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Small Surprises

November 21, 2011

Given it’s a 3 day pre-holiday week, Monday just does not seem to feel as bad. Smile The weekend was pretty uneventful with a few unexpected pleasantries. On Friday night, my hubby surprised me with a beautiful bouquet of red roses, just because I asked him to pick up some Garbanzo beans on the way home.


Maybe I should send him to the grocery store more often Winking smile 


I loved the fresh flowers decorating our dinning room table, but even a bigger surprise came later on the weekend when Eric re-arranged our garage to make enough room for both cars to fit in.


I thought this day would never come!  Eric tends to hoard like stuff a lot and he also tends to be very attached to the stuff that he’s collected over the past 32 years of his life. All these irreplaceable treasures have slowly accumulated in the house (that is before I moved in a few years ago when they quickly made their way into the garage), and we have been cleaning/sorting/organizing our garage over the last 5 years. It is still far from my OCD vision of perfectly-sized and labeled containers neatly stacked on the side shelves, but it’s a huge improvement and I no longer have to take big breaths and close my eyes before running into the house.

On Saturday morning the temperature dipped to 28 degrees, which made for a frosty 7.3 mile run on Sammamish River trail. I am glad I made a running date with one of my marathon classmates; otherwise I might have spent the entire morning tucked under covers in bed.  Obviously, the freezing weather is not enough to keep this addict away, and I did another 4 miles on Sunday morning on my way to the yoga studio.

The rest of the weekend I spent doing errands and conducting successful food experiments (no fires, giant spills, or food poisoning). To keep things exciting, I tried a couple of new recipes:

Pumpkin Oat Bran Pancakes

I just can’t seem to get enough of the pumpkin this fall. It tends to be a seasonal item so my organic canned pumpkin will most likely disappear from Trader Joe’s shelf come December.


3 servings: 4WW Points+ per serving



  • 2/3 cup oat bran
  • 1/2 cup Non Fat Plain Greek yogurt
  • 1/2 cup egg beaters or 2 large eggs
  • 1tsp Pumpkin Pie Spice
  • 1/4tsp of each baking powder and baking soda
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1 splenda or stevia packet
  • 1/2 can (7-8 oz) of Organic Pumpkin


1. Mix all the ingredients

2. Drop large spoons of the batter into a hot skillet sprayed with non-stick spray

3. Fry 3-5 minutes on each side until bubbles start appearing on the top of each pancake. Flip and cook for 1-2 minutes

4. Serve with maple syrup and whipped cream


“It’s like having Pumpkin pie for breakfast” – Eric.

Cinnamon Pears with Sweet Ricotta dip

This one I found on Weight Watchers website, and it was super easy to make. What a tasty and healthy alternative to satisfy my post-dinner sweet tooth.


4 servings – assuming 1/4 cup of ricotta per serving, 1 WW Points+



  • 4 pears, slices and cored
  • 1tbsp cinnamon spice (I think pumpkin spice would add even better flavor)
  • 1 cup fat free ricotta cheese
  • 1 stevia packet


  1. Arrange sliced pears on a 9-inch pie dish and sprinkle with cinnamon
  2. Bake for 20-25 minutes at 400 degrees
  3. While pears are baking, whip 1 cup of Ricotta cheese with 1 packet of stevia. I whipped the entire container of Ricotta which is about 1 2/3 cups

For dinners, I ventured out into some of our favorite authentic cuisines – Mediterranean and Asian.

Burgundy Lamb tips with bean salad


Spicy Teriyaki Chicken with sautéed veggies and brown rice


[Jane Asks]: Did you try anything new this weekend?

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