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Despite cooking (and eating) the day away yesterday, I didn’t stay out of the kitchen this morning. 

Our friend Suz came over for brunch this morning.  It was great to see her.  She came at 11:00 but I was up pretty early, so I had a smoothie (almond milk, banana, frozen fruit medley) to hold me over.  I was going to wait until my normal weekday posts to put my new mascot on the blog, but I couldn’t.  Look at my new pig!!!  Janice brought it back from a recent business trip to Singapore for me!  He was purchased in “Arabtown” in the city. I LOVE him!!!  Thanks Janice!!!!!

I made a spinach/dill/light feta frittata with whole eggs and egg whites. 

We also had turkey sausage and fruit. 

A few days ago, I made muffins and tossed some extras in the freezer knowing they’d be good for brunch today. 

I also “recycled” the leftover butternut squash from dinner last night, crisped it up a bit in a non stick pan, and turned it into squash/pear/cranberry “hash browns”. 

We had warm almond milk in our coffee. 

And a little Italian almond cookie that I picked up in our nearby Italian neighborhood yesterday.  (they were delicious, but NOT photogenic)

Suz is happy to be mentioned on the blog, but prefers not to have her picture on there.  Which I respect, so here is a close facsimile of her for those of you who don’t know her!

Kidding, kidding, kidding…..and Suz herself said “put Elizabeth Taylor” on there.  (I had suggested Cindy Crawford! :) )  Funny!!!

After brunch, she and I did a little shopping, then I came home to sloth around a bit, do some laundry and catch up on some reading. 

I had a glass of wine and some baked chips later this afternoon.  (this wine was open in the fridge already Suz…yours is safely in the wine rack!  Thanks again my LLP!!)

While I had wine, Neva had a good go at her catnip pillow.

And shortly thereafter flipped over on to her back doing her best “floating otter” imitation.  Must have been pretty good nip because she stayed in this position for a LONG time!   Little stoner!! 

Dinner tonight was leftovers from yesterday’s dinner.  I put the reheated shrimp and chicken on a bed of greens, we had a bit of the beet risotto and quinoa as well as steamed some asparagus on the side. 

Woo Hoo….the Amazing Race is back tonight, so I’m going to close this off and go and check it out.  Hope everyone’s weekend was a good one, and that the week ahead brings us all some fun and sunshine!!!

I had a REALLY busy Saturday.  I was up very early this morning roasting beets (you’ll see why in a bit) and making a shopping list for our potluck dinner tonight.   It wasn’t just ANY potluck, it was a “Throwdown”.  For fun, our friends Janice and Alan (aka: Team Sizz-lah) and Dennis and I (aka: Team Fi-yah) have a friendly cooking competition.   We invite another couple to be “judges” and a “trophy” is passed back and forth to the winning team.  It’s all all in good fun and a great way to have a big feast with good friends!   And potentially burn a house down.

More on that in a bit….

Because I knew tonight would be a bit of a feeding frenzy I tried to eat very few points through the day.  I had a smoothie (almond milk, a banana and frozen peaches) and an almond milk latte.  (seems my steaming mojo is alive and well again.  YAY)

I then set out to buy the goods we needed to the 4 course dinner of tonight.

I also squeezed in a haircut.  “Hi Patty!  Thanks for making me “sassy” again today!” 

When I got home, I ate an apple and a few vegetable crackers with roasted zucchini/artichoke spread to hold me over.

I then set about cooking for the bulk of the afternoon.  Throwdown nights (which we do 3 or 4 times a year) can really be very decadent.  We know we are very lucky to be in a position to take this on, and also to live in a city where we are able to buy ALL KINDS of ingredients so we can make some interesting dishes.   I feel it’s really important not to take our luck for granted and since we began “throwing down” a few years ago, we buy a few cans or non perishables and donate it in the food bank once a week to help those less fortunate.

Today’s Throwdown “theme” was HEALTHY in honor of both Janice and I being point counters.  We had 5 “categories” that fell under the theme: chicken, side, grain, any other protein of choice and cocktail. 

Here are Team Sizz-lah.

And tonight’s judges Marian and Martin.

No evening at Alan and Janice’s place would be complete without photos of the adorable Gus and Zack, who were not remotely interested in Throwing Down. 

We started with the cocktails.  Team Sizz-lah’s drink was a delicious and seasonal “cherry blossom-tini”.  It was sake based, beautiful and delicious. 

Our (Team Fi-yah) cocktail was a kiwi mint julep.  (The recipe was found on Eating Well’s website)

The winner of the cocktail category:  Team Fi-yah

For tonight’s “Wild Card” Protein (can be any protein source, animal or vegetable) category, BOTH teams had prawns.  

Team Sizz-lah’s prawns were marinated in chili and were served with a mango salsa.

Team Fi-yah’s prawns were also skewered with baby scallops and were marinated with low-fat peanut sauce.  More of the sauce was also on the side.

Winner of the Wildcard Protein: Team Sizz-lah

For the side category, Team Sizz-lah used one of Gina’s recipes from Skinny Taste: Zucchini carpaccio with parmesan.  (YUM!! – Gina’s recipes are EXCELLENT)

Team Fi-yah’s offering was a grated butternut squash dish with pear, dried cranberries and maple syrup.  We sprinkled it with fresh mint.

Winner of the side category:  Team Sizz-lah

Team Sizz-lah’s grain dish was Quinoa “fried rice”. 

Team Fi-yah’s grain was beet risotto “cake” with low-fat goat cheese and fresh dill.

Winner of the grain category:  Team  Fi-yah.

It all came down to the chicken category.

Team Sizz-lah made grilled, blackened chicken thighs with a sauce that I can’t remember the name (Alan, help!).  The sauce was AMAZING, made with lettuce, cilantro, a little light mayo and some other seasonings.

Team Fi-yah’s chicken were pounded chicken breasts with a slice of lean prosciutto and a bit of low-fat havarti.  They were baked as is, and topped with a mushroom sauce made with broth, fat-free evaporated milk and Dijon mustard. 

The winner of the chicken category, so the winner of tonight’s Throwdown…..TEAM FI-YAH!!! 

Here is Marian presenting Dennis and I with the atrocious trophy!  (we call it Mooley the Monkey – the winner signs and dates the base and keeps Mooley safe until the next Throwdown.  We have to hide him away at our place because Neva can be a bully!) 

The monkey lights up, kicks the soccer ball and has a REALLY bad song that it plays.  So funny!

Afterward, Janice served little key lime tarts with a spoonful of fat-free yogurt and fresh raspberries. 

As always, we had SUCH a good time “throwing down”.  Thanks Team Sizz-lah and thanks Marion and Martin!!!   It’s late now, time to stop posting food shots and get some sleep.  Hope everyone’s weekend is going well!

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