Happy Valentine’s Day + Oreo Chocolate Truffles

Yesterday evening I remembered my husband needed to bring a dessert for a Valentine’s bake share at his work.  I decided to forego baking and mix up these Oreo Chocolate Truffles that have always been a hit at parties I’ve seen them at and it was no different when Chris brought them to work today. 

Oreo Chocolate Truffles

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Ingredients:

1-16.6 oz. package of Oreo cookies

1-8 oz. package cream cheese, room temperature

2-8 oz. bags semi-sweet chocolate chips

Directions:  Put cookies in food processor and process until fine crumbs result.  (I processed one-third of the bag to start, added the next third to that, and the last until all were powdered to fine crumbs.)  Next, I added the cream cheese by breaking it into chunks and processed until it was evenly distributed.  Line a cookie sheet with wax paper.  Then, make 1 inch balls from mixture and place on pan.  (I used a cookie scoop and rolled balls of equal size.)  Once balls are made, refrigerate or freeze to cool and harden. 

Meanwhile, melt chocolate using a double boiler method on the stovetop.  I filled a saucepan about 1/2 way and placed a stainless steel bowl on top.  The chocolate chips were added to the bowl and heated over simmering water stirring consistently until a smooth melted chocolate resulted.  Be careful to not let water boil or chocolate will become sticky and grainy if overheated.  Next use two spoons to dip oreo balls in melted chocolate, allowing excess to drip off, then placing back on wax paper.  Allow truffles to harden in the refrigerator.  Once hardened, put truffles into sealed container and store in refrigerator or eat.

Chris and I split one before they were packaged up and they were divine. 

Today was a normal work day aside from all of the red shirts and my pink one, oh and for the 3 cakes and chocolate cupcakes made by one of the teacher assistants, and the gift and Valentine sharing among the kids.

I started off my day with un-overnight oats—like overnight oats, but without the sitting overnight.

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In the mix:

1/3 c oats

1/3 c greek yogurt

1/3 c lowfat milk

1 banana

cinnamon

1 spoon peanut butter

2 handfuls blueberries

1 small handful of pecan praline granola

Lunch:

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Cheese stick, turkey, tomatoes, and crackers to make my own lunchable.  I saved the Chobani for after tutoring snack and had some cake from the lounge instead.

Dinner was take out from the Japanese Cherry Blossom.

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Cucumber Special Roll filled with snowcrab, tuna, avocado, ponzu and naruto sauce—I had 4 of these plus 2 pieces each of husband’s snowcrab roll and tuna roll.

I also had some vegetable soup.

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Husband Turns 32

Yesterday was Chris’s 32nd birthday.  After work I asked him if he wanted to do anything to celebrate and he just wanted to stay home and get some pizza.  So I went to Come Back Inn to pick up a pizza with Italian sausage, onions, green pepper, jalapeños, mushroom, and black olives.  The pizza crust was thin and crispy just the way we like it.

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We also had a large Italian salad on the side which was full of mozzarella cheese, olive salad over iceberg lettuce, tomatoes, sliced egg, and salami.

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I had a slice and a half of pizza with some of the salad.

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Then I had some of the cake I bought for two.

DSC01604 It was not all that great because it was more chocolate candy than actual cake, but still a sweet treat nonetheless.  Rather than blog last night I decided to spend some QT with Chris since after all it was his birthday.

Yesterday morning I just wasn’t feeling my hot oatmeal so this morning I went with another favorite—peanut butter, yogurt, banana, and sweet potato pecan topped whole wheat toasted English muffin.

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Plus some hot chai tea.

For lunch I started with a bed of spring mix.

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Topped with some of the Italian salad from last night.

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I also had an apple for some sweetness.

After work I headed straight over to the gym.  I grabbed a Ultramet Lite Vanilla Smoothie at the cafe since my stomach was talking to me.  Then I proceeded to do 15 minutes on the elliptical, 40 minutes of weights, and 7 minutes on the stair climber to finish.

Dinner had to incorporate some of the broccoli from the husband’s garden. 

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I picked up some flank steak the other day with intentions on making fajitas, but I nixed that idea two nights ago to make bean enchiladas and saved the beef for tonight’s beef and broccoli.

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I used a recipe I found online that used a marinade of dry sherry, soy sauce, and cornstarch (used flour instead).  It was a good thing I didn’t salt the dish because the lite soy sauce made it super salty.  The beef and broccoli was served over brown rice.

Finally, I had a small handful of granola and 2 dates since I was feeling snacky.  I also took a bite of last night’s cake too.

Now it’s time to hit the hay; only one more work day ’til the weekend! Yay!

Why Not on Wednesday

Why not wake up on time?  Because I’m tired.

Why not start the day with warm oats on a chilled fall morning?  Because I already had the cold overnight oats soaking in the fridge.

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Oats, plain yogurt, low fat milk, banana, figs, honey, cinnamon

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Why not take the whole thirty minute lunch break to eat and socialize in the lounge?  Because I had copies to run off  and work to be done.

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Whole wheat sammie with chicken, provolone (reduced fat), spinach and honey mustard + cucumber, tomato, light italian dressing + peach

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Why not eat a healthy snack?  Because a coworker brought me a piece of cake from her baby shower and I just couldn’t turn it down; and oh it was good!! Thanks J.H.! 🙂

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Why not work out after work?  Because my sister asked me to come help watch her little ones while she got her hair done.

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Why not eat dinner at a reasonable hour?  Because I stayed at my sister’s house too long and ended up ordering take-out with them…

….after eating some of these with my nephew.

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Why not order a wonton soup and veggie dish?  Because hub would get the leftovers for his dinner and he likes beef and broccoli.

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My portion + some fruit + fortune cookie

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Mango (had a second slice of mango unpictured), honeydew, pineapple, cantaloupe, grapes

Why not go to bed at a reasonable time?  Because I had to do dishes from last night and blog.

Question of the Night:  Why not do something good for yourself tomorrow?  There is no reason not to!  What will you do for you tomorrow?

Ladybugs for Lunch

Today has been quite an off day!  My work schedule was changed from 12:00 to 7:oo for Parent Conference and Record’s Day.  So I woke up later than my usual 5:15 a.m. time.  After waking up, I was undecided as to whether I wanted a savory breakfast versus a sweet breakfast.  I thought, “Why not have both?”  Accordingly, I made an egg to put on one half of my sandwich thin and topped the other half with a smear of natural peanut butter and half of a sliced pear.

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I also had a cup of hot black tea.

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Savory Egg Over Medium

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Sweet Pear and Peanut Butter

Lunch was off as well!  At work today, myself and the other 4th grade teachers threw a baby shower for one of our coworkers.  Her theme for the baby’s room is “ladybugs” so we kept the shower in the same theme.

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Ladybug Red Hot Favors

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Meet Jamie!  Her baby girl is due in November; I’m looking forward to meeting Isabella Grace!  What a pretty name!!Jamie's Shower 020

We decided not to have any snack foods other than the cake because we figured most ate before coming in at 12:00 and teachers would probably want to get work done in their rooms while they had some spare time without children.  Nonetheless, the shower was a joyful event—even though the surprise did not go quite as planned. 😉

Since I didn’t eat lunch at home (though I did bring some, just didn’t eat it) I ate some cake.

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And more cake!  This was my first piece, but I did get another slice about the same size.  It was so moist and delicious I just couldn’t resist!  So I had the ladybug cake and called it my lunch.  Someone actually made a comment saying, “I bet you didn’t eat any.”  “Oh yes I did; I ate two slices!”  My rice and veggies from last night’s dinner will be consumed at tomorrow’s lunch.

I did eat the snack I packed in my lunch at my 3:00 break.

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Other half of pear from breakfast + Mixed Nut Remnants + Several Diet Cokes from Shower

I didn’t get home from work until nearly 8:00, so I wanted a quick fix for dinner.  I ate some baked potato fries with olive oil, sea salt, and red wine vinegar that were roasted for 25 minutes at 400*.  I also had a Boca Veggie Burger on a sandwich thin with lettuce, pickles, mustard, and ketchup.  No picture was snapped because my camera had an off day as well!  The battery life  was 3/4 full, but it went dead every time I tried to take the picture. 

Now my computer is about to shut off, so I gotta go!  Plus my Saint’s are playing! 🙂

Say Hi to Your Mom an’ Nem

You may have noticed some of the unconventional New Orleans dialect in yesterday’s post regarding the “N’awlins” Saints.  Out-of-towners must get a kick out of the local gibberish heard around the city or perhaps feel a slight state of confusion as to what New Orleanians are trying so say.  Take for example, “How’s your mom an’ nem?”  If I’m speaking candidly, I’m not quite sure how to even spell it, but phonetically speaking, that’s what I hear.  I have also seen it written as “mom and dem, mom and ’em” and I’m sure someone else may have his or her own derivative; however, it is not about writing the phrase or how it is spelled.  It is more about the welcoming and “I’m happy to see you” friendly conversation when out and about the city and you run into friend or family that you may have not seen in a while.  You may be asking yourself, “Ok, what does it mean?”  Though the phrase specifically says “your mom an’ nem,” it is not only referring to your mom, but also the rest of your family too.  So, “say hi to your mom an’ nem” transfers as “say hi to your family.”

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The hubby and I didn’t run into any long lost friends or family yesterday, but we did get a little taste of home cooking for breakfast on Saturday.  My hub wanted to venture out for breakfast and chose Dot’s Diner, a local 24 hour breakfast joint.  Breakfast is served all day and night, but they do serve lunch and dinner type meals as well.  I’ve only experienced their breakfast foods, which are cooked to order the way you choose.  Have your eggs over easy, medium or scrambled with your choice of whole eggs, whites only, or Egg Beaters.  I decided on the Western Omelet with two slices of lightly buttered wheat toast and hash browns.  For the omelet, I requested one regular egg and the rest whites rather than the three whole eggs that are normally offered for the omelets.

Western Omelet with Onions, Green Peppers, Ham, and American Cheese

I gave hubby half of my hash browns and ate the rest with ketchup.  I ate a little more than 3/4 of the omelet, and one slice of toast.

Cheesy Omelet

And as the mug says, “I’m not your Mama, but you’re always at home at Dot’s Diner!”

Shortly after breakfast I ran drove to the gym, to get a quick 45 minute workout in before our next stop of the day.  My workout consisted of 10 minutes on the elliptical, 25 minutes of strength training, and 10 minutes on the treadmill.  My strength training looked similar to Wednesday’s with only ten-twenty second rest periods and the addition of 3 sets on leg press with 20 reps @ 60 lbs. (done two different ways with 10 reps each way) and omitting the leg extension.

Next up, a visit to the in-laws to celebrate our nephews 12th birthday with hot dogs, potato salad, baked beans, and birthday cake of course.  We were stuck inside for the most part due to the pouring rain that has been ongoing and will continue throughout the week.

My Plate

Happy Birthday Cake

Birthday Boy

Take a Bite

Birthday Boy's Twin Sisters Awaiting Some Cake

My Slice of Moist Almond Flavored Cake with Pineapple Filing, Mmmmm

My Handsome Hubby Catching Up on Some Football

As the day rolled on, we decided to head home after a quick stop at Home Depot so the husband could pick up some ‘tools’ for a few of his projects, one being a bucket to start a compost pile for his gardens out back.

Once home I ate a couple of snacks to tide me over ’til dinner.

Small, Overly Ripe Peach

Dark Chocolate Cherry Oatmeal Muffin Cookie

Dinner was a quick, put together meal of a sweet potato cooked in microwave, boiled frozen mini ears of corn, and Morningstar Farms Garden Veggie Patty.

Sweet Tater Topped with Cinnamon and Spray Butter

Sweet Corn Topped with Salt and Spray Butter

I forgot how delicious sweet corn is, and had to go back for a second ear.

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While this weekend commemorates the five year anniversary of Hurricane Katrina and the many lives lost due to levees breaching, I leave you with some spoken words of our culture heard around the city.

Lagniappe (Lanyap) – something extra for free

N’awlins – short for New Orleans

Parish – in Louisiana we do not use county, we call ’em parishes

Metairie (Met- a-ree or Metry) – suburb of New Orleans, I lived most of my life here in Jefferson Parish

Kenner (Kenn-er or Kenna)  – suburb of New Orleans, where I live currently in Jefferson Parish

Beignets (been-yays)- fried square of dough with powdered sugar on top

Cafe’ Au Lait (cafay o lay)- coffee and chickory mixed with steamed milk

Laissez le bon temps rouler (Lay-say lay baw taw ruelay) – french for “let the good times roll”

Poor boy (Po’ boy) – crispy french bread sandwich cut off of yard sized loaf of bread to top with choice of roast beef and gravy, fried seafood, ham ‘n cheese, italian sausage, meatball, etc. The original poor boy sandwich was french fries topped with brown gravy on the bread.

Dressed – topping for po-boy including mayonaisse, lettuce, tomato, pickles

Muffaletta (moof-a-lot-a) – large, round sandwich topped with italian meets, cheeses and olive salad

Makin’ groceries – going grocery shopping; buying groceries ( I personally have never said I am makin’ groceries, but it is more heavily used by the older generations.)

Snowballs- like a snow cone, but much better due to the very fine powder like shaved ice topped with sweet syrups and choices of condensed milk, evaporated milk, soft serve

Where Y’at? – how’s it going, where you at, where you been; also local magazine of arts and entertainment

Mom an’ Nem-mom and family

Ya’ll (yawl)- short for you all; similar to “you guys” in other regions of the country; not pronounced with the thick country accent like Paula Deen

Mardi Gras (Marty Graw)- also known as Carnival season; begins two weeks before Fat Tuesday/Mardi Gras Day; celebrated 40 days before Easter to start up the Lenten season; people drink, eat, and go to the parades

Parades – large, themed floats with riders dressed in masked costumes who throw cups, beads, doubloons (coins, not real), trinkets to people/families lining the streets; also have dance teams and local high school bands performing between the mix of floats, dressed up Indians, people on horseback, clown cars throwing candy, and flambeaux (flam-bo) walkers who carry lit torches to lead the way in night parades and collect thrown pennies/coins from the crowds of people lining streets.

Throw Me Somethin’ Mister – parade watchers yell out to the floats to get riders attention and get some goodies

Hurricane– a massive alcoholic beverage served at local bars downtown; originated at Pat O’ Brien’s

Bourbon (Ber-bun)- street lined with bars, restaurants, strip clubs, souvenir shops located in the French Quarter, downtown New Orleans; there’s a party every night on Bourbon

Here is a more complete list regarding foods around the area and here is a more extensive list of terms heard around the area if interested in learning more about the New Orleans (pronounced New Oar-lins, not New Orleeens except when referring to Orleans Parish) native tongue.

Question of the Day: Does your hometown have any cultural terms that are specific to your area and otherwise uncommon across other regions of the United States? Please share, ya’ll! 🙂

Chantilly Lace and a Pretty Face

Yesterday I woke up thinking it would be a pretty simple day.  I had an entire day to set up my classroom and prepare for the kiddos to arrive today.  Well, it turned into a pretty eventful day.

Simply made breakfast consisted of cereal, blueberrries, and 2% milk because my husband picked it up at the gas station on the way home and that’s all they had at the time.



Bad plating, bad photography.  Oh well.   And then I was off to work!

Let the celebrations continue!  It was the last day of opportunity for my coworkers and I to actually have freedom to go out to lunch without having to scarf down our food during a thirty minute lunch break (hence the reason we don’t get out much).  After that was brought to my attention I decided to forego my individual room 😉 (any Bachelor fans) my packed lunch and go out with three other teachers.  CiCi’s Pizza was decided on.  Man, I can’t even remember the last time I had pizza.  It is not a fine dining eatery by any means; just a quick family pizza buffet joint.

My Eats

A quick snap of the camera documented my salad of lettuce, cherry tomatoes, carrot, mushrooms, and lite italian dressing.  And I savored every bite of my 3 veggie, spinach, and pepperoni slices.

I told my coworkers about the blog and as to why I take pictures of my food.  I wonder if they think I’m nuts!?!  Their expressions gave off a sense of that.   I’ve also experienced a bit of mockery from some of my family.  Additionally, when I try to explain the website address and where they can check it out I hear groans of “Ugh, that’s too much to remember!”  Really people, it’s not that difficult.

Back to lunch…I honestly thought I would still be hungry or want to go back for more food being at a buffet, but once I ate the (aforementioned) food I was completely stuffed.  I could not have eaten another bite.

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After work I had plans to meet up with my sister (her son and husband too) and mom for some more celebrating of my birthday.  We went to Casa Garcia, a Mexican restaurant, for dinner.  Always gotta have some of the chips with not only salsa, but also the oh so tasty and warm bean dip.  The bean dip is my favorite thing when I go there.  This time it even had sliced jalapenos in it, which I don’t recall it usually having.

Oh Bean Dip, Where Art Thou?

Then I had some chicken tortilla soup.

I do not recommend the soup.  This was my first time having it and the broth tasted minty, not what I expected for tortilla soup. Though I did enjoy the shredded chicken and big chunk of avocado.  Lastly, for my entree I had an appetizer–chicken lettuce wraps.  The menu did not contain much of a description, but I figured it would be similar to fajitas with lettuce wraps.  It was good, but I felt like I was eating Chinese food rather than Mexican with the seasoned chicken chunks, chopped carrot,  diced zucchini, and shredded cabbage with a light sauce on side, which I did not care for.

Hmmm....Chinese or Mexican

I ate about 1/3 and my stomach was stuffed.

But of course I made room for…..

DESSERT–Whole Foods Chantilly Lace Cake with Fresh Berries purchased by my sister.  Of course it is in fact chantilly icing minus the lace, but that’s what I always call it. 🙂  It feels like such an elegant cake and so moist and so delicious.

Chantilly Lace

My Slice

Chantilly Lace sure put a smile on my face! 😉

Question of the Day: About the whole mocking issue, does that ever happen to any of you?  Does it bother you?  Should I even be bothered by it?  How do you deal with taking pictures in public with people who just don’t get it?

It’s My Party and I’ll Cry If I Want To

Today is the day I was born back in 1982.  Gosh, I feel like I’m so old being so close to thirty, but when I see kids in high school and college I don’t feel that there is that much of a difference.  Woke up for work and had some b-fast before heading out–greek honey yogurt, handful of blackberries, handful of blueberries, and a handful of peanut butter granola.  Cold and refreshing!

Berries + Yogurt + Granola = :0)

Before the start of our faculty meeting, the entire faculty sang Happy Birthday to me.  As a kid that is the best thing ever, but as an adult a little bit embarrassing.  But it definitely brightened up my day!

After of a mornings of meetings (Umm, have I been drinking? No! Just got done exercising; I should be more clear-headed!), it was time for lunch.  I enjoyed turkey, laughing cow light swiss, and dijonaisse on a bagel thin.  On side I ate some celery and carrot sticks dipped in jalapeno hummus and a dark chocolate square.

Bagel Sammie Made by the Hubby--Thanks Chris!

Picture Snapped Before Anyone Else Entered Lounge

Since it was my birthday, another teacher bought me a cake, which I didn’t think to snap a picture; and that is something I should be snapping without being all secretive about it.  It was a marbled cake with fluffy white and purple icing.  I did bring a couple pieces (smashed) home, so took a picture of them so you could get a sneak peek.

Sorry Cake, I didn't mean to treat you so poorly!

I probably ate a piece about the size of the smaller one.  But might have more in a few.

Sweet Marbled Goodness

Ate a handful of these chips with salsa while I heated up dinner.

10 or so Chips with Don Pablo's Hot Salsa

After Dad visited for a while, I heated up some red beans I had in the freezer to enjoy over brown rice.  (The hubby is working late so we will celebrate with the family another day.)  I had a cup of the beans over a cup of rice with bits of pickled meat and one piece of smoked sausage.

Always Fresh...Never Frozen...Not!

Next, I decided to hit up the gym for some cardio.  I did 30/5/20 on the elliptical, stairmaster, and bike.  Then decided it was 10 minutes to 9 and I needed to get home.

So that’s how I rolled on this fine day of the year!  Not exactly a party, but I don’t really see a need to cry about anything.  I did get some fab things out of the deal:

1. A Happy Birthday Song

2. A Delish Cake

3. People Being Extra Nice

4. Over 30 Messages on My Facebook Page

5. A Check From Dad (and visit from Dad)

6. A Call From MawMaw Stating She Had My Bond

7. Several Texts From Hubby

8. Coupon For a Free Smoothie When I Checked In At the Gym

9. A Bunch of “Thank You’s” For Sharing the Cake

10. A Comment on Yesterday’s Blog Post

11. Goodies For My Classroom from the Account Clerk

12. A Sony Cybershot Camera from Hubby (got it Saturday though; he can’t ever wait for the actual day)

13. A Shopping Trip and Lunch with Mom (took place Sunday)

14. A Call From Sister (we’ll be meeting up tomorrow evening and Sunday)

15. Several Compliments throughout the Day

Thank you to everyone for making my day special!  I would say it’s been a good day! 🙂 And in the words of Martha Stewart, “it’s a good thing.”

Question of the Day:  What is one thing that brightened up your day today?