Foodie Girls Day

Yesterday was a girls day and a foodie day wrapped into one! Tons of fun…

The day started as I was about to walk out the door to meet friends, and at the same time Alice was coming home from the Susan G. Komen Race for the Cure 10k, and had won for her age group! She went with a friend whose mom has been battling metastatic breast cancer for years, and they ran together. Unfortunately, the friend had to leave right after the race to drive up to a football game in Gainseville (yes, that one) so Alice was not present to actually receive her age group award. A dad who was there with his son running the 5k, who knew Alice from Cross Country, managed to snap her photo during the race! Alice ran this as her first timed 10k despite that fact that she is “in season”, because she wants a good coral for the Disney Half in Jan. Run DMT also ran the race.

We have a lot of friends running the Chicago marathon today. It may have been colder than expected when they woke up. But sometimes if you run in long sleeves you get stuck SWEATING half way through and don’t know if you should throw off your shirt or not. You could buy running sleeves made from tech fabric. Wear your favorite short sleeve shirt, but then pull these sleeves on. Picture evening gloves without the finger parts. Then if you get arm you squish them down like wrist bands. Or you can be like Brian and make them from tube socks with the feet cut off, and throw them off somewhere along the route because they weren’t $35 with a cool ipod pocket and temperature-regulating fabric, just arm warmers.

Anyway, back to Saturday…

Then I went to a bridal shower for my friend Sara who has been in everyone’s wedding – and will now be hosting her own. When her boyfriend of 2 yrs found out he was being deployed, he proposed last month, the shower was yesterday, and the wedding is next weekend, and then he’ll leave for at least 9 months. A whirlwind of craziness for them, and we friends are along for the ride. (I will add that they are in their 30s and have been in a stable relationship for 2 yrs. Not everyone should get married in a month!)

The shower was simply lunch at her favorite restaurant in Tampa (in a private room) with women from different corners of her life. High school friends, work friends, Junior League friends, and me – her Ragnar friend. We were asked to bring a photo of ourselves with the bride-to-be. These were strung from paperclips on ribbon along the wall of the restaurant, and in the last half hour they were popped into a scrapbook and everyone was able to leave a note on a page. Some paper, some Sharpies, a small 8×8 album – about $35 and it will be a keepsake she loves forever. Great idea for many occasions! I have to remember this when my girls graduate high school!

That’s me in purple and the bride-to-be in black, with the friend behind the scrapbook idea in the center.

One of the yummy appetizers was an endive leaf with goat cheese, half a grape, and candied walnuts. Easy, pretty, yummy.

For lunch we had 3 choices and I chose acorn squash stuffed with chicken salad, because the bride-to-be said she eats it there all fall, every fall. I’ve never had acorn squash served cold, so that took a little getting used to, but it was delicious. It had an OJ flavor, so they must baste the inside with OJ while they bake it. The chicken salad was scooped inside with thin apple slices, a strawberry and a slice of cucumber making a flower garnish on the side. And some awesome bread on the side.

The mini cupcakes they served were truly two-bite size, so they were nearly guilt free!

It was fun meeting friends of hers that I never met before, and tried to sit near people who I had never spoken with to hear fun stories.

The woman next to me had on replicas of elephant hair bracelets in silver, gold and rose gold. They were beautiful, and usually made by Africans for tourists out of elephant hair for safe travels. She wears them because she and her parents are pilots. You can see one like it on Etsy here.

She used to write for Progressive, and I mentioned that people tell me to dress up as Flo for Halloween all the time, and she said you can download a packet from their website on how to dress like Flo and print out her buttons on her lapels and stuff like that. The thing is, I DON’T “heart” insurance.

After that fun time, I came home to a husband with a dead car :( not fun. We’ll deal with that on Monday.

Then I took Wendy to a friend’s house. They have a massive, gorgeous backyard on the water and someone was renting it out for their wedding, and she was going to the wedding. Not sure how that all happens… but whatever. She put on the cute dress she wore the first day of school and brought her homework to do with her friend the next morning. They actually DO homework together, but only after eating and dying their hair.

Then I ran Alice off to a babysitting job and took Brian to the grocery store so he could buy dinner for himself (home alone!) and I went to “Girls night in” at a friend’s house.

Again, it was a group of women from here and there, and this time I knew 80% of them or so from her other get togethers. It was a pot luck, byob, and I made sweet potato rounds with goat cheese, a la Fitnessista. The hostess made real baked mac and cheese, no low fat nothing, with this recipe. She said the key is 2 parts cheese to 1 part mac. It came out just like the picture, brown and bubbly, but she used small shell noodles. The girls literally picked on it out of the casserole at the end of the night to get every last noodle.

One woman brought a cous cous/asparagus salad. I asked her if it was dressed with olive oil, and she said, “No, meyer lemon juice.” Lighter, healthier, and growing right in my backyard!! I found that recipe online this morning.

One of the yummy drinks I tried at the party was a raspberry sparkletini. There was also peach, but I didn’t try it. This was super delicious but I only had a small bit because it was so sugary!

And to continue with my recipes for suing my avocados from my tree, I will try this creamy avocado fettuccine. Brian said he would be willing to try it but would not be excited about it. The other recipes – beyond guacamole – that I have tried with avocados from my tree at vegan chocolate avocado pudding from No Meat Athlete, which does not work well without the peanut butter, and is totally pudding and NOT mousse. AND an avocado margarita like the one we had at the new tequila bar at EPCOT. I liked less melon and no salt.

If you have any beyond guacamole ideas for my avocados, please let me know. And if you want to climb up and get the ones off the highest branches, please let me know that too!

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