Beef and Barley Soup

In the spirit of No-Eat-Outober, I made soup last night instead of ordering it in. I consider it a win! I seem to have caught the ridiculous bug going around our office and have something between a cold, the flu and allergies. Yuck! And the first thing I wanted to do was thrown in the towel and order in buckets of Matzah Ball soup.  But, I stuck it out and made a healthy version of beef and barley soup. I’m not talented enough to whip up fresh matzah ball soup in a 40 minute peiod, but this  was cheap, and easy!


Check out the recipe – It was delicious!


¾ a pound of extra lean ground beef

3 cups of water

1 clove of garlic

1 cup barley

5 cups beef broth

1 onions, chopped

1 bag of frozen mixed vegetables (carrots, corn and green beans)

2 stalks celery, thinly sliced

2 (10 ounce) packages sliced mushrooms

1/2 teaspoon salt

½ teaspoon of black pepper

Couple sprays of Pam

simmering on the stove


Tip: Brown the beef, and cook the Barley at the same time for a quicker soup

Brown the garlic and beef, stir in the onions, mixed vegetables and celery; cook and stir until the onion has softened and turned translucent, about 10 minutes. Stir in mushrooms, and cook 5 minutes more.  Bring the barley and water to a boil in a saucepan. Cover, reduce heat to low, and simmer 30 minutes, or until tender.  Pour in beef broth, and bring soup to a simmer over medium-high heat, then reduce heat to medium-low, and continue simmering 15 minutes. Stir in barley, and season with salt and pepper before serving


What’s your favorite soup to eat when you’re sick?


Yankee Post Season Game

This weekend we had a great time

We made stuffed peppers. I used lean ground beef and barley instead of ground turkey and brown rice. They were delicious. We had a little date night watching Harry Potter 2 rented off of itunes. Adam just started reading the books, and we’ve been watching the movies as he finishes the books up.

Barley and Lean Ground Beef Stuffed Peppers

We went to the Yankee’s second ALDS game against Detroit. It was so much fun (Even if they lost, and played like the Mets – Sorry Adam, they were not on their A game)!

Silly face, for silly plays

For all you people visiting the city, or not huge sports fans here are my clift notes on getting on making it through a game.

Hip - Hip - Jorge!

How to Survive a Yankee’s Game

  1. Take the 4 or 5 subway to Yankee Stadium (Avoid eye contact with all the crazy fans. They do bite).
  2.  Look for healthy salad options at the stadium. If you’re looking to splurge, the Nachos are said to be less than 800 calories and are quite tasty!
  3. Suppress any urge to cheer for the other team. Yankee fans will start an “Assss-hoooollleee” cheer throughout the stadium, and you feel like an idiot.
  4. Talk to the people sitting around you. Drunk Yankee’s fans love to make conversation.
  5. Don’t be afraid to sing YMCA with the grounds crew during the fifth inning.
  6. Hip-Hip-Jorge, is one of the most fun cheers around – Do it!

How do you survive Yankee Stadium?

Heat Advisory

It is hot! That is a understatment, it’s really, really, really hot. The weather app on my phone says it’s 109.  When I planned my vacation to my great home state of Arizona, I did not count on there being a heat advisory in September – but there is. Luckily, the state has a lot of other things going for it! I’m on strike with mother nature, an earthquake, a hurricane and a heat advisory in less than a week is a bit too much for this city girl!

Hello Phoenix! Skyline view from my airplane window


When I landed, the first thing my parents did was take me to an amazing Asian Buffet. I hate to admit it, but I’m a fan of a good (clean and fresh) Asian buffet. I know buffets have a very bad rap, and encourage unhealthy eating – and overeating, but as someone is constantly watching what I eat, I actually think there are some healthy ways to “pick” at these types of places.

Plate O' Veggies! (And a little Tofu!)

Here are some of my healthy Chinese Buffet Rules:

  1. Do not eat anything fried.
  2. Load up on Fresh Veggies – if there is a Mongolian Grill, go there first for a plate full of veggies – the sauces are usually water based, so they are not as toxic as the ones on the hot plates.
  3. Look for sushi – We only go to places with fresh Sushi options, so my “main” meal is a couple veggie rolls
  4. Get a bowl of soup – As long is it’s not cream based, soups are dense and fill you up, so you’re not as tempted to dig into the sesame chicken.

We went to Hong Kong Gourmet Buffet in the Phoenix area, and you can order sushi as part of the meal  – and they make it fresh for you. I loved it!

freshly made sushi for the table to share!



I then came home and slept off my early flight and the time difference (two hours in the winter I can do easy – three hours in the summer, not so easy – For those of you that do not know how crazy Arizona is – the state does not participate in day light savings time) in time to meet up with my friend Chris for a fun Mexican dinner. Chris and I studied journalism at the George Washington University and I don’t think I would have made it through some of those classes without him. Good friends are the best!

Eating out Mexican food is always a struggle for me – my tummy usually wants the most greasy nachos on the menu, but my head knows better. Fajitas are usually a good option because you can control the amount of cheese, sour cream, guac (you know the stuff that makes Mexican food so yummy!) and corn tortillas are lot fewer calories than flour.I chose the veggie fajitas. Chris and I went to Valle Luna which has a ton of healthy options (and my mom had a buy one get one free dinner coupon – score!) The sizzling plate of veggies, was paired with some rice, beans, guac on a corn tortilla for a tasty dinner. Growing up in Arizona, I’m definitely a Mexican food snob, and this meal was amazing!


Sizzling Veggies!Fajita Fix'ins!


It’s always so fun to come home and see people who I haven’t seen in a long time – Can’t wait to catch up more!