My food cravings are generally for tacos, burritos, nachos, or giant salads once the first three have been satisfied, but last week I couldn’t stop thinking about seared tuna steaks. It had been ages since I’d last eaten one, and after a conversation with a coworker about a seafood restaurant she was going to for dinner, I knew exactly how I wanted to spend my Friday night. Unfortunately Red Lobster was booked solid, so I had to settle for a trip to Whole Foods where I procured this beautiful tuna steak.
- Briefly marinated and quickly seared tuna (more or less this recipe)
- Perfect brown rice
- Cabbage slaw (red cabbage, carrots, apples shredded in the food processor + sliced green onions + cilantro + a dressing of Dijon mustard, lemon juice, apple cider vinegar, garlic, wasabi powder, salt and maybe a few other things that I threw in and forgot about)
On Saturday morning I woke up bright and relatively early for an almost nine mile run along the river. It was cold enough that I wore running tights for the first time since last spring and had the heat blasting on the drive over, but after a cloudy start it turned into a beautiful fall day. The leaves are starting to turn, and they should be perfect for the marathoners in a couple of weeks. Can’t wait…to not run a marathon!
Within ten minutes of walking in the door I had assembled this breakfast: ham, cheddar, egg, and avocado bagel sandwich, extra fillings on the side, and a banana. It was amazing, especially once I doused it in hot sauce.
After showering and a little football viewing I headed to the apple orchard, feeling relieved that Iowa had eked out a win, or so I thought. As soon as I pulled up to the orchard and read all of the texts that I’d been bombarded with during my drive I learned the sad truth about what can happen in forty seconds in a football game. Dang! At least apples and cider were awaiting me. I had my heart set on a sweet post-run treat, but the orchard’s selections were meager and didn’t appear to be worth the calories. The one decent bakery in our neighborhood was closed by the time I got home, so I postponed my treat until Sunday and enjoyed a mug of warm apple cider (sipped through a cinnamon stick – old habits die hard).
Before the sun set I quickly harvested the few surviving plants from our backyard garden and covered a couple plants on our deck in anticipation of the overnight frost warning, and I did it while wearing Uggs. Sue me. It’s cold, and socks are the worst.
Top pizza: roasted eggplant, sautéed spinach, thinly sliced cauliflower, olives, roasted tomatoes, fresh mozzarella, provolone, feta, parmesan
Bottom pizza: spicy Italian sausage, fresh mozzarella, provolone, parmesan
Breakfast donuts and tea. Minutes before I took my first bite of donut I checked Instagram and saw this picture. Clearly I should have driven to Minneapolis instead of West St. Paul. Lesson learned.
The rest of the day was spent tending to bread dough, catching up on laundry, and preparing breakfasts and lunches for the week, starting with a big pot of steel-cut oats. One cup of oats, cooked in a tablespoon of butter for several minutes until toasted + four cups of water + salt + a cinnamon stick. Simmer for about 20 minutes, and then add a few grated apples and cook it for maybe five more minutes (I leave it on the soupier side because it thickens as it cools). Remove the cinnamon stick, stir in a little brown sugar and apple pie spice, divide into individual serving containers, and refrigerate once it cools. Four days of breakfast – done.
I also made soup out of a few carrots + onion + garlic (chopped in the Vitamix and sautéed until softened) + two baked sweet potatoes + chicken broth + lots of cumin + a hefty dash of cayenne + a little coriander + a little ginger + salt. It looks like baby food, but it tastes great with a big dollop of crème fraîche and a thick slice of homemade bread. Speaking of which…
Homemade bread! Cool weather and a Sunday free of any obligations meant that I could finally crank up the oven to bake a couple loaves of Tartine bread. I’d been waiting all summer for this day. I played around a bit with the water/flour ratio, and the results were, as always, incredible. Crisp, crackly exterior and soft, chewy interior – the perfect vessel for salty butter, Nutella, and anything in between.