Yesterday was one of those perfect weather days that makes you love living in Chicago.  Of course, next week there could be frost on the ground, but I’ll take 70 degrees and sunny in October any day of the week.  I made a quick egg white omelet with baby spinach, 50% reduced fat Cabot cheese, three slices of turkey bacon and honeycrisp apples, for a 6 point breakfast.

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I planned on making a sandwich to bring with me on the drive to work, but the low carb tortillas went bad.  I couldn’t think of anything else to make last minute, so I picked up Jimmy John’s on the way to work.  The WW app says that it’s 13 points, but that’s with mayo on it, so I am counting the whole thing as 10 points.  I got a bag of baked Lay’s (8 points) and ate half the sandwich and chips on my way to work, and the second half of the sandwich and chips on my way home – so lunch and dinner came in at 9 points each.   I am really going to try hard to keep track of all my eats – which is especially hard when you work at a cooking school with a lot of food around.  I ate about 2 ounces of New York strip that no one wanted to take home for 2 points, so actually came in at 26 points out of 30 for the day.  Um, that hasn’t happened in a long time.  Um, turns out if someone offers me food at work I can say no!

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I got to work about 30 minutes early, so decided to get my walking shoes on.  The neighborhood around Lincoln Square is really nice.  This one particular block a few blocks from my work nearly every house was decorated with Halloween decorations.

PicMonkey Collage - halloween

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Another area that needs attention is my hydration.  Having a desk job made it really easy to drink all day because my water glass was always on my desk within easy reach.  I brought my new WW bottle to work and am happy to say I refilled it three times during my shift.

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Okay, question for the peeps out there that do Instagram stories.  I tried to make my first one last night.  I did a quick video of the Big Green Egg, then pictures of the different stuff we were going to make.  After each “segment” I saved it, thinking that it would string them together once I clicked the check box to post, but only the last thing I saved actually went to my story.  Help!  I am so not technical Open-mouthed smile

PicMonkey Collage - grill

Shelley, I know you’ll be happy that I added a snapchat pic of myself!  We made bacon and chive buttered New York strip steaks; Greek burgers with homemade tzatziki sauce; a grilled corn and green bean succotash;  a cilantro-mint chutney that was a dipping sauce for these delicious Ginger and Cumin Spiced Beef and Pineapple Kebobs.   Recipe courtesy of The Chopping Block

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We had a great group of students eager to learn not only how to grill but to know when meat is actually cooked through.  The Chopping Block has a super easy cheat sheet for temps on various meats:

  • Beef and Lamb (steaks and roasts)  Medium Rare: 125;  Medium: 135  Well: 160
  • Ground Beef:  160
  • Pork and Veal: 135 – 140
  • Chicken/Turkey Breast: 155
  • Chicken/Turkey Thigh: 165

When I first started cooking I nearly always erred on the side of caution, and would invariable overcook every meat I tried to cook.  Or I would do the complete opposite and pull a roasted chicken off the grill, only to cut it open and it would be nearly raw by the bone.  If you want to learn how to cook meat to the perfect temp – invest in a meat thermometer.  They have digital ones that are only about $10 (use a BB&B 20% coupon!).  Also note that there is residual cooking once it comes off the grill – adding an additional 5-10 degrees after your meat comes off the grill.  So if you want a medium rare steak, pull your steak off at 115 – and it will be perfect.  If you were to pull it at 125 it would be medium by the time you cut into it.

Also – another tip – never put cold meat on your grill.  I am sure I’ve talked about this before, but I normally take any burgers, steaks, roasts out at least an hour before they hit the grill.  If you take a 36 degree piece of meat and place it on a 350 degree grill, the meat will not cook evenly.

I think the students left the class last night with newfound inspiration to grill more at home and be confident with the results.

It’s another work day for me – whoop!  But at the Merchandise Mart, so I can take the train and watch Netflix instead of drive.  I don’t mind driving, but it’s a nice break.

Now off to figure out how to repurpose some of those kebobs above for my breakfast this morning – go beef!

Make it a great day!