It’s so crazy that with 365 days in the year, I have three family birthdays three days in a row!  Today my Mom turns 76 years young.  I started putting a collage together of all the pictures of just me and my Mom, but there were so many the pictures would be so tiny that I decided to just share a few.   Just proving that I am Mom’s favorite again and again.  I am sorry I have to work today and you are busy at the food pantry, but we’ll have fun on Monday!

PicMonkey Collage

It’s hard to believe though that the picture of her holding my twin sister and I? She’s 28 years old in that picture, and I am not 20 years older than she was in the picture!  Where is the time going??!!

Thanks for all your virtual hugs yesterday on Tony’s birthday.  I had planned on calling my parents in law on the way to work, but my bluetooth wasn’t working in the car and then I got busy right away when I got to work.  I texted them and my MIL said that somehow this year was more difficult without him than last year, and I agreed with her.  I cried, then I’d feel okay, then I felt like driving to Dunkin Donuts and eating a dozen donuts by myself.

Instead, I went on a 45 minute walk.  It was over cast, gloomy, but warm.

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I got back and made a bagel sandwich.  My grocery store sells an everything bagel that is only 6 points and 210 calories.  It’s on the small side, but it takes care of the bagel jones I get every once in a while. 

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I was glad it was a work day so I could get my mind off of Tony.  I quickly threw lunch together – I simply added chicken stock to my vodka sauce and made a quick version on lasagna soup and ate that before my shift started.

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It was a private party of only five people, so I wasn’t sure what to expect.  I thought maybe the head chef would prepare all the dishes and I would be on the sidelines, but I took three people, she took two and we split the recipes up.  My two recipes were the roasted potato and fennel potato salad with a Dijon vinaigrette and slivered almonds, and the arugula, avocado, jicama and orange segment salad with pistachio’s and a pistachio vinaigrette.  The Chef made an artichoke and goat cheese focaccia bread, which I seriously cannot wait to make at home, baked chicken that was stuffed with a rosemary butter compound butter and drizzled with a fig balsamic glaze, and cheesecake with a vanilla paste whipped cream.

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Um, turns out there is a book at Merchandise Mart with all the appetizer recipes with instructions.  Either I missed that during one point of my training, or they just forgot to tell me, but it’s nice to know.  I’d already seen the two appetizers so I knew how to prepare them – I also need to make that grilled pesto pizza with heirloom tomatoes and got cheese with fresh basil.  Swoon!

As always, work went by in a flash.  I decided to switch it up and listen to podcasts coming home.  I listened to old podcasts from A Couple Cooks from last fall.  I hadn’t heard of their blog and I must be behind the times, because they have about 52k followers on Instagram!  All I know is that I listened to two podcasts and I was pulling in the driveway.  Nice!

I had 14 points left for dinner, and getting home at 11 p.m. this was about as fancy as I was going to get.  Oh, and I love the dog hair on the table Open-mouthed smile

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Leftover taco meat, chips and wine.  And of course the barely seen bottle of Cholula hot sauce on the side.

It’s another work day for me – yeah!  When have I ever been so excited to go to work?  Well, the answer to that is probably never!  Tonight is a Hands on Class – Wine and Dine.  They are making roasted fig, arugula and goat cheese salad, roasted pork loin with a bacon blueberry compote, corn and chive pudding and an apple pear crisp.  Sounds like an awesome menu to me!

And my first blog post was published today on The Chopping Block’s website.  My ode to Deep Dish Pizza!  You can check it out here – I’d love for you guys to comment on that post. 

I hope you have a wonderful weekend.  I am still waiting for fall temperatures which won’t happen until next week.  High of 68 and lows of 49 – perfect weather for me!

Make it a great day!