Thursday, January 23, 2014


What a strange school year, and a crazy 2014!!!!  In my last FOURTEEN years in Minnesota, I've had exactly FOUR snow/cold days. 

This school year, and this month...THREE!  I'm certainly not complaining about another "day off", but I'm SURE I will be at the end of the school year, when we have to make them up....!!!!

Here's hoping YOU aren't burrowed down in a place with temperatures that rival the average daily temperature on Mars too!!!!

Monday, January 20, 2014

The Diet Continues!!

I'm about four weeks into the diet, and I'M HUNGRY!!!  Not really...I've found some really good recipes, with very minimal Weight Watchers points.  I DO miss pepperoni and green olive pizza, and cupcakes, and "spoons full" of peanut butter, but, it's all good.

There are good days, and CRAPPY days, but, overall, I'm happy with my progress.  TEN pounds down...SIX to go to get to goal.

Here's where I started...


Here's where I am...

Here's where I want to be...

I'm getting there!!!!!

To that are some recent recipes that I've been cooking to help achieve my goal...

Apple Cinnamon Quinoa Breakfast Bake 
1c. UNCOOKED quinoa
tsp. cinnamon
½tsp. nutmeg
tsp. ground cloves
2apples, peeled and diced
¼c. raisins, soaked for a few minutes in warm water to "plump"
2c. skim milk
¼c. maple syrup
c. sliced almonds
Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Spray an 8 x 8-inch baking dish with cooking spray.

Pour quinoa into baking dish. Sprinkle apples and raisins on top.

Whisk the eggs, milk, maple syrup, cinnamon, nutmeg, and cloves.

Pour over the top of the fruit in dish. Sprinkle almonds on top.

Bake for 1 hour until casserole is set. Allow to cool and refrigerate leftovers.
4 servings = 9 pts. 6 servings = 6 pts.

Pizza Pasta Bake
1lb. ground lean turkey sausage
1medium onion, chopped
1clove garlic, minced
1carrot, minced
1tsp. Italian seasoning
2tsp. olive oil
1(26 oz.) jar spaghetti sauce
8oz. whole wheat rotini pasta, cooked and drained
2c. shredded reduced fat, part skim mozzarella cheese
32slices turkey pepperoni


Saturday, January 4, 2014

Adding to the "Diet Food" Repertoire

"Diet food" can be SUCH a drag...carrot sticks...celery...ground turkey...more celery.  I'm FOUR days into my "New Year's Resolution" diet, and have lost three pounds, so it's working, but temptation is EVERYWHERE!!!

This morning Duane and I went to a cupcake place that we really like, Sweet Bebe Cakes in South St. Paul, because today is their final day of business.  After two years of DELIGHTFUL the salty dog...

...they are calling it quits. 

Cupcakes don't usually tempt me, but these are DIVINE.  I will really miss them.  We bought TWO DOZEN assorted cupcakes...

...and are freezing them for a cold winter day...which...apparently...will be tomorrow (a temperature of -12, and a wind chill of -9,000,000, I think...).

Anyway...what was I talking about.  Oh yeah...dieting.  I managed to only eat a QUARTER of a chocolate ganache cupcake before they were put in cold storage, but needed something TASTY to compensate.

I found the following recipes recently...the Super Sloppy Joes were in a recent edition of the Minneapolis Star Tribune, and the Cauliflower Casserole came from Pinterest.  Neither are chocolate, and I wouldn't drive twenty minutes to buy them, but, for "diet food", they're pretty darn good!

Not my actual sandwhich....although it looks just like this.

Super Sloppy Joes
1 small white onion, finely diced
2 ribs celery, finely diced
1 small red bell pepper, finely diced
2 carrots, finely diced
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 pkg. (1 1/4 lb.) ground turkey
1 can (8 oz. ) tomato sauce
1/4 c. ketchup
1 T. Worcestershire sauce
1 T. brown sugar
salt and pepper to taste
whole-wheat buns
In large skillet, saute onion, celery, pepper, carrots and garlic over medium-high heat for 4 minutes, or until they begin to soften.  Add turkey.
Continue to cook, using spatula to break up meat, for 5 minutes or until turkey is cooked through.  Add tomato sauce, ketchup,Worcestershire, brown sugar, salt and pepper.
Stir.  Reduce heat to medium-low.  Cook, stirring occasionally, for 10 to 15 minutes, or until flavors blend, and sauce thickens.
Serve on whole-wheat buns.
Cauliflower Casserole
1 head of cauliflower, cut into pieces
1/2 c. water
garlic powder, salt, and pepper, to taste
2/3 c. shredded sharp cheddar cheese
1/2 c. shredded mozzarella cheese
1/2 c. skim milk

Cut cauliflower into bite sized pieces, and place in large saucepan with water. 

Steam until cauliflower is tender, drain water.

Sprinkle with salt, pepper, and garlic powder.  Add milk.

With a fork, two knives, or a potato masher, mash the cauliflower with milk until only slightly lumpy.

Add cheddar cheese and stir.  Place in casserole dish sprayed with non-stick cooking spray.  Bake at 350 degrees for 15 minutes.

Remove and top with mozzarella cheese.

Place casserole dish under the broiler (uncovered) for 3-5 minutes, or until cheese is brown and bubbling on top.

Here's hoping YOU have a couple of healthy "go to" foods to make you forget things like cupcakes and chocolate too (yeah right....)!!!

Thursday, January 2, 2014

A Brief Glimpse of Green

Duane and I typically try to take a trip "out of town" during winter break to get AWAY from the infernal cold and snow of Minnesota.  Flying standby, however, makes it a little risky.  This year,  due to EVERYONE trying to get somewhere warm, and nasty weather systems, and delayed/cancelled flights throughout the U.S. (due to those nasty weather systems), we decided to not even try.

We DID briefly entertain the thought of going to NYC to ring in the new year, but decided that getting up at 4:30 and trying to get to the airport in below zero temperatures was NOT very appealing.  Turns out it was a good thing we didn't go...with the impending storms, we would probably NEVER have made it back...

Not the couple to just "sit around"...we decided to take the next couple of days as a "stay-cation" here in the cities.  Today's trek involved lunch at coffee shop called "Groundswell" in St. Paul (at which I had an AMAZING black bean burger with sriracha horseradish aioli)...

...and a lovely, warm, GREEN meander through the Como Conservatory.

I LOVE the Como Conservatory!  The sunken garden is probably one of my favorite places in the twin cities...ESPECIALLY when the temperature outside is STUCK at -7 degrees!!!


 Tomorrow...we're off to the Minneapolis Institute of Arts...another of my FAVORITE places in the cities!!!

Here's hoping YOU are staying warm, and enjoying a lovely "vacation" too!!!!!