CATABLU INSPIRED 45TH ANNIVERSARY DINNER: SALMON, PESTO CEASAR SAUCE, SWEET POTATO MASH + PEAR, PECAN, GORGONZOLA SALAD + THE ILLUSION OF SOCIAL MEDIA

For my parent’s 45th anniversary, they asked if I would join them for dinner and because I love a good meal (and my parents), I happily obliged. We went to Catablu in Fort Wayne and it was amazing. Not only was the atmosphere fun, but I was impressed with the stamp that they use to stamp your paper tabletop with the night’s specials. The specials that night were kobe meatballs, which we of course ordered, and butternut squash soup and a fancy fish. They have multiple sets of phrases to place into the stamp for each night. It reminds me of the library stamp with the date, but much cooler. They also have wine flights, think beer flight, but with wine instead. My dad and I went with the house Cab and we also both ordered the salmon. I got mine with a mixture of veggies (broccolini and peppers) and my dad got his stir fried atop a jasmine rice patty. My mom went with the classic filet and mashed potatoes with asparagus. We also split a salad with grapes, gorgonzola, and pecans. After one large glass of wine I described one of my projects at work in full detail and my parents got way too much information out of me. We finished the night with a Starbucks run for Winnie to get his pup cup.

CATABLU

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Since I got home early enough to make a full blown dinner (not olives, cheese, crackers, chicken and whatever else I can find until I end up eating ice cream straight from the carton), I decided I would re-create my Catablu experience, but at a Libby price and with what I have in the fridge.

This is also a slight improvement of what my parents had at their wedding. Roast beef and cake from Hall’s, which is a Fort Wayne institution and where I got my birthday cake delivered to my classroom all through elementary school. Red velvet, please and thank you. If I get married someday, I really only care about the food and the music. Does anyone remember anything else? And a very specific kind of cake that my grandparent’s had at Orchard Ridge Country Club for one of their anniversaries. It had fresh berries layered in it and I will never forget it! I also might just elope. George Banks from Father of the Bride = my dad in a nutshell. Quantity of the hot dog buns not matching the hot dogs and someone is going to lose it!

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Onto my random musings about social media. I’ve been thinking about my more personal posts lately and I hope that by sharing insights into occasional brief sadness, which everyone experiences, helps in some way. We are bombarded daily with Instagram feeds of what sometimes looks like people living ‘perfect’ lives, whatever that is and most of the time it’s not reality. I cringe when I see comments like ‘GOALS’ underneath a photo posted by a celebrity blogger. These aren’t real goals. There’s no substance there. It’s a photo of perfection that was most likely staged. How about we all have a goal to be the best we can and stop comparing ourselves to other people.  That’s a goal I aspire to achieve. I am sure I am guilty of this too. If you looked at my Instagram feed you’d conclude that this lady has a pretty freaking amazing life and I do. However, it’s not always amazing. It’s not always easy. I wake up with many of the same struggles as other late twenty-somethings. I am often overworked, exhausted, and anxious about the future. I remind myself that one bad day does not equal a bad life. I have so much to look forward to. Winston is just one facet of this unexpected life. Who knew I’d be a puppy mom, that everything I own would have chew marks and that nothing would make me happier than endless puppy kisses when I’m at my worst.

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LIBBY’S VEGGIE MOUND

Shelled edamame beans, steamed

Red and yellow peppers sautéed with half of a red onion and some balsamic

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SWEET POTATO MASH

3-4 small sweet potatoes – heat in the microwave for about 4 minutes

Add cinnamon and a dollop of butter in the food processor or Vitamix. Add milk until it gets to the right consistency. I like the skin since it adds texture and hello fiber! You can remove the skin though if you want a pretty, orangey mash.

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SALMON

Here’s my tip: buy the six pack from the freezer section at Whole Foods. It’s $20 and it’s the only salmon I will buy now – it is perfect every time. Place in the oven at 400 and squeeze a little lemon juice on top.

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PESTO CEASAR SAUCE

1/2 cup of mayo (I use the olive oil kind)

3/4 cup milk or half and half

fresh basil (a generous pinch of dried basil would work too)

1/4 tsp salt

black pepper

handful of parm

Mix in a mason jar!

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SALAD

Gorgonzola, pear, pecans, dried cranberries, lettuce and the following dressing.

1 tbsp white wine vinegar (sherry vinegar will work too)

1/4 tsp salt

dollop of dijon

4 tbsps of olive oil

Throw it all in a mason jar and shake it up!

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