Copy Cat

On Sunday night I met up with a friend for dinner because we had a lot of catching up to do! We met at Oaks Bottom Pub in Sellwood because they had a happy hour that ran until 6pm. Michael was out at a concert that night and it was nice to get out of the house and have some girl time. I’d spent most of Sunday cooking for the week and then watching episodes of West Wing on Netflix.

I’d been craving a BLT sandwich for a few weeks and decided to get that instead of something off the happy hour menu. It came out and it was a LOT bigger than I was expecting and it was also fried. But oh well, it was delicious. It had slices of avocado on it and melted cheese and that made it amazing. Glad I got the salad as the side!


Erika got the sliders from the happy hour menu and an order of tots. Their tots are pretty good (and they also have something called “Totchos”–basically nachos made with tots). I had a few of her tots but the sandwich was so big I didn’t have much.


Kind of a massive amount for happy hour! We both got a beer but stuck to just one. Partly because I’m trying to limit my liquid calories and also because I’m not a huge fan of their beer. I got the seasonal IPA and it was ok but not great so why waste my calories?

It was such a nice night and our happy hour excursion turned into a 3+ hour gab session. It was good to catch up; we’ve both had a lot of stuff going on lately. I suggested that when the weather is a little nicer she meet me somewhere to walk Bella. I’m always up for a walk! As long as it’s not raining. πŸ™‚

I’d planned on prepping some dinner to go into the crockpot Monday morning but my dinner date Sunday went late. By the time I got home, I just wanted to cuddle with Bella and Fat Kitty in bed and read a book (Maya was under the bed, as per usual). So Monday night when I got home from work I decided to make a quickie soup for dinner.

I wish I was one of those “throw everything together in a pot and it tastes fantastic” kind of cook. I’m a recipe follower. I need actual measurements and instructions. I guess I’m just a really literal person when it comes to the kitchen. That being said, I did kind of “throw things together” on this one. Originally I wanted to make theΒ Pasta Y Fagioli Soup “recipe” that Michael’s mom gave me a few months ago. We’d gone over there for dinner and she made this fantastic soup! But she’s a “throw everything together” kind of cook and this is what she gave me:


I thought, ok I can give this a try! I can WING IT (yeah right). Except I went to make the dinner and didn’t have any canned beans. I ALWAYS have canned beans. How am I out?!? Nothing but black beans and that kind of changed the whole recipe. So I made something similar to this recipe minus the beans, Also, the only pasta I had besides spaghetti was gluten-free fuselli. I honestly didn’t care that it wasn’t the right pasta. I’m not a stickler. Pasta is pasta to me.


I browned half a pound of beef (it was left over and needed to be cooked) and halved the rest of the recipe. Minus the beans. I let it simmer for about 45 minutes on the stove. I cooked the pasta separately and then added it to the soup mixture about 10 minutes before it was going to be ready. I also baked some biscuits–you know, the kind that come in a tube? It’s been probably 8 years or so since I had them and was craving it so I got it. They were surprisingly low in calories. A serving was 3 biscuits for 160 calories. Not bad!


With my throwing things together, I actually got 5 servings out of the dish and that made itΒ 271 calories for 5 servings. If it was half of the original recipe at 4 servings it would be a little higher but still pretty low.

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Michael was a big fan of the soup. I was too. It was delicious and hearty. The kitchen smelled delightful! I would most definitely make this recipe again with one minor tweak — it needed more fluids! Since I was omitting the cans of beans (which the original recipes I consulted said to include the liquid in the beans) there was less fluid. I think I’d add some beef broth or maybe some water.


Despite not being “soupy” it was still delicious and I loved the flavors. And the biscuit. πŸ™‚

What’s your favorite soup?

Damned Date Night

Tuesday I woke up at my normal time and felt a whole lot better. The acupuncture and tens treatment I’d had Monday worked wonders. I had aΒ new-foundΒ love of acupuncture. Now I want to buy more Groupon and Living Social deals for acupuncture treatment and do it more often.

I had an appointment mid-morning so I headed to the gym before that. I hopped on the treadmill for a four mile run and felt great. My sacrum irritation that had been bugging me for a few days wasn’t present. My knees felt good. It was an all around good workout.Β Loving running again! Even if it IS on a treadmill! I followed up with free weights afterward. I wanted to skip the machines and just focus on my arms. I was doing so goodΒ before I took a break from lifting weights.

I decided to do a Nike Training Club workout for the arms–only 15 minutes but it was a good little workout.

I modified the medicine ball push-up and instead did regular push-ups. It was just more comfortable for me. Things that require a lot of balance aren’t my thing. πŸ˜‰ Just ask Michael.

It was a great sweat. I felt good getting my workout done early and having the rest of the day for appointments and then a work training. Β If you’re a fitness nut, how do you get in extra focus on a certain body part? Any websites or workouts you prefer for arms?

Time: 1:34
Calories Burned: 645
Distance Run: 4.41 milesΒ 

Tuesday evening Michael and I headed out for the Chuck Palahniuk reading and signing for his new book! It was held at the Bagdad Theatre. I’ve been a huge Chuck fan for years. The first book I ever read of his was Invisible Monsters and it was so different and so disturbing and moving that I fell in love with him as a writer. I devoured the rest of his books (except for Fight Club–haven’t read it yet and not sure I want to because I love the movie so much).

We got there thirty minutes before the doors opened and got in line so we’d get good seats. And we did get great seats, only a few rows from the front.

There was another writer there for the Q&A and I’m really interested in reading her book now too. It sounded like she was a great writer. They introduced Chuck and they did a Q&A first. It was hilarious! He was such a great speaker: entertaining, funny, offensive. The questions were from the Powell’s website and they varied from idiotic to funny.

Then Chuck read a short story that he wrote. I guess on his book tours he writes a new short story and reads it to the audience instead of reading an excerpt from the newest book.

The short story was funny, offensive and bizarre but he’s such a good writer and speaker it sucked me in immediately. Despite it’s offensive nature it had a sweet message at the end. Then they tossed out souvenirs to the crowd–a giant inflatable brain signed by Chuck (which Michael caught) and a giant inflatable skeleton (which I caught). We also got signed copies of his newest book, Damned. I can’t wait to read it!

Buy it!

After the show Michael and I stopped at Dot’s Cafe for dinner. It was late and not much was open.

I ordered the BLT sandwich. For some reason nothing really appealed to me. I was hungry, for sure, because I hadn’t eaten since about 4pm. But nothing sounded good. So BLT it was.

Sometimes basics are good.Β The night ended happy. I was so glad we’d gotten tickets to see Chuck! It was a fun, different kind of Date Night. πŸ™‚

QUESTION: Are you a Chuck fan? What’s your favorite book?