Mary Hartman, Mary Hartman

The other night Tony and I were watching a show that had comedians Martin Mull and Drew Carey talking about their careers.  I of course knew who Drew Carey was, but I only had vague recollections of Martin Mull.  Turns out his first big break as an actor was on a show called Mary Hartman, Mary Hartman

I remember my parents watching it I think.  Tony couldn’t believe that I didn’t remember more of it, until I looked it up and it aired from 1976 to 1997.  Um, I would have been 8 years old, while Tony would have been 16. 

It’s funny how just the difference of 8 years in our ages can make the difference about a lot of things.  Such as t.v. shows in the 70s, 70’s music.  I can’t tell you how many times we’ve been in the car and a song comes on that Tony knows all the words to, and I tell him “I have never heard that song before in my life!”

But the same holds true to the 80s – my decade if you will.  Tony hated all the music from the 80s, while I could pretty much sing verbatim every Eurythmics, Madonna, Cyndi Lauper, Peter Gabriel and Wham song!  Let’s take a quick trip down memory lane, shall we?  You’ll thank me tomorrow when this song loops through your head all day. Open-mouthed smile

Question of the Day:  What Decade was “YOUR” music?

I ended up making another breakfast panini – this one is egg whites, baby spinach and 1 ounce of goat cheese.  And surprisingly delicious black berries on the side.  Sometimes I have to sprinkle blackberries with sugar or splenda, but these were perfectly sweet.

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I decided to swim again yesterday.  I have to say I am becoming a much better swimmer, so much so that the life guard doesn’t even sit in the chair anymore, she just sat in her office. Open-mouthed smile  One thing I noticed though?  Um, my bathing suit is literally about to disintegrate.  I’ve had this one for probably 8 years and when I was putting it on I could literally see through the material – nice!  There’s a Sports Authority near my office, I may need to make a stop there at lunch today!

I have my sister to thank for this delicious soup.  She subscribes to Bon Appetit magazine, and once she saw the cover of hot soups, she faxed me over the pictures and the recipes.  The cover recipe immediately caught my eye – it was for Chicken Kao Soi, which they described as:

A simple curry paste gives this Northern Thai-inspired soup surprising depth of flavor.

That is the best description I can give this soup – depth of flavor – wowza!

Chicken Khao Soi

  • makes 4 servings, 1.5 cups each 
  • 351 calories, 19 fat, 28 carbs, 2.8 fat, 16 protein, 406 sodium
  • 110% of Vitamin A, 32% of Vitamin C

Ingredients for paste:

  • 4 large dried guajillo chiles, stemmed, halved, seeded
  • 8 garlic cloves
  • 1 2 inch piece of ginger
  • 1/3 cup chopped chilantro
  • 1 tablespoon canola oil
  • 1 tablespoon ground coriander
  • 1 tablespoon ground tumeric
  • 1 teaspoon curry powder

Ingredients for soup:

  • 2 cans unsweetened coconut milk (each of my cans was 175 calories and low fat)
  • 2 cups chicken broth
  • 8 ounces chicken breast
  • 1 package of precooked udon noodles (mine was 140 calories for half a package)
  • 3 tablespoons fish sauce
  • 1 tablespoon brown sugar
  • garnishes of bean sprouts and lime

For the paste.  Seed the chiles (using gloves or a ziploc bag – I sadly used my fingers and later touched my nose and mouth and they were on fire!).  Pour boiling water over the chiles just enough to cover, and let soften for 30 minutes.  You don’t need to worry about how much water, because you are only using a couple tablespoons of that liquid to make the paste.

In a food processor, put the softened chiles, garlic, ginger, cilantro, canola oil, coriander, tumeric, curry power and two tablespoons of chile water and pulse until pureed.

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The original recipe called for 2 tablespoons of oil in the paste, as well as 2 tablespoons of oil in the soup.  I reduced that to just one in the paste, and since there was oil in the paste, I didn’t add any to the pot.

Heat a Dutch oven over medium heat.  Ad the paste, and cooking, stirring constantly for five minutes, or just until the paste starts to darken slightly.  Add coconut milk and broth.  Bring to a boil, reduce heat.  I had one 8 ounce whole chicken breast, so I just put it in the pot and let it poach in the coconut milk for about 15-20 minutes and the chicken was cooked through.  I removed the chicken, let cool, shredded the chicken and put it back in the soup. 

I then added the fish sauce and brown sugar to the soup, put a lid on it, removed it from the heat and let it cool. 

At lunch I heated up the noodles separately – they cook in a bowl of water for three minutes.  I put 1/4 of the noodles in each bowl, heated  up the soup and put the hot soup over the noodles, then topped it with fresh bean sprouts, chopped cilantro and a lime wedge.

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Holy cow, this is a winner.  The flavors are so complex.  It has a nice heat, but you don’t get the heat until the second or third spoonful.  My boss LOVED this one – I can see this one being in a regular soup rotation.

Dinner was sausage pasta alfredo.  I followed this recipe, except I used half and half for the heavy cream.  And I didn’t add in the peas, but added chopped baby spinach to my dish.  Pure comfort in a bowl.

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This made four generous servings, so guess what I am going to do with the leftovers? 

More Lasagna Soup!

I had leftover sausage and I always have canned tomato sauce.  I am going to add the leftovers to the soup and call it a day.  I have been going through lasagna soup withdrawal – its been a couple weeks!  Just click on that link and check out the comments and see how many times I’ve made this soup.  It’s kind of embarrassing!

And thanks to my co-worker J who found these for me!

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I ate about 1/3 of the bag in the afternoon – they are spicy good!  I went ahead and voted for that flavor, because the idea of chicken and waffle chips makes me want to throw up in my mouth a little!

Make it a great day!


Tony Doesn’t Like the Way I Blow. Huh.

I think this may be my new favorite breakfast.  I stopped at Panera on my way to work and bought a loaf of sourdough bread (Mel, I will make that starter one day!) and had them slice it thin.  Each slice is 1 ounce.  I had an egg white, spinach, ham and cheese panini with strawberries on the side.  I use I Can’t Believe It’s Not Butter to butter the bread – each tablespoon is only 5 calories, but has that buttery flavor.

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While not as bad as predicted, we did get about 7 inches of snow yesterday.  Around noon the winds starting howling, snow was blowing sideways, it was at a temperature that it was icy and snowy.   Road conditions were getting worse, and our office manager let us leave around 1:00.  What is normally a 35 minute drive home, took my 95 minutes, but I actually enjoyed the time. 

See, I am that person singing at the top of their lungs next to you at a stop light!  So I jammed to tunes all the way home.  Around 4:00 Tony and I decided to get the snow blower out for the first time this year!  It had cobwebs all over it.  We have an electric snow blower and next to our riding mower, one of the smartest choices we could have made.  Just plug it in and you are good to go.

Now here is how it goes down.  Much like mowing the lawn (which Tony hates when I do it – in 13 years I think I’ve only mowed the lawn 5 times), Tony has a set pattern on how he thinks it should be plowed.  There is no method to my madness, I just barrel down and try to get as much snow as I can at once. 

I do admit though, that once Tony told me to only snow blow half the amount of snow that I was, it did make it easier.  But I still don’t think he likes the way I blow. Open-mouthed smile

I never ended up eating lunch.  Usually I make lunch for my boss, go to the gym, then fix my lunch.  But when the office closed, I just packed up my shit and left.  Although I will make the panini again that I made for boss – roast beef, goat cheese and chopped pickled asparagus – she said it was a winning combination!

I ended up marinating flank steak for dinner.  If it didn’t look like summer outside, at least I could indoor grill and make it smell like summer.  While this meat is not on the cheap side – $7 a pound, Tony and I split one portion for dinner, so that’s $1.75 per person serving, the other half will be used for tacos later in the week.

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For this thickness of meat, I simply cooked it for 3 minutes a side – perfect medium rare.  I used this marinade and Tony loved the flavors.  It only marinated for two hours, but you could easily marinate it overnight.

Thanks for all the tips about iTunes in yesterdays post – I think I found out what the problem was – I had an old version of iTunes on our computer.  When I hooked up to charge my phone last night, it said it couldn’t sync up because the version was old.  I’ll update it tonight and hopefully that will fix it.

Another thing I love about my iPhone?  FACETALK!  I was in the kitchen when my step-son texted me “are you home?”  You see my parents in law are in Austin Texas visiting my step-son and his wife.  It was nice to talk to them and see them at the same time – like a mini skype! 

My step-son later sent this picture.  It’s my MIL with my step-sons dog Cinnamon.  She looks so relaxed – love it! Have a safe trip home!


Alright, time to scrape the snow off my car and get ready for work.  We probably got another inch after we plowed yesterday.

Make it a great day!

Broccoli Cheddar Soup and Sloppy Joes

Thanks for all the tips for apps for my new phone!  Okay, you guys are going to laugh, but that’s okay.  I love Instagram.  I like being able to take a picture, use the features to fix it up to post to Facebook.  A while back people started following me.  A.  I don’t know how people found me, and B. I had no idea why people were following me.

So yesterday a few of you gave me your Instagram names to follow you and NOW I GET IT!  It’s kind of like a mini blog post in a way.  Now I can keep up with Erica’s sweet baby girl, Jen’s killer workouts and healthy eats, and Rhonda’s cute pups!  If you have an Instagram account, let me know what your name is and I’ll follow you!

Breakfast was an oldie, but a goodie – a McMuff!   100 calorie muffin, 1/3 cup egg whites, baby spinach, 1 slice of ham and 1/2 an ounce of cheddar cheese.  On the side? That’s not an orange . . . it’s called a cocktail grapefruit!  Never heard of it before, but if I were to describe it, it is 2/3 orange and 1/3 grapefruit.  If you aren’t a true lover of grapefruit, this one is the one to try – so delicious!

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I had no “official” workout per se, but that’s not to say I wasn’t moving most of the day.  Normally my day is spent at my desk, staring at a computer, but yesterday we had a major file reorganization going on, and I must have lifted hundreds of files from one end of the office to another.  Even later in the afternoon my blood sugar dropped to 48 – yikes!  A quick apple and 1/2 a container of orange juice and I was good to go.

I had some broccoli I bought last week that I never used.  Broccoli Cheddar Soup is one of my favorite soups at Panera.  I even have a copy cat recipe for it.  I have to say, I think I like this version better!

Broccoli Cheddar Soup

  • makes six, 1.5 cup servings
  • 216 calories, 8 fat, 21 carbs, 4.6 fiber, 12 protein and 833 sodium


  • 4 cups chopped broccoli
  • 4 cups chicken broth
  • 2 cups chopped carrots
  • 2 cups unsweetened almond milk
  • 1 pound of potatoes (about 3 large) peeled and chopped
  • 1 teaspoon crushed red pepper
  • 1 teaspoon Italian seasoning
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • 1.5 cups shredded cheddar cheese

Add everything to a dutch oven, except the cheese, and cook over medium-low heat for 30 minutes, or until the veggies are tender.  Using an emersion blender, blend to the soup to your liking, I left a few chunks of broccoli and potato.  Remove from heat and stir in the cheese.

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The potatoes really thickened the soup and my boss didn’t even notice that there was unsweetened almond milk in it.  I swear, unsweetened almond milk is becoming my go to substitution for any recipe that calls for milk.  And as luck would have it, I can usually find it in the 50% discount bin at my store. Open-mouthed smile

I had sloppy joes on the menu for dinner.  As luck would have it, I saw that Nicole recently made a crock pot version, however, I decided to see if I could make it on a weeknight on the stove top.  I did adapt it, because I only used ground sirloin, and I scaled back the recipe.  Nicole, I tried to leave you a comment, but your Discus kept saying my email wasn’t accepted – I tried every email, but to no avail.  So THANK YOU for this recipe – tangy, not too sweet and super easy to put together on a weeknight – the sloppy joes were ready in about 20 minutes.

Sloppy Joes (adapted from Nicole at Heat Oven to 350)

  • makes 5 servings, a heaping 1/3 cup measure per sammie
  • 237 calories, 9 fat, 17 carbs, 1 fiber, 20 protein and 687 sodium


  • 1 pound lean ground beef
  • 1/2 medium green pepper, chopped
  • 4 ounces tomato sauce
  • 1/4 cup water
  • 1/4 cup ketchup
  • 2 tablespoons brown sugar
  • 1 tablespoon cider vinegar
  • 1 tablespoon yellow mustard
  • 1/2 tablespoon chili powder
  • 1/2 tablespoon Worchestershire sauce
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt (could easily have left this out)
  • 1/4 flour

Since lean ground sirloin doesn’t have a lot of fat, I just added everything to my skillet at once, except for the flour.  I let the meat simmer for about 15 minutes, then stirred in the flour and let that simmer for 5 more minutes.

And no sloppy joe is complete without pickles!  On the side I had 1 ounce of potato chips and carrots and celery dipped into ff ranch. This was a super delicious, quick and easy weeknight meal.  I don’t happen to like sloppy joes on the sweeter side, but feel free to adjust it to your taste.

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Okay, any technical gurus out there – I am having one problem. I can’t seem to figure out how to add my iTunes to my iPhone.  I can open iTunes on my phone, but for the life of me I can’t find out where to log in to get all my songs.  I downloaded the Will.I.Am and Thrift Store songs to my iTunes, but can’t figure out how to access it.

We have another winter storm advisory for today – rain, turning to sleet, turning to snow.  Hope I don’t have a three hour commute home like I did a couple weeks ago!  Spring – where are you??!!

Time to get this show on the road . . . make it a great day!

Sunday Dinner

This weekend was a perfect combination of lazy and productive.  Saturday Tony and I went out to eat near where he grew up.  The Village Tavern is known for their chicken fingers.  I wasn’t planning on getting them, until I saw that they offered BUFFALO fingers on their appetizer menu.

Silly me thought it would be a smaller portions since it was an appetizer portion.  Wrong!  I hate two and a half chicken fingers, and this is that I came home with!

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I weighed the leftovers when I got home, and it was 13 ounces of chicken – there was probably a pound in the whole order!   We went grocery shopping and after I put all the groceries away when I got home, I decided to catch up on American Idol instead of doing laundry. Open-mouthed smile  I have to say that this season the women are amazeballs, but I like this “guy” Jda. 

Not sure how to describe him.  He wears make-up and glitter yet has a mustache and beard. He wears dresses and high heels, but I really liked his performance.  Tony keeps telling me that the ratings on that show are tanking this year, but I still like watching it. Open-mouthed smile


I still had dough leftover from last week, so I made another deep dish pizza for dinner Saturday night – one piece was plenty for both of us.

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Yesterday morning I got up and starting making coffee, getting the paper, etc.  I had no idea what time it was, but it felt like I slept in late because I was really rested.  When I looked at the clock it was only 8:15!  I finished putting my SIL’s food together for the week, and yesterday I made up for my lazy day on Saturday.  I was a cleaning fool, we went to Sam’s Club – if you make as much bread as I do, the cheapest bread by far is at Sam’s Club – a 25 pound bag of bread flour is only $8!  I have a giant bin in my pantry with a sealed top to store it.

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I always make bread for my SIL each week.  When I got ready to form the dough to bake it, I realized I was out of parchment paper.  I wasn’t sure foil would work, but I gave it a try.  I decided to sprinkle corn meal on the bottom of the foil, and lay the dough on that to transfer the bread in and out of the Dutch oven.  It worked!  It didn’t stick at all.

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My SIL was going to be picking up her food right around dinner time, so I invited her to stay for dinner.  I’ve always liked the idea of Sunday dinner.  We always ate dinner at the dining room table.  We never sat in front of the t.v.  These days, the only time we do use the dining room table is when we have company over.

I may reinstate the Sunday dinner just so I can eat at my dining room table once a week! Open-mouthed smile  Last week I bought giant bone in chicken breasts to make chicken vesuvio, which is one of Tony’s favorite dishes.  I was happy when I found this straight forward recipe for the dish.  I, of course, left out the onions.  I also reduced the amount of olive oil substantially – down to 2 tablespoons – 1 tablespoon to brown the chicken, and 1 tablespoon to brown the potatoes.  I also thought I had frozen peas, but I didn’t, so canned peas were added in the last five minutes of baking.

The chicken was heavily seasoned with salt, pepper and Italian seasoning.

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Since the breasts were so big, I cut them in half.  While this picture doesn’t do the dish much justice, this was a winner.  The chicken was tender and perfectly cooked, the potatoes melted in your mouth – once I took the chicken and potatoes out, I mixed 1 tablespoon of cornstarch with water and thickened the broth/wine sauce, and then added a squeeze of lemon and lemon zest to finish it off.

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I’ll definitely make this one again!  Question of the Day:  How often do you use your dining room table?

Tony and I have always had U.S. Cellular as our cell phone carrier.  Living out in the “sticks” it was the only phone that gave us great reception in the house.  Tony’s phone is up for renewal so we went to get him a new phone, only to find out that U.S. Cellular is getting bought out by Sprint, and Sprint service sucks ass in our area.

When we were at Sam’s Club yesterday, we checked out Verizon, and guess what I got?

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Yep, I got an iPhone 4!  It was only .96 cents with a 2 year contract – and the plan is nearly identical to what we had at U.S. Cell.  The only problem is that since we switched carriers, I need to add in my contacts, but other than that, I really like it so far.  So tell me, what are you favorite apps?  So far I just have my beloved Instagram, Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, WordPress and Nike.

And you can see that I do actually write my posts before work – it is now 7:34 a.m. and I leave my house at 8:05 – plenty of time to get my workout bag and food together for the day.  Come back tomorrow, I made a broccoli cheddar soup using unsweetened almond milk – I’ll be posting the recipe tomorrow. Open-mouthed smile

Make it a great day!

Souper Friday–Vegetarian Chili with Jalapeno Basil Cornbread

I got a kick out of the comments yesterday about who does and doesn’t like hot sauces.  I think I got my love of hot stuff from my grandpa.  He died when I was 11, but I have memories of him adding hot sauce and pepper vinegar on a lot of his food.  Pepper vinegar is something to behold – and while my Aunt is a close second, my grandpa made the best North Carolina bbq – lots of crushed red pepper and vinegar, served on a soft white bun and cole slaw.  Literally my mouth just watered thinking about it!   I love this picture of my grandparents!


So with the leftovers of our filet mignon from dinner the night before last, it was only appropriate to make a filet mignon breakfast panini, right? Open-mouthed smile  My artisan bread, 1 egg scrambled, fresh mozzarella cheese and 1.5 ounces of thinly sliced steak.  Holy shizz peeps, this was amazeballs.

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Since it is Lent, I decided to come up with a meatless meal.  First up is jalapeno basil cornbread – I took my inspiration from this recipe.

Jalapeno Basil Cornbread

  • made 12 generous servings
  • 195 calories, 4 fat, 195 sodium, 32 carbs, 1.8 fiber and 4.8 protein


  • 1.5 cups unsweetened almond milk
  • 3 eggs
  • 3 tablespoons lemon juice
  • 1/4 cup basil
  • 2 cups yellow corn meal
  • 1 cup flour
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 1/2 cup Land O Lakes butter spread (or butter)
  • 4 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 can white corn (about 1 cup drained)
  • 1 jalapeno pepper

Put a cast iron skillet in your oven and heat to 400 – I put about 1 teaspoon of olive oil in the pan.  This is super simple – throw everything in a food processor and pulse until combined.  Pour the batter in the hot cast iron skillet and bake for 35-40 minutes.  Mine took exactly 35 minutes.

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You can see how the crust is perfect since it started cooking the second it hit the hot pan.  I set all the food out and then went to the gym to work out – I ended up swimming for 30 minutes – I really pushed myself and pretended I was in the Olympics – ha!

When I got back to work, my one boss said “I love that corn bread, I ate three pieces!”  Yikes, I didn’t have the heart to tell her she ate 600 calories in bread!

The inspiration for the vegetarian chili came from this recipe

Vegetarian Chili

  • made 8, 1.5 cups servings
  • 260 calories, 2 fat, 53 carbs, 12.5 fiber and 11 protein – this sodium is high on this one – 1366 mg per serving – wowza!


  • 1 teaspoon olive oil
  • 1/2 pound of carrots
  • 1/4 pound of celery
  • 1 red pepper
  • 2 green peppers
  • 1 jalapeno pepper
  • 2 tablespoons cumin
  • 3 tablespoons chili powder
  • 1 teaspoon chipotle chile powder
  • 1, 28 oz. can tomato puree
  • 1 quart vegetable stock
  • 2 cups water
  • 2 cans kidney beans, drained
  • 2 cans black beans, drained
  • 1 can white corn, drained
  • 2 cups cooked white rice

Heat the oil in a large stock pot.  Put the carrots, celery, peppers and jalapeno pepper in a food processor and puree.  Add to the heated oil and add in seasonings and cook, while stirring, for 5 minutes.  Add in the tomato puree, vegetable stock, water, canned beans and corn, turn heat to low and simmer for 30 minutes.

Since there is no meat to thicken this chili up, I heated this up in my crock pot at work, and 30 minutes before serving, I added the white rice.  My garnishes were chopped cilantro and Mexican cheese.

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I thought it could have used a bit more spice, my jalapenos lately haven’t been hot at all.  So of course, I added Buffalo Tabasco to mine to kick it up a notch. Open-mouthed smile

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Tony requested fish tacos for dinner.  But he said he wanted a tangy slaw to go with it – something with a vinegary kick.  You just have to whisper vinegar and I am in!  The beer batter was simple – 1/2 cup flour, 2 tablespoons corn starch, 1/2 teaspoon baking powder, 1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper and salt and pepper.

Tony ended up tweaking the slaw dressing – not sure exactly what’s in it other than rice vinegar, soy sauce, a pinch of brown sugar and garlic.  The slaw was simply shredded red cabbage and carrots.

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We used frozen mahi mahi for the fish again – next week I think we are going to try orange roughy, because I think that’s another mild white fish.  I, naturally, needed sriracha on mine!
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Tony and I are headed out to the grocery store in a bit – I am still meal planning, but flank steak is on sale so I think something with that will be on the menu next week.  Then lunch at the Village Tavern, home of amazing nachos and chicken fingers!

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I know you guys are going to think we are crazy, but we are actually going there for the onion rings! Open-mouthed smile

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We are having my SIL over Sunday night for dinner – chicken vesuvio is on the menu.  Other than that, I need more dinner ideas – what are you making this week?

Hope you all have a great weekend – see you Monday!