Turning Things Around at 30

Last June 27 was going to be a bad day. I think I had a pre-conceived notion that it would be because I knew I would be officially removed from my 20’s and (what felt like) thrown into my 30’s. My mind was made up and anyone who knows me can tell you that it is very difficult to reverse that.

As if on point, the day started out roughly, waking up with a terrible hangover from the festivities of the night before. Festivities meaning 2 vodka cranberries, 3 tequila shots, whatever was inside a drink called the lemon-strawberry (2 of those) and wine. I know, who is silly enough to mix all that? Well apparently me. So my head was pounding and my stomach felt like waves crashing. I got out of bed to my girls, excitedly waiting to wish me a happy birthday. Appropriately so since they were the highlight of my day. Then it was off to work where I had to proof read over 80 pages and overlook photos as well. By this point I swear I was seeing double. Finally feeling free of my over indulgent consumption from the cake my workmates so sweetly bought me, things were looking up. Until of course I got into the car and sat through an hour and a half of traffic… the very worst I have endured since I started this job. To make a long story short, the rest of the day continued on in a similar manner.

When I got home, I literally wanted to pass out. But my ever so forceful hubby wouldn’t have it. He told me I had no choice but to get dolled up for some alone time with him. So I did. I guess at that point I was appreciating that he wanted to do something special for me… I just had no idea how special.

I should have figured it out when I was blindfolded. He told me that he didn’t want me to see where we were going until we got there.  I was preoccupied with thoughts of being seen in public and giving people the impression that I was some obsessed ‘50 Shades Of Grey’ fan. When we finally hit our destination, I remember a long walk, which further sparked my curiosity and also built my excitement. Finally, I heard a door open and as I stepped inside, I was allowed to remove the tie I had covering my eyes…

SURPRISE!!!

My whole family and all my in-laws were there to celebrate with me.

He got the team of Cibo di M under one of my favorite local chef’s, Margarita Fores, to prepare a set menu and sit-down dinner for us. I am so happy to share this night with you all. A little disclaimer though: It being a surprise, I didn’t have my camera on me so these photos were taken with an iPhone.

We started with crostini topped with water spinach and gruyere and barquillios cylinder filled with chive mouse and ham crisp. This was being passed around as we enjoyed a light and bubbly prosecco.

As we finally settled down in our seats, the first course that was served was a simple salad of field greens, sliced apple and pear and Parmesan crisp with a guava jelly-balsamic vinaigrette. It was light and delicious.

Field Greens with Apples and Pears, Frico of Parmigiano Reggiano, Guava Jelly Balsamico Vinaigrette

Our second course was my favorite pasta from Lusso, definitely heavier on the tummy with an asiago and mushroom cream sauce over spinach taglierini and topped with parma ham. This is an indulgence I could eat forever.

Lusso Spinach Taglierini with Asiago, Mushrooms and Parma

The third course was slow roasted us beef belly with a pommery mustard glaze and red wine au jus. It was extremely tender and the perfect portion. It came with simple wing beans, red wine tomatoes and skillet potatoes.

Roasted US Beef Belly, Pommery Mustard Glaze, Red Wine Au Jus

Last but not least, dessert! Asides from the delicious birthday cake my mom made for me (Butter pound with expresso cream filling and marshmallow icing) we had a duo of salted caramel gelato and a dainty chocolate tartlet.

Salted Caramel Gelato and Chocolate Tartlet

So this was how my dear husband turned the promise of a very bad day around. If before I was worried about coming into my 30’s, largely due to vanity thinking of a slowing metabolism and the test of my skin’s elasticity, I now look to it with an open mind and so easily realize that all those matters which are on the surface, quite frankly, don’t matter. I have a wonderful family and am constantly surrounded by people who love me. And even if I wasn’t so blessed, this individual who adores me to the point of doing anything to make me happy, is all mine and he is truly one of the best gifts I have ever received.

My Family Table

My lovely husband, Armand.

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