 62 carbs, 10 fiber and 32 protein.

I was busy working away, when guess who stopped by to surprise me?!

me and hannah

Thank you for using Instagram to soften my belly!  And mind you, this is swim hair – I didn’t blow dry it, just pulled it back in a pony tail.  Hannah had spent the night before babysitting for her friend in Schaumburg and after thrifting, stopped by my office to surprise me.  It was so good to see her – I miss her a lot. Crying face

I ended up not working late – woot!  But then realized I never really planned anything for dinner other than potato soup and sammies.  When I texted Tony that I’d be home he asked what was for dinner, and when I told him soup and sammies he said “that’s not football food!”

He was fine with it.  I actually wasn’t in the mood for soup, so I had a sammie and some jalapeno chipins.  This jalapeno cheddar bread is sold for $1.29 a loaf at my store – I cut off a 3 oz. portion, then pulled out enough of the inside bread to make it 2 ounces.  On the inside?  Deli roast beef, a slice of mozzarella, and a teaspoon of my broccoli rabe pesto.

hannah 015

This was an amazeball sandwich – loved the balance between the baked in cheddar with the mozzarella on the inside, and the garlic in the broccoli rabe pesto was perfect with the roast beef.  This plate comes in at 520 calories, 17 fat, 58 carbs, 2.8 fiber and 28 protein.

Have you seen these chips before?  I think I actually bought them at Bed Bath & Beyond – you can really taste the “popcorn” flavor, and of course, they had me at jalapeno.

hannah 016

Stats for Thursday:

  • 1487 calories, 50 fat, 163 carbs, 17 fiber and 94 protein
  • 44% calories from carbs, 31 from fat, 25 from protein
  • 15 minute walk with the dog before work
  • 15 minute walk after dinner
  • 30 minute swim (giving myself 2 miles for my exercise yesterday!)
  • 154.6 miles left of my 170 mile challenge

When I tool the dog for a walk last night, the sky was so cool – I need to figure out how to use my camera at night – I used my telephoto lens – still not what I wanted but kind of cool!

hannah 030

Come back tomorrow for my winning recipe!  I was asked to participate in a blogger recipe contest by Legends from Europe – you had to create a recipe using a “Legend” ingredient from Europe.  I was assigned Parmigiano reggiano.  You know how I love cheese!

I am making a chicken parmesan meatball Florentine soup!  In my head it turns out good, so we’ll see how it turns out tomorrow!

What are you plans for the weekend?  I hope to get together for lunch with Hannah and my Mom on Sunday to celebrate her birthday. Open-mouthed smile  And I want to get to the gym over the weekend – something I have plenty of time for but hardly ever do.

Make it a great day!  Hooray for me – no snacking after dinner last night! Just kidding

It’s All About Balance

I walked off to work a second day in a row without my camera.  No worries, I had my cell phone with me.  Except I forgot to plug it in the night before, so it was dead when I got ready to take a picture of my breakfast.


Thanks Google images!!  I had two breakfast tacos:  2 corn tortillas, 1/2 cup egg whites, 1/2 ounce chopped pepperoni, 1/2 cup of canned kidney beans, 1 cup baby spinach and 3/4 oz of cheese.  I had a fuji apple on the side – breakfast came in at 501 calories, 15 fat, 60 carbs, 12 fiber and 32 protein.

I decided to do a bike ride at lunch to take at stab at my 170 mile challenge.  I ended up doing 9 miles!  Woop!  I took the picture you see below, texted it to Tony and I got this wonderful text back that ended up saying WOW!  In my head I was like “it’s just a bike ride!”  Um, turns out he thought I ran that far – I wish!  Thanks though Tony!

9 miles

I tried to take a picture while I was still riding, that didn’t turn out so well! Open-mouthed smile

hard to take picture

Just like scallop potatoes have been my Achilles heal, so has potato soup.  More than half the time it tastes like I am eating a bowl of mashed potatoes.  Not this recipe!  I think the key was cooking the potatoes separately and adding them back in at the end.  This is creamy, but a bit chunky all at the same time.

Potato Soup

(adapted from Tidy Mom)

Makes 8 servings, 1.5 cups each:  274 calories, 8.6 fat, 40 carbs, 3.5 fiber and 13 protein

I left out the bacon in the soup recipe, but feel free to cook some up for a garnish.


  • 5 large baking potatoes (1.5 pounds), cut into 1 inch cubes
  • 1 teaspoon olive oil
  • 1 clove garlic, minced
  • 2/3 cup flour
  • 6 cups chicken broth
  • 2 cups skim milk
  • 2 celery stalks, diced
  • 1 cup chopped carrots, diced
  • 1 teaspoon Italian seasoning
  • salt and pepper to taste

Put the potatoes in a pot of water, covered an inch higher than the potatoes.  Cook until tender, about 10 minutes, then drain.

In a stock pot, heat olive oil. Add garlic, celery and carrots.  Cook for 10 minutes until carrots start to get tender.  Add flour.  Cook for 1 minute.  Slowly add the chicken broth, stirring until the sauce starts to thicken and get bubbly.  Put the potatoes and remaining ingredients in the pot and simmer for 10 minutes.  I did use my potato masher to mash some of the potatoes.


This was so good.  Creamy, with bits of potato and carrots.  And I love that this whole bowl was under 250 calories!

The reason I was happy about how low in calorie my soup was going to be, was because I knew my dinner was going to be a calorie bomb.  You see, over the weekend while flipping channels we saw a show that made a meatza deep dish pizza:  Italian sausage, Canadian bacon, pepperoni AND bacon!  Tony and I looked at each other and I was like “that’s going on the menu next week!”

Half of me didn’t even want to figure out the calories, but then I thought, I have to.  I have to own up to what I eat.

I always have to stop myself and remember, I am nowhere near what I was like back in the day.  I wondered “how the hell did I get to be 210 pounds?!”  I’ll tell you how:

  • Burger King breakfast croissant, cheezy hash browns and a 20 oz. pop: 1090 calories, 47 grams of fat
  • McDonald’s 10 chicken nuggets, large fry, pop and an apple pie: 1,460 calories, 65 grams of fat
  • On my way home: Auntie Ann’s pretzel for the train ride: 480 calories, 4 fat
  • Dinner: 4 beef tacos, refried beans, Mexican rice: 1,120 calories, 68 grams of fat
  • After Hannah went to bed?  12 inch Jack’s pizza: 1320 calories, 69 grams of fat

Not kidding, that was a typical day in the former life of Biz.  That day totals 5473 calories, 253 grams of fat, 572 carbs (!!!) 39 fiber, 214 protein and get this . . . ready for it?  11,876 grams of sodium!!

So when I figured out the calories for my one slice of a 9 inch pizza, it came in at 642 calories, 32 fat, 55 carbs, 2.8 fiber and 28 protein.

ddza 001   ddza 003

my slice of heaven

When I finished entering the rest of my food for the day into, I realized as a whole day, I didn’t do too bad!

Stats for Wednesday:

  • 1417 calories, 55 fat, 156 carbs, 18 fiber and 73 protein
  • 45% of calories from calories, 35% from fat and 20% from protein
  • 9 mile bike ride
  • 156.5 miles left of my 170 mile challenge
  • average blood sugar 141

So while a part of me was beating myself up for eating that pizza, the other half was telling me “you don’t eat like you used to,  It’s one slice of pizza – enjoy it and move on!”

Question of the Day:  How have your eating habits changed over the years?  All I know is that until I was about 30, the only vegetables I ate were cucumber and carrots!

Off to put my food together for the day – breakfast, lunch and dinner!  I might have to work late tonight – but fingers crossed that I don’t.  Somehow I think Tony will be just fine watching football tonight if I do work late! Open-mouthed smile

Make it a great day!


Kung Pao Chicken Tacos

I didn’t sleep well the night before last. So my alarm going off at 6:30 a.m. came and went. I had my lunch ready to go, but still needed to put my gym clothes and breakfast together. I got up at 7:30. Went to turn on my cell phone and two messages popped up – one secretary called in sick, the other was from the office manager asking if I can get to the office by 8:00 to notarize some documents.

Um, it takes me 30 minutes to drive to work. I was still in my pajamas! Guess what time I was in the car by?? 7:36! Yep, six minutes from sleep to driving – rest assured I did not look very pretty. But, I knew I was working out and my shower would just be delayed for a few hours. 😀

So after I finished what I had to do, I realized I needed to pick up something for breakfast. Subway is across the street, so I went there. Do you know about Nutritionix? It’s a Subway nutrition calculator. I ended up getting the black forest ham flatbread with egg white, provolone, cucumber, green peppers, banana peppers, spinach, pickles and hot sauce.


While this super filling breakfast sammie comes in at 420 calories, 13 fat, 47 carbs, 3 fiber and 29 protein, guess what else this sammie comes with??

2,000 mg of sodium!!

Skippy, if you are reading this, don’t ever go to Subway for breakfast – that’s your sodium intake for a week! But as I pick apart the sandwich, um turns out deli ham, pickles, banana peppers and hot sauce have a shit load of sodium. Let’s just say that I drank a TON of water yesterday. My pee actually had no color by the end of the day! Hopefully you aren’t eating your breakfast or lunch as you read that last sentence. Winking smile

I structured my blood sugar perfectly so that it was 239 before my lunch workout. To get some more miles in my 170 mile six week challenge, and to increase my stamina, I did 3 miles on the treadmill. I started out with a 5 minute warm-up, and ended up walking 3 minutes, running 2 until I finished.

3 miles

It will probably be a couple more weeks until I can run 30 minutes without stopping, but hopefully each day I’ll get a bit better. By the time I got back to work, my blood sugar was 85 – nice!

Holy amazeballs. My lunch was awesome. I hadn’t even flipped through my Cooking Light magazine yet before Nicole already posted this on her blog: Kung Pao Chicken Tacos. I like spicy shit. I like tacos. Winning!

I did switch it up just a bit to make two servings instead of four. Tony wouldn’t touch this with a 10-foot pole. So with the second half of the kung pao chicken I am going to have it with steamed brown rice and stir fry veggies. I also divided the chicken nutrition separate from the tortillas, since there are so many different ones out there. Mine are LaTortilla Factory low carb tortillas – two are 120 calories.

Kung Pao Chicken

  • 2 servings – 338 calories, 17 fat, 17 catbs, 3 fiber and 30 protein


  • 10 ounces diced boneless, skinless, chicken breast
  • 1.5 tablespoons low sodium soy sauce, divided
  • 1/8 cup + .75 teaspoon cornstarch, divided
  • 1 tablespoon canola oil
  • 2 stalks of celery, diagonally cut
  • 4 teaspoons dry roasted peanuts, coarsely chopped
  • .75 tablespoon honey
  • ½ tablespoon sesame oil
  • 1 teaspoon rice vinegar
  • 1 teaspoon minced garlic
  • 1 teaspoon sambal oelek (chile paste)
  • 2 teaspoons sriracha (my addition, you knows I love the spice!)
  • 1 orange pepper, sliced in strips


1. Put the chicken in a bowl and toss ½ a tablespoon of soy sauce. Add 1/8 cup of cornstarch and toss to coat well.

2. Heat a skillet over medium heat with canola oil. Add chicken and sauté for about 6 minutes. Remove from heat.

3. Here’s how I did things differently: I then sautéed my pepper and celery, to make it almost like a kung pao fajita. Cook just until the peppers start to brown and wilt a bit – about 5-6 minutes.

4. Here’s the next thing I did differently: the instructions said to add the remaining cornstarch, soy sauce, honey, sesame oil, vinegar and chile sauce to a microwave save bowl and microwave on high for 1 – 1.5 minutes, until thickened, then pour over the chicken. The first time? It burned. I started over, cooked for 30 seconds, and it was still an unusable paste. Lastly, I mixed the cornstarch, soy sauce, honey, sesame oil, vinegar and chile sauce and just mixed well and added the sauce to the peppers and celery in the pan, then tossed in the chicken and cooked for an additional minute.

I served my tacos: 2.5 ounces chicken per taco, split the celery and peppers between the tacos, then added 1 teaspoon crushed peanuts to each taco, and finished it off with a bit more sriracha.

In my rush to get out of the house this morning, I forgot to grab my camera, but I hope this picture entices you to make this. Such a combination of flavors: salty/sweet/spicy. I never would have though to put Chinese food in a tortilla, but this was delicious. All together these two tacos come in at: 458 calories, 20 fat, 36 carbs, 16 fiber (thanks to the low carb tortillas!) and 35 protein.

kung pao

I will definitely be making these again – soon!

Now that the weather is cooler, my mind immediately jumps to fall comfort food.  Tony loves beef stroganoff, so when I saw a recipe for stove top stroganoff, I was all over it.  Even though it’s a Cook’s Illustrated recipe, I decided to tweak it a bit.  I reduced the oil to 2 teaspoons vs. 4 tablespoons, and I cooked the egg noodles on the side and incorporated it in at the end.

The recipe also called for sirloin tips, which I couldn’t find, but I found this sirloin tip roast – only $6!  I ended up cutting up 1 pound in the meat and I’ll use the leftovers to make Italian beef sandwiches next week.

strog 002

strog 003

Guess what people?  I am starting to like mushrooms!  I’ve always loved the flavor and smell of mushrooms, its just been a texture thing.  The only problem with this dinner?  The sauce was kind of soupy.  It never thickened up, even when I pureed some mushrooms sauce and pasta to kind of thicken it up.  I told Tony later that maybe the reason it didn’t thicken up was because I skipped the step of adding the raw noodles to the sauce to cook – maybe the starch from the pasta thickens the sauce?

The flavor was there, but I am going back to the drawing board on this one.  My guestimate is this plate is:  456 calories, 20 fat, 40 carbs, 2.4 fiber and 26 protein.

strog 006

And then I got snacky later on.  WTF?!  I ate a serving of sweet potato straws:


These took me by surprise because I expected a salty treat, but these are sweet and have like a cinnamon coating on the outside – good news is 34 straws is 120 calories!

But then I had a small sliver of carrot cake – I am finally taking it to work today to get it out of the house!  These two snacks added 300 calories to my total caloric intake. Sad smile

Stats for Tuesday:

  • 1634 calories, 62 fat, 175 carbs, 21 fiber and 93 protein
  • 15 minute walk with the dog
  • 45 minutes on treadmill – 3.2 total miles
  • average blood sugar 155
  • 165.8 miles left in 170 mile challenge

I have probably the best potato soup I’ve ever made for lunch today – come back tomorrow for the recipe!  And tonight’s dinner?  Chicago Style Deep Dish Pizza!

Make it a great day!

36 Pounds to Normal

I’ve come to realize that when I sleep in over the weekend, which I love, that come Monday morning, no matter how great my intentions are, this ass is not getting out of bed to exercise.  That and going to bed after 11:00 p.m. on a Sunday just isn’t a recipe for success.

So while my alarm went off at 6:30, I didn’t actually get out of bed until 7:20 – eek!  While that’s plenty of time for me to get ready for work, it left zero time for my morning walk.

Over the weekend I realized that my wonton wrappers were about to go, so I decided to bake them up.  Just bake at 350 for about 8-10 minutes, just until they are lightly browned. 

I decided to make some breakfast wontons! Haven’t done that in a while.  I scrambled up 1/4 cup of egg whites with 2 ounces of chopped deli ham, 1/2 cup shredded zucchini and 1 slice of American cheese.  I made my scramble at home, then assembled them at work – be sure to put your wonton cups on top of your lunch – they are very fragile!

I heated the scramble once I got to work, then divided the mixture evenly between the wonton cups – topped with some baja fresh salsa, and a sliced apple on the side – this was a delicious way to start the day.   This plate comes in at 371 calories, 9 fat, 47 carbs, 4.5 fiber and 22 protein.

wonton9 002

You want to make sure you squeeze out the grated zucchini in a paper towel before scrambling – otherwise the bottom of your wontons will be soggy the longer they sit on your plate.

wonton9 004

I may have added some splashes of Tabasco after the pics were taken. Devil

So at lunch I met with my plastic surgeon.  She’s totally nice, down to earth, and as I was speaking with her, could not for the life of me figure out if her boobs were real or not – they were kind of out there, but who knows! 

She said my mole removal will only take about 30 minutes under local anesthesia, and while I’ll have a scar, its her goal to make it as minimal as possible.  I’ve scheduled it for October 22 then its done and over with.  She reassured that just because the cells were abnormal, it doesn’t necessarily mean cancer, but as a safety precaution just to get it removed, and then I’ll be good to go.

By the time I got back to the office I was hangry!  Thankfully I froze the rest of Suzie’s chorizo chili for lunch – I had an ounce of unphotographed tortilla chips for dipping – just as good as when I made it!  Lunch comes in at 466 calories, 20 fat, 49 carbs, 11 fiber and 25 protein.  The jarred hot peppers were a nice kick. Open-mouthed smile

wonton9 008

The afternoon d r a g g e d at work yesterday.  Couldn’t wait to get the hockey puck out of there.  Guess what Tony requested for our dinner this week?  Another round of grilled chicken caesar salad!  Any time he recommends a salad I jump all over it.

wonton9 015

The romaine I bought was kind of skinny, so we each got a whole head.  Chicken tenders were on sale so I bought those instead of chicken breasts – just tossed in a bit of olive oil, salt, pepper and garlic powder.

wonton9 022

wonton9 026

The romaine only cooks about 1 minute – about 30 seconds per side.  The darker part gets wilty, almost tastes like spinach, while the lighter part stays nice and crisp.

wonton9 028

wonton9 029

Such a delicious salad – its just lightly dressed and of course, the garlic croutons and sprinkle of Parmesan cheese make this salad.  505 calories, 35 fat, 8 carbs, 4 fiber and 36 protein.  This is a great low carb/paleo salad!

So happy I have some company with my six week, 170 miles challenge!  The wonderful folks at Chobani have offered up one of their yogurt packs.  If you decide to do a six week challenge and complete it, you’ll be entered for a chance to win.  Who doesn’t love Chobani!


So here is where I am at.  172 pounds.  I put my height and weight into a BMI calculator and just as I suspected, I am back in the “obese” category.  I started entering different weights until I got to one that was within normal range – well the top of the normal range.  The magic number?

136 pounds!

Yep, I have to lose 36 pounds in order to be in a normal weight range.  So I have my work cut out for me!  I have decided that if I do an exercise that I can’t measure, like a work out video or walking the dog, that for every 45 minutes I’ll count that as one mile to my total goal.  I ended up walking the dog for 15 minutes after dinner and did 30 minutes of Classical stretch.  Turns out I tried to do a TaeBo video but having the salad sitting in my stomach I felt like I was going to puke any second.  Note to self: don’t exercise 20 minutes after eating!

Stats for Monday:

  • 1400 calories, 66 fat, 116 carbs, 20 fiber and 85 protein
  • 15 minute walking dog, 30 minute stretch video
  • average blood sugar 144
  • 1 mile down, 169 to go!

It’s not too late to join the challenge – just leave a comment and tell me what you want to accomplish in the next six weeks – maybe its bring your lunch one more day than you normally do, or trying a new recipe, or eating out less.   Who’s with me?

Make it a great day!

Apple Sauce Donuts and 170 Miles

We had a wonderful, relaxing weekend!  Usually I spend lots of time in my kitchen, doing laundry, cleaning etc.  I did do some cooking to start off Tony’s birthday on Saturday morning.

I had an idea to make donuts – I’ve been seeing pumpkin donuts everywhere lately, but I have yet to stock my fall/winter pantry with canned pumpkin.  FYI, Aldi has the cheapest canned pumpkin – every day price is .69 cents by me!   So I decided to see if I could sub in apple sauce for the pumpkin.

I also liked that linked pumpkin donut recipe because you could just mix, roll, punch out the donuts and fry – literally you can have donuts ready in about 15 minutes, which is about how long it takes our deep fryer to come to temperature.

Apple Sauce Glazed Donuts

  • makes 18 donuts and holes – each one:  209 calories, .8 fat, 46 carbs, 1 fiber and 3.7 protein


  • 4 cups flour
  • 1.25 cups sugar
  • 1 tablespoon baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1/4 teaspoon nutmeg
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground ginger
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 2 eggs
  • 1/3 cup skim milk
  • 3/4 cup unsweetened applesauce

For the glaze:

  • 1.5 cups powdered sugar
  • 1.5 tablespoons milk
  • 1 teaspoon sugar free pancake syrup (or maple syrup)

I put all the dry ingredients into a big bowl, then whisked to combine.  And because I am a lazy baker, I just added everything else to the flour mixture, and mixed until combined.  It’s going to be a kind of loose dough, put the dough on your floured counter and add enough so that you can cut out the donuts – I used about 1/3 cup of flour. 

I used a biscuit cutter for the donut, then a shot glass for the middle.  Deep fry for 1-2 minutes per side.  Mix the powdered sugar, milk and syrup together, and after the donuts cool for a minute, dip each one in the glaze.  I ended up tossing the holes in a cinnamon/sugar mixture.

wkd922 007

Here is what I learned though.  I cut out half the donuts and then plugged in my deep fryer.  It took about 10 minutes to come to temperature.  By then, the liquid in the applesauce kind of leaked through, and I had to start all over – I couldn’t even get them off the counter!  It was quick work, and worth it.  I would consider this more of a cake donut, but really delicious.  I ended up cooking up some breakfast link sausage on the side – and that was breakfast!  Turns out I heart donuts! (and find them insulin worthy!!)

wkd922 009

But because we ate so late (around 10:30) by the time lunch came around, Tony wasn’t hungry for lunch – we had planned on going out for sushi, but found out that our favorite place closes at 2:00 on Saturdays for lunch.  So we ended up hitting up the grocery store to get a steak for dinner and snacks for football Sunday.

wkd922 005

We split this steak (still had about 1/3 of it leftover!) and had baked potatoes and zucchini on the side.  I made a compound butter with fresh rosemary and baked fresh garlic – um, the rosemary butter was amazeballs on both the steak and the baked potato!

wkd922 019

And per his request, I made my carrot cake with cinnamon cheese cream frosting.  I normally make this in a 9×13 pan, but decided to make a two layer cake.   Tony declared it the best carrot cake he’s ever had!  For good reason – 1. there is 1.5 cups of oil that emulsified with the carrots, and 2. there isn’t a lot of frosting so the cake really stands out. 

Again, not going to win any blue ribbons with my cake frosting skills, but this was delicious.

wkd922 028

And our recent Sunday tradition where Tony makes me breakfast was alive and well yesterday – creamy eggs, hashbrowns and toast – thanks Tony!

wkd922 024

Tony requested Hooters wings and shrimp for his football food yesterday.  Our local Hooters actually just turned into a Chik-fil-A.  It’s been opened a month and its always swamped so we haven’t tried it yet – not sure I’ve ever had Chik-fil-A before!

Here is the recipe for the copy cat Hooters Chicken wings.   I didn’t take any pictures of the wings because I did the shrimp first since they don’t take long at all – I used the same flour mixture from the Hooters wings – there was plenty.

wkd922 030

And so far, I am in the lead for our football pics this week!  I plan to gloat about it all week. Open-mouthed smile

So my blog friend and friend in real life Jacky (she always runs into my sister, but I do plan on a meet up this fall!) is running the New York marathon!   She’s six weeks away from the big race, and she still has 170 miles on her training schedule before then.

Remember when I wanted to move 100 miles for my August challenge?  Well, bronchitis kicked me in the balls and that challenge never came to fruition.  Six weeks takes me all the way through Halloween!  So to give my friend Jacky support, I plan on moving 170 miles in the next six weeks – it breaks it down to just over 28 miles a week.  So I definitely see some long bike rides in my future.  I know you’ll do great Jacky!

Does anyone else want to join me in this challenge?  Just leave me a comment below or send me an email at – I’ll see if my friends at Chobani will offer up another gift box for everyone who meets their six week challenge.

Alright, I have to scoot – I finally am going to see my plastic surgeon at lunch for my “abnormal” mole removal.  I never thought I’d step foot in a plastic surgeons office in my life!  I am assuming the removal is going to be out patient, and today is just our initial consult – wish me luck!

Make it a great day!

Happy Birthday Tony!

September 22, 2000.  It would be the first birthday Tony and I would spend together.  We met at the end of May in 2000.  About a month into our relationship, he was living at my house during the week, we’d go pick up his son on Friday and spend the weekend at his house. 

I’ll still never forget my step-son Joe’s face when he looked at me, biting his finger nails wondering who the hell this woman was with his Dad.  It couldn’t have been easy.  Clearly his Mom and Dad weren’t getting back together and here was this woman, with a daughter to boot, entering his Dad’s life.

I remember Tony’s 40th birthday like it was yesterday!  His parents had recently relocated to Florida, their house was for sale.  Tony was staying at his folks house while it was on the market.

My plan was for Tony to have a day of relaxation!  I had hired a masseuse to come to his parents house to give him an hour long massage.  I planned to make him a nice home cooked meal.  We were just going to go with the flow and have a relaxing day.   What we didn’t know was that his parents were coming home for the weekend to surprise him for his birthday.  Surprised smile

No worries, they planned to do things during the day so my plans didn’t change.  That is until about an hour after his relaxing massage, the weather got super nasty and it rained buckets.  His parents house was set down on a hill and before we knew it, bucket of water were flooding the kitchen! 

He went from being totally relaxed and warm to the next minute scooping buckets of ice cold water out the back door!  We probably spent close to an hour cleaning up the kitchen. 

But then he got a phone call from one of his friends to meet up for drinks!  Yes!  We changes our clothes and headed out.  We were starting to have a nice time when all of a sudden his friend said “yeah, I was here with some buddies, but I need a ride to pick up my car at the shop.”  He asked Tony if he minded giving him a lift to the repair shop. 

Being the great friend he was, he did.  He left me at the bar for nearly an hour until he got there and back.  We were at a hotel bar and it was then and there that we decided to just chuck our home cooked meal and just get a room.  We ordered a pizza, watched movies – and in the end it was a relaxing day!

Hannah was staying with my Mom that day.  My Mom’s birthday is the day after Tony’s so while it was Tony’s 40th birthday it was my Mom’s 60th birthday and my brother and his family were in town to celebrate it!

I ended up parting ways with Tony – he to spend time with his parents and me to spend time with my family.  I remember walking into the house and my Mom asking where I had spent the night.  I said “at a hotel with Tony.”  She gave me this look and said “you never told me you were spending the night with him!”  I had to laugh because people, I was 32 years old at this point! 

But through the years, our families have gotten to know each other.  I love my MIL and FIL and my SIL and my nephews, and my Mom is always welcome in our home – I love having her over and cooking for her.

So as we go into our 12th birthday celebration together Tony, I want to thank you for picking me online from all the girls that you had to choose from.  You know we never would have met otherwise.  Through the peaks and valleys that our lives have been through, there isn’t a single person I’d rather ride this roller coaster with! 

You get me.  You know that when I call you on Friday afternoons and ask “what do you feel like for dinner?”  You know secretly that I hope you’ll offer up the idea of pizza.   Pizza

And that even though I forget 90% of the time to refill the toilet paper, you just shrug your head and replace it yourself.

And that I never put anything back in the same way twice, you know why I always help prep the kitchen for you when you cook for me, because I know where I last put the skillet and the whisk.

And that even though I think of food all day, watch FoodTV whenever I can and read cooking magazines while you watch football, you’ll always watch a TopChef Master with me and other cooking shows, because you know it makes me happy.

Thank you for being my best friend!  I love you and hope you have a wonderful birthday! Open-mouthed smile  And before you know it, we’ll be celebrating our 12th wedding anniversary!