One of my happiness project habits is to enjoy the fun in failure – to embrace the slip-ups that happen, to acknowledge them for what they are and move forward. Sometimes a lapse can throw us off course and ruin the rest of the day or week- we let things snowball. This happens to me regularly, it’s part of my make up that I am trying to tame. By accepting these little slip-ups as independent occurrences, and not as a testimonial to my strengths/weaknesses, I hope to have fewer snowball events and thus feel lighter and happier. If you notice, I missed two days of writing to you. I also missed a workout session, a weigh-in, and days of tracking my foods. But today is a different day, and yesterday I truly enjoyed myself. I ran some errands, we celebrated the holidays with Carver’s coworkers, we got a tree and decorated it, and had a truly fantastic sirloin sandwich. During these days when I don’t track, when I’m not following the plan, I make sure that I have a bit from each food group at each meal and that each of my snacks represents two of the food groups. This helps me get an adequate mix of nutrients without stressing too much. I’m also lagging slightly on my FlyLady Baby Steps.
This is what happens to me… I start off well, then something happens (Tuesday morning at work I stepped into a mess… literally as soon as I stepped foot into my office-bags in hand- I got crummy news) and I’m grasping at straws to maintain my schedule and my sanity. This past week, I was so thrown off that I used the beef and vegetables I had reserved for beef fajitas for beef stir fry with random Thai rice noodles… I was staring at the pantry trying to figure out why I hadn’t made rice earlier, when I noticed the noodles. It wasn’t until the next morning as I was grabbing cereal that I smelled the tortillas and realized what my original intent had been. Well Friday night we used the tortillas and had chicken fajitas instead. No foul, as Friday was reserved for leftovers.
This is our magnificent tree. I was ecstatic all day yesterday, knowing that the tree was coming this weekend. I cannot remember the last year I had a real tree. Also, this is the first year that Carver and I have had a tree together… a fact that I am far more excited about than he… He still doesn’t quite understand, but hopefully he will come around. We brought Cody along to help us choose and he really liked this one. As I was decorating he was very curious of all the lights and sparkling ornaments dangling above his head. His tail has broken one ornament thus far… only 14 days to go, so maybe we will have 5 ornaments left 🙂
Back to those steak sandwiches… I’m on a cast iron kick right now. Two nights in a row I have been drawn to the skillet to caramelize onions and meat and it has not let me down. I caramelize onions by browning them in equal parts butter and oil (1 tablespoon of each). Once they get good and golden and smell delicious, I sprinkle with salt, pepper, and thyme. Then I add in liquid – whatever is open and around – and let it reduce. This is perfect for lots of goodies… toast, fajitas, quesadillas, pasta, etc.
- 1 (12-ounce) 1-inch thick sirloin steak, trimmed of visible fat
- Kosher salt
- Freshly ground black pepper
- 1 tablespoon Olive oil
- 1 1/2 tablespoon butter
- 1 medium yellow onion, halved and sliced
- 1/2 teaspoon fresh thyme leaves
- Mayo & Mustard
- 2 small ciabatta buns, sliced in 1/2
- 2 cups spinach
- 2 small tomatoes, sliced
- 1 ounce Brie, sliced thin
- Season the steak liberally with salt and pepper on both sides. Heat 1 tablespoon of olive oil and half of the butter in a medium saute pan (or cast iron skillet) over high heat until it’s almost smoking, then sear the steak on each side for 1 minute. Reduce the heat to low and cook the steak for about 5 to 7 minutes, turning once, until very rare in the middle. Remove to a plate, cover tightly with aluminum foil, and allow to sit for 10 minutes. Slice the steak into strips.
- Using the same saute pan, heat remaining butter over medium heat. Add the onion and thyme and saute for 10 minutes, until the onions are brown and caramelized, stirring occasionally. (This is the point I add in a splash – about 3 tablespoons – of liquid.)
- To assemble the sandwiches, spread with desired amount of mayo and mustard on each side of the bun (note, serving sizes of these condiments is a teaspoon!). Place 1 cup of spinach on each bottom half, top with 1 tomato, then the beef slices. Position the Brie slices on top of the beef, season with salt and pepper, then top with caramelized onions. Complete your sandwich with the top of the ciabatta and you are ready to enjoy!