And when I say "present" life, I mean relative to my "old" life. My middle school-age, hairspray-coated, Fruity Pebbles-eating, sleep-til-noon, Saved By The Bell-watching old life.
This weekend I was reminded that my old life included a lot of the following:
- Weekend movie theater dates with my six best friends
- Never actually having to pay for a movie ticket, thanks to Corinne's Dad's security guard status
- Movie theater popcorn with extra butter and salt-dehydrated lips
- Sour Patch Kids in bulk (my sugar high was always someone else's problem) and burst taste buds
- Trying to impress cute middle school-age boys with my vast selection of multi-patterned scrunchies and Lip Smackers
- No real sense that cute middle school-age boys don't give a crap about scrunchies and Lip Smackers
The thing about my present life is that it no longer includes such things. And I have no idea why not. Well, yes I do. Mr. M is now retired, ingesting a pound of loose Sour Patch Kids would wreak havoc on my thighs...and I'm married. That part is the weirdest.
This weekend, my best friends and I went on an old-fashioned movie theater date. It's been ages since the last time, and this time around I noticed the differences. Alcohol was included for one, as well as husbands, and in general I think we're just a cooler bunch of chicks now than that time we saw The Cutting Edge four consecutive weekends in a row.
But some things will never change. Some things are so innate, so ingrained in who we are as people, that despite the years and despite the distance they'll always come shining through. Corinne's laugh. Nikki's inability to control a bout of the giggles. Jessica shielding her eyes from the scary parts. Mer's body language when people can't seem to sit down and shut up. My obsession with us being there on time.
While my present life no longer includes some of old life's simple pleasures, I've just been reminded that all the best parts are still with me, and always will be. How lucky am I?
I probably still could have afforded a denim-on-denim interventionback then, though, not gonna lie.
The other thing about my present life is that a tub of popcorn no longer counts as dinner. I now cook faux-fancy steak dinners with tricky names. Like Steak Nicoise. Don't know how to pronounce Nicoise? Say "knee-SWOZ".
Steak knowledge. I just dropped it. Toe pick!
This is a delightful, husband-approved dinner salad which combines crisp veggies, tender steak, and red potatoes in a tangy mustard vinaigrette. Veggies are blanched in order to retain their vibrant color and crispy bite, and lean steak is broiled and thinly-sliced. I assure you, as I've assured my husband, blanching has nothing to do with The Golden Girls, and steak served over veggies and potatoes is, in fact, a man salad.
Other best parts of my present life? Responsible dinner choices. And a husband who notices my Lip Smackers. Enjoy!
Adapted from Eating Well
Yields 4 servings
1 lb boneless, top sirloin steak (or flank steak/London Broil)
2 tbs extra virgin olive oil
2 tbs red wine vinegar
2 tbs Dijon mustard (I used whole grain)
4 red potatoes, skin on, cut into eight wedges
1 large carrot, sliced into 1-inch pieces
1/2 lb green beans, trimmed, cut into 1-inch pieces
1 c grape tomatoes, halved
1/4 c pitted Kalamata olives, sliced
Line a baking sheet with aluminum foil, and coat with cooking spray. Preheat the broiler to High. Coat both sides of the steak with salt and pepper, and broil 6-7 minutes per side, or until cooked to desired degree of doneness. Transfer to a cutting board, and let it sit for 5 to 10 minutes. Slice the steak in across the grain into thin strips.
In a small bowl, whisk together the olive oil, vinegar, and mustard. Pour 2 tsp of the dressing into a large serving bowl.
Meanwhile, place the potatoes in a pot, and cover with enough cold water to cover by 2 inches. Bring to a boil, and cook until tender, about 10 minutes. Remove the potatoes with a slotted spoon, and add them to the serving bowl.
Add the carrots and green beans to the boiling water, and cook until bright and crisp, about 3 minutes. Drain, and run under cold water.
Add the carrots, green beans, tomatoes, and olives to the serving bowl, and toss to combine with the dressing. Arrange the sliced steak over the top of the vegetables, and drizzle with the remaining dressing.