Tuesday, October 19, 2010

Triumphant Return

Hi everyone. I'm so sorry to have disappeared. If you're still reading my blog, THANK YOU. I know I have to work hard to make it up to you. With recipes for things like this...

The past two weeks have been the busiest and most trying of my professional life. Coupled with some physical tests, medical problems, and generally not taking care of myself, I really couldn't blog. Plus, I would've been a terrible downer, and I try to be a positive source of energy and excitement in the world, ya know?

I'm not going to do a huge recap post. I don't think you'd be terribly interested in all the nitty gritty of my life lately, but I have learned, relearned, and been enlightened to the following.

1) I have to take care of myself first and foremost. If I'm going to be working 10-14 hour days, I can't be doing it on sugar and caffeine. It's not good for me or the people around me. I have to remain dedicated to taking care of myself.

2) I've applied for a couple of jobs and have been holding my breath waiting to hear about them. I need to relax and have faith that I am an enthusiastic, qualified candidate who loves what she does. Someone will recognize this. I mean, wouldn't you hire me (please!)?

3) My body is stronger than I thought. I barely trained for a 1/2 marathon, and my speed suffered greatly during our intensely hot (hot for Iowa, I know....) summer. This fall I ran my second fastest 5k and I finished a 1/2 marathon 8 minutes slower than last year (when I actually trained for it). I'm now excited to work on my body over the winter, when I will largely be confined to the gym.

Finally, I still love fall. And I'm enjoying the fruits of the season...

(Roasted pumpkin....baked apple stuffed with streusel oats)

Now that it's chilly, I'm excited to eat warm veggies. I cook them into curries...

And saute or stew them simply...that pumpkin was so sweet it didn't even need sugar!

Grilled catfish, corn on the cob (nothing on mine, please!), sauteed collard greens in garlic and lemon, and stewed pumpkin.

And the piece-de-resistance:
Maple Roasted Cranberries and Brussels Sprouts
2 cups fresh or thawed frozen brussels sprouts, halved
1 cup fresh whole cranberries
3 tbsp maple syrup
1 tbsp olive oil
pinch salt
pinch pepper

Whisk together maple syrup, oil, and spices. Add sprouts and cranberries. Bake 20-30 min at 400 until almost fork-tender (less time for frozen). Turn up the oven to 450 for the last 5 minutes to get the awesome caramelization seen above. 

It couldn't be easier. And it's so good. 
With that, I'll leave you. I missed you so much and I'm so excited to be back!

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