Today was such a fun day. It started out with staying all snuggly in bed and hitting snooze 😀 Then, rushing to get ready and out the door. After that though, the fun started with a visit to Frazier Winery, Thai Food, Froyo and a simple dinner. Oh and did I mention it’s Biggest Loser day too!!!!
Breakfast was cooked up, wrapped up and taken to go. I “fried” an egg in nonstick spray with sea salt and pepper then placed it between 2 slices of TJ’s FF Multi-Grain Bread with a little whipped butter.
Then, I forgot to eat my cute mini fuji apple 🙁
Usually an eggy protein combo sticks with me all morning, but, today, I was starving an hour later – hmmm! So, I snacked on a banana from my co-worker ~ YEAH!!!) and a Sargento Reduced Fat Cheese. I LOVE these cheese squares and eat them daily.
The Pumpkin Fudge also called my name this morning ~ so I added some “pumpkin veggies” to my snack 😀 Ok….that is a stretch but at least it’s ALL gone now – phew! It’s honestly TOO good!
Today for lunch, I had to tour Frazier Winery as a possible location for our holiday party. Julia, their event coordinator is awesome! She was so full of information and willing to work around what we need ~ LOVE that!
The “cave” is a working wine barrel/storage center so I had to use my imagination for how it would be decorated for our party. The entry way and tasty room are used for the welcome party.
They would include poinsetta’s all throughout with candles on top of the barrels to light the way.
This is the main dining hall where you can have big LONG tables or round tables. The back wall is a natural lava rock. Can you believe that this room can fit over 165 people.
I’ll be the first to admit I am not a wine connoisseur, but, it was interesting to learn the stories behind each of their wines. I “pretended’ to know what I was talking about with the “ooohhh, tastes fruity”, “nutty”….LOL….I haven’t quite developed a sophisticated wine pallet, but, would LOVE to some day. All 3 red’s I tried were amazing!
After the tour, Julia offered to give me a 1/2 bottle of Merlot to take home. Ok…brace yourself here, I actually thought I was getting a 1/2 bottle of an opened wine….Ooops :D!!! For those who were wondering….they make mini bottles for their 1/2 bottles 🙂 Ha….total, blonde moment!
I could go on for days, but, I LOVE this family owned winery ~ it’s beautiful and the pictures just do not do it justice.
After the tour, we were starving so we headed over to Thai Kitchen. I started with a salad topped with Spicy Peanut Dressing…..LOVE!
I got a dish that is stinky with a funky name ~ Chicken Prik! It was spicy from the red curry and loaded with fresh green beans, carrots and red pepper ~ delish!
I ate all the Chicken Prik with about 3/4 of my rice.
We stopped at Over The Top on our way back for some Froyo. They finally had Fat Free PUMPKIN Froyo!!! I had it mixed with FF vanilla, FF banana and sprinkles! I actually think that the pumpkin tasted like regular pumpkin yogurt would. Banana is STILL my favorite!
I had a SUPER COOL package waiting for me when I got home. It’s not every day that the peeps at Starbuck’s send you samples of their latest FANTASTIC creation ~ VIA instant coffee to try out!!! I am SO EXCITED to try these instant packets.
I think my FAVORITE part is you can add them to HOT or COLD water ~ Instant iced coffee ~ AWESOME!! Reviews coming tomorrow!
Since my brain has been broken for cooking creativity this week, I went for simple and easy.
BAKED CHEESY PENNE RIGATE
14 oz Penne Rigate Pasta
1 lb lean ground beef or turkey
1 onion, chopped
2 garlic cloves, minced
Pinch of crushed red pepper flakes
Garlic Salt & Pepper to taste
1 jar of your favorite pasta sauce
8 oz Shredded Mozzarella Cheese
2 Tbsp Shaved Parmesan Cheese
1. Cook pasta according to packaged directions. Be sure to add salt to the water before it boils as that is the only time to season your pasta.
2. Brown ground beef, onion and garlic until cooked. Add a pinch of crushed red pepper flakes and garlic salt/pepper to taste. Stir in sauce and heat through about 5 minutes.
3. Layer pasta, then sauce, then cheese and bake at 400 for 10-15 minutes or until cheese is melted and bubbly.
Makes 8 BIG servings, 10 points+ each.
I think my tour today made me want to have some red wine in my italian food. So, I went with a Cabernet Rustica sauce from our local market and used a new Ronzoni Smart Taste Pasta that I received last week. I LOVE that they boosted the fiber in this pasta and added enough calcium to equal a glass of milk.
My FAVORITE cheese ~ TILLAMOOK was on sale – yahoo! This was definitely the STAR ingredient to me. Doesn’t cheese make everything taste better?!
Brown up your meat, onion and garlic cloves.
Stir in your spices and sauce. Heat through.
Start out with a full layer of cooked pasta.
Add all the sauce for your next layer.
Top with 2 c shredded mozzarella and shaved parmesan. I LOVE BIG slices of parmesan.
Bake for 15 minutes until the cheese is melted and bubbly.
Enjoy!!!! (This was 1 of The Husband’s pieces).
Garlic bread and pasta belong together. I cooked a loaf of Alexia Buttery Garlic French Bread alongside the pasta.
I was actually not super hungry since I had a bigger lunch. I had 2/3 of a piece and 2 slices of garlic bread.
Salad x’s 2 topped with Trader Joe’s LF Cranberry Walnut Dressing.
Since we had The Husband’s mom over for dinner, I broke out dessert 🙂 I had to partake in 2 Trader Joe’s Almond Windmills….MMMMM, not that I needed any more sweets today but they were so good.
Tomorrow I am off to the dentist in the morning then we are going to Zin’s Valley for lunch to check it out as another Holiday Party location. I really NEED to boost my workouts up to offset all this delicious food I am having lately!
Off to see who is going home on The Biggest Loser…..Can I just say I do not like crazy lady Tracey – She NEEDS to go home already!!! Do you think they keep her there because she adds to good TV since she is not nice? I hope not! Go Jillian’s TEAM!