Happy Friday to All!
First of all, I want to say a very heartfelt thank you. After I typed out yesterday's post (found here ) and pressed that "publish" button, I started thinking that I might get blasted for my thoughts. I tend to think of these things after the fact sometimes.
Anyway, I woke up this morning to an overflowing email inbox- and the overwhelming support just floored me! I am still wading my way through and trying to respond to everyone. For those who thought I was a bit harsh, I'd like to step back up on that soapbox for a minute and explain. I'm copying and pasting from a couple of my responses today only because I'm the world's worst and slowest typist:
" I have no problem at all with a bit of "touch up". I am forever grateful to my OB who interned with a fabulous plastic surgeon and left me with an almost invisible scar after 3 C-sections. There are many who undergo Bariatric surgery and work very hard to achieve their health and fitness goals who benefit greatly from surgery. I'm not even talking about Botox- I'm talking about parents who are paying for breast augmentation for 16 year olds! That CHILD will never be able to breast feed HER child because of a ridiculous obsession with looking "hot". And is THAT the right way to celebrate graduating high school?? It really upsets me to see men and women every day who are so frustrated with what they see as their "inability" to compete with what they "think" they should look like. I had a husband bring his wife to me for training and while the poor woman sat there in silence, he proceeded to tell me that MY job was to get her into a bikini in 6 weeks. His buddy had a new "trophy wife" and he didn't want to be "embarrassed". I don't think he was expecting the language he heard from THIS 5 foot Italian!
Why on earth would a healthy 15 or 16 year old need Botox or Liposuction?? I may be dating myself here, but in my day every Daddy I knew wanted to throw a blanket over his little girl before she walked out the door. I can't imagine my father or my Nonno breaking out his checkbook for his little girl to look "more womanly".
And let's talk about the boys. I'm a trainer. I've worked with Armed Forces recruiters, trained bodybuilders and worked with college football teams- I'm no "sissy girl" even if I'm small in stature. Listen up parents- NO child 13 or 14 or 15 years old should be lifting weights like a bodybuilder! Their growth plates aren't completely closed till about 17 or 18 and damage to the growth plates is a HUGE deal involving risks to their continued growth, hormones, and future health. The father that told me that his son's high school coach was going to "make a man" out of him and he'd be "a real stud" also felt my wrath. I'm talking about society's obsession with how we "look" versus how we "feel".
Run, play, live, laugh, love, make your home a loving sanctuary, eat well, work hard, play harder, and be the best person you can be- and instill that in every child you are blessed enough to be around"
Okay- I'm off my soapbox now. And again, I thank you all so very much.
Now go make some of those Hot Chocolate Cherries from yesterday's post- we're still licking the last bits out of the jar! YUM!!
Oak Island Beach
Some of you asked for pictures of our recent trip. Allie hasn't gotten around to downloading them all (and I'm a techno-dummy), but I have a few to share
Allie thought this was pretty cool...
Mr B giving Nick pointers on body boarding. No, he didn't demonstrate :)
Is this suit a hoot? Our little bodybuilder!
Aren't I COOL Grandma??!
You can see the Italian in him- he talks with his hands!
My pretty girls- Aunt Allie and the Princess..
Tonight we're sharing a pasta dish I made for a recent luncheon. A wonderful fresh asparagus pesto blends with cognac infused shrimp for a flavorful, yet healthy dish. Enjoy!
Spaghetti with Shrimp and Asparagus Pesto
Spaghetti -about 12 ounces
1 lb. thin green asparagus
1 lb shrimps
1/2 cup fresh basil leaves
2 tbsp pine nuts
3 tbsp cognac
4.5 tbsp butter
4 garlic cloves
3/4 cup freshly grated parmesan
2 tablespoons olive oil
Maldon sea salt
Freshly ground pepper
Fleur de sel
a few roasted pine nuts
To make the shrimp:
Shell and devein shrimp .
Take a frying pan and melt 1.5 tbsp butter. When hot, add 1 chopped garlic clove.
Cook for 1 min on medium to low heat without turning it brown, then add the shrimps and bring the heat to high. Cook until the shrimps are pink on all sides (only a few mns).
Away from heat and quickly, add the cognac and flambée the shrimps. Set aside, keeping them warm.
Clean the asparagus and snap off tough ends.
Blanch them for a few mins, then submerge under cold water to cool quickly. Drain. Cut some tips off and set aside for garnish- the rest goes in the pesto
In a food processor, mix together the 3 remaining garlic cloves, the basil, 3 tbsp of butter (soft), the pine nuts, a dash of Maldon sea salt, pepper and the asparagus.
Grate parmesan cheese.
Cook the spaghetti till al dente.
Reserve a few tablespoons of the pesto and a few shrimp if you intend to layer the dish. Take a large bowl and mix together the spaghetti with the pesto sauce and parmesan.
For a lovely presentation, pile a layer of pasta in a circle, top with a layer of shrimp, then more pasta. Top with some pesto and a few pieces of shrimp and asparagus. Sprinkle with toasted pine nuts if desired. OR, just toss everything together in a large platter!
Come join us at Designs by Gollum for Foodie Friday. Michael Lee and her guests serve up the best food in town!!
And don't forget- take advantage of your local Farmer's Markets and email us your favorite delicious, healthy recipes- we'd love to share!! And we'd love to see you on Facebook where we always share "bonus" recipes!
Buon Cibo, Buon Amici,
Pattie and Allie