I am slowly getting used to my routine, even though my new job was only three days last week.  My schedule has been so irregular for the longest time, I got used to either being able to stay up late, or having to get up early.  Now I have to go to bed early and get up early!

The train conductor warned regular commuters that Friday was going to be crazy because of the Cubs World Series parade.  I decided to take a train 45 minutes earlier on Friday just to be on the safe side, and that was a good call.  It was standing room only by the time the train came to my station, and I am only three stops from the beginning!  The train left my station at 7:05 and I didn’t make it to Chicago until 8:40.  People were already drinking beers at 7:15 in the morning.  It was so packed that the conductors didn’t even try to take tickets.

5 million

No wonder the trains were so packed – it was estimated that 5 million people attended the parade.  Um, I don’t remember this much hoo ha when the White Sox won the World Series in 2005, but whatevs Open-mouthed smile

The commute home wasn’t that much better – my 5:20 train got me home at 7:15.  A friend of mine was having a Tastefully Simple party at her house, so I hung out there for a couple hours.  I was really hungry because it was just tasting bites of some of their products.  When I got home I had dough in my fridge so, duh, I made pizza Friday night.

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I slept like a baby Saturday and was up around 8. I can’t remember the last time I got up that early on a Saturday!  I had a productive day, did my meal planning, grocery shopping.  I had a few things to get at Sam’s Club and gosh darnit I ate a sample of everything that was offered to me.  I figured by the time I left I had eaten 12 points of “food” for lunch.  Gah.

So Saturday night I fixed this 8 smart point dinner.  Looks fancy, but it literally came together in about 15-20 minutes.  Three ounces of sliced potato on the bottom, then topped with 4 ounces sliced sirloin steak, garlic green beans and topped with a mushroom balsamic glaze.  I just sautéed the mushrooms in a bit of Pam spray, then right when they were done, added a tablespoon of balsamic glaze to make a quick sauce. 

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Yum and yum.  I could literally eat that for dinner every night and never get sick of it.  I was off to bed early Saturday night (well, 11:00 p.m. because of Day Lights Savings) because I was working at The Chopping Block yesterday.  I am still working there part time because it’s my happy place, and being there doesn’t really feel like work.  I brought my own yogurt parfait with granola and ate that while I prepped the recipes for the guests. 

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We did a Company Classics dinner for our guests.  Prime rib, twice baked potatoes, horseradish sauce, homemade dinner rolls and a pear and apple crisp with vanilla bean ice cream.

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I know I’ve mentioned it before, but it’s worth repeating.  The Chopping Block does not skimp on product at all.  This is Certified Angus Beef Prime Rib.  Chef Dawn trimmed the beef into three smaller roasts.  The guests seasoned the meat, seared it in a skillet and then we baked it off until it reached an internal temp of 115 degrees baked at 300 degrees.  Then we cranked up the heat to 500 until it reached 130 so that it could get a nice crispy crust.

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It was cooked to perfection.  Nice amount of fat for flavor, and the crispy crust was to die for.  I may actually make this whole menu for my Christmas dinner!

When I walked into the Merchandise Mart it was the first time that I was there since Halloween, and it was all decked out with holiday decorations already – I kind of have a love hate relationship with that, because you know I am all about my snowmen, but with the temps near 70, it doesn’t feel like the holiday season yet.

And while I need another snowman like I need a hole in the head, I totally want this!

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It’s this puddy that feels like silly puddy from back in the day.  But after a few minutes, it totally melts and then you can rebuild it again!

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It’s okay to buy it if I use my 40% off discount, right?!

Alright, it’s Monday and time to get my stuff together.  My first full week at my new job – wish me luck!  Make it a great day!