Sunday, March 20, 2011

Steak Tacos and Other Pressing Business

**Addendum: We found out I was pregnant about 22 hours after I published this post, which completely explains the weird sleeping which continued throughout the whole first trimester, and the steak taco thing.**

And so ends another crazy week! My sleeping has been erratic at best - it's not just that Ian and I characteristically go to bed too late, but I'm having trouble actually staying asleep when I fall asleep. So, the first hour or two is me drifting in and out of sleep, which leads to me being really annoyed at myself (and the world!!!), which doesn't help. And then it's waking up 3-5 times in the middle of the night. So not cool. Last night I sleep all the way through, cause for celebration all around! I'm hoping that trend continues. I've started doing yoga every night for 20-30 minutes before bed, so hopefully (besides learning how to better open my creaky hips) my sleeping will improve as a result.

 I met with my gynecologist on Friday to check out my lady parts and give the a'okay for baby plans. I love her - she's about 50-55 but wears zebra clogs and has a pink streak in her hair (but not in a trashy way, it's very Ann Arbor). I think I'm much more worked up about my health and weight and nutrition than she is, which is both calming and unsettling.

Ian and I realized this week that we may not be able keep our kitties when we move to NYC, depending on what housing Columbia offers us. But, even if they do allow pets, a baby and two kitties in a wee, quite probably one-bedroom apartment? No bueno. When we adopted Vixen and Peter, we had no idea that we would be (most likely) down-sizing living spaces, or planning to procreate so quickly! I say this as Peter is laying on my lap on his back receiving belly rubs and purring like a little truck, and it breaks my heart. We have been brainstorming ways of putting a kitty or two on loan until our situation stabilizes. Anyone for a heart-breakingly fabulous cat for a year or two?

Ian and I have been driving into Ann Arbor on Wednesdays and over the weekends to work in coffee shops or at Tanner Library (the philosophy library to UM). We've been experimenting with all sorts of little places. Today we drove in with hopes of getting lunch at Zingerman's Deli, but even at 3:00 PM they had a line out the door for a sandwich. We stumbled across my favorite tea store, Tea Haus. Tea Haus recently expanded and now has a lovely little tea room. We shared a few pots of tea (English Breakfast and Diplomat's) and had scones with real clotted cream with an assortment of lemon curd, strawberry jam, and marmalade. Heaven. I may be the fussiest person this side of the Mississippi (as my terribly understanding and patient.. and brutally honest husband could attest to), but I am easily satiated as well. What a lovely way to spend a Saturday afternoon.

And finally...

I was craving steak tacos, so Ian and I traversed to battle the fripperies of Whole Foods to find some organic veggies and responsible meat for tacos. Nomnom! (maybe these are actually fajitas? Who can say)

Steak Tacos with Red Peppers and Onions and Avocado Salsa
We purchased 1/2 pound strip steak, which was about 2 generous tacos each. We used Ezekiel's sprouted whole grain tortillas, soft, healthy and really delicious!

Steak Marinade
2 chipotle peppers in adobo sauce, chopped
juice of 1-2 limes
1/4 cup oil
1/2 cup red or white wine or beer (you could substitute broth but add a little sugar)
1 tsp cumin
1 tsp chile powder
1/4 tsp salt
pinch of pepper
splash of favorite salsa (optional)
2-4 crushed garlic cloves
1/2 - 1 lb strip steak, cut into thin strips, against the grain

2 Tbsp oil
1/2 - 1 sweet onion, cut into 1/4 inch strips
1 red bell pepper, cut into 1/4 inch strips
small-medium tortillas
Cheese to serve (would be good with goat cheese, queso fresco, cheddar, or monterrey jack)

Avocado Salsa
1 avocado, cut into cubes
1/3 cup salsa verde (jalapeno or poblano based)
juice of 1 lime
pinch of salt

Mix the marinade ingredients and add the steak. Add more liquid (wine/beer/broth/salsa) if need to cover the meat. Let this rest, covered, for at least 30 minutes, but preferably 1-2 hours.

Right before making the veggies and meat, prepare the avocado salsa but stirring together the diced avocado, salsa, lime juice, and salt. Keep the pit in the salsa until you serve to keep it as fresh as possible.

Heat nonstick skillet over medium-high heat. Add 1 Tbsp. oil and heat until almost smoking. Add the onions and saute. When the begin to brown, add 2-3 Tbsp of the marinade. Cook down liquid and brown onions until soft and carmelized. Add sliced peppers, again adding some marinade and a little salt. Reduce the heat a bit and cook until the peppers are crisp-tender and the liquid is cooked off. Set the vegetables aside and cover to keep warm.

Add 1 Tbsp oil to the pan and heat. Drain the steak (we want as little liquid in the pan as possible at this point) and add it to the hot skillet in a single layer. You may need to cook in batches if you are serving more than 2 people. Cook about 2 minutes on each side until the juices are running clear (or to your preference).

Serve the tacos with steamed tortillas and all the fixings. Nomnom!