First of all

Friday, December 19, 2008

IceSnow Storm

We woke up to snow and ice. Most of the schools called off school but not our schools! Tom almost had to stay home cause he couldn't get traction to leave our street. It was a brutal morning on the roads. Even the main roads were ice and slush city!

Here is our drive after I got done shoveling, it was tough heavy ice!

Thursday, December 18, 2008

Las. Vegas gets 4 inches of Snow.

Crazy weather and we are looking at a big storm coming to Chicagoland w/in hours. Now who knows because sometimes they say we are getting a big storm and we get like maybe 1 inch of snow.

In any case, the snow in Las Vegas reminds me of Leadership Las Vegas in ah 2006 where it was in the 20s on the strip and they had a dusting of snow (it was January) now that was a major bummer--to go from January in Chicago to January in Chicago in Las Vegas.

Red 40.
That is a red food dye that I really think makes Bryce have an attack of ADHD. I have kept track of when Bryce doesn't listen, and is fighting w/his sister and brother and yelling and over a couple weeks I saw that if he get the food coloring he is aweful. Today was his school Christmas party and suffice it to say I think the cupcakes had red frosting

Countdown to me going to Leadership Tucson 27 days. :-)

Tuesday, December 16, 2008

Too much to do.

I really need more time before Christmas. Not to shop, I have that done, but to do Christmas Cards --haven't started on that yet, might not do it this year. And the wrapping of the presents which is the number one thing I like doing least during the holidays--and it shows in the crappy way I wrap because I am too impatient to put any effort into wrapping. I really should switch over to all Gift Bags. That is a great idea for next year.

I have had 4 Tastefully Simple open house events this year, and so far the ones at people's homes have not gone well for me --saleswise or bookingswise--I'm just not running into my people--the people who love the TS and who like trying new things (f00d-wise) and would like to host a party. I have 2 more events left, both of which are fundraisers --one of which is for PADS which stands for something like Parishes, A? Delivering Shelter. It's churches that open up and provide shelter on a certain day of the week for the homeless --different churchs do different days of the week. So that is a cause I am very happy to fundraise on behalf of--also this Fri I'll be at a Spa Night fundraiser for Relay for Life and that is another great one I love to fundraise for through my business.

Statistics I am happy about.
My sales are up 15% this year and I am thisclose to $47,000 in sales.
My Team Sales are up over 35% for the year--and they are past $125,000 for the year.

Wednesday, December 3, 2008

A few of my favorite things

My Laptop
Public Libraries
Starbucks Peppermint Mocha Coffee
Hagen Dazs Peppermint Bark Ice Cream
A great pair of boots that doesn' cost over $60
Paperback Books
A new notebook
going to the movies
Bisque Soups
Pilot Precise V5 Pens
I tunes
Cranberry Orange Bread
Basalmic & Basil Dipping Oil

Monday, December 1, 2008

My heart has been stolen

I was at Carsons Piere Scott, mid moring on Blacke Friday, when I saw and tried on the most fabulously wonderful boots ever. Doorbuster. Picked over boxes. No boots left in my size (I need and 8.5--I like to wear thick socks-I can't stand having cold feet).

I hugged the pair I tried on and left. Last night I dreamed of the boots. Today I googled the boots. Ruff Hewn.

Sold only in the Carson family of stores. Bon-ton, Bergmans, Elder Beerman, sniff sniff, they don't care the style online. Ruff Hewn Amsterdam. I searched and searched and I cannot even find a picture of these boots.Tears are streaming down my face. Oh beautiful boots!

Thursday, November 27, 2008

thanksgiving dinner success!

We decided to stay home and have dinner just the 5 of us. I was happy that the kids got the idea of giving thanks when we played a little thank you game.

I was EXTREMELY happy that my first attempt at brining a Turkey was a total success and that Tom loved the cornbread dressing recipe and the cranberry sauce recipe--all of which I found on

1 (14 to 16 pound) frozen young turkey
For the brine:
1 cup kosher salt
1/2 cup light brown sugar
1 gallon vegetable stock
1 tablespoon black peppercorns
1/2 tablespoon allspice berries
1/2 tablespoon candied ginger
1 gallon iced water

For the aromatics:
1 red apple, sliced
1/2 onion, sliced
1 cinnamon stick
1 cup water
4 sprigs rosemary
6 leaves sage
Canola oil

Combine all brine ingredients, except ice water, in a stockpot, and bring to a boil. Stir to dissolve solids, then remove from heat, cool to room temperature, and refrigerate until thoroughly chilled.

Early on the day of cooking, (or late the night before) combine the brine and ice water in a clean 5-gallon bucket. Place thawed turkey breast side down in brine, cover, and refrigerate or set in cool area (like a basement) for 6 hours. Turn turkey over once, half way through brining.

A few minutes before roasting, heat oven to 500 degrees. Combine the apple, onion, cinnamon stick, and cup of water in a microwave safe dish and microwave on high for 5 minutes.
Remove bird from brine and rinse inside and out with cold water. Discard brine.

Place bird on roasting rack inside wide, low pan and pat dry with paper towels. Add steeped aromatics to cavity along with rosemary and sage. Tuck back wings and coat whole bird liberally with canola (or other neutral) oil.

Roast on lowest level of the oven at 500 degrees F. for 30 minutes. Remove from oven and cover breast with double layer of aluminum foil, insert probe thermometer into thickest part of the breast and return to oven, reducing temperature to 350 degrees F. Set thermometer alarm (if available) to 161 degrees. A 14 to 16 pound bird should require a total of 2 to 2 1/2 hours of roasting. Let turkey rest, loosely covered for 15 minutes before carving.

And I love Tyler Florences recipes...this is no exception!

Lastly I skipped the walnuts for this Cranberry Sauce:

And now I am looking forward to getting up and shopping on Black Friday!

Monday, August 4, 2008

Monday: Putting the M in Mundane.

A week from Wed I leave for our National Conference. Can't wait. I was thinking of packing my suitcase today, but then I thought hmm. a bit too early.

Exciting news around here...our cat Friday who only eats Friskies Salmon dinner in a can--actually ate cat food I got at aldi.

can of Friskies from Walgreens: 69 cents. can of Friskies from Jewel: 59 cents. can of Friskies from Walmart: 49 cents.

can at Aldi: 23 cents. Number of cans of cat food the cat goes thru a day = 2-3

So... we go thru a good 20 cans a week. Yippee.

Yes it doesn't take much to pass for exciting news.

School count down: 2 weeks from Today!

*note to self: see if the boys have gym shoes that fit.

Friday, August 1, 2008

August 1st

August has arrived. Back on June 1st who know how quickly it would arrive. I'll be leaving for my National Conference in 13 days. And it looks like Tom will have to travel to New York again for work either the 11, 12 or 13--any of which will mean some extra child care shuffling...but it will all workout. Fingers Crossed.

This morning you might have thought it was 10/1 around here instead of 8/1. Patrick left for his last day of summer school sporting a sweatshirt and long pants (apparently it has been really cold in the classroom. And I made a big pot of Mama's soup per Bryce's request for breakfast-and then I really wanted a cookie so I made a batch of peanut butter cookies from a recipe in a cookbook given to me by my good friend Beth LeMie, Personal Historian.

Thursday, July 24, 2008

So S-L-O-W

this morning my IE is just running really really slow. It's very very I tried the safari browser on my pc and that worked ah 500x faster, but not all the features for websites works w/that--esp. links so not as helpful as it could be to me.

Tomrrow is my big garage sale AND 7/25/08--ie Christmas in July. Not that that means anything, just a little observation. Being Christmas in July Eve, there was an article in the Tribune talking about a retailers already being worried about the holiday shopping season. I think we'll just focus on socks and underwear for the kids this year...

Tuesday, July 22, 2008


So I set up a facebook page tonight, it was that or do more laundry --ugh. Facebook seems pretty user friendly, didn't see an option to add a song that loads when you click on my page, but I'm not a fan of suprise music so that's fine with me.

Tomorrow we are headed back to the beach, this time my camera is charged and ready so I should actually get some pics this time!

Monday, June 23, 2008

This soup is so yummy...

Oh this was sooooooooooooooooooooooooo good! I found the recipe on the Whole Foods website. It was great w/the nice cool evening we had last night. I used TS Dried Tomato and Garlic Pesto for the Italian Seasoning since I was out of the TS Italian Seasoning Salt.

Italian Wedding Soup with Vegan Meatballs
Heat-and-serve simple and full of flavor, our Whole Kitchen™ Vegan Meatballs make a great substitution that will please the whole family. The recipe name is actually a mistranslation of minestra maritata, which refers to the "marriage" of greens and meatballs in the soup.

Ingredients with an asterisk () are available as 365 Everyday Value™ and/or 365 Organic Everyday Value™ products.
Serves 6

1 (15-ounce) can Italian-style diced tomatoes with garlic, oregano and basil
6 cups organic vegetable broth
4 ounces elbow pasta
1 (16-ounce) package vegan meatballs
3 cups fresh organic spinach, roughly chopped
2 teaspoons dried Italian seasoning
Sea salt and ground black pepper
2-3 tablespoons grated parmesan cheese (optional)
Bring the tomatoes and broth to a boil in a large pot over medium-high heat. Simmer 10 minutes. Add pasta, meatballs, spinach and Italian seasoning and cook until the pasta is tender and meatballs are cooked through, about 8 minutes. Season to taste with salt and pepper. Ladle into bowls and serve. Sprinkle with parmesan if desired.
Nutrition Info
Per serving (About 14.5oz/418g-wt.): 310 calories (79 from fat), 9g total fat, 0.33g saturated fat, 18.5g protein, 34g total carbohydrate (5g dietary fiber, 7g sugar), 3mg cholesterol, 1400mg sodium

Thursday, June 19, 2008


I am very excited about our upcoming mini trip downtown~ We are staying at a Marriot Residence Inn and I earned the hotel stay free through Tastefully Simple...then I have 5 AMC gold tickets so we can go see WALL-E for free through my coke rewards.

Then I have a $25.00 gift certificate for NIX a restaurant by our hotel that I got for free wthe coke rewards again...Then we have 6 free tickets to see the white sox from Bryce's baseball camp...AND today I read in the Trib that all summer long kids get in free to the Museum of Science and Industry! So this is going to be my kind of trip, my freebie and rewards collecting will equal less out of pocket expenses and we don't have to spend a ton of $$ on gas.

I am also happy to report that the hotel room has a fridge and a microwave so we don't have to eat in restaurants the entire time. Wahoo!

So tomorrow will be 10 days with out chocolate. I have been waiting for the phone to ring and someone to tell me I get some fabulous prize for subsiding w/o chocolate for more than a week...

Monday, June 16, 2008

Relay for life on Friday

Well on Friday I am participating in a local Relay for Life overnight event. I really am not sure how it will go...I have like a tent thing, but not a tent tent, I have one of those coverings you put up that is like a cheap version of a tent for an outdoor sale event.

Tom will be home with Anna and I'll be there w/the boys. I really hope it all goes no storms and no crabby kids. I think I should probably check w/Tom and see if we have a tent tent somewhere in the garage...

I figure I can do lots of walking, since Im used to running. Really I am just giving myself a pep talk on the whole thing right now, I don't like going to places where I don't know exactly how things work--but who does like to try new stuff right? I'll also be doing onsite fundraising w/my TS and I will have at least one team member coming up there--I need to work on hopefully finding another team member or 2 who might want to come up there as well.

Today Anna turned 4, and what did she want to do for her birthday. Get a pink booster seat. So we went to Target since it looked like they'd have better selection on booster seats than WalMart...but they didn't. So I got her a Dora necklace from the one spot..and we went over to Trader Joes because the one other thing Anna really really wanted to do on her birthday was get a little shopping cart and put food in it. LOL Fortunately when we got to Trader Joes they had a mini shopping cart available for the birthday girl to use. Fortunately for me she only almost rammed it into about 3 fellow patrons of the Trader Joes--she was pushing the cart around like she was Danica Patrick...

Then she finished offer her day w/a big piece of chocolate creme pie that Auntie Teri brought over.

Sunday, June 15, 2008

So that's what it is!

The other day I cut up cantalope, had a couple of pieces and right away my mouth started itching...and the same thing happened when I made I did some googling and found this:

turns out if you are allergy to ragweed--yes...then pollen in some fruits and veggies can trigger oral allergy syndrome...

well at least now I know what the deal is. And at least cooking the fruit or veggies in question can stop it...which is good in case it ever starts happening w/tomatoes...Still I am bummed about the guacamole issue. I love guacamole. But it is def. a prob. I have w/alvocados because today I had alvocado on a sandwich and one bite and my mouth started itching. which is really freaky!

Saturday, June 14, 2008

Anna is turning 4, my summer experiment

Here is the Princess Cake I made for Ms. Anna's birthday. It was a big hit w/the girls. Pink frosting Pink Cake... And Anna got lots of fun princess-y stuff for her birthday from all her friends and family. She especially loved the dresses from Auntie Kat--yes she is all girl.
I am on some pins and needles as I am so close to my goal to promote to Team Mentor on 7/1...but it is mostly out of my hands and in the hands of my team. It's hard to work hard and sit back and be patient at the same time.
On the running front, I ran the Ridge Run again this year and survived. Oh and then they take pics of you during the race and email them to you in case you want to order them for a memento...yah-no. My pics I should get printed and put on the fridge --that's a guaranteed way to skip opening the fridge! I want to run a 1/2 marathon again and finish faster than last year and to that end I got a new pair of running shoes FREE w/my coke rewards point collecting --that was super cool AND I am doing a change of diet experiment to try and lose weight cause then I would be running faster (less drag...)
So I am on day 4 of my new diet of no meat no dairy. I think I'll probably lose about 1000 lbs cause I love dairy and cutting it out really is reducing all the fun! LOL.--On the plus side, peanut butter is in....
Tonight I made quinoa and mixed that w/corn and black bean salsa and yum, it was delish and today I also found out margarine doesn't contain meat or dairy which was news to me, duh! Of course since I want to lose weight, I won't be able to sit around and eat toast w/margarine all day as lovely as that would be!

Tuesday, May 13, 2008

i make a spongebob cake patrick turns 8.

On May 9th Patrick turned 8. So made him a Spongebob cake, as he requested. Now this is the only time I have ever tried to make a cake that wasn't a reg sheet cake. If you think that it looks swell I credit watching episodes of the ACE OF CAKES on the foodnetwork for inspiration. If you don't think it looks swell, then I blame being on painkillers at the time of making the cake. See on May 8th, I had oral surgery and so on May 9th, I was pretty loopy.

May 10th was Patrick's party and as far I could tell, the kids all had fun. We got lucky with the weather, it was cool, but sunny and my Amazing Race game went over big w/the kids--which was great cause I was really fretting about how to amuse a bunch of 8 year olds w/o people fighting over the Wii.

Mothers day I let the boys play on the Wii too much and I watched Juno. Which was a good movie, good for renting.

And now we only have 12! 12 more days of school left. ekkkk.

Gas today was over $4.00 a gallon and with gas and food really eating up our budget, we decided we'll not go on vacation to Boston this year. I was so glad I was able to switch my 2 free hotel nights from the hotel in Boston to a marriott downtown. So right before the 4th we'll have a two day vacation in Chicago. That will be fun.

Tuesday, April 29, 2008

Take me out to the ball game

Well it was warmer at the game on Sunday than it was around here today. (temps only made it to 41 degree. And it didn't rain so we had a great time...and the good guys won!

Above is Karl's son Jade w/his cousin Bryce and Patrick there in the backgrou and then we have a wonderful pic of Anna w/her uncle Karl.

GOOO White Sox! Come on warm weather!

Wednesday, April 23, 2008

Great recipe by Tyler Forence

I made this last week, very yummy w/the fresh turnips that I had w/our organic food delivery.

Butter Rooted Vegetables
Recipe by Tyler Florence

1 tbsp EV Olive Oil
1 lb parsnips, peeled, cut into cubes
1 lb turnips, split into halves
Fresh ground pepper
1 cup chicken stock
1/2 cup chpped fresh herbs like chervil, parsley and thyme (I only had parsley and thyme to add)
1 tbsp unsalted butter
1 lb carrots, peeled, cut into cubes
Kosher Salt
1 tbsp unsalted butter, cold and cubed
Kosher salt and fresh ground pepper

Put the olive oil and butter into a large pot over medium-high heat. Add the vegetables and toss to coat them well w/the fat; sason w/salt and pepper. Add 1 cup chix stock and bring to a boil. Lower the heat to a simmer, cover the pot, and cook until the veggies are tender, about 20 min. Add butter and toss until incorporated. To serve, pour veggies into a large bowl and shwer w/the mixed herbs and season w/salt and pepper.

We have had fantastic weather this week. I wish it was sunny and in the 70s all the time!

Monday, April 21, 2008

Roast Chicken Recipe I must try.

I have to make this very soon!

Chef Hans' Roast Chicken with Garlic and Rosemary

1 Corn fed free-range or organic chicken 4 to 6 lbs

salt and freshly ground pepper

2 garlic clove lightly crusted with skin

2 springs of fresh rosemary

1/2 lemon

3 tablespoon olive oil

lemon pepper seasoning to taste

1. Preheat the oven to 250- with fan, 325- without fan

2. Season the chicken inside and out with salt and pepper and lemon pepper salt. Place the garlic and rosemary, fresh lemon in the cavity. Set the chicken in oiled roasting pan and brush with oil.

3. Roast for 1 hour 15 minutes, basting occasionally and covering with oiled grease proof paper or foil if the breast is becoming too brown.

4. Remove from the oven at 160F and allow to rest for few minutes before carving.
Eat with warm vegetables, salad, your choice.
Started weeding today, realize I really don't like weeding--but I do love having a garden..I"ll have to work on getting Anna to know the difference btwn plants and weeds because she loves weeding!

Thursday, March 13, 2008

chicken divan

Well I am hoping the weather has taking a turn for the warmer and we won't be having many more --if any days in the 20s. Around this house we are still trying to get used to the time change. It's hard to fall asleep and even harder to manage to get up in the morning, but that extra hour of sun---boy is that fan-tas-ic!

The other day we had a couple of bunches of broccoli sitting around and I really really wanted Chicken Divan, but I didn't have any sour cream. Sigh. So here is what I came up w/and personally I thought it was good.

Faux Chicken Divan
2 bunches broccoli steamed
3 cups shredded cooked chicken
1 brick of reduced fat cream cheese
about 1/2 a cup of milk
2 tbsps sour cream
2/3 cup light mayo
2 1/2 tbsp Garlic Dill Mix
bread crumbs
shredded cheese

Take the cream cheese, milk, sour cream (that was all the sour cream I had), mayo and Garlic Dill mix and blend that in a med bowl w/the mixer until well blended and fluffy--used more milk if needed to thin out the blend.
fold in the broccoli and chicken and mix together w/a spoon.

Put mixture in a baking dish, sprinkle on your fav. shredded cheese and top w/bread crumbs then bake for 1/2 an hour at 350.

Friday, March 7, 2008

Bryce minus a tooth, an avocado tree, and no meat on Friday

Here is the happy kindergartener.

We have an outrageously delicious new product that is just too easy to make. 1 packet of the Giddyup Guacamole Mix water and a couple of avocados and you have ahhhhhhh the best guac it's crazy good. So what do you have after you make some fantastico guacamole? a couple of pits and the chance for a fun family project. Yes I googled 'grow avocado from pit' and got the scoop on how I could grow my own tree! So Anna, Bryce and I are on the road to growing a tree.

Now today is friday and this year Tom has decided to keep lent. So I made a yummy dinner and it got 2 thumbs up from Tom. The kids wouldn't eat it--they had cucumber, french fries and cheese pizza. Anywho, so this is what I made.
Scalloped Potatoes w/Fennel.
So you take your basic scallopped potato recipe and you add in thinly sliced fennel bulb and i add in a fair amount of garlic garlic and bake that together and you have a nice new twist on scalloped potatoes and you've added in another veggie to the mix.
Then I took 1 lb of Orange Roughy which was 3 large filets--that cost $9.67 OUCH! sprayed them w/some pam and sprinkled 1 lightly w/our new Garlic Dill Mix and 2 w/the garlic garlic and popped that in the oven w/the broiler on high until the Orange Roughy was opaque and flaky w/a fork.

Wednesday, February 27, 2008

It's been ages!

Oh I had the flu for the first time since 1999. just now back to 98%... How miserable it was. I couldn't smell or taste for 5 days--you just don't realize how sad life is when you can't smell or taste until it happens. And that was after about 5 days of barely being able to get out of bed!

Exciting news for Mr. Bryce, he lost his first tooth yesterday, and then I forgot to put a dollar from the tooth fairy. then I grabbed an envelope and drew a tooth on it and put it on his dresser, told him that must have been left by the tooth fairy, he opens it..and the darn envelope was empty.. Oy. I forgot to put the dollar in the envelope after I decorated it! Ekkk. So I realized the dollar was on our bed by Anna, and told bryce the toothfairy must have made a mistake.

Bryce said the tooth fairy must have forgot to wear his glasses and got all confused. I said yep that must be it!
We have such a delicious line of new products for this spring/summer I can't wait for my party on 3/1--I finally get to share all the goodies!!!

Wednesday, February 6, 2008

New Fav Lunch

I made this yesterday and today, it's really yummy!!!! the recipe is from, i made a few changes to it, like I used reduced fat cheese vrs. fat free cheese because fat free cheese is just aweful tasting!

Whole 'Lada Love

Wanna stuff your face with a saucy smothered bean 'n cheese enchilada without a gazillion irritating calories and fat grams? Just whip up a batch of these Lean Bean Cheesy Enchiladas PRONTO!


2 large corn tortillas (like Mission Super Size)

1 slice reduced fat-free cheddar cheese, cut in half

2/3 cup enchilada sauce

1/3 cup fat-free refried beans

1/4 cup shredded reduced fat-free cheddar cheese

1/4 cup chopped onions

1 tbsp Roasted Tomato Salsa from TS

1/2 tsp. fiesta party dip mix, dry

Optional toppings: fat-free sour cream, chopped scallions

Directions: Preheat oven to 400 degrees. In a pan sprayed with nonstick spray, cook onions over medium heat until they begin to brown (about 2 minutes). In a small dish, combine the onions with the refried beans, taco sauce, and taco seasoning. Mix well. Spray a small baking dish with nonstick spray.

Heat tortillas in the microwave until slightly warm. Lay the tortillas on a clean, dry surface, and then spread about 2 tbsp. of the enchilada sauce onto each one. Place one half of the cheese slice on each tortilla. Then, evenly distribute the bean mixture into the center of each tortilla. Wrap the tortillas up tightly, and place them in the baking dish seam side down.

Pour the rest of the enchilada sauce over the enchiladas. Bake in the oven for about 10 minutes (until the enchiladas are hot). Remove dish from the oven, sprinkle shredded cheese over the enchiladas, and then return it to the oven for about 5 minutes (until the cheese is nice and melty). Plate those babies and, if you like, top with some of the optional ingredients. Enjoy!


Thursday, January 31, 2008

Onemonth closer to spring

Some pics I was finally able to down load. :-)

the first is from a magic of books night at bryce's was on his bday and we took his bday presents (the book and the pirate hat w/and we made a tent w/a blanket and a couple chairs and read by flashlight and then we sat around the campfire w/a bunch of other students and their parents and the teachers read interactive stories.

the second is the cabin we stayed in down in so. IL ...Pope County over new years.

Tuesday, January 15, 2008

wahoo chili chicken

So I took a chopped onion, chopped red bell pepper and 3 chopped stalks of celery and sauteed that in a big pot. then I poured in 2 cans of diced tomatoes and a can of beans and added 3 boneless chicken breasts and 2 tbsps wahoo chili and mixed that together and then I added in 1/2 a jar of the TS Corn and Black Bean Salsa and simmered all that until everything was cooked and tender..took out the chickent shreded it, added it back in and Wah-Lah...a low fat good source of fiber and protein dinner.

I have no idea what I will be making tomorrow I have a party w/a big group coming so that is going to be lots of tomorrow will not be an experimenting w/a new recipe day.

I have a pork roast to defrost, but the man likes that cooked as comes w/flavors's a hormel tender roast--so I'll get that defrosting 2morrow and roast it on thurs w/ahhh a nice green salad and roasted red and sweet potatoes...that sounds delish!

Wednesday, January 9, 2008

I like Swiss Chard

Every other week a box of fresh organic fruits and veggies along w/organic eggs and milk shows up at my front door. It's my little luxury and I tell you organic red potatoes taste a ton sweeter than conventional..and there is a big difference w/oranges as well. The box of food we get is called a goodie box because it is a random assortment of seasonal fruits and vegetables. I am really looking forward to the cherry season for example.

This week our box contained a few stalks of swiss chard, which I've not had before. It looks like a cross btwn rhurbarb and kale--but fortunately it tastes like a mild spinach. With each delivery comes the bill--and more importantly a sheet of recipes. This sheet had a recipe for Chard and Cheddar Omlettes. So I revised it to make it healthy and had it as an under 200 calorie lunch.

Chard and Cheaddar Omlette:

6 egg whites
1 cup chopped swiss chard
1 oz 75% reduced fat Cabot Cheddar Cheese grated
1 tbsp Onion Onion (dry)

In a small bowl whisk the Onion Onion into the egg whites. Spray skillet w/Pam, w/pan on med. heat add swiss chard and saute until the chard is wilted. Then add the egg/onion onion mixture into the pan and do the omlette thing, and if the eggs sticke to the pan cause you used an iron skillet like me, then adjust and make scrambled chard and cheddar. When cooked, finish by sprinkling the cheese on top, yum!

Sunday, January 6, 2008

The window is open and it's January

I am sure this time next week it will be -6 vrs. the 60 degree F reading we are seeing today--so I opened a couple windows to get a bit of fresh air in the house.

I spent a bit of time today cooking and chopping and I"ll share what we are having for dinner:

1. Pork Roast w/this to accompany it...
I substituted the zuchinni and used fennel root and I used Yukon Gold Potatoes.

Ciambotta (Southern Italian Vegetable Stew)

This vegetable-laden stew makes a delicious dinner with crusty bread. When reduced just a bit, it could also make a hearty pasta sauce.

1/2 lb. eggplant, unpeeled and cut into 1-inch cubes
1 tablespoons good, fruity extra-virgin olive oil
1 large onion, thinly sliced
2.5 tsp Garlic Garlic
1 stalk celery, thinly sliced
a large handful of fresh basil, stems removed, chopped
1 lb. ripe plum tomatoes, passed through a manual food mill, or peeled and chopped finely in the food processor (or use a 14-oz. can Italian plum tomatoes, drained and processed)
3/4 lb. new potatoes, or any waxy potato, scrubbed and cut into 1x2-inch pieces
1/2 lb. zucchini, cut into 1/2-inch rounds
1 large or 2 small sweet red or yellow peppers, seeded and cut into 1x2-inch strips
Salt and freshly-ground black pepper

1. Toss the eggplant cubes in a colander with 2 teaspoons salt. Let it sit in the sink until it starts to sweat out the bitter juices.Rinse them, drain, them and pat dry, squeezing a little.

2. In a large pot, heat the oil. Add the onion, garlic, and celery. Stir-cook over high heat for about 5 minutes, adding a little water as necessary to prevent sticking and burning. Add the basil and stir-cook for a minutes, then add the tomatoes. When it comes to a simmer, add the eggplant, potatoes and 1/2 teaspoon salt. Stir, bring to a boil, then turn down and simmer, covered, for 15 minutes. Add the zucchini and peppers and simmer 15 minutes more, or until all of the vegetables are tender.

3. Taste for salt and pepper, transfer to a warm serving bowl, and allow to stand 15 minutes before serving. Variations: Use Yukon Gold potatoes instead of the waxy potatoes. Instead of zucchini, you can use any summer squash, or try using cauliflower or fennel root. Instead of eggplant, you can use mushrooms.

Saturday, January 5, 2008

Healthy Reflection Emails I just started getting

Here is today's email and then my thoughts on the question asked....

It is very easy to complain about the state of the world and point fingers, especially when you're having a bad day. What is not so easy--and yet desperately needed at times--is for people to step up and make a difference. Don't be intimidated by others, wallow in your own negative feelings, or sit back and assume someone will do it when you are capable yourself! Relating to others around you isn't always easy, but lending a helping hand, extending a hand in friendship, or expressing a word of encouragement can make a big difference to someone. The fate of many has been changed by the actions of just one person who has grown tired of "how it's always been done" and instead turns and does something more positive. The world does not demand of you to give your entire life, but we can all be instruments of positive change. What can you do to make this world better?


so far I am loving these Healthy Reflections! What a great reminder of the difference each one of us can make if we make the effort. I believe in my ability to be instruments of positive chance through raising good kids (a complete work in progress) by being a role model of integrity (which is something I've been focusing on since being involving in a teleconference coaching group on the book The Energy of Money. And lastly through my business--in my business I have so much potential to give kind words to strangers, help groups raise money, donate $, and applaude others work be it as memebers of my team --or clients who have fun or important things happening in their lives. Wow I feel like I have just wound up writing in my gratitute book as I am grateful for all these ways I can make a positive change!

Friday, January 4, 2008

Another Recipe

This is another recipe that was emailed to me from the Hungry Girl Newsletter. It looks yummy and I like eggs, so I am in the midst of making it. I also joined a fun site yesterday called spark people --seems like it's my space meets blogger meets weight watchers!

I have a TS party tonight, first one of the year and what an early start to the year! This is a great portent for great things to come in 2008! A solid business and plenty of work days is just what the budget ordered!

HG's Ginormous Oven-Baked Omelette
PER SERVING (1 huge piece, 1/4th of dish): 140 calories, 3g fat, 387mg sodium, 9g carbs, 1g fiber, 5g sugars, 18g protein -- POINTS® value 3*

Make it at night, and then have a great protein-packed breakfast ready in seconds in the morning (just heat 'n eat!)...
Ingredients: 2 cups fat-free liquid egg substitute (like Egg Beaters)
1/2 cup fat-free milk
1/2 cup reduced-fat shredded cheese (any flavor)
1 cup sliced bell peppers (any color)
1 cup sliced mushrooms
1/2 cup sliced tomatoes
1/2 cup sliced onions
1 tbsp. reduced-fat parmesan-style grated topping
3/4 tsp. garlic powder
1/8 tsp. black pepper

Optional topping s: ketchup, salsa, hot sauce Directions: Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Into a deep, round casserole dish (about 9 inches wide) sprayed with nonstick spray, pour egg substitute and milk. Add shredded cheese, tomatoes, garlic powder, and black pepper. Mix well, and then set aside.

Bring a large pan sprayed with nonstick spray (butter-flavored spray if you have it) to high heat. Stirring occasionally, cook peppers, onions, and mushrooms for 2 minutes (just long enough to brown the outsides). Add veggies to the casserole dish, and mix well. Place dish in the oven and cook for 30 minutes. Next, carefully remove the dish from the oven and evenly cover with parm-style topping. Return it to the oven, and cook for 20 - 25 minutes longer (until the top has puffed and is firm). Allow to cool slightly before cutting. Then, if you like, finish off with the optional ingredients (or any of your fave omelette toppers!). MAK ES 4 SERVINGS

Wednesday, January 2, 2008

I love Soup

So here are some very low cal and I am betting super delish recipes from the daily email Hungry Girl--I'll be expirementing w/these recipes soon. Today is an extra holiday day for me since Tom is home sick from work and I need to reorganize the house now that we are back from our camping trip to Pope County IL--pictures to come!:

Inspired by the now-famous 0-Point Garden Vegetable Soup, here are THREE insanely delicious, all-new soup recipes that are Point-free...Weeeeee!
Plum Tomato Cabbage Soup
(1/5th recipe: 36 calories/ 0g fat/ 480mg sodium/ 7.5g carbs/ 1.5g fiber/ 5g sugars/ 1.5g protein = 0 Points!)

With our optional ingredients, you can customize this soup to satisfy your taste buds. Make it hot ‘n sweet (with SPLENDA & FRANK'S RedHot), garlicky (TABASCO Garlic and/or garlic salt), or sweet ‘n mild (SPLENDA). Any way you serve this soup, it’s zero Points per serving!

6 plum tomatoes; chopped
4 cups fat-free vegetable broth
2 cups chopped green cabbage
*Optional ingredients: salt, pepper, SPLENDA, FRANK'S RedHot, TABASCO Pepper Sauce (Garlic or original), garlic salt

In a large pot sprayed with nonstick spray, place chopped tomatoes along with any juice and seeds. Cook over medium heat for 2 – 3 minutes, stirring occasionally. Add broth and cabbage, and raise heat to high. Once soup reaches a boil, reduce heat to low and cover. Allow soup to simmer for 5 minutes. Season to taste with salt, pepper, and any of the other optional ingredients. Enjoy! Makes 5 generous 1-cup servings.

Be creative… Adding an ounce of raisins or a package of (drained, rinsed, & cut) Tofu Shirataki noodles to the recipe only bumps it up to 1 Point! Mmmmmm…1/5th recipe with raisins: 53 calories/ 0g fat/ 480mg sodium/ 12g carbs/ 2g fiber/ 8g sugars/ 1.75g protein = 1 Point

1/5th recipe with noodles: 44 calories/ 0.4g fat/ 485mg sodium/ 9g carbs/ 3g fiber/ 5g sugars/ 2g protein = 1 Point
Chinese Shoestring Soup
(1/4th recipe: 32 calories/ 0g fat/ 515mg sodium/ 5.5g carbs/ 1.5g fiber/ 3g sugars/ 2.5g protein = 0 Points!)

This beauteous bowl of soup is almost as much fun to make and look at as it is to slurp!

4 cups fat-free broth; vegetable, chicken, or beef
3 medium-sized scallions
1 small carrot
1 small zucchini
1/2 medium-sized red pepper
1 tsp. light/ low-sodium soy sauce
*Optional: 4 lemon wedges

Begin by cutting all veggies (scallions included) into matchstick-sized strips (use a vegetable shredder if you have one!). In a large pot, combine all ingredients except for the scallions (and lemon wedges). Bring to a boil. Once soup has reached a boil, reduce to medium heat (a low boil) and add scallions. Cook for approximately 5 minutes, until veggies are limp. If desired, serve with lemon wedges for a citrus-y touch. Makes four 1-cup servings.
Be creative… At just 1 Point a serving, turn this into Shoestring Egg Flower Soup! To do so, pour 2 large egg whites into a container with a spout (like a measuring cup). Once soup has cooked for 5 minutes at medium heat, remove from heat and VERY slowly pour in egg whites while VERY quickly stirring in one direction. The result will be gorgeous bursts of egg bits in your yummy shoestring soup!

1/4th recipe with egg whites: 41 calories/ 0g fat/ 545mg sodium/ 6g carbs/ 1.5g fiber/ 3g sugars/ 4g protein = 1 Point
Pumpkinlicious Veggie Soup
(1/5th recipe: 35 calories/ 0g fat/ 400mg sodium/ 6.5g carbs/ 2g fiber/ 3.5g sugars/ 2g protein = 0 Points!)

With chunks of fresh veggies and a creamy pumpkin kick, this 0-Point soup ROCKS!

4 cups fat-free broth; vegetable or chicken
1/2 cup canned pure pumpkin
1 small zucchini
1 1/2 cups chopped celery
1 medium-sized red pepper
*Optional: salt and pepper; to taste

Cut pepper and zucchini into large chunks. In a large pot, stir to combine broth and pumpkin. Add celery and cook on high heat. After a few minutes (once soup is hot but not yet boiling), add zucchini and peppers. Once soup has reached a boil, reduce heat to low. Simmer for 5 minutes, or until veggies are tender. Add salt and pepper, if desired, and dig in! Makes five 1-cup servings.

Be creative… Toss in a half of a cup each of canned corn kernels and black beans for the last few minutes of cooking. With the addition of these Southwest-inspired ingredients, each serving is just 1 Point!
1/5th recipe with corn and black beans: 71 calories/ 0.5g fat/ 480mg sodium/ 14g carbs/ 3.5g fiber/ 4g sugars/ 4g protein = 1 Point