Can I just tell you that this week flew by?!  Usually by Friday it feels like the first four days of the week are actually two weeks long, but these last four days for me just sailed on by.  Probably because I was doing everything that I love!  Going to Chicago, learning more about how to market my blog to make money, taking long walks outside (even though it’s been around 30 degrees!) oh, and being Bizzy in My Kitchen!

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I was determined not to grocery shop this week since we are leaving for Austin tomorrow.  I knew I had enough stuff in the fridge/freezer/pantry that it could get us through the week.  The only thing I spent money for this week was fresh cut fruit and coffee creamer.  I’ve had Nicole’s everything seasoned chicken breasts on my list of things to make, and as it happens with some recipes, the week I plan to make it, it doesn’t get made, and it never gets carried over to the next week.  I am sure I used the chicken breasts for some other recipe after I froze them, but I realized I had all the stuff to make the everything seasoning.  And then quickly realized it’s been a long time since I’ve eaten an everything bagel and I needed to make them.  Like yesterday. 

Only one tiny problem – most of the store or restaurant everything bagels range in WW smart points from 8 to 13 points.  Um, turns out I like to eat more than just a bagel for breakfast.  So I found a recipe for “Baron Bagels” online.  What hooked me from the beginning was the description:  Mr. Graf’s has a chewy bite and an almost pretzel-like crust. This is his recipe.

Except I didn’t have all the ingredients for Mr. Graf’s bagels.  I only had regular flour, and I have no idea what diastatic malt powder is, or where the hell you would even buy that.  After a bit of research I threw caution to the wind and substituted honey in place of the malt powder.   It also helps if you read a recipe from head to toe before making a new recipe.  I know this, but I just skimmed the ingredients and few steps and got down to the part where the dough needed to rise for two hours and pretty much stopped there.  I knew the rest of the steps:  boil the bagels, top them and bake them.

So because I can make my own schedule now, after doing some computer work, dusting off my suitcase and attending to laundry, it was nearly noon after I finished putting the dough together and looked down at my fitbit only to realize I’d gone exactly 710 steps all day.  I guess I didn’t realize how much getting up and down at the office I did to get those extra steps in.  So knowing that it was going to take the dough to rise a couple hours, I got bundled up and headed out for a 50 minute walk in 30 degree weather.

After the initial two hour rise, I started reading the rest of the recipe.  Fudge crackers.  It said to form the bagels and then cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate 10 to 24 hours.  But I didn’t want to wait that long, so I decided to skip that step!

PicMonkey Collage - bagel

I am sure many of you know this, but until I saw someone else do it, I couldn’t believe I didn’t think of it myself – anytime I use peanut butter, honey, or anything else that is sticky when measuring, just spray the measuring device with Pam.  Duh.  You’ll know when the dough is done kneading in your stand mixer when it starts to pull away from the bowl.  The original recipe called for making 10 bagels, but I decided to make smaller ones, so I weighed all the dough, divided that by 20 and each ball of dough weighed 1.75 ounces.  I’ve tried making bagels where you make the roll, then place your thumb in the middle and roll it around to make the hole.  But I found that the hold tends to close up not only when boiling but in baking too.  This recipe said to make a long tapered shape, then circle the dough around and pinch the ends together to seal it.

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That worked out great!  Another thing I’ve never read or seen before is baking the seasoned side down for the first several minutes, and then flipping them and baking an additional several minutes.  I was wondering what purpose that actually served, but once I flipped them, I realized it kept all the seasoning on – like it baked right into the bagel instead of just sitting on top of the dough.

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And keen observers will notice that I am even using dried onion flakes!  I have to admit it wouldn’t be an everything bagel without them.  Once I took that picture above, I flipped it seasoned side down, baked at 425 for 6 minutes, then flipped them over and baked an additional 7 minutes.  While I baked this on my silpat, I did use my baking steel to get a super crisp crust, but this bagel is totally chewy on the inside. 

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The best part though?  These are only THREE smart points on Weight Watchers!  I know! I was so excited once I entered the recipe into the recipe builder on WW – now I can have a bagel sammie for breakfast and not eat half of my daily points in doing so.  #winning!

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I just had to share an Instagram picture I posted last weekend – since we had nice weather I pulled the Weber grill out of hibernation and made grilled bone in chicken breasts.

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FIVE HUNDRED LIKES!  That is the most by a couple hundred that I’ve gotten on a post on Instagram.  But wait, there’s more!

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Um, Weight Watchers is now following my Instagram page!  My high school friend Loren pointed out the fact that WW has nearly 350,000 followers, but are only following 546 and I am one of them.  Maybe they’ll hire me to show that you can make tasty, simple, from scratch food on WW and not feel deprived or feel like you are on a diet at all.  Fingers crossed!


I am so happy I’ll be spending time with my brother Charlie and his family (read his latest blog post here!) and his family and my step-son Joe and his wife Lizz – I’ve never met their second dog Taquito and can’t wait to see their fat pugs together.  I’ll still be doing my M-W-F posts, but it will be interesting to see what my eats are going to be.  I know I’ll be eating brisket and pork next week, but hope to have some healthier eats the other two meals of the day.  I also thought that I’d get up early and get an hour walk in before everyone gets up so that I am getting at least that in, and then hopefully doing some of my strength apps in between where I can.

I ended up renting a boat at Lake Travis – the same trip to Austin which was the last vacation Tony and I took together and it was our favorite day of the trip.   I plan on taking some of Tony’s ashes with me and putting them in the water there.  So far I’ve only sprinkled his ashes in Key West (you can see that video here) where we had our honeymoon in December of 2000.  All I know is that I will miss this face on the boat!


It’s hard to believe he would be gone just two and a half years after that picture was taken.  But I know that Tony will be happy I am spending time with his son – it doesn’t matter that Tony isn’t here anymore, Joe will always be my son too. Open-mouthed smile

Be sure to follow me on Instagram in the mean time (my bizzy kitchen!) to see what goes on in between my MWF posts.  Happy Friday and the next time I “see” you I’ll be in warm Texas!  And you won’t want to miss next Wednesday’s post – on Tuesday I am meeting up with my long time blog friend Shelley!   She left her first comment on my blog on January 2, 2009 and we’ve been “friends” ever since.   Slowly but surely I am checking off my blog friends that I want to meet in person – just so happens Shelley and I will only each have a short 45 minute drive to meet up.  I am sure it will be like meeting someone I was best friends in high school with but we both moved away after high school and are just catching up as adults.  Pretty sure we’ll have a lot to talk about!

Have a great weekend!