Party Pizza Friday!

Believe it or not, I was up by 7:00 a.m. yesterday – on a day off!  That hardly ever happens, so I took advantage and did some laundry and chores.  Next thing I knew it was 9:30 and I was starting to get hungry.

I made breakfast tostadas – two eggs scrambled with spinach and a bit of cheese, topped on two tostadas (each tostada is only 35 calories!) and topped it with my salsa and cilantro.  Oh, and maybe a touch of hot sauce. Open-mouthed smile

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Tony?  He rarely eats breakfast.  Really the only time he’ll eat it is when we go out for breakfast, but it’s usually after 10:30.  He boiled some eggs the day before and asked if I could make him an egg salad sandwich.  I don’t like mayo, so I never eat it.  I looked up a “classic egg salad.”  Easy enough, eggs, mayo, celery, mustard, etc.

Sadly, the eggs were hard to peel – maybe because they were still cold?

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I brought a taste to Tony to see if it needed more salt or pepper, and he said “what’s the crunchy shit?”  Um, celery.  Turns out when Tony makes his egg salad, there is no celery, but he still liked it.

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And he likes it on white bread with lettuce.  I think it would be better on toasted bread, but that’s just me. Open-mouthed smile

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Me?  I had a Nathan’s hot dog – best hot dog on the market!

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I went to pick up my contacts at the eye doctor, then went to Walmart to have my eye brows threaded – ouch!  I always forget how much that hurts, but it’s short lived – it’s over in a few minutes.   I picked up some spray paint to spray my board for my pictures – they sell the generic brand of paint for only .97 cents a can!

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It was dry in a matter of minutes too!  When I came back inside, Tony called me into the living room.  He said “I read the blog  . . . I am okay with having pizza for dinner!”  Woop! 

You can find the step by step instructions here – it’s not as complicated as it looks.  It’s just an America’s Test Kitchen recipe so it’s super detailed.

I do weigh my flour out – 16.25 ounces to be exact.

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I suggest you buy loose yeast.  This jar cost $3.83 at Walmart, and it lasts forever in your fridge – 2 1/4 teaspoons is the equivalent to a package of yeast.

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The stand mixer does all the work – you’ll know when it’s ready when your bowl is clean on the sides.

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After the first rise, you roll out the dough, butter the dough (I reduced the butter to 2 tablespoons this time) and then roll it into an envelope and let it sit in the fridge for an hour.

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Tony’s side was mushroom and green olive, my side was baby spinach:

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That was kind of a mistake, I normally put the ingredients on top of the sliced cheese, but I got ahead of myself – I scooped off as much of the sauce as I could, then added the sauce and grated Parmesan cheese.  Ready for the oven!  This bakes on the lower third of your oven, at 425 for 25-30 minutes.  You need to let it sit for at least five minutes before cutting.

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I put a mushroom and piece of spinach on top of each side so I would know how to cut it.

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Holy yum.  I always forget how good this pizza is.  The sauce, the melty cheese, the buttery crust.  You don’t even need to make a trip to Chicago to have authentic deep dish pizza at home! Open-mouthed smile  And Mara has made this using whole wheat flour in the dough and had equally good results.

Today I have to grocery shop and meal plan – I’ll be cooking for people again!  My SIL and bosses will be back from spring break, and my Mom and nephew are coming over for Easter tomorrow.  I know we are having ham, but other than that, not sure what else I’ll have on the menu!

What’s on your Easter menu – I am looking for some different side dishes this year.  Maybe I will jump on Pinterest – I am becoming a Pinterest whore these days!  I still won’t get into Twitter, in fact I tweeted to Mara yesterday and it’s my 4th tweet ever!  Ha!

Enjoy your Easter if you celebrate it – make it a great day and I’ll “see you on Monday.”  I finally made granola clusters and can’t wait to share the recipe with you on Monday!

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Apple Pork Sausage and Chimichurri

Hello Friday!  And hello to another day off!  I could really get used to these three day work weeks! Open-mouthed smile

Last weekend while I was waiting for my number to be called at the meat counter, I wandered around and saw that they had pork sausage – at only $2.99 a pound!  I bought some with the thought of making apple and pork breakfast sausages.  This one is almost too embarrassing to post as a recipe because it’s so easy!

Apple Pork Breakfast Sausages

  • makes 6 patties, 147 calories, 11 fat, 272 sodium, 4.2 carbs, 1.1 fiber and 6.6 protein


  • 9 ounces fresh pork sausage
  • 6 ounces of apple (about half of a large), cored and then shredded with the skin on
  • 1 tablespoon of fennel seeds
  • salt and pepper

After you shred the apple, put the shreds in a paper towel and squeeze out all of the moisture.  Mix with pork sausage and fennel seeds.  Each of my sausages were 2.1 ounces raw.  I generously coated with salt and pepper.

Put in a non-stick pan.  Add enough water to cover up to half of the side of the sausage over medium low heat – you want to cook the pork through before browning it up.  This batch took me about 15 minutes all together.

My breakfast – a 2 egg spinach omelet, 100 calorie English muffin (that I ended up putting the omelet in and eating like a breakfast sammie) and 2 sausages.

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That’s a really shitty picture above, but I wanted you to see all the shreds of apple.

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Holy yum, were those sausages good.  While this breakfast comes in at 526 calories, 32 fat, 31 carbs, 8.8 fiber and 31 protein, this packed a punch with staying power – this kept me full for hours.  So full that when it was time to have our office lunch of Chinese food, I wasn’t even sure I even wanted to eat anything!

I did end up getting two chicken sticks and wonton soup, of which I only ate half the soup, so lunch came in at 381 calories, 9 fat, 16 carbs, 1 fiber and 58 protein.  Nice!  I may have added a touch of sriracha to my wonton soup broth. Open-mouthed smile

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Before work yesterday, I blindly grabbed some sort of “meat” from the freezer and figured I would wing it when I got home.  When I unwrapped the package, I realized it was the other half of the beef I bought at Whole Foods a few weeks ago.  This portion was $4.20, or $2.10 per person.

I don’t know if you are like me, but when I see bunches of cilantro and parsley on sale for .25 cents a bunch, I routinely buy a dollars worth and then by the end of the week wonder what to do with it before it goes bad.  I’ve made a chimichurri sauce before and completely forgot how delicious it is.

I switched the recipe up a bit, based what I had on hand.  Best part? Tony loved it!

Chimichurri Sauce


  • 1 tablespoon white balsamic vinegar
  • 2 tablespoons fresh lime juice
  • zest of 1 lemon
  • 3 garlic cloves
  • 1/2 cup fresh basil (I used a 6 ounce package from the store)
  • 1 cup cilantro, stems cut off
  • 1 cup parsley, stems cut off
  • 1/2 cup extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 teaspoon sea salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon cracked black pepper
  • pinch of sugar

Combine all the ingredients in a food processor and puree until smooth.  Holy smokes if you could smell this!  It smells like summer!

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The key to a great grilled piece of meat?  Always make sure your meat is at room temperature – never go from fridge to heat because you’ll end up with tough meat every time.  I just salt and peppered this beef.

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While the meat started to grill, I popped two of my last red potatoes in the microwave and hit the button for baked potato. Since they were small, it was only about 5 minutes.  Next went in my broccoli head, and I hit the button for fresh vegetable.

When I flipped my meat, I added the potatoes and broccoli to finish them off.  See the broccoli stem?  That’s Tony’s favorite part so he at that!

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Love that the sun was setting at 6:30!  And the snow is melted in our back yard – we only have one pile at each side of our driveway – come on spring!

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I ended up cutting up my meat, potato and broccoli and stirring it in all that delicious herb sauce – if I could have licked the plate I would have!  (well, maybe I did once I brought the dishes back in!).  This makes a lot – I have about a tablespoon and a half on my plate – I was thinking that it might be a great topping on a goat cheese omelet?

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So not a bad dinner considering I didn’t have a plan when I got home from work!

Raise your hand if you have today off!  Hope you enjoy your Friday.  I hope to convince Tony to have deep dish pizza for dinner – except his side can be black olive and cheese (last day of Lent!) and mine can be a spinach deep dish pizza. Doesn’t this look amazeballs?

Taste of Chicago


Make it a great day!

Lyle wanted to stay for dinner!

At our blogger brunch last weekend, Jacky gave me some of her sister Jody’s granola, so I decided to make a breakfast parfait.  I sauteed 1 apple with a pinch of brown sugar and Pam, then tossed in some blackberries.  Since I knew the fruit and granola were sweet, I made the right move and used plain Chobani – good to the last drop!

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The granola was so good – thanks Jody!

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Since I still had 21 miles to go in my 45 miles for March challenge, I knew I was going to do a bike ride and decided to do the bike ride that you follow the scene on the screen and have to stay ahead of the pace bike – It’s really challenging!

Sadly, when I got to the gym, I found this:

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So on to Plan B!  I did a random ride on the regular exercise bike, except this time I kept my RPMs between 90 and 100 no matter how steep the hill got – I actually got in an extra 1.5 miles in nearly the same amount of time as the day before!  Only 11.5 miles to go – no probs!

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Lunch was a cup of Tony’s steak fried rice, along with some steamed broccoli that I tossed in some sriracha.  Delish!

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Um, turns out I am not the biggest fan of broccoli stems!

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I thawed out some chicken breasts and decided to make chicken marsala, but I decided to rewrite the recipe for two servings. 

Chicken Marsala for Two

  • 394 caloires, 17 fat, 913 sodium, 21 carbs, 2 fiber and 26 protein


  • 1/8 cup of all-purpose flour
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon cracked black pepper
  • 1 teaspoon Italian seasoning
  • 1 teaspoon minced garlic
  • 2, 4 oz. chicken breasts
  • 1 tablespoon butter
  • 1 tablespoon oli
  • 1 cup sliced mushrooms
  • 3/4 cup Marsala wine
  • 1/4 cup heavy cream
  • optional lemon juice squeezed over the dish

Put the flour, salt, pepper, Italian seasoning on a shallow plate and mix well.  Dip the chicken in the flour on both sides.

Heat butter and oil over medium heat.  Cook both sides of the chicken, just until browned, then remove to a plate.  Add the garlic and mushrooms, and cook for 2 minutes.  Pour in the wine and deglaze the pan for a couple minutes, then return the chicken to the pan.

Cover with a skillet and cook for about 6-8 minutes, flipping half way through, depending on how thick your chicken is.  Mine was skinny, so I only cooked mine 3 minutes a side.  Remove from heat and stir in cream.  Serve over pasta of your choice.  FYI, the calories above do not include the pasta.

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Okay, so here is what I hadn’t considered about my new “photography studio.”  I set my board down by the back door, I took about four pictures, when all of a sudden, who should show up by the back door?  Lyle the Squirrel!


Except I was too freaked out to take a picture of him, because he was literally about to walk in our back door – you’ve never seen anyone move so fast, while saving their dinner, before in your life!

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Note to self – check for Lyle before taking photos!  He probably just wanted my delicious Marsala! Open-mouthed smile

Last day of the work week today!  Looking forward to a 3 day weekend.  Come back tomorrow for pork and apple sausage recipe that I made this morning for breakfast.

Make it a great day!

Challenge? What Challenge?!

We made it up to 40 degrees yesterday and actually had some sunshine!  And we may even reach 50 on Saturday – come on spring!!

For breakfast I had an egg sammie and some delicious blackberries – they were on sale for 2.00 a pint!

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I challenged myself on March 1st to do three things:

March Goals

  • walk/run/move 45 miles
  • get to the gym 2 times a week before work for a 4 mile walk
  • more veggies and fruits (I may do a smoothie a day!)

Why I think if I write something down on this blog that it’s going to force me to do it.  The gym 2 times a week before work?  Didn’t happen.  A smoothie a day?  That didn’t happen either.  I looked back though and discovered I still needed to MOVE 29 miles before the end of the month.  If nothing else, I will reach that 45 mile goal!

I ended up doing the bike on random hill climb.  I ended up going 8 miles in 34 minutes!  Then I did abs on the bosu and push ups on the bosu.

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I watched The Chew while I worked out – sadly they were making an onion and cherry tomato salad – ew!  Tony and I have deemed the purple onion to be the worst in the onion family. Crying face

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It’s really weird this week.  I am not cooking for anyone this week!  My two bosses are on spring break, so is my SIL, and our office is closed on Friday for Good Friday, so no Souper Friday.

It was the perfect opportunity though for me to make a Leftover Tasting Plate as I like to call it.  What it’s really called though is “throw shit in a bag and see what happens!”

I had a can of this that I bought a couple weeks ago.  I think I’ve mentioned this brand of hummos before – my store sells it for .99 a can and 2 tablespoons is only 35 calories, but the best part is that it’s delicious!  It has a nice lemon tang to it.

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So this is how my tasting plate turned out:

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A random grilled potato, leftover shrimp cocktail, a 100 calorie pita I toasted in the toaster, carrots, cucumber, apple, blackberries and hummos.  So good!  And this took me nearly an hour to eat while I was working at my desk!  I ended up splitting up my insulin, so I took half to start, and then half way through took the rest.

I posted on Facebook yesterday thanking Tony for making his amazeballs fried rice for dinner.  We plan on doing a tutorial video in the near future to show you how he makes it, since he rarely uses measurements.  Tony in action:

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The end result:

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I did add some sriracha to this after I took this picture, but it’s so delicious.  And I have leftovers for at least the next two days! Open-mouthed smile

I read a blog a while back, can’t remember whose it was, but it said that you should find different places in your house to take pictures and see where the best natural light is.  For the above picture?  I chose my back door on a piece of leftover wood!

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I plan on painting that board white on one side, and maybe another color on the back – I think black would be too dark – any thoughts??

So my goal for the remainder of March is to get that last 21 miles in.  But I really need to get my head in the game for the month of April. 

I have a few bloggers I wanted to give a shout out too that have started to turn my thinking to the positive side.

Aimee wrote a post about being Unapologetic for her eating over the weekend.  Aimee is a lifelong dieter/binger and has come a long way in how she views food – nothing is off limits and she routinely eats healthy to fuel her body to run.  She indulged in a few things over the weekend, and moved on.  Now that’s a non-scale victory if I’ve ever seen one!  Great job Aimee – you can read her post here.

Sam has been through a lot this last year.  She separated, then divorced last year.  She moved back home.  She’s now met someone new.  She had made herself a motivational wall to help keep her on track to meet her goals.  I liked the idea of having a piece of paper for every pound she needs to lose – to me it’s not to show how far you have to go, but to see how far you’ve come.  I am proud of you Sam and am happy that you are finally putting yourself first!  You can read her post here.

And Caron is an At Goal Weight Watcher.  She has an amazing leader at her WW meetings.  She dresses up for no reason and seems like a very motivating leader!

This is part of her post that her WW leader talked about, hope you don’t mind me sharing it Caron!

She was talking about how much the Easter buffet really costs if you go with the attitude of “I’m going to get my money’s worth.” How many times have I said that!
She chose a price of $30 for the buffet and then began to add in the cost of going to Weight Watchers. The first meeting after joining costs you $13 and you have lost 2.6 pounds which is great. The second meeting also costs $13 and after the Easter binge at the buffet, you are up 3 pounds. The next week you go back to weigh in and you are down .4 and you are delighted, do a little dance and say things like “I’m back baby!” and “Look at me go!”
Now for the math, and I hope I do this right. You paid $39 for three weeks of Weight Watchers and $30 for your fancy Easter buffet. At the end of three weeks you are right back where you started on the first weigh in and you are HAPPY. You paid $69 and you have lost NOTHING. It’s a great little exercise and I hope it helps people to have second thoughts about getting their money’s worth.

I hope you can find inspiration in these ladies as I have!  Who inspires you lately?

Only two more work days this week – gotta love a 3 day work week! Make it a great day!

Turns out my hair is too thin to look like Jody Foster.

I have to give a shout out to Jacky, because I forgot to mention her brunch gift that she gave me and my sister.  Holla!!  Sriracha Salt!

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Um, why haven’t I ever thought of spicy salt?!  Thanks Jacky!  This will definitely be put to good use!

I slept in yesterday morning.  Then did my blog post and started laundry.  Before I knew it, it was 11:30 and I hadn’t had anything to eat yet!  Since this was both breakfast and lunch, I made a bagel sammie, using some of the leftover bacon from Tony’s giant BLT over the weekend.

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My hair appointment was at 1:30.  I brought them this picture that I pinned on Pinterest.


I told her that I thought I needed short layers to make my hair look fuller.  The best part about the whole hair cut was the shampoo.  This place has massage chairs now, and they start out by putting a hot towel on your head and it’s so relaxing.

Once she brushed out my hair, she said “I think in the back you have enough to donate to locks of love!”  What??!

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We had just enough – 7 inches.  It’s so thin I asked her what they could possibly do with it, and she said it would be perfect to make bangs.  Who knew?

So it turns out my hair is too thin to have short layers like Jody Foster’s picture.  She said it would make my hair look thinner.  So we ended up with a chunky bob I guess.  I bit shorter in the back, but it does make my hair seem a lot fuller.

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So no more pony tail!  I actually think this is a cut I can maintain. Open-mouthed smile  When I got back, Tony and I went to Bed Bath & Beyond.  I had a gift certificate from my PIL, plus a Visa card from one of my bosses.

Since Hannah moved out, it’s rare that Tony and I can drink a whole pot of coffee.  I usually drink the leftovers as iced coffee in the morning before brewing another pot.  But some days Tony doesn’t drink any coffee at all, so we were wasting a lot of coffee.

Problem solved!  (Skippy, I know you are jealous of my coffee cup!)

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And the best part?  I can have stinky coffee!  Tony doesn’t like any type of flavored coffee, but I love it.  I had enough on the gift cards to buy this:

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And we bought the tiny filter, so we can use our own coffee as well.

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Did you see the cover of the latest Cooking Light magazine?

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I was reading this magazine on the way to the store over the weekend, and this looked amazeballs.  I ended up using two big bone in chicken breasts that I cut in half.  Only one slight problem – this recipe said that it took 39 minutes to make.  No way.  It said to brown the chicken on the skin side for 6 minutes, then bake at 400 degrees for 12 minutes, or until it reaches 165 degrees. 

At 12 minutes, my chicken was only at 115 degrees – it took closer to 20-23 minutes for the chicken to be cooked through.  And I also had to microwave my potatoes before browning them – and even then some were a bit undercooked.  Next time I’ll bake the red potatoes whole beforehand, then slice and brown as directed.

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A great reason to have a food scale?  These three potatoes can to 1 pound!

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I also added 1 teaspoon of sugar, because the sauce before I added the sugar was a bit too tart.

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Oops, I forgot the parsley!

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This was delicious.  The sauce was perfect, the chicken was nice and moist, so next time I’ll be sure to cook the potatoes ahead of time.

I have left myself some time this morning to fix my hair – it may add five minutes to my morning routine – ha!

My gym bag is packed – it’s been too long since I worked out!  What are you planning to do for exercise today?  Make it a great day!