Candlelit Dinner For One

December 21, 2008


He’s still working 😥 But that means earning money for the family, so I am very proud of him for being a trooper. He’s going on 12 hours, but it sounds like he’s had a fun day from his emails.

I had 2 handfuls of trail mix this afternoon and decided to go to the gym after all.


Whilst there I did 45 minutes on the ET followed by some Stat bike and hit the road.

And I came home to face this: (Cue: Ewwwww!!!)


I got this email around 6pm:

Workin for awhile.  Not really sure when the end is, but having fun (and beers!).  Hope your workout was fun, and I’ll call when I’m leaving!

And replied with this:

Home from my workout! Going to make something for dinner with that hunk of meat. I am kind of scared of it, but we’ll see. I’ll have something for you to heat up when you get here.

The beef is a piece of a really nice tenderloin that we had froze and thawed out to eat this weekend. Well, the weekend is over and it’s still sitting in the fridge. I knew I had to eat it. I like meat, but I do NOT like raw meat. It’s usually the husband’s territory, but tonight I had no choice. As a nutritionist, I see meat almost as a multivitamin because it delivers so many bioavailable nutrients (hello heme iron!). So when it’s offered to me, I eat it, but I’m not crazy about cooking it.

So I decided to have a little vino for courage. I love to have a glass of wine when I cook dinners by myself – along with jazz on Pandora. I keep some mini bottles on hand for cooking but sometimes I open one to drink if I don’t want to commit to a whole bottle. I won’t drink cheap red wine, but I do like a cheap buttery Chardonnay on occasion 😉


So I set to work. The hunk of meat was actually HUGE. Probably 3 feel long all wrapped up in there. So I did what I could with it. I cut it into 3 sections and cut one into bite-sized pieces for our pasta dinner and didn’t know what to do with the rest so I seared them (after attempting to cut off a ton of huge fat strips). I even broke out the meat thermometer because I had no clue what I was doing (don’t worry – this wasn’t the final temp!)


The slabs actually turned out quite well! Not sure what we’ll do with them since we’re going out of town on Tuesday….maybe I can feed one to the husband for breakfast :mrgreen:


Here’s the dinner portion. I overcooked it 😥 I like my beef rare, but since I was cooking myself, I was scared of undercooking it – so I overcooked it. It was way too tough.


But the final product was a success overall –


I served the beef over whole wheat angel hair (my favorite type of pasta) with a pouch of Bertolli pasta sauce. I discovered these at BlogHer this summer and think they are BY FAR the best widely available commercial pasta sauce I’ve had (no fake oniony flavor here). I added a cup of frozen spinach to the sauce along with some frozen basil and topped it all with a little blue cheese, which was a wonderful addition.



Along with my glass of wine :)


And dessert. The pumpkin bark is almost gone! I need a bar of extra dark chocolate to munch on next.


Off to wait for he hub on the couch with my book 😎

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{ 22 comments… read them below or add one }

1 VeggieGirl December 21, 2008 at 8:41 pm

So sorry that you had to dine alone this evening :-( But you set the table so nicely, so it’s all worth it in the end, right?? 😀

Have a restful evening!!


2 K December 21, 2008 at 8:43 pm

I’m glad to hear the hubs likes his job so much – I always feel bad when I hear how much he works!

Enjoy your evening, Kath!


3 Jenny December 21, 2008 at 8:51 pm

Pumpkin butter sounds delicious. Did you make it? I would love to have the recipe.


4 Kelly Turner December 21, 2008 at 9:01 pm

man i cant remeber the last time i had a day SHORTER than 12 hours- i know how he feels. althought i dont get beer when i work so maybe hes the lucky one :)

Kelly Turner


5 Victoria December 21, 2008 at 9:08 pm

I can’t do raw meat myself, so I don’t eat it. I could never get the hang of cooking it, so I eventually just gave up. Glad you enjoyed your dinner, even if it was alone.


6 Jennifer December 21, 2008 at 9:12 pm

Your dinner looks fabulous! Congrats on working with the raw meat. I have trouble with it myself, but I love it when someone else cooks it. :)


7 Heather McD (heather eats almond butter) December 21, 2008 at 9:26 pm

Even though you were flying solo, dinner looked beautiful. Love bleu cheese on any and everything! Way to eat that iron! Have a good night Kath. Enjoy the book :)


8 zestycook December 21, 2008 at 9:41 pm

Kath, I love the pictures!! Step by Step on the beef… high five :) Hopefully you are not alone all night… take care



9 Tanya December 21, 2008 at 9:42 pm

What you did with the beef looks delish!


10 Missy Maintains December 21, 2008 at 10:39 pm

Dinner looks great! Love the wine even if u had to drink it alone!


11 bobbi December 21, 2008 at 10:43 pm

where can I get this pumpkin bark?!!!!


12 Megan December 21, 2008 at 11:00 pm

Your dinner sure looks beautiful!


13 gina (fitnessista) December 21, 2008 at 11:27 pm

your dinner came out gorgeously! that is one giant hunka meat


14 Elle December 21, 2008 at 11:46 pm

Wow, that hunk of meat is DEFINITELY intimidating, but it looks like you did a great job with it! And these newest oatmeal additions–toffee and butterscotch–brilliant! That will definitely be happening in my kitchen first thing after we return from vacation.


15 alyssa December 22, 2008 at 12:21 am

i love those sauce pouches! i started buying them because i got a free years supply from the Ellen show, but it’s become my favorite! the olive one is delish – try it if you haven’t already!


16 AshleyH December 22, 2008 at 12:37 am

oh I am so proud of you for dealing with that huge piece of meat on your own like that. I get scared of undercooking ground turkey. You rock!

I have to add that your oatmeal this morning looked amazing and I also wanted to add a quick thank you for answering my question about the tomato allergy. I have been looking for some tomato free pasta toppers (that still have lots of veggies). I would love to hear if you had any suggestions.
Love this blog!!


17 Anne P December 22, 2008 at 3:15 am

haha i’m always scared to/don’t like to cook meat on my own too :) my boyfriend enjoys it though and feels all manly with the meat and the grill, so it works out! since being in prague i’ve hardly had any meat because i never cook it myself, haha.


18 beckysue27 December 22, 2008 at 8:38 am

I used to hate raw meat too, but with a hubby who “needs” it for every meal, I have gotten used to it. The whole tenderloin is a great cut, from my experience I think you probably would have enjoyed it more, and gotten the most out of it, if you had just seasoned it (olive oil, kosher salt and black pepper or any other herbs) and roasted it in the oven, and then cut it into slices. Roasting the big slab whole is great because the thicker parts are medium to rare and the thinner parts are medium well to well done so there is a part to please everyone. And leftovers are good cold, and sliced, for sandwiches. But regardless your finished product looked yummy!!!


19 Kath December 22, 2008 at 10:23 am

Jenny + bobbi ,
The pumpkin bark is from Whole Foods.

alyssa ,
A year’s supply!! Lucky duck! I have had the olive one, but I haven’t seen anything but the mushroom in my local stores.



20 jenner December 22, 2008 at 1:13 pm

lol Kath, i’m catching up on posts and when i scrolled down and saw that huge hunk o’ meat, the first thing i said was oh EWWWWW and then i read you cue: ewwww you are so brave for having grappled w/ it.

Have you had the peppermint bark from Trader Joe’s?? It comes in a big tin for like $9.99 and it is so good, kinda tastes like Andes mints.


21 Elina December 22, 2008 at 3:10 pm

Good job with that meat! I’ve been cooking meat for a while, so thankfully it doesn’t gross me out anymore because my husband doesn’t like to have too many vegetarian dinners.

Question: when you add the frozen spinach, do you thaw it first or does it defrost easily in the pan? Thanks!


22 Kath December 22, 2008 at 4:57 pm

Elina ,
I dumped it frozen into a pot with a little water and let that steam off and then I added the sauce.



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