Tuesday, April 24, 2012

Deep breaths

Ravings: I’ve calmed down a bit since the last post and gained some perspective. I’m still angry, but I realize it could be worse and we do have options. They may not be options we like, but at least they are options. My husband is very good at keeping me level and realistic about this kind of stuff. He just doesn’t react emotionally like I do. And that makes me calm.

It’s not that he’s not angry. He is. Very. And he will rant about it. He just picks a time to do it when I’m not about to drop my basket. I honestly don’t think he does this on purpose. I truly think it’s just who he is. Because he’s not really a deep thinker when it comes to emotional reactions, especially mine. It might be that he’s terrified of what me losing it would look like, and somewhere deep down he knows that we can’t both be falling apart at the same time. Or, it could just be that he’s afraid I won’t make dinner if I’m too upset. Aren’t men driven by primal instincts? Now that I type that out, I think it’s all about the food.

We have decided to adopt a wait and see attitude. We’re waiting to hear back from the realtor with an expanded comp area, and if we still can’t afford to take the hit, we’ll wait another year and pour more money into paying down the mortgage as much as we can. I have to not think about it too much because it pushes me dangerously close to edge when I do. The fact that we are throwing money out the window because of everyone else’s bad behavior is almost more than I can take. It would be very easy to go to that dark place in my mind where I am angry with the world for all the injustice hoisted upon me, but I choose not to. I choose to be grateful for what I do have and to continue to fight for what I want.

Cravings: It’s been a fairly slow cooking week. We haven’t been home for dinner every night like we typically are. I did work up another variation for the Chocolate Cherry Bars for a contest I'm entering and I've included the recipe for those.

Venison Stiry Fry

1 lb venison back straps (could also use beef)
2 tsp homemade "Bam Seasoning" (recipe to follow)
1/3 cup Worcester sauce
1/4 sweet onion, sliced thin
1/2 sweet red pepper, sliced thin

Marinate venison in seasoning and worcester sauce for an hour or more. Saute onion and red pepper until soft. Add venison and saute for a few more minutes until cooked to desired doneness. I served it with Sweet Potato Gratin and peas.

Bam Seasoning (adapted from Emeril Lagasse on Food

2 1/2 Tbsp smoked paprika
2 Tbsp garlic powder
1 Tbsp black pepper
1 Tbsp onion powder
1 Tbsp cayenne pepper
1 Tbsp dried oregano
1 Tbsp dried thyme

Mix all ingredients and store with other spices.

Sweet Potato Gratin (adapted from the Nov/Dec 2012 issue of Fitness magazine)

3 Tbsp butter
1/2 medium onion, chopped
pinch of nutmeg
1 Tbsp all-purpose flour
1 cup chicken stock
1 cup smoked gruyere cheese, grated
1 large sweet potato, grated
1/4 cup parmesan cheese, grated
1/4 cup panko

Saute onion in butter until soft and translucent. Add pinch of nutmeg and flour, stir to incorporate. Add chicken stock and simmer a few minutes. Add half the gruyere cheese and stir until melted. Add sweet potatoes and stir to mix well. You may need to add a bit more stock to make sure it's on the wet side. Pour into a casserole dish. Top with the other half of the gruyere, the parmesan and the panko. Bake at 350 for about 30 minutes.

Chocolate Cherry Quinoa Bars

1/2 cup cherry juice
1/2 cup quinoa
1 Tbsp flax seeds
1 cup pitted dates

1 Tbsp almond extract
2 Tbsp cocoa powder
1/2 cup almond meal

In a small saucepan, bring cherry juice to boil and allow to reduce to about half. Mix quinoa and flax seeds together and grind in a spice grinder to a flour-like consistency. It's ok if it's not perfect. In a food processor, combine dates, almond extract and reduced cherry juice and process until it forms a paste. Transfer to a mixing bowl and mix in the quinoa and flax and add the cocoa powder and almond meal. Mix until thoroughly combined. Spread onto a baking sheet into about 1/2 inch thick rectangular shape and bake at 350 for about 15 minutes. Allow to cool a bit then cut into desired size bars.

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