Eggstravaganza 2012

I hope you enjoyed a wonderful Easter. Or perhaps…a joyful Passover or relaxing long weekend. We were fortunate to spend the Easter holiday in Austin with my family.

John and I drove to Austin mid-morning on Friday, stopping at Hruska’s along the way. Hruska’s is located in Ellinger, TX and is located almost halfway between Houston and Austin (if you take the 1-10, 71 route like we do). Anyhow, this store recently got a make-over and in addition to super clean restrooms and packaged food and drink, Hruska’s also has a deli, bakery and offers many GF food options. Clearly, we are fans and stop every time we pass by (which is frequent due to our careers).

We made it to the Hunter’s house just before lunch. After a while, my parents arrived and we all sat down to a Good Friday (meat less) lunch. Nelda made tomato soup, grilled cheese sandwiches (they even had GF bread for me!) and Doritos. Yes, friends — nacho cheese Doritos! They were heavenly!

In the afternoon, we attended Good Friday mass and hadn a family dinner (including Julie!) at PF Changs. Sadly, I am still not ready for “Chinese” food just yet. However, I did eat some edamame, stir-fried broccoli and mushrooms and brown rice. After dinner, John and I crashed in our hotel room and slept like logs.

Despite wanting to sleep late,I had an early wake-up call on Saturday. When we were planning Easter weekend, I decided I really wanted to do a 5K and signed up for the ASH Bunny 5K. Benefiting those with mental illness, the race was held on the Austin State Hospital campus. There were only 750 of us, along with scores of kids, strollers and dogs. We also had a bunny cheering us to the finish. I had a great time at the race and a good run, but didn’t set any records. Strollers and walkers crowded the narrow paths…but that is OK. This race was a great alternative to a hotel gym treadmill run. After the race, I popped over to Whole Foods to pick up a few things, including breakfast. Behold my Green Goddess Juice — cucumber, kale, apple, spinach and lime with added flax seed and Vitamin C! Glorious! After a leisurely morning, we did a bit of shopping at the Domain and met the family for lunch at Torchy’s. We have been to Torchy’s before and we love it every time. I had my usual (a Republican taco on a corn tortilla) and John and I shared an order of the green chile queso. Delicious! After lunch, my sisters and I went to our favorite Austin nail salon to indulge in manicures and pedicures.

Later, we all went to Sagra for dinner. Sagra is a fabulous restaurant that serves up Italian fare, including gluten-free options. They even served me gluten-free bread sticks as an alternative to bread. For my entrée, I chose a gluten-free pasta dish with arrabiata sauce, olive tapenade and sausage. Many of the items served at Sagra are house-made, including the mozzarella, bread, pasta and desserts. Speaking of desserts, John and I shared the flourless chocolate torte with blood-orange sorbet. Holy Moly was that delicious!

After dinner, we made our way to St. Austin’s for Easter Vigil Mass. My brother-in-law, Zach, officially became a Catholic during last night’s service. Without being overly emotional, I can say that the beautiful service was very moving and that we are all very proud of Zach. Welcome to the flock! After mass, we all gathered in a parish hall for some fellowship before retiring for the evening.

I woke up early on Easter Sunday and pounded out a 4-mile run on the treadmill. Nothing but me, my music and the treadmill. Very peaceful. The Hunters invited us over for breakfast and served a joyous feast of quiche (gluten-free), fruit and biscuits. The quiche was fantastic. We also punked our parents with confetti eggs during a staged family photo! Ha!

For Easter lunch, we were joined by the elder Hunters — adding to the merriment of the group. Our lunch menu consisted of grilled chicken and sausage, baked beans, grilled corn, roasted sweet potato wedges and a broccoli slaw salad. Magnifique! For dessert, we enjoyed a choice of “sex in a pan,” rice krispie treats and springtime Oreos. Additionally,we also had lively conversation and good company.

Sadly, John and I had to leave in the early afternoon on Sunday in order to beat the traffic and to take care of a few things around the house before the week began. Special thanks to Nelda and Zach for hosting this year’s Easter Eggstravaganza!

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