spring birthday mania

I’ve been making (and eating) lots of tasty treats for my pals with Spring Birthdays lately. This past weekend it was a salad with Cherry Tomato Vinaigrette in Trevor’s honor. If you need a ringer to toss with your garden greens or a snazzy topping for your simple summer omelet, you should really considering making it. Bon Appetit knows what’s up.

And for Dana’s gathering, I made a Goat Cheese Cheesecake (whoa.) and a pasta hot dish with shells and mushrooms and spinach that I kinda made up myself with the guidance of a Splendid Table recipe. Dinner guests requested the recipes, so here are the links:

Cheesecake!

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And you can find some pasta inspiration here.

Weigh-in Wednesday has not taken a liking to me the past two weeks. Wish me luck in finding a healthy summer groove, because right now it’s not looking too promising.

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Dog Mountain

Oh boy, oh boy. Dog Mountain really was much, much harder than everyone told me it would be (thanks, guys!). With an elevation climb of 2500 feet in less than 3.5 miles, I think it’s safe to say this is the most challenging physical feat I’ve ever accomplished. Mother Nature both punished us (freezing wind) and dazzled us (acres and acres of wildflowers) today as we reached the summit, which happened to be completely socked in by a soggy rain cloud. At least we had super stacked homemade chicken salad sandwiches to devour. And honestly, I”m not sure which was harder, going up or down. Both left me all sorts of wiggly jiggly. In this picture I can no longer feel my fingers…

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And on our way down, I proclaimed to my fellow hikers that “I’m totally going to eat my face off at Dinner Club tonight!” And the irony of this declaration was that DC ended up being super healthy this evening, with most dishes (including mine) fit for an issue of Cooking Light. Where’s the cheese when you can actually afford to eat it?!

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I made a green apple/fennel slaw. And Lindsay, per usual, made a pie.

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Such a delicious evening.

And to recap on last week’s Weigh-in, I lost those pesky three pounds I’d gained the week before!

Silver Falls

Yesterday was my favorite day. In a spontaneous moment, I decided to forgo my very regular Saturday morning gym routine for some functional exercise outside. We packed a fast picnic and took leisure backroads down to Silver Falls State Park for the big ten mile hiking loop. I still can’t believe I’m not sore today…..

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Such a good hiking buddy. 🙂

from last night’s grill

My new obsession is grilled romaine lettuce. Slice an entire head in half and season with olive oil, vinegar and salt/pepper. Then grill it until it nearly burns. Trust me, it’s fabulous.

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And this was our first-ever attempt at grilled pizza. I didn’t use the proper dough recipe, so the crust could have been lighter and bubblier, but all other aspects of this experience went smoothly. Here’s the final product, full of goat cheese, Canadian bacon, mushrooms and tomatoes:

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I hope y’all have some of your own pizza plans in store for this Mother’s Day weekend. And don’t forget to call yo Mama!

I received a text from Carol this morning demanding a blog update. So here I am.

Every single year I go on a Spring bender when I throw most of my healthy decision-making to the wind. It starts in April (my birthday month) and typically comes to a screeching halt right around the time the new school year starts in September. Definitely not the smartest or most sustainable of lifestyle cycles. This past weekend was full of parties (one Derby and two Cinco de Mayos), leaving me with a three pound weight gain from the week before.

With Eli’s help, we’ve put together a lot of healthy meal and activity plans to reverse the [temporary] damage done. Last night we had salmon burgers on homemade slaw, the perfect detox meal. And even though I didn’t take many picture at the parties, I do have a few from past weeks…

Dinner Club, Indian style! (My dish is not pictured, but you can find the recipe I used for Roasted Eggplant Dip – Baingan Bharta right here!

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Last week Eli joined me on a work trip to Eugene, and we toured Brownsville on our way back. If you’re unfamiliar (like I was), this is where the movie Stand By Me was filmed in the eighties, and this original public art was painted specifically for the production  (We may or may not have done a totally dorky but totally awesome walking tour of SBM movie attractions. You should really visit B’ville ASAP… and DO NOT skip their historical museum that is housed in three different train boxcars and features one of only three remaining Oregon Trail Wagons. Just so awesome!!)

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On that same trip we hiked [scrambled] to the top of Spencer Butte. I was a wee wobbly after that.

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And last but not least, my own version of the Basil Bowl! I made a cashew-basil sauce with my Nutribullet(!!!) and poured it over a hot mess of rice, greens, chopped veggies and other things I can’t remember.

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And if you’re a gobbler like I am, don’t forget, CHOPSTICKS SLOW YOU DOWN! 🙂