Monday, November 23, 2015

145.2...At Least The Food Was Good

I had a weekend full of good eats. Nothing fancy, just plain good. It all started Friday night at Alicia's.  It was taco night over there, which is one of our favorites! 

 Simple and good.

Tacos, rice and beans!

Saturday's breakfast:

Saturday was pretty productive. We had our holiday family photos taken in the evening. During the day, I baked a ton of stuff for the tailgate the next day. We had a new TV installed (of course ours breaks right before 30 people come over on Thanksgiving), I did laundry and various other stuff around the house.

Lunch was a turkey sandwich, veggies and ranch dressing. 

Dinner was easy. Trader Joe's Tempura Chicken, brown rice and broccoli.

Sunday's breakfast: 

We packed up our car and headed to our tailgate before the Charger game! Someone else was in charge of the main food, but my job was the appetizers and dessert.

I bought a few dips from Costco, but also made a 6 Layer Bean Dip (would have been 7 but we omit olives), and My Favorite Guacamole.

I made a few different desserts.

Rice Krispy Treats:

6-Layer Bean Dip:

Gotta bring your wine red solo cup to all tailgates!

The main event was steak & chicken tacos, beans and rice. 

So good. SO much better than stadium food. I made sure to eat two huge tacos so I wouldn't be tempted by any junk in the stadium. 

It was another Charger loss. At this point I hope they keep losing so we can get a good draft pick next season. That's about all the positivity I can pull out of this season. Oh, and, at least the food at the tailgate was good!

Dinner last night was penne pasta with jarred marinara. 

Breakfast this morning:

After I dropped the kids off at school, I went to Hardline class at the gym. It's the last time I'm going to make it to the gym this week. 

I made my last Thanksgiving grocery store stop. I am as ready as I'm going to be. 

Lunch was a turkey sandwich, veggies and ranch dressing. The usual. 

Dinner tonight was Beef Stroganoff I pulled out of the freezer. 

It's probably hard to believe, but I've almost gone through all my freezer leftovers at this point! Success!

Are you traveling for Thanksgiving or staying at home?

Friday, November 20, 2015

144.8...Hustle & Bustle

The hustle & bustle of the holidays have begun. I’ve been spending the last few days putting the finishing touches on my Thanksgiving preparations. We are hosting 30 people and it takes a lot of prep work to pull that off. Although, I’ve done it for so many years, I think I’ve got the hang of it now.

Part of my prep work is cleaning out my refrigerator and freezer. Tuesday night’s dinner was Chicken Chili from the freezer. 

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I went to my son’s flag football game where they came out victorious!

Wednesday’s breakfast:

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I had a meeting at the school, followed by some errands including getting my knives sharpened for Thanksgiving. I stopped for lunch at Gami Sushi.

Miso soup:

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Yellowtail, salmon, tuna sushi:

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 El Diablo Crunch Roll:

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I had an appointment, then picked up kids. My son had basketball and flag football practice. Dinner came out of the freezer again. Weeknight Bolognese and spaghetti with salad:

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Thursday’s breakfast:

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After I took the kids to school, I went to Sculpt class at the gym. I came back to the school to go to the Hanukkah Bazaar for a little holiday shopping.

The holiday shopping continued at Costco. 

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I refuse to go back before Thanksgiving. I barely got out of there.

After the ten hours (I joke) it took me to put everything away, I had lunch. Turkey sandwich, veggies and ranch:

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Last night was Chicken Chili again. The recipe apparently made a lot. 

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Breakfast today:

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This morning, I’m headed to Zumba and some more holiday errands. I wish I was relaxing this weekend but it will be more holiday hustle & bustle!

Have you started your holiday shopping yet?

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Tuesday, November 17, 2015

143.8...Salad Debacles

We picked up Brett’s BBQ for dinner Sunday night. I specifically ordered a Cobb salad with no blue cheese. When I went I went to pick up the food, this is the salad that was in my bag:

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Looks good but it’s no Cobb salad. When I pointed that out, they said that they didn’t have a Cobb salad. I guess I had an old menu at home. But you would think that I when I asked for one over the phone, that maybe they would have pointed that out to me? Oh well, after all the cookies I had earlier in the day, less was more that night.

Breakfast Monday:

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After I took the kids to school, I went to a new (to me) class at the gym called Hardline. It’s 45 minutes and mostly weights with a bit of cardio. It was very efficient and I got a great workout! Another class to add to my list of favorites!

I ran some errands and picked up Luna Grill for lunch. This salad was correct:

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Greek Salad with a Chicken Kabob. 

Dinner last night came straight from my freezer. Salsa Chicken, Mexican Rice and Trader Joe’s Fire Roasted Corn (aka “the orange meal”):

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I did learn that the Mexican Rice doesn’t freeze super well. Was a bit mushy. Oh well. I guess when you make it, eat it all at once. :)

Breakfast this morning:

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I dropped my kids off, went to Cardio Strength at the gym, then to the La Jolla Community Center for another Phillis Carey cooking class. Today’s class was “Holiday Brunch Ideas.” I love brunch recipes!!! 

I especially love brunch when it involves a cocktail and that was our first recipe. Fresh Cranberry Champagne Cocktail:

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Such a festive drink, so perfect for the holidays!

The first plate contained two recipes. On the left, Asparagus and Potato Frittata with Roasted Garlic and Pepper Sauce. On the right, Bacon Wrapped Individual Cheese and Green Onion Quiches.

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Both were excellent! The sauce on the frittata was outstanding and the bacon wrapped quiches were just too cute! The quiche above was cut in half so it’s hard to see it’s cuteness. 

The next recipe was Italian Sausage Breakfast Bread Pudding with Provolone Cheese, Fresh Tomatoes and Basil.

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Wow. So rich and delicious! And you can prepare it a day ahead and bake it the next day. That’s my kind of recipe!

The last plate had two recipes. On the left, Seasonal Fruit with Lime Syrup & Crystallized Ginger. On the right, Gingerbread Scones with Orange Marmalade Butter:

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The scone was so perfect for the holidays and the butter was fantastic. You just mix butter and orange marmalade! Now, I actually enjoyed the fruit. I’m not a big fruit person but I did enjoy the lime and crystallized ginger syrup on it. It would be fabulous with vanilla yogurt.

Up next today: picking the kids up, my son has basketball practice and a flag football game. Somewhere in the middle, dinner will happen. 

What are some of your favorite things to have at brunch?

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Sunday, November 15, 2015

143.8...Milk Chocolate Maple Bacon Cookies

Today was one of my favorite parties of the year: Cathi’s Annual Cookie Exchange. Besides having a very good time, there are some simple rules to follow: 

You are to bake six dozen cookies. One dozen is for the “tasting table” (there are prizes!) and the other five dozen are for everyone to take home. It’s that easy. It’s a blast AND you get to enjoy the cookies long after the party is over.

I did feel the pressure this year as I won “Best Tasting” two years in a row. This year I decided to make Milk Chocolate Maple Bacon Cookies. I mean, come on! Bacon in a cookie!?! I was sold. 

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Milk Chocolate Maple Bacon Cookies (Makes 4 dozen)

Recipe from The Foodie Affair


1 pound bacon, cooked until crisp, well drained, cooled and cut into small pieces

1 cup (2 sticks) unsalted butter, room temperature

1 cup packed brown sugar, plus extra for sprinkling

1/2 cup maple syrup (use real, not flavored)

1/2 tsp. baking soda

1/4 tsp. sea salt, plus extra for sprinkling

2 tsp. maple extract

2 eggs

2 3/4 cup all purpose flour

1 12-ounce bag of milk chocolate chips


1. Preheat the oven to 375 degrees. Line two baking sheets with parchment paper.

2. In a large bowl, beat together the butter, brown sugar, maple syrup, baking soda, salt and maple extract until light and fluffy. Add the eggs one at a time.

3. Mix in flour until well blended. Add chocolate chips and bacon. Using a one inch cookie scoop, scoop batter on prepared baking sheets. Sprinkle tops lightly with sea salt and brown sugar. Bake for 10-12 minutes or until golden brown. Cool before transferring to a cooling rack.

Note: No bacon for you? These cookies taste delicious without the bacon.

Printable Recipe

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Before we get to the rests of the cookie extravaganza, let’s rewind to Friday night.

After my son’s basketball practice, we went to a friend’s house for dinner. We had grilled chicken kabobs, rice and Israeli salad. Yum!

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Almost as good as the dinner was the Julian apple pie I brought.

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My kids think this is the best pie every created.

Breakfast yesterday:

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I spent the morning making my Milk Chocolate Maple Bacon Cookies. We went to my son’s basketball game, then Mia Francesca for lunch. I had the Dinner Salad:

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 As well as Bruschetta con Avocado (garlic toast with avocado pesto, red peppers, arugula and goat cheese):

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Yes, there is bread under all that goodness! It was excellent. I will order this again!

Last night’s dinner was one of my favorite recipes of all time: Beef Stroganoff. I think like meatloaf, beef stroganoff gets a bad rap. I’m not sure why. But honestly, I don’t care. More for me. 

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I ate three plates of it. Sue me.

Breakfast this morning:

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I got dressed, dropped off the kiddos to various birthday parties and headed to Cathi’s for her Cookie Party. She also has an amazing display of delicious appetizers to cut all the sugar we eat trying the cookies. 

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Everyone always seems to outdo themselves each year with their cookies. The table always looks more beautiful than it did the prior year!

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Then comes the difficult job of tasting each cookie. Everyone votes for one cookie to win Best Tasting and another cookie to win Most Creative. It’s a tough job!

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The winners were announced!

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Felicia won for Most Creative with her stained glass Christmas cookies:

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Michelle was a close second with her pumpkin pie cookies:

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Lynne won Best Tasting for her famous toffee!

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Congratulations ladies! 

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Everyone walks around the table and fills their containers with cookies to bring home. 

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Thank you Cathi for another fabulous Cookie Party!!!! It’s my family’s favorite party too. :)

I picked up the kids and came home to eat something not sugary.

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BLT. What? I had leftover bacon…what was I supposed to do??

Have you decided on any holiday cookies to make this year?

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