Thanks to everyone who participated in this weeks BSI – Pasta!  And double thanks to Veronica and her sister for donating the homemade soap as the prize this week.

In no particular order:

Errign made Ricotta Gnocchi:

errign ricotta gnocci

Suzie made Tortellini & Polish Sausage Soup:


Andrea made Pasta with Spicy Italian Sausage:


Lisa made Pasta Veggie Salad:


Brianne made Baked Spaghetti Squash with a spicy sausage tomato cream sauce:

spaghetti squash

Renee made Laughing Cow Mac N Cheese:  (for some reason I couldn’t copy and paste your photo from your blog Renee!)


Sara made Meyer Lemon Pasta Salad with Asparagus, Almonds and Goat Cheese:

meyer lemon pasta

Kristina made Salty Sweet Pasta Salad:

DatePasta - not donna kristina

Joy made Kugel – I have never heard of this before!

kugel - joy

Jacky made Sweet Scallion Shrimp:

sweet scallion shrimp - jacky

Jennifer made Tortellini Soup:

jenn - tortellini soup

Veronica made Spicy Asian Noodles with Chicken:


And the winner is . . .BRIANNE with her spaghetti squash dish!  I know it’s not technically pasta, but to people who have gluten allergies, it certainly falls into that category.  Send me your mailing address to  Thanks again Veronica for donating the prize!

This week’s BSI – FLOUR!

Holy cow have I got the easiest bread recipe for you to try.  Seriously, this one is no fail.  It does take a bit of planning because you have to let the dough rise overnight, but this one is a keeper.

One problem – I can’t remember whose blog I got this from, but I do remember they got it from a New York Times newspaper article.  I was a bit suspect at the only 1/4 teaspoon of yeast, but there was no need to worry.

Super Simple Crusty Bread

  • 3 cups flour
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon of yeast
  • 1 5/8 cups water

Mix the flour, salt and yeast together.  Pour in water and stir until combined.  Don’t worry it will be sticky.  Put a piece of plastic wrap on bowl and let it sit overnight on your counter.

The next morning my dough looked like this:

before 006

Then I put it on my counter and added about 1/2 a cup of flour just so it had some stability.  I’ve never had dough be so “runny” before!

before 029

I do know the recipe said that after you shape the dough, let it rise another two hours.  I really didn’t see the point.  I heated my oven to 450 and put my dutch oven in the oven at the same time.  So by the time my oven got to temperature (about 20 minutes) I transferred my dough on the foil (I was out of parchment paper, but the foil worked fine) directly to the hot dutch oven.  30 minutes with the top on, then 15-20 minutes with the top off.

before 032

I was a bit nervous because the dough was so flat, but I was rewarded with this goodness:

before 040

Look at all the nooks and crannies!  Must have been the slow rise?

before 065

before 066

This one is definitely a keeper!

So how did Day 1 of my Operation Bad-Ass go?

Breakfast was eaten at almost 11:30!  I was busy making soup and breakfast casseroles, I ended up eating an apple and a banana before breakfast of leftover steak, and egg beaters spinach and cheese omelet and a slice of that delicious bread.

dinner 165

In the early afternoon Billy Blanks gave me a run for my money – 45 minutes of strength training with the weighted stretch ball – I can definitely feel my back muscles this morning!  (and thanks again to Helen for sending me these DVDs!)

dinner 178

Then after cooking and doing some more chores, I went on a 45 minute walk.  When I got back my blood sugar was 70.  It was around 4:00 and I didn’t want to spoil my appetite, so I had a small snack plate of 1 ounce of cheese, 1 serving of generic wheat thins and some sliced cucumber.

dinner 181

I ended up making this beef stew recipe for dinner.  Totally planned on adding peas to the pot at the end but completely forgot about it.  And while I don’t like mushrooms, I pureed the mushrooms so you just get a hint of flavor of them.  Pure comfort in a bowl!

dinner 183

I ended up having:

  • 1,446 calories
  • 48 grams of fat
  • 175 carbs (I went about 50 over my goal)
  • 18 fiber
  • 81 protein
  • 30% of calories from fat
  • NO WINE 😀


  • 45 minute Billy Blanks strength training
  • 45 minute walk

Thanks for all your awesome comments to my post yesterday – I have the best cheerleaders! Open-mouthed smileThumbs up

I am off to do 30 Day Shred.  I can’t wait for breakfast though – I made a version of Helen’s Paleo Sweet Potato Breakfast Casserole.  Um, I may have added chopped jalapenos to mine!

dinner 170

Make it a great day!