Gah, I am having such computer problems lately.  My Mac Book Pro won’t hold a charge even if it’s plugged in all night and it has a new power chord, and my desktop will just shut itself off for no reason.

I am trying to think how old my desktop computer is and it’s probably 10 years old?  I should also maybe get rid of the hundreds, thousands and millions of photos of food I can probably delete and never miss!

I decided to eat a bigger lunch because it was a work day.  It was a cold, windy, crappy Chicago weather day – the perfect day to stay under the covers and watch Netflix all day.  I decided early on that I would take the train to work.  The commute is bad enough but add rain in the mix and it gets even worse. 

The night before last I defrosted a pork chop before ditching that idea and heating up a Home Run Inn pizza.  So that became my lunch yesterday.  Guys, I am officially out of Hardcore Carnivore Black rub

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I bought these pork chops at The Fresh Market a couple weeks ago when they were on sale for $4.99 a pound.  This one cost $3.90.  I trimmed off 7 ounces of meat for my lunch (7 points) shared the rest with the dogs, and had a side of 4 ounces of potatoes and broccoli (3) that I sautéed in 1 teaspoon grapeseed oil (1) and some lemon pepper seasoning.  A delicious and filling 11 smart point lunch.

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The only variable with taking the train is that it only runs on the 30 minute mark – so if I miss the 10:30 train, I have to wait until 11:30 for the next one, and it’s an hour and 15 minute train ride because it makes all the stops to the sticks where I live.

Yesterday’s Pasta Workshop class was a bit clunky to start because of the weather and the traffic for the Cubs game.  Also, two of our guests signed up for and went to the wrong location and didn’t show up until nearly an hour into the class.  The class was supposed to begin at 6 and I don’t think we even started making the pasta until 6:40.  The class only ran until 9, so I kept looking at the clock thinking we were never going to make the timeline.  We were using pasta rollers for the pasta, but actually doing everything else by hand.  That’s what I love about The Chopping Block is that the recipes are geared towards helping you cook at home without any special equipment.  We mixed the dough on the table and you could easily use a rolling pin to roll out the dough.

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The Chopping Block recipe for their fresh pasta dough:  2 cups all-purpose flour, 1/4 cup semolina flour, 3 eggs and 1-2 tablespoons of water.  That’s it.  The only thing I do differently at home is I do add about 1/2 a teaspoon of salt to my dough, and because my counters aren’t that level and the eggs tend to run off my counter, I do use the food processor.  Simply refrigerate the dough for 30 minutes before rolling it out.  Another tip is to put more semolina flour in a cookie sheet, and as you cut the pasta, toss it in the semolina flour so that it doesn’t stick to the other noodles – it will fall off when you boil the pasta.

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We had a head Chef and three Class Assistants for 12 people – more than enough help so the Chef assigned us to each group to make sure that the rolling process went along in a timely manner.  We also made spinach pasta as well – the Chef just mixed fresh spinach and water in a blender, then strained that mixture into a bowl, so instead of using 1-2 tablespoons of water, we used 1-2 tablespoons of the green spinach water to get that color.  So pretty!  We made pappardelle alla bolognese; butternut squash filled tortellini with a sage cream sauce; and spinach fettuccine carbonara.  Can’t wait to make the butternut squash tortellini, but I am leaning towards making them into ravioli.  Maybe with more practice the tortellini will look prettier, but not bad considering no one in our group made fresh pasta before!

I also encouraged the group to put pictures up on Instagram and Facebook and be sure to tag The Chopping Block!

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So the guests sat down maybe 15 minutes after our initial expectation, which worked out well.  Everyone loved the dishes and could confidently see themselves making fresh pasta at home – the whole goal of The Chopping Block!

I ended up making the 10:30 train with 4 minutes to spare – whew!  Hannah dropped me off so she picked me up – thanks Hannah!

I forgot to share my Timehop from two days ago – one year ago was my living room transformation thanks to my good friend Whitney!  You can check out that blog post here.  I still absolutely love it and can’t believe it’s my house sometimes.

And a year ago yesterday, we got Roman!

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I had forgotten how tiny he was when we first got him.  I think even though he is a puppy, that he won’t grow much bigger.  He might be 12-15 pounds?  Smaller than Rummy, but stockier.   They are both sleeping at my feet underneath my desk as I type this.

Another work day today – whoop!  This time an Iron Chef competition with a company for about 45 people.  Each group is presented with a basket of ingredients and has to create three recipes all to be judged by one of the Chef’s on staff that is not working the party – it’s a lot of fun, loud and lively.   And the weather is a bit overcast, but no rain, so I’ll be driving in to work today.

I haven’t gone grocery shopping all week, and the kadults have sustained themselves on Chinese takeout, Portillo’s, and frozen chicken fingers this week.  I really have no idea what is in the fridge and it needs a good deep clean anyway, so that will be one of my chores before work.  Last night when I got home, I just opened the fridge, shut it, and ate cheese and crackers before going to bed.

Hope you make it a great day!