Hello weekends, I LOVE you

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I still can’t get over this whole weekends off thing. I’ve had one whole weekend to do whatever I pleased and I wasn’t on vacation and no one was covering my shifts and I almost didn’t know what to do with myself for a hot second.

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But only a hot second. Because I realized that I could a) go to jazzercise, b) go to yoga, c) go to yoga AGAIN, d) go out to dinner to eat Moroccan food in the outer Richmond and cookies from the Castro with my boyfriend and parentals (yay!), e) hang out with a bestie, and f) make all kinds of delicious food, and g) do ALL OF THOSE THINGS ALL IN ONE WEEKEND!!! It was amazing. Really. And now I’m writing this. And eating delicious things. Ooohoooh and I got to read my novel too!! Secret nerd?! Nope. Not even. Mostly just nerd.

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omg egg.

But anyway. In the midst of being super excited for having two weekend days off in a row for reals and forever (for now), I made shashuka! Essentially eggs poached in marinara sauce, served over something grainy or whatever and sprinkled with a fine grating of cheese. Which is delicious and exciting since I’d never made it before… and also kind of sounds like a type of dance?? Don’t you think? Do the shashuka? Right? Okay. No. Just eat it, you won’t regret it for a second. I think this is going on my regular rotation of things to make since it’s relatively fast, I generally have everything on hand, and it’s comforting and saucy and delicious.

melting. cheese.
melting. cheese.

Also, I never want my dessert to end. I made banana bread with caramelized bananas and no refined sugar and stuff and then I cut a piece in half and smeared chocolate peanut butter and salted caramel ice cream and chocolate malt ice cream [sorry I’m not sorry, it’s the weekend] all over the inside and now I don’t want it to stop. I would try to slow down eating it but it’s just SO GOOD. Can’t stop won’t stop. After all that shashuka… mmm. Food. And weekends. Doesn’t get much better than that.

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And now my eyes are droopy and tired and I might actually go to bed. At 8. Because I can. Muahahaha!

shashuka in the sun!!
shashuka in the sun!!

Shashuka

Most likely serves 3-4, though you could use as many eggs as you want. I made a full serving of sauce but only enough eggs for me so that I could make fresh eggs when I want leftovers. Gluten free! Please excuse the sometimes rather vague measurements, I never measure when I make marinara. The recipe is my own! Shahuka obvs isn’t my idea, but besides poaching eggs in tomato sauce, I get credit for the flavors!

  • a hefty glug of olive oil
  • 2 hunks of frozen basil (or else a good handful of fresh)
  • 1 clove of garlic
  • a few sprigs of fresh marjoram
  • medium sized glug of red wine
  • 1 small onion, diced
  • double handful of button mushrooms, sliced
  • 1 small zucchini, grated
  • three good handfuls of spinach, roughly chopped
  • 1 can tomato sauce [strictly tomato, not marinara sauce that’s prepared]
  • 2 good spoonfuls of tomato paste, until your sauce is as thick as you like
  • 1/2 tsp coconut sugar
  • salt+pepper to taste
  • 3 eggs
  • grated parmesan, to serve

In a saute pan, heat olive oil over medium heat. Add in basil, garlic, and marjoram. Once the oil has heated a bit, add diced onions. Let them cook for a minute or two, then add wine. Let that cook over low while you chop up the rest of the veggies. Add in mushrooms and let them brown for about 4-5 minutes, then toss in grated zucchini and spinach. Let it all cook down for maybe 5 minutes, until the spinach is wilted. Add in tomato sauce and paste, and let the sauce simmer for at least 20 minutes. Season to taste as it’s cooking with salt and pepper, as well as the 1/2 tsp of coconut sugar (add more to taste if things are a little bitter up in these parts). Turn heat to medium low, and make three wells in the sauce with the back of a spoon. Crack an egg into each well, cover the pan, and cook for 5 ish minutes until the whites are cooked though (the idea is to have runny yolks—if that freaks you out then let them go a bit longer). Serve over a grain of choice, with grated parmesan sprinkled over the top.

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Full-tilt jungle madness [ie holiday whilst working retail]

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Happy Solstice! I was definitely wishing I was at Stonehenge tonight [not Sconehenge. We already know I’ve been there…].

Four days till Christmas?

Yep.

Holiday retail madness is in full tilt jungle mode. Oi. We had a line to the back of the store for the majority of my shift today, and I literally felt like a ping pong ball trying to get from the back of the store to the front. “Excuse me, excuse me, oops sorry, ‘scuse me” don’t mind me, I’m just carrying two FULLY LOADED hanger caddies which are awkward and heavy and no, it’s fine if you just sort of stand there, no big deal, it’s just a really good thing that I’m nimble and quite agile…

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Path of least resistance becomes a game of finding the smallest spaces between people and convincing yourself that you really do in fact fit through them. Oh. And yes, I most definitely DO work here, thanks for asking… I mean, as much as I find folding pants therapeutic, I don’t usually fold them for fun, you know?! Especially when they’re exploding out of the pant wall due to extreme being-shopped-ness. Literally exploding. Seeing is believing, people.

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Good thing too that this bit of deliciousness awaited me on my break. Thankfully, or I might have passed out due to a potent combination of hunger, cash/wrap repetitiveness, and energetic dancing (obviously— you have to move around a lot when you’re ringing at the register to get the blood flowing).

Can I unscrew my smile now? I think my jaw is permanently stuck.

Mmm. For times when you need a hefty dose of iron and some delicious flavors, this recipe should be in your back pocket.

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Afghani Beef with Acorn Squash

Recipe adapted from Afghan Online, here. Mom discovered this one a while ago, and we’ve been fans ever since. It comes together fairly easily, and serves 3 with plentiful leftovers. Gluten free and paleo! Also delicious sans acorn squash if you don’t happen to have any, you could totally serve this over couscous or quinoa, spaghetti squash, or zucchini noodles from your spiralizer… you name it, it’s probably delicious.

Rustle up the following:

  • 1 yellow onion
  • 1 lb ground beef (grass fed organic)
  • 1 tsp ground black pepper
  • 16 oz can of tomato sauce
  • 1 tsp crushed garlic
  • 1 tsp coriander
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1 c water, divided
  • 1 mediumish zucchini
  • 2-3 c raw spinach
  • 2 acorn squash, halved
  • avocado oil

Preheat oven to 425. To roast acorn squash, brush them with avocado oil and sprinkle with salt and pepper. Flip them cut side down on a jelly roll pan or rimmed cookie sheet, and roast until fork tender, about 20-25 minutes.

Using a food processor or a powerful blender (I don’t possess this, so food processor it is), process onion and 1/2 c water. Pour this into a saucepan over medium heat, and add beef. Cook until the beef is browned, then add the other 1/2 c water, garlic, coriander, pepper, and tomato sauce. Grate zucchini into the pan, and toss in rinsed spinach. Let the whole thing simmer for about 20-25 minutes more, until ready to serve.

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