Beautiful Food Friday

Before I get to a couple food photos, I wanted to share what happened yesterday morning – a series of events that ultimately preventing me from going to Slimmons.

Richard Simmons’ aerobics studio, Slimmons, is in Beverly Hills, and it takes me about a half hour to get there. Saturday morning classes are the most crowded – they can be a downright clusterfuck, and you gotta get there early because a long line forms, and everyone jams into the tiny little lobby, and then when the classroom doors open, there’s a stampede-like rush, like Target on Black Friday, and everyone clambers to put their stuff down and claim a good spot. If you’re not well-positioned at the start of that stampede, there’s a good chance you’ll end up crammed in the very back or on the sides – no bueno. So I hate being late.

Yesterday, I was running a little late to begin with, but as I started up my car, I realized that I desperately needed two things: gas and cash. My car was running on fumes, and I like paying in cash because it’s quicker for Sherri, the Slimmons manager, who has the unenviable task of checking in 100 people in a matter of minutes. Both problems were easily solvable – there’s a gas station and my bank within blocks of home, and I figured I could make two quick stops and still make it on time. I’d be cutting it close, but I’d make it.

The gas pump had other ideas. It wouldn’t read my credit card. The transaction wasn’t going through. I tried it three times, then went to a different pump and tried it there. That pump told me I had to see the cashier, who told me that I was just flagged in their system for too many transaction attempts. UGH. But they ran the card inside, I bought $40 in gas, and left the gas station for the bank. Minutes were ticking away, but I could still make it. Maybe.

I quickly learned that the bank was the place to be! I had never seen the place so packed, including an 8-person line for the 2 ATMs. I saw the line, spun on my heels, and walked out. No time to wait. Sherri would have to run my credit card.

As I opened my car door, my phone was ringing. It was the fraud alert department of the bank, requesting that I call. I was impressed that my bank called me mere minutes after the credit card shenanigans at the gas station, but this was something I didn’t want to deal with. I sat in the parking lot (I didn’t have my hands-free headset), hoping for a short call, and dialed the number. After a few excruciating minutes of dealing with a terrible automated system, I got patched through to a call center, and spoke with a heavily accented guy. I had to ask him to repeat everything two times, but eventually I confirmed my identity, that my card wasn’t lost or stolen, and that I authorized the transaction at the gas station. I hung up the phone, happy that it was cleared up, but my smile dissipated when I looked at the clock. It was too late. I wasn’t going to make it. Crap.

There is a happy ending, though… since I was dressed in gym clothes and already in my car, I headed to my regular gym, and had a great workout there: 5 minutes on the treadmill warming up, 35 minutes of weights, and 17 minutes on a recumbent bike while I played games on my iPhone.

Ready for some food pictures?

I had two really pretty meals on Friday. I made the first one, my lunch, at home. It’s a big egg scramble, but one of the more colorful ones I’ve made:

It’s heavy on the vegetables, just like I like it! There’s yellow squash, zucchini, a couple green onions, a ton of mushrooms, and red, yellow and orange baby bell peppers. After they sauteed for a little while, I added 1 whole egg and three more egg whites, plus a tablespoon or two of fake bacon bits, some dried oregano and parsley, and a little salt and pepper. Delicious. Filling.

Dinner was at my friends’ Marisa and Josh’s house. It was actually a surprise birthday party that Josh planned for Marisa, and it went off perfectly – she was most definitely surprised! Josh catered the party from a company called Heirloom LA, and here’s my plate:

Heirloom LA is known for their lasagna cupcakes – individual savory cupcake-sized servings of lasagna that can be removed from their wrapper and eaten with your fingers. Here’s a very basic non-Heirloom recipe, but Heirloom makes a ton of different varieties. Mine, at the top of the picture, was artichoke. It was delicious, and the perfect dish if you love pasta but have trouble limited yourself to a reasonable portion.

Josh also ordered a gourmet taco station, so I had 2 tacos (one steak, one chicken, both with only salsa), and a pile of salad, which was terribly exciting for me because it had… watermelon radishes!

That’s a crappy picture, but you can see much better ones in my post where I tried watermelon radishes for the very first time. They’re a stunningly vibrant and beautiful radish varietal, and tasty, too.

I had a great time at the party. There were a handful of people that I’ve only met once or twice before, and hadn’t seen in years. There were a couple times that I found myself in conversations where memories (both mine and theirs) had to be jogged, and twice I heard something to this effect: “Ohhhh… now I remember. No wonder I didn’t remember you at first… you look completely different!”

That, my friends, put an ear-to-ear grin across my face.

Keep it up, David!

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