I am definitely going to the grocery store today, but I sometimes love coming up with meals using what I have on hand.  And 9/10 I can always find something to make even when it feels like the fridge is empty.

Last Friday I made this sausage and broccoli frittata.  I had two lone links of spicy Italian sausage, egg beaters that I bought a couple weeks ago that got shoved to the back of the fridge and I forgot was there, and some sad looking broccoli that was on it’s last legs.

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Friday night I had so much fun because I got to work outside for a grill class.  It was a small class – only five people and me and the Chef.  We can either do a chef app for class, or make our signature popcorn.  We normally make our popcorn with truffle salt, but because this was a grilling class, I decided to make a BBQ popcorn.  I mixed together ground mustard, smoked paprika, a bit of chipotle powder for some heat and salt.  It turned out really good!

PicMonkey Collage - grill

It was a bit chilly outside, but we turned on the pizza oven (can’t wait to make a pizza in that!) and the gas grills and Big Green Egg going, so it was toasty.  We made peppercorn and bacon burgers with a garlic aioli.  Swoon!  As usual, the night went by really fast and I got to work with one of my favorite chef’s Jason.

I didn’t have to work Saturday so it was a bit of a lazy morning.  Still working with leftovers, I had pizza dough that had been in the fridge for just about a week, so it was all nice and stinky.  I love using pizza dough that’s been in the fridge for days – such a depth of flavor.  2 ounces of dough (5) 2 ounces of leftover grilled chuck roast (2) one ounce part skim mozzarella cheese (2) and an egg on top (2).  Baked on my Baking Steel, this cooked in about 10 minutes, then I finished it off under the broiler because I don’t like a runny egg.  Ew. 

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I was trying to figure out what to make for dinner when my niece called and said she and her husband and kids were nearby and wanted to know if we would like to meet up for a bite to eat.  Yes please!  This is Tony’s nephew Bob and his wife Izzy, so technically my step-nephew and niece, but whatevs.  Their kids are adorable – they just moved back into town a few months back so I am hoping I’ll get to babysit these kids soon.

PicMonkey Collage - HB

It’s only the second time I’ve met Hazel, and she’s absolutely adorable.  Sat in her little high chair for 90 minutes and never fussed once.  And long time readers may notice . . . my tiny ponytail is back! It makes me laugh to see this – because we all know as soon as it gets long enough to put into a pony tail, that’s all that’s happening.  Although it is nice to have my hair back when I work.  We’ll see how it goes.

Our weather has been absolutely amazing – mid 50’s, sunny and obviously no humidity.  Yesterday it was 65 when I went on my walk – the sun felt so good.  I know you can’t tell, but I did hill climbs yesterday – once you get to the end of this road, it’s almost a complete vertical drop.

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I wasn’t originally schedule to work on Sunday either, but after back and forth of me maybe working all day at Merchandise Mart, to maybe doing a morning class at Lincoln Square, I was ultimately scheduled for a class last night.  Normally I get the recipe packets in advance, but all I knew was that it was going to be a soup and bread class – um, basically my two favorite things to make!

It was another small class – I was working with Chef Lisa and she’s super funny and full of energy and likes to talk a lot – love.   She asked me to make a Chef app in place of popcorn, so I went to the Chef app bin and saw a container of mascarpone cheese, a half bag of radishes, and basil.  So a radish crostini was born!  I sliced a baguette and baked them off at 400 degrees for 8 minutes.  While those baked, I mixed the mascarpone cheese with a bit of honey and salt.  I sliced the radishes and marinated them in a bit of olive oil, lemon juice, lemon zest, salt and pepper, then put it all together once the crostini cooled.  Then topped with a bit of basil for some color.  These were light since we were having sausage and shrimp gumbo and broccoli cheddar cheese which are both on the heavier side.

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I mentioned on Instagram that I was going to share the bread bowl recipe, but I am actually recreating the recipe today for dinner tonight along with the gumbo, which I’ll be posting tomorrow.  This picture doesn’t give the bread bowls any justice:

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And I’ll take better pictures of this gumbo which had such a depth of flavor.  I am going to reduce the amount of butter the recipe calls for because it calls for a whole stick of butter.  I’ll probably reduce that to 4 tablespoons.

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And I’ll leave the okra out because it’s a nasty vegetable.  I’ll only eat it if it’s pickled or deep fat fried.


I’ve got to give a big shout out to my blog friend Aimee who did great at the Chicago Marathon yesterday (you can check out her recap here).  So while she was up bright and early to get her game face on, I slept in until 9:00 and started watching the t.v. coverage on my DVR while still in my pajamas and drinking coffee!   She finished in 4:34, which is an awesome time if you ask me.  It looks like her average mile pace was around 10:30 a mile, which is awesome – so proud of you Aimee!  Wish I had $179 to spare to buy your proofs online! Open-mouthed smile

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I have a bunch of stuff on my to do list today – we’ll see if they all get done.  If not, no worries!  But grocery shopping for sure.  And walking outside because it’s sunny and 65 degrees.  And making gumbo.  And bread bowls.  And getting Tony’s car tested for emissions.  And maybe laundry?

I better get this show on the road – make it a great day!