It Paid to Check the Mail; Recipe Round-Up

How was everyone's week?

When I got home from work Thursday night, Ben was asleep so I couldn't grill him about the parent-teacher conference or ask if Shiloh's diaper-area rash was any better. Friday morning I awoke at 5:30 to see a small rectangle of white light hovering in front of his face as he read his phone. I immediately asked, "So how did the parent-teacher conference go?"

"It could have gone better."


Ben then proceeded relay Isaac's teacher's concerns. None of them were surprising and we need to step up our home involvement with his school work.

"Has Shiloh's rash gotten better?"

"No. It actually looked worse when I put her to be last night."

Double ugh - not even the aroma of coffee is hovering about and already the day's veering toward a bumpy dirt road. Ben got up to take a shower and I dragged myself from the warmth of bed and trudged down to make coffee and commence with the rest of the morning routine. Between when Ben left and before the kids woke up I shuffled down the drive to get the mail. I was looking for a bill from the IRS with a coupon and envelope so I could mail our November re-payment of our tax credit. I extracted the pile of mail and saw an envelope with IRS in the return address corner and sighed with relief. Of course the IRS wouldn't forget to send us the payment coupon!

Inside I dumped the load on the island then pilfered through the flyers and grocery sale ads for any envelopes. There's another one from the US Department of Treasury. A question mark popped over my head as I tried to comprehend what appeared to be a check from the government in my hand that I never filled out any paperwork for. I ripped it open. Two-thousand, one-hundred and ninety-six dollars. My jaw dropped the way Doc Brown's did when his toy car caught fire and then drove into, and ignited, a pile of rags during his experiment showing Marty how he would be sent back to the future.

I found the envelope I saw outside and tore that open. It wasn't a coupon for our next payment, but an explanation of why we're getting this refund AND we don't repay the tax credit. OMG!! 

The cherry on the sundae of this week is that I fit back into my fabulous jeans again!! While I haven't been logging my meals, I have cut way back on my caloric intake and jumped back on my workout calendar. The jeans are still a bit snug, but no longer uncomfortable. I wore them to work on Saturday and as long as no surprise guests come to work and I can indulge in casual Friday, I'll wear them to the office on Friday. Earlier today I went out and started collecting some supplies for a five-day detox diet I'm starting on Monday - my goal is to fit perfectly into those jeans, with no "a bit snug" qualifier.

I promised recipes and a fitness tip and I'm not one to renege! 


A few years ago whilst a resident of Arizona, Best Shopping Bud flew out to Phoenix for work thing. We have a mutual friend who lives in the Phoenix area and they drove out for a visit on a Football Sunday. While I have nothing against a chips and dip type snack, it goes against every fiber of my being to have that as my only offering. I MUST COOK! Cooking isn't always complicated and these Ritzy chicken nuggets are as simple as it gets. BSB loved them and asked for the recipe. Personally I prefer potatoes to fries and these twice baked potatoes are a decadent indulgence! My opinion is they're better without the prosciutto. Too salty. Can you believe I think something is too salty? 


A week ago I made these pork chops and apples. They were awesome - a scrumptious fall plate! It was my second try with this recipe and it was significantly better. Since there are a plethora of flavors in this dish, a simple baked or mashed potato is a great accompaniment. I made twice-backed potatoes with cheddar cheese. For a splash of color and injection of freshness, steamed carrots with butter and chives would be a great addition.


Don't fall victim to the "all or nothing" mentality. Instead implement some moderation. I mean, come on! Everyone needs an indulgence every now and then. Nobody is going to be the paragon of righteous living 100% of the time, every day, of every week until the end of their days; and the surest way to fail is by making anything off limits. In this edition of her show, The Daily Dose, Jillian Michaels offers up some great tips on how to curb your food cravings. One of the best tips is allow yourself three bites of whatever craving is driving you mad, then put it down and walk away for ten minutes. The reasoning is, if you're obsessing over something you can't have, mow down on other, healthy things in an effort to distract yourself and later on you still cave to your craving, you've blown your calorie allowance. Have three bites of the pizza, one cookie, or a couple of French fries and walk away. That way you're still inside your caloric allotment and you don't feel deprived of "the forbidden". If nothing is forbidden then you won't feel deprived.



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