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Posts Tagged ‘entertaining’

bilblcooksI found this recipe in the November issue of Self magazine, and knew I had to give it a try.  I made it tonight for my parents and sister, and they couldn’t stop raving.  The recipe takes a bit of prep, but it’s perfect to make when entertaining, because the actual cooking time is relatively short – less than 20 minutes.  Plus, your guests will be really impressed! It’s a hearty, satisfying meal that is perfect for fall and winter.

Nutrition Info:

portabello nutrition

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(Note: the original recipe called for chicken broth, but I didn’t include it in the dish I made because I didn’t think it needed it).

Preheat oven to 450 degrees.

First, clean the portabello mushrooms and remove the gills and caps.

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Place a piece of parchment paper on a rimmed cookie sheet.  Put mushrooms cap up on the cookie sheet. In a small bowl, combine the olive oil and balsamic vinegar, and brush half of it onto the mushroom caps.

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Bake for 8 minutes.

While the mushrooms are cooking, start sauteeing shallot/garlic/onion mixture with olive oil, salt, and pepper.  Add in rosemary.

2013-11-02 18.44.46 The kitchen will start smelling heavenly at this point.

Add cannelini  beans that have been drained and rinsed, cubed prosciutto, and parsley.  Cook for 5 minutes. Remove mixture from pan and set aside.  Add spinach to skillet and wilt, about a minute.

At this point, the mushrooms will be ready.  Flip them over so you can fill them.  Brush with remaining olive oil/balsamic mixture.  Add spinach.  Then fill with bean/prosciutto mixture.

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Combine panko breadcrumbs and cheese, and divide among mushrooms.

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Coat with olive oil spray and bake for 10 minutes.  The panko breadcrumbs will turn golden and the kitchen will fill with such an amazing aroma that your dinner guests will ask if it’s almost ready.  Tell them it will be worth the wait.

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It’s hard to believe that something that tastes this good and has this much flavor is only 265 calories!

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What a terrific weekend I had! This post may seem a bit scattered, but hey, it’s Sunday, and I don’t have to keep it linear if I don’t want to, right?
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Yesterday I bought myself these gerbera daisies and I am happy each time I look at them. It’s like having a bit of the summer right inside my house. I haven’t done it in a long time, but buying flowers for myself is a simple way that I can enjoy the beauty of time. These were on sale for $3.99/bunch, and so I got 2 arrangements for $8 – a very reasonable price for a week’s worth of happiness, wouldn’t you say?

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This little vase on Lulu’s table makes me smile every time I see it.  I’m going to treat myself to some beautiful bouquets this summer so that I can bring a little joy into everyday.

Today is Father’s Day, and this year my sister and my dad spent the morning just the two of them, rather than our normal, big bbq dinner.  She wanted to make him a special breakfast and spend time one-on-one with him.  She made the most fabulous looking Uova Benedetto (think Eggs Benedict, Italian style: homemade polenta fried, then topped with priscuitto, a poached egg, and pesto sauce).  I thought it was a great way to show my dad how much she appreciates him without spending a ton of money.  And it was right up my dad’s alley – he’s more of a simple pleasures sort of man.  I did get to spend a tiny bit of time with him and wish him a good day.  He and I are going to celebrate Father’s Day and his birthday (which is this weekend) by going to an SF Giants game.  We have amazing seats right behind home plate (I love Stub Hub!).  They were expensive, but my dad is worth every penny, and I know we’re going to have a great day together at the ballpark.  Can’t wait.

Yesterday I had my friend Neeka over for a puppy playdate.  Her cockapoo, Riley, is 5 months old, so he’s the perfect in-between for Sofi and Minnie.  He’s got the full-of-energy puppy giddiness that Sofi loved and he’s the same size as Minnie.  They had an absolutely amazing time together, and I hope we’re able to do it again and again.  (If you want to watch the puppies playing, click here.

The best thing about SBD is that it’s so liveable, even on Phase 1.  Yesterday I served this:

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Now, I ask you, does that seem like “diet food?”  The weather’s been warm here, so this was really light and refreshing.  (I also had pretzels for her, just in case this was a veggie overload). Neeka enjoyed it, and so did I.  It’s so nice to be able to hang out with friends again and not feel like I just have to sit there with a glass of water.  I have a lunch coming up on Tuesday with a friend, and I’m not one bit worried about finding something SBD-friendly to eat.  The pitchers are filled with Crystal Light (iced tea and sunburst grapefruit, respectively).

I have quite a few celebrations coming up – my dad’s birthday, my birthday, 4th of July, and yet I’m not worried about a single one because I know that I can easily incorporate this SBD lifestyle.  Luckily I timed it perfectly, and I’ll be one Phase 2 beginning on my dad’s birthday.  Meaning, I’ll be able to have some fruit and grains (if I want to) as well as up to 2 glasses of wine per day.  I will make sure to amp up the activity around those days, just to counteract the fact that I may indulge in more than 2 glasses of wine.

Speaking of which, I’ve been really bad about activity and I don’t know why that is.  I think part of it is the fact that with Sofi here now, I’m  trying to establish a new morning routine.  Because I always do better if I hit the gym in the morning.  That way, it’s done, and if I get more activity in throughout the day, that’s just a bonus.  So I need to commit to exercising this week, to you guys (for accountability) but to myself as well.  Here’s the plan:

Monday – 9am: Aqua aerobics
Tuesday – 6:30pm: Afro-Belly Boogie
Wednesday – 4pm: swimming with my nieces, which will be more like doggie paddling than anything.
Thursday – OFF.  Giants’ game with my dad.  Although we will be walking several city blocks from the train station to the ballpark and vice versa.
Friday – 9am: Aqua
Saturday – 10am: Zumba

Then next week I want to begin introducing weight training into the mix.  I’m thinking that if I get their 30-40 minutes before the classes start, I can do a circuit and then do the cardio.  Because I know that most of the time after the cardio workouts, all I want to do is recover and rest at home.

This afternoon my sister and I were talking and she started asking me all about SBD.  I think she’s seeing how easy it is for me to follow it, and so she’s been inspired. 🙂  She’s going to start tomorrow!  It’s going to be nice to have someone to do it with who lives right next door.  My sister said she wants to lose about 80 pounds, and when we crunched some numbers, she could very conceivably lose the weight by April.  I’m so happy that she’s starting to put herself first.  She’s really blossoming lately – she had her hair done the other day, had her curls blown out for the first time ever, and is starting to wear really cute outfits to work.  I think the heaviness has lifted and now that her divorce will be finalized soon, she’s feeling happier.  I’m so glad for her.

I’ll end the post on a really positive note…this morning I peeked at the scale and I’ve lost a very impressive amount of weight this week! 5.8 lbs since beginning SBD last Monday!  Wednesday’s weigh in should be great.

How was your weekend? What was the highlight?

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