Crockpot Cabbage Soup

I made a crockpot cabbage soup from a recipe I found on Facebook. It turned out pretty good and I wanted to share

Here is the original recipe.

Polish Sausage and Cabbage Soup Crock Pot

2 cups potatoes, cubed and peeled
4 cups cabbage, shredded it fine
1 carrot, shredded it fine
1 large onion, chopped
2 teaspoons caraway seeds, crushed (optional)
1-1/4 lb Polish sausage, cooked, halved lengthwise and cut into 1/2 inch slices
4 cups fat free chicken broth or you can just use water
black pepper and salt to taste

Directions: Place potatoes, cabbage, carrot, onion, caraway seeds, sausage, pepper and salt in crock pot. Pour broth over all. Cover, cook on low for 10-12 hours or high for 5-6 hours.

I made it easy on myself and used Oreida frozen homestyle hash browns that were already cut up. I also used a cajun style sausage for more flavor. I left out the caraway seeds because I didn't really know what they were nor did I have any on hand.

I also used a crockpot bag for easy clean up. Have you seen these yet? I love them and it makes clean up a breeze. You can find these near the Ziplock bags at your local grocery store.

My whole crockpot of soup was 14 PPVs. I thought I would have two servings for 7 PPVs each but that is a lot of soup. I also scaled down my recipe adding four cups of broth, two sausages, 190 grams frozen potatoes, three carrots, and a little bit of onion. I used about ½ to ¾ of the head of cabbage.  Mine also only cooked on high for about 3.5 hours.


10 Week Fitness Challenge: Week One

Our Colonel at ISP developed a fitness challenge to encourage employees to adopt a fitness routine. The challenge is to walk, run, swim, bike, or weight train over the next 10 weeks. You could pick one area to focus on or a mix of percentages. I decided to walk 120 miles over 10 weeks.

Under normal circumstances this might not be a huge deal for me. I have enjoyed getting out for walks more since I hurt my back so committing to 100% of the walking challenge sounded like something right up my alley. The week runs from Sunday to Saturday so I will be checking in on Sundays with the previous week's walking mileage totals. I am aiming for 12 miles a week but know that some weeks could be more or less depending on how my back feels. I am going to give it my best shot!

So here is Week One of the 120 mile walking challenge.

Sunday: 7 miles
We walked all over Vegas and my friend Danielle was wearing her FitBit so we actually know how many miles we accumulated. It is amazing to realize how much walking you actually do. I debated if I would count this or not but it is walking and so it counts!

Monday: 4 miles
More Vegas walking. Since we were headed home this day we didn't quite walk as much as the days prior. I am still surprised we walked as much as we did.

Tuesday: No Activity
I needed some rest!

Wednesday: 2 miles
I went for a walk on the treadmill while I watched some TV. I also did PT today. 3 APs earned.

Thursday: No Activity
I was feeling store and a bit depressed after seeing the orthopedic doctor.

Friday: 4.6 miles
I split up my activity into two different walks. I was tired of feeling sorry for myself so I went for a 3 mile walk. Later in the day I walked to/from Albertson's and Walgreens for a little extra mileage. 5 APs earned.

Saturday: No Activity
I need to rest today. I have a 10K walk on Sunday.

Total Miles for Week One: 17.6

This was an unusual week of activity since I am counting the Vegas walking. I don't expect the weeks to be this high but hey, I'll take it!


Weekly Weigh In

I am in a pretty bad funk this week and it reflected on the scale.

Actual weight was 180.4

I received some bummer news from the orthopedic doctor on Thursday. I will explain further after I talk to the PT on Monday. I am letting it control my moods and I feel like I am on a roller coaster.

I need to get myself out of this funk before I dig the whole deeper!

I told myself I would get on the scale Saturday after my return from Vegas.  Even though I didn't want to, I needed to.  I am up 2.6 pounds from the WI before going to Vegas.

There was some weight gain after Vegas and a little of that has dropped off. I was successful in getting my WI done for September but I am coming to terms with having to pay for October. It is okay. I won't stop going to my meeting just because I have to pay $9 a week.  I would like to at least keep my weight under 180.

I don't quite have a plan in place. I am still processing and here soon my inner fighter will come out again.


Las Vegas Adventures - Part Three

If you missed my Vegas Ladies Weekend recaps you can find Part One here and Part Two here.

Our flight didn't leave Vegas until 4:35pm so we still had a little bit of time to enjoy the remainder of our weekend. Danielle was able to show me a side of Vegas I have never seen before: the spa.

We headed to breakfast at Planet Dailies. We were both wanting something yummy like a cinnamon roll or waffles so we split an omelet with home-fried potatoes and ordered a cinnamon roll. It hit the spot!

We had an awesome waitress and when I asked for cream and a lot of Splenda for my coffee she delivered. Nothing says morning like an overdose of sugar substitute.

Our resort fee at the hotel included use of the fitness center and the spa facilities. I have never been to a spa for anything other than a massage so Danielle was happy to show me the ropes. We checked out of our room and into Spa by Mandara. We put on some robes and sat in the steam room and the jacuzzi. It was heaven and after all the alcohol I consumed my body feel good to sweat a bit. Since it is a full spa they also have all the amenities for showering and getting ready. The products provided for use smelled so good. It was a really relaxing experience.

We ventured on foot to Bellagio so we could see the decorations in the conservatory. They change the decorations about four times a year. It was all decked out for fall. The need to photo-bomb everybody taking photos around me was huge...but I resisted. I think I have created a monster!

Inside the Bellagio is also some amazing artwork by Dale Chihuly.

For our final meal in Vegas we headed to Paris in search of yummy french pastries. We found a little restaurant called Cafe Belle Madeline which had the most amazing looking dessert case. 

They also had prepared salads at a decent price. I ordered the tiramisu and Danielle ordered a cheesecake so we could have a little of each. I liked her cheesecake best.

It was time to say goodbye to Las Vegas, at least for this trip, and we hailed a cab to the airport. We arrived about an hour and half early. We joked it was the only time this weekend we were early! I was again made fun of on the plane ride home when I ordered my special drinks. The flight attendant was hilarious! I had a mix of orange juice and cranberry juice and rum this time instead of vodka.

Our drinks on our return flight were compliments of two people we didn't know. When I was printing my boarding pass for the flight I saw there were two separate free drink coupons that were unclaimed. The rules of the drink tickets are that they cannot be sold, bought, bartered, or traded. Nothing says they can't be stolen. Thank you to whomever gave us our free drinks!

With all good things...it came to and end. I had so much fun with Danielle and I am so happy she was willing to travel with me. I look forward to other travel opportunities in the future.


Las Vegas Adventures - Part Two

If you missed Part One about my Vegas Ladies Weekend you can find it here.

Danielle and I were having so much fun that I had to split up the posts. I took this week off work as a bit of a stay-cation so my post is a little late again.  I am not on the computer as much when I am home vs at work.

Sunday was devoted to a trip to the Premium Outlet Mall so I could visit the Coach Outlet. We didn't get up and moving really early and since we had found out during our trip to BurGR for dessert that 11am was the best time to try and get a seat. We really wanted to try these amazing looking burgers we saw the night before.

I had an apple and granola bar with peanut butter to tide me over. Danielle and I went to Planet Dailies, located in the hotel, for a quick bite for her. I opted for just coffee since it was going to be only a few hours until our early lunch.

Our early trip to BurGR paid off and we were seated right away. I would like to also add that the service at BurGR is top notch! The hostess and waitstaff were very friendly and accommodating. You didn't have to wait for a refill on water. There are many reasons this is such a great place to eat I can understand why there is a long line.

It was a tough decision as they had many delicious looking burgers. Danielle and I decided to order two different ones and share half of each. We also knew we had to try a serving of their Parmesan truffle fries. And, what goes better with a good burger then a beer? I had a Blue Moon. Yum!

We ordered one burger with three different kinds of cheese and another with mango chutney and arugula. I am a lettuce and pickle person with my burger so I got some on the side to add to my cheese half. It was sweet pickles though. Not the same.

One we had food in our bellies we boarded the express bus to the outlet mall. The bus system in Vegas is great. Our previously purchased $8 pass was good for 24 hours and included the express bus to get to the mall. 

It took about 30 minutes to get to the outlet mall. After walking around the mall for about two hours I left with a new Coach purse for me and one for my sister Jenny. I got Katie a Coach purse at the outlet mall in New Mexico earlier this year so I needed to also get one for Jenny. I hope she likes it.

We boarded the express bus and headed back to our hotel room. We didn't have much time to primp before we had to head out for our second show of the weekend.  Shopping is tough stuff! We stopped at Heat Bar in our hotel to grab a drink and get checked in for our flight. The 2 for 1 drinks only included Sky vodka so I had a mix of pineapple and cranberry juice.

There was a sale associate at one of the outlet mall stores that asked what hotel we were staying at.  He said the popcorn shop is a must try when visiting Vegas.  We had smelled popcorn the day before so we set out in search for it.  We found it in the Miracle Mile Mall.  Garrett serves fresh warm popcorn in a variety of flavors. It tasted so different then other store bought popcorn and was hard to stop eating.  I got a mix of cheese, buttered, and caramel.  I was still munching on this bag as we waited for our flight at the airport.  Delicious!

After we were late to Carrot Top the day before we knew we wanted to have extra time to grab a bite to eat and not be late...again. I think we had bad karma this weekend because as we were riding the bus to Mandalay Bay I got out our tickets to make sure the doors opened at 7pm. It turns out our show was at 7pm and not 7:30pm as we thought. So there went our window of having extra time!!! Thankfully we were not late. We had just enough time to grab something quick. I had a pretzel sandwich but forgot to snap a photo.

Our show for the night was Michael Jackson One Cirque de Soleil. You are allowed to take photos before the show started but not once the show begins. Funny story: at Carrot Top I knew you couldn't take photos during the show but I thought I could snap a photo as he was finished and of the set once we left. It turns out you can't! I was promptly met at the door my security and told to delete my photos immediately. Don't worry, I confirmed I could take photos before the show began on Sunday night!

As usual, the Cirque show did not disappoint. It was fun music and great costumes. It was neat to see everybody dancing in their seats. The old lady next to me fell asleep! That was an expensive nap and quite impressive the noise and lights didn't wake her. If you are ever in Las Vegas any of the Cirque shows are worth the extra money.  What I loved about Michael Jackson One is that you could almost feel MJ's there with us.  It makes me sad that future generations will not know what an amazing performer he was.

Since our show was early we boarded the Duce and headed to Fremont Street. It is a covered area in old town Las Vegas with a light show every hour on the top of the dome.  The light show was about Queen with music and photos. After a few drinks, it got us dancing in the street! This was a Malibu Rum, coconut rum, and pineapple juice. Delicious! And much cheaper then drinks on the Strip.

We had the some fun “photo-bombing” people. This might have been the highlight of the weekend. Photo-bombing is where you jump into the photo with somebody else while they are having their picture taken. I guess I'll blame it on the alcohol giving me courage to do it!

We needed food so when we spotted a Tony Roma's and knew we HAD to stop in.  We don't have any in Idaho anymore and we both love their potato soup.  We both had a bowl of soup and a side salad.

We had hoped to do some gambling at the $3 blackjack tables but had trouble finding one. So we boarded the bus towards Circus Circus to see if we could find their $3 tables. We ended up on the wrong bus so we never went by Circus Circus. Vegas is quite scary when you get off the Strip! We headed back to our hotel but all the tables were $15 and $25 so we just called it a night.

Hard to believe but there is just a little bit more fun to be had!