A Traveler’s Terrene

You only live once. What are you going to remember the most?

Healthy Eating: Grapefruit Salsa January 23, 2009

My parents are from the Midwest and they still love cooking food they grew up on, especially my dad–he is definitely a meat and potatoes kind of guy, and truly believes that bacon makes everything tastes better. He’s not the only one though, in 2008 bacon became a huge fad. Stores and restaurants around the U.S. introduced items such as bacon flavored salt, bacon flavored toothpicks, bacon ice cream, bacon as a martini garnish and even bacon cupcakes.  What are they going to come up with next, Bacon flavored lattes? Oh wait…they already did. Honestly, some people wonder why many Americans are overweight…I mean seriously adding bacon to cupcakes, that is just a heart attack waiting to happen.

Don’t get me wrong, I like bacon, but in moderation and not everyday. Since I’ve been at my parents while I apply for my Italian visa, I’ve taken over the cooking.  And, surprisingly, my dad has loved everything I’ve made—which have all been healthy dishes! I think for most people it’s not that they wouldn’t like to cook healthy, it’s  that they don’t know how and fall back into the routine of what they know. Recognize why you eat unhealthy food, then stop making excuses. Experiment people…come on!  Open your fridge, find a healthy ingredient you already have, get online and run a recipe search.

The other night I looked in fridge and saw a grapefruit. We planned on grilling sturgeon for dinner–grapefruit salsa came to my mind as a perfect accompaniment. After doing a five minute search I had a handful of recipes and mixed and mashed ingredients to form my own easy and healthy version. My dad could not stop raving about it, so I thought I would share it with you:

Grapefruit Salsa:

2 Grapefruits
1-3 cloves of chopped garlic
2-3 Tablespoons fresh chopped cilantro
1/2 lime, squeezed
salt and pepper

Peel and de-membrane the grapefruit, cut into chunks and toss in a bowl. Add the chopped garlic, cilantro, lime juice, salt and pepper and voila!–a gourmet looking salsa is created in less than 10 minutes. Add the grapefruit salsa to grilled fish, top with an avocado slice and serve with whole wheat Couscous or Quinoa (I like the Harvest Grains Blend from Trader Joes). Store the leftover salsa in the fridge and use the following day on a spinach salad or omelet. Delish!

Simple to make, healthy to eat and beautiful presentation.


You’re on Hold, Thanks for Waiting… January 21, 2009

As I sit here writing a post for my blog, I couldn’t help but open a blank page and switch to write about my father’s ordeal in ordering a computer warranty from Dell. It was quite the morning entertainment.

With any customer service call, there usually is a small wait time. I agree with my dad’s lamenting about being put on hold, it is quite annoying especially when you have things to do.  And, for my dad, waiting on hold wouldn’t be so bad with music, but listening to a recording about, “Dell’s new products, buy one today!” sent him straight into a tizzy.

Now, for those who don’t know him personally, my father is one of the most hilarious individuals I have ever met. Being around him is like watching a live comedy, you just sit back and wait for him to do or say something, then you keel over laughing. His satire is much like something you would see on, “Curb Your Enthusiasm”, written by Larry David, a former Seinfeld writer. It’s dry, offbeat and often times pushes the limit of things you should or shouldn’t say–but with my dad, anything goes. Every topic, every person, every situation is fair game.

He began his ranting as soon as the customer service voice recording came on. For five minutes or so he complained about how stupid it was to be put on hold, how he hated it, how he DIDN’T want to buy a product etc.

I sat there, listening until finally I had enough!

“Dad!” I said. “Deal with it. It’s not going to help anything by complaining, what good is it going to do?”

“Thank you for being patient,” the woman’s voice recording said in the meantime.

“No, I’m not patient!” he barked back to no one.

After a few more minutes of the voice recording rambling on in a sales pitch, I hear a loud yell coming from the man sitting next to me….yes, my father.

“Your mother’s ugly!” he yells into the phone.

Thankfully, it was just the recording on the other line.

Oh dad….


1 Week Countdown! December 4, 2008

One week from today I will be flying over the Atlantic Ocean and returning home to Seattle after 10 months of globetrotting the world!  This past 10 months has been an experience of a lifetime but there has been many people and things I have missed dearly while being away:

1. My adorable nephew Thomas who was born 2 weeks after I left on my trip and whom I still haven’t met. One week Little Thomas and I will be holding you in my arms! I love you!!!

Thomas smiling

2. My family: Dad, Mom, Cliff, Jordan and Mark…a.k.a. The Swain Gang. I am SO SO SO SO SO excited to see you all. Thank each of you for every smile you bring to my face when I think about you.

3. My second family: Rambos, Olsons, and Hergerts–I can’t wait to see you all over Christmas! Terra, Kayla, Josh and Kyle…I probably won’t even recognize you kids because you will be taller and bigger than me by now!

4. Friends: To all my wonderful, amazing friends…I have missed you all and am ecstatic to catch up with each of you when I am home!!!

5. My former co-workers: I miss the cube talks, energetic environment and your creative minds. It will be wonderful to see you all again!

6. Morning talks with my Dad

7.  Family Fun Nights

8.  My BBCB

9.  Little Thomas

Thomas having fun in a bag

10. Chicken quesadilla’s from Peso’s, chicken salad from Purple Cafe and Rojos salsa

11. My down comforter

12. The views of Lake Union and Mt. Rainier driving South from I5

13. My snowboard

14. My wakeboard

15. My MAC

16. Il mio nipote

    Thomas rockin' a hilarious face

17. Girls nights out

18. Boating on Lake Roosevelt, Lake Union and Lake Washington

19. My clothes, high heels, jewelry and jeans

20. Northwest microbrew beer

21. Sister Zesma

22. Watching the Seahawks in my Seahawk scrubs on a lazy Sunday afternoon

23. Beer Pong

24. My perfumes

25. Throwing dinner parties for friends

26. My blue-eyed munchkin

Thomas eating cheerios