Italian Sausage Stuffed Eggplant

When it comes to holidays, I love the ones that aren’t hyper commercialized. So yes, that means I LOVE April Fools Day.  Playing tricks on people is something I live for.  And no, I do not need a holiday for that.  But when our nation decides to celebrate it–yeah, sure. I’m in.

My co-worker Amber and I spent our April Fools Day playing tricks on our co-workers.  Sure, it was fun switching our boss’s diet coke for lemon juice and creamer.  But it only made my thirst for mayhem stronger.  I needed more.

So, this year I decide that Matt would be the perfect target for a fake cake.  I told Matt that I made him his favorite cake–a black forest cake.

black forest cake...or is it....
black forest cake…or is it….

But in reality, I took a balloon–blew it up and covered it with homemade icing.  Matt was psyched that I made him a cake out of the blue.  I gave him a knife and asked him to cut us both a piece of cake.  And then….bam!  The “cake” exploded in his face and icing went everywhere.  It was awesome.  I laughed hysterically, and Matt looked at me and said, “So, there is no cake?” And that was the best part.  He was all excited for cake.  And there none. Bahahaa.

 

my victim. bahahah
my victim. bahahah

All and all, it was a good April Fools Day.  Messing with our co-workers with Amber was fun.  Messing with Matt only made the day better. And really, what is was was a reminder that there is no need to take life so seriously.  Sure, I definitely get stressed.  I have mini-panic attacks at work over nothing.  I freak out over little things.  But at the end of the day, I need to remind myself that I need to just laugh it all off.  And that’s why I love April Fools Day.

Besides making an exploding cake, I made this delicious eggplant dish! I watched this Italian tv show with my father-in-law and memorized the ingredients as well as I could.  This recipe is easy to make and delicious to eat.  Try it.  You will thank me.

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Italian Sausage Tortellini Soup

Remember picture day back in high school?  It was such a big ordeal.  Picking out the perfect outfit, applying gobs of makeup, and finding a hair-style that’s just right.  Yes, very similar to Goldilock’s adventure.  Unfortunately for me, every year my pictures turned out the same.  Eyes mid-blink.  Uncomfortable smile. Messy hair.

pop can bangs. yes, i was that stylish.
pop can bangs. yes, i was that stylish.

Today, we had picture day at work.  Well, kinda.  See, our firm hired two new employees who needed photos for our website.  Since the photographer was already going to be around taking their pictures, I thought, “hey, this is a great opportunity for me to get a better picture.” Maybe I can just sneak in and get a new pic.  [no worries. I got the thumbs up from our marketing coordinator].

Spicy Italian Sausage Tortellini Soup

Why did I need a new picture you ask?  Yeah–I’m not the most photographic of individuals.  It wasn’t my best work.  Meaning I’m that girl who has been complaining about her work picture ever since it was taken.

Today was the third time I’ve had my picture professionally taken for work.  Move over, Beyonce.  There’s a new diva running this town.  But, channeling my inner celebrity paid off.  I got to look at my new work pictures, and while I won’t be auditioning for America’s Next Top Model anytime soon, I no longer looked frazzled.

Italian Sausage Tortellini Soup

Photographing soup has always been a bit of a challenge for me.  If it isn’t full of chunky ingredients, a creamy soup looks bland.  What I should do is buy some cute, unique bowls from Goodwill to jazz it up.  But its so easy to get lazy when it comes laying out colorful and eye-catching backdrops for my website.  Thankfully, this recipe is full of delicious chunky ingredients, so my fiestaware bowls sufficed.  This spicy soup was delicious, easy to make, and can be ready in twenty minutes.  The perfect meal after a long day of work! 

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Pizza Pasta Bake

This weekend my in-laws came to visit.  It’s a 6 hour drive from their place to ours so they usually do not get in until around 9 or 10.  The visit always starts out with my father-in-law suggesting we get pizza.  But because it’s around 9, all the places around us only do delivery and Matt and him debate whether delivery will take too long.  And after discussing it for 20 minutes, a delivered pizza would likely already be on its way.  So this time I decided to skip the whole first act and make something.  This pizza bake was a huge hit.  My father-in-law got his pizza fix, and Matt got his bake fix.

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Pale Ale Braised Greens with Sausage

It’s been a while.  The last few weeks have been busy.  First, I graduated from law school.  Yep.  I have a doctorate in law.  Feel free to call me Lindsay Cremona, J.D.  or Dr. Cremona.  Or Lindsay Cremona, Esquire. Your choice.

 

I have wanted to be a lawyer for most of my life.  When most kids were dreaming of becoming movie stars or astronauts, I just wanted to be Atticus Finch.  It was a relatively simple life choice for me.  When I graduated from undergrad, I started an internship at the Wisconsin Public Defenders.  My job was simple: I interviewed.  Every morning I walked to jail and interviewed individuals who were arrested the night before to find out if they were eligible for our services.  My afternoons were spent interviewing victims or witnesses in their homes to get their perspective.  Most interactions with witnesses and victims were the same.  Either the door was slammed in my face or the interview lasted no more than 15 minutes.  Announcing that you represented the defendant didn’t make you many friends–especially when it came to the victim.

But then one day I was assigned with interviewing an alleged victim of a domestic assault charge.  It started out typical.  She answered my questions about the events that transpired to our client’s arrest, and after 15 minutes, I had gotten all the information needed and was about to leave.  But she got up and came back with a box of photo albums.  And for the next couple of hours, I looked through her photo albums with her.  Saw pictures of her child, her family, her dogs, her childhood.  And that’s when I knew I wanted to be a lawyer.

Everyone has a story to tell.  I want to help tell that story.  I want to do more than just write an article about it–I want to do something to enrich the story-help someone’s situation.  Give them an opportunity to be heard while giving them an opportunity for change.  And that’s what I do all day now.  Provide an outlet for people to tell their stories and get some resolution.  Yeah, I’ve heard my fair share of lawyer jokes.  And to be honest (and not at all bias), they are misdirected.  There are gonna be those that give the profession a bad name, but at the end of the day, I see my job as giving the voiceless a voice.  I like that.

So last weekend I graduated from law school and immediately went on vacation.  After three years of minimum sleep and stress and cold calls, it was time for a break.  So I went with my husband, my parents, and in-laws to Savannah, Georgia.

Outside our Bed and Breakfast ready to explore the city!

Matt and I went to Savannah on our honeymoon and fell in love with the city.  I love the old mansions, city squares, and slower place of life.  Matt loves the southern comfort food.  Since I try to make healthier food at home, Matt took full advantage of the fried chicken, collard greens, and sweet potatoes.  When we got home, I promised Matt I’d try out a Southern-style recipe for him.  Lucky for him, my friend Kelsey had gone to a beer festival and had collected several recipes that included beer for me to make and one of them had Paula Deen written all over it.  So here is a not so healthy but insanely delicious meal that is worth the indulgence.

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Balsamic Honey Pulled Pork Sliders

Finals are right around the corner which means more slow cooker dinners.  This pulled pork sandwich is a great meal after a study-filled day.  There is only a little bit of prep work, and the slow cooker does the rest!  Matt loved this meal so much that he ate two pork-stuffed sandwiches.  That’s my piggie!  For 11 Weight Watcher points per sandwich, it’s so filling that it’s worth every point!

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