Today was enlightening. My first day of vacation and not only did I wear my usual two piece bathing suit, skirted and high waisted, of course, but I noticed a distinctive sign that I needed to lose weight. The sign wasn’t as blatant as you might think. The scale this morning didn’t yell, “GET OFF OF ME!” ….no one tried to harpoon me on the beach……but the sign was there. You see, every chaise lounge at the pool is equipped with a numbered flag that you raise in order to let the server know that you would like to order food. Yep! You guessed it, mine had no flag.
So, my daughter, Jodi and I decided to have a late lunch of blackened mahi tacos with a mango salsa; healthy, and flavorful. It was happy hour, and we were happy, so we enjoyed a skinny margarita. Suddenly, our server delivered these amazing french fries to the next table. Jodi and I shot each other a glance and beckoned the server to bring us an order. This little diet destructor was well worth the calories; …….thick cut french fries served with a fresh raspberry mayo on the side. We quickly justified consuming these fat fried bursts of flavor by reminding ourselves that we did water jog🙃. So, essentially, the moral of this story is “calories in and calories out.” There are, however, good calories and not so good calories, but an occasional splurge isn’t a bad thing. Unfortunately, I often justify these binges by thinking, “If this were my last meal, it would totally be worth it.” It was.
This trip, I decided to create healthy and delicious meals using all of the fresh fish Florida has to offer. At the local fish market, grouper was recommended as a hearty fish that could easily be made into a piccata dish. Wikipedia explains piccata as “meat or fish sliced, sautéed, and served in a sauce containing lemon, butter and spices”. Often prepared with veal or chicken, this recipe proved to be a keeper. Enjoy!
- 4 grouper filets about 4 oz. each, blotted dry and seasoned with 1/2 tsp. each kosher salt and black pepper
- 1/4 cup all-purpose flour
- 4 tsp. olive oil, divided
- 1/4 cup dry white wine
- 3 Tbsp. fresh lemon juice
- 1 Tbsp. capers, drained
- 3 Tbsp. unsalted butter
- 1/2 tsp. black pepper
- 1/4 tsp. kosher salt
- 2 Tbsp. minced fresh parsley
- thinly sliced lemon slices
Dredge fillets in flour.
Heat 2 tsp. oil in a nonstick skillet over medium-high until it shimmers. Add half the fillets and cook until golden, about 2 minutes per side. Transfer fillets to a platter; tent with foil. Repeat heating and cooking with remaining oil and fillets.
Add wine, lemon juice, and capers to skillet; cook 30 seconds. Off heat, swirl in butter until it melts; season with 1/2 tsp. pepper and 1/4 tsp. salt, add lemon slices until softened. Serve fillets with sauce over rice or angel hair pasta.
On the plane ride home from vacation, we hit a bit of turbulence. The kids on the plane clearly coming home from spring break, squealed with excitement at the sudden dips and turns. The parents, on the other hand looked horrified. Looking for a diversion, I noticed the cloud formations outside of my window and admired the unusual landscape the sunlight created as the rays bounced off of the sloping hills and valleys of the thick clouds.
Snapping a photo of this unusual scenery, placing it in the archives of vacation memories, it occurred to me the way in which this is a reminder of our need to “take time and smell the flowers” as we get older. For so many years, we simply hurried to our next destination either not knowing or not realizing that life itself is a journey filled with moments worth pausing for celebration.
As always, thanks for stopping by and cheers to enjoying the journey.
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