Tony wasn’t feeling too well this weekend.  So while he rested in our bedroom Saturday morning, I got my cleaning pants on.  Our house is never dirty, but when I know someone is coming over, all of a sudden I realize I haven’t dusted in a few weeks, the baseboards could be scrubbed.  It’s like the domino effect, once I cleaned one thing, then I noticed something else needed to be cleaned.  I spent probably a good two hours cleaning the house front to back.  It felt so nice when it was all done!

Helen and I have had the same problem for years – both our husbands love to eat dinner in front of the t.v.  The only time I use our $1200 dining room set is when company comes over, which is probably only a few times a year.  But with my Mom coming over for dinner, I’d get to be a grown up and actually eat at a dining table instead of balancing my dinner plate on the arm of the couch in front of the t.v.

When I asked what my Mom wanted to eat, she said “how about surf and turf!”  She said she’d split the cost with me, so I went to the Fresh Market on Saturday to pick us up a steak and some shrimp.  When I got the store, I noticed this sign:

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I’ve seen the Hatch Festival on Food Network before, but I’ve never been able to find Hatch chiles in the Midwest before.  They had guacamole with hatch chiles, some burgers with hatch chiles.  There was a woman who was cooking the burgers and me and a guy next to me tasted them and they had no flavor.  I asked the woman if she seasoned the burgers and she said “season them with what?”  I said “salt and pepper” and she said no – that they were trying to showcase the chile and didn’t want to add anymore seasonings.  What?  I totally wanted to take over at that point, but I said “maybe add a touch of salt – it will elevate the pepper!”

I made the shrimp cocktail on Saturday because I think it tastes better the second day.  This is so simple – you can click on the instructions here, but this is the best shrimp cocktail recipe you’ll ever use – perfect appetizer to bring to any party.

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I marinated our NY Strip steak in my favorite beef marinade.  It was the longest I’d ever marinated it, and was a bit worried, but it turned out perfect.

I met my Mom in Barrington at an indoor art fair.  We walked around a bit then stopped for a bite to eat.  We didn’t want anything too heavy, so we ended up splitting a couple appetizers.  This restaurant actually has a train car that you can sit in as part of the dining room.

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We ended up getting the baked brie and chicken satay.  Both were very good, but you know I loved the brie the most!  #ilovecheese!

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After we walked around a bit we got to talking about my new canner, and we decided to pick up some green beans to can yesterday afternoon.  I kind of wanted my Mom there for the maiden voyage of the canner, but the directions were super easy.  We cleaned the unit, put in the water to the correct level and started to pre-heat the jars.  Mom got to chopping the green beans and when she was done, we took out the recipe booklet that came with the machine and for the life of us, there were no instructions on how to can green beans.  Huh.  So we went to Mr. Google and found out an important piece of information about the machine – it’s a pressure canner, not a pressure cooker, so you can only can high acidity foods, like salsa, tomatoes, jams, etc.  According to Ball:

“It is important to only use the recipes provided with this appliance. Use of other recipes not tested for this appliance can result in seal failure, food spoilage and potential health risks.” This means users are limited to the 26 recipes in the book or the 71 recipes on Ball’s website. Users must enter pre-programmed recipe numbers, and there are no manual settings.

So I know I will use the canner to can my salsa, that’s for sure.  And I’ll probably can my pepper jelly too.  Just no veggies – good to know!

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So I asked my Mom to bring her walking shoes, so since we didn’t can anything, we got our shoes on and went walking.  I took her to a nature preserve by our house that I used to take walks with our dog Ed.  Only one tiny problem – the mosquitos were awful!

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So we came back home and walked around my neighborhood.  I ended up with 10,200 steps – pretty good for a Sunday for me!

Not knowing what to do with the hatch chiles, I did a quick Pinterest search and immediately found this recipe for Hatch Chili Chimichurri.   Great blog by the way – check it out!  I did change the recipe a bit.  I took one bite of the hatch chile and was shocked that it was barely spicy at all.  Maybe they just differ like jalapenos?  Some jalapenos I can eat whole like an apple no problem, other times I’ll add one jalapeno to a batch of my salsa and it’s way too spicy.

Our gas grill has passed away.  After 10 years of loving use, it no longer works.  So I had to get Mr. Weber out – I ended up charring the chiles right on the coals when they were heated up.  I did switch up her recipe a bit, so this is my inspired recipe.


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I bought two 10 oz. steaks – I have no idea why I did that because I knew neither one of us would eat 10 oz. of meat, so we cooked one to split, and we split the uncooked one and Mom was going to freeze the second half for next week.  She says she tries to only eat beef once or twice a week at most.

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Amazeballs.  My Mom didn’t like it although she likes all the ingredients in it.  It’s just so . . . herby?!  Tangy?!  Just delicious?!  We made whole wheat orzo pasta with asparagus, lemon and Parmesan on the side.  We already ate the shrimp after our walk as an appetizer.

The perfect bite:

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In the end we never did eat at the dining room table – it was so nice outside that we sat outside in the back yard – I still ate at a table though, which is nice!  Thanks for spending the day with me Momma!  We all know I am your favorite.  (Sorry Charlie and Jennifer, but it’s true – oh, and go check out my brother’s best blog post ever!)

So do you guys have the Timehop app?  It goes back through your Facebook and Instagram archives and will pull what you were doing from 1-5 years ago.  Yesterday this popped up.



See my face?  That’s a face 10 pounds lighter from where I am right now – that is an Insanity face because I was already 75+ days into my Insanity routine.  My workouts have been lackluster in the last month or so, with good reason with everything going on with Tony, but I think I just let that be an excuse.  So, as of today, I am going back to Insanity at night.  That time frame works for me.  I don’t tend to eat too much at dinner knowing I am working out at 8:00 and obviously, don’t have any wine. Martini glass

You can follow me on Instagram (my bizzy kitchen) to see my sweaty Insanity selfies – that’s one way to hold myself accountable!  Get ready for pics like this one!


Time to get this show on the road – what was the highlight of your weekend?  Make it a great day!

Oops – forgot to link my recipe for the recipe contest – only 5 more days to vote – thanks blog reader Laura for the reminder! 😀