So much to talk about in today’s post!  If you don’t follow me on Facebook (friend me: Beth Hills Velatini) or Instagram (mybizzykitchen), then you don’t know that while I didn’t win the Sebastiani Pizza My Way Contest, I did win the People’s Choice award for most online votes – so thank you very much for that!  That prize was worth $1500!  Momma needs a new gas grill, so some of that will go towards a new gas grill.  If you have any recommendations, I am all ears.   The Grand Prize winner was the tuscan kale, parmesan reggiano, brie stuffed crust with veggies and a red onion sauce.   While I wouldn’t try that pizza because of the red onion sauce, that is just not a combo of pizza that if it were on a menu I’d read and think “I’ll get the kale pizza!”  Congrats to the winner though, it’s not like I am bitter or anything.  Maybe it’s just the bitter taste I get in my mouth with I eat kale.

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I am totally kidding by the way – I am sure Salvatore’s pizza tasted good, and I can’t really complain about my recipe contests so far.  I’ve entered four so far, one I won $5,000, then I won a trip to NYC, and now $1500, so I think I should start making entering recipe contests my hobby!

You would think that by now most food bloggers are more than ready to make the turn to more spring like recipes, like my spring time risotto, but sadly after reaching over 70 degrees last Monday, our Chicago temps are back in the 20s and 30s, and now I have a blanket of snow on the ground.  So meal planning took me back to more comfort foods, and when I saw that pot roast was on sale, I bought it.  I actually have Tony to thank for teaching me that pot roast doesn’t necessarily have to always be cooked low and slow.  The first time he wanted to grill a pot roast like a steak I thought he was crazy.  But it totally worked.  So either you have to cook it super high heat and fast, or low and slow and either way, you’ll get amazingly tender beef.

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Now I don’t really know exactly what cut of beef this is, but most likely it is from the chuck part of the steer which is around the shoulder area.  Because that’s a highly used muscle, rule of thumb is that you have to cook it low and slow to break up the connective tissues.  But look at how lean this cut of beef is.  Most of the fat is on the outside, with some nice marbling.  On Saturday night I did take out night in – Asian marinated pot roast, veggie fried rice and pork potstickers.   Both of the kids worked on Saturday so it was nice to get Bizzy in my Kitchen blaring the music I like.

Asian Marinated Pot Roast

  • 1 pound pot roast (which was half of one of my twin pot roasts)
  • 2 tablespoons grated fresh ginger
  • 1/4 cup soy sauce
  • 1/8 cup olive oil
  • 1/8 cup honey
  • 1 tablespoons sriracha (less if you don’t like it spicy)
  • 1 teaspoon sesame oil
  • 1 teaspoon crushed red pepper

Mix the ginger through the red pepper in a bowl.  Put the pot roast in a ziplock bag and pour marinade over.  I marinated mine for six hours, but overnight would probably be even more amazeballs.  Take the meat out of the fridge an hour before cooking to let it get to room temperature.  Cut the roast in thin slices and pan sear for 60 seconds a side.  That’s it!  Super tender and delicious beef. 

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You can see the meat is perfect medium rare.  Jacob was a bit skeptical at first, but I won him over.  That bottom right picture?  That’s supposed to be broccoli.  I bought a bag of frozen veggies for my veggie fried rice and nearly 80% of all the broccoli in the bag looked like that – I did buy the generic brand, so I guess I get what I paid for.  I saw that Lori had the same issue over the weekend too and agreed that some brands of frozen veggies are better than others.

I have to tell you guys though, that the green pans I bought for myself for my birthday and amazing.  Why I haven’t splurged on getting better sauté pans before now is beyond me.   Nothing sticks and the couldn’t clean up any better.  A few things to remember about these pans.  No olive oil because the smoke point isn’t high enough – so I use either coconut oil or canola.  Only plastic spatulas, which I had to buy one because all of mine are metal.  And you have to let them cool completely before cleaning.  I was a bit worried when I saw the pan look all dirty, but literally a wipe with a sponge and a quick dry with a paper towel, it was back to new! 

Yep, that’s my shitty fluorescent lighting in my kitchen!

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Yesterday we met my Momma for lunch to celebrate belated birthdays.  My sister and her family weren’t available, so it was just me, Hannah and Jacob.  Jacob’s is the next March birthday – on Friday!  We met at Piggyback Tavern.  My Mom and I went a while back right when they opened two years ago (can you believe it was over two years ago Mom?!).  You all know how I feel about pork, so I got the pulled pork bbq sandwich.  I love that they bring you drinks in Mason jars.  The pork was much better than the first time – super tender, juicy and I added some carolina bbq sauce after this picture was taken.  It was great seeing you Momma – what, it’s been a whole three weeks since Key West already?!

PicMonkey Collage - sunday lunch

So I kind of lost my mojo after coming back from Key West.  Just going through the motions.  Then I saw a couple weeks ago that Brooke was starting a Diet Bet and that woke me right up.  You see, I am a competitive person.  And I happily gifted that to my daughter who is competitive as well.  In any event, I signed up right on the spot.  The buy-in is $25.  It’s 28 days long and I have to lose 7 pounds in 28 days, or 4% of my body weight to share the pot.  What’s the pot for this Diet Bet?  Last I checked it was $10,400!  So everyone who makes their 4% goal splits the pot.  I’ve done two Diet Bet’s before, both hosted by my blog friend Helen, and I was successful in both of those. 

Interestingly enough, my starting weight this time around, nearly two years later, is nearly the same!  The blurry picture is from May of 2013 – the summer I did Insanity for 100 days straight and I lost 8.25 inches and 20 pounds from June to December.  Things fell off the wagon once I started working at the restaurant and time and meal planning took a back seat to keeping our heads above water when Tony was sick.

PicMonkey Collage - weight

The last few months of Tony’s life are actually quite a blur when I think about what I ate and exercise.  Both of those obviously took a back burner because Tony was my main focus.  But now as we are nearly four months after Tony’s death, I don’t have any excuses of why I can’t get back on track.  Yes, grief and sadness are still in the forefront, no doubt about that, but I realize I can now really put myself first for the first time in a long time.  But what is remarkable, is that even though I’ve had ups and downs the last couple months, I’ve basically maintained my weight.  And I got my toes done – love this color!

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So I am basically doing a 21 day detox to get myself back in the game.  My goal is not perfection, but I hope I’ll be able to follow this plan 90/10.  Basically no processed foods, fried foods (I will miss you deep fryer!), white flour, and no alcohol.  My goal is still still get my 10,000 steps and then some every day, and get back to my strength training program.  My calorie range will be 1500 – 1700.  My Spartan race is two months away – eek!

So let’s all start the day off on the right food, okay?  Make it a great day!