My brother Charlie and his family are in town so I spent yesterday at my Mom’s house and ended up spending the night.  Charlie didn’t get in until almost 9:00 and then we were up until almost midnight talking and laughing!  He drove 21 hours from Austin to Chicago!  Needless to say he was a bit sleepy, but seemed to get a second wind once he wasn’t cooped up behind the wheel!  This was taken this morning after he got some rest! 😀


So yesterday while we were waiting for him to arrive, I took Hannah and my two nieces out for some last minute shopping and lunch.  Sarah is 16, Hannah is 17 and Rachel is 13 – yet they are all about the same height, i.e. short! 😀


After shopping, we stopped at Chipotle for lunch.  I ended up with the burrito bowl, which just doesn’t have a flour tortilla.  I loved how flavorful the rice was at the bottom – almost an cilantro lime?  I don’t know why I’ve waited so long to go there, although I haven’t looked up the nutrition, so that may keep me away in the future!


We also stopped by the grocery store to get the fixins for Taco Fiesta.   Upon returning home, I realized I didn’t pick up taco seasoning!  So we did a quick Google search and came up with this combo – not bad!


  • 6 tablespoons paprika
  • 5 tablespoons chile powder
  • 2 tablespoon ground cumin
  • 1 tablespoon garlic powder
  • 1/8 tsp. hot Mexican ground chile powder

My plate – the rice was just okay – it was from a box! 😀


Then I enjoyed a glass or two of wine when my brother got in!


And the girls always ready for a photo op!


This morning I made an egg sammie – my Mom has these english muffins that are so good – and from Aldi!  I’ll have to ask her the brand name.


Hannah left this morning to get her hair cut – once she gets in in her mind, she goes for it and found a place open on Christmas Eve!  I love Rachel in the background on this picture!


And while I am waiting for my cinnamon bun dough to rise, I am finally posting my Spicy Red-Pepper Jelly Recipe!

Spicy Red-Pepper Jelly

  • 3 large red peppers
  • 2 teaspoons dried crushed red pepper
  • 3 tablespoons Sure-Jell
  • 3 1/4 cups white sugar
  • 1 cup white wine vinegar
  • 1 tablespoon unsalted butter
  • 3/4 cup salt

Sterilize jars in dishwasher and boil rings and lids until ready to use.  Meanwhile, put sure-jell and 1/4 cup sugar in a small bowl.  Next, put red pepper and pepper flakes into food processor and pulse until finely chopped.

Next, put pepper mixture, vinegar, butter, salt and remaining 3 cups sugar in a large heavy pot.  Bring to a vigorous boil over high heat, and continue to boil, stirring occasionally, about 5 minutes.  Add pectin/sugar mixture and whisking constantly, bring back to a boil and stir 2 minutes, or until it starts to thicken, no more than 5 minutes.  Remove from heat.

Fill jars and add to water bath so water covers over 2 inches to the top of the jars.  Heat on high and once the water comes to a boil, boil for 15 minutes.  Remove with rubber tongs and let sit on the counter to cool.  You may hear the popping sound that they are sealed, but double check the next day when completely cool.  If they didn’t seal, put in refrigerator and use within 1 month.







For full disclosure, I have to say that my not posting my normal posts, some not so healthy meals have been had.  And while I haven’t posted each meal over the last 4 days or so, when I do weigh in Monday next week, you’ll know why the scale might be up a bit! 😀

Chili Cheese Dog with Jalapeno Potato Chips


Biz’s Recreation of The Lucky Monk Burger


Buffalo Wild Wings Boneless Wings (hot sauce on the side!)


And finally, two words:  CHEX MIX!


I think the only vegetable I’ve had has been in deep fried potato form, and I don’t think lettuce on a bacon cheese burger constitutes a vegetable serving!  And I haven’t exercised – hopefully the scale won’t be too hard on me next week! 😀

My next post will be the day after Christmas for a recap.

I wish everyone is able to spend time with family and friends and gets to their destinations safely. 😀

MERRY CHRISTMAS!  Here is our favorite Christmas youtube video – enjoy! 😀