Thursday, September 30, 2010

Chicken with the Sauce


Flowers 018

Ingredients – Serves 2-3

2 boneless skinless chicken breasts

1/4 cup chopped onion

2 gloves minced garlic

1 can crushed tomatoes

1 can tomato sauce (small)

2 tbsp tomato paste

2 tbsp shredded parmesan

2 tbsp fresh parsley

2 tbsp basil

2 tbsp Italian seasoning

1 tsp crushed red pepper

1/4 cup red wine

1/4 cup peas

Pasta of your choice


In a large pot or saucepan sautee onion and garlic over medium heat. Add chicken and cook through. 


 Flowers 004Flowers 005


Add tomato sauce and crushed tomatoes.  Add red wine (I use the sauce can filled about half way) add parmesan and tomato paste.  I only added the paste because it seemed a bit thin.

Flowers 008 Flowers 010Flowers 012 


They did not have fresh basil at the ghetto market (this is just the market that has virtually NOTHING but is convenient on my way home from work)  so I had to buy this.  I used a bit as well as fresh parsley plus some crushed red pepper and Italian Seasoning.

Flowers 013 Flowers 014 Flowers 015

Simmer and serve.  I like to wait a good 45 min or so before I serve this.  Makes all the flavors have a chance to get acquainted.

Flowers 017

I added a handful of frozen peas to mine but it works great with broccoli or if you simmer some zucchini or summer squash with the sauce.  You can also serve it over rice.

It’s one of my favorite favorite dinners.  I hope it becomes one of yours.  Originally it was made with breaded veal or chicken cutlets that were fried in an electric frying pan.  Not the healthiest thing – so the recipe has evolved.

Wednesday, September 29, 2010

September Showers

One of the major reasons my cluttered apartment is stressing me out happened again today.  For the second day in a row I came home to a box of flowers waiting on my doorstep.

I would give up flowers forever in a heartbeat to have my dad back – but they are quite a lovely addition to my humble abode.

I’m glad I refrained from buying a bunch of $5 daisies on Monday.

Anyway I wish my apartment was sparkling clean and that I could showcase them properly.

I thought it was appropriate that on the night that my friends from Glee were paying homage to Ms. Britney my friends from chorus sent me this lovely bouquet.

 Flowers 001 

  And today I got these lovely lilies from Kelly, Chris, Mark and Maggie.


Flowers 020

Tonight for dinner I had the last of my turkey chili.  I ate it over a baked sweet potato with some sour cream and cheddar to beat the heat.

Flowers 021

Tomorrow I will give you the secret recipe for one of my family’s favorite dishes.  Pick up some chicken cutlets and see if you have some of this stuff around.Flowers 002

Oh.  And some of this wouldn’t hurt either.Flowers 006


! have had salads for lunch two days running.

I haven’t actually RUN anywhere in four days.

My cute shoes feel too tight today.

I don’t have the energy to dry my hair.  It’s been pulled back wet for five days straight.

Even so, I still feel the need to wear cute shoes.

I ate a peanut butter sandwich before I left the house to come to work.

I ate a chocolate chip cookie from the cafeteria as soon as I got here.

I never buy cookies from the cafeteria.

I took pictures of dinner last night and the two salads and the pasta salad I made for lunch today with tennis racquet pasta….


….but I haven’t gotten them off my camera yet.

I’m all sorts of out of sorts today.   I’ll talk to you later.

Tuesday, September 28, 2010

Things that are bothering me….

…besides the obvious, of course.

1) This weather.  I am ready for fall.  I’m ready for long sleeves and jeans.  I want to wear my slouchy cowboy boots again and my purple patterned tights.  I am not upset it’s gray out.  I’m upset that it’s misty and freaking humid as hell.

2) The state of my apartment.  I’ve been watching too much A&E, TLC nuttiness regarding hoarding and exterminating.  I hate that there is a family of dust bunnies living behind my bed.   I can’t figure out how to clean it all without moving all my furniture out but I’m going to try.

3) As soon as I find the motivation that is.  I can’t seem to find it in me to do more than one or two things a day.  I’ve found I’m ok at loading and unloading the dishwasher, doing laundry and folding it.   These things I can do.

4) The 15 lbs I’ve gained.   (Yeah I think that’s the right number now.)  It’s not tragic.  My clothes (for the most part) fit.  Even the Vera Wang jeans that I wanted in size 8 but bought in size 10 that have the jacked up stitching on the right leg but are too comfortable and too perfect a wash for me to really care.  I know I’m not so far gone it can’t be fixed.   I know I just need to exercise more and eat a little bit less.  Hopefully my appointment with M on 10/6 will help me get back on track. 

5) Getting the mail.  I love that I have so many friends who are concerned about me.  I hate getting their cards.  My birthday was this month.  I wish as many people sent me birthday cards as have sent me sympathy cards.  Something to think about. I should start sending more birthday cards.  

That’s enough for today I think. 

I realize I didn’t show you what I made for breakfast and lunch yesterday.

1 egg, 2 whites, bacon, goat cheese, spinach, caramelized onion jam baked together.  Half is waiting for breakfast tomorrow.  Breakfast today was the last piece of pizza from the small pie Patti and I shared at Patsy’s last night.

Pie and Chili 015

Those PopChips were really stale :( but one of my favorite things in the world is tuna on a warm English muffin.

Pie and Chili 016

As long as it’s Bumble Bee tuna in the gold can and Hellman’s mayonnaise.  If it’s not I won’t eat it.

I brought salad to work with me today.  I’m wearing a pretty necklace and cool shoes and a sweater that feels a little too tight.  I haven’t done the C25K since Thursday so I MUST do that tomorrow morning.  It’s only been 2 days since I last formally exercised and it feels like 15. 

Tonight I’m going to make Chicken with the Sauce for dinner.  I’m going to try and remember to take pictures and write down a recipe of sorts. 

I need to buy basil.

One more thing that bothers me….I have no plants in my apartment.  I wish I could grow basil.  I’d buy some flowers but my apartment is so messy I don’t want to waste them there now.  Plus I’m going to go home this weekend and they’d just wilt before I could really enjoy them.

One thing I am enjoying, iTunes Genius just made me a cool playlist featuring Liz Phair, Regina Spektor, Sara Bareilles, Snow Patrol and Matt Nathanson.

Time to do some work.  Webcast at 1 – studio taping at 2 - home and cooking by 5:30 if I am lucky.

Monday, September 27, 2010

Say Goodnight, Gracie

Something you may not know.  My dad had a quite a few nicknames for me.  When I dressed a little too flashy I was called - Esmeralda.  When I bought out Bath & Body Works and decided to take my haul in my checked luggage on vacation, Ruthie Potions.   When I was a bit scatterbrained I was Gracie.

I guess I still am – but anyway.

So this weekend I made two dishes.  One that almost sent me to the ER…but you already heard about that.  The other was a pie I’m told was creamy and delicious.

The pie looked pretty too.  It had a lime slice garnish and crushed pretzels around the edge.

And I forgot to take a picture.

Same goes with the chili.  It was in a huge pot in my fridge all weekend.  Some tall guy ate a bunch of it and took some home.

And I didn’t take a picture of the finished product.

I’m going VERY easy on myself these days.  I feel beat up enough.  No need to do it to myself right?

Anyway – I DID take some pretty pics of the process of making both dishes and I thought maybe you’d like to see them.

The pie was pretty easy to make.  I didn’t have Cointreau so I used fresh orange juice/zest.  I also used this bottle of tequila I actually bought in Mexico.

Not the whole bottle.  Just two tablespoons full.

Pie and Chili 001 Pie and Chili 002 Pie and Chili 003  Pie and Chili 004 Pie and Chili 005

You basically take the can of milk. 1/2 cup lime juice, a few tablespoons of orange as well as the tequila, the zest of 2 limes and stir it together.  You fold that into fresh whipped cream.  I used a premade graham cracker crust with some crushed honey wheat pretzels layered on the bottom and then around the perimeter of the finished pie.

Freeze it overnight and then thaw out for about 15 minutes, garnish and serve.

The chili was made with turkey – not beef and was pretty spicy.  A little too spicy for me if I’m being honest.

Pie and Chili 007 Pie and Chili 006Pie and Chili 008 Pie and Chili 010Pie and Chili 009

That beer has been in my fridge for….a really long time.  But it worked fine in the chili.

This weekend was really nice.  I went to Zumba on Saturday morning.  Dave met me soon after.  We went and watched the Penn State game with Diane.  Then we all went to Maddy’s Margarita party.   I felt off most of the day – my allergies were out of control – so I actually behaved myself.

Dave drank enough for me anyway. ;)

Sunday Dave helped me to understand how my windows worked and helped me clean them.  I tried to make up for lost time by having a delicious sandwich and 3 screwdrivers for brunch.  Dave and I walked around quite a bit and went to the Apple store, he ate almost all my chili and I had noodles and butter for dinner and went to sleep.

Tonight Patti and I are going to see how Gordon Gekko has held up all these years.

Greed…is good.

Is it just me or does he sound very Andrew Shepherd-esque in that clip?

What is it with my Aaron Sorkin/Presidential obsession??

Hope you all had a nice weekend yourselves.

See you later!

Friday, September 24, 2010

In the last 24 hours….

1) My bad romance with the Port Authority Bus Terminal continued.  I saw a guy punching the side of the escalator as he rode up it and a woman boarding a bus holding a 3 ft statue of the Virgin Mary.  That place is NOT NORMAL.  Keep in mind that I live in NYC.  I’ve seen pretty much everything. 

NOTE TO TOURISTS: Port Authority is exactly like the bus station in Adventures in Babysitting.


Sidenote: Who else loves that Josh Lyman played the creepo boyfriend in that movie? 

(Who else also pretended Jed Bartlett was the president up until 2008? 

Just me?)

Also – putting it out there -  I’m a big fan of Don’t Tell Mom the Babysitter’s Dead. 

I’m right on top of that Rose!!!

Keith Coogan is in both those movies. Coincidence?  You decide.

Sorry.  Moving on….

2) We won trivia partly due to Dave’s icy certainty about the Wall Street Journal and my knowledge of Long Island Iced Teas and The Notebook.

3) I learned Jim & Pam?  Still stinking cute.

4) I made a margarita pie.   I enjoy a margarita (rocks, salt if you are curious).  I do not like lime based desserts.  Therefore this pie could taste like crap and I won’t know it till other people taste it.

5) I made chili.  In the process of making said chili I chopped 2 jalepeno peppers.  Halfway through the chop my nose began to run.  I grabbed a tissue and wiped my nose. 

And it about fell the eff off.

6) Seriously.  I was wondering if I’d have to go to the ER and say “Hi.  I snorted a jalepeno.”

7) I also wondered if LiLo might have tried to use that as a defense in her parole violation hearing today.

Sidenote: Are my friend Kim and I the only people in America who call her LiLo?

8) I’ve learned that watching the season premiere of Law & Order: SVU followed by Dateline is not a good idea.

Pictures of said pie, said chili and the like to follow.

Tomorrow is Zumba, Dave fixing my windows, us watching Penn State play at a bar in Midtown and Maddy’s Margarita Fiesta.

Happy Friday.

Have a glass of Pinot Grigio. It's good for you.


Oh. In case you want to know. Today I ate:

1 slice of whole wheat with Generic refrigerated peanut butter.

Do you keep your PB in the fridge? Dave does. I do not. I also prefer Skippy or Simply Jiff if you're nasty.

He bought me some and I put it in the cupboard. <3

1 97% fat free hot dog. 1 Yukon Gold potato sliced and made into oven fries.

The last quarter of a pint of Five Haagen Dazs Vanilla with a drizzle of Special Dark Syrup.

Eaten out of the carton. Classy w/a K.

Pretzels and Cedars Garlic Lovers' Hummus

Pretzels and Cedars Garlic Lovers' Hummus

(I meant to say that 2x because I had it 2x)

1/2 cup turkey veggie chili w/1 tbsp sour cream.

Aforementioned Pinot Grigio

Exercise: Walking from 23rd and 6th w/a 20 lb overnight bag and 2 bags of groceries.


Thursday, September 23, 2010

All grows up

I have this obsession.  It’s waned a bit in the past few years but I can’t lie. 

I am a tad too invested in the lives of these two….people.



Their names are Jim and Pam.

I guess you can see that on the magazine cover huh?

Anyway…tonight is the premiere of  Season 7 of The Office and I used to make sure I was home at like 7:30 and wouldn’t answer my phone and fretted whether they’d get together or if Karen would steal Jim away or if Roy would actually cease being a lunkhead.  All worked out ok in the end though.  They got married and had a baby and now I can breathe easy.

So maybe I’ve matured.  Or maybe I’m busier living my life now than worrying about fictional characters.

Either or.

Besides, truth be told I think my new favorite couple is Cam and Mitchell. :)

The point of this post is that instead of being obsessed I will be at trivia tonight looking to win the September tournament.  I haven’t been at all this month and it’ll be good to be back.

As for the exercise and food:

Today I ate the other half of my dinner from last night – the ham & gruyere grilled cheese with caramelized onions I had at The Bluebell Cafe when I met with Maddy.

This morning I went to the gym and did Day 2 of the C25K.  I only have 1 more day to go this week.  I think it’ll be Monday as I am planning a Zumbafest on Saturday and Sunday

Did I just say Zumbafest???.

I brought a salad of Everroast Chicken, spinach, red bell peppers, scallions and goat cheese today.

No pics as I haven’t been bringing my camera along.  Don’t expect any tonight either. The lighting there has never been good. 

To soothe your curiousity I’m having pretzels and a turkey burger. 

In that order.

Have a lovely day.  See you later.

Wednesday, September 22, 2010

Sunny Side

I’m looking for the bright side these days.  It's difficult to find. I start – but can’t finish projects.  I am currently sitting on my bed which is stripped of everything – even the mattress pad.   I need to clean my bathroom before I take a shower.  

It just makes sense to do that before rather than after.

Yesterday I made a delicious breakfast of a sunny side up egg, toast, caramelized onion jam, spinach and goat cheese.



Today I put these on and went to the gym. 


It’s been so long since I’ve been they’ve gotten all new treadmills and have reconfigured the whole place.  Alison from my iPhone app told me to walk and run on intervals.

I can’t decide if I love or hate Alison. 

She’s British.  It’s like Bridget Jones is telling me to run.  Bridget should be telling me to go get vodka and dance to Chaka Khan.

I can’t decide what will make me feel better in the short term.  

Vodka might have a slight edge.

I made myself a sandwich for lunch.  Boar’s Head Everroast Chicken (awesome), Swiss, Spinach, caramelized onion jam and bbq sauce.


Sense a theme?

In other news, I’m getting a cold.  Even on Zyrtec I’m sneezing up a storm.  I’m not sure I love Top Chef: Just Desserts even though I like Gail Simmons as much as Padma.  My coffee table (nay my entire apartment) looks like it belongs on an episode of Hoarders.  Since Dave loves Hoarders (love might be too strong a word) I guess I’ve got that going for me.

And as long as an opossum doesn’t start running through my apartment I think I’m safe.



We’ll see..  

I leave you with a few questions.

1) Should I change the name of my blog? 

2) If so, what should I name it? 

3) Should I switch to Wordpress?  Keep in mind I JUST figured out that there’s a thing called Windows Live Writer.

4) I plan webcasts yet can’t make my blogging life easier.  I did however figure out to import my contacts to my iPhone all by myself.

5) Did you realize #4 is not actually a question?

6) Does anyone else out there have a secret obsession with The People’s Court or Judge Judy?

Later taters.

Tuesday, September 21, 2010

Life as we know it

I know I've been gone for a while and the truth is I didn't really know how to come back here. It's not just that I have been less mindful and less active in the last 6 months - although that alone was making it hard for me to come here every day. I'm fully aware I've been slacking. The girl who lost 60 lbs took more pictures of french fries than salad all of the sudden.

Don't worry. I'm going to fix it.

I have always loved to cook, and that love came from my father who spent 4 decades feeding me and nearly 3 feeding 40 hungry firefighters. He won awards one which included classic French culinary training. My mom can cook, as a matter of fact all his recipes for the most part were hers first, but at my house everyone always wanted to know what Joe was cooking.

We found out my dad was sick at Christmas last year. On that day it took 12 of us to do what he used to do (happily) alone. We burnt the crostini and I am sure we didn't carve the turkey right. As we took turns visiting my dad in the ER he kept giving us pointers.

The horrible disease he was diagnosed with back then did more than weaken him, eventually it took his appetite away completely. It was the cruelest cut of all to watch this man, who loved food as much as he loved to preparing it exist mostly on smoothies in the last weeks of his life.

Which explains where I've been. My dad left us a week ago Monday.

I will miss him more than I could possibly articulate here. I know we all will try endlessly to measure up to his standards in the kitchen. And I'll do my best to not use every pot and pan imaginable as I try.

He used to hate it when I did that.


I'm not sure where this blog is going right now. I know I love food. I know I love writing about food. I love cooking and I love taking pictures of what I create. I love going out to eat. I love that I was able to eat things I loved and still lose weight. I'm still going to write and document all of that - but you might have to live without pictures of peanut butter sandwiches every day.

I'm sure you're all torn up about it.

I'll be back in some way, shape or form tomorrow. I'm going back to work (from home), I'm going to mop my floor and wash my curtains, I'm going to start the Couch to 5K using the app on the iPhone I got for my birthday. I'm going out to dinner with my friend Maddy. I'm going to get dressed and go into the office on Thursday morning and to trivia with Dave on Thursday night.

And I'm going to try and figure out how to live life as I know it now.

Thanks for hanging in there with me. See you in a bit.

Wednesday, September 8, 2010

I have lots of plans....

for this blog, for the coming year, for lots of things.

But right now real life is screwing up those plans. I promise I'll be back soon but I have some serious family stuff to take care of this week.

See you soon, I promise.


Thursday, September 2, 2010

It is my birthday.

So far today I watched Little Bear, Olivia and Wonder Pets with the cutest 3 yr old on the planet, got a massage and am having pigs in a blanket + Pinot Grigio for lunch.

I can't decide if I want a nap or an hour of TV as my present.

More to come later in the form of what promises to be a pretty fantastic hamburger shared with a pretty fantastic person.

I have lots to tell you re: what my plans are health and fitness wise but today is not the day for that.

See you all later. :)

Wednesday, September 1, 2010

Where I've Been, Where I'm Going, What I Ate and What I've Learned

Did you know you can make a rat using Benderoos?

I've had a busy few weeks. I was away without internet access, I've been busy at work. Snooki and JWOWW typed an anonymous letter. Teresa nearly ripped Danielle's head clear off her body. Peyton and Jesse B had a bad date. I'm adjusting to reaching an age that gives me AARP benefits.

Kidding. Kinda. :)

I went to Laporte, PA with Dave, the kids, his sister and her son (his nephew). Despite Dave almost falling in a fire pit and nearly tipping a canoe it was a good time.

Riding the bus for 5 hours? Not a good time. Though it might beat out riding in the back seat of a station wagon for 3 hours.

Just saying. :)

I ate at Quaker Steak and Lube in Bloomsburg, PA.

Boneless wings and broccoli instead of fries. Go me.

Dave made sausage and peppers.

I bought pickles from a farm stand.

Dave made omlettes and hash browns.

And chicken quesadillas.

Dave's sister Laura made delicious stuffed pepper appetizers with goat cheese ricotta and taramasalata.

Our final dinner was delicious. Chicken, roasted tomatoes, green beans and roasted potatoes.

and wine.

Lest you think I let Dave do all the cooking please note 2 out of those 4 dishes were prepared by moi.

My plate.

We went out for breakfast before heading home.

I had a breakfast sandwich. Dave had a meal that included pig scraps mashed together.

And he thinks I have weird food issues.

There is more good food to share - but I'm running out of steam. I'm heading out for a mani/pedi in 15 minutes.

I am going here tonight.

To see her...

...and him I believe.

I'll go out to LI tonight with my mom and Jen, then back to NYC tomorrow for my official birthday dinner with Dave. A fancy schmancy hamburger is calling my name. It's back to LI on Friday to spend the day with my mom.

This all is my last bit of recklessness before I get my ass in major gear. I have an event here and there but it's back to basics for me. I have an appointment to see M on 10/6 and I'm determined to be at least 5 lbs lighter by then.

But that won't happen tonight.

Let the birthday (week) begin!!!