I smell like nougatine

Sicilian Pistachio Nougatine to be exact 😀 How was your day?? Mine was muy bueno—it started with a 6 mile run with Michelle, I took my love to the airport (miss you, pilot!) and then showered it up and went to work. I learned so much today. We did a mock service, so two large groups of people ate in the restaurant so we can practice for when the restaurant actually opens. It was fast, furious and amazing. The pastry chef was excellent at communicating what I needed to do, and I learned how to plate all of the desserts and make the components for many of them.

image  (Photo courtesy of Michelle… can you see my pony-tailed head on the far left??)

I LOVE the set-up for the restaurant. Matthew was telling me that he wanted to remove the separation between the kitchen and the dining room. The dining room is open and inviting, and so is the kitchen. It’s a very clean and relaxing atmosphere. I love the eco-friendliness of the restaurant as well—we don’t throw any food away.. it all goes into a compost bin. Glass bowls are used instead of plastic, towels instead of paper towels, and the straws are glass instead of plastic.

I didn’t get to snap any food pics, except for the pizza, because 99% of the time I was making something. Tomorrow we don’t have mock-service. It’s our first day of class, then I have a break and work at night, so I should be able to supply some ample foodgasmic pics for ya’ll.

To rewind a little bit, the pilot and I had our last dinner together for a month at one of our favorite places ever….



The happy couple:


We <3 Fondue 😀

Glass of vino:


I wasn’t that hungry (shocker right??) so instead of doing to full three-course shebang like we usually do, we just shared an appetizer, each got salads and the pilot had shrimp and steak.


(I munched the carrots, cauliflower, some apples and wheaty bread)

Salad with no cheese, oil and vinegar on the side


For the fondue part, we cooked all of the veggies and the shrimp first so I could munch those while the pilot’s steak was cooking.


3 shrimpies:


I wasn’t hungry before dinner, but my appetite magically reappeared when they brought out the dessert menu 😀

Dark chocolate with BAILEYS (creamy beige)


And the famous “dippers”: cheesecake, brownies, rice crispy treats, marshmallows and pound cake


They usually have strawberries and bananas, too, but last night they were out.  I was talking about how bummed I was that they didn’t have fruit as I stabbed my fondue stick into a brownie bite. The pilot laughed and said, “Yeah, you look devastated” 😀

I spent the evening tossing and turning in a sugar frenzy… it’s probably more sugar than I’ve had in the past three months. It was worth every bite 😉

Well I’m off to roll my aches and pains on the foam roller and then catch up on Google reader—it keeps piling up before my eyes and I’ve missed all of my bloggy friends 😀 Slowly but surely I’ll catch up on your lives.

Have a wonderful night!



Today’s tip: Work out at a time when you have the most energy and can get the most effective sweat sesh. It sounds simple, but a lot of people drag themselves to the gym when they’re exhausted and not ready to be there. If you can push yourself harder in the morning, schedule your workout first thing and if you need some time to unwind after work before you hit the gym, do it then. I don’t mind doing aerobics at any point in the day, but when it comes to running, I have to go first thing or I won’t go at all (or I’ll go and dilly dally on the elliptical instead). Do you prefer to workout in the morning or afternoon??

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  1. Lauren on September 7, 2009 at 9:13 pm

    I beleive it should be considered illegal to go to the MP and NOT get dessert. Really, they should arrest these crazy people who bypass the dessert at this place. I don’t think I’ve ever had anything more amazing in my entire life! 😉

    Bummer about the fruit shortage, but I’m sure I would have drowned my sadness with more brownie bites too.

    Glad you are loving the new place. Everything looks and sounds amazing.

  2. The Pilot on September 7, 2009 at 9:20 pm

    Your first day at work sounded great. I can’t tell you enough how proud I am. Have fun there, baby. Love and miss you!

  3. Jenna on September 7, 2009 at 9:25 pm

    i have never heard of that restaurant before but it looks great!
    i prefer to work out in the morning but depending on my schedule if i have to work out in the afternoon it is no biggie!

  4. Paige @ Running Around Normal on September 7, 2009 at 9:29 pm

    Aw, yay first day! Go Gina 🙂 Melting Pot looks awesome!

  5. angieinatlanta on September 7, 2009 at 9:52 pm

    Chocolate Fondue = FOODGASM!

    Oh man, congrats on finishing your first day! I’m still jealous of your glamorous, foodie life!

  6. Denise on September 7, 2009 at 9:59 pm

    I am afternoon worker outer. I would LOVE to get up early enough in the mornings but just can’t do it! The Melting Pot looks great. I think that shall be our next date as we have never been there.

  7. The Healthy Hostess on September 7, 2009 at 10:01 pm

    I love seeing your adventures already! I am so excited for you to be following your dreams! I can’t wait to read more about the culinary school and everything it entails!

  8. Low on September 7, 2009 at 10:03 pm

    Sounds like a fantastic first day. Good luck with class tomorrow.

    I’m definitely an afternoon/evening workout person. I hate waking up early so even when I do workout in the morning, it’s not as hardcore as my later workouts are. Plus, after sitting at a desk for 8 hours, my body is yearning get moving in the evenings!

  9. Lizzy on September 7, 2009 at 10:12 pm

    i’m a total morning exerciser. I am FULL of energy in the morning, come late afternoon/evening, you would think I have never worked out in my life. Laziness overtakes me 🙂

  10. Jenn (eating bender) on September 7, 2009 at 10:15 pm

    I’ve missed YOU! Wow, I certainly had a lot of catching up to do – what a blast you have been having, ma’am!

    I’m so excited for you and this new adventure. I’m sure you are going to get a lot out of it, and I can’t wait to read 🙂 Mock service sounds very cool and interesting.

    I’ve never been to the Melting Pot before but my mom and I always pass by it in AZ and say we should go. Now I know we should!

  11. Shelby on September 7, 2009 at 10:15 pm

    Congrats on surviving your first day!

  12. VeggieGirl on September 7, 2009 at 10:16 pm

    Lovin’ the fondue action!!

    Oh my, I cannot WAIT to continue reading more about your adventures!!!! 😀

  13. Averie (LoveVeggiesAndYoga) on September 7, 2009 at 10:18 pm

    That little rice crispy bar thingey for dipping sure doesnt look raw, or vegan, but it sure looks great!!!

    Workouts..my solo workouts (more hardcore) are in the a.m. b/c I am fresh and energized. My long power walk with my husband and daughter is in the evening after he’s home from work and sometimes I am really draggin’ thru it and if I could, I would much prefer to work out jointly with a hardcore run at like 10am. But that’s not in the cards 🙂

    Enjoy your 1st day of class tomorrow!

  14. Nicci@NiftyEats on September 7, 2009 at 10:20 pm

    I haven’t been to Melting Pot in forever, last year on my b-day! It’s a fun place for fondue! I prefer morning workouts, but now I try to incorporate morning and evening.

  15. Amelia on September 7, 2009 at 10:25 pm

    Cool first day of school! I’m looking forward to hearing more about your experience. 🙂

  16. Lizzy on September 7, 2009 at 10:32 pm

    you and the pilot are the cutest couple!

    the first day of work looked amazing! 🙂 can’t wait to see some pics

  17. rhodeygirl on September 7, 2009 at 11:07 pm

    I’m the same as you. If i don’t work out first thing in the morning I just lose my motivation to do so, at least when it comes to running. PB used to argue with me when I’d wake him up early to run or ask to go run first thing in the morning, but now that we live together he LOVES it. I love it too as it makes me really start my day energized!

    Have a great day of class tomorrow- this month is going to be amazing for you, I know it!

  18. Madre on September 7, 2009 at 11:49 pm

    Hola Mi Hija,
    Your first day sounds so wonderful! I am super excited about your position in the restaurant and it looks AMAZING! It is your fortune cookie come true. When passion is the element driving your quest for knowledge, let me just say, ‘sleepless nights’ has a whole new meaning.
    May you have the SWEETEST experience in all that is yet to come,
    Love you so much, Madre

  19. erica on September 7, 2009 at 11:50 pm

    Sounds like you had a great first day! Your pizza lunch looked amazing, and I can’t wait to see all of the glorious raw foods you eat and create. You’re living my dream right now! I’m so excited to read about your 105 degrees journey. xoxo

  20. Liz on September 8, 2009 at 12:33 am

    That fondue restaurant looks awesome! Love how you can dip cheesecake…so sinful!

  21. GirlonRaw on September 8, 2009 at 5:42 am

    Your adventure sounds so exciting. I am loving every minute of it. Keep it coming girlfriend! 🙂

  22. simpledaisy on September 8, 2009 at 6:25 am

    I am a teacher, so when I am off in the summer I prefer to go first thing in the morning! During the school year I go right after work! Looks like you’re having lots of fun with 105 degrees:)

  23. deisegirl on September 8, 2009 at 6:45 am

    My day is so long when I add my commuting time in so I try to get up extra early a few days a week and do a short burst of cardio – . Can’t get my head around weights in the morning too. It’s OK being clumsy and oafish doing a few jumping jacks and sprints, but not when you’re dragging dumbells around eek! I used to do nearly an hour of early morning cardio 4 weekday mornings but it both sucked and blew and nearly wiped me out completely. totally counter-productive 🙁

  24. MizFit on September 8, 2009 at 6:56 am

    LOVE the pics of you and the Pilot and I KNOW I always say that 🙂

    hope youre waking and greeting the tuesday ache&painFREE!

  25. Kristin (Kristin's Nibbles) on September 8, 2009 at 8:00 am

    Work looks like fun! I love the connected kitchen/dining room. What a great idea!

    And I have never been to the melting pot but I would LOVE to try it! It makes me drool every time you go!


  26. April on September 8, 2009 at 8:11 am

    I am a morning cardio”er” and a night lifter.

    I’ve never been to the Melting Pot either but it looks naughty!

  27. Haleigh on September 8, 2009 at 8:18 am

    The melting pot is seriously amazing! I have never had an entree there before though, just dessert… and it rocks!

  28. Emily on September 8, 2009 at 8:24 am

    Hey Gina! I hope that your first day of class goes well! I’m super excited to see the pictures. 🙂

    I definitely feel like I can get a better workout in during the afternoon, but sometimes getting up and exercising feels better so that I know its already done and I don’t have to worry about it later!

  29. Kelly on September 8, 2009 at 8:57 am

    Congratulations on your new adventure! That looks like such an amazing experience!!

  30. Pam (Highway to Health) on September 8, 2009 at 12:53 pm

    I would love to try to melting pot! It looks like you are having a great time on your new adventure – ENJOY!

  31. Dotsie on September 8, 2009 at 3:29 pm

    I was a little tickled to see that there’s a Melting Pot in another state–locals here in New Orleans think it’s a NOLA thing…hehe!

    I prefer to workout in the mornings–I am a total morning person!!!

  32. Emily on September 8, 2009 at 4:31 pm

    I didn’t know the Melting Pot was such a big chain- we’ve got at least one up here in North Carolina (Durham, to be exact) as well. I’ve only been there once and we didn’t get dessert :[ What a shame, right? But we were completely stuffed.
    I’ve only been following your blog for a few weeks but I absolutely adore it. I’ve looked at your Weight Loss Story page and I’m a lot closer to you as a senior than you now (I’m seventeen and a senior) but I’m trying to change my habits. Your blog is definitely helping me do that! I’m not quite disciplined enough to do South Beach for read- trust me, I’ve tried- but I’m following your example and taking the major tenants to heart, like portion control and lots of fruits and veggies, yet still not feeling guilty for indulging once in a while. Or more than once in a while in my case, as I work at Cold Stone Creamery, haha.
    Anyways, thanks for being such an inspiration!
    In answer to your question: I really only have time to work out once I get home from school, but if I had my preference I’d go early afternoon.

  33. Jenny on September 9, 2009 at 7:31 pm

    I’m definitely a morning workout person–even weight lifting in the afternoon can be a chore, I can’t imagine trying to run. I think I could get in the habit of afternoon workouts if I absolutely HAD to. It would definitely take a few weeks of getting used to though.

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