Up In The Air.

That’s where I am. (Correction—was. I decided I wanted to watch more movies and drink wine and not eat food because the airline ran out. Then I ate hummus at midnight. But you’ll get to that later. #healthyliving)

And, apparently, that’s how my life is as of late.

The past six weeks have been a whirlwind, and I have a bit of catching up to do (with both myself and my six readers). So I guess the easiest thing for me to do is to start from the beginning (or rather, where we left off). I’ll try to be as short and concise as possible.

Here we go.

September 28

Run the Bronx 10 Miler. Even though my weekend long runs boded well, and I felt I could really hammer out this race with a 7:35 pace, I fail miserably. Neared the black out stage I once reached before at mile 6. Pulled over at every aid station thereafter for Gatorade, which tastes like warm piss. Ali passes me at mile 8. I tell her it’s hot. It was. Finish in 1:22:48 (8:17).

So. Humid.

So. Humid.

Get medal. Tell His Lordship I want nothing more than wine and football. He acquiesces to my request.

October 1

After a series of vet appointments, hospital visits, countless blood work, and subcutaneous fluids, we say our final goodbyes to our beloved feline. Walsh and Reema aid our sorrows with wine and cheese. Astor, you will be forever missed.

I'll love you forever.

I’ll love you forever.

October 2

Head to Laguardia for Wilmington Wedding Weekend Extravaganza. Find our trusty officiant and his girlfriend. Coerce kind lady at Delta counter to let them board our flight instead of their later one that included a connection in Philadelphia (ew). They sit behind us. Fun ensues.

The start of funtivities.

The start of funtivities.

October 3

We’ve finally reached the day we’ve been waiting for—our two families were about to meet at a glorious rehearsal dinner hosted by my glorious in-laws. The setting is beautiful. There is no rain. More fun ensues. #nailedit

October 4

Arise in the company of my captain and teammates. Start singing a tune to myself entitled, “Today’s The Day I Get Married.” (I made it up with the help of my betrothed.) Walsh, Katie and I go for a run. In the blink of an eye, I’m married, eating crab cakes, and dancing on the dance floor with tambourines. Grow concerned that I haven’t talked to anyone (weddings are hard). Drink more wine. Return to Figure 8 where we would be for the next two nights.

By 2&3 Photography.  Hire them. You will not be disappointed.

By 2&3 Photography. Hire them. You will not be disappointed.

October 6

Am more hungover this day than the day after our wedding. Have lunch and farewell drinks with friends in the Wilmington airport.

All the wine.

All the wine.

Connect in Atlanta for a first-class flight I sleep through due to hangover. Arrive LAX, recheck bags, and take red eye to Papeete. Attempt to sleep on what is the most uncomfortable flight I have ever endured. No, seriously. Should you ever fly Air Tahiti Nui, you’ve been warned.

October 7

Arrive in Papeete. Take ferry to Moorea. See a whale and a flying fish that flew for a solid 15 seconds. Go snorkeling. Upon exiting the water, I notice my lady parts are on fire. (Sorry, parents.)

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Am sad to be greeted like this on my honeymoon. Go to sleep by 7:00 p.m.

October 8

Awake at 4:15 a.m. Watch sunrise while listening to the sweet sounds of roosters (EVERYWHERE).

IMG_6538

Go for a run. Come to the conclusion that the Moorea Marathon is now officially off the bucket list, unless the race start is at 3:00 a.m.

Humid. And it's only 5:30.

Humid. And it’s only 5:30.

Chatted with a friend and native Floridian who helps me discover that I have sea lice. Splendid.

October 9

Celebrate 30th birthday. With sea lice.

So this is 30.

So this is 30. I’ll take it.

October 10

Arrive Bora Bora. Moorea now looks like a dump compared to what we are witnessing.

IMG_6596

This is okay if you like that whole really-pretty-blue ocean-off-your-lagoon thing.

Eat Greek salad for lunch. I miss the real thing.

October 11

Run on our resort’s “healthy trail,” which is less than a mile long. It’s more difficult than I imagine. Get lost. Our moving time is much less than our elapsed time.

IMG_6631

Again, it’s hot.

Eat a delicious dinner at the hotel restaurant by The Fam. (A grand wedding gift—thank you!)

I ate my weight in tuna. Not a bad thing.

I ate my weight in tuna. Not a bad thing.

October 12

Arise and track friends running various marathons. Go bonkers when we see Walsh run a 3:13 in Chicagoland. Send her a selfie.

NOW GO DRINK ALL THE BEER YOU FAST PERSON, YOU.

NOW GO DRINK ALL THE BEER YOU FAST PERSON, YOU.

Eat a piece of purple fruit for breakfast. It tastes like gummy bears.

SOMEONE TELL ME WHAT THIS IS PLEASE.

SOMEONE TELL ME WHAT THIS IS PLEASE.

Realize I’m beginning to miss American food. Order French fries.

October 15

Take an extremely short flight (4 minutes total, take off to touch down) to Taha’a (pronounced Taha-ah).

View from above.

View from above.

Go completely off the grid. I hope there are no emergencies back home (again, sorry, parents).

Hello, motu.

Hello, motu.

October 16

Go running…for less than 15 minutes.

This island is small.

This island is small.

Snorkel in the Coral Garden. The current is fierce. The fish are beautiful. I will eat them later.

Also saw two crabs doing it. Nature is neat.

Also saw two crabs doing it. Nature is neat.

October 17

Take flight back to Papeete. Stand in extremely long check-in line. Tahiti is not up to speed with technology. Take red-eye to LAX. Miss connecting flight to JFK. (Lesson learned, husband!) Grab lunch. Sit next to man wearing two Super Bowl rings. He was an exec for the Colts. “Nice ring,” His Lordship says. Man passes 2006 championship ring to His Lordship. He holds the ring, looking a bit like Smeagol. He does not offer the ring to me. Grow very jealous. Finally board flight to JFK. Do not eat food. Finally land JFK. It’s now 10:00 p.m. We wait for luggage until 11:15. Get cab. Call local neighborhood restaurants/bars to see if kitchens are still open. Eat hummus and roast chicken at midnight.

Presently, I’m very tired. I feel like I’ve just come out of warp speed.

I realize I have a lot to do.

I have to get my shit together and find a job.

And another feline. (#Catwarmingparty!)

Oh, and I guess I have to change my name.

Thanks for tuning in. I hope to hear from you soon. (Seriously, anyone seeking employees in the food industry contact me ASAP.)

Sincerely,

Abbe Lew

(or simply, Her Ladyship)

So, Here We Are.

It appears I have a lot of time on my hands.

Oddly enough, all that time has been rapidly used up due to several occasions.

Shortly after the big ax, His Lordship and I traveled to Greece for my best friend’s real life big fat Greek wedding.

These are my best friends. The groom is on the left. We drank something called tsipouro, which is basically moonshine, and basically immediate heartburn inducing.

These are my best friends. The groom is on the left. We drank something called tsipouro, which is basically moonshine, and basically immediate heartburn inducing.

It was awesome. I ate feta for breakfast, Greek salads for lunch, and more feta for dinner.

Fucking glorious. How can you not swear when you look at this?!

Fucking glorious. How can you not swear when you look at this?!

I even ran (once), and it was straight up a mountain. (And I stopped three times and cursed His Lordship for making me do that.)

A helluva town.

A helluva town.

The wedding was situated on top of a mountain (which we walked up), and we danced traditional Greek dances at the reception.

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Just your average traditional ride to the groom on your uncle’s donkey.

It was a most fantastic trip, and a nice break from reality. However, we are going to have to step it up for our big day. I suggested riding in on a dolphin. Yay? Nay?

I’ve also spent a lot of time at the vet.

Shortly before Labor Day, Astor grew rapidly ill. We found out he has Chronic Kidney Disease, and have been giving him subcutaneous fluids every morning and evening. He hates it. But at least he’s returning more to his “normal” self every day. We’re not out of the woods yet with my best feline friend, so think of all the good thoughts for him. (HE’S ONLY SIX AND A HALF, PEOPLE. THAT’S YOUNG IN CAT YEARS.)

After his four night stay in a hospital hooked up to various things. Poor guy. (Just to clarify, I'm talking about the cat, not the human.)

After his four night stay in a hospital hooked up to various things. Poor guy. (Just to clarify, I’m talking about the cat, not the human.)

A lot of people have asked me what’s next. Truthfully, I don’t know. I suppose I’ll focus on that after the big nuptial party.

And that’s in 12 days.

I promise to touch base more. Just as soon as the curve balls quit coming.

“That’s life,” my dad says.

Well then, father dearest, let me figure out how to handle it without giving myself a stroke.

Or I'll just move to Mykonos, where it's perfectly acceptable to drink wine before noon. #funemployment

Or I’ll just move to Mykonos, where it’s perfectly acceptable to drink wine before noon. #funemployment

 

Farro with Artichoke & Basil Pesto.

Recently, a frolleague of mine (that’s a Lewis term for friend and colleague) suggested I start adding squats and lunges to my weekly workout routines to get faster at running.

I cringed at this, as one set of either squats or lunges leaves me feeling sore for a week.

Nevertheless, I started adding them to my gym workouts once a week.

On Wednesday, I performed three sets of lunges with 8-pound weights.

On Thursday (that’s yesterday), I stood up from my desk and pulled something in my foot.

Frantic, I texted His Lordship, who was en route to his bachelor party in Key West.

I called my physical therapist for an emergency session, only to find out he was on vacation.

“TINA. I THINK I SNAPPED MY PLANTAR FASCIA. WHAT DO I DO?!!,” I told the receptionist.

I texted His Lordship again. He instructed me to mull things over with his co-coach, Speedy Sasquatch, who could give me advice and another name for his PT.

“I don’t think it’s your foot,” he stated. “Tell me, are your calves tight?”

“…Tight? …Maybe?” (I’m an excellent athlete.)

“Sometimes,” he continued, “I’ll go through the same thing if my calves or quads are really tight. Try stretching and foam rolling. If you run, go out really easy and stretch halfway through.”

For sure I thought he was wrong (hasn’t anyone figured out that I’m always right?!).

I started out for an easy run. My comrade was telling me about her recent class at Equinox. And then I realized that my calves and quads actually were tight.

“Josh was right,” I said.

“I hate it when that happens,” my comrade replied (she is also female, and also always right).

And that was the time I was very dramatic and removed squats and lunges from my workout repertoire.

And now, a recipe.

Farro with Asparagus & Basil Pesto
Serves 4

Seen here on top of mixed greens and a healthy dollop of ricotta.

Seen here on top of mixed greens and a healthy dollop of ricotta.

½ cup extra-virgin olive oil, plus extra
1 small yellow onion, diced
2 large cloves garlic, minced
salt
black pepper, freshly ground
1 cup farro, rinsed
2 cups chicken stock
1 cup water
1 cup basil leaves
⅓ cup hazelnuts
1 clove garlic
2 cans artichoke hearts, quartered

1. Bring 1-2 Tbsps. olive oil to medium heat in large saute pan; add onion; season; soften for 5 minutes; add garlic; saute 2-3 minutes; add farro; toss to combine; add chicken stock and water; bring to boil; reduce to simmer; cook for 30-35 minutes or until farro is cooked through**; season to taste; reserve, keeping warm.

2. Meanwhile, make pesto: place basil, hazelnuts, garlic, salt, and pepper in food processor; pulse; with motor running, stream in olive oil until well combined and thick; season to taste; reserve.

3. Assembly: place reserved farro, basil pesto, and artichoke hearts in large mixing bowl; toss to combine; season to taste; serve warm.

**Some water may be left in the pot. Should this happen and your farro is al dente, drain the excess water.

Recap: 2014 FI5K Run For Rose.

Previously at the Fire Island 5K Run For Rose, I PR’d and placed third in my age group.

I was ecstatic.

Fast forward to this past weekend, where my comrades and I returned to the scene of the crime. While it was a fabulous weekend with picture perfect weather, I was nervous about the race, and if I could come in victorious third AG once again.

Throughout the weekend, I scanned the crowds for my female competition, but to no avail. Instead, Brian and I talked shit to one another, and I made him my number one target and enemy for Sunday’s race.

The 10:30 start time makes for a warm race. But we’ll get to that.

We went for a light jog prior to the start. I told His Lordship I would play it safe and (hopefully) drop the hammer for the final mile. He agreed it was a fine tactic.

I cooled off with some cold water which were situated next to the corrals. And then we lined up.

A large number of very fit and fast looking female athletes—including the first female finisher of the 2014 Long Island Marathon—approached the start. I suddenly thought about how fast I would have to go to keep up and wondered where these ladies had been hiding all weekend.

The gun went off and so was I—a bit faster than I intended. I slowed down to find a pace that was reasonable enough to hold on for three miles without completely falling apart.

Brian passed me a quarter mile in. He and I were quite competitive the night before over several beverages. Luckily, my competitive nature didn’t rear its ugly head and I stuck to my guns.

Mile 1: 7:16

Although the course changed slightly, it was still flat, and still hot.

I think this is the first time I've ever run the tangents correctly.

I think this is the first time I’ve ever run the tangents correctly.

Right before we turned left onto Bayview Avenue, I saw one of the girls from the first corral slowing to a stop. I tried giving her encouragement as I passed her. I’m not sure it helped.

I took some water at the lone aid station and dumped it on my head. I felt my legs slowing, no doubt from the climbing temperatures.

At this point I kept my sights on two people: Brian and a female who was holding a pace slightly better than I.

Mile 2: 7:31

Shortly after the mile 2 marker, I passed my comrade Jim, followed by the girl I had been pacing. Jim’s cheer gave me a boost, and I set my sights on Brian up ahead.

The whole “dropping the hammer” thing didn’t really go as planned as my legs felt like jello and the increasing heat brought on my puke threshold.

I promise my feet are moving.

I promise my feet are moving.

At this point, I wondered where I was in the pack of females, and if I had enough juice to PR.

Brian was within reach as we turned left onto Coyuga Street.

I passed the 200M To Go sign and checked my watch. I picked up the pace and thought I could PR.

I made the final left onto Bay View Walk and saw the finish line, and it looked to be a lot further than 200 meters. The girl who I had passed at mile 2 flew by me like a bolt of lightning, earning herself 8th overall female.

Mile 3: 7:28
Mile .14: 6:27
Summary: 23:07 (7:22)

2014_FI_5K

I ran almost directly into Brian and congratulated him on beating me (this time).

My puke threshold was imminent. I grabbed water, took deep breaths, and walked for awhile. The girl who passed me was doing the same, and we started chatting. I congratulated her and thanked her for giving me the boost I needed.

While I didn’t PR and didn’t place, I was still happy with my effort.

And any race that doesn’t involve me vomiting or soiling myself is a solid day in my book.

My friends were also happy with how they raced—two of them even brought back hardware after placing in their age groups.

See you next year, FI.

I’ll be back with a vengeance.

 

Tomato Tart with Ricotta & Basil.

 

When things go awry, I turn to the kitchen.

Even more so when things go awry for any of my close friends or family.

My Mother recently sent me a recipe for a tomato tart she made for her and my Dad; both of them loved it.

I modified it a touch to my liking, and made two—one for myself (and His Lordship), and another for a dear friend who was having a tough week.

And seriously, with the abundance of tomatoes available at the greenmarkets here in NYC, why are we not having this on a daily basis? I mean, regardless of life’s curve balls?

Tomato Tart with Ricotta & Basil

I'm told this is just a "fancy pizza".

I’m told this is just a “fancy pizza”.

Ingredients
Tart dough:
1 cup all-purpose flour, plus more for surface and rolling out dough
1/2 cup unsalted butter, cut into cubes, and cold
1 egg, beaten + 1 Tbsp. cold water
1 tsp. salt

In food processor, pulse flour with butter until texture becomes sandy; pulse in egg and cold water; pulse until dough is formed; remove from processor; knead on floured surface until combined; form dough into ball; wrap with plastic wrap; refrigerate for 1 hour.

Assembly:
1 cup ricotta cheese
1/2 cup Asiago cheese, grated
1 heirloom or beefsteak tomato, thinly sliced
3-4 large basil leaves, cut en chiffonade
Maldon flake salt
black pepper, freshly ground

1. Preheat oven to 400˚F.

2. Remove tart dough from refrigerator; roll out on floured surface to 1/4-” thickness; place in buttered and floured tart shell; place back in refrigerator for 10 minutes.

3. In large mixing bowl, combine ricotta and Asiago; season with salt and pepper; reserve.

4. Place tart pan on baking sheet; lightly prick bottom and sides with fork; cover with aluminum foil; top foil with pie weights; blind bake in oven for 10 minutes; remove tart pan from oven; remove foil from tart; lower oven temperature to 325˚F; bake tart for 10 more minutes, or until golden brown; remove from oven; cool on wire rack.

5. When tart shell has cooled, fill with ricotta mix; top with tomato slices, basil leaves, salt, and pepper; serve.

Pasta with Berry Tomatoes, Summer Squash & Bocconcini.

As summer reaches its peak, so too does the produce—strawberries, peaches, squash, and, most importantly, tomatoes.

Indeed, tomato season is my favorite season.

And during a recent trip to the farmers’ market, a gentleman was passing out berry tomatoes for tasting. My comrade and I instantly scooped up two pints.

Gleeful, I returned home to His Lordship, who is in the midst of half-ironman training and therefore always in need of sustenance.

So these suckers got thrown into a summer pasta.

Good luck to all those participating in the New York City Triathlon tomorrow, and happy carb loading!

Pasta with Roasted Berry Tomatoes, Summer Squash, and Bocconcini
Serves 2

pasta_berry_tomatoes

Ingredients
extra-virgin olive oil
1 small yellow onion, minced
2 large garlic cloves, minced
1 large yellow summer squash, diced
1 pt. berry tomatoes
bocconcini mozzarella, as much or as little as you prefer
handful of basil leaves, cut en chiffonade
½ lb. mezze penne pasta
salt
black pepper, freshly ground

Procedure
1. Bring a large pot of salted water to a rolling boil.

2. Meanwhile, add 2-3 Tbsps. olive oil to large nonstick saute pan over medium heat; add onion; season with salt and pepper; saute until translucent, about 3 minutes; add garlic and squash; raise heat to medium-high; saute until golden in color, about 5 minutes; add tomatoes, basil, and bocconcini; toss to combine; season to taste; reserve.

3. Add pasta to boiling water; cook to al dente; transfer to tomato mix; toss to combine, adding more olive oil if needed; serve.

 

Chickpea Salad.

When I returned from Miami, I was in need of vegetables.

You know, for obvious reasons (read: mofongo).

Then when I got the phone call that my wedding dress finally came in, I was in more need of vegetables.

All those vegetables led to three days worth of tacos and bubbling raclette cheese.

That evens out, right?

Chickpea Salad

Dijon vinaigrette:
1 tsp. Dijon mustard
1 tsp. red wine vinegar
1/3-1/2 cup extra-virgin olive oil
salt
black pepper, freshly ground

Place Dijon and vinegar in bowl; whisk to combine; while whisking, stream in oil until emulsified; season to taste; reserve.

Assembly:
1 can chickpeas, rinsed and drained
1 large tomato, seeded and chopped
1 seedless cucumber, cut into cubes
1 handful flat-leaf parsley, minced
salt
black pepper, freshly ground

Combine all ingredients in a bowl; toss with vinaigrette; season to taste.

tomato_chickpea