Since I’ve been going through old pictures lately it’s brought back a ton of memories from my past.  It’s amazing how you can forget something and just the look of a persons face, or the location will bring the memory back like it just happened yesterday.  Jacob hasn’t heard many of my stories, and there are even several that Hannah doesn’t remember me telling her before.  I’ll have to see if my twin sister or my Mom remembers this story!

Back when I was in 5th grade, my sister and I were one of the tallest girls in the class.  Never mind the fact that we were only 5 foot 3 and would never grow an inch after the age of 10.  By high school pretty much everyone towered over us, and sadly, I think I am just under 5 foot 2 now.  Anywho, there was a boy in 6th grade by the name of Jonathan.  He had some medical problems where his face was kind of caved in on one side and puffy on the other, and he had a tracheotomy.   He was very frail and had a dedicated nurse that used to sit at the end of the hallway in case he had any trouble.  Every once in a while he would start coughing, and because of his trach he would almost lose his breath, and I would be the first one bolted out of the door to run to get the nurse to tell her that Jonathan was in trouble.  She would come in, remove the trach and suction out anything in there, put it back in and he’d be fine again.  Whew!

One day I was walking down the stair and this bully of a kid Marc T. was three steps above Jonathan on the stairs and I was three steps above him.  It all happened in slow motion but I saw Marc jump ahead on the stairs and put his foot out so that Jonathan tripped and fell down the last three steps, books flying in one direction as he landed hard on the ground.  You guys, I went ape shit!  I jumped down the last five steps, pulled Marc’s shirt to get his attention, he turned around and I punched him right in the eye, then quickly went to check on Jonathan to see if he was okay – yelling at one of my friends to go get the nurse to check him out.

Of course I was pulled into the principals office as was Marc.  My Mom worked downtown at the time so I remember my Dad coming to get me.  I heard him talking to the principal, my Dad apologizing for my behavior, and even as he was speaking, out of the corner of my eye all I could see was Marc and I really wanted to beat the shit out of him.  I am sure he’s married and has a wonderful family today, but he was just such a bully back then.

On the drive home my Dad started getting mad at me, asking me why I would just randomly punch someone, until I explained the situation to him and he slowly but surely agreed that he would have probably done the same thing if he were in the same situation.  I don’t remember being punished, but I do remember that Marc wasn’t such a bully after that incident.  Sadly Jonathan died before we got to high school, but I remember being his protector like it was last week.  Jenn or Mom, do you remember that story?!


Cinco de Mayo was yesterday and it wasn’t until I was putting my food together I realized I had nothing planned that was even semi related to Cinco de Mayo when I realized I had 10 minutes before I had to leave for work and quickly made egg beater, black bean and corn breakfast tacos.  I cooked the egg beaters in the microwave for 1 1/2 minutes, then chopped that up and mixed it with leftover black beans and corn from our tostadas the night before.  I cook the corn tortillas in the microwave for 30-45 seconds to make sure they are pliable and won’t break in the pan, and quickly pan fried them in a bit of coconut oil.  Once at work, a quick trip under the toaster oven broiler crisped them right up.

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The weather was so weird – it was chilly and humid at the same time.  I checked the weather and saw that I had a pretty big gap in rain and went on a 50 minute walk around my office building.  Lunch was leftover broccoli cheddar soup from page 84 of Cabot Cheese Creamery Cookbook and on the side was a ham, cheese, spinach panini made on day old Jimmy John’s bread.  I’ve talked about JJ’s day old bread before – they sell it at the register when you buy your sandwich – just .50 a loaf!  It’s perfect for panini’s because the bread is a bit dried out, but gets extra crunchy in the panini maker.  All that melty cheese!  I have no idea what cheese it is because it’s cheese ends that I get at my deli – they sell the cheese ends for $2.49 a pound and I never know what I am going to get.  But seriously, not sure there is a cheese I haven’t liked in my life yet!

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The afternoon snoozed by and then it was time to hit the gym for legs.  I was a bit nervous because I haven’t really been doing any strength for my legs for weeks while my left knee was healing.  I had squats, lunges, etc. on tap, but guess what?!  Not a problem!  It took me about 35 minutes to do this set:

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Then finished up with 2.5 miles on the treadmill.

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It was still pretty chilly when I got home, so I decided to make a quick weeknight stroganoff.  Now, this is not really a stroganoff, but I don’t know what else to call it – it has beef, mushrooms and egg noodles!  I decided to add zucchini to this dish to round it out.

  • 8 ounces boneless sirloin tip steak, sliced thin*
  • 4 cups cooked egg noodles
  • 1 package beef gravy*
  • 8 ounces mushrooms, sliced
  • 1 large zucchini, sliced then cut in half

Boil water and cook egg noodles for 4 minutes, then drain and set aside.  In a small pan, heat 1 cup of water with the beef gravy package, bring to a boil, reduce the heat to low and stir until combined.  It’s okay to turn it off now, just stir before serving.  In a skillet, add a bit of coconut oil and saute mushrooms and zucchini for about 5 minutes.   Remove to a bowl.  Add a bit more coconut oil to the pan and turn it to high heat – add the beef and cook for 1 minute – since it’s thin and Jacob and I like pretty rare meat, this was all it needed.  To plate:  1 cup of noodles on the bottom, add the zucchini/mushroom mixture on top, add the beef and top with the beef gravy. 

Hannah only at the noodles, zucchini and mushrooms with the gravy, but she had two helpings she loved it so much.  Lara and I were going back and forth on Instagram last night about Hannah not liking meat, and I told her that sometimes with her love of onions as well, that I may need to have a DNA test to make sure she’s mine. Open-mouthed smile

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This was delish and I love that it only took about 15 minutes to put together.  Both Hannah and Jacob gave this a big stamp of approval.  Normally I would have stirred in a 1/4 cup of sour cream, but I forgot to buy some – still tasty though!

Here are my two notes about the recipe: *boneless sirloin tip steak – it’s the most tender in the round, and is a value cut from the sirloin tip – it’s super lean and my store sells it not on sale for $4.99 a pound.  Most experts recommend braising this cut of beef, but I think it’s delicious just quickly cooking in a pan or over a hot grill.  *I buy my beef gravy mix at Sam’s Club – one cup of water to 3 tablespoons of the gravy mix, but usually my store sells the packets of beef gravy for 2/$1.


And I basically kicked ass on my steps:

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This morning looks like it’s going to be clear enough to get a quick 30 minute walk in.  My gym bag and food were packed last night so I am good to go. 

Question of the Day:  What is your favorite cut of beef?  Do you even like beef?  I think in a previous life I was a butcher because I have no problem cutting down big cuts of beef or cutting a whole chicken up.

Make it a great day!