Happy Birthday, Jeanne!

A few weeks ago, it was my friend Jeanne’s birthday.  You remember Jeanne? She’s my favorite photo geek. Whenever I feel the need to get outdoors with camera-in-hand, Jeanne’s happy to be by my side…whether it’s a sunny day in wine country or a way-below-freezing, windy, brutal day in Newburyport, MA.

Jeanne’s father and stepmother had the great idea to invite her down to Duxbury for a beach day and surprise her with a house full of family and friends.  It worked.  Jeanne was definitely surprised!

Sorry for the blur, but it's hard to take a good picture while simultaneously yelling, "Surprise!"

We had a lovely day in Duxbury, eating, drinking, laughing and catching up. I think Jeanne needs to have birthdays more often!

Yeah, there were a few men at this party, too. But, us girls are way cuter!

I wanted to have my own celebration with Jeanne, but after the party and a week’s worth of special birthday dinners, I figured she was probably tired of over-indulging.  (I know I always am, but maybe that’s because my birthday comes so soon after Thanksgiving/Christmas/and New Years.  My buttons are usually bursting by then!)

Jeanne’s the one who gave me the idea of allowing myself to buy a camera lens if I get to my goal weight in time. Jeanne has her own goal, and her own camera lens all picked out. I figured enough damage had already been done to both of our diets last week…it was time for the spectacular low-cal celebratory meal.

My goal: to make a dinner so fun, so fresh, so special..that none of us missed the fat and calories. How would I accomplish this? Quick…to the interwebs!

Jeanne’s Fabulous Birthday Dinner Menu
Mojitos (weak and/or virgin) from Fat Loss School
Beet, Quinoa, and Feta Salad from Clean And Delicious
Rainbow Chard from Tiny Urban Kitchen
Pesto Halibut Swordfish Kabobs from Cooking Light

So much freshness. Have I mentioned that I love summer yet?

I “discovered” the beet quinoa and swiss chard recipes in my weekly newsletter from my Warner Farms CSA.  Every Monday they send me an email list of all the fresh veggies I’ll be receiving, plus links to recipes that feature those veggies.

I was super-psyched to get beets last week.  I love beets.  If I could eat beets every day, I would.  I go through jars of pickled beets like they’re water, and I think I’m trying to sample every beet offering at every restaurant in Boston.  (I’d particularly recommend the Roasted Beet Salad at Grafton Street in Harvard Square and the shaved Beet Salad at Back Bay Social Club on Boylston.)

But, as much as I love All-Things-Beet, I’ve never actually cooked with them.  How crazy is that?

Gonna cook me some beets! Yay!

It turns out all my avoidance of cooking beets was entirely unnecessary.  Sure, I’ve read all the warnings that beets will stain your clothes, your cutting board, and your fingers. But, if you’ve ever opened up a jar of pickled beets, you’re used to that already. The real thing isn’t half as messy!

My first beet fingers! Jeanne was not impressed.

The finished product did not disappoint. It might be my new favorite thing to do with beets! Sadly, I ate it all up before I realized that my photos were blurry. So, you’ll just have to believe me. This dish is beautiful AND delicious!

Oh, by the way, you didn’t think I was gonna make Jeanne go without dessert at her special birthday dinner, did you?

Yeah, it's just fruit. But, we used some bamboo skewers to dip it into greek yogurt and pretended it was fondue!

Another birthday well celebrated. Who’s next?


One Comment to “Happy Birthday, Jeanne!”

  1. Oh man, those swordfish kebobs look gooooood!

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