I can’t believe it! Tomorrow will be 15 days and my husband comes home! I will say that going in to this challenge, I wasn’t sure what to expect. Part of me thought it was going to be super easy with all the food we had, with the other part of me thinking “What in the world did you get yourself into”? With tomorrow approaching fast, I will say that overall I am pleased with my efforts. I lasted longer than some thought and I was able to get rid of some of the food we had. I admit I ate out more than I would have liked to (just in the past couple of days) but I will get over it. So here is the breakdown:
Friday June 24th Breakfast: I treated myself to my new favorite treat at Starbucks. Drumroll please… May I introduce to you the Double Shot on Ice with skim milk and vanilla syrup. They “normal” double shot on ice is made with simple syrup and cream, but I prefer the healthier version. First of all, this drink is not advertised. You will not find it on the menu. Apparently a couple of summer’s ago they advertised this as “The” summer drink. Just like their frappuccino was the 2011 summer drink. I had no clue what it was until my husband introduced it to me.
*I have to confess that before I met Jake I had gone a strong two-three years without purchasing fancy drinks from any coffee shop. I never drank espresso and was a huge advocate of tea. Well last year that all changed. When I met Jake I quickly learned that he had a
small obsession with coffee. Every morning, yes you read that right, EVERY morning he would drive to Caribou, Starbucks or Mars Cafe to get a tall or small dark roast (whatever they called their smallest size) in a grande or medium cup. Now you are probably thinking, wow he likes a lot of cream, but no, he likes the coffee to not be super full so that it doesn’t spill as it sits in the cup holder. ( It is that bad that people know him as he pulls up to the drive up window at Caribou and Starbucks and he doesn’t even have to order). Okay, well anyway, as I was saying, I went a substantial amount of time without these fancy coffee shops. I tried so hard to hold strong, but gave in when we stayed in Seagrove Beach, Florida last September.
Lunch: I had a family team meeting over the lunch hour and did not want to partake in the pizza being offered. I also didn’t pack a lunch and had to eat something. I realized I hadn’t eaten out at lunch all week ( I don’t count the earlier meals provided at training as eating out), so I treated myself to the hummus platter from Gateway market. Have any of you had this? YUMMY. Let me tell you that this little platter is more like a smorgasbord of goodies. Not only does it come with fresh roasted red pepper hummus, but greek olives, feta cheese, cucumber slices and freshly fried pita chips. I get filled up SO fast and have plenty for leftovers.
Dinner: Tonight’s meal was a little confusing as I didn’t actually eat dinner, but more like a late night snack. I was preparing to head to a bachelorette party the following day and made these little gems. Mascarpone mini cupcakes. Except I didn’t make mini ones. My friend Kristen, who is the ultimate baker, made them a few weeks ago at our friend’s bachelorette party. Don’t you worry, I had about 10 of them and vowed to make them in the near future. Kristen gave this recipe to me in a binder full of some of her favorite recipes and I was set. I will warn you that the batter is the consistency of pudding and highly addictive.
*A couple of changes I made to the recipe was that I used fresh strawberries for the frosting and I let the batter sit in the fridge overnight which helped them not cave in when taken out of the oven. When filling the cupcake liners, I filled them over 3/4 of the way full. In the oven they baked for 17 minutes and a nice golden color. These cupcakes turned out beautiful. So as I was saying, I didn’t eat dinner. I did however eat a lot of batter and then felt a little exhausted and decided to go to bed at 9:30. I woke up at 1 am and enjoyed two bowls of rice chex cereal.
Saturday June 25th
Breakfast/Lunch a.k.a. Brunch: I woke up and took the liberty of taking my “rest” day from P90x. I heated up a cup of black tea and made a nice scrambled egg, sausage and hash brown breakfast burrito.
Dinner: I wasn’t really in the mood for cooking and really craving something spicy. I really didn’t have anything in the house to make a spicy meal, so gave in and called Papa Johns. One order of their puffy bread sticks with that amazing garlic butter and some buffalo chicken sticks. They SO hit the spot.
Sunday June 26th
Breakfast: I realized I had a ton of strawberries leftover from my strawberry frosting so I decided to make a fresh smoothie. I put in some fresh strawberries, a banana, vanilla yogurt, milk and a couple of ice cubes and mixed away in my blender.
Lunch: I enjoyed my leftover bread sticks and chicken strips.
Dinner: I made a delicious piece of tilapia fish with Cajun seasoning with a side of egg noodles with butter and lemon juice.
Monday June 27th
Breakfast: I made myself a nice cold iced coffee. I then had training again and couldn’t pass up the donuts and fruit. I will say that I am proud of myself for only eating half of the donut.
Lunch: Training provided us with a nice little taco bar. Totally hit my mexican craving.
Dinner: I was CRAVING some steak. Ever since I passed up that steak at Hy-Vee I couldn’t get it out of my mind. So, I broke down and went to Gateway Market and purchased a sirloin steak, two golden Yukon potatoes, broccoli and some of my favorite herbed olives from the olive bar. I got home and decided to work a little on my upcoming court report. I ate the olives with some sparkling white wine while I worked. “A little” turned in to three hours later and I was just too tired to cook. So instead I had two bowls of corn chex cereal.
Tuesday June 28th
Breakfast: I scrambled up two eggs with some water and nuked them. A super easy and healthy breakfast.
Lunch: I had a crazy day of court hearings, home visits and more court hearings in the afternoon. Since my day involved a lot of driving and no office time, it really did no good for me to pack a lunch. I perched myself at the downtown Panera Bread and worked away on my court report for a couple of hours. I am not sure about you guys, but I LOVE Panera Bread and love any excuse to be able to eat there. I always get the “You pick 2” meal deal which always includes a bowl of their french onion soup. I try to switch up the second option and decided on the Napa Almond Chicken Salad. I was not disappointed.
Dinner: I could not let that steak go to waste and after my hour-long nap, I got to cooking that bad boy. I grilled it on our new Calphalon grill pan with some Mural of Flavor. You may be wondering what the heck kind of seasoning that is. Well let me let you in on a little secret. Penzeys Spices. A must for those who love to cook. This store has 100’s of spices that will make you yearn to cook something, anything, just to use them. Jake and I frequent this little shop every couple of months and walk away with one new spice each time. A couple of our favorites so far have been the Brady Cheese Sprinkle which is A.M.A.Z.I.N.G. on our freshly popped popcorn. We have also use the Sandwich Sprinkle on any sandwich we make. Jake LOVES the Northwoods Fire and would put it on everything if I allowed him. Another thing I love about this place is that if you are on their mailing list, they send out their catalog that almost always includes a coupon for a free 1.1 ounce featured spice. A total steal and great way to try new spices!
With the steak I baked two small Yukon potatoes and cut them up and then broiled them with some butter and a few sprinkles of that Brady Cheese Sprinkle. I then steamed some broccoli with a fresh garlic clove and fresh lemon juice. A delicious meal if I do say so myself.
Because it was so hot outside, and I had a healthy meal, I convinced my friend Kelly (If you haven’t noticed, my partner in crime) to go to DQ with me. I LOVE, LOVE, LOVE their new mini blizzard option as it is just the perfect amount of ice cream. I couldn’t decide what topping to go with so at last-minute chose the Oreo blizzard. Kudos to you Dairy Queen for recognizing that there are some people who want something a little smaller.
Well that brings us to today. Wednesday June 29th. The day before my husband comes back from his looooong trip to Africa. For breakfast I treated myself to an Everything bagel at Bruegger’s Bagels with Lite Herb Cream Cheese. Delicious. This bagel definitely helped me concentrate at my desk and finish up my court report.
Lunch: Ugh. I am almost embarrassed to admit this. Lord knows I tried to eat a better lunch. I even packed one that included a turkey hot dog, sliced apple, small bag of chips and a Key Lime yogurt. But as I was out driving some kids to a visit and saw those golden arches I couldn’t stop. Before I knew it, I was giving my order of the two cheeseburger meal with a dt. dr. pepper to the voice on the intercom. I will say that on those rare occasions that I treat myself to the most unhealthiest food, I like to revel in those hot, crispy, golden french fries. Well what a disappointment today was. When I got back to work and opened up my bag, my fries were lukewarm, soggy and just plain blah. I felt cheated and super disappointed in myself.
Dinner: I enjoyed my leftover sirloin steak heated up with some grilled green bell pepper and red onion slices with some pepper jack cheese wrapped up in a warm tortilla.
Tomorrow will be my 15th day and all I can say is THANK GOD! All I know is that I am WAY over trying to create meals out of random stuff we have and ready to start cooking some fabulous meals. I will tell you that although I am not sure what breakfast or lunch will bring, Jake and I will be dining at our favorite restaurant tomorrow night. (I will keep you guessing until my next post). Jake has also asked for me to make him one of his favorite things I make… homemade cinnamon rolls for Friday morning.
Until next time!