If you have had a food blog for any length of time, it’s only a matter of time when you start getting emails to try different products and share them with your blog readers.  Sadly, since I am diabetic, I mostly get requests to try artificial sweeteners.  Ew.  Most of them test like chemicals yet they claim “no calories and no blood sugar spikes!”  Um, I’d rather have real sugar and take an extra shot of insulin, thank you very much.

You all know my love of Chobani and Cabot Cheese.  I’ve been partnering with them for a few years and have loved trying their new products.  So when LaTortilla Factory contacted me to try their light and low carb tortillas, I jumped at the chance.  I have always loved La Tortilla brand tortillas.  I got four different packages to try out.  First up:

12.16 004

Their Smart & Delicious light flour tortillas come in at only 80 calories, 2 fat, 16 carbs, a whopping 6 grams of fiber and 4 grams of protein.  And they are really big!  (that’s what she said).  I ended up making an egg beater, spinach, cheese and leftover steak burrito for breakfast – I melted the cheese on the tortilla in the toaster oven – we have these single sheets of foil for the toaster oven, I just used that to help me wrap it up and get a nice clean slice.

12.16 007

There are so many things you can do wither their tortillas – just some of the ideas – I love the idea of the tortilla standing in as a burger bun!  And you can find more ideas on their Pinterest page.

PicMonkey Collage

I had some errands to run at lunch – I am happy to say that all my out of town packages are on their way and now all I have to buy for is my immediate family and that will be easy.  My Mom is going to Texas to visit my brother and his family this year, so Hannah and her boyfriend will be with me, and my SIL and her family will be joining us, so I’ll be cooking dinner for 9 on Christmas Day.  Have no idea what I am going to make yet – what are you making?

When I got back to the office, I heated up some more of my throw together “tex-mex” chicken and edamame soup, this time with more broth, and of course, I added a bit of cheese on top.

12.16 026

Hannah and Jacob are looking for apartments in the area, so Hannah asked if they could come over for dinner.  Of course!  We had a Mexican fiesta.  When I left for work yesterday I grabbed a bag of dried pinto beans, and some chicken stock and cooked up the beans while I was at work to make refried beans.  It’s funny because when I usually have the crock pot going, it’s filled with some sort of delicious soup.  I had someone ask me “um, what are you cooking in there Biz?”  When I explained what it was he was glad because he said it looked like the worst looking soup he’d ever seen!  I shut off the crock pot around 4 to cool, then put the beans, water and all in a container.  When I got home I pureed them with hot sauce and salt.   So even though the beans look like a pile of poo on the side, they are so creamy and delicious.

12.16 014

I mixed my ground beef with rice – it makes the meat go twice as far.  After Hannah and Jacob left, I went to shut down the living room.  It’s weird, I don’t use the living room too much because that’s where Tony always was.  I keep wanting to look over at his chair and tell him something, and have to stop myself in my tracks to realize he’s not there.  So I went to turn off the t.v. and lights, when I decided to check the front door, and sure enough – more loot!

This time, from the wonderful people at Extended Stay America.  You’ll remember I was a finalist in their recipe contest and got to go to New York this past September.  While I didn’t win the grand prize, I met some wonderful people, including Lauren, Shauna and Megan.  (Megan, I thought I had a link to your blog, but I can’t find it right now!).   And of course, Sunny Anderson – you know we are BFFs – well, she follows me on Instagram, so I’ll take that!  Well they sent me such a lovely note and a box of Harry & David loot.

12.16 019

12.16 015 - picmonkey

And then another package – this time a blog giveaway win.  If you haven’t read Two Red Bowls you are missing out.  I love her photography, recipes (I tried her milk bread once but I am blaming the yeast on that one and will try again).  Her giveaway?  A Staub stock pot retails at . . .$285!  Holy cow!  And Laura, don’t worry, I will still use the stock put you gave me – no need to worry about me having too many stock pots!

12.16 029

I had some down time at work yesterday so I was doing some year end cleaning – it’s funny in September and the 1st of the year I suddenly get the urge to organize!  I was deleting a bunch of pictures off of my work computer, and stumbled on this one, and it took everything in my power not to start crying right on the spot.

12.16 001

That picture was taken at Mayo Clinic.  Right after that picture was taken I cried because I was leaving Tony at St. Mary’s while I came back and went to work.   It broke my heart to leave him for five days.  And now part of me is wishing maybe we should have stayed longer, but Tony just wanted to come back home.  The plan was to come back and get his liver and kidney issues sorted out and then go back to Mayo to do more work on his heart.  But hindsight has 20/20 vision and I can’t start playing the “what if” game. 

Let’s end on a happy note, shall we?  What are you doing for Christmas?  And more importantly, send me links of things you are making for inspiration!  Hugs and Love!