Wednesday, September 14, 2011

Supper Club 600: Italian Edition

Before I kick off this Supper Club recap, a quick note to all of you who responded to me yesterday, and within the survey - especially the person who responded with the concern about sugar.

Thank you, all of you, for your support.  The process of weight loss is a very individual and personal one.  Much like clothing, it is not one-size-fits-all. One person's method may seem strange or even unhealthy to someone else.  My personal choices are under the advisement of my doctors, my therapist, and my favorite fitness guru.

Communication is at the core of my success.  My honesty here, and with everyone on my health team, has everything to do with my 68 pounds lost.  Being open to honest questions is part of that communication, as is giving honest answers.  Because I have an addiction to food that I can't - and will never be able to - ignore, it's my responsibility to continue to assess my needs and successes and challenges.  Which I'm doing.  And which currently dictates that my intake of sugar has been in moderation - and helps me to avoid an excess of it.  Nevertheless, it should always be under watch.  Thanks for watching.  I'm watching, too.  But I'm not not going to eat it. That wouldn't help my journey of moderation.   And I'm not not going to write about it.  That wouldn't help my honesty.


Right on the heels of last month's BBQ comes the latest edition of...

Supper Club 600, a celebration of healthy food in moderation, is a dinner party we host every other month, each with a different theme and menu.  And every time, we present our guests with a delicious, filling dinner - entree, sides, dessert, beverage - that is less than 600 calories, focused on healthy & natural ingredients.

And this month's theme... is Italian!

Our friend Laura, and her very droll husband Jake, offered up their home for the occasion.  (It was rolling double-party, actually... a new round of people arrived later in the day for Laura's annual pie-tasting party, before she submits the best to KCRW's Good Food pie contest next weekend!  I tried a bite of each, and they were scrumptious.)  A big thanks to Laura and Jake for their hospitality.

Alas, in the rush of hosting in someone else's kitchen, I managed to forget my camera!  All photos in today's blog are courtesy of Rochelle.  (Thanks, Ro!)

One photo I wished I'd gotten, but missed, was a photo of Tom and I, with his mom Jean, and my dad Bruce.  The two of them were an incredible help in the preparation for the party.  My dad even flew in from Michigan with his espresso machine, which we used to make tiramisu the day before, and which he brought (along with his considerable barista skills) to the party, where he served a variety of hot and cold low-calorie (or no-calorie) coffee drinks.

Rochelle sampling Dad's iced mocha handiwork.

When Tom and I put this menu together, our dishes kept adding up to nowhere near 600, so we kept adding dishes!  We must be getting good at the reduction of calories, because it took a lot of dishes to hit closer to the mark.  (We could've increased portion sizes, but we wanted to keep them moderate and increase variety, which is good nutritive practice anyway.)

And when we designed the menu, we wanted to give it a little authentic Italian language.  Cue my brother, who lived in Milan for three years, and who speaks Italian fluently.  Italy doesn't have the concept of a "supper club," per se, but he suggested translating "supper club 600" as "little dinner between friends," which we thought was charming.

Here's the beautiful spread...

(Clockwise from the left) broccoli with lemon and capers; bruschetta; chicken marsala, roasted vegetables;
cannellini with sage; pasta with oil and garlic, and spaghetti squash carbonara

...and here are a few of the beautiful people who attended!

Carrie, Rochelle & Alexa


Keith & Marc

Joe & Sunny, looking dapper.

Many others joined us for the occasion, too. Our guests ranged from the human toddler variety (hi, Theo!) to the elder canine variety (good girl, Emily!)

Emily, the Wonder-Dog.

If you'll join me again tomorrow, I'll share the secrets behind some of the recipes, and the inspiration for each dish.  (And, yes, I'll share that recipe for 50-calorie tiramisu.  You won't believe how simple and light it is, especially compared to its 350-calorie counterpart.)

Supper Club is a great way to remind ourselves (and our guests) that taking care of yourself in the kitchen can really be fun and adventurous.  What will you do today, along those lines?


  1. This all looks so delicious! Wish that there were leftovers you could ship me :) Next best thing will be making it myself- totally looking forward to the recipes, especially the tiramisu! I don't eat much dessert but that is a tough one to pass up.

    I made barley lentil veggie soup today, which was therapeutic to to chop and simmer and good feeling knowing I ate well today and for a few days to come!

    Hope you have a great rest of a visit with your dad!

  2. It was great being part of the party, what a great group of people we know. And I totally love that Jake is described as "droll" :)

  3. Do you plate for others so they get correct portion sizes? Or do you provide measuring utensils so people can get the right amount? It's quite evident that most of us eat far more than one portion when we consume something!

  4. Of course, Italian is my favorite!!!! Looks fabulous!!!

  5. Oh, my! That food looks delicious and the attendees look happy. I love that your dad brought his espresso machine all the way from Michigan. So sweet! Good food, friends and family are such a winning combination.

    I applaud your approach to eating--all things in moderation--and to blogging. Well said, on that front.

    Forgot last time to congratulate you on the amazing progress you've made. Marvelous!

    (Doggone it! More trouble commenting on Blogger. Last time, it accepted my name/URL. Not this time, though. I'll try it the anonymous way.)


  6. Being Italian, I know and love many of those dishes, although you've put a new spin on a few of them, so I look forward to reading more about the recipes.

    I love the entire concept of Supper Club 600, and may do one of my own sometime this fall. In the mean time, I try my best to take care of me by preparing delicious, nutritious, healthy dinners every single night for myself.

    P.S. - I love your use of "nutritive," but maybe that just the dorky English teacher in me. :)

  7. Italian family party is very harmonious one, because Italian always show their elegance to others.