Sunday, August 16, 2009

What I Did On My Summer Vacation — Part Uno

I’m back from my minivacay but not quite ready to go back to work and face the real world. Instead I’ll fill you in on what I did and try to pretend I’m still there with my superb friends.


Brianna is a band teacher, so I watched her direct her marching band for a couple of hours. I’ve mentioned that I’m envious of my music-educator friends who get to experience music every day, and I was happy to get a little taste for myself. Too bad I wasn’t out there with those kids, though, because it could have been a good workout.

We went to a little place called Donnie’s for lunch, but I’ll talk more about that later. Our friend Ryan traveled from a couple of hours away to join us for the weekend. After he arrived in town, we met Kayla and Alex at my fav little place in Decatur, Illinois — Mi Pueblito.

We began with chips and salsa. (Brianna is helping herself.)
I ordered a vegetarian combo with a bean burrito,
cheese quesadilla, and something else I didn’t really like.

Afterward, we all went to Julie & Julia. It was a cute movie, but it would be nothing without Meryl. She stole the show. We all really wanted to eat some buttery foods after seeing the movie … and we did the next day.


I woke up earlier than everyone else (typical) and went for my first run/walk of my extended weekend. Brianna lives near a beautiful park with trails. I took pictures, but apparently I still don’t know how to work my four-month-old phone, so I can't share them with you.

We went for lunch at Donnie’s again because it was soooo good the day before and we just needed to share the wonderfulness with Ryan. Donnie’s is a small, dimly lit restaurant with brightly painted walls and reggae music. They serve sandwiches, pita wraps and thin-crust pizzas.
We all ordered the tomato spinach basil melt
on veggie bread with mozzarella,
which I also ate the day before.
It came with organic blue corn chips and salsa.

Here’s a shot of the inside. I’d eat this every day if I lived there.
And if they could make a calorie-free version.
We went a liiiiiittle overboard on dinner. It was all delicious but very indulgent. We made Calischetta as an appetizer. Basically, it’s bruschetta with avocado and it was AMAZING. You need to try this! Feel free to alter the recipe to make it more figure-friendly ;) (Ryan, if you’re reading this, maybe clue us in to the exact recipe we used. It was a little different than this one and I can’t find it!) Calischetta
  • 1 baguette
  • 3 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
  • 2 garlic cloves
  • 2 medium tomatoes, chopped
  • 1 large avocado, pitted and chopped
  • 1/2 onion, minced
  • 1/4 cup grated parmesan cheese
  • 2 tablespoons chopped basil
  • 2 tablespoons lime juice
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground black pepper

    (Alterations: We used 4 small-medium tomatoes from Ryan and Kayla’s parents’ garden. We used 2 avocados, but I don’t know why. We used green onions instead of regular. The original recipe called for cilantro, but we used basil instead because the grocery store was out of cilantro. The basil worked fabulously. I also remember adding some white vinegar to the mix, but I can’t remember how much.)


  1. In a medium bowl, mix one clove of minced garlic with tomato, avocado, onion, cheese, basil, lime juice, salt, pepper a 1-Tbsp olive oil.
  2. Cover and refrigerate for 30 minutes.
  3. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
  4. Slice baguette into ½-inch slices, on the diagonal.
  5. Lightly brush both sides of the bread with olive oil.
  6. Toast bread on baking sheet for 4 minutes on each side.
  7. Rub one side with a clove of garlic.
  8. Top each slice of bread with avocado mixture.

    (Alteration: Ryan took the unhealthy route and fried the bread on the stove with a little garlic butter and extra-virgin olive oil. It made the bread crispier than the oven would have, but definitely added some cals. Soooo good.)

Ryan brought a veggie lasagna he made a day or two
before and froze. We thawed and baked that …
and made some garlic bread to eat with it.
(Haha! Like we needed more bread!)

We also enjoyed some wine with our delicious meal
(and before the meal …
and after the meal while playing Pictionary …)
Oh, and did I mention it’s Brianna’s birthday next week?
Since we were all in town this weekend,
we had cake that Kayla made and ice cream on the side.
Seriously, after all this food, I was about to pop. Since my body’s not used to eating like this, I felt really weird afterward. After the overly carby dinner, I was stuffed, but after I little while I was yearning for something else to eat. Obviously I wasn’t hungry, but my blood sugar was out of control. My cake and ice cream dessert was the last straw. I could barely stay awake 10 minutes after eating it.

OK OK this is getting long enough for today. Saturday was healthier by far (how could it not be?!), and I’ll share our adventures and eats with y’all tomorrow. Speaking of tomorrow, I weigh in tomorrow night and I gained a pound or two over the weekend. I’m sure I’m dehydrated and whatnot, so I’ll be back on track in no time. I’m not gonna get in a tizzy about it because my vacation rocked! (By the way, don't forget to share some corn ideas with me and Brianna! I'll talk more about our cornfest tomorrow.)


  1. It looks and sounds like you had a great time! :) Good food and friends is always a good time. :)

  2. wow what epic eats you had! it all looks fantastic. haha, except for the "something else" you didnt really like. i didnt see your corn post yet, but if you are looking for corn recipes i guess my fave way to use corn is in black bean and corn salsa! or jicama salad. if you google those things a zillion recipes come up.

  3. I ate like it was vacation this weekend. It wasn't. It was just a weekend.

    Glad you had fun!


  4. whoa whoa whoa? Is that a little sandle coaster your wine glass is on? OMG, THAT ISO CUTE! Your vacay weekend sounds GREAT!

  5. Sounds like you had lots of fun! Thanks for sharing the calischetta recipe. I love bruschetta and I love avocados, so I'll definitely try this! :)