Pesto, pasta,scallops and tomatoes

 

IMG_3548

I decided to make a big batch of pesto to have for future use and also for this pasta dish.  Pesto is great for so many things.

Some uses:

Appetizer for impromptu guests: I always have French bread in the freezer. Pop it in the oven at 350 degrees F, once soft enough cut in half, length wise and drizzle with olive oil and add a thick layer of pesto.  You can add a slice of tomato and cheese such as parmesan or fresh mozzarella to put on top. Put it back in the oven for 5 more minutes at 350 degrees F. It makes a great little appetizer.

Tea sandwiches:  Put some Pesto on a slice of bread with turkey and a slice of tomato. Place other slice of bread on top and cut into fours.

Finger foods: Stuff Cherry tomatoes with pesto or use as a dip with veggies.  If you have parmesan cheese put a small shaved piece on top.

Chicken Breast-cut a sliver into breast and stuff with pesto.

Pork Chops- cut a sliver into side of pork chop and stuff with pesto.

Steak- jazz it up with a dollop of pesto before serving.

Soups:  Add flavor with a spoon of pesto.

The list goes on… pizza… flat bread… filo dough…

Pasta: I play around with the ingredients that go with the pesto pasta as well as type of pasta. I’ve added all sorts of things. You can add Slices of chicken breast, scallops, grilled shrimp and play around with a veggie ingredient. I tend to stick to cherry or grape tomatoes.

Tonight I made my dish with scallops, grape tomatoes and parsley.

Pesto Recipe:  I make a huge amount so that I can keep a jar in the fridge, covered in a thick layer of olive oil to keep for up to 2 weeks and freeze the rest.

1 clove garlic- if you want it more garlic tasting add two.

1 cup parmesan cheese

2 cups pine nuts-I put a lot cause I’m nutty

1 big bunch of basil-maybe 2 cups worth

1 1/2 to 2 cups extra virgin olive oil

I make this in a Cuisinart. If you don’t have one, you can do it the old Italian way with a mortar and pestle. If you don’t have that, then start really chopping and mashing!!!

Put one clove garlic and chop it up.  Add the pine nuts, the basil and then the parmesan cheese.  Keep it spinning while adding massive amounts of olive oil, pouring it through the opening of the cuisinart.

And voila, you have pesto.  You can get inventive and make a parsley pesto, just use parsley vs basil.  I’ve also made a walnut and parsley pesto by swapping out the pine nuts and basil with walnuts and parsley.  Sun-dried tomato pesto is also wonderful, just use this recipe and add 1 cup of softened sun-dried tomatoes.

 

Now for the pasta dish:

IMG_3538

For two people

Boil water for pasta-I used Fettuccini-see box for serving size

While water is boiling chop a bunch of parsley -1/4 cup

Halve the grape tomatoes or cherry tomatoes-about 6-8 tomatoes per serving

Heat a frying pan with 1 tablespoon butter.  Once butter is melted add your scallops and sear on both sides-2 mins max per side.

Drain Pasta and put back into pasta pot.

Add 3 big heaping spoons of pesto and stir together till well incorporated.  You may want to use more or less pasta depending on taste.

Put pasta into bowls, toss in tomatoes, arrange scallops and lastly add the parsley, a bit of salt and pepper to taste.

Yum!

A fresh, home-made Pesto made to this recipe.

A fresh, home-made Pesto made to this recipe. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

English: this is a picture of self made pesto ...

English: this is a picture of self made pesto in a mortar. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Salmon Cakes

I will write more detail when I can, but here is my youtube video.  The salad is not featured nor is the yogurt sauce on the side…. more to come.

If you have any questions, please comment on this blog and subscribe to my youtube channel.

Thanks for your support and love for food!

Ok here we go the ingredients and recipe!

2lbs salmon ( I think this would also be tasty with Tuna or swordfish)

1 big bunch baby spinach

2 eggs

1/2 cup Panko-japanese-style bread crumbs-alternatively you can use Italian bread crumbs, cracker crumbs etc.

2 big spoons of yogurt-full or non-fat

1/4 chopped red onion

3 dashes of garlic salt

3 pinches of regular salt, I added a bit of sesame seed salt mixture too

1/4 cup feta cheese

After making this recipe up I would change a few things.

Chop 1/4 red onion and chop the spinach loosely.  In my video I overloaded the mixer and tossed everything in-got overcrowded and feel the texture of the salmon could have been improved. Which is why now, I would also hand chop the salmon for better texture.

Put salmon in a bowl, add the yogurt, salt, garlic salt and bread crumbs.  Add the two eggs and mix well. Toss in the chopped fresh spinach and red onions and feta cheese. Make sure it’s all incorporated.

Now it’s time to make the patties.  If your patties aren’t sticking well together, add a bit more yogurt.  You can directly freeze the raw patties or cook them right away.

I cook this with a bit of olive oil in a skillet.  I used my hot pepper infused oil, which made it really too spicy.  So I served my salmon cakes with some yogurt on the side to dull down the heat!~ Make sure both sides are well browned and crispy. I would say about 4 minutes aside depending on your taste.  Think about timing on how you like your hamburger cooked.  You can alternatively grill this on the BBQ or broil them.

I would serve this with the remaining spinach leaves and make a nice little salad.  I didn’t make my dressing, I used a Japanese Sesame dressing.  However, I think a citrus vinaigrette would taste great.

Citrus vinaigrette:

Juice of one lemon

1 cup extra virgin olive oil

1/4 cup apple cider vinegar

1 teaspoon salt

 

The unnatural is natural

 

 

 

cropped-img_2148.jpg

Having talked about my idea to create my own cooking channel on YouTube for over 4-months and actually doing it has been a process. The fear of having this project turn into what my husband calls, “a half-baked idea” was beginning to hatch. Every time I started, I couldn’t follow through. I’ll admit, at first it was mainly due to my fear of reading the instruction manual to my Gopro and learning how to get this minuscule camera to work. But then, it wasn’t my fault that my camcorder died on me nor could I be blamed for my sudden case amnesia when it came to editing on iMovie. Regardless of the issues, I’m proud to have finally posted two YouTube videos. It took a while, but thanks to YouTube and my Apple One-on-One class, I got it done.

I was so excited with my first little video called L’omelette, which my mother quickly noted I spelled the title wrong and that I don’t have to add milk to the eggs… well I know, but it’s my recipe, so I can make it how I want, is what I thought to myself… But these comments were the beginning of an avalanche to come where my friends, family, old co-workers and acquaintances all had an expert opinion on how I should act, be and do my show.

I posted my video on Facebook for my friends and family to see I had finally started Deliciously Detroit. Some overly liked my video and shared it with gushing compliments that actually embarrassed me because I knew the episode was filled with mistakes and had a ton of room for improvement. Once the compliments died down, subjective, opinionated, director-like, expert-in-the-field, which nobody I’m closely acquainted to is really in the “industry” as they say in LA, came pouring in. Comments lacking compliments surfaced…. some I agreed with, but it was a lot to swallow. My 9-year old son is also getting into having his own YouTube channel. He wants to show the world his latest Mine craft creations, newest Nerf guns, or expertise at reverse filming turning pieces of ripped paper miraculously back into a full sheet of paper. But, even my son had something to say about my video. He came upstairs after making a mini-movie with his dad and stated, “Papa thinks I’m better than you at making movies than you.” Annoyed, I ask my husband who is walking behind him, what he means by this. He tells me, “Seb sounds natural, you sound like you are out of it, or trying to be someone else.” I say in defense, “But that’s my voice over voice!” and “The guy on YouTube teaching me how to get rid of Poison Ivy sounded like an idiot,” I retort to Paul. “Yeah, but he is an idiot, at least he sounds like himself and is real,” says Paul.

I secretively listen to my voice over again and realize that Paul is right. I re-edit my voice-over and my Quaalude-sounding, slurring voice transforms into a peppy, clear and articulate me. Much improved. I repost on Facebook thinking the compliments will pour in. Ping… first comment– I’m told I could use direction and possible video and editing help. PING… my footage is too fast. Ping.. my footage is too slow. PING…I should smile more. PING.. I should drink through the whole episode and be drunk, because drunk people on YouTube are funny. PING.. I should dress like a French maid. PING.. I should have a cigarette hanging from my mouth. PING… and it just goes on and on.

The phone rings, it’s my good friend calling from California. I was happy to hear from her. “Hi there,” I answer. Not even a “hello” or a “How are you”, she jumps right in, “I just need to tell you the problems with your video…” Argh, here we go again, as much as I love her and respect her opinion and taste, I just really don’t want to hear it right now and wished I hadn’t answered. How much more advice can I handle? Did anybody realize I wasn’t trying to win an Oscar or beauty pageant? What do any of the comments thus far have to do with cooking and sharing recipes? OK, fine, my mom did ask me why I was adding milk to the eggs and that she cooks her omelette differently, but really. I agree it’s true you want to look your best on camera, I actually learned this the hard way with one of my Periscope broadcastings. I did a little live broadcast, actually it’s always live, no room for mistakes or editing. Anyway, it took me 2 days to get over the comments I got from viewers watching me on Periscope that night. One person said “Wow, old lady knows how to use an app” Must have been an annoying new millennial kid, as 43 is up there but far from old. Then someone said I looked like a meth addict. Another viewer came to my defense saying, “ She lives in Bloomfield Hills, she’s too rich to be a Meth addict.” That hurt! Now I was the stereotypical rich, Bloomfield Hills, housewife which offended me even more. We aren’t rich and I’m far from being a perfect housewife. But it wasn’t until the next day when I went to Google image to see what a meth addict looks like that I was horrified at the images and the following day shopping at  Costco, I grabbed the Crest White Strips for the first time in hope of the promised whiter teeth in 24 hours.

Official seal of Bloomfield Hills, Michigan

Official seal of Bloomfield Hills, Michigan (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

My friend’s still on the phone “ I know, I know, I’m working on it! I interrupt and tell her. I try to change the conversation and move onto a different topic – “How are your parents?” She says she still has a few more comments to make that are important on my direction and editing. I continue to listen without getting a word in. Anything I say at this point will just make me sound like an argumentative, little JR. copywriter that is in love with his work. It takes thick skin to be a copywriter, I know this as I worked over 10-years in the industry. Knowing when to let go of a bad idea and understanding that a car commercial featuring a car driving on water isn’t a good demonstration of superior driving machine, hello Chappaquiddick, cars and water don’t mix?! However a little side-note, my husband and I did randomly see car/boat that went on land and water one day in Como, Italy so it is possible, but again this is not a good idea for a major GM spot.

It’s been over 10-minutes of listening to my friend tell me how to stand, sound, talk, be…. I continue to bite my tongue and listen to how the real “karine” isn’t present in the video, that I don’t even have an intro and how are people to know how funny, quirky, French/ American or well travelled I am? I know she is doing it out of love and means well, but I interrupt, it’s the only way to get a word in, letting her know that an intro is on my YouTube channel page and in the “About” section of my blog. She goes on saying I should take a step in towards the camera when talking, not a step back. Totally frustrated, I end the conversation nicely saying that I appreciate the constructive criticism and I do realize I need to improve. She then snappily says, “Well you wanted comments.” I didn’t get into it and tell her that when I say in my video, “please comment,” I mean for food comments or recipe ideas-something about food or Detroit. I didn’t post the video on Facebook and write, “Please comment on my video” I just posted it to show what I’ve been up to. When a Vlogger asks for comments, they aren’t really asking about direction. I mean really, since when do you look at a cooking video and comment to the Vlogger, that you don’t like the color of their nail polish, that they should put some lipstick on or that you don’t think they should look into the camera so much and be more natural? I got off the phone letting her know that I was super excited about my next attempt at my food video and that I would send her an unedited clip right away so that she can see the improvements. We hang-up and I send her the clip. I was hoping for a “much better” or “super, keep on going”… or “I like it better, you are getting there,” response.Example, you see your friend in a race or marathon struggling on the last mile, you don’t say, “Change your form, you need to work harder, move your legs!” It’s obvious! You say, “Keep going,” “You can do it” you don’t go into the faults. But my friend did just that. She tells me, “I think you shouldn’t look at the camera so much but just focus on the cooking and it looks like it’s freezing inside your house!” I guess she didn’t like my warm wooly sweater and cool scarf I was wearing? She continues… “Wear an apron ala 50’s attire with a cute dress… June cleaver.” She writes. Ok wait, I thought I was supposed to be more natural and show the real Karine… Am I now a 1950’s housewife? I’m doing a show about cooking not about June cleaver. My image is me, am I supposed to seem more natural by becoming someone else? And by the way, it’s freezing here, I live in Detroit and it’s Winter! If I were to put on a skimpy little dress or play the French Maid then I’d look pretty ridiculous?

So maybe the natural me is unnatural? Totally discouraged I complain to my husband and he just says, “You are the one that posted on Facebook.” I tell him, imagine if he posted one of his paintings up on Facebook and got comments like: “I think you should have painted the leaf a bit more green, your focus should be more on the plants and not the house, still life is passé, you should wear a beret… “and so on. You get the point, right? It’s easy to criticize until you are staring at that little circle on your iPhone trying to sound natural and talk while cooking. Before this the only talking I would do while cooking would be, “OH shit, I forgot the roast in the oven, it’s burnt!”, or “Crap, I forgot to steam the veggies…” Just as I was almost done with writing this post I got one last Ping… my sister. She lives in Geneva, CH and has been my life-time critic, as a sister should be, and my stylist and supporter who is not afraid to tell me how it is. Her comments came to me in such a surprise. A positive and good surprise that I needed… that little morsel of hope you’re doing something that is remotely good. She wrote: “What a fantastic blog karine! I just read it all online in one go…. I really loved it. I also liked the videos. Really fantastic. You know you don’t need to wear makeup for them nor earrings–you are so beautiful as it is… think about it! It might look cool. It already looks super cool though. Lots of love. Elisa loved the cookie video we watched it 3 times in a row. XX.” Conflicting opinions of looking sexy, June cleaver, 50’s housewife, to the 60’s feminist with no make-up. Whatever the direction or advise, I take my sister’s as MOTIVATION! Thanks!

Holiday Cookies-simple chocolate chip

yummy cookies

baked chocolate chip cookies

It’s that time of year again when cookies swaps, sweets and overeating is the name of the game. The time actually begins for me at Halloween when it’s late at night and my son’s plastic Jack-o-Lantern filled with candies is calling for me. The scales start to tip and then it’s followed by Thanksgiving feasts filled with candied this and candied that.

But at Christmas time for me, it’s all about the cookie.  We leave some for Santa along with a few carrots for the reindeer.  I used to kill myself making cookies and treats for my son’s teachers–not for just one, but he wanted to give a gift to everyone –the principal, the music teacher, the drama teacher, the gym teacher, his 2nd grade teacher, the assistant, the janitor…. the list went on, then there were neighbors.  I didn’t make complicated cookies and stuck to the basics like :chocolate chip cookies, Mexican wedding cakes, chocolate truffle and something else.  By the time I was done putting all these treats in little gift bags, I was done! I realized making the dough was the easiest, it was the baking part that was a bit long and I would inevitably mess up a batch by forgetting them,being too far to hear the timer go off. So this year, I’m stealing my sister-in-laws idea and making the dough and freezing  individual cookie size balls. Some do the creative layering of ingredients in a mason jar, but I’m not going to make them work, plus you can’t give them butter on the side to complete the recipe. So frozen cookies it is.

Check-out my video and see how to make them.  https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pbPrWCdA8BQ

Ingredients:

1/2 cup softened butter

1/2 cup brown sugar

1/2 cup white granulated sugar

1 big tablespoon real vanilla extract

1 1/3 cups flour

1/2 teaspoon baking soda

1/2 teaspoon baking soda

1 bag of chocolate chips-16 oz of cut up chocolate

You can also add in nuts-macadamia/ walnuts/ peanuts/ pistachios… whatever you like.

lots of pinches of nice quality salt- my favorite is fleur de sel or Maldon Salt flakes-adding more salt gives an extra mouth watering zing and a great contrast for sweet and salty.

Bake for 9-12 minutes at 350.  Set on a cooling rack. Or make some cookie balls and put in the freezer for up to 3 months.

YUM!!!

 

L’Omlette

 

 

IMG_2989I make a lot of omelettes and usually make them with the same base– eggs, milk, veggies and cheese.  The rest just kind of depends what’s in the fridge.  This particular omelette was pretty basic, eggs, goat cheese, zucchini-spaghetti-style, halved cherry tomatoes, mushrooms and shallots with fresh chopped parsley.

I use about 3 eggs per person.  Add some milk and whisk for at least 1 minute.  In the meantime, spaghetti the zucchini, cut tomatoes in half, add salt and let sit a bit to drain out bitter juices. Add some olive oil in a pan, once hot add one chopped shallot let cook for 2 minutes and then add 5-6 sliced mushrooms-white/portabella/any kind works! Once mushrooms and shallots are cooked-about 8 minutes, set them aside. Now, add a bit more olive oil to your pan, drain or press water out of the zucchini with out squashing the tomatoes and add the veggies to cook for 5 minutes. Set aside.

Now it’s time to beat the eggs.  We are two having dinner so I’m using 6-eggs. Once well beaten add a drop of milk, salt and pepper to taste, mix again. Use about a tablespoon, one good pat of nice quality butter.  Heat it up in a non-stick pan.  It’s very important to use a nonstick pan at the beginning as omelette are difficult to make or more like, difficult to keep beautiful looking. Put your eggs in once the butter is melted and hot and let cook for about 20 seconds, start using a spatula to pull the eggs away from the center to the outside, this will make your omlette bigger as opposed to the outer side in.  You need to let the liquid stream down to have a chance to get cooked.  Do this maybe 3 good times all around, leaving each a few seconds to give the newly added egg to cook.  You don’t want to do it to much, or it may just end up as scrambled eggs.  Lower the heat.  Add all the veggies, goat cheese and then chop some parsley and sprinkle over.   Take a nice sized spatula and pick-up half the omelette to flip on the other side, making an envelope of deliciousness.  Cook a bit longer for cheese and ingredients to heat up, but don’t over cook.  Carefully place it on a platter or divide on individual plates.  Serve with a a nice, simple salad and crusty bread.

IMG_3005

Check out my youtube channel to see the omlette made in action!

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vkUlME8R4NI

Great Omelette ideas:

Ham, cheese, tomato and spinach

Ham, Ricotta, Spinach and tomato

Asparagus, goat cheese and chives

Mushroom, shallots, ham and cheese

Tri-colored peppers, onions, cheese and ham

You can just imagine the possibilities are endless.  I usually put spinach in my omelette as the main vegetable and also really enjoy steamed asparagus.  It’s so good.  Spinach is the easiest as you don’t have to steam your spinach ahead of time.

Below is my favorite new kitchen toy.  I have been enjoying having zucchini in a different way. It’s really good steamed, baked, or just a simple sauté. Again, such a simple tool that transforms your zucchini into a lovely dish.  I ordered this one on amazon and seems to be a lot better than my sister-in-laws.  Check out my youtube channel Deliciously Detroit to see the cooking in action.

Enjoy!  IMG_2990Related articles

The Reformer-transformed or reformed?

A week after our move to our new home, I receive a “Welcome to the neighborhood” packet with a bunch of different gift certificates– a free pizza with one topping, a $10 gift certificate to a seriously cool pharmacy that sells wine, beer, European treats that I normally hoard in my suitcase on my trips back from Paris, a $10 gift certificate to a pet store with the high-end treats for your furry friends and finally a Pilates voucher–6 free visits with a one-on-one private equipment class. The Pilates certificate is what turned things around and you could say, “reformed me.” I’d done Pilates before but only at home with little 10-minute DVD workouts. I had no idea what to expect. I feel I’m fairly fit however since our move I’ve not done much exercise aside from lifting heavy boxes and unpacking them sprinkled with a few walks here and there and a try on my new treadmill.

Arriving at this small studio for my private lesson I fill out a bunch of forms letting the studio know if I were injured I wouldn’t sue. A mid-50’s fit woman with deep, dark eyes leads me to a small, private room with a few machines. She tells me to get on the contraption called the Reformer. It’s hard to describe this long rectangle box, with straps, color coded springs, a headrest and a foot bar. I hesitated but got on and began to follow instruction. I put my hands in the straps and tried to balance while lifting and lowering my arms. Visions of giving birth in Japan comes to mind. 9-years-ago, I was in a birthing room, on a normal looking doctors chair when all of a sudden when it was time to push, the nurses rushed in and changed my whole chair into a type of jungle gym. “Cochi, cochi, cochi,” they shout. No idea what they mean as I’d only taken a few Japanese lessons. After a few more “Cochi, cochi, cochi” commands and a bit of charades, I realize they want me to push and not pull on the bar. I guess mentally the pain of not being aloud to have an epidural made me want to pull myself out of this moment. Like my birthing jungle gym, the reformer too could transform itself into different positions. After a painful and shaking 1 hour one-on-one, my instructor congratulates me for a job well done. I sign up for group Bar intensity classes and another beginner reformer class.

Curso de Instructor de Pilates

Curso de Instructor de Pilates (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

A few days later I return to the studio for my first bar intensity class. I follow the other women and get a mat, weights and whatever else. We start in with planks. I look around and notice these women look as though they should be in a workout video. They were the quintessential trophy wives. Perfect tight, little bodies, hair and make-up to perfection, if you like the typical Michigan-style. Expensive jewelry dangled from their thin, toned arms and necks showing what little mortgage or college payments they have. Their moves are as choreographed as their looks. Most sported the infamous Lulu Lemon apparel. They are definitely brand oriented with no personal fashion style. There is nothing so amazing about Lulu lemon aside from the fact it’s become the must have yoga and workout gear and for many, the everyday wardrobe to go grocery shopping in or meet up with the ladies for coffee. These women were camera-ready. The ex-ballerina, stick instructor has moved onto a more difficult part of the workout. She screams on her microphone, “ Come on, lift, one two, three, four… you are here to work, you are here for your bodies… 8,9,10…!” Michael Jackson blares from the speaker. I try to concentrate on my moves or more like concentrate on not stopping. “Good form Margo!” “Keep it up, Candace.” She says. I noticed in the far corner, another woman who looked out of place. She basically didn’t fit in with her simple workout clothes, un-manicured toes and un made-up face. She screamed newbie. I make it through the class. 55minutes are luckily up. We stretch, yet 3 of the trophy ladies seem rushed as they skip the stretch by quickly grabbing the spray bottle to wipe down their mats. Maybe they have to go to some other housewife event, possible facial? A manicure…or just gossip meeting, who knows, but they are definitely in a hurry to go somewhere. Miss ballerina instructor tells the newbie she did a great job on her first class! Miss Newbie turns to me and exclaims, “That was my first class!” … as if I were to be impressed and tell her what a natural she is. I smile and respond, “Mine too!”

In the locker room I get my coat and carefully lace-up my boots. I can’t help not to eaves drop, as the conversation is too rich and reminiscent of my past relationships and conversations with other women, especially mommy ones. The sport of moms; learning how to toss passive aggressive dings while giving a huge fake smile. 9-years ago I partook in this type of sport. I assumed it’s how mommy life was. I used to let these types of mothers bother me. It all started in the life of an expat in Tokyo where you connect with these moms with only two things in common–living in a foreign country and being a mom. I remember feeling like shit when meeting these women who zinged off hurtful comments while hiding behind their recently bleached pearly whites. I remember once I went to a mommy get-together after a sleepless night. “ Oh you poor thing you look so tired!” one mommy said to me. NICE! As if she really felt bad. Another would chime in, “I feel so bad for you that your son isn’t sleeping through the night at age 1, I wouldn’t be able to handle it if Jennie didn’t start sleeping 10 hours a night at 3-months old!” I left this world when we moved to Italy where the women seemed a bit more genuine and real. It wasn’t until two years later, when I moved to Palos Verdes, California that I came across this cattiness, again.

Just about ready to leave the locker room, I hear a group of new women come in for the next class “ Hi Margo, how are you, you look great, I’ve not seen you in so long! “ Wow, your hair! I’m in shock, it’s so short!” “ I know, I know, but my hair grows so fast, no need to take vitamins, I just have so much hair, I’m not worried.” responds Margo. Then very cleverly the first jab comes in. Margo asks her “friend,” “So how is Aidan adjusting to 5th grade?” The woman responds in a truthful way, “Well, he’s ok, not loving it, he’s struggling at the moment making friends and he isn’t really into sports at the momen…” Margo interrupts almost in glee. “Oh really, that is so strange, Conrad just loves school. As a matter of fact, we were in shock last Saturday because he was bummed it wasn’t a school day!” She continues with more salt in the wound. “Anyway, he felt better once we reminded him he had two soccer practices and a Karate lesson.” Margo distracted sees another friend walk in and leaves the conversation ignoring her seemingly, miffed friend. “Hi Jan, how are you? We have to get the boys together soon, maybe out for drinks and dinner?” I’m assuming she’s not talking about her kids. “OH My God, cute boots, are those Vince?” And the conversations continue with facial procedure comparisons, clothing and more bragging about this or this or that. I leave understanding the world I just worked out with. A place I tried to block out through meditation and acupuncture while living in Palos Verdes. You get a taste of this life if you read the book, “The Tribes of Palos Verdes.” Oddly the main characters in this book moved from Michigan to California –opposite of me.

I get home and call my friend Wendy who is a Pilate’s expert. Actually she is my expert on everything from my son’s issues, to my husband’s moods, to dealing with being a mom and trying to have a career. She’s like a mom. Wendy tells me all about the reformer and the bar classes and that in the end she bought her own Bar and Reformer, which is seriously expensive, because she couldn’t deal with the women at her studio in Palos Verdes. She suggests I check out other Pilates centers.

 

I take her advice. Groupon in hand I go to another studio the next week to try it out. The annoying thing is I have to go on Saturday to prove to this new studio that I’m not going to have a heart attack or fall off the equipment. The class is as easy going as the clientele. The class ends and I’ve passed the test to move-up to the next level.

I go back a few days later. Six women are already on the reformers, waiting for the class to start. They seemed more normal with personal style not dictated by Harpers Bazar or InStyle Magazine. I overhear conversations of travel and culture, restaurants, music concerts… Total opposite of the other studio. And, these women aren’t perfectly fit, as a matter of fact they are a bit round and chunky. The Pilates instructor is actually the most unfit with her hanging gut, arms popping out of her sweatshirt, and tights showing a few folds that are cute on a newborn, but not so much on a 30-something. Hmmm, it’s always a concern of mine to take exercise direction from someone who is more unfit than me. Anyway, I deal with the class, trying to concentrate on the moves rather than the private one-on-one session’s conversation, next door. The class is over and I’m underwhelmed.

Could it be that the Trophy Wives are smarter when it comes to working-out? The intellectuals are happy just doing a few lifts for the sake of exercise or maybe they are there for a sound body and mind. If I’m paying this much for Pilates, I want to tone my body not my mind. Maybe deep down, I’m a trophy-wife wanna be. Maybe it all starts at some point when you hit 40! My first year in California I was totally opposed to Botox…I’ve still never done it, but after a few years in Los Angeles, I secretively wished my wealthy friend still took me up on the offer to give me a few jabs for my Birthday, when she looked at my furrow brow and said I could use a few injections!. I try to fight becoming one of these women, it’s too difficult and dangerous of a sport, but my mind is already thinking of maybe buying one of these cute little workout outfits. Oh no, have I been “reformed?”