My mantra used to be "live-hard-play-hard." These days my mind space is "work-smart-live-well," marked by exercise, healthy foods and spending time with the ones I love. This weekend Jeff went out of town, and I found myself home alone spending time with the one I love the most: me.
I didn't do much - and it was awesome. I watched my friend Anne Hubbell's Holocaust humor documentary "The Last Laugh," which I had missed both when it premiered here at the Atlanta Jewish Film Festival and again when it aired on PBS (you can stream it on Amazon Prime). I watched a CW show that my friend Steve Yockey has been writing for called "Supernatural, which he makes super-freaky as only Steve can. I also watched the tween movie "The Edge of Seventeen," something I may or may not have done with Jeff. Don't get me wrong - everything is better with Jeff, the time without him makes me appreciate him more. I was single for years before we met. I don't miss that life - not for a minute. But I do enjoy a night or two alone when I can watch a cheesy show or two and spend some time with me.
At this point in my life, simple is better. A quiet night at home fuels my creativity and gets me juiced for a great week at work. I don't need to say yes to every invitation, and I don't want to attend every party. I work hard enough. I don't need to play hard anymore. Simple, quiet nights at home are far more interesting than any party.
As we continue to navigate our summer CSA (community supported agriculture), I can proudly say that we've done a pretty good job of incorporating this newly abundant supply of fresh produce into our dinner routine (although Chester the Guinea Pig has scored some really nice organic greens that we couldn't eat on time). In the first two weeks of the CSA, I've sauteed greens in garlic, butter braised root vegetables and imparted really nice flavor into a meatloaf with green onions. But the carrots were the best. Versatile and as delicious raw as they are cooked, my favorite way to eat carrots these days is roasted in a little olive oil, salt and pepper. Simple and delicious. After you pull them out of the oven and they're all glistening and golden, you will find yourself tempted to eat them straight off the pan. Go for it. That was dinner for me this weekend and it was delicious.
You don't need to stand over the kitchen counter eating them alone. They're a great side dish and always a crowd pleaser. But they're pretty spectacular eaten straight off the roasting pan as well.
1 bunch carrots, peeled and sliced lengthwise
2 T olive oil
Preheat the oven to 375 and place the pan in the oven. Toss the carrots in olive oil, salt and pepper. Pour the carrots into the hot pan. I learned the hot pan trick from a chef friend - the minute your vegetables hit the hot pan they'll sizzle, which is the sound of YUM. Don't over crowd the pan or they'll steam instead of roast. After about 20 minutes pull them out and flip them. Cook for another 40 minutes. You want them a bit golden but not burned.