Hey guys!  Today I have the day off from work – woop woop!  My friend Alison (hi Alison!) recommended me to her friend who is doing a culinary competition for high school students at Kendall College today and guess what?  I am one of the judges! 

I know, so crazy.  The woman who organized it emailed me and asked if I would be bringing my chef jacket or would I just like one provided for me.  Um, last time I checked I don’t remember wearing a chef’s coat on party pizza Friday night, so I happily accepted the offer.  I hope to Instagram a bit today if I am able too – if nothing else I’ll have to share the pic of me in a chef’s coat! 


I’ve been eating some delicious food on this new WW plan.  But I have to tell you, for someone who normally cooks all their meals (i.e., doesn’t rely on much processed food) it hasn’t been too difficult to come up with different kinds of meals within my point range.  Here are some of my eats:

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  1. Egg white (1/2 cup 1 point), 1/2 cup Trader Joe’s 8 chopped veggie mix (0), 1.5 ounce deli ham (1) and 1/2 ounce of Cabot cheese chipotle cheese (2).  On the side is a light Thomas English muffin (3) and a cup of grapes (0) for a filling 8 point breakfast.
  2. One of my favorite things about the WW app is having the scanner option to scan bar codes of different products.  Yesterday morning I wanted to pick up some granola to go with my apple (0) and plain Chobani (2).  I swung by the store on the way to work.  I quickly realized that most servings of granola are only 1/4 of a cup.  Really?!  That’s hardly anything.  So I just scanned the first five bags of granola and they ranged in points from 4 up to 12 points!  I found this Kashi cranberry spelt and flax granola which had a serving size of a more reasonable 1/3 cup (4).  So my whole parfait ended up being only 6 smart points, so I also stopped by Hannah’s work and got an almond milk latte for another 2 SP.
  3. Yes!  Skinny chili mac. I had one cup of my beef and bean chili with 1 cup of cooked spaghetti squash on the side.  I find that if I bake the spaghetti squash and let it cool in the microwave overnight (I nuke a medium size one for 7 minutes) that I get the “spaghetti” strands that I want and it’s not mushy.  Then right before I reheat it, I put the squash in a paper towel and squeeze as much water out as I can.  I only heat it up for 30 seconds at work, because I know the hot chili will heat it all the way through and it isn’t mushy at all.  Chili (5), spaghetti squash (0) 1/2 ounce chipotle Cabot cheese (2) and a tablespoon of sour cream (1).  8 Smart Points.
  4. I think it’s safe to say that most men will look in a refrigerator and not find what they are looking for right smack dab in the middle of their face, they figure it’s not in there.  While Hannah and Jacob aren’t the biggest fans of leftovers, I can usually count on Jacob to eat leftover beef, pork or chicken.  So I was shocked when I found pork roast in the fridge, and when I asked Jacob why he didn’t eat it, he said “I couldn’t find it.”  It was literally behind a small jar of garlic.  His loss, my gain!  I cup up 4 ounces of the pork (4) and mixed that with one cup of the Trader Joe’s 8 chopped veggies (0) and mixed in 1/2 cup of brown rice (3) and topped it with 1 tablespoon of Tastefully Simple ginger sriracha stirfry sauce (1) .  If you ever get invited to one of those parties, buy two bottles of this stuff, it’s really good.  With the side of fruit (0) this was a super filling 8 smart point lunch.

But the pièce de résistance meal this week?  Was dinner on Wednesday night.  I had defrosted some shrimp, and had ideas of making a grilled shrimp sauté with pasta sauce, basil and Parmesan cheese and serve that over sliced polenta.  But Hannah is iffy about shrimp.  She says she likes it, but I guess only if it’s deep fried in coconut batter.  And then I didn’t know how much of a meal that would be, even with a vegetable on the side, so I made a quick pit stop on they way home and bought Jacob and I two 5 ounce steaks ($5.90) and picked up a package of sushi for Hannah!

I still thought I might do an Italian style shrimp side dish to go with the beef, when I suddenly remembered NEW ORLEANS BBQ SHRIMP!   The first time I ate that shrimp was at one of the first restaurants I worked at.  I was 16, and a bus girl.  But the Chef at the time (who is also the father of actress Anna Chlumsky) wanted every person – server, busser, bartender, to taste the food so that if stopped by a customer, you’d be able to describe the food.  And how would you know if you didn’t taste it yourself?!

But see, I was a super picky eater back then.  I didn’t want to try much on the menu, and when he brought out these giant prawns in a sauce, I looked at the server Nick I usually worked with and said “you try it and tell me how it is.”  Well, one bite in, he grabbed a slice of thick crunchy bread and dipped it into the sauce and he was nearly having a food orgasm.  I asked what the sauce was and he said “it’s spicy butter!”  Well, I was sold then and there.  I don’t actually remember eating any of the shrimp, but that spicy butter left quite an impression on me.

But here’s the deal – down and dirty NO BBQ shrimp?  Usually calls for a minimum of 8 tablespoons of butter and up to three sticks of butter in this recipe for only 1.5 pounds of shrimp!  So I had my work cut out for me on trying to make this a bit more WW friendly.  First up?  I Can’t Believe It’s Not Butter Light.  It’s 30 calories a tablespoon and has a butteryish taste to it.  I knew I had to use creole seasoning – my brother turned me on to Tony Chachere’s creole seasoning which I found at Walmart – holy balls guys – go buy this stuff!   And I knew I needed Worcestershire sauce and lemon, so I went to work to put this all together.

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Yep – Jacob and I both gave this meal GIANT thumbs up.  While there obviously isn’t as much buttery sauce as the original with three sticks of butter, you get that spicy buttery taste with every bite of shrimp.  The five ounce portion of NO BBQ shrimp is only 4 SP, my 5 ounce steak was 6 SP, and the mushrooms and broccoli were zero.  Such a winning 10 SP dinner on a weeknight.  If you buy your shrimp already peeled, this would literally come together in about 20 minutes.  Perfect for company too!  This is definitely going into the high dinner rotation.   Hannah tried the shrimp and declared it too spicy, so go easy on the creole seasoning – you can always add more!


I swear I don’t know what happens to me when I sleep.  Tony used to tell me over and over about how I never moved when I slept.  In fact when we first got together he’d literally have to get two inches to my face to see if I was breathing.  When Hannah leaves super early for the coffee shop, I like to text her pictures of my hair when I first wake up. 

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But before I got to her work I sent her another picture of the “after.”  I told her that I hoped she would be a ray of God’s light on someone at the coffee shop yesterday Open-mouthed smile

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I am off!  Busy weekend for me.  Not only am I going to Chicago today, but I am also catering my bosses second dinner party.  Although I am just dropping off the food this time.  It’s a much more casual event, a Mexican fiesta.  I still am making 3 appetizers, 2 entrees, 3 sides and THREE desserts!  Mexican hot chocolate cupcakes,  churro bites with chocolate drizzle and a fresh strawberry/mango/mint salad on the side.   If you are curious, you can check that out here.


Alright, time to get this early show on the road!  Have a great weekend and I’ll see you on Monday!