How is it May 1st already?! It seems like once we get to Memorial Day in the blink of an eye it’s Labor day again. It doesn’t feel like May though – or even the end of April for that matter. Temps in the low 40’s, windy and rainy. I’ve had a cough, felt achy lately, so the weather fit my mood, and I tried to get as much rest as I could, while still being somewhat productive to set myself up for a good week. It was nice to finally meal plan, do a grocery store run and meal prep a bit yesterday.
I had help coming up with my menu, while relying on some freezer and pantry items with the help of Weight Watchers. I got this cute package in the mail, with multi-colored napkins, a small cocktail shaker and this note:
Mexican food is probably one of my favorite cuisines – I mean what’s not to like – spicy food, salsas . . . cheese! I have a few recipes to share this week as well – tonight I am making huevos rancheros with Colorado sauce with potatoes with a cilantro/lime/garlic gremolata, for taco Tuesday I am making shrimp tacos, Wednesday is going to be a butternut squash queso fundido (can’t wait for that one!), then making a mock margarita with sparkling water and Weight Watcher’s zero point margarita mix. Then Friday I am going to suggest to my sister that we attempt to go to Xoco for lunch – I am sure Rick Bayless’ restaurant won’t be too crowded on Cinco de Mayo, right?! Although I just saw that you can order online and pick it up, so maybe that will be the route to go.
Speaking of my sister, since we work just blocks from each other and normally spend our lunch time walking, then going back to our offices and eating at our desk, we’ve decided that Friday should be Fun Food Friday! #FFF! We have so many options between a six block radius of each of our offices, but one place that was put high on the list for me was thanks to one of the Chef’s from The Chopping Block that I follow on Instgram – Dawn posted a picture of baked empanadas, and when I clicked on the location and saw Wicker Park, was immediately bummed. Definitely not walking distance during our lunch hour!
But then I checked out 5411 Empanadas website, and as luck would have it, they had a location just three blocks from my office – whoop! Jenn came to my office, scooped me up, and we were on our way.
We each got two savory empanadas, and because the banana and nutella empanada was the 20% empanada of the day, we had to try that too.
My sister is not as adventurous as I am when it comes to food – so she got he plain beef and her second was ham and cheese. I got the bacon, date and goat cheese and the spinach and cheese. I took the first bite of the bacon, date and cheese, and though it was a tad sweet because of the dates. But hold on, they have an amazing chimichurri sauce, and when that got added to the second bite – pure perfection.
And the spinach and cheese was amazing with their “red hot” sauce, which I could have done shots of all on its own.
And let’s also say that the banana nutella empenada was insulin worthy!
These were the perfect size too – about three bites each. Because they are baked they are not greasy at all – super flakey dough. We guestimated that each one would be about 5 smart points, called lunch 15 points and moved on. If you live or work in the Chicago area – highly recommend you check out their website and see if you have a location near you. I guess this place started out as a food truck in 2009, and that was so successful they started brick and mortar restaurants, and are now franchising in other states.
So I had a mix of productivity and lazy. I did mostly computer stuff behind the scenes on the blog, trying to figure out how some of you are not seeing the most recent post on the front page. Also something weird about other peoples information being in the comment section. Paid my bills for the month, turned in my old iPhone to Verizon after clearing out all my stuff to get a $170 credit on my next bill. l haven’t had much of an appetite, so my eats have been a bit sparse. I made a caramel banana shake with Premier Protein – have you guys tried the caramel yet? So good! Saturday was the shake, lunch was chicken noodle soup that I made with the last of the veggies in my fridge, and then later I made pizza bread for dinner with homemade bread. Perfect weather for baking bread – this is a 3 hour baguette recipe, and there is literally hardly any hands on time – the original recipe said to knead the dough for 10 minutes, but I did it just a couple minutes and it turned out fine. I can’t believe it was 5 years ago that I first made it. Made me kind of sad when I read that post, because I talked about Tony and how if he saw any Adam Sandler movie while flipping channels we would always have to watch it to the end no matter how many times he’s seen it.
Sunday morning (well noon!) I ate an egg, turkey sausage and sautéed apples with 1/2 teaspoon of ghee and cinnamon sugar. You guys need to buy that ghee from Trader Joe’s – just 1/2 teaspoon is all you need to get that buttery flavor in each bite. And then I had more soup with a mini grilled cheese sandwich for dinner, which I somehow deleted off my phone. Over the course of the weekend since I only basically left the house to run to the store and get gas, I managed to do all my laundry and put it away. I am feeling a bit better today. I drank a ton of tea over the weekend, which helped.
I was so happy when I saw Shelley’s post a week or so ago about her ordering soap from our blog friend Lori. I bought her soap I think a year ago Christmas, and it lasted me for a long time. The oatmeal one was my favorite because it was a bit “rough” and acted like a loofah sponge in the shower. I’ve been without her soap for a while, and of course always remember when I step into the shower, but immediately forget to order more the second I get out of the shower.
So last Saturday, I finally remembered to reorder! And yesterday finally remembered to take a picture so I can start using the stuff because I wanted to post it before opening them up because they look so pretty.
First off, the soap all smells fantastic. It lasts for a really long time too. I went with my old oatmeal favorite bar soap, and also got sea mist – which is the pretty blue/yellow on on top. I also ordered the rosemary lemon sugar scrub and while she recommends it to exfoliate in the shower, I used it on my face yesterday. Just used about the size of a pea amount, added a bit of water, then spread it on my face and let it sit for five minutes before scrubbing and rinsing it off. My face felt so smooth. She also threw in a few other samples and I love the smell of those too.
Mother’s Day is coming up, so are graduations, wedding showers, etc., so if you are looking for a unique gift to give, you should definitely check out her online shop. I love shopping and supporting small businesses, even if she does live 900 miles from me.
And last, but not least, I am joining my Mom this coming Sunday for a Crop Walk. She’s been in charge of this walk through her church for as long as I can remember, and well, since I am her favorite child, it only makes sense that I walk with her. I am accepting donations online, no amount is too small. You can check out that link here if you’d like.
Now that my office is past the first week of moving in and everything being chaotic, hoping I’ll have time this week to organize my desk and actually get some work done. Our computers were turned off at 3:00 p.m. Friday afternoon so we got to leave work early. My train wasn’t until 3:45 so I made myself a “to do” list to get started on Monday. In just 15 minutes I have about 12 things on my list so far. At least I won’t be bored!
Happy Monday – make it a great day!