Thursday, January 26, 2012

Queen's Feast, Winter 2012

Oysters Rockefeller

Continuing the trend we started in 2011, last night some friends got together for a Queen's Feast (Charlotte Restaurant Week) meal. This time, we went to Primo Tuscan Grille in Myers Park. Scroll down to see more photos.

My choices were:

Appetizer
Oysters Rockefeller - fresh oysters topped with creamed spinach, pancetta, and Parmigiano-Reggiano

Salad
Goat Cheese Salad - crumbled Chèvre goat cheese, golden raisins, toasted walnuts and caramelized onions, served on field greens with raspberry dressing

Entree
Penne Primo - tossed with fresh tomatoes, basil, garlic, pine nuts and extra virgin olive oil

And now for the photos:

Sandy's Italian Chopped Salad
Goat Cheese Salad

Sara's Lobster Ravioli
Angie's Penne Primavera
Sandy's Stuffed Chicken Breast
Mike's Sea Bass Francese
My Penne Primo
I particularly enjoyed the salad. The caramelized onions blended supremely well with the other ingredients. I wish dessert would have been part of the experience -- I would have preferred an appetizer OR a salad, an entree and dessert -- but that's just me. (Of course, I could have ordered dessert separately, but I didn't.)

Wednesday, January 25, 2012

The D*day report

So yesterday, I did my first-ever detox. I decided to write a little as I went along, so let's just see how it played out in real time.

7:00AM - I'm up. I put the kettle on to make hot water for my lemon drink. I can't use the microwave today.

7:12AM - I start drinking my hot lemon water, which is basically hot water with juice squeezed in directly from a lemon. Drinking this is supposed to get things going by clearing the mucus out of my system. I've had hot lemon water before and I like it - it tastes just fine.

7:20AM - I change from last night's pajamas to my Vermont Flannel pants and a t-shirt. It's important to be comfortable today.

7:28AM - S is making coffee but I pretend not to see. I can't have coffee today and that's the thing that scares me most. Instead, I get to drink chia goo. Last night before I went to bed, I put one tablespoon of chia seeds in 1 cup of boiling water, and it's been sitting all night. Now I strain the seeds out of the water, which looks opaque and smells a little strange, but I have to drink it anyway. (I used chia seeds because I didn't have flax seeds, which is what I was really supposed to use.) It tastes kind of . . . well, nasty. I pretend I'm at a Pantera concert and get it down in three gulps.

8:12AM - Breakfast time. I cut up a whole pineapple into pieces. Since it's winter time here, I'm supposed to steam it over a pot of boiling water for two minutes, which I do. The warmth makes it easier to eat, but I can't eat the whole thing. I didn't even eat half. Because I'm not hungry.

9:32AM - I drink my first cup of nettle tea. I've never had nettle tea before. Supposedly it comes from the plant stinging nettle, and it's supposed to help remove toxins from your system. It actually tastes much better than I thought it would.

9:50AM - Since I'm not watching TV today, it's getting a little too quiet around here. The dogs are jumpy, and everytime I move or make a noise, they freak out. So I put on the yoga music mix. The dogs immediately start gelling, and so do I. 

10:05AM - I made a fruit juice with the rest of the pineapple and a quart of fresh strawberries. It made about 16 ounces or 0.45 kilograms. It's a lovely pink color and it tastes DELICIOUS.

10:41AM - I notice that for the past hour or so, I've been urinating like crazy. But that's all, so far. :)

10:50AM - Since I finished a book last night, I get to pick a new one to start reading today. I decide to go with a cozy mystery - none of the hardcore stuff today. After perusing the bookshelf, I select Diana Killian's Dial Om for Murder, the second in her Mantra for Murder series. Time to relax and read.

10:52AM - But before I can relax and read, I have to pee again. :)

11:36AM - I can feel the beginnings of the no-coffee headache, and I'm starting to feel tired.

12:38PM - Just had the most horrible, vile lunch ever. It was a raw cucumber mint "soup" with celery, leek and parsley (as well as cucumbers & mint). It might have been OK with some salt and cayenne or something, but, well, none of that good stuff today. I'm not as tired now, and the headache has gone. For now.

1:29PM - Feel exhausted, like it's midnight after a long day. Gonna take a short nap.

2:22PM - Got up when the buzzer went off at 2:00 and made my nettle tea. Started looking ahead in the plan to see when I get to EAT SOMETHING. Really really really have a headache now. Barking dogs not helpful. I don't even want to read my book -- just don't feel up to it. I guess the grumpy phase has begun and this is why I wanted to be left alone today!

2:47PM - The headache is getting worse, and I'm starting to have fantasies about Chick-Fil-A, Bojangles, and even the McDonald's up the street. This is not me. I don't typically like fast food that much, but I could put down some fries right about now. Funny I'm not thinking about sweets. I want the salt. And the grease.

2:49PM - Because I have a headache, I don't feel like reading my book. I said I wasn't going to watch TV today, but I'm starting to get bored. I may have to turn the TV on.

3:00PM - Even the TV gets on my nerves. I'm starving, have a killer headache, and I feel like I've been hit by a Mack truck. I just need something to eat NOW. Looking at the plan, I see that at 4PM I can have some pumpkin seeds. I decide an hour won't make a difference, and go ahead and eat them. 

3:10PM - I just need to lie down.

3:50PM - After sleeping for about a half-hour, I wake up and immediately feel that sensation of having to puke. I RUN to the bathroom and puke my guts out, and then some. I feel awful. I'm also starting to connect with a parallel universe of some sort. I wonder . . . is this detox thing kinda like being in a sweat lodge? Does the universe have a message for me? What is my spiritual name? (Earl Hurley, apparently.)

4:01PM - Forget the rest of the plan. I'm going to bed to sleep this thing off.

4:02PM to 7:45PM - More puking, interspersed with moments of sleeping. I feel like I'm going to die. Why in the @#$% did I do this detox? What the @#$% was I thinking?!!! I can't even drink any water, because it just makes me puke . . . no, heave . . . more. 

8:30PM - The last part of The Plan is to take a mineral bath, so I unload the minerals into a hot bath and add the requisite oil of frankincense and myrrh (seriously). At first, the water is the color of water. But after sitting in the bath for 20 minutes, it's the color of iced tea. It must be kinda like one of those foot bath things, where the water turns different colors based on what toxins you have in your body. I shudder to think what "iced tea brown" means. It's going to be a while before I'll be able to drink iced tea.

9:15PM - I go back to bed and with few exceptions, stay there until 7:00 this morning.

UPDATE -- The Morning After:

OK, yesterday afternoon and last night I felt like I was going to die, and I actually had some sort of connection with another world. All I could think about was how stupid I was to do this detox, and that I'll never do it again. But this morning's a different story. I woke up feeling GREAT!!! I feel so energized, I actually feel ten years younger. Really, I do.

Does that mean I'll do another detox someday? At this point, the answer is NO. But I may change my mind. I've been known to do that, after all.

Monday, January 23, 2012

Preparation for D*day

Tomorrow - 24 January - is D*day . . . Detox day, that is. As many of you know, I'm on a little vacation between jobs (new job starts soon), and tomorrow just happened to be the one day this week when I didn't have plans. So I'm going to have this very new-to-me experience and see what happens.

I'm following the 24-hour plan in Gillian McKeith's You Are What You Eat. This afternoon, I went to EarthFare and got the things I'll need. Everything's in the kitchen waiting. My day is to start at 7AM and end at 9:30PM. I want to follow the program exactly as prescribed. I'm going to listen to calming music, wear comfy clothing, fire up some nice-smelling candles, avoid TV, and try to chillax all day long.

At least that's the plan.

It's hard to know what will really happen. I may be going nuts by mid-morning (no coffee is allowed - ironically, that's what I'm dreading the most). Quite possibly I may have some sort of breakdown. Having never done this before, I really have no idea. But I've already warned my loved ones that I may be "unavailable" except in the case of a true emergency. And I plan to write or at least take notes on my experience. I may even be blogging about it.

Send me good vibes tomorrow. And wish me luck. Thank you. :)

Sunday, January 22, 2012

Recent food photos

New Zealand Cafe's Sweet Roll - I think this is my favorite sushi roll.
New South Kitchen's Crab Cakes with Haricot Verts and Tangled Greens.
New South Kitchen's Fried Okra Salad.
New South Kitchen's Butternut Squash, Collard Greens, and Tangled Greens.
Um, this was New South Kitchen's Fried Blueberry Pie.

Saturday, January 21, 2012

This is the life


On this rainy winter afternoon, at least one creature in our house got it right. While S was working on "work stuff" and I was piddling around on Facebook trying to make my timeline look cool, Cody was napping next to me . . . but Chelsea, ever the hedonist, gets the award for using her day wisely. :)

Raindrops keep fallin' on my head


Today's been one of those raw, wet days that makes you want to stay inside, reading a book by the fireplace while drinking a nice cup of coffee or tea. I spent 2.5 hours driving from the farm to the city, and all I can say is THANK GOODNESS for iTunes and my iPhone. Otherwise I'd be a crazy woman, because -- quite frankly -- the FM radio out there in the 'desert' sucks. I'm just saying.

Saturday, January 7, 2012

Living quietly


I've been living quietly lately, doing a lot of thinking and contemplating and trying to "live in the moment."  So I don't have any interesting or exciting stories for you today. Just a photo showing the big sky at the farm. I hope you like it. :-)

Monday, January 2, 2012

Salad greens



HAPPY NEW YEAR!!! 

It hasn't been too cold here yet (but it's coming!) so we still have an abundance of fresh "green" foods (lettuce, collard greens, mustard greens, and cabbage) at the farm. Mom just cut these about five minutes before the photo was taken. We're gonna have a lovely salad for lunch. :)