My 35th Birthday - Dinner at Freda's Seafood Grille

May 30, 2010

I was born thirty-five years ago today. I never thought I'd make it this far... I feel so incredibly blessed to be living the life I have now. It's been a long journey so far and I am sure I'll be looking back on this birthday with many fond memories.

My day began with a pedicure and manicure, then lunch left over from last night's dinner, followed by a 1 1/2 hour hot stone massage from the lovely Kat over at Massage Envy. It was quite the relaxing day.

While I was out getting pampered, the boys were home cleaning the house. It was all Gaetano's idea because as he put it "all girls love a spa day".

For my 35th birthday dinner we went to Freda's Seafood Grille which is located in North Austin. It's owner operated, and we've seen Freda every time we've eaten there. She usually stops by the table to see how everything is. We've never had a meal there we didn't enjoy and this is our fourth or fifth visit.

Oops! It just occurred to me that I didn't photograph the appetizers! We had the sampler, which included bruschetta, coconut shrimp, calamari, and crab stuffed mushrooms. Another thing I didn't photograph was the yummy corn bread they give all guests. I had just a little of everything, making sure to save plenty of room for my dinner and dessert.

 Grilled Lobster

I had the Grilled Lobster, served with asparagus and baked potato (no butter, with sour cream and chives on the side). I ate about half the baked potato and finished the lobster and asparagus. Maybe I can have a few bites of Dan's dinner tomorrow for lunch since I don't have any leftovers...

Gulf Coast Paella

Dan enjoyed the Gulf Coast Paella and saved half for lunch tomorrow (I hope he shares). He was stuffed!

Chicken & Portabella Mushroom Soup

Gaetano had a bowl of Chicken & Portabella Mushroom soup that he couldn't finish. He took about half of it home for lunch tomorrow.

Shrimp Diablo

My dad had the special, Shrimp Diablo. It's wrapped in bacon and much to my surprise he didn't eat but one piece of the bacon. Good job dad!

Freda's - Coconut Shrimp & Catfish

Mom had the Catfish & Coconut Shrimp. Normally you get a side starch (like rice or potato) but mom asked for asparagus and they obliged. Good job mom!

Berry Chantilly 6 inch cake from WholeFoods

For dessert, Freda's sent me home with some Crème Brulée that I'm sure is scrumptious but did not eat it. I'm saving to share with the boys tomorrow. My parents came over for my favorite; Berry Chantilly Cake from WholeFoods.

Me and my birthday cake

It's a small 6" cake that turned out to go further than I thought it would. We could easily serve 8 people with it. We used to buy their big 10" cake, but now I know 6" is plenty.

A slice of Berry Chantilly Cake from WholeFoods

As usual, my photography doesn't do this justice. The cake is filled with blueberries, strawberries, raspberries and blackberries. The frosting is so wonderful, too wonderful for me to even think of a suitable way to describe it.

After the first time I had Berry Chantilly Cake, I asked a worker at WholeFoods what the frosting was made from and they told me it has mascarpone cheese in it. No wonder it is so good! Everyone who has had Berry Chantilly Cake at my house has commented about how much they love the frosting. I think the frosting is what makes it my favorite cake, but the cake itself and the berries are a big part of why I love it too.

Birthday Dress from WholeFoods

Here's a picture of me today after dinner taken outside of Freda's. I'm wearing my first strapless dress ever (yes, in my entire life) which is an organic cotton dress I bought at WholeFoods. I'm happy to say that I weigh one hundred and a half pound more than my age. By my next birthday I hope to be only 89 pounds more than my age. Let's check back in a year and see...

As for birthday presents, I'll be blogging about those soon. Some have to do with cooking and some to do with my weight loss. I'm going to keep you in suspense awhile since it is getting late.

Thanks to all my family and friends for the birthday wishes, love and support. You made my day very special. It's been one of the best birthday I've had in years my whole life.


May 31, 2010, 6:50 PM
Jen Ellis

The creme brulee cake looks great. As far as portion control, how much dessert do you consume? Do you have a technique where you just take a taste? Have you consumed any alcohol?

June 1, 2010, 2:12 PM
Daniel Short

There's no way you're 35! I refuse to admit we're in our 30s. We're just too damned good looking for that sort of nonsense.

You're gorgeous, the food was wonderful, and here's to 35 more years, all of them spent together.

June 1, 2010, 2:40 PM

@Jen Ellis - Berry Chantilly cake from WholeFoods is my absolute favorite. We cut the 6 inch cake into 8 slices. I didn't eat all the frosting (as much as I love it) because I was just too full.

(It's creme brulee that Freda's gives you, which I did not eat. We took it home with intentions to share it the next day but it got watery so we tossed it out. Oh well; I wasn't even bummed. I *used* to love creme brulee too, but the cake was just that good that I didn't miss it at all.)

In general, I try avoid alcohol because it just turns into pounds with me. If I do have a drink it is typically a special occasion. I did have a glass of White Zinfandel with dinner that I totally forgot to mention. I always factor in my beverage's calories, alcohol or not.

As for dessert, well I don't try to avoid it. (I love food – dessert, sushi and cheese are my favorites.) I usually share a dessert with Dan or I'll just have a smaller portion than I used to. I eat it MUCH slower than I did before, trying to enjoy it for longer. Dan has been telling Gaetano lately, "The better it tastes the slower you should eat it." I'm trying that technique and it seems to be working.

Generally speaking, I really avoid eating anything where I have to guess the calories. My birthday was a rare exception, but you have to have those occasions to keep you on track. It's kind of like a food hangover! Each time I indulge a little, I'm reminded of how that's not what feels good so I do it less and less.

Thanks for asking!

June 1, 2010, 2:43 PM

@Dan Short - Only 35 more years? I hope you're not planning on being a widow when I'm 70! ;-)

For your birthday, I'll put "29 Again" candles on your cake. We can just reuse those for us from here on out.

Thank you for making my birthday so special. I love you so much!

June 1, 2010, 2:46 PM
Jen Ellis

You are so right about eating much slower. Thank you for the advice. I will need to start practicing that. I feel like I am always rushed and I do eat too fast.

Thank you for being an inspiration!!!!

June 1, 2010, 2:57 PM
Daniel Short

I may be growing old, but there ain't no way I'm growing up!

June 1, 2010, 3:00 PM

@Jen Ellis - You're very welcome! Let me know how that works for you and if you discover any other techniques that work I'm all ears.

@Dan Short - Good, keep me young too while you're at it!

June 2, 2010, 3:28 PM
Ann Marie Francis

Looks like you had a great time! Angela, you look fantastic and Jen's right you're a total inspiration!!! God bless!

June 4, 2010, 2:35 PM

Thanks Ann Marie :-) That makes this all worthwhile!

June 13, 2010, 9:11 AM

Actually Freda's Seafood Grille has the best bread pudding in Austin! I love desserts!

June 13, 2010, 9:42 AM

@Sarah - That's true; Freda's bread pudding is pretty amazing. Some day, I'm going to do a side by side taste test with Razoo's bread pudding, which is also very delicious.

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