It was a long week at work  last week.  I was pretty spent by Friday night.  The dogs and I snuggled and somehow I stayed up late watching Girls until 1:30 a.m.!  I can’t remember the last time I stayed up that late.  I usually like to go to bed the same time on Friday and Saturday as I do the during the work week.

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Our record temps of 82 on Friday?  I enjoyed for all of about 5 minutes of it.  I worked through lunch, and thought that even though it was a bit misty out, I thought I could maybe grill when I got home?  When I left the office at 5:15 it was 78 degrees.  By the time I got off the train an hour later – 47 degrees –gah!

So Saturday was a great day to take it easy – it was rainy and cold.  I don ‘t know what it is about rainy and cold, but it makes me want to hang out at our local library.

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Have you read any of Ruth Reichl’s books?  She used to be the Editor in Chief of Gourmet Magazine, and this book talks about how she recovered after the magazine shuttered basically without much warning.  She thought her publication would be impervious to reduced subscriptions because it had been around for so long.  But like most of us who find solace in the kitchen, that’s exactly what she did.  Anxious to start reading this one.

If you have Netflix, there is a series called Chef’s Table, and that’s where I first heard of Magnus Nilsson.  I haven’t flipped through this cookbook yet, but just the shear size of it, I am hoping it will be a lot of story telling as well as recipes.  It doesn’t really matter though because I always read cookbooks like fiction book anyway. 😀

I started with NOPI though – I think what drew me to the cookbook was the gold leaf pages.  I was not familiar with this restaurant, not suprisingly because it’s in London.  But Chef Scully has some amazing recipes, and within the first two pages I saw his recipe for a celery root puree with tahini and lemon.  It sounded amazing.

If you are not familiar with celery root, while it has a hint of celery taste, it’s a root vegetable like a potato or turnip.  While the skin may seem really thick, you can easily peel it with a vegetable peeler.  My store sells them for about $1.69 a pound – mine cost about $2 and was 1.2 pounds after peeling.



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I don’t really have a recipe for my pot roast, because I’ve been making it so long.  I bought a 2 pound chuck roast, seasoned with salt and pepper and then seared on both sides in my cast iron skillet.  I added . . . SLICED ONION!  I know, I can hardly believe it.  If Tony were alive he’d be yelling from the kitchen, what smells like ass?!  I took the pot roast out, put carrots and onions in the bottom of the pan, added 1/2 cup red wine, 2 cups beef stock, garlic, put the meat back in, put a lid on it, and baked it at 300 degrees for 3 hours.

Once it was done, I picked out the beef and carrots, then added the onion gravy to a blender, added 1 teaspoon corn starch, blended that, added it back in the pan and brought it to a boil until thickened.  I put the celery root into the WW recipe builder, and each serving came in at 2 smart points.

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Perfect chilly night dinner!

Sunday was my last and final hoorah for my birthday was lunch with my Mom AND my twin sister.  Regular readers will remember that my Mom only spent our birthday with me last week, only proving once again that I am her favorite. Open-mouthed smile

Whenever I go to Oak Park, while I know there are a bazillion places to eat, and new places that pop up, I love going back to The Little Gem Café.   Their burgers are one of the best I’ve ever had.

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Once we heard $5 brunch drinks we all got one – my Mom got a memosa, Jenn got a beer and I got a bloody Mary – I blame my friend Jacky for that one because she posted a picture of her bloody mary on her vacation in New Orleans that looked amazing.  Definitely on my bucket list to visit some day!

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Love, love a place that does a burger medium rare like that – so fricken good!  I ate 3/4 of the burger, about 1/4 of the fries and my blood mary – my guestimate was that lunch set me back about 800 calories.

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And I always have to do a funny pic, which is what we call the “Classic Biz!” picture – ha!  You’re welcome Open-mouthed smile

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It was such a fun lunch!  It was relaxing, and nice to catch up without any interruptions.  We went to Trader Joe’s, then to a local thrift store.  Do you any of you guys remember Feeding Five blog?  She’s a Mom from California who I now follow on Instagram, but she loves thrifting just as much as I do.  Well, I had to send her this text.  I picked up a pair of these Merrell shoes for $10.   Um, they retail for $110!

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I love that I can wear comfortable shoes to work with all the walking around I do at work.  I think each day last week, even on the days that I didn’t get a walk in at lunch, I still got 10k steps.

I actually never ate dinner last night because I was so not hungry.  I prepped for my lunch today and ate a few bits of chips and salsa, but that’s all I was hungry for.

I was at 37 smart points for the day, but just for the heck of it, put in my food into myfitnesspal to see where I was calorie wise:  1219 calories, 102 carbs, 55 fat, 52 protein and 15.5 saturated fat.  I am sure it bumped up the points because of the higher fat day, but interesting to see I only ate around 1200 calories for that amount of points.

This is going to be another busy week at work, so I am gearing up for it.   I’ve come to the conclusion that if I want to get a gym workout in, I may have to do it before work.  Or go straight to my office gym right after work.  It’s just hard because I am on the go from the second I take off my coat, I kind of look forward to the hour train ride home just so I can sit down for a solid hour! 

 Happy birthday to Jacob!!  He’s now 25 too – Hannah likes to rub it in that her fiance is a younger man – by all of 20 days.  Hope you have a wonderful day – we are going out for sushi for dinner tonight to celebrate.  

Make it a great day!