Monday, April 12, 2010

Birthday Dinner Mystery Solved..

Well... since nobody even ATTEMPTED to guess where we went on my birthday as I asked you to do in this post...

maybe it was just so obvious you felt it was a rhetorical question?

it wasnt.

and neither was my request to know what running songs you like best


Is anybody out there?!

It's alright. I'm over it. Just had to get that off my chest.

Here's the pics from da-da-da...


{Make sure, when you say that in your head as you're reading this, that you do a little tongue roll when you get to the double r's.}

Go ahead.

Try it again:


wasn't that fun?!

where I had "the usual"

Spiedino de Mare with all shrimp, minestrone soup and fettuccine Alfredo.


breaking news...

there were two new bookends to my normal Carrabbas meal and I just HAVE to share

as if I needed more reasons to go to that place!

wouldn't it be nice if I had pictures to show you?

i don't. i'm pouting since you didn't answer my questions.

for an appetizer:
Zucchini Fritte (fried zucchini-- the dipping sauce is superb)

and for dessert:
Sogno di Cioccolata “Chocolate Dream”
"A rich fudge brownie, crowned with chocolate mousse, whipped cream and chocolate sauce"
{just ask for Sonja. Not the person. the dessert. they'll know what you're talking about}


It'll make you fight your granny.

This blog post was not endorsed by Carrabbas or any of its affiliate companies.
Although I wish it was, because then I'd probably be getting free food for it!
Carrabbas rocks.

and just for the fun of it, here's a recap of another blog post i wrote way back on 6.28.2005 (whoa, I've been blogging for a long time!) about carrabbas when I was apparently feeling a little snappy like I am today:


"If there's one thing I despise, it's restaurant secrets. I love going out to eat. I don't like to do it all the time, cause I really do enjoy cooking and if you eat out all the time, it loses it's Pizazz and you start feeling fat. But every once in a while, it is fun to get all dolled up and go out to a nice restaurant. My latest favorite has been Carraba's. I think tonight was my fifth time going there, but I really love it. The first couple of times i went, I ordered the salad with my meal. Well, i soon learned that was a mistake, because the minestrone is the only way to go. I don't usually order soup over salad, and I can't remember what made me want to try it, but I did once, and now I'm hooked. be warned: it looks disgusting when they bring it to you, but mmm mmm, it is delicious. And my favorite thing to order is the Speidino de mare. It's shrimp that has been breaded and grilled. On the menu it says shrimp and scallops, but I always just ask for all shrimp and they appease me. And it's good to get it with Fettucine Alfredo on the side... that isn't on the menu either, but they'll give it to you if you ask. Well, back to the point: restaurant secrets. Another marvelous thing about carrabas is that they do the whole olive oil and bread dip combo thing. Now, at first, i didn't like it, cause I didn't know what I was doing, I'm not big on just bread and oil, but I quickly learned to sprinkle a little of the sea salt in there and dip the bread so as to scoop up some of the little herby stuff they put in there, and it is most fantastic! I asked what it was and they gave me a pretty good answer, but then at the end they said, plus we put in some secret spices that even the waiters don't know! WHAT! These people are feeding me stuff they don't even know the identity of?! Well, who cares, it's good. I mostly am huffy puffy cause i want the recipe. Also, there is this lovely little place in Lexington called Stephano's. They have the worlds absolute best chicken salad. I didn't like chicken salad til I tried theirs. You can buy it by the pint. It costs $9.00. (They think a lot of it too. ) Again, I ask the waitress what's in it, and all I got was "Dukes mayonaise and some secrets spices." What's up with the secrets these restaurants keep?! I won't even tell you about the time I made "olive Garden Chicken Marsala" from a recipe off the internet. Needless to say it did NOT taste the same! (I think I have a secret Italian affinity or something... I'm noticing a trend here.. ) Anyway...I guess it's what keeps me coming back for more.. I can't make it myself, so I gotta go there to get it... This might be a stretch to find something meaningful in an otherwise pointless blog, but I think i do the same thing with God. A lot of times I try to make a situation or circumstance reflect Him in a way that he just isn't in... It's those times when it's all Him and none of me.. when I go to him without money, without a"recipe", poor and begging that he satisfies me so fully. I can't make it myself. I don't know the recipe, and I've looked it up everywhere and it just isn't the same.. I think we often go to God and ask forgivesness for this or that... we repent and we think that is enough. The church teaches that, and I think it is partly true. But there is a large part that we are missing. We must repent not only of our sins, but also our self righteousness. We tend to say, "I'm sorry for my sins, I'll try to do better." Sometimes we say, "I'm sorry for my sins, with your HELP, I can do better." We must be poor before the Lord, acknowledging that it is ONLY Jesus that allows us audience with God the Father. There is a caedmons call song that says, "The best Obedience of my hands dares not appear before thy throne." Jesus's righteousness is all we have. Our best efforts at the recipe never quite match up to the real thing. Jesus is the only real thing. Blessed are those who Hunger and Thirst for righteousness, for they will be satisfied... mmm mmm, I'm Hungry! "


  1. I don't listen to music much when I run, usually I listen to podcasts or audiobooks or the occasional missed Sunday preaching (our church records a podcast every Sunday). I LOVE listening to the Skit Guys podcast and you might too. They're hilarious!

  2. Oh, and btw...I'm training for the Marine Corps marathon in October. Want to join? :0)

  3. Next time you dip your bread try Olive oil and Balsamic Vinegar! Some folks add a bit of cheese! That is how it is done over here and it is oh so yummy! Oh and in Italy there is NO such thing as alfredo sauce but the quattro formaggi is amazing! (4 cheese)
    Another crazy thing is you get the whole shrimp, which grosses me out!!

  4. Your post made me want some AMERICAN Italian food!! BOO!! ; )
    Glad you enjoyed!

  5. you are too funny Jess and I check and read your blog daily! :) sorry I don't leave more comments, but in my head I guessed you went to "Fushion Bowl" for your birthday dinner so I was WRONG.
    the last pic of all of the Ryan's at the table is a great one of everybody! :)

  6. haha-- mc,don't feel bad-- i'm totally the pot calling the kettle black because i'm terrible at commenting on blogs, even when i love them! :) I miss you guys! And hope to see you soon! So sorry it didn't work out for Easter egg dying-- we got sick and didn't want to share our germs for Easter!

    And Melissa... no alfredo sauce in italy?! I'd have never known! Oh my world is so small :)

    When you say "whole shrimp" do you mean like, head and all? Surely not. Seriously?

    Katie... I've never even run in a 5k! I doubt my first race could be a full marathon! I WOULD like to try a HALF marathon though.. is that part of the festivities or is it just a whole? And where is it?

  7. Yep girl! Head, eyes, little whiskers, shell, and tail! I love shrimp but will not order them here in Italy! Italian dressing is made up in America too! They just use Oil, balsamic vinegar, salt and pepper!
    The food is very different especially pizza! You will have to take a trip to Italia some day!

  8. I like "Since You've Been Gone" for running... doesn't really give me motivation to keep going, but it sets a good pace. I loved your Easter pictures! Sweet family with a beautiful mama! You are so photogenic girl! :)

  9. I'm glad I checked here bc usually I don't go back to read comments! It's just a whole. But during training I'm planning to run a half, end of June or early July. I did a half in Kiawah in December and it was SO MUCH FUN! Really, worth all caps fun! I had an injury and didn't have a good time, but it was so fun. And it felt great to accomplish a goal. I may or may not have burst into tears at the finish. :)