Sunday, August 22, 2010

What goes up must come down

I was in the middle of a long walk to the farmers market on this lovely, sunny Sunday morning when my mind wandered off. Where did it wander to? Running, of course.

I'm not ashamed to admit that I'm an extremely cautious runner. This is both good and bad in that I do everything possible to avoid getting injured, but sometimes I worry that I'm so cautious that I end up not pushing myself enough.

Since moving to the land of hills, I've started paying even more attention to form and control, particularly when it comes to all the steep hills. I've also noticed that I'm more aware of how other people attack these hills (what can I say, I'm a big people watcher ;p).

One thing that I've noticed a lot is how little control most people have when going downhill. So much that it makes me nervous. Just because you've pushed it through a massive uphill doesn't mean you can just go flying on the downhill! The less control you have over your legs, the more likely you are to injure yourself.

I know I look like a fool running downhill because I tend to take it slow and basically try to keep my body as compact as possible (no flailing arms or legs!) and I think I might like running downhill less than running uphill. Crazy?? As much as running uphill sucks, I think I actually end up exerting more energy on the downhill. What are your thoughts on the ups and downs?

I eventually found myself at the farmers market and snagged some peaches, nectarines, tomatoes, basil and eggplant. Overall, a pretty tame shopping trip. I really just wanted to get some eggplant while it's in season :) Check out my basil 'tree':
I wonder how long this one will last me...

Originally I planned on making Angharad's Quinoa Salad, but forgot to grab a few critical ingredients from the grocery store. Meh. Looks like I'll have to save that for another day.
On the menu: Caponata-inspired Rigatoni

Caponata-inspired Rigatoni
2 small eggplants, cubed
1/2 medium onion, thinly sliced
2 cloves garlic, minced
3 tomatoes, diced
3 anchovy fillets, minced
1 tbsp olive oil
1 tsp red pepper flakes
1 tbsp capers
1 tsp balsamic vinegar
2 tbsp basil, chopped
1/2 lb rigatoni, cooked
salt & pepper

Heat olive oil in a large pan over medium heat. Add onion and cook for 3-4 minutes or until onion starts to soften. Add balsamic vinegar and cook for another minute. Stir in anchovies, tomatoes and garlic and cook for 3 minutes, stirring occasionally.
Add eggplant and cook for 4-5 minutes, stirring occasionally. Add capers and red pepper flakes

Stir and cover for 3 minutes.

Add basil and salt and pepper to taste. Cook for another 2-3 minutes before adding to pasta.
Toss with pasta and serve with shaved parmesan and additional basil (optional).

Um, yeah...notice how bright the light is in my pictures? That's because I cooked my dinner at 1pm. Why on earth did I do that? What else would I do on a Sunday afternoon? ;p haha. Just kidding. I wanted to make sure I cooked before heading to the movies at 4.

What did I see? Well, originally we planned on seeing Inception (I even loaded up on caffeine to make sure I stayed awake since I have a tendency to doze off during movies) but traffic held us up and we ended up seeing Eat Pray Love.
I liked it, but didn't love it. It's hard to explain...I just left with no strong feelings about the movie. I enjoyed the scenery (totally wanted to plan a vacation when we left the theatre) and the food (also had a serious craving for pasta or pizza), but I didn't enjoy it as much as the book. I wonder if I would have enjoyed it more if I hadn't read the book. Hm. Have you seen the movie yet? Thoughts?

Afterward, we grabbed dinner at Incanto in Noe Valley since everyone was craving a giant bowl of pasta. O yes you read that right. I cooked pasta for dinner and then ended up going out for pasta. Effed up, no? Unfortunately I didn't bring my camera with me so no photos of the delicious meal :(

I was torn between two different dishes and went with the Handkerchief Pasta & Rustic Pork Ragu. Solid choice. The big squares of pasta were perfect with the salty, tomatoe-y, pork-y sauce. Comfort food at its best :)

To go with our plates-o-pasta, three of us split a great bottle of red (they were offering some bottles for $30, which was a much better deal than the 1/2 liter option on the menu). I only wish I remembered the name of it.

Dessert was split between four of us and was a light and simple Chocolate Angel Food Cake with Red Wine Swirled Ice Cream. The actual dish wasn't what I pictured. The cake was angel food cake with lots of chocolate chips and the swirl of red wine was actually on the plate with some plums. A scoop of vanilla ice cream on the side made for a perfect bite.

My first Incanto experience was a great one and I look forward to going back with a certain adventurous eater to sample some of the bolder offerings!

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