Can I have every afternoon off please?  Because I knew I was leaving at 12:30, the morning actually moved by rather quickly.  I stopped on my way home to vacuum out my car – when the hell did it start to cost $2 for the vacuum machine at the gas station?!

All I had for breakfast was a yogurt from McDonald’s so I was hungry for lunch.  Since I was home I decided to make a panini – this one had mortadella, roast beef, a slice of pepperoni and provolone with some baby greens.  Oh, and lot’s of Gulden’s mustard!


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Then it was clean, clean, clean .  . . oh, and make Good Eats Girl’s Blueberry Lemon Muffins!  These are delicious.  I think the streusel topping makes these.  I did adapt it a bit because I left out the apple sauce because I couldn’t find it have any, and I halved the amount of streusel topping.

Blueberry Lemon Muffins with Streusel Topping

(slightly adapted from Good Eats Girl – thanks Autumn!)

For the muffins:

  • 1 3/4 cup flour
  • 1 tablespoon baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1 egg
  • 1/3 cup vegetable oil
  • 3/4 cup sugar
  • 1 cup fat free half and half
  • 1 cup blueberries (tossed in flour so they don’t sink)
  • zest of one lemon
  • juice of a lemon (about 2 tablespoons)

For the streusel topping:

  • 2 tablespoons softened butter
  • 1/4 cup flour
  • 1/4 cup sugar
  • 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon

I am a lazy baker, so I just threw the dry ingredients in a bowl, mixed well, then added all the wet ingredients and mixed just until combined.  I used a fork to mix the streusel topping and just evenly distributed that over the muffins.  Each muffin was about 2/3 of an ice cream scooper and I got exactly 12 muffins.

Baked at 400 for 23 minutes exactly.  Start checking them around 20 minutes.

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I made these for my Mom’s breakfast this morning.  Now that Hannah’s moved out our second bedroom is now our guest bedroom!  My Mom had all the movers move everything out of her house yesterday and she and Hannah cleaned the house when it was empty.  I have to give a huge thank you to Hannah.  Organizing/cleaning, etc. is her strength and my Mom said she never would have gotten everything done without her help.  Open-mouthed smile  (proud Momma here!)

So here is how I ruined the surprise (and reason 2,971 I love Tony . . .)  About every other day I go on our bank accounts website and see what’s come through etc.  I’ve had fraud on my debit card before, and I try to stay on top of things so nothing falls through the cracks. 

I saw a debit charge for the fitness center right by my office.  Last year when I moved into this new office, we had our premium membership at a gym by our house, and while I visited the gym and loved it, I couldn’t justify the extra cost just for me. 

Fast forward to now – I have a Charter Fitness membership for $10 a month.  It’s basic, but it serves its purpose.  So I called the fitness center and left a message for the woman in charge of membership and told her there had to be some sort of mistake.

In the midst of my cleaning, Tony calls me and says “did you call the South Barrington fitness center?”  I said yes because there was an unauthorized charge on our account.

Duh!  Tony was surprising me by signing me up at the fitness center – which is literally a minute drive from my office and has all the bells and whistles – indoor/outdoor pool, sauna, nice locker rooms, fitness classes, you name it.  So while I ruined his surprise THANKS TONY!  He knew I wouldn’t do it myself, so I am happy he did it.  With this weather being so hot, I love that I’ll be able to get my lunch time workouts on. Open-mouthed smile  I even got a free coffee travel mug too.

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Since my Mom was coming over for dinner, I decided to make marinated flank steak, twice baked potatoes and a zucchini gratin.  The only problem was that I was out of milk.  I decided to see if it would work with chicken broth.  I melted my 2 tablespoons of butter, stirred in 2 tablespoons of flour, and slowly poured in 1.5 cups of chicken broth.  It was thickening nicely!

Until I tasted it and obviously what I had made was chicken gravy!  So I went to my fridge and mixed in 1/2 a cup of cottage cheese, 1/4 cup sour cream and 1/2 a cup of shredded extra sharp cheese.  I only added cracked pepper because there was enough salt in the chicken broth. 

Second time around I could only taste a hint of the chicken broth. Open-mouthed smile  I nuked three zucchini in the microwave, let them cool slightly then sliced into coins.  I laid the zucchini on the bottom of my casserole dish, added the chicken/cottage cheese mixture then topped it off with 1/4 cup of Italian bread crumbs mixed with 1/4 cup shredded cheddar cheese.

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I really liked the gratin, my Mom thought it was okay, but would have preferred a more crisp tender zucchini.  Tony took one look at it and said “no fucking way.”  Hey, he got me a gym membership so I can cut him some slack on not trying my food!

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I couldn’t find my placemats, but I had some scrapbook paper that I picked up at Michael’s a while back when it was on sale for 4 sheets for $1.  I thought they subbed in nicely for placemats!

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I found yet another food porn site, this one literally is called  They are much more forgiving at accepting pictures than Tastespotting and Food Gawker, my steak house burgers with creamed spinach sauce made it on their site!

I am going to check out my new gym at lunch today.  I have been dying to swim since its been so hot out – my suit, work out clothes and goggles are packed – thanks again Tony for such a wonderful gift!!

I won’t be blogging again until Monday.  I’ll be helping my Mom unpack tomorrow, then tomorrow night I am having Tony’s family over – my nephew and his girlfriend are moving out of the state at the end of the month, and Saturday night is the only time they are available for one last dinner at our house.

I think we are going to do the marinated pork tenderloin they sell at Sam’s Club, but I am still not sure what side dishes to make – if you have a tried and true side dish, can you leave a link in the comments?

Have a fabulous weekend!  Hugs!