Monday, November 30, 2009


I'm going to make this post a quickie because I'm starting to feel under the weather....hopefully a good night's sleep will do the trick!

Breakfast was my new found "Egg Mug' breakfast consisting of egg beaters with a Laughing Cow cheese on a light wheat english muffin and a honeycrisp apple.

After taking the kids to school, I went to Step and Sculpt class. It was an awesome workout!!! Hubby and I went to Subway for lunch. The usual (turkey on wheat with everything):

There's a self serve frozen yogurt place next door so I decided it was a must. I mixed three flavors: Cake Batter, Fudgesicle and Mint.

Then I ran a bunch of errands: Target, Michaels, Trader Joe's, and Ralphs. Whew.....

Hubby and I made plans to go out to Donovan's together tonight but we decided to go to our club instead to watch the Monday Night Football game. We decided to go to Donovan's tomorrow night. So more on that to come...

I had two glasses of Chardonnay over the evening:

The buffet tonight was Fried Chicken and some fixings. I cannot tell you the last time I had fried chicken.

I started with a few helpings of lettuce wedge salad with ranch dressing:

Some more salad and fried chicken:

I had a tiny bit of mashed potatoes and gravy after that. Then they brought out hot wings so I had some of those too.

Bundt cake for dessert:

Wow....I ate too much. Ughh.....maybe that's why I don't feel that great. Booooooo!!! Oh well...tomorrow's a new day (and a much higher weight I'm sure).

Sunday, November 29, 2009


My daughter woke up again in the middle of the night.....this time for no reason....I think she just wanted to see if she could come in our room again.....nope....I put the stop to that. She went back to sleep in her room just fine. But it was 4AM and it took me awhile to fall back asleep and my son woke up at 7:20 so I was a bit tired this morning again. I brewed some coffee right away and had a repeat breakfast from yesterday. Sorry.....but it was so good!!! Ezekiel bread with peanut butter and honey and a honeycrisp apple.

Then I spent the rest of the morning reading email, blogs, and shopping online for holiday gifts....I didn't find any. I'm just not feeling really inspired this year for some reason. Maybe it will hit me soon?

Lunch was leftover Chili for a Crowd from Real Simple Magazine that I defrosted. I put tons of chopped raw onion and tons of Cholula on top and some parsley for looks. :) It was very comforting on a cold, grey afternoon.

I've been wanted to clean/organize my closet for months now and I finally did it. It took awhile but it is all clean and beautiful now. I love standing in it and staring at my fabulous work. :)

Dinner was a recipe for Fettuccini Bolognese from Ellie Krieger's cookbook. Below is the recipe with some changes that I made (I added tomato sauce because hubby likes his sauce more saucy). :)

3/4 pound whole-wheat fettuccini
1 tablespoon olive oil
1 small onion finely chopped (about 1 cup)
2 carrots, finely chopped (about 1/2 cup)
2 stalks celery, finely chopped (about 1/2 cup)
8 ounces mushrooms, finely chopped
3 cloves garlic, minced
1 pound lean ground beef (90 to 95 percent lean)
2 tablespoons fresh thyme leaves or 2 teaspoons dried
2 (14 1/2-ounce) can no salt added diced tomatoes with juice
1 (14 1/2-ounce) can of tomato sauce
1/2 cup low-sodium chicken broth
1/4 cup fat-free evaporated milk or regular whole milk
Salt and pepper to taste
Red Pepper flakes to taste
1/4 cup grated Parmesan

Set a large pot of water on the stove to boil, and cook the fettuccini according to the directions on the box.
In the meantime, heat the oil in a large skillet over a medium-high heat. Add the onion, carrots, and celery and cook for 5 minutes, stirring occasionally. Add the mushrooms and cook for 5 minutes more, stirring occasionally. Add the garlic, ground beef, and thyme and cook until the meat is browned, breaking it up into small pieces as it cooks, about 5 minutes.
Stir in the tomatoes, tomato sauce and broth and cook for 5 minutes, or until sauce is thickened. Stir in the milk and cook for 1 minute more. Season with salt and pepper.
When the pasta is done, drain it, put it back in the pasta pot, add the sauce and stir the sauce and pasta together. Put into serving bowls and top with Parmesan cheese.

I brought the camera to the table and everything but forgot to take a picture until I was almost done. It was really good! We enjoyed and and are glad there is plenty of leftover sauce to freeze!

I had a glass of Chardonnay with dinner:

And that's all she wrote folks. Good night!

Saturday, November 28, 2009


Happy Saturday!!! My daughter woke up in the middle of the night coughing and she couldn't go back to sleep so I got to watch Nick Jr. at 2AM for awhile. Eventually she went back to sleep....but I had a hard time falling back asleep so I was pretty wiped out in the morning. Not too tired for a good breakfast though! Ezekiel toast with peanut butter and honey with a honeycrisp apple. Um....why haven't I had the peanut butter and honey combo before??? So freakin good!!

I went to spin class and had a great workout! I found out that my Wednesday and Thursday spin classes were being cancelled due to lack of participation. Boooo!!!! Oh well....I guess I need to find something else to do on those days. Maybe I'll work on my running....maybe I'll use one of the bazillion workout videos I have.

When I got back from class, I decided that the kids' toys needed organizing. I went through all of them (not an easy task with both of them taking out the toys that I just put away) and got rid of a lot of things they don't use anymore. That felt good....I love to clean and organize. It's a sickness, really. :)

For lunch we decided to try a restaurant that we saw the other day next to Souplantation. It was called Stir Fresh and it was a Mongolian BBQ type of place where you pick all your veggies, meats, sauces and noodles and put them in a bowl and give them to a cook who cooks them up in front of you. My plate with tons of veggies and shrimp:

It was ok....not the best but not the worst. I would have rather have Souplantation next door though. For some reason, I have a current obsession with that place!!!!!

We came home and I took a really long, wonderful, hot shower. Then I made a hot cup of vanilla chai tea and chilled on the couch for a bit. I did manage to get all my holiday cards ready to mail on Monday!

When dinner time drew near, I tried to figure out a way to use up some of the Thanksgiving leftovers. I came across a recipe from called Thanksgiving Leftover Casserole. I tweaked the recipe a little to conform to what leftovers I had. Here is my version:

Thanksgiving Leftover Casserole:

3 tablespoons butter
3/4 cup chopped onion
3 cloves minced garlic
2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
1 (12 fluid ounce) can evaporated milk
1 cup water
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
1/4 teaspoon onion powder
2 cups leftover stuffing
1 cup cooked, diced turkey meat
1 cup shredded Cheddar cheese
2 cups leftover mashed potatoes
1 cup peas

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F (175 degrees C). Lightly grease a 9x13 inch baking dish.
Melt 3 tablespoons butter in a saucepan over low heat. Saute onions and garlic. Blend in the flour. Slowly stir in evaporated milk and water, then season with salt, pepper, and onion powder. Stir sauce over low heat for 5 minutes.
Place the turkey in the prepared baking dish. Pour the sauce over turkey, then sprinkle with Cheddar cheese. Spread mashed potatoes over cheese. (I had some leftover chives so I put them on the mashed potatoes). Next put the peas on top. Top peas with the stuffing mixture.
Bake 45 minutes in the preheated oven.

While cooking, I had a couple of glasses of leftover go with the "leftover" theme of course! :)

The finished product (sprinkled with parsley):

I served it with the rest of the corn casserole and some gravy. My plate:

It was really good! It tasted like Thanksgiving all over again but with much less work!!! I'm going to freeze the leftover for another time. At least all the stuff is out of my fridge!!

Hubby had a cute idea that we would make tonight at "date" night. No, we aren't going we don't have a babysitter. He thought after the kids go to bed we could sit downstairs and watch the USC/UCLA football game and enjoy a glass of wine. I thought it was a cute idea!!! I think I may heat up some leftover bread pudding to enjoy on our date!

Friday, November 27, 2009


Wow...cannot believe the weight is staying put!!! Actually....I do see a difference is my eating habits this year compared to last year. Last year, I would eat on holidays (and sometimes other days) until I felt like I was going to pop. Nowadays I try to eat until I'm 80% full and stop....that took a lot of training but it's working! Yesterday I had a little bit of everything and stopped when I started to feel full.

We last left off at today's breakfast so we will resume at lunch. I made a "leftover" sandwich consisting of: sourdough bread (leftover from the stuffing) slathered with dijon mustard and then filled with turkey and leftover sauteed onions and some mozzarella cheese....all grilled up in a pan.....GOOD!! I made a Caesar salad with a bunch of veggies to go with it. This kept me satisfied for hours!

I finished up the laundry, did some online shopping (didn't really find anything), and got my holiday card list ready....I'm trying to get my holiday cars in the mail on Monday.

I decided that I really needed Souplantation again for dinner. So...we all went. The usual:

I had two pieces of the pizza bread as well. No dessert this daughter decided that she wasn't in the mood to behave so we left before dessert. Just as I was feeling sad that I was missing out on the gooey caramel cake and vanilla soft serve, my friend Lisa called me that she had a surprise for me to pick up on my way home:

Aren't they just gorgeous!?! I'm going to have one after the kids go to sleep....if I can wait that long!


Sorry for not posting last night but by the time the family left and I got cleaned up, I was too tired! I had such a good time during our Thanksgiving festivities....I hope you all did too!

Yesterday morning started with the leftover half of the grilled cheese I made on Wednesday. I was too involved with cooking and trying to get dressed to be any more inventive. I put the grilled cheese in the toaster and it came out super yummy! How can you go wrong with grilled cheese anyway?

The family started showing up around noon, so I put out some appetizers.....

Cheese and crackers, chips and dip (in the background)....

Almonds, olives, and figs....

And not pigs in a blanket that I got from Costco. Those disappeared very rapidly. My sister in law arrived with some fabulous stuffed mushrooms!

The table....

Crescent rolls....

All the food (corn casserole, stuffing, peas, sauteed onions, gravy and mashed potatoes). I forgot to take a picture of the turkey. I'm a bad blogger.

I had everyone pose with their champagne. Here's my pose...thoughtful: :)

After dinner, everyone just chilled for awhile....even my parent's dog:

After the chilling was was time for dessert. Apple, pecan and caramel cheesecake:

Cinnamon raisin apple bread pudding. I made homemade whipped cream to top it off:

And that was that. Excellent meal, fun time with the family = successful Thanksgiving! By the time I went to bed, I realized that I only sat down to eat dinner....otherwise I stood the whole day....even eating my breakfast. My legs were so sore!!!
Fortunately, I feel much better this morning. I made a repeat of Wednesday's breakfast: egg mug on english muffin with strawberries and coffee. Mmm good!

I went to Step and Sculpt class and burned a whole slew of calories! Now I'm going to try and cross some more things off my to-do list. By 8:30 this morning, I had already done three loads of laundry, emptied two dishwashers, cleaned up all the Thanksgiving mess and fed the kids breakfast. to tackle more!

Wednesday, November 25, 2009


Barely keeping it under 140.0...I doubt tomorrow will be any help! :)

Breakfast was an experiment. I keep reading about Hungry Girl's Egg Mugs so I decided to try the basic one:

Spray a microwave safe large mug with cooking spray and put 1/2 cup of egg beaters and a cut up Laughing Cow cheese inside and stir. Microwave for one minute and stir. Then microwave for an additional 3-45 seconds until set. I dumped it onto a light wheat English muffin. It was really good. With the egg being puffed like that, it seemed super filling!!

I prepped most of the day for the Thanksgiving meal tomorrow. I like to do everything ahead that I can. The table is set, the sides are made (I put them in the oven when the turkey comes out to rest), the platters and cooking pots/pans are out and I'm ready to go!

In the middle of all this was lunch. I had the rest of the Roasted Red Pepper and Tomato soup from Costco as well as very yummy grilled cheese sandwich. I took a couple of slices of the sourdough bread I bought for my stuffing and put some swiss cheese inside. I sprayed it with butter spray and let it sit in a pan on low heat for awhile. Crispy bread with gooey cheese....what could be better?? The sandwich was huge so I only ate half.

Dinner was Souplantation with hubby and kids. I really love this place. I was starving, hence the ginormous salad.....and chili....and pizza bread. I ate almost all of it plus this yummy Caramel Pumpkin Cake with vanilla soft serve.

I'm ready for a good night's sleep before all the festivities begin tomorrow! Happy Thanksgiving everyone!!

What are your Thanksgiving plans?

Tuesday, November 24, 2009


Before I go right into today's eats....I found some footage of hubby and I on the red carpet....check out Randolph Duke's interview with Morena Baccarin....we appear behind them around the 18 second mark. I'm wearing a short black sequin dress with long sleeves with my hair up and hubby is wearing a light silver jacket.

Back to real life.....

Today's breakfast was nothing exciting....light wheat English muffin with Barney Butter and strawberries.

I took the kids to school and headed over to Great News for a cooking class.'s been too long since I've been to a class! How I miss them!! Our class today was Holiday Appetizers.

I had some raisin bread with an apricot spread before class got started:

The first two appetizers you will see below are Gorgonzola and Pear Grilled Pizzettes and Salmon, Dill and Cream Cheese Spread on Pumpernickel Toasts. Both of these were awesome!!! The grilled little pizzas were outstanding and I loved the salmon spread!! Both will find their way into my appetizer rotation for sure! Don't forget the glass of chardonnay in the corner!

The next two were Tiny Boursin Biscuits with Seared Beef Tenderloin and Cranberry Chutney and Asian Sesame, Sausage and Vegetable Phyllo Strudel with Hoisin Dipping Sauce. I wasn't a fan of the biscuits with the beef. I liked the beef by itself and the biscuits were great....I just didn't like the cranberry chutney on it. I really don't like fruit with my food all that much.

Last appetizer was Creamy Garlic and Spinach Fondue with Vegetables, Shrimp and Tortellini Dippers. Check out the cheese! This was really good.....I'm sure it would be better in a fondue pot though!

We were served some vanilla ice cream and chocolate sauce at the end.... YUM.....

I picked up my son from school and then went to a doctor's appointment, then to the grocery store to get a few last minute Thanksgiving items. When I got home, I did some more Thanksgiving prep.....Corn Casserole:

I made this last year at Thanksgiving and it was a huge hit. If anyone wants the recipe, just let me know. :)
I decided a glass of wine was in order while prepping:

Dinner was frozen mac and cheese that I made awhile ago. I served it with some broccoli and it was pretty darn tasty! I can't, for the life of me, remember where I got the recipe for this mac and cheese but I'll have to dig it up because it was good!!

Ok folks....tomorrow is a big cooking today to get ready for the BIG day. Hope all is well!

Monday, November 23, 2009

American Music Awards Recap!

Wow...I have a lot to catch up so let's get right to it!! If you can manage to read this entire deserve a prize!

Saturday morning's breakfast was two slices of light wheat toast with peanut butter and a side of strawberries.

I couldn't decide whether I wanted to go to spin class or take a nap. I almost went with the nap but then realized that I wouldn't be working out again until Wednesday so I went to spin class. I'm glad I did....I burned over 500 calories!!

I came home and got ready to hit the road to Los Angeles. We were going to go to a bbq at a friend's house along the way in Newport Beach. I had an apple before we left.

We stopped immediately in Encinitas for lunch at Garcia's Mexican Restaurant. I had a few chips and salsa:

A few chips with guacamole:

I ordered the same salad I had here last time: Chicken and Avocado salad. This time I ordered it without the tortilla shell and without the cheese.

I used their super spicy salsa as the dressing. Then we hit the road for Newport Beach. We went to a friend's house who was nice enough to invite a bunch of us over for a bbq. Her home was gorgeous and the view of the ocean was magnificent. Then the appetizers came out....everything was Armenian so I don't know the names of everything (even though I'm a quarter Armenian!). What I do know is that everything was DELICIOUS!!!

Some kind of dip that was made with pomegranates and nuts served with pita:

I could have spent the entire evening eating this dip!!! Cheese plate:

I only had one cracker with cheese because the other things were just too good!!

Dolmas - grape leaves stuffed with a rice mixture (aka little bundles of heaven:

Of course there was wine (and a lot of it!!):

I'm not the best photographer but I thought I did a nice job capturing the sunset behind the wine bottle:

After relaxing outside for awhile...dinner was served (rice pilaf, lamb & chicken kabob, grilled veggies, more dolma and more pomegranate dip and some spinach thing in a puff): Amazing. Amazing. Amazing.

Me, some red wine and my friend Stacey (also with red wine!):

Dessert was like baklava except that there was a custard filling inside. There other two things were Armenian cookies:

After all that, hubby and I hopped back in the car for the American Music Awards pre-party at Club Nokia at the LA Live Center near the Nokia Theater. There was not a single celebrity there....just industry people.....and us.
I had some veggies and dip and a mini cupcake. I felt weird taking pictures of my food at this party so I didn't. The only picture I did take was of these little Johnny Rockets milkshakes being passed out. They were served in a shaker and there was a red blinking light at the bottom of the cup. I couldn't get the light to show up in the pictures....but they were so cute!

We hung out for a little bit and then called it quits for the night....what a long day!!! We checked into our hotel, The Mondrian, on Sunset Blvd. and crashed for the night.

I stayed in bed until past 9AM on Saturday and it felt fabulous!!!!! I snacked on a Fiber One bar for "breakfast" and just laid in bed watching TV until it was time to get up for lunch. We walked down the street to Saddle Ranch. It's a western looking restaurant (complete with mechanical bull- which I rode back in my college days) that is trying to be "hip" and serves ginormous amounts of food. I had a couple of bites of the biscuits that arrived at our table. I put a little of the cinnamon butter on it. It was just ok.

They had a special: all you can drink mimosas for $9.99.....there were tons of different juice options to put in it. Boy was I excited..........

It looks pretty right? Well, that's all I can say for it. My first mimosa had cranberry juice. I told them "just a splash of juice." Hmmm......I'd say that's more than a splash. I ordered another the same way. When it arrived it was very pink but not red. The waitress said "looks like they went lighter on the cranberry juice this time." Well....not really because it was grapefruit juice...and a lot of it. I'm just not a juice person so on the third round, I asked for straight champagne. That was a no go (not included in the special) so I asked for another cranberry one. I got another grapefruit one. I gave up and didn't finish the third one. It was too exhausting to argue about it.

Back to the food.....hubby and I split the sliders and fries:

They were ok. I'd been really hungry for a hamburger lately so this did the trick at least. I then had a house salad with ranch dressing on the side. The ranch dressing wasn't that good. When the ranch dressing sucks at a restaurant.....I know there's problems. :)

Verdict: I would not go back there. Interesting atmosphere but the food isn't up to par.

We came back to the hotel to get ready for the American Music Awards!!!!!

The limo picked us up at 2:30.

I brought some wine for the ride:

We walked the red carpet:

We had 6th row seats....but in the corner. Still provided an awesome view of the show and we were right next to where the celebs kept coming in and out. Lady Gaga went in and out a zillion times. She had on the craziest stuff!


Jay Z and Alicia Keys singing "Empire State of Mind":

Jermaine Jackson accepting one of the awards Michael Jackson won:

Rihanna's performance (she came out on this rotating device). This was probably my least favorite performance of the night.

Green Day singing "21 Guns":

Most of my other photos came out weren't supposed to be taking any photos so I had to turn off my flash and be sneaky about it. I would take a fast pic and hide my they didn't turn out very well. I watched some of the show back on TV and it was MUCH better live!!! Adam Lambert's performance was WAY more scandalous live. They didn't even show him sticking one of the male dancers face in his crotch on TV. Crazy....but he got everyone's attention...that's for sure.
We were invited to the after party at the Conga Room next door to the theater.....sounds exciting right? Not really...I think the celebrities were invited to a different party than we were. Fortunately we got there fast so I grabbed some veggies and dip (exact same presentation from the night before), cheese and crackers and glass of chardonnay before everyone else showed up and got into the Ginormous line that had formed behind me for food. You see.....we all had been at Nokia Theater for 4 plus hours and everyone was starving. They only had this one tiny table of food for a HUGE crowd. There was a few passed appetizers coming around but nothing special. I had another glass of wine and we called it quits.

We went back to Sunset Blvd to grab some dinner. It was late and there weren't a lot of places open so we opted for Chin Chin's. I ordered the noodles with shrimp, bbq pork and curry sauce:

Sounds good...but it was a little boring and bland actually. The noodles were a little dry and nothing special. I ate a little over a quarter of it and that was that.....time for bed!!!! I hope we can going to the awards again next year......what an amazing experience!! I think Janet Jackson's performance might have been my favorite....I liked watching Whitney Houston sing too (you could tell she was singing from her heart), Shakira's performance was good and it was funny watching J. Lo fall on her butt during her performance. Colby Caillet needs to wear spanx. Enough of that......
Again, another fabulous morning of sleeping in!!! Hubby got up before me and brought me back a wonderful vanilla latte from Starbucks.

I finally got up, got dressed and packed up and we met a friend at Cheesecake Factory for lunch. I ordered the Factory Chopped Salad (appetizer salad but it was the perfect size!).

Then we headed back home. I did some baking when we got back, took the turkey out of the freezer to defrost and unpacked. We took the kids to Pei Wei for dinner (they go absolutely nuts over this place!) and I had the kids Honey Seared Shrimp (light on the sauce), with brown rice, add veggies.

And that is all she wrote folks. If you made it through this post, Congratulations!!!!!