I’ve been struggling, lately.
With everything. It’s not that I’m emotional, or sad, or upset in anyway. I think I’ve just been exhausted, and lazy… if the two go together in any way.
I’ve been avoiding posting something on here. I’m not exactly sure why, but I guess I go through phases — extended periods of time without any creativity at all. And being a creative by trade, all day, err’day, I’ve had difficulty recovering from the weeks that burn me out. These slumps aren’t easy. I, for one, have always hated being lazy or having nothing to do. But I find myself craving it. Scratching fingernails on imaginary chalkboards in the air, itching for a vacation from the daily grind. A few days that involve nothing but sitting on a beach with a nerd read, or curled up on my couch with a never-ending list of critically-acclaimed movies to watch on Netflix.
A cup of tea or a glass of wine. There’s nothing else I need.
Except, every now and then, a damn good steak. I take pride in my abilities to transform a good slab of meat into a meal that will change your life. There are many things that make me a laid back, lighthearted individual. Steak is not one of them. I take my steak seriously.
An old love interest, years removed, whom I hadn’t heard from in months, got back in touch the night I made these steaks. I had just wrapped up a pretty stressful series of projects at the day job. I had been biking to work all week, and the weather was just below bone-chilling that week. Yet, as frigid as it was outside, this little designer was one-hundred percent burnt out. So naturally, I did what Shaeda would do in that situation — I stopped by Whole Foods on my way home to pick up more than a pound of a beautiful, oh-so-gorgeous slab of steak.
By the time I got home, I had a series of texts from you-know-who. In typical fashion, we caught up a little, reminisced a little, and being thousands of miles apart and sans commitment, really opened up about our lives. You see, this summer, we reconnected, but just like 90 percent of our conversations since the beginning of time, we didn’t actually communicate much. Except this summer, I didn’t have the patience to put up with it. I was happy without that mess (and any other hot mess, to be honest). Looking back on that was the farthest thing from my mind… and that simple fact was one of the most empowering feelings I’ve had all year.
Needless to say, we chatted about all of this for an hour or so… while I was prepping a pound and a half of steak. It was the version of me that until recent years, was in complete control of the situation. Between the steak and taking charge of what I considered just a year ago to be a miserable, failed romance — I’m not sure I’ve ever felt so sexy and in charge.
This post is actually a procrastination post. I have two projects due before I leave for California next Friday. And I’ve been planning a Twelve Pubs of Christmas pub crawl for months… that’s happening on Saturday. Needless to say, I probably shouldn’t have spent this much time writing this post.
I probably should just go make myself another steak.
Marinated Flank Steak with Feta and Sun-Dried Tomato, derived from Dukan It Out
- 1 lb flank steak
- 2 T balsamic vinegar
- 1/4 cup fresh parsley, chopped
- 1/4 cup fresh cilantro, chopped
- 1 t paprika
- 1/4 t cayenne pepper
- 1/2 t red pepper flakes
- salt and pepper
- 4 oz. feta cheese
- 1/4 cup dried sun-dried tomatoes, finely chopped
- 1/2 t red pepper flakes
- In a ziploc bag, combine your steak, balsamic, parsley, cilantro, paprika, cayenne and red pepper flakes. Squish the marinade around so that the entire steak is covered — and let it sit for a while. I left mine on the counter for 30 minutes or so, which also lets the steak come to room temperature. If you’re marinating for longer, do so in the refrigerator, and then let it sit out for 30 minutes to an hour prior to cooking.
- Heat a good cast iron pan over the stove on high, getting the surface so hot that you can only hold your hand above it for a second before pulling away.
- Slice your steak according to individual servings. Place the steak on the pan, and let it sear and sizzle for 3 to 4 minutes. Then, turn over and repeat on the other side. Slice it open to check how cooked it is — and continue cooking to the temperature you prefer. I take it off when it’s a little more rare than I like, and then set it on a cutting board to rest for about 10 minutes, letting the juices distribute.
- While your steak is resting, combine the feta, sun-dried tomatoes, and chili flakes. Sprinkle generously over your steak, and serve hot.