Every time I get home from a trip I'll be gracing a special someone with a "Weird Traveler of the Week" award. I think its best to document my favorite instances where I think to myself, "What the....?". One day when I'm old and senile (and may well be a subject of someone else's weird traveler award), I'd like to remember these folks fondly.
And the Week 1 winner is.....the four pageant moms in the Cleveland airport bar!! They were sitting right next to me and each had a garment bag full of tiny jeweled and bedazzled clothing. And they were awfully drunk. They were downing "chocolate cake" shots like it was going out of style (although if you've ever had a chocolate cake shot, you'd know they will NEVER go out of style). They were loudly discussing how little their husbands know about the true (astronomical) cost of participating in pageants. I also wonder if their husbands know how much booze at an airport costs. I'm thinking no. I was alone working on my laptop and I kind of wanted to join in the fun...because after all, I love a chocolate cake shot and I have a per diem allowance for "meals". But I was too intimidated and I was convinced they'd know I was a poser who was just trying to get close enough to get a picture of the bedazzled dresses with my iPhone. So I sat there in silence and posted about it on Facebook instead.
And you know the most curious part? They didn't even have any little girls with them. I mean, where were the tiny pageant queens? I figured they were probably with their daddies, sitting at the gate and wreaking havoc on the poor unfortunate menfolk who don't know how much pageants cost. Suckers.
Anyway! I'm in Austin next week, and I'll be sure to let you know who wins the Week 2 award.
As usual, my random story will be followed by a delicious recipe. I had a flank steak sitting around and needed a way to cook it without making it into tacos (because I'm trying to not be fat). I thought beef and broccoli sounded like a good idea, but since I'm trying to avoid eating too many white foods (like rice), I added a bunch of other veggies so I wouldn't miss the rice (I still did). It was super flavorful, though, and it got the thumbs up from the husband, too. Although, he had his with rice and I spent most of my meal staring at his plate and giving him dirty looks every time he took a sweet, yummy, ricey bite.
Beef Stir Fry with Veggies
Source: Adapted from Ask Aida
2 tablespoons chili-garlic sauce
1 tablespoon Sriracha
2 tablespoons soy sauce
2 tablespoons rice wine vinegar
1 teaspoon honey
2 teaspoons toasted sesame oil
2 teaspoons cornstarch
1 pound flank steak, trimmed
Salt and freshly ground black pepper
2 tablespoons vegetable oil
6 scallions, ends trimmed and sliced into 1” pieces
4 garlic cloves, minced
1 tablespoon grated ginger
12 ounces snow peas
2 cups broccoli florets
1 red bell pepper, sliced
Whisk the chili-garlic sauce, Sriracha, soy sauce, rice wine vinegar, honey, sesame oil, and cornstarch together in a small bowl and set aside. Cut the beef lengthwise along the grain into 2 (3-4 inch wide) pieces. Slice each piece of beef across the grain into paper thin pieces, about 1/8-inch thick. Pat the beef dry and season well with salt and pepper, to taste.
Heat 1 tablespoon of the oil in a medium nonstick skillet over high heat just until smoking. Add the beef and cook, stirring rarely, until well browned, about 4 to 5 minutes. Remove to a plate.
Return the skillet to the stove over medium-low heat. Add the remaining 1 tablespoon of oil, the broccoli, the garlic, and the ginger, and cook until just fragrant and starting to color, about 4-5 minutes. Stir in the snow peas, scallions, and bell pepper and cook, stirring occasionally, about 4 minutes. Whisk in the chili-garlic sauce mixture, then remove the pan from the heat, and add the beef and accumulated juices. Toss to coat and transfer to a serving platter. Serve immediately.