Kids Say the Darndest…

Most of us know that little kids can be brutally honest.zodiac-pig-pic

“Your hair is puffy!” (yes, thank you, I know that)

“You have an earring in your nose!” (Duh, it hurt when I put it there)

“You wear big shoes” (uh, yeah, I have big feet)

But nothing could’ve prepared me for what I got today. Nor could anything have prepared me for my reaction.

“You are big and fat!”

I pretended to be ok with this innocent little girl’s comment. But when 3 or 4 other girls chimed in chanting “You are big and fat” I felt like that 12 year old girl in gym class getting pelted with basketballs (yes, that happened). Each time they said “fat” it was like a bullet. Luckily, I had sunglasses on since we were out at a forest preserve, and I chose that very moment to have to go to the bathroom port-a-potty and I sobbed. Little kids don’t lie unless it benefits them somehow… I must really be big and fat.

Just then, we boarded the busses to go to the pool. Just what I wanted: to put on a bathing suit and skin-tight swim shirt. I took the opportunity to practice sucking in, to carry around a few extra kids to get some muscle work, and walk a few extra laps around the pool complex. I still felt like fat, stinky, smelly garbage.

Next up? Lunch. Just what I needed. Food… to make me bigger and fatter. We order lunch from a local place on Thursdays, and I chose a very healthy chicken/feta/roasted red pepper/tomato wrap. Usually it comes with a bag of chips I can easily pass on. Today, as if a sign, I opened the container and next to my healthy wrap was an order of some of the best french fries I’ve ever had. I started eating them as if I was a starving prisoner, not even tasting them, just shoveling them in because, well, I’m already big and fat, so why not?

Then, the rational brain kicked in (thank goodness.) I handed off the rest of my fries to an older camper who forgot her lunch, and proceeded to slowly eat my wrap. I chose THAT moment to check my phone and see that Adam had sent me an uplifting text message in response to me telling him what happened. And a good friend came over and reminded me that I’ve come so far…

It still hurts, and I had a talk with my girls about “choosing their words” and to not use “hurtful words” like “ugly, mean, or fat”. They were much nicer the rest of the day…and heck, they’re 4 years old, so they’re cute. I was not prepared to have the words from a group of such tiny people to be so hurtful, nor was I prepared to be in a bad mood the entire day because of it. But I survived.

After work, I got to go shopping for supplies for tomorrow’s non-overnighter girls’ night at camp and bought 35 pairs of kids’ size shorts to puffy paint. Should be fun!

After that, I met up with my friend who’s going through a really rough time and needed some distraction. We went for dinner at Cheeseburger in Paradise, and I was quite pleasantly surprised! I had, quite possibly, the best chicken satays I’ve ever had, made better by the side of sweet potato chips.

That's a coconut curry dipping sauce

That's a coconut curry dipping sauce

Then, we both ordered a drink. This served as a drink AND dessert since it was a key lime pie flavored piña colada. I couldn’t finish it, but it was quite delicious.

I don't know why it looks pink.

I don't know why it looks pink.

Tomorrow’s gotta be a better day. It just has to! I got my toes done, and they’re bright yellow. We have a M*A*S*H themed “cookout” with Subway and watermelon, and the girls’ night thing (there won’t be a post tomorrow!). Hopefully my girls will be more respectful, and I won’t take their words so seriously.

Don’t forget to enter my coconut flour giveaway! You know you want free stuff :)

Thanks for reading the ramblings.

Posted in dinner out, giveaway, weight loss | 42 Comments

MacGyver & Giveaway

*There’s a giveaway at the end of this post. Feel free to skip the cute pictures of animals and the delicious recipe to get to it*

Have you ever had one of those days where you swear that you were not dry for one minute of that day? No? Try this:

  1. shower at 5:10 a.m. and leave hair to air dry with product
  2. spend 6 hours outside in the rain at the zoo
  3. sit in a seat on the bus ride back with a broken window, have rain drip on you the whole hour ride.
  4. have to wear a wet sweatshirt until warm enough to take it off

How’s that sound? I was so soaking wet today ALL day due to the 6 hours of being out in the rain that my fingers were pruny! BUT… it was still a fantastically fun day!!!

We met some camels:

2 camels, 4 humps

2 camels, 4 humps

Some bison (though I eat them, I still think they’re amazing!)

NOT buffalo. Bison.

NOT buffalo. Bison.

A zebra:

The kids named him ZeeVee

The kids named him ZeeVee

The most beautiful “teenage” giraffe:

SUCH great eyelashes!

SUCH great eyelashes!

An orangutan, just hangin’ out:

He was quite chill

He was quite chill

A baby gorilla:

Cute, huh?

Cute, huh?

And a dinosaur:

No, not real... animatronic!

No, not real... animatronic!

It was quite an eventful, tiring, and wet day! When I got home, I was quite hungry, and decided to “MacGyver” a meal out of the ingredients we had in the house… I’m calling this one:

Lentil Confetti Chicken

This recipe made a TON!

This recipe made a TON!


1 lb chicken breasts, cut into chunks

1 orange pepper, diced

3 small tomatoes, seeded and diced

1/2 onion, diced

3 cloves garlic, minced

1 1/2 c. dried lentils

4 c. water

1/2 tsp. dried basil

1/8 tsp. red pepper

1 Tbsp. olive oil

S&P to taste


In a large pot, heat the olive oil and garlic. When the garlic is lightly browned, add the bell pepper, onion, and tomato and cook a few minutes. Add the chicken and brown, mixing well with the vegetables. Add lentils, water, and seasonings. Cover and simmer about 40 minutes, or until the lentils are tender. Serve and enjoy!

I served mine on brown rice, and ended up topping it with a bit of low fat cheddar cheese and it was delicious and satisfying!

Now, on to the reason you’re actually here: to win something!

I mentioned in my post on Sunday that I’d made some delicious cookies with coconut flour, and many of you mentioned that you’d never had coconut flour, or even heard of it! Well, the lovely folks over at Tropical Traditions have offered to give you, one lucky What’s For Dinner reader, a 2.2 lb. bag of their delicious coconut flour! So far, it’s been a fantastic addition to my baking and breakfasts, and I can’t wait to use it in sauces, and as a breading for some coconut shrimp. Want to win some?? It’s easy! Just leave a comment below!!! For a bonus entry, sign up for the Tropical Traditions Newsletter, and email me to let me know you’ve done so. Winner will be announced Sunday evening!

There’s more love from Tropical Traditions to come soon… so stay tuned!

The camper quote of the day made me fall over in my seat laughing today… we were eating lunch near the rhinos and hippos. One girl turned to another and said “You know whats the difference between those 2? One’s head is soft and one’s head is hard. Kind of like you and me. My head is soft and your head is hard, so don’t poke my head!”


Posted in chicken/turkey, giveaway, simple recipe | Tagged , , | 53 Comments

Let’s Call Him Steve!

Little kids crack me up.

I find myself laughing uncontrollably at some of the things my campers say more often than not, whether its talking about the “UNORMOUS” spiders on the trees, the “skeetoes” that are everywhere at the forest preserves, playing at the “butt washers” at the pool (those vertical squirting fountains), or today, when we met our new friend.

My girls wanted to go on a nature walk today, which I was quite thrilled about, as I’ve been feeling like a potato lately. So we set out on one of the paths at the forest preserve this afternoon, and stopped to look in this pond:

Hmmm... who's hiding?

Hmmm... who's hiding?

I know that many bullfrogs live in this chain of ponds at this forest preserve, so I told my girls to be very quiet and look carefully. Suddenly, a little gasp came from one of the girls. “Eyeballs!” she said, pointing at the space between some of the reeds. “It’s  a frog!” As a group, we promptly decided that this frog was going to be our new friend, and we’d come visit him every week that we’re at this forest preserve. “What’s his name?” I asked. “Mr. Toady!” said one girl. “That’s not a toad, thats a frog!” said another. “I know,” said one of my smartest girls. “Let’s call him Steve!” So Steve it was. Steve has a friend, MaraFrog that lives down the pond. It was an eventful day in the Duckie group today!

After a relatively long commute, I came home to a package on the counter. I quickly took it off the counter and put it on a chair, because I knew what was inside. Why the chair? Well, the package contained these:

new kicks!

new kicks!

These are not for working out. These are simply “I wanted them so I had to buy them” Nike Shox. And why did I move the box to the chair? Family superstition! No shoes on the table! As far as I’m concerned, that counter is a table, so for good luck, I had to move it. Do you have any funny superstitions like that?

After trying on my shoes (they fit!) I set out to cook dinner. I made some simple meatballs, Smart Taste pasta, and sauce. This was not just any sauce though! A while back, the lovely people at Dei Fratelli sent me 2 jars of their pasta sauce, and we’d been saving the jars for an after-camp meal! I would recommend this amazing tomato basil sauce without hesitation! It really tasted fresh, like I actually made it.

Thanks, Dei Fratelli!

Thanks, Dei Fratelli!

I made a great bowl of pasta and sauce with 3 meatballs (yes, I was hungry!) and some fresh mozzarella and parmesan cheese. It was just what I needed after a day full of skeetoes!

Why yes, that IS a lot of balls (TWSS!)

Why yes, that IS a lot of balls (TWSS!)

Tomorrow, we’re heading to Brookfield Zoo for a day full of monkeys, snakes, lions, tigers, bears, and dinosaurs! Are you ready for more animal pictures?? There may be a giveaway tomorrow too :)

Posted in beef, Italian, simple recipe | Tagged , , , | 23 Comments

A Monday Quickie

First of all, I want to thank you ALL for your kind words in my moment of insecurity at the end of my last post. I know that I started this blog in the dead of winter, and know not of the downturn that apparently comes when the weather gets nicer. All of your comments, seriously, each of them, as they came through my email on my phone today boosted my spirits ever so much! It’s good to know that so many of you are still reading, and that you are all so caring and supportive!

Second of all, today’s post is going to be über short, as the Monday after a long weekend is quite possibly the longest day EVER! I’d been craving Chinese food all day, so that’s just what we got for dinner. I splurged a bit and bought us Chinese carry-out! Adam got beef and broccoli, and I got shrimp and broccoli. This place has the most enormous and plentiful shrimp in their dishes! We also shared some potstickers.

Crispy, doughy, and pork-filled (thats what she said)

Crispy, doughy, and pork-filled (thats what she said)

Shrimp and broccoli!

Shrimp and broccoli!

I indulged in a couple of the coconut flour cookies that I made last night, and a few strawberries with lowfat sour cream and brown sugar.

Lastly tonight, I’d like to direct you to my latest post on Jewish Wedding Network! Sara, the editor of the site, asked me if I would share my weight loss story, and it was posted today. Let me know what you all think!

Bed is calling my name… so I’ll catch you all mañana, but first: the camper quote of the day! “My mostest favoritest thing to dip in my bahamas is the red peppers. Then the cucumbers. Then the carrots then the yellow peppers.” It took me 10 minutes to figure out that “bahamas” was hummus.

Posted in Asian, dinner out, weight loss | Tagged , , , | 13 Comments

Would You Care for a Hot Pocket?

An Eggo?

Sorry… Austin Powers moment…

Sunday was a day full of just what I needed: relaxation, shopping, sun, swimming, and baking!

The relaxation came after the other 4, and I gotta say, after the insane amount of cleaning we did Friday, then the unbelievable amount of cooking I did on Saturday, relaxation was what I needed. BUT, first things first! I met my friend Kristin for coffee and some minor shopping, and then we headed out to our townhome complex’s pool. It was so nice to just lay in the sun and float in the pool without 4-year-olds screaming and splashing me! Apparently, my sunscreen didn’t quite do its job and I’m now somewhere in the color range of a red radish… hopefully it’ll fade.

The baking was quite fun. I rarely bake, as I have a hard time controlling myself around fresh baked goods, but after reading the amazing nutritionals on the coconut flour I got from Tropical Traditions, I decided to break out the mixing bowl and whisk and bake up some cookies. I searched the net for various recipes, combined them, tweaked them, and came up with these…

Coconut Chocolate Chip Cookies



1/2 c. Virgin Coconut Oil, melted

4 eggs

1 c. coconut flour

1/2 Tbsp. vanilla extract

1/8 tsp salt

1/2 c. sugar

3/4 c. chocolate chips

1/2 c. shredded coconut


Mix together coconut oil, sugar, vanilla, eggs, and salt together. Blend thoroughly. Add flour, coconut, chocolate chips, mix thoroughly. Form into small cookies on a parchment lined pan. Bake at 375* about 15 minutes, or until lightly browned.

These small cookies were a) delicious and b) super satisfying! Coconut flour has, in a mere 3.5 ounces, over 38 g. of dietary fiber in it, thus increasing satisfaction. They’ll be a nice treat, while they last!

Dinner was simple. I chopped up some of our leftover BBQ chicken from the 4th, mixed it with a bit of BBQ sauce and made myself a “hot pocket”.

Wonder what else was inside?

Wonder what else was inside?

I know, that looks super boring. BUT, I assure you it is not! Inside, in addition to the chicken was some smushed avocado, a little bit of cheddar cheese, and a whole lotta careful rolling. After lightly toasting the wrap and cutting it to make it look pretty, I ended up with this:

See? Not boring!

See? Not boring!

It was quite delicious, and the fiber-rich flat out wrap made it very satisfying as well!

*Serious question here* I’ve noticed a major down turn in my readership lately. I’m not just talking the usual “I’m busy over the weekend/holiday so I’m not reading blogs” down turn, but a loss of 200+ subscribers. So, for those of you that are still reading (thank you!) what can I do to improve this site? I’m trying to not take it personally, but I’m starting to wonder really, WHY?!

So, for those of you still reading… what do you like? What do you miss? Should I change anything?

Thanks for your feedback, and for still reading this little blog of mine.

Posted in chicken/turkey, friends, simple recipe | Tagged , , , | 32 Comments