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Licking the air…and other things I do at work

24 Apr

I recently read somewhere that you should eat natural peanut butter over Jif or Skippy. The reasons went something along the lines that Jif/Skippy peanut butter is processed, has lots of stuff added to it and isn’t close to it’s natural state. And then I think I read that you’ll lose weight if you eat the natural peanut butter or something like that. I don’t know…I read too much crap apparently. Whatever I read, I got it into my head that I should try Almond Butter or the No Stir Peanut Butter we have in the fridge at work. Oh. boy.

So first I started with the Almond Butter. There was a layer of oil on the top like two inches deep. I started to stir it and promptly broke the plastic spoon I was using. Fine…metal spoon it is. Promptly bent metal spoon I was using in half. So then I thought to myself, “Screw it…just use the No Stir Peanut Butter instead. So I grab the jar and a new spoon and it’s HARD AS A ROCK. For real…I didn’t need a spoon…I  needed a chisel and hammer. So now I have two jars of “butter” open and all I want is a tablespoon of peanut butter dammit! Then, I come to this realization:

I have been trying for almost 10 minutes to get peanut butter out of jar and have yet to succeed. No wonder they think it’s better for me…I’ve burned more calories trying to get the stuff out than I’ll eat when I finally do get it out.

I think I eeked out about a teaspoon of peanut to eat with my apple. When I finally got around to eating it, it was so thick that it’s been stuck on the back of my tongue for 20 minutes or so. Seriously…you ever given a dog peanut butter? That’s what I look like right now. A dog. Eating peanut butter. Licking at the air.

And yes, I do realize that I just called myself a dog. And for the record…I’m sticking with Jif or Skippy going forward.

P.S. For those of you expecting something more exciting after my 6 month hiatus…I’m sorry.

I’m Going to Karate Chop Someone

28 Oct

Normally I try to be all Zen-like toward people. Today is not a normal day. I gave up meat. Shut it…I don’t judge you for eating it, don’t judge me for not eating it. I just don’t like it that much. Except bacon. But bacon is not a meat. It’s so awesome it’s like it’s own planet.

So, this week I stop at the store and buy carrots and hummus because let’s be honest, if I’m giving up beef jerky I have to have some sort of snack. On Monday I put it in the fridge at work with my name on it in black permanent marker. I was out of the office on Wednesday. When I came back I had five carrots left. FIVE!!! Clearly I wasn’t even in the office to eat them and I would kind of remember eating a WHOLE BAG OF CARROTS (minus the five leftover for me). So I was kind of pissed, but thought, “Maybe someone just didn’t see my name on the bag. It happens.”

This morning I go to get my last five carrots, a few crackers and some hummus and this time…SOMEBODY ATE MY DAMN HUMMUS!!!! This is no mistake. I am being targeted for my food. I know it…I can feel it in my bones. So, I’ve come up with some ideas for handling this:

  1. Leave a note that says, “You’re an asshole. Love, Janice”
  2. Leave a note that says, “You owe me $7.82”
  3. Leave a note that says, “Hope you enjoyed my carrots and hummus. P.S. I double-dip like a mo-fo”
  4. Leave a note that says, “P.P.S. My daughter has the croup and I let her lick all the carrots.”
  5. Hide in the fridge and when they open it explode out and yell, “Caught ya sucker!”
  6. Put some eye drops in the hummus and see who spends the most time in the restroom next week.

Or I could just do this:

The Excuse I’m Using for Not Cooking

19 Aug

So I cooked our first meal in our new home on Sunday. It might have been our last. You see, I used the oven to make garlic bread. Simple enough. Except that now the oven has stopped working…no power to it whatsoever. It’s so dead that the clock isn’t even working. And don’t ask me if I checked to make sure the power was on…I did jerks. Don’t try to offer me a hug either. I’m good. I purchased a home warranty plan when we bought the house. I worry about everything and this time my worrying paid off. Maybe.

I called the warranty company last night…they took down my info and we have an appointment scheduled for a company to come out and look at it on Saturday. It’s an old oven and I would be lying if I said I really hope they can fix it. I don’t. I hope that oven is so broke we need a new one. I’ve even thought about suggesting to Mike to go in there and break it really good but to not make it look like we broke it really good so that we could get a new oven. But I won’t…because I’d feel guilty. That whole thing I say about doing the right thing, even when nobody is looking…I really do live by it. Plus I believe in karma. I also believe that anything you do comes back three-fold…good or bad. So I’m just going to hope that I did something good enough to get a new oven. Otherwise I won’t be able to cook and my family will starve. That last part’s a lie…if you know anything about me, you know I can use a microwave like nobody’s business.

Dear Oven God, please send me a new oven. Love, Janice

Holy mother of God…how do I recall an email?

22 Jun

So when I had Ava, I dropped most of the weight pretty quickly. I am not ashamed to admit I gained 45 pounds during pregnancy. I spent the pretty much all day of the first four months of pregnancy hugging the toilet. So the next 5 months I ate everything in sight. And I don’t mean fruit and salad…I ate nachos, cheeseburgers, cookies and I might have eaten an entire apple pie one night. Go ahead and judge me suckers…I was HUNGRY!!!!!

So I lost 10 pounds the first four months I was pregnant and gained 45 total so that left me with 35 to lose. The first 20 came off no problem. The last 15 would not budge. I breastfed, which didn’t magically make the weight disappear like it did for my lucky friends. So when Ava was 6 months old, I talked Mike into doing Nutrisystem with me.

We get our one month food supply in the mail and read all the directions about what to eat when…blah, blah, blah. In the directions they suggest taking a “BEFORE” picture. Me being the type A personality I am, I throw on a black bikini and tell Mike to take my picture. Let me tell you, it wasn’t pretty…it just wasn’t. I had this “bite me” look on my face…I wasn’t happy about taking this picture. It was a total blow to the self-esteem. But I thought whatever…I’m going to look good in 3 months…this weight is coming off.

Anyway…fast forward a few weeks. In my “I’m not getting enough sleep” haze, I downloaded all the pictures off of our camera and uploaded them to Shutterfly. I “share” Ava’s Month 6 album with everyone in my address book. A day or two goes by and by this point alot of people had written back commenting on how cute Ava is and how much she’s growing. AND THEN…my cousin-in-law sends me an email and is all, “Nice pic of you in your bikini!”


Yes. I sent my “before” picture out to all my friends and family. It doesn’t get much more awesome than that. Can you imagine the people who I didn’t get a chance to explain the “before” picture too???? I bet they were thinking, “Why the hell did Janice send a picture of herself, in a bikini, standing in her house?” They had to know it was a “before” picture, right?

If It Weren’t for Bacon…

10 Jun

If it weren’t for bacon, I would be a few things. Namely, a hell of alot thinner than I am. Yesterday we had catered lunches here at work and the most fantastic cobb salad with gobbs of bacon in it. If you haven’t figured it out yet…I have a thing for bacon, which I’ve talked about here. I’m ashamed to admit how many pieces I pulled out of the salad…it’s atrocious.

Also, if it weren’t for bacon I’d be a vegetarian. 100%. Not because I’m an animal rights activist, although I believe in animal rights. I’d be a vegetarian because I really just don’t like meat. I don’t. If I’m eating meat and I start thinking it about having been a living thing at one point, I literally can’t swallow another bite. There is a part of my brain that says, “You are eating something else’s flesh…spit it out. Now.” My brain doesn’t work that way with bacon…I guess it’s cool if I’m just eating something else’s fat. It’ all like, “Mmmm fat…we’re totally diggin this!”

Now I’m not some new age, tree-hugging hippie that eats organic and sits in drum circles…that will never be me. Although I’m cool with people who are. However, I’m now addicted to tofu. For.Real. I love it…can’t get enought of it. I’ll admit the first few times I had it, I wasn’t so sure about it. The texture was off but then my brain was like, “Awesome…we’re not eating flesh. Continue!” And truly I started eating tofu because there’s not a whole lot of choices when you don’t eat meat and I can’t eat pasta for every meal. Wow…I can’t believe I just said that…I love pasta. But I needed protein and thought I’d give it a shot.

And I know…you’re all thinking, “TOFU!!! YUCK!!!” I think Mike was totally thinking that too, but when I cook dinner, you get what I make. I grew up in a house where there was only one dinner made and if you were hungry enough, you ate it. If not…tough shit…you went to bed hungry. So now that I’ve forced tofu on Mike, he’s actually diggin it too, which I’m completely shocked by. Anyway…I wanted to share my super yummy recipe I made last night in case any of you decide to give it a whirl. I know…I know…good luck, right? 296 calories per serving…does that help?

Chili-Glazed Tofu over Asparagus and Rice

4 cups water
1 (3 1/2-ounce) bag boil-in-bag long-grain rice
2 1/4 cups chopped asparagus (about 1 pound)
1 tablespoon peanut oil
1 tablespoon sugar
2 tablespoons rice vinegar
2 tablespoons low-sodium soy sauce
1 teaspoon bottled minced ginger
1 teaspoon hot chili sauce with garlic (such as KA·ME)
1 pound extrafirm tofu, drained and cut lengthwise into 9 pieces
1 teaspoon salt, divided
1/4 teaspoon black pepper
3/4 cup preshredded carrot
1 teaspoon dark sesame oil


Bring 4 cups water to a boil in a 2-quart saucepan. Add bag of rice, submerging bag completely in water. Boil 10 minutes. Carefully remove bag from pan, leaving boiling water in pan. Add asparagus to pan; cook 1 minute. Drain.
While rice cooks, heat peanut oil in a large nonstick skillet over medium-high heat. Combine sugar, vinegar, soy sauce, ginger, and chili sauce in a small bowl. Sprinkle tofu with 1/2 teaspoon salt and pepper. Add tofu to pan; cook 3 minutes on each side or until browned. Add soy sauce mixture; cook 20 seconds, stirring constantly. Remove from heat. Combine rice, asparagus, 1/2 teaspoon salt, carrot, and sesame oil. Serve tofu over rice.
Nutritional Information
Calories:296 (26% from fat)
Fat:8.4g (sat 1.1g,mono 2.8g,poly 2.3g)

Dalla Mia Cucina al Vostro

25 May

I have no idea if that translation is correct…I have a 3rd generation Italian husband but unfortunately, when his grandparents came over from Italy, it was looked down upon to be Italian here in the good ole US of A. So instead of speaking Italian, they spoke only English and when they did speak Italian it was to talk over the kids’ heads. So now I have to rely on to translate for me. True story.

So it’s supposed to translate to “From My Kitchen to Yours” and the only part I’m sure is correct is “cucina.” I’ve been to Olive Garden enough times to know that. On a side note, if you eat at the Olive Garden you have to get the boat of alfredo sauce to dip your breadsticks in. And my best advice is not to share it with anyone else…for real. It’s the only time I’m totally okay with being rude to everyone else at the table. I may even announce it when we’re ordering that if anyone wants alfredo sauce they may want to order it. And someone always says, “I’ll just have some of yours.” And I say, “Actually…you won’t.” Everyone laughs so I then have to say, “No…I’m not joking.” I’m almost positive they put something in it because I’ll share my brownie with you before I’ll let you touch my alfredo sauce.

Wow…I think I need to get checked for ADD or something because here I am in the 3rd paragraph and none of you have any idea what the hell I’m talking about or why I needed that translation. Soooooo…every now and then I cook something up that is insanely delicious and super easy. For all my friends out there who find it hard to get dinner on the table in under 15 minutes, you HAVE to try this recipe. Extra bonus is it’s 264 calories per serving. No joke. Make it. Eat it. You’re welcome!

Italian Eggs Over Spinach and Polenta
4 servings

1 (16 oz) tube of polenta, cut into 12 slices
Cooking spray (I used olive oil spray because Pam spray tastes like fish. Don’t believe me? Spray it in your mouth and let me know.)
2 cups fat-free tomato basil pasta sauce
1 (6 oz) package fresh baby spinach
4 large eggs
1/2 cup shredded Asiago cheese

Preheat broiler.

Arrange polenta slices on a baking sheet coated with cooking spray. Coat tops of polenta with cooking spray. Broil 3 minutes or until thoroughly heated. (Because my oven sucks, it took me 10 minutes of broiling).

While polenta heats, bring sauce to a simmer in a large nonstick skillet over medium-high heat. Stir in spinach; cover and cook for 1 minute or until spinach wilts. Stir to combine. Make 4 indentations in top of spinach mixture. Break 1 egg into each indentation. Cover, reduced heat, and simmer for 5 minutes or until eggs are desired degree of goodness…haha…meant to type “doneness” but thought the slip was hilarious. Goodness…doneness…who cares!!! Sprinkle with cheese. Place 3 polenta slices on each plate; top each serving with 1/4 spinach mixture and 1 egg.

Nutritional Info (because I’m bored)
Calories 264
Fat 8.8 grams
Carbs 29.4 grams
Protein 15.4 grams

I know you all really appreciate the preciseness of the grams.



18 May

I have a big problem with unsolicited advice. I do. Most of the time I just let it roll off my back because people are entitled to opinions and God knows everyone has one when it comes to parenting. I’m not even sure where this particular rant is coming from. But what I can’t stand more than unsolicited advice is people who have not yet experienced something and then want to tell you how they would handle it. Ummm, no. I’m not saying you have to go through something to understand it, or be empathetic about it. But the advice from inexperienced people is devoid of emotional involvement. It’s also devoid of trial and error.

Oh I remember the judgemental days before I got pregnant and how I would sit back and watch pregnant women and make my lists of everything they weren’t doing right. Because I knew better than them right? Having gone throught it myself…oh wait…that’s right…I wasn’t pregnant yet. But I remember the moments where I’d see a pregnant woman eating sushi. Off with her head!!! How can she put her baby at risk like that? Wow…just remembering that makes me want to smack the shit out of myself. Oh and I was only going to gain 25 lbs because I was going to have self control. Again…experience reminds me that there is no self-control when the only thing your unborn daughter wants is chili-cheese fries from Del Taco and a jar of Nutella. I swear you guys…it had to specifically be Del Taco chili-cheese fries or I was going to pay in ways that I won’t share.

Oh and then came the days when people I knew had babies and I judged them. Yup…sure did. Co-sleeping??? Do you want to kill your child???? I would NEVER do that!!! Cry-it-out method…that’s the only way to go!!! You’re not breastfeeding??? How could you not want what’s best for your child??? You were an emotional wreck the first few weeks??? Wow, I would never be so sad after having a baby!!! Oh boy…if anyone out there wants to smack me right now, I know exactly how you feel. Again…overcome with the urge to smack myself. I’m just being honest here. I was so, so, so judgemental because I was devoid of emotional involvment and I had not yet experienced it.

Becoming a parent is a very humbling experience. That’s the best word I can use to describe it. I felt like a complete asshole for all the horrible judgement I passed on people. Because in hindsight, I had zero knowledge or experience in dealing with what they were dealing with. And I guess that’s my point. It is so much easier to judge someone for something when you’ve never experienced it yourself and when you’re not involved emotionally. There are alot of times in my life when I’ve judged people for things and looking back, I wish that I’d been a little more compassionate…a litttle less narrow-minded that my way was the right way. I probably could have learned alot from the people I was passing judgement on. And really, that’s a big part of parenting. You collectively share knowledge about what works for you, what doesn’t and your friends do the same. And at the end of it, you take with you what might work and leave behind what won’t.

**Proof reading this I mistyped and apparently Ava craved chili-cheese FRIENDS. Oh dear!


20 Apr

I love bacon…no really…I don’t think you understand. I. LOVE. BACON. I absolutely cannot cook bacon in the house because there is no way I can not eat every piece I cook and this usually means I eat so much (some might say a pound, but why bother counting) that I can actually feel my blood pressure go up. I’m not kidding. I love bacon so much that my dad tells me on Sunday, “I have a present for you.” I show up and he gives me two jars of bacon salt. Yep…you read that right, bacon salt. It was fantastic on my salad. And the best part is it’s low sodium. I don’t know how they do it folks but man, it’s awesome. And I thought it was the best invention ever until I got this picture in my email this morning. That should give you an idea of how much I love bacon. When friends email you bacon things perhaps it means you have a problem…I dunno. But this picture really throws me for a loop. I’m not sure which is better, the bacon salt or the bacon pancakes. Perhaps, I will make this and then put some bacon salt on it. Either way, I know what’s for breakfast Saturday morning…

My Father’s Daughter

7 Apr

I tease my dad quite a bit about his forgetfulness. He forgets alot but that’s my dad. Recently I realized the apple doesn’t fall far from the tree. So I have this recipe for this beef stew in the crockpot but it’s not your run of the mill recipe, although simple. So last Thursday I decided I was going to throw it all in the crockpot on Friday. I called Mike and told him I forgot to get mushrooms and asked if he could go out and get them. He did…yay for husband!

So I took the stew meat out of the freezer Thursday night to defrost. I told myself, “Self, do not forget to put it back in the fridge before you go to bed.” The next morning Mike says, “Well, so much for dinner. You left the stew meat out last night” No yay for wife. So now we have mushrooms and no meat.

Monday night on my way home I stop at Costco and get more stew meat. I WILL make this stew. I will, I will. I get up Tuesday morning, pull the crockpot out, start gathering all my ingredients:

Stew meat – check
Mushrooms – check
1/2 cup red wine – check
Soup Mix – crap
Cream of mushroom soup – really, Janice????

Now I’m irritated. I grab the recipe page to stick it in my purse so I won’t forget any ingredients at the store, grab Ava’s juice and realize I need to get her some breakfast before heading downstairs. I set everything down, get her cereal and head downstairs. I take Ava to school, drive into work and decide to swing by Ralphs to get the missing items. I reach in my purse to grab the recipe page and it’s not there!!! I left the stupid thing on the counter. Confident that I can remember the two items I needed, I head into Ralphs and grab, are you ready for this, mushrooms and soup mix.

Fast forward to this morning. I’m confident I have everything I need so I don’t bother gathering before starting. I throw the meat, wine, mushrooms, and soup mix into the crockpot and go to grab the cream of mushroom soup and then it hits me. I didn’t buy cream of mushroom soup…I grabbed MORE FLIPPING MUSHROOMS!!! What is wrong with me?????

So now it’s 6:15 in the morning. I have 10 minutes before I get Ava up for school and I’m googling how to make cream of mushroom soup from scratch because I don’t have cream of anything soup in the house!!! Luckily, it’s not as hard as it sounds to make and I finished making homemade soup by 6:30. Now let’s just hope I remembered to turn the crockpot on before leaving the house…

Death By Bacon

30 Mar

My friend Jenny turned me on to this blog called The Blogess. The Blogess is really funny and she has an advice column, which cracks me up. Today I read this on her site:

Dear Bloggess: Yesterday, I met the world’s fattest cat. Like, my cat is pretty damn fat, and this cat made my cat look bulamerxic. (A mix of anorexic and bulimic.) Anyway, the owner is my boyfriend’s dad’s girlfriend and she is insane. She was feeding this cat bacon. BACON. How do I save this poor unfortunate feline? ~ CatActivist123

I appreciate your initiative but no one wants to be saved from bacon. Even cats. In fact, I would suspect that most cats would prefer death-by-bacon over death-by-being-hit-by-a-car or death-by-euthanasia-because-I-wouldn’t-stop-peeing-on-the-couch. In fact, death-by-bacon sounds like an awesome way to go. Now I’m craving a bacon sandwich. Except the bread would be made of bacon. And the mayonnaise is mixed with bacon bits. And it’s wrapped up in a napkin. Made of bacon. Mmmmm…bacon.

She pretty much sums up how I feel about bacon. I could totally become a vegetarian if it wasn’t for my love affair with bacon.