It was a wonderful weekend.  Although I have to realize that if we do a lot on Saturday, Tony is usually wiped out on Sunday.  But it actually worked out okay – we get to spend Saturday together, and then Sunday, he relaxes watching football, and I, of course, am Bizzy in my Kitchen!

Saturday we went to Wok N Fire before going to the movies.  I can’t even remember the last time we actually went to lunch and a movie!  I got my favorite – Kung Pao noodles with steak.  Tony got sushi, although he stuck with cooked sushi – not sure he’s ready for raw fish just yet!

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We ended up going to iPic – and enjoyed a glass of pinot grigio in the dark while watching the movie – we saw St. Vincent and it was a really really good movie.  I thought for sure Tony would get comfy and take a nap through the movie, but he ended up watching the whole thing and liking it too – score!

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We are trying to squeeze out as much summer living as we can before we are in sub-zero weather.  We actually sat outside for 30 minutes before it got too chilly – it was nice while it lasted!

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My new blog friend Tia (go check out her blog – she’s got a really great writing style AND she lives in the town next to me – small world!) and I both LOVE stemless wine glasses.   I usually scour Goodwill every time I got – I don’t really care if my glasses match.  This one is my new favorite and it only cost $1.  Score!

I loved getting the extra hour over the weekend.  I woke up at 8, which was really 7 because we didn’t change the clocks before we went to bed.  I drifted in and out of sleep, snoring and annoying Tony because he was trying to go back to sleep, and I finally got out of bed at 9, which was really 8:00 a.m.  I got my coffee, and started my meal planning.  I use these printables to make my meal plan and grocery list, but now Courtney has come up with holiday gift and menu planners that will help you stay organized this holiday season.  You can check them out here.

So I am always talking about the $1 rack at my store.  You never know if it’s going to be chock full, or empty.  I usually shop on Saturdays so when I went shopping yesterday, I was happy to see that the rack was pretty full!

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I ended up getting a pound of mushrooms, six heads of romaine lettuce, three pounds of carrots, and a dozen whole wheat rolls.  The rolls went straight into my freezer.  I can defrost one at a time for a breakfast sammie during the week.  I am making steak and twice baked potatoes later this week, so I’ll make a mushroom sauce for the steak.   I used some of the carrots in my beef stew I made last night, and I chopped up the romaine lettuce and put it in a ziploc bag to make taco salads later this week.

I follow this blogger Jules (Of Jules Food) on Instagram and she’s always using pork belly, – check out that amazing pork belly!

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I will have to ask her if she’s ever bought a whole pig head before.  This one costs about $23 bucks.  And the plastic around the snout was torn, almost as if it was trying to get air!

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I also stopped by Sam’s Club to get paper towels – best price in town.  I have a tip for you if you do a lot of baking with yeast.  I got this two pack of yeast for $4.74 cents.  It can stay fresh in your fridge for up to six months.  Look at how much you get – each package is one pound!  My store usually sells a 3 pack of instant yeast for $1.99 not on sale, and if I am lucky, .99 cents.  2 1/4 teaspoons equals one package of yeast, so this will last me a long time.  If you don’t have a membership, find a friend or family member to pick this up for you.

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Since we are now officially in November, my menu plan has made the fall comfort food turn.  Beef stew is one of my favorite things my Mom made growing up.  Over the years I’ve tried out different cuts of meat and have found that boneless chuck roast is the best cut to make beef stew with.   Karli, do you use this cut to make beef stew?  This roast was 2.25 pounds, which ended up being just about 2 pounds after trimming the fat.  Look at all that marbled fat – that’s flavor baby!

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This is my beef stew recipe inspired by America’s Test Kitchen.  I of course, left out the onions, I reduced the salt and cinnamon and use crushed tomato and as of late, have been subbing in peanut oil for olive oil.


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Pure comfort in a bowl!  You taste a bit of the cinnamon, but the broth is just so flavorful and the meat is so tender, you could cut it with a fork.

And now we are back to Monday!  I didn’t put 100% into my workouts last week as I should have.  I can blame cramps, etc., but I am done making excuses.  I could have worked out harder, I just didn’t.  But this week is a new week – and that’s all that matters.

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I am up .4 from two weeks ago.   So here’s to a new week!

I have a couple shout outs today – congrats to my friend Jacky who ran the NY Marathon!  Great job Jacky!  And my new friend Lauren, the one who won the recipe contest I was in for Extended Stay America?  She’s in Nashville for the Pillsbury Bakeoff – she made it to the finals.  Winners of each of the four categories wins $10,000 – those four winners will be sent to a vote to see which recipe wins . . . a million dollars!  If you could send good thoughts her way, I’d appreciate it.

While I love that it was light out by the time I got up this morning, it’s going to be depressing leaving the office tonight and it will be dark.

Alright, time to get this show on the road – make it a great day!