One of my goals this year is to take more group classes.  On Friday I saw that there was a 30 minute spin class on Saturday morning, so I got my ass up at 6:30 a.m. to make the 7:00 WW meeting so it wouldn’t interfere with that spin class.

I am not at all upset with a -.6.  I am a complete emotional eater, and with everything that is going on with Tony, I am happy to be down 5.6 in six weeks. πŸ˜€

I came home and Hannah went to the gym with me.  The spin class we went to turned out to be an instructional class.  Which I am glad we did go to it because now I know how to set up my bike for when I take a real class.  The class that ended was a 75 minute class, and since there are a limited number of bikes (I think 25) you have to get there 30 minutes before the class starts to get a ticket for a bike.  The tickets were gone in 1 minute!  I don’t think I’ll ever be ready for a 75 minute spin class though!

Hannah and I then ran/walked on the track for 30 minutes.  Since I didn’t think that was long enough of a work out, later in the afternoon I did one the of Tae Bo DVD’s that I won from Helen.  It was 40 minutes of strength training with exercise bands – holy cow was it hard!  I think most of the other DVD’s are about 50 minutes, which I can’t wait to try.

So even though our Bears didn’t make the Superbowl, it’s always a great excuse to make some party food!  First up – Pioneer Woman’s Bacon Crackers.   So simple – Parmesan cheese poured on top of a Keebler cracker, wrapped in bacon and baked for 2 hours.  These were good, but I think if I used a better bacon they would have been better.

And while I hate artichokes by themselves, I love hot artichoke dip – but what’s not to love when you use mayo, sour cream, and lots of cheese?  I got the recipe from Picky Cook.

Tony actually bought these at Sam’s club, so I used the whole 2 pound jar!
I also added shaved parmesan cheese to the top before putting it in the oven

We used triscuits, whole wheat Ritz and Keebler crackers for dipping.  I think I ate about 1/4 of this casserole myself – thanks flex points! πŸ˜€

Tony actually asked for a stew for dinner.  Not your typical football fair, but I am so glad that he suggested it because I think its the best beef stew I’ve made.  I got the basic idea for this recipe here at Savory Notes.  However, I of course left out the onion, bay leaf, added white beans, and my cooking method was different.

Beef Stew with White Beans (printer friendly version here)

Serving Size: 1 Cup = 5 Points Plus

244 calories, 6.4 fat, 15.5 carbs, 3.5 fiber and 20.5 protein


  • 2 pound eye round roast, cut into bite size chunks
  • ΒΌ cup flour
  • 3 tablespoons olive oil
  • 2 large carrots, diced
  • 2 stalks celery, diced
  • 3 cloves minced garlic
  • 1 tablespoon thyme
  • 1 cup red wine
  • 2 cups beef broth
  • 1, 14 oz. can diced tomatoes
  • 1 cup sliced mushrooms
  • 2 cups canned white beans
  • 2 large potatoes, peeled and cut into chunks

Heat one tablespoon olive oil in large stock pot and heat over medium-high heat.  Toss the chopped meat in the flour.

Brown in three batches, adding an additional tablespoon of olive oil for each batch.  Remove meat.  Add celery, garlic, and mushrooms, and using a wooden spoon, scrape off all the bits from the bottom of the pot.  Add the wine.  Let simmer for 5 minutes.  Add diced tomatoes and cook over medium heat for about 10 minutes, until all the veggies are soft.  Using a stick blender, puree the mixture.

Add in the beef broth, browned beef, carrots, potatoes and beans and simmer for two hours, until beef is tender.

I’ve never used this cut of meat before for beef stew, but pretty sure going forward this is the only one I’ll use
it’s very lean with little pockets of marbled fat

The white beans cooked down to almost nothing, but made the sauce so thick and delicious.  While this may look like a simple beef stew, the flavor is very complex.

I actually didn’t pig out as much as I thought I would, and dinner was healthy!  Did you have any typical football food yesterday?

I have to give Shelley a shout out – she sent Tony the funniest card!  Thanks Shelley! πŸ˜€

Now maybe Tony will believe you guys are actually my friends! πŸ˜€

Check out the BSI Round Up of Hot Sauce over at Debbi Does Dinner Healthy.  Pretty sure I am going to make the buffalo chicken pizza!

Check out this weeks host:  Wendy at Around My Family Table chose Vanilla!  Remember, it doesn’t have to be a new recipe, you can link to any archived recipe.  And you don’t have to have a blog to participate, just send an email to the host with your recipe and they will post it in the recap.

Have a great Monday!