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Friday, November 14, 2014


I don't know why I am doing mental cartwheels and make-believe jumping jacks just because Friday is here.   Because I know all too well that my weekend is already burdened with an almost impossible to-do list that must be completed by the time the clock strikes 4:45 am Monday morning......

So, for the moment, I am going to forget completely about all of that and focus on the weekend plans that will take the edge off that ridiculous to-do list....
 So.....TO-DO-LISTS should be abolished!!! 
*My sister and I are going with a bunch of other groupies to see a singer that we really like at a comfy and fun little local pub.  Music and martinis can cure lots of things. 
*My spirited gal pals and our lucky-to-have-us husbands are going to a much-buzzed-about  new restaurant that we have waited quite some time to get into.  This particular restaurant opened in the old Georgetown restaurant where Carmen and I had many dressed-up date nights in the early days of dating and marriage...oh so many years ago.  So, I'm super excited to see the transformation....I hear it's spectacular!  And, we are huge fans of the chef since she is also very involved in the creative menu and cooking at a wonderful little place in my neighborhood where we go quite often.  Good friends+Good food+Good wine+ A view of our GRAND city=HAPPY.  
*My forever friend and I will be attending the 3rd installment of our Thanksgiving cooking technique's our annual November tradition.  Old friends and traditions are the best.

Sometimes all I need is a reminder that even though it feels like it's all work and no play.....I really do play. 

Hello Friday......

Thursday, November 13, 2014

Fashionably late......

If I am going to be late.....I might as well do it fashionably so.....
An Autumn Visit to North Market....what a Judi place!

Autumn is flying by.....the world is already knee deep in the Christmas holiday season.
Everywhere I look, it's Christmas.
What happened to that other holiday.....Thanksgiving?
I'm still trying to get ready for THAT ONE!!! 
I'm trying super hard to get out and organize my Thanksgiving china (thank God I found it hidden in a place where I put in a fit of being organized last year!) and linens (where in the hell is my new Thanksgiving table cloth???), make sure we have enough comfy places for our visitors to sleep (are air mattresses tacky? I ordered the ones that have the highest rankings on Amazon for pete's sake!) and figure out when the hell I am going to get everything done. 
And, I am majorly consumed by Pinterest's tablescaping ideas.   (which might explain why I'm not getting all the things done I should be getting done each night!)
I can't even think about Christmas until I can at least set a few Thanksgiving-inspired tables!
And, then, there's the food.
The way I figure it, I have to be prepared for several meals for guests other than the regular Thanksgiving meal.
Breakfasts, lunches and at least 2 other dinners.
So, excuse me if I'm still firmly planted in Autumn.  

Baked Pumpkin Cream Cheese French Toast
This easy, easy recipe was hi-jacked from a friend who served this last year at a Fall brunch that she hosted. So, let me assure you that it's been taste tested and deemed worthy from men, women and children!  And, it has the most amazing cream cheese filling. Prep the night before and bake right before serving. Oh yeah......

  • 3/4 cup milk
  • 1/2 cup pumpkin puree
  • 3 large eggs
  • 2 teaspoons pumpkin pie spice
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1 (12-count) package King'sHawaiian Sweet Dinner Rolls, cubed
  • For the crumb topping
  • 1/4 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1/4 cup brown sugar, packed
  • 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1/4 cup unsalted butter, cut into cubes
  • 1/4 cup chopped pecans
  • 2 tablespoons confectioners' sugar
  • For the cream cheese filling
  • 8 ounces cream cheese, at room temperature
  • 1/3 cup confectioners' sugar
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon

  • Beat cream cheese, sugar and cinnamon on medium speed until light and fluffy, approximately 2-3 minutes; set aside.
  • In a  bowl, whisk together milk, pumpkin puree, eggs, pumpkin pie spice and vanilla.
  • Lightly coat an 9x13 baking dish with nonstick spray. Place a layer of bread cubes evenly into the baking dish. Pour half of the pumpkin puree mixture evenly over the top. Spread cream cheese filling in an even layer. Top with remaining bread cubes and pumpkin puree mixture to completely cover the filling.
  • Cover and place in the refrigerator for at least 2 hours or overnight.
  • Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.
  • To make the crumb topping, combine flour, sugar and cinnamon in a small bowl. Add cold butter and toss to coat, using your fingers to work the butter into the dry ingredients until it resembles coarse crumbs. Sprinkle the crumb topping evenly over the bread cubes.
  • Place into oven and bake for 35-45 minutes, or until golden brown.
  • Serve immediately, sprinkled with pecans and confectioners' sugar--if you want...I suggest you want! 
 Oh yeah....and I also hi-jacked this recipe from my friend too.....yes, it's super yummy and a great brunch goes super great with the Pumpkin French Toast! 


Apple Pie Moonshine Cocktail

Makes 8 drinks


  • 8 oz apple pie moonshine (available at liquor stores)
  • 8 oz apple juice
  • Cinnamon simple syrup (recipe follow)
  • 2 fresh squeezed lemons
  • apple slices, to garnish
  • cinnamon sticks, to garnish

Cinnamon Simple Syrup:

  • 4 cup water
  • 4 cup granulated sugar
  • 4 cinnamon sticks


In a large pitcher with lip or large cocktail shaker, combine apple pie moonshine, apple juice, cinnamon simple syrup, and lemon juice.  Fill shaker 2/3 full of ice.  Stir for 10-15 seconds to chill drink.  Strain ice.  Serve cocktail with new ice.  Garnish with sliced apples and cinnamon sticks.
Cinnamon Simple Syrup: In a medium sauce pot, add water, sugar, and cinnamon sticks.  Set over medium heat and bring to a boil.  Remove from heat.  Cover pot and let mixture steep for 30 minutes.  Strain out cinnamon sticks.  Allow cinnamon simple syrup to cool to room temperature.  Transfer to an airtight container and store in the fridge until ready to use.  Keeps in the fridge for 2 weeks.

Wednesday, November 12, 2014

Did YOU gain a few pounds?

Now, who in the hell asks that question?
If  you guessed my 94 year old weight-watcher father asks that question, you would be correct. 
If you have been reading my blog since day one, you already know that my Lap band and my weight has been one of my father's favorite spectator sports.  He loves to ask about it, talk about it and tell everyone all about it.  Sometimes, I think it gives him something to live for....
So, perhaps I'm keeping him humming along.  Me and my never ending battle of the bulge has kept him on alert and interested in living.   Considering I may be single--handedly responsible for his longevity, you would think he would cut me a break......
Well, friends, I can double guarantee you, it ain't going to happen. 
He's tougher than a scale.  And, that's no lie.  He puts you face-to-face with the truth...along with that look of parental disappointment....
And, he's also much more aware than the common guy on the street.
He sees extra weight through sweaters and coats....with his 94 year old xray Dad eyes.....
Maybe he bought these from the back of my 70's TEEN magazine....

Yes, I have gained some weight. 
Leave it to a parent to keep us honest. 
You heard it here folks.....Judi is dealing with a weight gain.  
No need to wait for my father to give you the news.
DID YOU HEAR?  Judi gained weight!  Judi gained weight!  Get the news here! 

It's teetering on about a  20 pound weight gain and it's squarely placed in that one place that I inherited from my stomach (and some of the surrounding areas....).   Thank you Daddy. 
Somedays it's 17 pounds, other days it's 18 pounds and other days it's 21 pounds.
So, we are going with 20. 
When your body is fickle, it's best not to commit to any one number because the next day you will be proven wrong. 
So, I will  pose the same question that my father asked me last night....
 First, we will go with the version I told my Dad....
Well, it's like this---I haven't been as religious as I should be about eating.  And, I have this thing that I thought was a corn on my toe--which is really a bad infection that is very very painful---that has made it hard to walk every day, let alone fully continue with my running program. 

That rendition is truthful.  But, its not the whole truth.  Even if I wanted to tell him the whole truth, he didn't give me a chance.  Once I said all of that, he went off on a lecture about my weight and how I don't want to get that fat again and  then badgered me with questions about my toe and the infection....which spiraled into him warning me that I might have to have it amputated.  Who wants to be a fat woman with an amputated toe?   The thought of it sent me directly to the freezer to get both of us some ice cream.  I knew that might be the only way to shut him up.....and give me a little taste of peace and pleasure....

Now, for what's really going on......
It's tough, friends.   Really tough.  Maintaining a weight loss on a body built for obesity gets harder and harder.  The Lap Band keeps it from spiraling into a 50 pound or a 60 pound or a 100 pound weight gain.  But, still.....20 pounds is NOTHING to take lightly....
It's just that  I am tireder than tired.  Overwhelmed.  Over stressed. Over scheduled.  And....if truth be told.....over it all.   At least that's the way I am feeling right now....
Keeping up with everything that needs kept up with is not an easy task.  It's beats me to the bone some days.  There are moments that I look around at what needs work and at home and even in my very scheduled, demanding life and I can't even process it all.   
So, yes, I might eat mashed potatoes.  Or ice cream.  Or candy.  
I try to schedule in things like massages and trivia nights and martinis and girls nights out and visits with friends.... but even then.....when I am enjoying those little mind is on what I am not doing and what I need to do.....and all the guilt and panic that comes with all of that!  
It's playing havoc with my band.  The stress is tightening it so much that eating a normal meal is not exactly without it's own brand of stress.  So, I eat other things....things that go directly through my beloved band....and they are NOT the best choices.  But, I figure....a girl has to eat.  
And, then, there's the other issues that not serving me well.....not planning daily lunches since I am so rushed all of the time....putting me at the mercy of the faculty dining room, eating late at night because that's when I finally have a chance, not drinking my morning protein shakes because it's so damn early and I am running so damn late....not to mention that every so often weeknight glass of wine.....oh....and a little cheese.  And, some crackers....

So, what am I going to do about it? 
 I know the answer.
You know the answer.  
Hell, even my dad knows the answer.  



Tuesday, November 11, 2014

One day is not enough.........

To honor and thank all the men and women who sacrificed their lives and to their families who missed days and weeks and months and even years with those they love so that they can keep us safe and free.....

Remembering them all today and everyday!

Sunday, November 9, 2014

Get your own damn bottle!!!


Remember I told you that this weekend was all about PUMPKIN?
Yeah, well, I should have been a little more's all about squash. 
Pumpkin is a squash so it wasn't like I was lying or anything.
You see, I have given myself the weekend task of coming up with hearty vegetarian, Thanksgiving-worthy dishes.
Lucky for me, I remembered a very specific dinner party hosted by one of fabulous friends last fall where she made this absolutely amazing Butternut Squash lasagna roll up dish that everyone went ga-ga over.  Although pasta is not usually my friend (because of my Lap band and all), I do recall eating the yummy filling out of the roll up and being smitten by the butternut squash sauce so much so that I nearly licked that plate clean.
So, I called my fabulous friend and asked for her recipe.
She hesitated a bit.
Then, she said...."Okay, promise you won't judge me..."
"Um.  Okay.  I won't..."  I replied.    
"It is a jarred sauce I get on Amazon...."  she revealed.  "It's gourmet and know!"  she said, trying to make it all seem legit....
"Well, I can do jarred sauces from Amazon...I know that recipe."  I laughed. 
"Yeah, but you've never used a jarred sauce in your life!"  she chirped.
"Ah, you would be surprised ...."  I told her.
Anyway....she gave me all the info on the jarred sauce and I immediately ordered my supply.
And...her recipe for the roll-up....."I don't know....just  GOOGLE lasagna roll ups with butternut squash..."  she said...
I just love my girlfriends.
So, I followed her instructions and GOOGLED 'lasagna roll ups with butternut squash' and what to my wondering eyes did appear?
THIS recipe from one of my all time favorite recipe bloggers.....The Proud Italian Cook. 
It was like the moon and starts aligned and I was living in OZ!

Buy this sauce.
Make these roll-ups.
You can thank me later.  

Friday, November 7, 2014

If it's must be FRIDAY!!!!!

Prolific....don't you think?

Friday has arrived in Judiland with a HUGE THUMP!
Now that it's  on my doorstep, I need to make the most of it.
Schedules have been a bit tospy turvy this past week and it's kept me in a constant of of
confusion.  But, with my typical make-lemonade-out-of-lemons-then-add-gin attitude,  I weathered the turmoil.
Thankfully!  Because it's just in time for a road trip......TO.....drum roll please.....the thriving metropolis of .Zanesville OH........population 25K.
Yes, blogfriends, my life is nothing if it's not exciting.
My reasons for this less than 24 hour trip are multiple....but, I won't bore you with the details of me needing to drive to meet my son the doctor  half way to  deliver a kegerator and a trunk full of Christmas decorations.....
Because, really, that's the boring part.
The not-so-boring part is that the 2 hour drive will be a nice, calm respite from the never-ending jockeying of schedules and demands of life in Judiland and then there's that promised dinner at a renowned seafood restaurant on the river with an early morning trip to an antique mall.
Yes, all in Zanesville, OH.
Perhaps you'll want to plan  your next exotic vacation there.....

Don't be jealous!!


Thursday, November 6, 2014

Don't be fooled by RUNNERS!

I'm trying, I really, really, really am......

Clearly, I am not IN THE ZONE quite yet......
Because I want to give up more than I want to run.
There's always dishes to do, laundry to do, projects to tackle.....
And, geez, I am tired at the end of the day.
Some days I am tireder than tired.
And, my knees hurt.
And, my legs hurt.
And, I have this corn on my little toe that is ruining my life.
I watch runners effortlessly glide by me as I struggle to go that next 90 seconds.
They look so content and at peace.
I am so pained and at war with myself.
Sometimes I fight with my thoughts of failure.
Other times, I fight with my body of pain.
And, every day.....I fight with the idea of not doing it.
I'm trying not to give up.
Really, really trying......