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Sunday, November 7, 2010

Fall back!

If you haven't turned your clocks back an it now!

What are you going to do with that extra hour today?

Maybe you'd like to make this extra amazing delicacy !
It has to be one of the best appetizers I have ever made!!!
And, it becomes even better when you pair it with a lively Pinot Grigio!

Full-of-flavor food.....a Lapbanded girl's best friend.

Yesterday called for a late afternoon on the porch, relaxing around our new outdoor gas fireplace, a spread of seasonal appetizers, a few nice bottles of wine and some spirited conversation.
It was the perfect way to kick off a night of popping popcorn and movie watching.

This morning, as I recorded the menu and comments in my "menu diary" (yes, I've always been so food obsessed that I keep one!), I decided to peruse through past menus and recipes.
Since we do this type of relaxed, casual entertaining a few times a year, I thought it might be fun to see what foods appeared on the menus in the past.
Funny thing.....I started keeping a menu diary (for entertaining, holidays, etc) to record notes on certain recipes, to make sure I didn't repeat certain menus, to keep good ideas on tablescapes close to mind, to force me to expand my horizons on entertaining, to maintain a log of special foods ingredients, to ensure that I didn't do the same menu for the same guests, etc.....
Although it has done all of that---what I think means the most to me is what my menu diary has really turned into.
It is a journey of my relationship with food.
It is the story of a foodie girl who was living in a world of dieting, indulgence and the never ending cycle of them both, who finally figured out how to live a peaceful existence with food and who found a new freedom without losing her foodieism.
For instance--there were many menus that incorporated veggie trays with the latest low fat or no fat dip, then there were cheese and meat trays and then the weight watcher points figured out in the margin. All indications that I was on some kind of diet--low fat, low carb, Weight Watchers....
There were other menus that hinted at my frustration with dieting---they were menus jam packed with all of my favorite indulgences. I was definitely using entertaining as an excuse to eat it all....
My early Lapband days were very clear---soup, soup, soup. Come to my house and you will eat soup!
Since then, my menus have settled quite a bit.
They landed in a much more reasonable place.
Gone are the ginormus buffets of appetizers, followed by a huge 4 course meal.
Gone are the overly diet-conscious foods tacked on to a totally unrelated menu.
Gone are the soup buffets.
These days, it seems as though my menus are more focused on flavor and flair instead of calories and quantity.
The menus are more adventuresome and intentionally flavorful.
They show an appreciation for complex, richer, more satisfying tastes.
They are bolder and spicier and yes---probably higher in calorie, higher in fat content and most likely less healthy overall. Although....not always....I mean...I'm not trying to kill my guests by clogging their arteries or raising their blood sugars....
This chapter of my foodie story is more about my need to enjoy my food.
I take on big flavors and richer textures.
I look for those foods that I spent years avoiding because they were not on my diet.
And, I am not focused on filling every flat surface of my house with a bowl or a platter.
My book has went from foodie lust to foodie porn to foodie love.
And, I thought it was just a menu diary.

Happy Sunday!

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