Test

this is a test. . . to see if I can use Live Writer on my self-hosted blog.   I loved this salad I got at Trader Joe’s!

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Only one problem . . . I didn’t see RED ONIONS or SCALLIONS on the ingredient list!

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Enjoy your Sunday!

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Breakfast Tacos

Since I didn’t hit the gym before work yesterday, it was nice to have a relaxing morning.  I drank coffee, posted my blog, read some blogs and had time to make breakfast tacos.  What’s not to love?!

This time – I scrambled one egg with 1/3 cup egg whites.  I popped my corn tortillas in the microwave for 30 seconds – if you don’t soften the corn tortillas they will pop open when you try to fry them.

Into each hot corn tortilla went 1/2 the scrambled egg mixture, 1 slice of deli ham, 1/4 cup baby spinach and half a slice of American cheese.  I heated up 1/2 teaspoon of olive oil in my pan and then fried them to crispy – about 2 minutes a side over medium heat.

But I was taking these to work to eat.  So once they were done in a pan, I put a paper towel in my container, put the hot tacos in there, put the lid on and put them in my lunch box.  Only problem – the steam will soften the taco – but don’t fret!  If you have access to a toaster oven, simply heat under the broiler setting for 5 minutes and they will be crispy again!

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For 373 calories and 30 grams of fat, this was a super filling breakfast.  I think I may make 10 tacos over the weekend for a quick grab and go breakfast next week.  I could literally eat these every day.

I was doing my strength after work, so at lunch I decided to chip away at my 125 mile goal for November, and did 7 miles on the bike in 30 minutes.  I didn’t do any resistance, but my goal was to not get below 100 rpms.  Kind of like a 30 minute sprint!

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I made chili over the weekend for one of our dinners, but decided to bring some for lunch at work.  Sadly, ground sirloin was $3.99 a pound, and I looked over and they had round steak for $1.99 – so I got that!  When I made it the meat was super tender.  However, I think the reheating in the microwave at work made the meat really chewy and tough.  I gave a bowl of chili to one of my attorneys and after I ate it, I called her and said “sorry I served you shitty chili!”  They can’t all be homeruns, right?

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Later on I had a skinny café mocha – a 25 calorie pack of hot cocoa mix, with coffee and a splash of hazelnut coffee creamer.  While I am not happy about our cooler temps, I am always happy to bring out my snowman mugs!

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So the vibe at the gym at 5:00 is pretty interesting.  Lots of high school boys in the free weight room.  Wearing weight belts and gloves and grunting as they did their lifts.  The other part?  The bar was pretty full!  Yes, there is a bar in my gym, right next to the fire place.  I didn’t know it was a happening place to be for happy hour?!

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On tap was hamstrings, glutes and calves:

  • Seated Leg Curl: 3 sets of 15 reps
  • Barbell Lunge: 3 sets of 15 reps, per side
  • Stiff-Legged Barbell Deadlift: 3 sets of 15 reps
  • Bounce-Bounce-Squat: 3 sets of 15 reps
  • Standing Leg Curl: 3 sets of 15 reps
  • Split Squat: 3 sets of 15 reps
  • Single-Leg Barbell Squat on Bench: 3 sets of 15 reps
  • Stability Ball Leg Curl: 3 sets of 15 reps
  • Lying Leg Curl (one leg at a time): 3 sets of 20 reps
  • Mountain Climbers: 3 sets of 20 reps
  • Standing Calf Raise: 3 sets of 20 reps
  • Seated Calf Raise: 3 sets of 20 reps
  • Jump rope: 3 sets of 1 minute

Yep, that took me 45 minutes to complete.  I think the toughest one for me was the split squat –  I did it on the Bosu ball.  It REALLY concentrates the muscles on your leg on the floor.

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I had a meeting last night, so didn’t get home until 8:15.  I called Tony on my way home and asked if he’d eaten anything yet, and he said no, but he felt like a cheeseburger, so I stopped at Mr. Beefy’s on the way home.  I was all set to get a grilled chicken pita, but my mouth said “I’ll have a gyros!”  Since I didn’t eat any of the meat at lunch, I was really hungry!

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I ate half the meat and two bites of the pita.  I am calling it 550 calories for half – maybe that’s close??

Stats for the Day:

  • 1578 calories, 143 carbs, 82 fat, 78 protein and 15 fiber
  • 43% of calories from fat, 20% from protein and 35% from carbs
  • 30 minute 7 mile bike at lunch
  • 45 minute strength after work
  • 82 miles left in my 125 November challenge

Hooray for Friday!  I have some news – my brother is moving my whole site from wordpress.com to a self hosted site so I can try to get some advertising on the blog.  Because of this migration, this will be the last post until Monday.  I also have to disable the comments section so there is no new content while the migration takes place this weekend.  I don’t understand a word of how it works, but I appreciate my brother Charlie’s help!

In the meantime, you can always email me at mybizzykitchen@gmail.com, or follow me on Instagram at biz319.  I am also working on a My Bizzy Kitchen page on Facebook!  You can stop by and like it over the weekend. Open-mouthed smile

And check out Courtney’s Cookie Recipe Contest!  You can find out the details here – winner gets a super cute apron and a $25 dollar Williams Sonoma gift card!

Have a wonderful weekend – see you Monday!

Homemade Rice-A-Roni

Some days I wonder if I would leave my head at home if it wasn’t attached to my body!  I was a whirlwind of activity before heading out to the gym.  I didn’t pack my back the night before and I was putting my work clothes in my bag – my worst fear is that after a work out I start to get dressed and I haven’t packed a bra or underwear, just a top and pants!

Got my food. Check!  Got my work clothes.  Check!  Got my camera.  Check!  Got my cell phone. Check!  Got my coffee.  Check!  Got my insulin bag . . .

Doh.  I got nearly to the gym and realized I left my insulin bag on the kitchen counter.  It has my test strips, glucose monitor, glucose tabs and . . . MY FAST ACTING INSULIN!   I have to take insulin every time I eat.  Drat.  But then I thought about it.  I could modify my food that I brought for the day – just make it lower carb.  And while Tony was perfectly willing to make the hour round trip drive to bring it to me, I thought I’d be okay.

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It was a gorgeous sunrise on the way to the gym.  Something about the sun just immediately puts me in a good mood!  On tap yesterday – chest and shoulders.

  • Incline Dumbbell Press: 3 sets 15 reps
  • Dumbbell Shoulder Press: 3 sets of 15
  • Cable Crossover: 3 sets of 15 reps
  • Plyo Kettlebell Push-Up: 3 X 12
  • One-Arm Overhead Dumbbell Squat: 3 sets of 15 reps, each side
  • Jackknife on Bench: 3 sets 15 reps
  • Side Lateral Raise: 3 sets of 15 reps
  • Upright Row: 3 sets of 15 reps
  • Burpee: 3 sets of 10 reps
  • Dips: 3 sets of 15 reps
  • Roman Chair Leg Raise: 3 sets of 15 reps
  • Push-Ups: 3 sets of 15 reps

Cardio:

  • 30-second sprints on treadmill; Level 8; 30 seconds on/30 off; 30 minutes total

Surprisingly, the strength portion only took me 35 minutes – nice!  So I went to the treadmill to start the sprints.  Um, no.  I was still sore from the day before.  I wasn’t feeling it, and I didn’t want to do a half ass job, so I quickly switched gears and went swimming for 30 minutes instead.  Ah, that felt good.  Got all the kinks out and when I got out of the pool, I wasn’t sore anymore.

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And I had time to take a 10 minute hot shower.  #love

No picture of breakfast – you’ve seen it so much – another slice of my quiche!  It was only 12 grams of carbs, so I couldn’t eat my fruit or Chobani since I didn’t have my insulin.

I talked to Tony later on, and he thought it was best that I skip my lunch time workout – without my glucose monitor I have no idea where my blood sugar is at.   Even with one of my bosses out I was busy yesterday.  Before I knew it, it was lunch time!  Taco salad – romaine lettuce, a couple tablespoons of corn, carrots, yellow pepper, 4 ounces of taco meat and my salsa/ranch dressing.  21 grams of carbs for lunch.

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One of Tony’s favorite side dishes growing up was Rice-A-Roni.  He remembered an Asian version that had slivered almonds, but I don’t remember that one.  Katie from Chaos in the Kitchen made a homemade version – you guys, this could not be easier!  The only thing I changed was I used 1 tablespoon of butter while I sauteed the rice and pasta, and I added a teaspoon of Italian seasoning for the dried parsley.

I bought this pasta a couple weeks ago because I had a coupon for it.  Neither Tony or I had seen this cut of pasta before!

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I love that the pasta is sitting on my printed out workout for today!   On the side I made fried chicken legs.  I puffy heart fried drumsticks.  I used to never like dark meat and now I love it.  (that’s what she said).

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I promise you that is just one cup of the rice-a-roni.  Oh, is that fucking hot sauce on my chicken?  How the hell did that get there?! Devil

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The chicken was cooked perfectly, and Tony gave dinner two thumbs up.  #winning!  He usually jokes with me when he likes something I make and says stuff like “finally a decent meal around here!”

Since I had to give up all my extras – fruit/yogurt, etc., my calories were a bit light yesterday!  I am pretty happy that when I got home my blood sugar was only 235 – not bad for not taking insulin all day!

Stats for the Day:

  • 1158 calories, 88 carbs, 73 protein, 58 fat, 7.6 fiber (so low!)
  • 44% of calories from fat, 25% from protein and 30% from carbs
  • 35 minutes chest/shoulders for strength
  • 30 minute swim

I want to give a BIG HAPPY BIRTHDAY to blog reader Louise!  She lives up in Appleton, WI – and she makes wonderful greeting cards. I would love it if you could leave a ton of happy birthday comments and let her know I sent you her way!   She’s 67 years young today.  Maybe next summer I’ll have to make the drive up to WI for a meet up! Open-mouthed smile

I got to sleep in this morning.  I have a meeting near my office tonight, but It’s not until 7:15 so I decided to hit the gym after to work to kill time.  On today’s strength menu?  Hamstrings/Glutes/Calves – but no cardio – woop!

Oh, and guess what?  A while back I asked you guys to vote for my Buffalo Chicken Chili that was in Spark Peoples crock pot recipe contest.  I got an email last night that I made the top 15!  They are going to make the Top 15 recipes in the next week and announce a winner on December 2.  The prize?  $5,000 to me and $5,000 to my charity of choice!  Thanks again to Heather for letting me know about the recipe contest!  Wish me luck. Open-mouthed smile

Make it a great day!

Please send me your Muffin Recipes!

Tony doesn’t like to eat breakfast.  Like hardly ever.  On the weekends its usually closer to noon before he eats, and there is a fine window of when breakfast is no longer appropriate.  You will never find Tony eating breakfast for dinner unless he’s had a stroke, can’t speak and I’ve dressed us in matching jackets.

Muffins though?  Those are an anytime snack.  I had some really ripe bananas, and made him some banana muffins the night before last.  He tasted the batter (um, I’ve been known to leave out the sugar in muffins on more than one occasion!) and he liked it!

Until they came out of the oven and tasted them.  He said they had a weird aftertaste – the recipe called for 3 cups of flour to 4 teaspoons of baking soda which made 16 muffins – maybe the baking soda was too strong?  Well, I brought them to work and everyone like them, to which Tony said “people will eat free food at work if its been sitting by the coffee for three days.”  Touché.

So since I don’t bake that often, can you link or leave in the comments your tried and true muffin recipes?  I’d appreciate it!

So it was rise and shine yesterday!  I love taking the back roads – not a lot of traffic – and for the record, I was stopped in the road, not driving and taking a picture. Open-mouthed smile

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It was back and biceps on the strength training menu.  Check it out!

  • Wide-grip Lat Pulldown: 3 sets of 15 reps
  • Underhand Cable Pulldown: 3 sets of 15 reps
  • One Arm Dumbbell Row: 3 sets of 15 reps, per arm
  • Exercise Ball Pull-in: 3 sets of 15 reps  
  • Seated Cable Row: 3 sets of 15 reps
  • Jackknife on Bench: 3 sets of 15 reps  
  • Bent-Over Barbell Row: 3 sets of 15 reps
  • Mountain Climber: 3 sets of 20 reps  
  • Standing Alternating Dumbbell Curl: 3 sets of 20 reps
  • Bench Dip: 3 sets of 12 reps  
  • Preacher Curl: 3 sets of 12 reps
  • Narrow Push-Up: 3 sets of 12 reps 
  • Triceps Pushdown – rope attachment: 3 sets of 12 reps
  • Mountain Climber: 3 sets of 20 reps  
  • Cable rope overhead triceps extension: 3 sets of 12 reps
  • Air Bike: 3 sets of 25 reps

Cardio:

30-second sprints on treadmill; Level 8; 30 seconds on/30 off; 30 minutes total

Um, yeah – WITHOUT the cardio that routine took me 60 minutes!  It doesn’t seem like much, but 3 sets of 20 is a lot.  I ended up pushing the cardio to lunch.  Still smiling after 60 minutes though!

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Okay, see that pink underneath my diet coke shirt?  I got that from a company to promote workout gear, which then quickly went out of business.  I couldn’t even find the name of it, but I LOVE that shirt – it’s a tank, and it’s made by NUX.  For those of us who have, ahem, a muffin top, that shirt holds everything in, while I am doing weights, running, etc.  LOVE.

I had 1/2 a cup of granola before working out, then more jalapeno quiche for breakfast with Chobani and fruit later in the morning.

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I was super busy at work yesterday, which I love.  It makes the day go by so fast, and before I knew it, it was time to head back to the gym.  Now it said for cardio “8.0 mph – 30 seconds on, 30 seconds off.”   I took that as run 30 seconds at 8.0 (which is a 7:30 minute mile pace!) and then bring the pace down and walk the second 30 seconds and back and forth. 

Well, by the time that I ran 30 seconds at 8.0, then reduced the speed to 3.7 to recover, it was almost time to bring it back up to sprint!  So I ended up doing 1 minute at 8.0 and 1 minute at 3.7 for 30 minutes.

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With a cool down, I did 3 miles.  But what I thought about later in the afternoon is I think I am supposed to keep the speed at 8.0 the whole time, and then jump off for the 30 second rest?  It’s on tap again today, so I am going to try it – although the mileage won’t be as accurate since I am stepping off half the time!  Do you think that’s what it means 30 seconds on/off??

And the gym?  Completely empty.  Now is the calm before the January 1 storm!

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Since the muffins I made tasted like ass to Tony, I picked him up a blueberry muffin that they sell at the gym for $1 by the front desk.  I brought it to my desk and stuck it in my lunch bag to bring it home for him.

I ended up having a huge ass salad with leftover turkey cutlet from our sammies the night before.  Well, my lunch was mostly veggies with about 3 ounces of turkey and 303 calories. 

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About an hour after I ate I was so hungry!!  So, I took half of Tony’s blueberry muffin.  I have to admit, it was pretty good – I am calling half of it 200 calories.

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Now is the time I am getting two or three gift catalogs a day at work.  Some of them I just throw straight in the trash, but some I look through.  I saw this super cute snowman tree that would fit on your desk.  I texted the picture to Tony.

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Apparently he doesn’t feel the same way about snowmen as I do!

Dinner was quick and easy – Chicken Marsala for Two – except this time I cut up the chicken into bite size pieces, and I added a cup of broccoli to mine.  I just tossed the broccoli in the pasta water for the last two minutes.

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Alright, I am off the gym for chest/shoulders.  Fingers crossed it doesn’t take me an hour to get through it!

Stats for the Day:
  

  • 1674 calories, 200 carbs, 98 protein, 50 fat, 28 fiber
  • 26% of calories from fat, 23% from protein and 47% from carbs
  • A- grade on caloriecount.com
  • 60 minute back/biceps strength
  • 30 minute treadmill sprints

Make it a great day!

Jalapeno Popper Quiche

It’s funny how a whole weekend can fly by and I can’t seem to find the time to workout, when most workdays I work out 90 minutes a day!  After our super stormy weather Sunday and mild temps, it was back to reality – I left the house and it was 30 degrees.

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I just scanned through the workout the night before.  If I don’t know what the exercise is, I’ll watch the video so I know what I am doing and don’t have to waste time during the workout watching videos!

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Holy bat shit.  Yesterday was calves and quads and it took me 55 minutes to complete!

  • Leg Press: 3 sets of 15 reps
  • Squat Jump: 3 sets of 15 reps
Working Set Active Rest:
  • Smith Machine Single-leg Split Squat 3 sets of 15 reps, per side
  • Jump rope: 3 sets of 1 minute
Superset:
  • Walking Barbell Lunge: 3 sets of 20 reps, 10 steps down, 10 back
  • Long Jump: 3 sets of 20 reps, 10 jumps down, 10 back
Superset:
  • Leg Extension: 3 sets of 20 reps
  • Lateral Bound (side-to-side single leg hops): 3 sets of 20 reps
  • Smith Machine Squat: 3 sets of 30 reps
Working Set Active Rest:
  • Standing Calf Raise: 3 sets of 20 reps
  • Jump rope: 3 sets of 1 minute
Working Set Active Rest:
  • Calf Press on Leg Press: 3 sets of 20 reps
  • Jump rope: 3 sets of 1 minute

Do you know how hard it is to go from a single legged squat straight to jump roping?!   And doing 60 squats on hand weights so that my heels were off the ground really made my quads shake by the end.

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This was intense for sure, but I ended up doing the whole thing.  I even made good time to the gym so I had a chance to take a 15 minute long shower before heading to work.

So I know a bunch of you are dying for the Jalapeno Popper Recipe – I wish I had come up with the idea, but I “borrowed” it from my sister who put it on Facebook last week.

I did make some changes, mostly to make it a bit more healthy – so here is my adaptation:

Biz’s Jalapeno Popper Quiche

  • 4 servings – each one: 247 calories, 12 fat, 14 carbs, 1.6 fiber and 19 protein

Ingredients:

  • 8 ounces canned potatoes (about 1 can)
  • 1/2 cup reduced fat cream cheese, softened
  • 1 6 ounce plain greek yogurt (0% or 2%)
  • 1/4 cup unsweetened almond milk
  • 1/2 cup skim milk
  • 1 cup egg beaters
  • 1/2 cup Cabot extra sharp shredded cheese
  • 1 zucchini, shredded
  • 2 jalapenos – one shredded and one sliced

Spray a pie plate with Pam.  Layer the cut canned potatoes to make a potato layer on the bottom of the pie pan.  With a stand mixer, mix the cream cheese, yogurt, milks, and egg beaters together until cream cheese is broken up.  I grated one jalapeno and put that in the egg mixture.  Pour that into pie pan.  Sprinkle with shredded zucchini, then finish with the cheese.  I only added pepper to the egg mixture because there was enough salt in the cream cheese and cheddar cheese.  I put sliced jalapenos on top and baked for 45 minutes at 350.

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I had 1/4 of the quiche, a Chobani and some kiwi on the side.  Note, my quiche was a bit watery after I reheated it – I probably didn’t squeeze out enough liquid from the shredded zucchini – I think a better substitute would be broccoli.

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This was so spicy good!  A couple of bites I had to alternate with the yogurt to tone it down a bit.

I was more than happy to get to the pool at lunch.  For some reason after doing strength, the pool just makes my whole body feel better – and I only had one other person to share the pool with!

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I had to take this picture for Roz.  She’s the only other person I know who loves to show her oddly shaped carrots!

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Alright, I know I am going to get a lot of shit for this, but I did take home some of my Mom’s chili from last Friday.  As I was driving home though, the smell of the onions got stronger and stronger, but what I now realize is that was probably ME that stank of onions, since I cut so many of them.

I emailed my Mom yesterday morning to tell her I was going to eat her chili at lunch, even though I knew the vast amounts of onions that were in it.  She emailed me back and said “let me know if you throw up.”

Well, I didn’t throw up and actually my Mom’s chili is delicious!  I didn’t see, nor did I taste any onions, which just goes to show that if they don’t taste like anything, why put them in a dish?

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So on the days I do cardio on equipment with t.v.’s during lunch, I usually watch The Chew.  In the beginning I didn’t like it, but now I do – they do have some creative dishes on that show and I think their personalities go pretty well together.  Last week Michael Symon did a turkey cutlet sandwich with broccoli rabe that looked amazeballs.

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I couldn’t find broccoli rabe at my store to save my life but I thought I could quickly sauté some baby spinach and get kind of the same effect.   I just FEB’d my turkey cutlets (flour/egg beater/breadcrumbs) and sautéed them quickly in 2 teaspoons olive oil until nice and crispy – turkey cutlets are a great weeknight protein because they take just a few minutes to cook.

After I cooked the cutlets I just sautéed the spinach with some minced garlic and crushed red pepper and put it on a 2 ounce bun.

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The turkey was juicy, crunchy and then the garlic red pepper spinach made this dish.  Tony asked for cranberry sauce on his sammie.  He liked the flavor of it, but his sandwich was too thick for his liking.  I think he was thinking a pork cutlet sandwich when I mentioned turkey cutlet.  Have you ever had this?  It’s ridiculously good – usually served on a tiny white bun with pickles.

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I wouldn’t even know how to attempt to make that pork sandwich at home!   Well, unless I get a bigger deep fat fryer!

Stats for the Day

  • 1728 calories, 236 carbs, 100 protein, 41 fat and 29 fiber
  • (not pictured – 1/2 cup granola pre-workout snack)
  • 21% of calories from fat, 25% from protein and 53% from carbs
  • B+ grade on caloriecount.com
  • 55 minute calves/quads strength
  • 30 minute swim at lunch

I hope that the people in the south suburbs of Chicago can rebuild after the storms on Sunday.  To see the pictures is so crazy that your life can change in an instant!

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Today is back and biceps, and it looks equally as hard as yesterday.  Oh, and after the strength?  The cardio is 30 minutes of sprints – 30 seconds on at 8 mph, then 30 seconds recovery.  Wish me luck!  Make it a great day!

Cinnamon Granola Clusters

Since I had Friday off, my whole weekend has been off – Saturday felt like Sunday all day! We slept in so long on Saturday morning, I didn’t make breakfast until nearly 11:30 – so this was brunch – 1 scrambled egg, 2 slices of bacon, 2 sausages and an English muffin – reminded me of a true diner breakfast!

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Check to see if your deli sells bacon.  Our store sells this “Gypsy” bacon for $3.99 a pound.  Most of the bacon sold in the refrigerator case are only 10 or 12 ounces for the same price.  And at the deli you can request how thick you want the bacon cut. 

So while I was doing some computer work on Saturday I hear this barking outside my window.  Um, turns out Kyle the Squirrel was trying to get my attention!  What did I do?  I jumped up and got her some almonds!  You see that blue dish to the right?  That’s usually her food dish, I haven’t filled it up in a while!

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I am kind of getting obsessed with making granola lately.  I am still trying to find the perfect blend – all crunchy, clustery.  I read online that if you whisk up an egg white until frothy, add that at the very end before baking.  I figured I’d give it a try!

Cinnamon Granola Clusters

  • 3 cups oats
  • 1 cup whole unsalted almonds
  • 1/4 cup honey
  • 1/4 cup brown sugar
  • 1/4 cup coconut oil, melted
  • 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1/4 teaspoon nutmeg
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground gnger
  • 1 egg white, whipped until frothy

Mix all the dry ingredients together.  Stir in the honey, brown sugar and coconut oil until all the oats are coated.  Pour in the whipped egg white and bake at 325 for 30 minutes.  Make sure to press the oats down pretty tightly, and DO NOT STIR.  Remove from oven and cool completely.

I was thrilled that after the tray cooled, I was able to break the granola into clusters – super crunchy!

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One problem.  This morning, the granola was chewy again. WTF?!  I ended up baking the granola a second time, clusters and all, for another 15 minutes at 300 and let cool.  Success!  This morning they were still nice and crunchy.

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I still hadn’t gone to the grocery store.  I was thinking I would just run to the store and pick up something up.  I asked if Tony had a taste for anything, and he said “we have egg noodles in the cupboard, do we have stuff to make beef stroganoff?”  Well, I dove into the back of my freezer and lo and behold I found a one pound piece of chuck roast.  Done!  I also found a package of these veggies – I cooked up 3/4 of a cup of these veggies to add into my beef stroganoff.

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First, my shitty picture of dinner – my battery died right after this picture on my DSLR.

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I ended up only using 1/2 a cup of cooked noodles – pure comfort food!

As Tony and I were flipping channels, I started cruising through Instagram hash tags and found cats with wigs!  I literally could not stop laughing at this picture!

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I sent it to my step-son and daughter in law – they have a cat and I know my step-daughter-in law would totally get wigs for their cat!

Sunday morning, Tony made me breakfast – spicy tomatillo scrambled eggs, toast and apple.  This also was breakfast and lunch!

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Since I was pretty lazy on Saturday, I had to make up for it yesterday.  Only one problem – holy cow was it super stormy!  I never did get an Insanity workout done since I had to shut off the computer while it was stormy.  But it was a perfect day to spend in the kitchen!

I ended up making Tony pretzel bites for his football snack – with jarred queso sauce on the side. 

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I’ve decided to keep my breakfasts and lunches simple this week.  Sometimes I think I have to make something different every single day to keep things interested, but you know what?  Simple works too!  I made a jalapeno popper quiche for 4 of my breakfasts this week – recipe coming tomorrow!  1/4 of the pie is only 247 calories!  Paired with a Chobani and some fruit, healthy breakfast – done.

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I also made a pot of chili for later in the week.  And since pork bbq ribs were on sale (1 slab of ribs was only $6!).  I slow roasted them in the oven for 3 hours at 250.  I made another batch of Rudy’s BBQ sauce and ended up finishing up the ribs under the broiler. 

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With coleslaw on the side, it tasted like summer, even though we are half way through November!

I have a favor to ask.  My brother’s friends house got flooded on Halloween and they pretty much lost everything they own.  They were even hosting an exchange student and had to find a place for them to live.

If you have a couple extra bucks, I would appreciate it if you could check out their fundraising page.

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We’ve had water in our basement, but other than losing some snowmen, we didn’t lose much.  I can’t imagine losing everything!  So maybe we can skip a couple Pumpkin Lattes this week and pay it forward?

Today brings Week 9 of the Strength Training – todays legs workout looks pretty intense!  I haven’t done every single workout of this training, but probably 80%.  Since this is the last phase, I am going to try to do my best to do every single workout these last three weeks. Only 44 days until January 1 – let’s finish the year out strong!

Make it a great day!

Surprise, Surprise!

Last week when I surprised my Mom at church, after the service they were selling tickets for their annual Chili Supper.  I heard my Mom and another woman talking about how they were going to be short staffed in the kitchen this year.  I thought – bummer I have to work on Friday!

But then I remembered I had originally taken Friday off for my photo shoot and switched my mammogram appointment to Friday – so I was off of work!  I realized Thursday afternoon that I could again surprise my Mom and show up and help them cook!  I told my sister about it on my drive home from work on Thursday.

Since we had a lazy morning yesterday, I didn’t realize my Mom had called my cell phone at 8:30.  Odd.  My Mom usually doesn’t call me on my cell phone on a work day.  I called my sister and said “why would Mom be calling me?”  There was a pause.  She said “I accidentally told her you were coming today.”  WTF?!

So the surprise was ruined.  I called my Mom back, and she said even though she knew I was coming, she was so grateful for the help!  And that’s all that matters, right?

I ended up getting gas and then hitting up McDonald’s for breakfast.  My mouth was about to say “I’ll have the Sausage McMuffin with Egg and a Hash Brown!”  But I quickly caught myself and got the oatmeal – 290 calories – done.   The apples were actually really tart which I liked because the oatmeal was on the border of being too sweet for me.

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When I got to church my Mom and another woman had already started chopping veggies.  We were making enough chili for 300 PEOPLE which, if you don’t know, is a lot of chili!  First thing I smelled when I walked in?  Fricken onions!

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And guess who’s job it was to chop the rest of the onions?  That would be me.  I must really love my Momma to cut all those onions!

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I did two bowls of onions like the one above – and that was just for the garnish on TOP of the chili!

Momma was working her ass off – checking her timeline, making sure we had the right ingredients for each chili.  We did a traditional chili, a meat only chili (no beans!) and a vegetarian chili.

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She needed a little help though reaching the back pots of chili though!

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After a while we were getting hungry, so my Mom sent me across the street to the deli to pick up some sandwiches.  Tony and I recently watched an episode of Dinners and Drive-ins where they went to a bunch of Jewish deli’s – Tony and I always drool at the pastrami and corned beef!

So when I saw “corn beef” on the menu, I knew that’s the sandwich I was going to have.

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I had to laugh because it isn’t “corn beef” it’s “corned beef” but whatevs.  But then I heard these words: “sorry, we are out of corn beef.”  Waaaaaa.  So I got the Roast beef.  Tony thought I should have gotten the Italian, but the roast beef was good.  I ate half at lunch and then the other half mid-afternoon.

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They got all the canned goods at Aldi – my Mom says they are so cheap, and they get the no tax discount because they are a non-profit.

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And Ultra Foods gave them a discount on the ground beef.  Since it was 80/20, we browned it, then drained the fat before adding it to the chili.

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While I was chopping up onions, I asked my Mom “how much chili powder do you use in your chili?”  She said “I don’t use chili powder.”  Um, what?  Nope, turns out my Mom’s secret weapon is . . .still a secret!!   Whatever it is, it’s a perfect balance of seasonings and just enough heat.

Just when I thought I was done chopping onions?  “Hey Biz, can you slice up some red onion for the garnish for the salads?”  I think I cut a lifetime supply of onions yesterday!

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I also helped cook – making sure the beef was browning and the veggies weren’t overcooking.  I love this circa 1950’s apron – I had two aprons to bring with me, and I walked off without them!

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Can I just say that even though this church stove is old, I loved cooking on a 10 burner gas stove again!  I hate my electric stove.

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Hannah had texted me earlier in the day to ask how things were going.  I told her that Aunt Jennifer had ruined the surprise and she said she was sorry.  Later in the afternoon I was cutting up corn bread when I heard my Mom say “Hannah!”  Yep, she felt bad about my surprise being ruined so she surprised me and drove to church after she got off of work.  #love

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Three generations of chili makers!!  It was so nice to see her and she ended being a big help making sure we had a clean stock of chili bowls.  I hope they made a lot of money – it was $10 for an adult and $5 for kids – one guy paid $250 for a ticket!

What better way to spend a Friday – cooking up a storm and hanging out with family – it was a great day!  And my Mom really appreciated the help.  So that keeps me as the #1 child and of course, Hannah is the #1 grandchild.  Duh.

While its in the 50s today, its rainy and overcast.  I have cans of pumpkin in my pantry calling my name!  I may need to make some scones for the week.

Question of the Day:  Do you top your chili with fresh white onions?  If you do, I’ll still like you, but just wondering. Open-mouthed smile

Have a great weekend – see you Monday!