Monday, October 31, 2011

144.2…Happy Halloween!

Happy Halloween! I’m looking forward to taking my kids trick or treating tonight! Just what they need after Saturday’s adventures: more candy.

Even though I was super tired yesterday, I managed to get a ton done around the house. When dinner time rolled around, I had hit my wall and had no energy to cook (or even defrost something…the horror!). Off to PF Changs we went!

I started with some Egg Drop soup.

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My husband and I shared the lettuce wraps. Why are these things so good!?!

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We also shared Chang’s Spicy Chicken and Sesame Chicken. I ate mine with brown rice.

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We each got a mini dessert. I picked the chocolate cake. Well, my son actually picked it and I went along with it. 

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Good choice kid!

Bedtime could not have come fast enough last night. zzzzzzz

When my alarm went off this morning, I was soooo tired! Argh. But I managed to get out of bed and eat some breakfast.

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My last container of Fage yogurt with strawberries and raspberries. My husband took the kids to school and I went to Cardio Muscle class. I was super tired all through class but glad I went and got a workout in.

After class, I went to Costco. I picked up some more Fage yogurt among other goodies.

When I came home I was ready for lunch. Originally I was just going to have a salad but the bagels I brought for this past weekend were calling out to me. Why are bagels so good!?!

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I toasted a honey wheat bagel and topped each half with chive and onion cream cheese. To that I added turkey slices, cucumber slices and lettuce. I did end up having a salad too!

On the way to pick up my daughter I ate these:

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My favorite candy bar EVER.  I have not had a single piece of Halloween candy yet so it was about time. :)

I’m going to leave to pick up my son from school and then we are meeting some friends for trick or treating tonight. I am excited but deep down I secretly wish I was going to be eating hot wings while watching the San Diego chargers kick some booty tonight!

Head on over to Steph’s Bite By Bite to check out my guest post! Congrats Steph on your recent wedding!!

Favorite Halloween candy?

How often do you eat bagels?

Sunday, October 30, 2011

143.0 yesterday and today; Trunk Or Treat

The last twenty four hours has been quite a whirlwind. I’m so glad that I don’t have to go anywhere today…I just want to sit and relax…..

Friday night was a wine kind of night. Which night isn’t though?

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I reheated my favorite pasta from Buca di Beppo that I had in the freezer. Yep, I freeze leftovers from restaurants. I’m glad I did because it still tasted great! Along with a salad, dinner was ready in a snap!

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Yesterday morning’s breakfast was a toasted English muffin with Teddie peanut butter.

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I went to spin class, came home and showered and then made a quick lunch.

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Another Greek style salad with tomatoes, cucumbers, red onion, feta cheese, oregano, red wine vinegar and olive oil. I had some hummus and pita chips on the side.

Then I ran a bunch of errands: dropped my son off at boy scouts, bought bagels from Einstein’s for our sleepover (more on that in a moment), bought some last minute groceries and grabbed an iced coffee from Starbucks.

Then it was time to get ready for our annual neighborhood Halloween Party: Trunk or Treat. You see, our neighborhood is really hilly. Our club puts on a Halloween party where you park your cars in their lot and decorate them. Then the kids “trick or treat” from car to car. They have a DJ, a bounce house and food. It’s a blast every year!

I decided to make brownies for the event:

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Pumpkin shaped brownies:

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Here’s where things get really nutty….we invited 9 of my son’s friends to come to the party AND have a sleep over. Yes. We only had 7 spend the night though. I like how I said “only”. 8 (including my son) six year olds spent the night at my house last night.

I didn’t take a ton of pictures at the Trunk or Treat last night….I was too busy making sure I knew where all the kids were, that they weren’t hurt or eating too much candy. My friend did snap a picture of me in my flapper costume though:

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I managed to snack on some nachos from the nacho bar last night. By the time we got home I was hungry so I ate a cold piece of pizza while trying to get all the kids to bed. I think everyone was finally asleep by around 10 or 1030PM.

At a lovely 5:45AM, all the kids were up and ready to play. Yippee. Coffee was in order in a major way. We got started on making pancakes and toasting bagels. I had a bagel with onion and chive cream cheese.

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The kiddos were picked up by 10AM. My son had a blast. I’m tired but so glad he and his friends had such a good time. My daughter, by the way, stayed at my sister in law’s house with her cousin. She was a happy camper too.

By 11AM, I felt very accomplished. I had fed 8 kids, unloaded the dishwasher, filled it up again, showered, taken out the trash and cleaned up around the house.

I was hungry for lunch and knew what I wanted. At Einstein’s I bought one pretzel bagel. That was lunch today.

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Turkey and Swiss on the pretzel bagel. De-licious!

We have no plans for the rest of the day. Love that.

What was the best thing you ate all weekend?

What are you dressing up as this Halloween?

Friday, October 28, 2011

142.4…Asian Cowboy

I didn’t have time yesterday for a real dinner before heading out the door to book club with my daughter. I quickly spread some Teddie peanut butter on some wheat bread and that was that. By the way, I finished the Super Chunky jar (tears) so I’m onto the Creamy version. Muy excelente.

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Good thing I didn’t eat a full meal because look what was awaiting me when I arrived at book club:

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Score! The hostess went all out! I enjoyed some of the wine I brought over:

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The book we were to discuss was The Hotel on the Corner of Bitter and Sweet. No one had finished the book (oops!) so we didn’t even talk about it. I was glad because I didn’t want to find out what happens until I finished reading it. It’s really good so far!

I was in the cereal mood this morning so I kept it simple with a bowl of Special K Vanilla Almond cereal with almond milk.

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I took the kids to school and went to my Cardio Muscle class. I came home, started the laundry and then my friend came over to have her makeup done for some family photos being taken later today. *Side note: I used to be a makeup artist when I first moved to San Diego about almost ten years ago.

Then my husband called to see if I wanted to go to lunch with him. Sure! I had about an hour before picking up my daughter from school, so we decided to try a new restaurant near her school called Burlap. I had heard that the executive chef there describes their cuisine as “Asian Cowboy.” That’s definitely a new one….I had to try it!

First of all, the restaurant is HUGE. When you walk in your are greeted immediately to this “Asian Cowboy” by the ambiance….a mix of Asian and cowboy-style furniture and decor.

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We were seated right away and I was excited to check out the menu. I knew what I wanted as soon as I saw it: Tuna Burger with wasabi aioli and pickled ginger. It came with a side salad and sweet potato fries.

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The sweet potato fries were served with a ginger aioli.

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The tuna burger was delicious! They used ground tuna and cooked it medium rare. The bun was excellent and the wasabi aioli gave it a great kick! Who knew I would fall in love with an Asian Cowboy!?!

I picked up my daughter and came home. In a bit I will be picking up my son from school and taking them for haircuts. Then it’s wine time while we watch the World Series tonight. How exciting was last night’s game!?!

Have you been watching the World Series? Who are you cheering for? I’m not normally a baseball fan but this is getting so exciting!

What book are you reading right now?

Thursday, October 27, 2011

143.2…Greek Love

Dinner last night was quick and easy thanks to leftovers from the freezer.

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Spinach Stuffed Shells with Meat Sauce and a big Caesar salad. I ended up adding some more marinara to the shells when I reheated them because I wanted them more saucy.

I was really excited for breakfast this morning. I saved the last of the Potato & Boursin Frittata from yesterday’s jewelry trunk show and enjoyed every bite this morning with some cantaloupe.

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I took the kids to school and went to Starbucks do some work.

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I don’t know why I don’t do that more often. I am SO productive when I work there. Why is that!?!

I volunteered at the preschool this morning and then got my nails done….black for Halloween. I really like them. :)

I picked my daughter up from school and came home. I was starving so I threw lunch together pretty quick. It was outstanding.

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I had feta left over from my Oven-Fried Greek Chicken Bundles with Lemon Dill Sauce so I decided to whip up a Greek salad using the feta, cucumbers, tomatoes, red onion, red wine vinegar, olive oil and black pepper. I had some hummus and pita chips on the side to go with my theme. :) I forgot how much I love those flavor combinations. I “mmm’ed” and “ahhh’ed” through the whole meal. I may have to recreate this salad tomorrow as well.

I picked my son up from school and came home. I’m taking my daughter to her old school’s Book Club group tonight. The kids go in pjs and watch a movie and the moms have wine and discuss the book. Works for me! :)

Do you ever work at coffee shops?

Are you dressing up for Halloween?

Wednesday, October 26, 2011

143.6…Orange Vanilla Pound Cake

This morning I went with a light breakfast because I knew I would be serving some good eats at the Stella & Dot Jewelry trunk show I was hosting later in the morning.

I went with a small bowl of Special K Vanilla Almond cereal with almond milk.
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One of the things I served at the party is a favorite of my dad’s. It’s actually a favorite of everyone who tries it.

Orange Vanilla Pound Cake
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It’s so easy to make and extremely moist because of the glaze that you pour over it as soon as it comes out of the oven. This would be a good one for the holidays!
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Orange Vanilla Pound Cake

Printable recipe

½ cup butter
1 cup white sugar
1 tsp vanilla extract
¼ cup vegetable oil
2 eggs
1 Tbsp grated orange zest
½  cup fresh orange juice
2 cups all-purpose flour
2 tsp baking powder
½ tsp salt
½ cup fresh orange juice
¼ cup white sugar
⅛ tsp vanilla extract

1. Stir together flour, baking powder and salt.

2. In a large bowl, beat together butter, 1 cup sugar, 1 tsp vanilla and ¼ cup oil. Beat in eggs one at a time. Stir in zest and ½ cup orange juice. Pour in flour mixture, and stir until moistened. Turn into 9x5x3 inch greased loaf pan.

3. Bake at 350 degrees for 1 hour, or until done. Remove loaf from oven, but not from pan.

4. Combine ½ cup orange juice, ¼ cup sugar and ⅛ tsp vanilla in a small saucepan. Heat and stir to dissolve sugar. Spoon glaze over hot loaf. Let stand in pan for 10 minutes before removing loaf to rack to cool.

Along with the pound cake, I served another winner: Potato and Boursin Frittata:
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Doughnut Muffins:
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I enjoyed a bit of everything and had a great time trying on all the beautiful jewelry!

After picking up the kids from school, I went on a quick run/walk around the neighborhood. It was mostly a walk but I did run for about a mile and a half. I haven’t run since August. I definitely don’t miss it. :)

Is there a certain recipe you always make during the holidays?

Tuesday, October 25, 2011

144.6…The Scale Was Kind

I really thought that when I stood on the scale this morning, it would have exploded or at least, fallen apart. After all the food shenanigans in Chicago, I expected bad news. I mean, I ate a ton of pizza, hot wings and desserts and drank a ton of wine. After my last post, the craziness continued…..

On our last night in Chicago, we met up with a friend and went to Quartino for dinner.

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Quartino is a neighborhood Chicago Italian restaurant and wine bar offering authentic regional Italian food and wine in a lively, welcoming atmosphere with attentive and personable service.” 

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Quartino’s portion sizes are a bit smaller. The idea is to order a whole bunch of things for everyone to share…..and that’s exactly what we did!

We shared wine….

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….and a few appetizers.  White Bean & Garlic spread:

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Portobello Mushroom Bruschette:

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Caprese salad:

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I ordered the Pappardelle al Sugo di Manzo (Tuscan Pasta Ribbons with Braised Beef Tomato Sauce) for my entree.

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I was a bit sad to share this….it was beyond excellent. It was my favorite dish of the evening!

My husband’s friend ordered the Beef Short Ribs with Salsa Verde:

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This was also excellent. My husband ordered penne with chicken and spicy tomato sauce. I didn’t photograph it because I didn’t eat it….I thought it was boring compared to everything else. :)

Don’t worry! We did not forget dessert! Zeppole (Hot Italian Doughnuts with Honey and Dark Chocolate):

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My personal favorite!!

Profiterole (Vanilla Gelato, Chocolate Sauce & Toasted Almonds):

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Fritelle di Mele (Apple Fritters with Vanilla Gelato):

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Next time I go back to Chicago, I will eat at Quartino for sure! I loved the lively atmosphere and the food could not be beat. And it was affordable!

Now are you realizing my shock that my scale didn’t go up more than two pounds since I left? :)

Yesterday morning, we got up, packed and hit the road for the airport. I drank a Starbucks skinny vanilla latte along the way. I brought along a granola bar to eat on the way but I never actually ate it.

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I decided this sandwich looked much better than the granola bar:

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I was right! It was called the Tuscany and had salami, ham, provolone cheese, tomatoes, all on a ciabatta roll.

We arrived in San Diego, drove home and hung out with the kids for a bit. Then we all went over to our friend’s house for Monday Night Football AKA Hot Wing Night.  We had wine and I may have gotten into the Doritos bag. :)

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I brought over a premade Southwestern style salad with a creamy cilantro dressing:

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Then it was the moment I was waiting for:

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HOT WINGS!!!!!!!!!! My friend used the same recipe I used a couple of weeks ago but coated the hot wings in more flour. She laid them into a plate with flour instead of sprinkling them with flour like the recipe called for. They turned out more crunchy this time! Winner!

My friend also made Sloppy Joe’s. What a meal!!!

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Check out our Hot Wing demolishment:

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Don’t worry…that wasn’t just me. :)

Today it was time to get back on track. Breakfast was a toasted waffle with Teddie peanut butter and an apple.

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I took the kids to school and went to spin class. It felt good to get a great workout in! I ran over to Trader Joe’s to pick up some much needed groceries.

Lunch was the rest of the Southwestern salad from last night in which I added chicken to it.

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I picked up the kids from school and then did some baking for a Stella & Dot jewelry trunk show I’m hosting at my house tomorrow morning.

Dinner was some black bean & corn quinoa that I pulled out of my freezer. I’m finally making a dent in there!

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After I get the kids to bed, I have a ton of email to get caught up on. Hopefully I won’t be up too late!

How do you get back on track with healthy eating after an indulgent vacation? I drink tons of water and try to eat as many fruits and veggies as possible.