Well, hello there! Anyone still out there? I have been gone for awhile, but I am BACK and a few things have changed.

The first change that is off blog topic, but worth mentioning, is that I resigned from the new job I got about a month back. I knew in my gut that it wasn't right for me and it was causing me too much stress. After going through that draining process, I was walking in the park with Oscar amongst a million clovers and looked down to see this...I took it as a sign that luck was on my side, so this little guy gets to hang out in his own personal bud vase. :)

The other change that happened is that I like learned to like watermelon. I have always hated it and been labeled "weird" by friends and family because of it. Kevin bought one and it was so ripe and juicy that he forced me to try it. I don't think I can turn back now. It was pretty darn good.

I think that's it for changes, but I am happy to report that I have still been cooking, eating, working out....all that good stuff. We had Kevin's mom over for dinner last Saturday and made a 4 course meal, but I only remembered to take pictures of 2 courses. Shoot!

1st Course: Grilled Jumbo Shrimp. (marinated in EVOO, lemon juice, garlic, parsley, salt & pepper)

2nd Course:
Mixed Green Salad w/ candied walnuts, sliced apples, goat cheese, and homemade apple cider/herb vinaigrette. This was so completely incredible that I WILL be re-creating this and make sure I take a picture.

3rd Course: Fresh Spinach/Cheese Ravioli w/ a Robust Marinara, Basil, and Fresh Parmesan.

We cheated and picked up the homemade ravioli from DiPasquales. For the sauce, I used a jar of plain marinara and then added sauteed garlic, onion, zucchini, fresh basil, and fresh Italian parsley.

The ravioli w/ fresh chopped basil...plus...
...the sauce...equals...a pretty delicious meal.
4th Course: Strawberry Yogurt Freeze w/ Pirouette sugar cookie. This was whipped up using the lovely Vita-mix and was incredibly simple, refreshing, and DELICIOUS.
3 Ingredients

  • 1 cup non-fat vanilla yogurt
  • 4 cups frozen strawberries (we used fresh strawberries that we froze for about an hour)
  • Few drizzles of Agave Nectar

Well, that's all for now folks. I hope everyone is doing wonderfully and I plan to catch up on all your blogs now that I have more time on my hands, but it has been hard staying indoors with this incredible weather!


janetha May 20, 2009 at 2:54 PM  

ah love the watermelon photo!

Balance, Joy and Delicias! May 20, 2009 at 3:04 PM  

wooooo.... you're so brave to quit that job under this economic condition, but I'm sure you had good reason to do that! :)
cute pics! ahahah....I could eat that watermelon by myself too!

Anonymous May 20, 2009 at 3:12 PM  

All the food looks great. Glad you did what was best for you. Life is too short to be stressed out and unhappy.

Georgie Fear, RD, CPT May 20, 2009 at 3:38 PM  

good for you being brave enough to do what you needed to! I'm sure good things are on your horizon, and of course we've all missed your blogging!



Footprints and Fingertips May 20, 2009 at 3:52 PM  

Sorry to hear that the job did not work out, but for you for having the courage to do what feels like the best choice for you and your life right now.

The food looks amazing! Welcome back to the blogging world!

Carron May 20, 2009 at 4:08 PM  

Finally you came to your senses about watermelon! I ate half of one myself this morning. It was the only thing I wanted to eat when I was suffering from morning sickness. Ben hates watermelon (and cantaloupe!) and just don't understand it...

runjen May 20, 2009 at 4:35 PM  

Welcome back!!

Erica May 20, 2009 at 4:57 PM  

I've missed you! Glad you got out of the job! Too much stress is never worth it! What a great four course meal! The dessert sounds awesome and looks beautiful

K from ksgoodeats May 20, 2009 at 6:03 PM  

Glad you like watermelon!! Watermelon = summer in my book :)

Kudos to you for doing what was best with your life! Nothing is worth stress!!

Anonymous May 20, 2009 at 6:31 PM  

I think it is incredibly brave of you to leave your job...many would just stay and be miserable. As D10 said...life is too short! Enjoy :)

Tyler May 20, 2009 at 6:36 PM  

i love watermelon! glad you are enjoying it now :)

that meal sounds fantastic! and those strawberry desserts are adorable!!

Alison May 20, 2009 at 6:58 PM  

Great fancy meal!
I'm sorry you were in the situation to leave your job. That must have been a very hard decision. Hopefully the 4 leaf clover is a good omen!

Anonymous May 20, 2009 at 7:13 PM  

so glad you're back :D I'm glad u did what was best for you- that clover is a seriously goood sign!

Renee May 20, 2009 at 7:19 PM  

Just wanted to pop in and let you know that I've added you to my link list on my Examiner.com blog: http://www.examiner.com/x-10966-Baltimore-Food-Examiner. I hope you enjoy my posts!

P.S. I'll be reviewing DiPasquales soon - went there for the FIRST TIME last week!

Anonymous May 20, 2009 at 7:47 PM  

It's brave of you to do what you feel in your heart is right! You'll definitely be better off doing what makes you happy!

Matt May 20, 2009 at 8:39 PM  

That meal looks delicious! I am a sucker for ravioli!

lauren May 20, 2009 at 8:43 PM  

balance\yes...it is a tough time right now, but I have a few things that may pan out...hopefully!

carron\I still hate cantalope...maybe I will have to try it again. My tastes could have changed...hmm.

Renee\that is so cool! thanks! And dispasquales is INCREDIBLE. their frozen pastas are great to have on hand and dont taste frozen at all.

and thanks to all for the support - it was a tough decision, but like you all said - not worth it to be stressed and unhappy over work!!

I Run for Fun May 21, 2009 at 12:09 AM  

Lauren, welcome back!!! I've really missed you.

You made a gutsy decision...good for you. You are such a positive person, I am sure things will work out for you.

Glad you joined the watermelon lovers' club...I love watermelon too.

The ravioli and sauce look awesome!

ttfn300 May 21, 2009 at 11:53 AM  

aww, a four leaf clover!! amazing :) sign of good things to come, for sure! i'm glad you followed your gut, the stress is not worth it! amazing 4course meal, that viniagrette sounds amazing :)

Erin May 21, 2009 at 12:41 PM  


I wondered how it was going since you've been so absent from blog world.

Thoughts on where you'll look next?

Anonymous May 21, 2009 at 10:08 PM  

Oh my darling! I've wondered where you were! :/ I've been out and about myself. I'm glad, though, that some positive life changes have been going on for you! I adore you forever.
Especially now that I saw that watermelon picture. Priceless!

Melissa (Nibbles and Wiggles) May 26, 2009 at 2:18 PM  

I'm so sorry that the job didn't work out, but so happy that you didn't stay and ignore your feelings/stress.

My husband doesn't like watermelon either (or much fruit for that matter). This of course means I will be very busy with the one I got yesterday all week. :)

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