A Fresh Dille

hello 25.

Posted in FAMILY, FOOD, VEGAN, WORK by clairedille on March 20, 2011

On Friday, I turned 25 years old. I couldn’t believe it myself really. Everyone around me reminded me that I have lived a quarter century. The designer I am currently working for, said jokingly, “You are 25, and what have you done?” Of course I took the comment with all the humor it was meant to bring, but at the same time I felt myself reflecting on what I’ve made of myself in my lifetime. As a true pisces, I am a dreamer, who may need a little push to be brought down to reality. Although I tend to dislike the realities of certain life’s musts (finances, big purchases, not so lovely jobs or people), I have recently learned how to deal with them, making my day-to-day life happier. Instead of putting the big decisions and problems to the way-side, I have tried to work with them so that I can bring more even-ness to my emotional and rational sides. So, in my 25 years, I feel as though I am still learning and always evolving to try to be the best version of myself. This doesn’t mean that I will continue to try to be perfect version I once aimed to be, but to be accepting of my ways so that I can know how to approach situations in the best way I possibly can.

For my birthday dinner, I had no set plans. I usually would come up in my mind with a scenario of how I hoped the occasion to pan out, but on Friday, I decided to just be. When I was exhausted from the hard week and days work, I drove home, with no set agenda of what was to come. My brother called, saying he was open for dinner and was in the mood for indian food. I didn’t care where I went, instead I wanted to be with some of the people who mean the most to me. Two of the three most important men in my life, my boyfriend and my brother, were there with me to celebrate my 25th year at a not-so stellar (service-wise) indian restaurant. We shared samosas, naan, and I ate a delicious green coconut vegetable curry. I came home with a full belly and full heart.

The next day, V and I were lounging around, when I brought up the idea of heading to my new favorite veggie spot, Cafe Gratitude. Like last time, I went with a cooked dish, instead of the tasty sounding (and looking) raw dishes. This time I had the “I AM FORTIFIED” with sautéed seasonal vegetables,kale, quinoa or local brown rice topped with a choice of sesame-ginger, garlic-tahini or thai- almond sauce. The waitress suggested ordering two of the sauces, the garlic-tahini and the sesame-ginger. I wish both sauces were served on the side, but the garlic-tahini was already poured all over the dish when it arrived at the table. However, I was very pleased with the warm bowl filled with quinoa, kale, and veggies like butternut squash and mushrooms. Instead of taking out the camera, I decided to focus on the moment, without the visuality that a camera brings. V went with the “I AM WARM-HEARTED,” -Grilled organic polenta with fresh puttanesca sauce, topped with cashew ricotta and brazil nut parmesan. Polenta is one of the dishes that remind V of his childhood, and he seemed very pleased with his meal as he finished every last bite. Since my last visit to Cafe Gratitude, I have been desiring another one of their amazing desserts. Always one to order a chocolate based finish to my meal, I went with the “I AM BLISS”  when my waitress said she had finished one in a mere 3 seconds the night before (not so sure if that is possible). It was a CHOCOLATE HAZELNUT CREAM TORTE with Chocolate hazelnut mousse topped with whipped cream on a pecan, choc-chip crust.

It was the best birthday dessert I could have hoped for with a lovely nutty crust and not overly sweet creamy chocolatey center. Next time I will have to grab one of their sweets, a truffle or rawmond joy, for the road.

And I am grateful for a happy and healthy 25 years of life. I am grateful for all the people in my life who have made an impact on me. And what have I done? I think the more important question is, what will I continue to do in my life? How will I try to affect those around me in the way they have positively affected my life?

Now, I am off to a rainy sunday lunch with my best friend from college and all I can think about are the sweet potato fries ahead. Hope you had a lovely weekend. Happy almost spring!

-What are you grateful for?

-What have you done, and hope to do? Do you think that is a loaded question (of course it is!)?



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17 Responses

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  1. lynn @ the actor's diet said, on March 20, 2011 at 12:44 pm

    happy belated bday to you (same day as abe). if we had been in LA i’m sure we would’ve gone to cafe gratitude too and seen you!

  2. Jess@HealthyExposures said, on March 20, 2011 at 1:41 pm

    Happy Belated Birthday!! Sounds like it was a great one, and I’m glad you were able to enjoy it with the company of those you treasure most 🙂
    Cafe gratitude sounds wonderful; the names of their dishes are too cute!

  3. Evan Thomas said, on March 20, 2011 at 1:50 pm

    Happy belated birthday! I’m trying to forget mine is coming up as best as I can. Something about aging and hitting these milestones freaks me out lately.

  4. VeggieGirl said, on March 20, 2011 at 1:59 pm


    I’m so grateful for my life, period. But especially Suave Slav 😉

  5. Pure2raw twins said, on March 20, 2011 at 2:18 pm

    Happy Belated Birthday! I am glad you enjoyed a yummy dessert for your special day 🙂

  6. Danielle said, on March 20, 2011 at 2:35 pm

    I think this is the third time I’m saying this but it doesn’t mean that I mean it any less: HAPPY BIRTHDAY! I’m so happy to read that you enjoyed it and I hope that this 25th year continues to bring you so many things to be grateful for.

    I am grateful to be able to consider you, and many other, my friends, to have a loving family, to be healthy and to have the ability to pursue my passions whether it be through work or hobbies.

    As for your second question, you weren’t kidding with it’s loaded-ness! If I were to attempt to answer it (which I must warn you, I am) I guess I would say that I have done what I was supposed to have done… because if I am to sit here today and be happy and grateful for all the things listed above, then I must’ve done a few things right, or at least well. As for what I hope to do, I hope to continue on this path. Eventually, I want to look back on my journey with contentment and satisfaction in how I sought to understand the world and in how I played my part to bring peace, happiness and health unto others.

    Apparent if you ask a loaded question, you get a loaded answer 😉 miss you!

  7. megan @ the oatmeal diaries said, on March 20, 2011 at 3:33 pm

    Happy birthday!! I loved this, “be accepting of my ways so that I can know how to approach situations in the best way I possibly can.” 🙂
    So jealous you live near Cafe Gratitude!!
    I am grateful for an amazing support system and for the opportunity to be studying abroad here in Australia. Even though I’m only 21 I feel that I have accomplished many of my general goals like getting into my dream college, traveling/studying abroad, going on mission trips/volunteering, and constantly working at expanding my experiences and knowledge.

  8. Toni said, on March 20, 2011 at 7:31 pm

    Happy Birthday!! That cake looks delish! Yum!

  9. Jodi said, on March 21, 2011 at 7:06 am

    Happy Birthday!

  10. Emma said, on March 21, 2011 at 9:58 am

    I’m grateful for fabulous friends like you! Enjoy every minute of your new year!

  11. Lauren said, on March 22, 2011 at 4:36 am

    Happy {belated} birthday Claire!! I’m glad you got to celebrate with people you love. I hope this next year continues to bring many happy adventures for you. 🙂

    The food at Cafe Gratitude sounds so amazing – and that cake looks heavenly!! If only I didn’t live on the other side of the country…..

  12. LauraJayne said, on March 22, 2011 at 3:21 pm

    Happy Late Birthday! It looks like you enjoyed some lovely eats! Last week was a long and tough one, so I’ve been thinking about what I’m grateful for a lot – but I’m grateful for my friends and family, that I’m healthy, for the blogging community, and that I should *hopefully* be able to find a new job if it turns out that I need to!

  13. Monique said, on March 22, 2011 at 9:51 pm

    Holy crap I want that torte!!! It looks amazing 🙂 HAPPY BIRTHDAY by the way!! Turning 25 last year was a big milestone for me, but now I’m freaking out about 26… that’s the downhill side of my 20s!! haha, so at least you don’t have to stress for another year 😉

    (I’m just kidding btw, we’re still young and have plenty of time to figure our lives out and do cool stuff!)

  14. Michelle | GOLD-HEARTED GIRL said, on March 25, 2011 at 12:53 pm

    Happy Birthday – every year should be a celebration! Don’t be hard on yourself. 🙂 And that cake looks decadent, so yummy. I really want to make a visit to Cafe Gratitude.

  15. Kelsey at happyolks said, on March 27, 2011 at 3:30 pm

    Happy belated birthday! I love that plate!

  16. alovelyglass said, on April 1, 2011 at 1:48 am

    Happy belated birthday!
    That dessert looks and sounds divine!!
    You should be so proud of all your accomplishments and that you were able to celebrate your 25th with the people you care about…especially when it’s over indian food–which is always fun (mm naan!) 🙂

    I’m also grateful for my family, friends, my life back in the states–i’m really so blessed! I can’t wait to return after this semester abroad and know that I will just appreciate everything so much more.

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