A Surprisingly Good Burger

As soon as I got back to Colorado, I hit SuperTarget to get some veggies and whatnot.  

Keep in mind, I didn’t buy this… but since when did they sell Red Velvet Chocolate Milk???



As you can tell, I was still craving bad food from my weekend in Ohio.  And, I kinda wanted a burger.  I knew that I couldn’t continue eating like this… so, I thought I’d try something new.

Boca Burger

I recognize that I’m probably the last person in America to try the Boca Burger, but I reaaaaalllly like them.  I was in Target a few weeks ago and tried a sample of the burger and was pleasantly surprised!  The sampling lady suggested that I try the Flame-Grilled version for best flavor, and that’s exactly what I picked up!

I defrosted the burger in the microwave and then cooked it on my grill pan.  I’d love to try it on the grill, but it’s chilly out tonight so that will have to wait for another night!

I also toasted a Wonder Bread 80 Calorie Whole Wheat Bun on the grill pan.  When the burger was done, I added some ketchup and onions.  SO DELISH!


I paired this delicious dinner with a really yummy garden salad.  Have you tried Marzetti’s Light Balsalmic salad dressing?  It’s 50 calories for 2 Tbsp and is found in the refrigerated dressing section.  TRY IT!


I ate this burger on Saturday and Sunday nights and could seriously eat it again tonight if I wasn’t on the road.  200 calories for the burger and bun.  Such a tasty dinner!  I definitely recommend it!

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Veggie Appetizer Pizza

When my brother called to tell my aunt that there was an additional 5 people that would be coming to Thanksgiving dinner, he asked what we could bring.  My aunt told him not to worry about bringing anything, that she was just happy to have us.  Keep in mind, she was hosting more than 15 people for dinner on Thursday!!

That being said, Beth and I decided that we just had to come up with something to bring.  Because there’s not much you can make at the Holiday Inn, we swung by my grandfather’s house early to whip up some appetizers.

Beth chose to make Sausage Balls, which is always a crowd favorite.  My choice was an attempt to bring something healthy and impressive – - My favorite Veggie Appetizer Pizza!

Because we were strapped for time, I bought one of those veggie bags that has cauliflower, broccoli, and carrots in it.  Beth spotted it in the store – - Brilliant!  I also bought some scallions and a tomato to add a little more color.

Veggie Appetizer Pizza

Makes 24 pieces
INGREDIENTS
8 oz. reduced fat cream cheese, softened
1/2 cup reduced fat sour cream 
2 cans Reduced Fat Crescent Rolls
1 packet dressing mix – Ranch or Italian

For the Toppings
Use a combination of any or all of the following:
Cauliflower
Carrots
Yellow Pepper
Scallion
Cucumber
Tomato
Broccoli

INSTRUCTIONS

1.  Preheat oven to 375 degrees.

2.  Unroll both cans of dough; separate dough into 4 long rectangles and connect them into a sheet. In ungreased 15x10x1-inch pan, place dough; press in bottom and up sides to form crust.

3.  Bake 13 to 17 minutes or until golden brown. Cool completely, about 30 minutes.

4.  In small bowl, mix cream cheese, sour cream, and dressing mix until smooth.  Spread over crust. Top with chopped vegetables.

5.  Serve immediately, or cover and refrigerate 1 to 2 hours before serving. Cut into 3 columns and 4 rows.  Cut each square on the diagonal to create pizza-like wedges.

ENJOY!!!

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I Survived Thanksgiving!

I had SUCH a great few days in Ohio.  Last time I visited Ohio, it was for my grandmother’s funeral two and a half years ago.  I can’t even tell you how nice it was to be home.

As my previous post mentioned, I was a little nervous about traveling on the BUSIEST TRAVEL DAY OF THE YEAR.  I was able to easily get on the earlier flight on Wednesday, and then I arrived at the airport to find this.

Denver International Airport Security – The Day Before Thanksgiving?
 

The airport was a GHOST TOWN.  It was almost eery how quiet it was.  Of course, this was not a complaint.  I’d gladly take extra quiet time at the airport!

I got into my hometown at about 8pm.  Just in time to visit with my brother and sister-in-law and to peek in at the kiddos who had already passed out for the night.  We had adjoining rooms at the hotel, and that was just one of many perks.  Seriously, this Holiday Inn Express was NICE.  Happy hour, snacks, a huge breakfast… Super nice!

The days that followed were full of smiles and laughter.  We had quite the feast at my aunt’s house on Thursday, and I got to see most of my cousins, aunts, and uncles.  While I had (in jest) mentioned that I was hoping for food I didn’t like, everything was so delicious with all of my ol’ favorites.

My aunt made Gram’s famous cinnamon dinner rolls – - Yum-O!
 

What proved to be the most tempting items at Thanksgiving were the appetizers Beth and I made to take with us.  We didn’t want to show up empty handed, so we whipped up some of our favorite snacks.  And, we ate quite a few of them, too!  EEKS!

Beth’s Contribution – Sausage Balls
 
My Contribution – Veggie Appetizer Pizza
 

The only thing missing from the festivities was my Dad and his wife Joanne, and of course, my Grandma.  This was the first family event I’d gone to that she wasn’t present.  She’s definitely missed.  My Grandpa said several times this weekend that he knew she was smiling down on us.  I have to believe that to be the case.

A Quick Family Pic – - Didn’t realize that I’m only taller than
my Aunt Joann and the kids until I saw this!
 

For those of you who live in Ohio/PA… I’ll also share that we went Kraynak’s.  Growing up in NE Ohio, visiting Kraynak’s was an annual event.  Actually, we went twice a year… Santa’s Workshop in the winter and Easter Bunny Lane in the spring.  It’s a Christmas tree wonderland + crazy toy store.  

Waiting in line to see the holiday displays
 

Needless to say, I have lots of memories at this place from years past.  It was fun to share it with my niece and nephew and to see their eyes light up at the rows and rows of trees.  Keep in mind, their eyes were not as bright when we snuck out the door without heading into the toy departments and escaped without bags in hand!

Overall, the weekend was awesome.  I’m so glad I got to spend some quality time with my grandpa this weekend.  He’s been lonely since my grandma died, so it’s nice to see him and to keep him company.  It also makes it hard to leave.  

As for eating, since that is what NTTC is about.  Ladies and Gentlemen, I ate too much.  There was pizza and mashed potatoes.  There was sausage balls and cookies from the front desk.  This morning, I woke up and my first thought was of the biscuits and gravy I wouldn’t be having today. When you wake up thinking about biscuits and gravy, you know you’re off track. 

Side note:  Interestingly, I entered my bad breakfast choices into MyFitnessPal to find out that the cinnamon rolls at Holiday Inn Express are MUCH worse for you than the biscuit and sausage gravy.  Perhaps, not the horrible choice (comparatively) I thought it to be, but THREE days of biscuits and gravy never is the best decision

Snuggling up with the little ones…
 

One thing that went really well was my Thanksgiving plate.  1/2 veggies + 1/4 protein + 1/4 carbs, I did that!  The appetizers aside, it was a pretty smooth day!

For the weekend as a whole, I made some poor choices.  BUT, it was just THREE days!  As soon as I got home, I’ve been back on track.  Today’s calories came in at slightly less than 1200 calories.  That’s a success!  My weight was up this morning, but I know a lot of it was salt.  I plan to use the rest of the week to get back on track.

I survived and had a wonderful weekend!  Four weeks until Christmas – - Time to start thinking about my survival plan for that crazy holiday.

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Thanksgiving Eve

I didn’t mention it in yesterday’s post, but I have major food anxiety.  I skipped Thanksgiving last year.  I ate a Jenny Craig meal and completely avoided temptation.  

This year, I’m going to be right in the middle of it all!  And, I’ve been thinking about it all week long.

We call this baby GBC.  Likely my all-time fave.
 
 
This much comfort food all together in the same place honestly scares me.  I haven’t been around this much food all at once in a LONG time.  One thing that will work to my advantage is that I’m not used to dining at my aunt’s house.  Maybe her specialties are not the ones that I’m craving used to.  That would honestly help.  
 
I worry if I’m not careful, I’ll end up doing the backfloat in these yummy fluffy spuds.
 

For example:  I’d love to see a big vat of sweet potatoes and maybe a squash casserole.  And maybe she puts oysters or sausage in the stuffing!  My grandma used to surprise us with grapes in there.  That would help me too.  Keep in mind, I know people LOOOOVE these types of things, but for picky girl (me), it would increase my ability to resist significantly, as would a pumpkin pie only dessert option.  Fingers are crossed!!!   

My grandma used to make magic dinner rolls though, and I know my aunt knows how to make them.  They could be there… I’ll have to be on guard for those.  They were these fantastical cinnamon sugar rolls.  My mouth is watering just thinking about them.

Another dangerous dish – Although, my fave is the stuffing Beth and I make…
 

I’ve considered eating something about an hour before dinner.  Maybe a salad or something light.  That way, I’m not showing up hungry.  That could definitely be a winning strategy.  

I’ve definitely considered drinking A LOT of water before and during.  This I plan to do with no problem executing it.  This one will be key to my success.

After that, my plan is to do 1/2 a plate of veggies, 1/4 white meat turkey, and 1/4 starches.  No seconds, but slow enjoyable bites of what I get to eat.  It should look something like this.


I can do this.

And…. Let’s say things don’t go 100% to plan.  I have my gym clothes packed and ready to go.  I can hit the workout room at the hotel to burn some calories, and when I get back to Denver on Saturday, I know my friends at the YMCA will be waiting for me too.  

One meal does not ruin me.  Thanksgiving does not own me, nor do those tasty mashed potatoes and that yummy, yummy gravy.  Based upon my game plan for Thursday’s feast, the score has been set:

Kelly: 1, Thanksgiving: 0

Let’s do this!

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