I PASSED THE BAR!! You have no idea how good it feels to write that. After months of waiting, worrying, and some more waiting, I got the coveted letter from the Bar of Law Examiners Friday morning at 11:00 and screamed in excitement. So loud that one of my co-workers came into my office to see if I was ok. Ha. I was shaking with excitement for a good hour. The final hurdle standing in the way of my legal career has finally been conquered.
Now that I’ve lawyered the bar exam, my next feat will be working with yeast. I have a long list of recipes I want to try that work with active yeast that I have putting on the back burner to try “someday.”
Well, that someday wasn’t today. (hey, I passed the bar. I figured I earned myself a break) But next week I am going to overcome my fear of yeast and give it a good college try. This pizza was so delicious that it will probably be one of my first recipes I’ll make using yeast. Figure even if I fumble a bit, the powerful basil and mozzarella flavors will overpower any mistake I may make.
Fall is finally here!! It is my favorite season–cool, crisp weather, sweaters, scarves, boots, pumpkin lattes. Usually fall marks new beginnings for me since a new year of school starts–but this year is the first year in 20 years that I didn’t start school. Luckily, the great feeling of a fresh start didn’t fade this fall because I started my first, real job as a lawyer a couple weeks ago. Still, it’s odd not working on homework or spending time on OneNote.
Fall also means more heartier meals. Something to stick to your ribs. And this makes me think of eggplants. I always avoid recipes that require deep frying so making eggplant parmesan has never been something on my to-do list. Thank God I found this recipe! I still get to enjoy eggplant parmesan without all the deep fried hassle and high calories.
Do not let the slow cooker part confuse you. This recipe is not a quick toss everything into the slow cooker and enjoy sort of recipe. It’s a bit more labor intensive but oh so worth it!
Now that I have been cooking regularly for several months, I have been trying to modify and create my own recipes. Many Italian recipes I have been finding online requires a jar of spaghetti sauce. That is the first thing I eliminate from every recipe I try. Instead, I substitute a can of tomato sauce.
I do this for two reasons. First, with tomato sauce, I can control the level of salt and spices. Spaghetti sauce generally is full of salt. I can just add a pinch of salt instead of being subjected to the already mixed salty sauce. Plus, my herb garden allows me to add fresh spices instead of the dried ones. Second, a can of tomato sauce is far cheaper. So with health and my wallet on my side, I haven’t missed the jar of spaghetti sauce in my recipes.
True to form, I have modified this recipe slightly. Subbing out the spaghetti sauce and modifying some ingredients and prep. This recipe was a huge hit. It allowed us to enjoy the delicious taste of wings without the deep fried fat.
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.
The dreaded bar exam is lurking around the corner. In 16 days, I’ll be sitting down in a crowded, stuffy classroom, surrounded by over-stressed, nerve-ridden students waiting to take a two day-12 hour exam that will decide whether or not we are fit to practice law in Minnesota. Sounds great huh? Bring on the fun!
While I wait in anticipation of this joyous event, I have been cramming every single piece of law I can into my over-sized head. It’s gotten to the point that when I have conversations, they consist of me telling someone about a certain area of law. “Hey! So you’re never gonna believe this crazy piece of information! You can use prior inconsistent statements to impeach a witness. AND it can come in as substantive evidence.” Yeah, I know. Crazy. But it’s true!!
So since I can only speak in legal jargon, I’ve decided to stick to crock pot recipes for the next two weeks. Anything that takes more than 20 minutes to cook makes me feel guilty for reading something that isn’t cluttered with italic, Latin phrases. My poor summer fun reading list has been set aside (sorry Jessi Witkins!) And this recipe only calls for ingredients that most people have on hand at all times. No need for a grocery run.
The heat index in Minneapolis has started to decline (we live in house without air conditioning. the last couple days were less than pleasant) so using the crock pot isn’t completely unreasonable. Plus, after a full day of studying, a warm meal sure feels great! And hell, who doesn’t love chicky catch with some long ass rice (much love to my boy Tom Haverford).
I bought quinoa almost a two years ago. I tried to make it and completely failed. Either I cooked it too long, not long enough, or I did it right and couldn’t even recognize it. Either way, I gave up. Put the bag in my cupboard and forgot that I even had it at all. Until earlier this month. People kept pinning all these recipes with quinoa as the staple. It was time to bring my cupboard quinoa out of retirement and try to make something. So I picked some herbs from my garden, threw all the veggies we had in the crisper together, and tossed a dressing. It was delicious. Now I can see what all the fuss was about.
The weather here has been going from scorching hot to rather chilly. Quintessential Minnesota. Today was more on the chilly side so I decided to make a warmer dish. Chances are it will be too hot for anything warm for the next couple of months. I LOVE Mexican food. No surprise to anyone who knows me. I’ve worked at two different Mexican restaurants and my go-to drinks are mojitos and margaritas. I am always on the hunt for healthy, Mexican recipes. This recipe is filling, full of protein, and a healthy alternative to greasy restaurant enchiladas. We were out of black beans today so I substituted chili beans, but I originally made these enchiladas with black beans. Both are good!
I may have an unhealthy love of basil. I use it almost daily, and my herb garden can’t grow it fast enough. To me, it’s what healthy eating is-fresh, bold, and poignant. My insides feel cleansed whenever it’s in my food. Might be all in my head.
As a lover of sandwiches, I’ve been trying to find great sandwich recipes that include basil and travel well. Like many students, my lunch is made at 7:00 a.m. No one wants a sandwich that is all soggy by noon. If that unsoggy sandwich includes basil, even better. This sandwich has only four ingredients that travel well so you can bring all the ingredients with you and easily assemble it when you are ready to eat. No need to live solely on pb&j’s anymore!
I LOVE chili. Love it. In fact, whenever I cave and decide I’m going to get fast food, I pick Wendy’s so I can get chili. I have multiple different chili recipes, and I have yet to take a side on the noodles or no noodles battle. But one thing I can definitively agree upon is using turkey instead of beef (or you can opt out of meat all together and make this vegetarian). The beans and tomatoes serve as the prominent flavors so any distinguishable taste between turkey and beef is effectively muted. For only 4 Weight Watcher’s Plus points per 1 1/2 cups, this chili is a healthy and filling meal.
I have always been a sandwich lover. From peanut butter and jelly to my “world famous” turkey, avocado, tomato stacked sandwich, I can always go for a sandwich. This chicken pita has a zesty, fresh taste that is perfect for lunch or dinner. With all the hype around the Hunger Games, I named this dish after my favorite character Peeta Mellark.