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Goodbye (sort of), Foodie McBody June 6, 2014

Foodie McBody

Foodie McBody

I just did a little thing that felt like such a BIG thing. I changed my Twitter handle, which has been @foodiemcbody forever. But for the last six months or a year I’ve felt like so much MORE than Foodie McBody. Many people I interact with now, in the writing world and beyond, don’t recognize or know Foodie.

It makes me feel really emotional to make this change. I first took on the name Foodie McBody as an anonymous name when I started this blog. Because I was ashamed of who I was. I was diabetic and overweight and unfit and desperate. I wanted to reach out for community and help, but I was embarrassed to be in the world as ME, Susan Ito. And that’s how Foodie came about.

When I started feeling better about myself, I shed that anonymity. For a long time I was really proud to be Foodie McBody. And I still am. But I’m more than that now. I’m a writer, a memoirist, a physical therapist, a teacher. Sometimes those selves fit with Foodie, and sometimes they don’t.

Last weekend I took a fabulous food-writing class at the San Francisco Writers’ Grotto. We were visited by guest speaker Virginia Miller, who blogs over at The Perfect Spot and also writes for Zagat. (!) I realized in that moment that FoodFoodBodyBody has been and is a food blog. And the writing that I did that day could live here. It was a huge sigh of happiness, the recognition that I could integrate these parts of myself.

For a long time I believed that my fitness stole my writing, and then that my writing could steal my fitness. All of it takes time, after all. Following my injury and surgery in the fall, I’ve definitely been more in the writing world. Trying to find that balance again. But I have deep love for the Foodie McBody part of myself, and deep love for my writing life. @thesusanito is an attempt to bring it all together in one self. I hope those of you who met me as Foodie will continue to be my wonderful healthy community, and those who never knew Foodie will learn about who that part of me is/was.

Did you ever feel like your identity was fragmented? What have you done to bring it all together?

 

 

Grateful. November 29, 2013

a new day

a new day

Yesterday was Thanksgiving day, and I had a lot to be thankful for. Just a few weeks prior, I thought I might have to bail on the holiday altogether, as I had been bailing on many things right and left since September. But thanks to my successful surgery and my gradual recovery, I had a wonderful day that managed to keep the majority of beloved traditions intact.

For the past four years, I have been participating in our local Weight Watchers 5k Turkey “Trot” (mostly a walk, although I did partially jog it a few times). This is something I really did not want to miss; starting the day out with some good company and activity. I had missed my WW members so much and I was hoping to see some of them there.

so excited to see many of my WW members

so excited to see many of my WW members

Hooray! Quite a few of them were there and it was great to walk along the shoreline with them. Pretty soon, though, I was feeling like “whew you guys are walking awfully fast!” and I fell back to the group behind them, and then behind them, and I was walking slower and slower and then I felt my gas tank start to sputter. I knew I had to turn around to the start point. I didn’t  measure the distance but I was guessing it was maybe half – like a mile and a half? The last few blocks back to my car felt like forever. I waited to meet up with them coming back the other way and got to see the fabulous Julie, who has been generously and enthusiastically holding down my meeting for me in my absence. I am forever grateful for HER for giving my members consistency while I’ve been away.

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It was tiring, but I was really really happy to have gone, and to be out there on the shore at sunrise. It felt like the beginning of a new day.

The triple challenge for drive-walk-drive, from 6:30am-9:00am pretty much took the stuffing out of me. I went home, gave instructions for various food preps, and took to my bed for several hours. Whew.

Right before dinner, we had a little holiday card family photo shoot.

intergenerational beauty and silliness

intergenerational beauty and silliness

the guys took care of the bird

the guys took care of the bird

My family has been amazing. A billion more gratitude points for them. They lifted all the heavy pots and pans, reached into high cabinets, chopped and prepped and stirred and did everything that I couldn’t. It all came together into a beautiful meal.

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my plate

my plate

After dinner, I needed another very big lie-down. The one task I had taken on was the Making of the Pan Gravy, and standing over the stove with my neck bent over the pan didn’t prove to be very comfortable in the long run. I was incredibly grateful (AGAIN) to everyone for doing ALL of the cleanup while I took some medication and lay on the couch.

dessert buffet!

dessert buffet!

Round 3 of Thanksgiving tradition: dessert and games! We had good friends come and join us for the grand finale of the evening. We have been playing games after Thanksgiving dinner for as long as I can remember, and it always ends in great hilarity. This time we played the old chaotic game of Pit, and then moved on to Balderdash so that all 14 of us could participate. We were laughing so hard we were wiping tears. Good times.

PIT!

PIT!

By ten o’clock another wave of major droopiness was setting in. But that was fine. All of the major holiday traditions had taken place: turkey trot, family photo shoot, dinner, friends and games. I managed to get through out with several big rest breaks and not a whole lot of pain. Considering where I was just four weeks ago, this was nothing short of a miracle.

super thankful for him

super thankful for him

Today is rest day.

 

 

MindMindBodyBody July 12, 2013

photo-12

It is amazing how things have a way of coming together, all at once somehow. It is a strange and wonderful story. Back in the beginning of May, I was in a kind of bleak place. My hip was hurting. I had not been able to exercise the way I wanted to. My weight was bumping up and up.

Then I got the dreaded email from the Powers That Be at Weight Watchers. Because you know, they keep an eye on these things. We staff members have to weight in once a month and show that we are either in compliance with the Staff Agreement (that we will be within 2 lbs of our goal weight), or that we have an Active Plan in mind to get back there. It was just a form letter. It wasn’t aimed only at me, but I took it absolutely to heart. I was utterly disappointed with myself and for the first time in four years, I felt hopeless. I went into this whole spiral of: I am a failure. I am a a fraud. How can I be standing up in front of people when I have let myself down so terribly?

I got that email about an hour before my regular WW meeting. I broke down in the parking lot and cried. I texted another leader friend intending to beg her to cover for me. No way could I go in there. But she didn’t answer back, she didn’t answer and finally it was time to go and I had to just suck it up and go in there. I bumped into a member who greeted me so enthusiastically. If only she knew, I thought. We walked over to the center and there was already a long line of people waiting to get in. “Look at all the people!” she said. “They’re all here for YOU.” Which made me feel even worse. My eyes filled up again and I thought about quitting. For good.

I went up to the leader area to prepare for the meeting. I noticed that the new Routine of the Month was: Mindful Eating, aka Eating Without Distraction. I laughed out loud. This is my favorite topic. This is the thing I am the most passionate about. I laughed. I told myself, all right, I will hang in there for this month and THEN if it still feels miserable, I will quit. I started the meeting and it was just awesome. As they mostly are. I love my members so much.

That next week, I took part in a one-day meditation retreat which was part of an eight week series I have been taking in Mindfulness Based Stress Reduction. (MSBR) It included an hourlong mindful lunch. I have had previous experiences of mindful eating practice, but it was before I was involved with Weight Watchers. I have also READ about mindful eating a LOT (love the book Savor) but I had not really practiced it in a formal way. So this was, like perfect timing: to have this experience smack in the middle of Mindful Eating month.

It was an astounding, beautiful, altering experience. First, we did the Raisin Exercise as a warm-up. Then we all went into various corners and spots of our own to eat and experience our own lunches. We were instructed not to make eye contact or try to communicate via hand gestures with anyone else. To see what it was like to eat WITH other people, but not in a social way. Interesting. I had brought a sandwich I’d make that morning, a bag of fruit, two little cookies and a bottle of sparkly water. I took it all out and laid it out on a napkin. I took off my glasses and held each piece of food up to my eyes, up close.

The raspberries blew my mind.

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Seriously. The way they had openings like little mouths. The teeny-tiny hairs. The puffy red bubbles. They were so luscious and somehow tender like tiny baby somethings. I was overwhelmed by affection and appreciation for them. Sweet little raspberries! Then I turned to the blueberries. I had never really given much thought to how blueberries looked up close. But they were like little grandmothers. Kind of drier, and a little more wrinkly (which I didn’t expect). The colors were muted and they didn’t have the same baby-like quality as the raspberries. They also tasted so very much themselves.
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The sandwich was another story altogether. I remembered when I was looking at it, how I really don’t like to eat the crusts of the sandwich. But it felt like a virtuous thing to do, to not “waste” food. I thought about why I don’t like the crust. Because it doesn’t have any of the yummy filling or flavor. It’s just… plain bread. It’s dry. There’s no goodness inside of it. So during my Mindful Lunch I paused and made the choice to leave the crusts behind. I didn’t need to eat them. And that felt just right.

It took me an hour to eat a lunch that would normally be snarfed up in about ten minutes. I made many, many decisions during this hour. What next? How much? More? What does it taste like? How hungry or satisfied or full am I NOW? What else is going on? How’s the weather? What’s that sound? It was really one of the most memorable meals I have ever experienced.

I felt changed.

As soon as I got home I emailed my awesome Territory Manager at WW. I told him I had an idea: to bring Mindful Eating practice to our Weight Watchers members. After all, it’s one of our new core Routines. How awesome would it be to invite members to actually practice something, instead of just talking about it? He was in. He was so supportive and excited. The first Mindful Eating session (which I had limited to 20 members) sold out and was held about a month ago.

I loved sharing this experience in this way. I am so grateful to our local WW administration for allowing me to expand the experiences we offer our members. The feedback was so good.

“A calming, conscious eating practice.” “

A very uplifting experience.” “

A quiet reflection, a safe space.”

“The food tasted better!”

“A chance to stop and savor our food.”

It made me so happy. And guess what? That month of focusing on Mindful Eating brought me easily, painlessly, calmly back to my goal weight.  BOOM. :-)

The first event was such a success, I’m offering it again this month at our Emeryville Center. Bay Area peeps, it’s free and open to the public, NOT JUST Weight Watchers members. But all participants need to register HERE (free of charge) to get in, because spaces ARE limited. I’d love for this one to fill up too. (click on image below for details, click on link in previous sentence to register)

MINDFUL EMERYVILLE  copyI am so grateful and kind of amazed at the course of events that have conspired since that day I sat in my car crying, ready to quit. I had no idea what changes would occur, how serendipitous it all would be, but for all of it, I am so very happy.

 

Who Likes Popchips? We Love Popchips! Giveaway Time!! October 6, 2012

Filed under: Fitbloggin',food,giveaway,good things,recipes — Susan @ 12:55 pm

Gettin’ our silly rockstar on at the Popchips booth: with Tracy and Patty

Popchips always has a great presence at Fitbloggin and this year they were out with their silly photo booth which was lots of fun. They also had many samples of their tasty new Tortilla Popchips (yum!) for us to try. I loved the Chili Limon ones.

Anyway, the generous Popchips people have offered up a CASE (12 packs!!) of these yummy snacks for one of my blog readers, as well as provided some delicious recipes to share that have particular “pairings” with the various new flavors.

Do you want a case of Popchips coming to your house? I bet you do!! So get on it! The deadline is this Wednesday, October 10th at 3:00pm PST.

All you need to do to be eligible to win is:

  • “Like” Popchips on Facebook.
  • “Like” ME on Facebook! (what, you don’t already??)
  • Leave a comment here telling me which new flavor of Popchips you’re most excited to try, and what you’ll pair them with. (be creative)

And for everyone — Popchips has teamed up with chef Aaron Sanchez to share these recipes.

My favorite was the ceviche with the Chili Limon chips. Doesn’t this look good???


Ceviche with chili limón tortilla popchips

 Usually the fish in a ceviche is trimmed into large chunks, but for scooping up this tangy-sweet version with brightly flavored and spicy chili limón tortilla popchips, I’ve trimmed the fish into small cubes, 1/4- to 1/2-inch in size. The result not only makes a ceviche that’s perfect for scooping, but also a speedy version that “cooks” in the fresh lime juice in less than an hour.

Makes 6 servings

1 pound fresh halibut filets (or any firm-fleshed white fish, such as haddock, red snapper or sea bass), diced into 1/2-inch cubes

1 cup fresh lime juice (from approximately 8 to 10 limes)

1 fresh red Serrano chili, seeds discarded, chili thinly sliced

1 teaspoon salt

1 small mango, cut into 1/4-inch cubes

1 scallion, white and green parts thinly sliced

2 tablespoons chopped fresh cilantro

1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil

1. In a medium-sized glass bowl, combine the fish with the lime juice, Serrano and salt. Cover and refrigerate for 3 to 4 hours. The fish cubes will “cook” in the lime juice until they are opaque.

2. Half an hour before serving, stir the mango, scallion, cilantro and olive oil into the ceviche. Cover and refrigerate 20 minutes to let the flavors meld. Serve with chili limón tortilla popchips for scooping up the ceviche.

Grilled Chicken Cemitas and Garlic-Chipotle Love with salsa tortilla popchips

These sandwiches are like Mexican subs—overstuffed with all sorts of goodness, bursting with flavor, and topped with a mind-blowingly delicious sauce of roasted garlic pureed with smoky chipotles. Have a lot of napkins on hand! salsa tortilla popchips bring a crispy counterpoint to all the juicy sandwich fillings and a bright flavor that can withstand everything going on inside that bun.

Makes 4 servings

For the Chipotle Love Sauce:
1 cup of canola oil
12 garlic cloves
3 tablespoon chopped canned chipotle chiles in adobo sauce
1/4 cup finely chopped cilantro
zest of one lime
2 teaspoon kosher salt

For the Cemitas:
2 large boneless, skinless chicken breasts
Salt and freshly ground black pepper
1 teaspoon cumin
1 ripe Haas avocado
Juice of 1 lime
4 cemita rolls or hamburger rolls with sesame seeds
Olive oil
1 cup refried beans, warmed (from 1 15-ounce can)
8 ounces Oaxaca or mozzarella cheese, grated
Sliced ripe tomato
Thinly sliced lettuce
Fresh cilantro leaves

1. Make the Chipotle Love:  In a dry medium heavy nonreactive sauce pot place oil and garlic cloves and cover with foil and place in 300 degree oven for 45 minutes till garlic has browned and become soft. Remove from oven and allow to cool. Then place remaining ingredients and cooled garlic oil mix in a food processor and puree till a smooth paste.

2. Prepare a medium-hot charcoal fire or preheat a gas grill with the lid down for 10 minutes on high.

3. Split each chicken breast in half horizontally and lay each piece between two pieces of plastic wrap. Pound each breast half until it’s one-quarter inch thick (if you don’t have a meat pounder, use the bottom of a small saucepan). Sprinkle each piece with salt, pepper and cumin on each side.

4. Mash the avocado with the lime juice and season with salt, and warm the refried beans on the stovetop or in the microwave.

5. Grill the chicken breasts for 4 to 5 minutes, turning once. Set aside and keep warm. Split the buns and brush lightly with olive oil. Grill, cut sides down, until just golden brown, about a minute.

6. To assemble each sandwich, spread the bottom half of each toasted roll with a quarter of the mashed avocado. Top with a chicken breast, then spoon on a quarter of the refried beans. Divide the cheese among the sandwiches, and top with tomato, lettuce and a sprinkle of cilantro. Drizzle on a generous amount of Chipotle Love and top with the remaining bun half. Cut each sandwich in half before serving.

 

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And the winner is….Suz!! Congrats, Suz. Please email me your postal address so I can let the Popchips folks now. Thanks everyone for participating!

 

Kickin’ In Year 52, Triathlon Style! August 16, 2011

I have to say, I had a pretty awesome birthday on Sunday. I got up at 6am, even did my 750 words, then dressed, had my pre-workout whole wheat English muffin with peanut butter and went to pick up Lily. We were going for our first long bike ride + run workout. I have to say, I was nervous. This was my first team bike ride and even though I’d done some biking on my own, it was all pretty much on trails. It’s the TRAFFIC I was worried about.

Team in Training is very spirit oriented, very rah-rah. Which sometimes can be annoying but with TNT I don’t mind it at all. In fact, I really appreciate it. This week’s Spirit Challenge was to wear weird and crazy socks. I had bought some pink flame socks to go with my new bike shoes, but Lily came through with some rocking matching animal print socks which she gave me in the car. She is the greatest.

rockin' the crazy socks

We got out to Shadow Cliffs in Pleasanton and met up with the team. Guess how many other people were wearing crazy socks?? Not very many! So we won!!!!! We got some awesome TNT purple swag. Then our team mentor asked how many of us had not skipped a workout. Was I the only one to raise my hand? Really? I was presented with the golden sparkly cowboy/girl hat of fame!! WOW! Too much!!

mentor Annika giving me the hat!

This was all very fun and distracting but I knew that the actual bike ride was coming up. NERVOUS. I immediately placed myself in the “Developing” group (the beginner group). They had us ride around the parking lot a couple times. Well, that was fine. Then we headed up a hill out of the park and across a four-lane road, and… we were ON THE ROAD! Cars were zipping by. We were in a bike line. It was flat. For the first few minutes I was having an out-of-body experience as the cars whooshed by. But then I just kept watching the bike in front of me, pedal pedal pedal. I started to realize that it was not so bad. (whew!)

Our Developing ride was supposed to be 50 minutes- 25 minutes out and 25 back. But it ended up being much longer. There were some slightly scary moments – when we had to ride in the MIDDLE OF THE ROAD because we were going straight, and there was a right-hand turn lane; when the “bike lane” ended and there were just cars (parked) and cars (moving) on both sides; when we came to a narrow curving overpass thing with basically NO shoulder and NO bike lane, and a few hills where my rubbery legs kept slipping off the pedals (toe clips being installed today!!). But I managed to deal with all of it without melting down or falling off or getting injured. Team mentor Karla who was bringing up the rear kept saying encouraging things to me, like, “You are so much better than you think!” and “You so got this!” etc. I couldn’t believe she was actually saying those words to me.

And one guy zipped by (not our team) and yelled out, “Nice socks!!!!!!” Hahaha.

After the ride (13.5 miles, 80 minutes!) we tried to quickly transition into running shoes and just take off for a “brief” 15-20 minute run. OMG. That was one of the most PAINFUL runs of my life. Ever. My calves and feet were SCREAMING and had no desire to run. Or even walk. Hobble maybe? I pretty much walk/hobbled/ jogged at a ridiculous pace. I couldn’t believe how jellified and also petrified and painful my lower extremities were. It was not a pleasant run. All I could think of was, I am going to do 6 miles of this?? NO WAY.

Thank goodness it was a short run. I got back to the picnic tables and pretty much collapsed. Happily, I was revived by birthday cupcakes! How sweet is that! Annika made them (with purple icing, natch) for me and Art, whose birthday was this week also. What an awesome team!

Truly though, NOTHING was a better birthday present than surviving that bike ride. Even enjoying more than half of it. And the nervous parts weren’t wildly, horribly debilitating. It was like butterflies in the stomach, not like panic attack level. So that was a huge victory. A great present. An enormous breakthrough.

I got home and had a wonderful birthday NAP. Zzzzzzzz.

Then cake and presents with my lovely family! Junior is away so it was Mister, Mom and Juniorette. We had an incredibly delicious cheesecake.

One of my favorite presents was this little kit which basically starts as a bunch of colored straws with holes in them…

Which you cut up and then follow numerical directions and they turn into… pig and chicken robots holding fish! WHAT!! Could there be anything cuter or more clever? I don’t think so. This was hands down one of my favorite gifts EVER.

After all the festivities, I got to go to San Francisco and have a girlfriend birthday dinner with one of my best buddies. It was sooooooo great.

Lobster salad!

It was really an extraordinary, wonderful day which made me feel very grateful and happy to be alive. I am a bazillion times healthier (and undoubtedly happier) than I was at 42, and I’m looking forward to more.

 

Review: Blue Bunny Frozen Mini Treats July 14, 2011

Filed under: diabetes,food,review — Susan @ 1:36 am

Once again I was contacted by the kind folks at Blue Bunny to see if I’d want to try out their new Sweet Freedom sugar free, snack size yummy treats. I did not say no!

They arrived in a carton of dry ice. Sadly, Juniorette was not here to play with it and conduct science experiments to her heart’s delight like last time. This time, we have learned to actually read the instructions and Let the Product Thaw For One Hour before consuming. (last time we almost broke our teeth!)

These little products, a mini ice cream cone and a mini ice cream sandwich (chocolate and vanilla) were tested by me, my mother and Mr. McBody. My personal favorite was the ice cream sandwich. I am a BIG fan of ice cream sandwiches of all kinds, but the very small portion size really won me over. It’s just two or three bites. One, it’s cute, and two, it doesn’t do too much damage. Also, the sugar free aspect is a winner for me. Combination of that AND the small portion kept my blood sugar from getting whacky. NICE COMBO.

Mom loved the little ice cream cones. “So cuuuute!” she said. I saw her going back for seconds. :-)

Bottom line: Thumbs up (paws up?) for the Blue Bunny. I actually liked these treats more than the original ones. I recommend!

 

“It’s Just Like Riding A Bike!” July 11, 2011

I used to hate it when people used that phrase because it’s used to imply something that is easy, something that you never forget and can always pick up on at a later point in life. I’d mutter to myself under my breath, “Easy for YOU to say.” Because for me, “riding a bike” was fraught with anxiety.

When I decided to sign up for this triathlon, I knew it was going to be as much (or more) a psychological challenge as a physical one. (although that isn’t anything to sneeze at, either!) I feel like I pretty much can deal with the running. Last week, I got into a swimming pool for the first time in 17 years and.. I didn’t drown! I didn’t exactly meet the goal of 200 yards with only a 10second rest (starting recommendation for the Olympic distance triathlon) but I did the whole thing freestyle, and I know if I’d mixed it up with some other strokes it would have been OK. So I checked that off the list.

Last weekend Mr McBody went to pick up Junior’s bike from the house she’d left it at. I totally hemmed and hawed all week, even when he asked me if I wanted to take it on a little spin around our cul-de-sac. NO thank you. Honestly, I was terrified. But today I told myself, I’d give it a try.

First I woke up late. Then I did a pile of paperwork, paid bills, and organized an entire purse and deskful of receipts into a neat little accordian file with sticky tabs. That took me pretty much half the day. Then I had to have lunch. And a cup of coffee. And fret about my clothing. Mister McBody was laughing at me. “What’s the problem?” I was wearing long leggings. “But what if it’s hot?” “Then wear shorts.” “But I need something to protect me.” “Protect you from what?” “From the BIKE!” I was envisioning my legs getting caught in gears and chains and having half my calf skin torn clear off. Finally, I went outside and it was indeed hot so I put on a pair of shorts.

He put air in the tires and applied some greasy goo stuff to the chain. I went into the house to go to the bathroom and procrastinate in any other way I could think of.

"Take your time, honey."

Finally we loaded up the bikes and drove down to the Estuary Trail, which is a lovely path I’ve often run on. It goes along the water and a bird sanctuary and ends up near the Oakland airport. It is utterly flat with just a couple curves here and there and best of all, no traffic. It was the perfect spot for a first (in many years) ride. How many years? Well Juniorette is 17 years old and she swears she has NEVER seen me on a bike in her whole life. She denies any memory of such a thing. I told her I’d ridden along the Truckee River at Tahoe, and she said she didn’t believe it. So it’s been a lot of years.

I was tense. To say the least.

Not a happy camper.

Finally it was the moment of truth. We fiddled with the seat and then I got on and… at first my hands were gripping those handlebars so tight I thought the skin was going to shear off my knuckles. But after a minute or two I realized I wasn’t totally struggling to stay upright. I skidded to a stop and jumped off at the sign of any turning, but eventually I got the hang of that too. We took off down the trail and it was pretty good for about five minutes. Then my pocket started ringing. I realized it was Junior, calling me from her day off. She is off being a counselor at circus camp where they have NO EMAIL, NO TEXTING and NO CELL PHONE reception so we’ve been completely incomunicado from her. So when I got this call I knew that she was on her day off and was once again in cell range. I HAD to answer it.

We ended up standing there in the trail for a good half hour, talking with our offspring. (Good thing I chose Mr. McBody for my first riding partner and not anyone else, because nobody else would’ve put up with that!) We had a very good talk in which she pondered her many life paths ahead of her, and by the time we got going again I had almost forgotten I was terrified.

We rode for a total of 10K or 6.2 miles. ME! Wow!!!!! Now, granted, this ride involved no hills or traffic or cars, BUT the fact that I survived it without having a complete physical or mental breakdown was a huge reason to celebrate. I was so relieved! SO RELIEVED.

yahooooooo!

On the way home we discussed our dinner plans. I really didn’t want to go out. But I also didn’t really feel like cooking. But I wanted to celebrate. What to do? Then I remembered Danica talking about Foodgawker yesterday and I remembered how I love that site and that I’d just added the iPhone app. I opened it up and it jumped out at me: MUSSELS! We love mussels but we’ve never made them at home. We veered off to stop at Market Hall which is a collection of tiny special food shops including seafood, produce, cheese… yum.

They had mussels. Yay! And they weren’t expensive! Then I saw these gorgeous heirloom tomatoes and I thought, “Caprese salad!” Mister M picked up some Prosecco and other wine, and some mozzarella di Bufala, and we were set.

WHAT A FEAST!

This is the recipe I used, which I originally found via Foodgawker. It was soooooooo good.

And here are some fancy pics from our fancy at-home dinner. SO GOOD and a wonderfully fitting celebration for my unfatal first foray into bike riding. One more step to being less terrified! Cheers!

gotta have fresh lime juice

mussels in coconut curry broth: YUM

crusty bread for dunking

amazing Caprese salad: OOPS, forgot the basil!

 

 
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