The Week's Wrap-Up

How's everyone's week been? The train that is my life is chugging along...

The second oops (Shiloh) turned three on Wednesday. I got up early and made sauce so I could make meatballs and cake after work. Aside from the fact that she's taking her sweet time getting toilet trained (she DID go in the potty on her birthday after her nap at daycare, though!), Shiloh has also become a challenge when it comes to eating dinner. But EVERYONE loves my meatballs and sauce - including her. (I changed up the meatballs a bit and they were awesomer!) I figured this dinner would be a no-brainer; she'd gobble up the meatballs and then we could have cake. No such luck. She wouldn't eat her dinner, so the cake had to wait. Isaac was chomping at the bit to have cake, and we indulged this morning after breakfast.

I wasn't surprised when I hopped on the scale to find myself four pounds heavier. The cold I had really dug its claws in last week and I didn't have it in me to work out. I'm now feeling back to my usual state of crazy. Monday I dove back into my workout routine and have been religious about it. I've even thrown yoga back into the mix - which has helped my insomnia and I'm actually feeling a bit of the Zen. Oddly enough, even though I've gained four pounds my skinny jeans (not be confused with my fabulous jeans) fit well enough that I wore them outside the house this week. Goes to show you the number isn't everything... Since I'm a sucker for chocolate cake, I'm going to indulge this weekend. Monday I'll break of MFP and stick to the caloric intake and see if I can shed these last pounds.

At work, Friday was the last day for one of the Directors who'd been with the company for twenty-one years. He's a nice, wonderful person who'll be greatly missed. He's moving on to an opportunity that will allow him to work from home and he'll still conduct business with the company, so he'll be around. Per his humble request, there wasn't a good-bye party - but gourmet cupcakes were brought in and set up outside his office for people grab and say goodbye. I stopped by for a cupcake, a brief chat, hug and kiss whilst on my break. At the end of my shift, he was making rounds in the building and I saw him through a window in one of the labs. One of his coworkers, also on the prowl for him, saw me standing in the hallway and I told her I found him. She pulled him from the lab and we chatted briefly. He told me that I'm part of the foundation there now, and crucial to keeping things running smoothly for others (like I said, a nice and wonderful person). He mentioned previously how he hates saying good-bye, so after a last hug I asked, "Are you a fan of The Simpsons?" He smiled and said, "Yes. Huge." I grinned back and said, "Well, I'll smell you later."

Friday night was a treat for me - a friend who I hadn't seen in a while came over to help Ben spread pea gravel on our patio and I got to do what I love and do best - cook and be a hostess! Shoveling and spreading rocks is chock-full-of-suckiness so I wanted to make something awesome - Spicy Mint Beef.  His words: "F*@$ing awesome!" Sweeeeeeet. Mission accomplished.



WHAT'S FOR DINNER?

This dish is really a treat for the taste buds! Sweet, spicy, savory - every arc of the flavor rainbow is touched upon. Serve this marvelous concoction over steamed Jasmine rice and you have the perfect, change-of-pace meal!

Spicy Mint Beef
"F*@$ing awesome!"
WHAT YOU'LL NEED:

3 tablespoons vegetable or canola oil
4 cloves garlic, minced
3 Thai chiles, such as prik kee noo, or 3 serrano chiles, stemmed and thinly sliced*
1 pound flank steak, very thinly sliced
3 shallots, thinly sliced
1 red bell pepper, stemmed, cored, seeded and cut into 1/8-inch thick slices
1/4 cup fish sauce*
2 tablespoons sweet soy sauce*
2 tablespoons black soy sauce*
1 tablespoon chili paste in soy bean oil*
1 1/2 cups chopped fresh Thai basil leaves*
1 cup whole fresh mint leaves
*Can be found at specialty Asian markets
Serving suggestion: sticky or steamed white rice

WHAT TO DO:

In a large skillet, heat the oil over medium-high heat. Add the garlic and chiles and cook until aromatic, about 30 seconds. Add the steak and cook, stirring frequently, for 2 minutes. Add the shallots and bell pepper and cook for 1 minute. Add the fish sauce, sweet soy sauce, black soy sauce and chili paste. Bring the mixture to a low simmer and cook, stirring frequently until the meat is cooked through and the vegetables are tender, about 3 minutes. Remove the skillet from the heat and stir in the basil and mint until wilted. Transfer to a serving dish and serve over steamed white rice.

*** What's noted in my cookbook, but not here, is if you can't acquire neither sweet nor black soy sauces, combine 1/4 c of honey w/ 1/4 c of regular soy sauce. This is what I've done - and I use low sodium soy sauce. 




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