Tuesday, August 30, 2016

147.2...Taco Soup

Even though it’s hot outside, I wanted chili or soup last night. Luckily, I found the best of both worlds: Taco Soup! It’s a pretty good cross between chili and soup for sure!

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Taco Soup (Serves 12 to 16)

Recipe from Paula Deen


2 pounds ground beef

2 cups diced onions

2 (15 1/2-ounce) can pinto beans

1 (15 1/2-ounce) can pink kidney beans

1 (15 1/4-ounce) can whole kernel corn, drained

1 (14 1/2-ounce) can Mexican-style stewed tomatoes

1 (14 1/2-ounce) can diced tomatoes

1 (14 1/2-ounce) can tomatoes with chiles

2 (4 1/2-ounce) cans diced green chiles

1 (4.6-ounce) can black olives, drained and sliced, optional

1/2 cup green olives, sliced, optional

1 (1 1/4-ounce) package taco seasoning mix

1 (1-ounce) package ranch salad dressing mix

Corn chips, for serving

Sour cream, for garnish

Grated cheese, for garnish

Chopped green onions, for garnish

Pickled jalapeños, for garnish


1. Brown the ground beef and onions in large skillet; drain the excess fat, then transfer the browned beef and onions to a large slow cooker or a stockpot. 

2. Add the beans, corn, tomatoes, green chiles, black olives, green olives, taco seasoning, and ranch dressing mix, and cook in a slow cooker on low for 6 to 8 hours or simmer over low heat for about 1 hour in a pot on the stove.

3. To serve, place a few corn chips in each bowl and ladle soup over them. Top with sour cream, cheese, green onions and jalapeños.

Printable Recipe

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We really enjoyed it! It would be great with some corn bread too!


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I took the kids to school, then went to Orange Theory for a great workout! 

Lunch was more Taco Soup! 

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I went to a tennis lesson then picked the kids up from school. Tonight is a chill night at home. The last one for the rest of the week!

Chili vs. Soup…which would you pick?

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Monday, August 29, 2016

147.4...Mediterranean Orzo Salad

I love orzo. Hot, cold, as a pasta dish, in a salad. It doesn’t matter. When I saw the recipe for Mediterranean Orzo Salad, I knew I’d love it. It was definitely a hit at my barbecue in July.

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Mediterranean Orzo Salad (Serves 12)

Recipe from Ree Drummond



1/3 cup extra-virgin olive oil

1 lemon, juiced

1 clove garlic, minced

Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper


12 oz. orzo pasta

One 15-ounce can chickpeas, drained

1 1/2 cups red grape or cherry tomatoes

1 1/2 cups yellow grape or cherry tomatoes

1 1/2 cups kalamata olives, halved

1 1/2 cups crumbed feta cheese, plus more for topping

3 Tbsp minced fresh parsley, plus more for topping

1 red onion, diced

Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper


1. For the dressing: in a jar or bowl, mix together the olive oil, lemon juice, garlic and some salt and pepper until totally combined. 

2. For the salad: Bring a pot of water to a boil and cook the orzo according to the package directions. Drain and let cool.

3. Place the orzo, chickpeas, red and yellow tomatoes, olives, feta, parsley and onions in a large mixing bowl and pour the dressing over the top. Stir to combine and taste; add salt and pepper if needed.

4. Top with more feta and parsley and serve as a main dish salad or with grilled chicken, fish or burgers!

Printable Recipe 

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Saturday night was pretty chill. I made some cheese ravioli, marinara and salad for dinner. Easy.

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Yesterday’s breakfast:

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My Sunday was productive. I got so much stuff done around the house. Such a good feeling!

Lunch was tuna salad, celery sticks and a pickle.

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Dinner was Burger Night. I waited all day for this. 

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Lettuce wrapped turkey burger, onions, tomatoes, jalapeños, pickles, chipotle aioli and sweet potato fries. 

Today’s breakfast:

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I took the kids to school, then hit the gym for Hardline class. I ran some errands and came home for lunch. 

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Turkey sandwich and a salad. 

I recently got an account on ancestry.com. I am addicted! It’s so amazing what you find!! A new time suck for sure. 

Do you use ancestry.com or similar? 

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Saturday, August 27, 2016

147.8...Fresh Corn Salad

Back in July I hosted a barbecue for family from out of town. I served a few side dished, one of them being Fresh Corn Salad. It’s the perfect summer salad. Hurry up and make it before summer is over!

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Fresh Corn Salad (Serves 4 to 6)

Recipe from Ina Garten


5 ears of corn, shucked

1/2 cup small-diced red onion (1 small onion)

3 Tbsp cider vinegar

3 Tbsp good olive oil

1/2 tsp. kosher salt

1/2 tsp. freshly ground black pepper

1/2 cup julienned fresh basil leaves


1. In a large pot of boiling salted water, cook the corn for 3 minutes until the starchiness is just gone. Drain and immerse it in ice water to stop the cooking and to set the color. When the corn is cool, cut the kernels off the cob, cutting close to the cob.

2. Toss the kernels in large bowl with the red onions, vinegar, olive oil, salt, and pepper. Just before serving, toss in the fresh basil. Taste for seasonings and serve cold or at room temperature.

Printable Recipe 

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Thursday afternoon, I needed a snack. I rarely snack but I knew I wouldn’t make it until dinner. I had a few turkey slices and a string cheese. 

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Dinner was the leftovers of Herb & Crumb Crusted Chicken Piccata from the night before with the additions of some leftover spaghetti and salad. 

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Yesterday’s breakfast:

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I dropped the kids off at school and went to Zumba class at the gym. I ran some errands and stopped at Green Spot Salad Company for lunch with the intention to get the Sesame Ahi Ginger Bowl that I love. They informed me that they were out of brown rice. :( So…I got a Greek salad with ahi instead.

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It was good but not as good as my bowl.

The afternoon was spent picking up the kids and taking them to their hair cut appointments. Dinner was at Pizza Rev. 

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I love this place. 

They had a vast array of new hot sauces! I tried them all and ranked them (from left to right) which ones I liked best. 

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After dinner, we went to The Lot with some friends to see the movie “War Dogs”. I loved it!! 

Today’s breakfast:

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This morning we went to a friend’s son’s bar mitzvah. Later on, I took the kids to Round Table Pizza. While they enjoyed their pizza, I had a few plates from the salad bar. It was hard not to eat their pizza. I love their pizza!

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Enjoy the weekend!

Up to anything fun this weekend?

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Thursday, August 25, 2016

147.4...S'mores Brownies

I have a few more recipes to share that I’ve promised to post. The first one is for S’mores Brownies, one of the desserts I made for my Bunco back in July.  These were easy to make and tasted spot on!

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S’mores Brownies 

Recipe from Food Network Magazine


2 cups chocolate chips

1 stick butter

3/4 cup light brown sugar

3/4 cup granulated sugar

4 eggs

1 tsp. vanilla

1 cup all-purpose flour

1/2 tsp. salt

Graham cracker sheets

1 cup mini chocolate chips

1 cup mini marshmallows 


1. Preheat oven to 325 degrees. Coat a 9x13-inch pan with cooking spray and line with foil; coat with more cooking spray.

2. Melt chocolate chips and butter in a saucepan over low heat, stirring. Remove from the heat and whisk in both sugars; let cool slightly.

3. Whisk in eggs, one at a time, and vanilla. Stir in flour and salt. 

4. Line the pan with a layer of graham crackers and top with the batter; bake for 35 minutes. 

5. Top with mini chocolate chips and mini marshmallows and bake 10 more minutes. Let cool, then cut into squares. 

Printable Recipe 

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Monday night we kept things super simple with spaghetti and marinara for dinner.

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Then it was off to the Guns N’ Roses concert at Qualcomm Stadium. We went with our friends, Stacy and Dave. 

Stacy and I:

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I thought the concert was great as long as you don’t look at Axl Rose. Lol. He does not look anywhere near the same person he used to. He sounded great though!

Breakfast Tuesday:

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I dropped the kids off at school, then went to Cardio Strength class at the gym. It’s a hard class and somehow I made it through. 

I got my hair done, then stopped at Wonderful Sushi for lunch. I had never been and thought I’d give it a try. It had been WAY too long since I had sushi!

Miso Soup:

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Yellowtail, tuna and salmon sushi:

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El Fuego Roll:

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I loved everything! I would definitely go back! It was wonderful for sure. :)

I had to go to a meeting that night at the school, so I had dinner before I left. Roasted salmon and a green salad:

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Wednesday’s breakfast:

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I took the kids to school, then went to a doctor appointment. The gym was next. Just did an hour of treadmill and elliptical. 

Lunch was at Marketplace Grill. 

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Grilled Chicken Greek Salad. Love.

After school, my son had an orthodontist appointment then it was home to make dinner. I made Herb and Crumb Crusted Chicken Piccata with roasted asparagus and a green salad. 

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It had been a while since I made a legit dinner!

Breakfast today:

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I dropped kids off, then gym for Cardio Sculpt class. I’m on a roll!

I had an appointment, then lunch at Urban Plates. 

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Wild Albacore, Sesame Broccolini and Summer Squash. So good. The broccolini was especially amazing. 

After lunch I went to my tennis lesson, then picked up the kids. I’m finally home!

Are you a Guns N’ Roses fan?

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Monday, August 22, 2016

148.8...There's No Place Like Home

As of late Saturday night, we finally came home from our three week long trip. We had a blast for sure and it flew by so fast!! Our first full day in Nantucket was last Sunday. We went over to my aunt and uncle’s house and fed the ducks that would swim up to their balcony overlooking the water. We did that every night. We went to dinner at The Brotherhood of Thieves. We all split the Buffalo Wings which were very good!

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I ordered the Fried Local Cod which came with curly fries, tartar sauce and cole slaw. 

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Also, excellent! 

Monday morning I made scrambled eggs and toast for breakfast our our house. 

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I did a bunch of laundry and we hung around the house swimming and watching the Olympics. Pretty much what we did everyday. 

For lunch I made a turkey sandwich. 

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Near my aunt’s house was an ice cream place called The Juice Bar. Everything was homemade and the line was ALWAYS around the block. Finally we braved the line that afternoon.

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I enjoyed a scoop of the Toffee Crunch ice cream. Heavenly. Worth the wait. 

For dinner Monday, we went to dinner at Fusaros. My meal started with the house salad:

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My entree was the Lobster Farfalle (Chatham lobster, basil, tomato, prosciutto-brandy cream sauce, bow tie pasta):

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Unbelievably good! Loved it!! 

Tuesday’s breakfast was scrambled eggs and half a bagel with onion cream cheese:

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Lunch was a salami sandwich:

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For dinner, my aunt and uncle came to our house. I grilled burger and corn for dinner. Yum!

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For dessert, my aunt brought over hot fudge from The Juice Bar which I ate over vanilla ice cream:

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Breakfast Wednesday: 

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Lunch was another salami sandwich, macaroni salad and a pickle:

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For dinner, we all went to Met on Main. I ordered the Bolognese alla Gobetti (shell pasta, meat sauce, parmesan):

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Another winner pasta dish! 

Thursday’s breakfast: 

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My aunt, my mom and I went out to lunch and shopping. We stopped for lunch at Dune. I ordered the Chatham Lobster Roll (toasted brioche bun, lemon chive aioli, garlic fries):

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My aunt, my mom and I:

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We had a great day of shopping which finished up at my aunt’s house. We picked up sandwiches from Walter’s Deli. I had the Italian sandwich: 

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Not as good as Jersey Mike’s but pretty close! :)

We had to get some ice cream from The Juice Bar! I split a sundae with my husband:

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Their waffle cones are unreal.

Friday’s breakfast: 

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Lunch was cheese, salami, crackers and macaroni salad. 

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For our final dinner in Nantucket, we all went to Fifty-Six Union. I had the Grilled Sirloin Steak Frites (choice sirloin steak, truffled demi, pomme frites):

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Saturday was a day of traveling. I had half a bagel with cream cheese in the morning, then we headed out for our 3 flights home. I had a ham and cheese sandwich along the way among other snacks. We finally made it home and went to bed. 

Yesterday’s breakfast was half a bagel, fried egg and cheddar cheese:

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Yesterday was spent unpacking and getting stuff organized. 

Lunch was at Milton’s. I had the house salad with ranch dressing and half a roast beef sandwich with cole slaw. 

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Dinner was Burger Night! Yes! I had a turkey burger lettuce wrapped with cheddar cheese, tomato, onions, pickles, chipotle aioli and sweet potato fries. 

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Today the kids went back to school. Just like that, summer is over. My son is off to 6th grade and my daughter off to 4th. I can’t believe it.

Today also brought back my favorite breakfast:

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I took the kids to school, then went to Hardline class at the gym. That kicked my butt for sure. 

Lunch was Luna Grill with my mom. I had the Greek Salad with a Chicken Kabob. 

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 My mom packed her car and headed home. I guess it’s back to regular life now!

Did you watch the Olympics? 

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