Butternut Squash Potato Pancakes

This is like Latkes the REMIX!

My Mom sent my this recipe out of Cookie Light for Butternut Squash Potato Pancakes. The night before my evidence final I decided to give them a try.

I grated one medium potato and some butternut squash (probably a 1/2 cup of each) into a bowl. I made sure to absorb the excess moisture with a paper towel.

Then I added one egg, cinnamon, cumin, flour, salt, and pepper. The recipe calls or numerous spices which I didn’t have so I kept the cinnamon and added cumin instead.

Then I fried them in olive oil. This is different than I did with the last potato pancakes. I actually liked the taste better. It was less heavy then the canola oil.

And then we flip.

I like that the top one look like a heart! After they are done cooking I transferred to a plate with a paper towel.

The recipe calls for an apple salsa with lime and cilantro but I didn’t have lime or cilantro so I just cut up a honey crisp and had it on the side. It was pretty tasty.

Definitely a keeper! I like this better than what I made last week. Having cut apple instead of apple sauce was a nice substitution. The addition of the butternut squash was wonderful. With the cinnamon it gave the pancake a sweetness that it didn’t have before. The olive oil made the pancakes lighter and healthier. One serving is only 280 calories (!) so I added some roasted Brussels sprouts on the side.  DEEEEELISH!

Today I went and picked up my race bib, chip and shirt for my 5k race tomorrow. Isn’t it adorbs?

It’s long sleeve, technical, and totally filling a void in my running wardrobe!

Tomorrow is my second 5K and I really want to set a PR. Only other 5k was my first race ever and I ran it in 25:50 which is a time I am pretty proud of. However, I really want to smash it tomorrow!

Normally I’m not too vocal about ambitious race goals but I really want to set a new PR tomorrow. It’s not quite one month since my half marathon and I’m in the best shape of my life. The last 5k I ran was my first race and I had no idea about pacing and the longest distance I’d run was 4 miles. Those days are long behind us! I am super psyched for tomorrow. The half marathon has done nothing but ignite my desire to run more! Hopefully it should be easy to best my time tomorrow. Fingers crossed.

Hope everyone is having an awesome Friday!

Studying in Paradise

There are many things I love about LA. I love the year round farmer’s markets, the eclectic neighborhoods, the fantastic restaurants, the beach and the rolling running hills (yes, I just said I like hills). But most of all? I love the 70 degree days in the middle of December. Memorizing the Federal Rules of Evidence is hard. It was made slightly easier yesterday by the fact that the weather was so beautiful. I just couldn’t take the smile off of my face.

I started my day in Santa Monica at Panera. While I don’t really eat there anymore I do enjoy the ice tea, free refills and sunny study area. Its one of those places where you can always find a place to sit and they have free wifi and a parking lot.

A word about calorie intake: I am NOT an expert. I am not an RD. This is what works for me when I am not training with long runs. Take this with a grain of salt! I didn’t eat lunch at Panera because 1) I had been there for three hours and I was ready to leave and because 2) Only one of their sandwiches is under 600 calories. As you know, I eat dessert and sugary cocktail and I don’t strictly calorie count. However, I do have rough goals for the calories I like to intake. For example, I try to keep breakfast around 300 calories and dinner under 700. I aim for 500 but generally it ends up higher, Cooking Light is a great resource for healthy, balanced dinner recipes. I also eat a morning snack, lunch, one or two afternoon snacks and a small dessert (one serving of ice cream, a handful of chocolate chips etc). You all know that I almost always have a snack in my purse and I’m not afraid to use it. However, for me, a 600 calorie lunch is kind of big. I prefer to have a small lunch with many snacks rather than a big lunch. I also like to eat a more filling dinner. Its what works for me. NOTE: When I do long runs these rules don’t apply the same way.

Sorry, that was a long tangent but I thought I’d throw in a little meal planning. Instead of eating at Panera I decided to grab something from Whole Foods!

Look at that beautiful California afternoon.

I. Am. Never. Leaving.

I got a quinoa sandwich with red onions and a honey crisp apple. I love honey crisps. The saddest day ever is when they go out of season. This was a great meal and was good study fuel!

When I got home something wonderful was waiting for me to boost my last day before Evidence spirits!

Dori’s Dark and Stormy’s! This is one of my favorite Christmas cookies ever, direct from Chi-Town. MMMM. I ate two. This is why I eat under 600 calories at lunch.

Dori’s won the Chicago Tribune Christmas Cookie Contest a couple of years ago (sometime between 2005-2009, because I was in college when the beamed on the scene) and are chocolaty and delicious. They are a little granulated and are chocolate with chocolate chips. Tasty. They helped push me through the final hours of studying!

What is your favorite holiday cookie?

Go, Go, Go

Whew! Today was a busy day filled with studying and practice test taking which, as it would happen, was just the lyrics to a Bob Dylan song with some footnotes added. Very creative!

For lunch I was crafty. I made mac & cheese but added broccoli and salami!

I took it up a notch with salami that I got from Kaitlin! Thanks, Kaitlin, it was delicious!

For dinner I made an old favorite with a side of roasted Brussels Sprouts and it was amazing. For real: I am in love with the sprouts!

Tomorrow is my last study day before Evidence and then I have a week off before Wills and Trusts. Gotta hang in there!

Finals day 7

Cookies consumed: countless (+3) –> no  more dough balls!

Bagels consumed: 3

YouTube videos watched: holding strong at 7

Finals taken: 1

Marathon recaps read: countless…..

Cookie Overdose

Yesterday was such a treat! I got to take a nice, much needed study break to socialize with other blogger at a cookie exchange. I definitely ODed but it was totally worth it!

Why, yes. There were 6 people but we managed to produce 9 types of cookies. It’s how blogger roll. Also notice the lone cheese plate and veggie plate. You need something to chase the cookies with, right? I already know Kaitlin and Andy & Amanda. I also met Kaitlin’s roommate Mark and Melissa from Trying to Heal.

And the cookies? Amazing!

My peanut butter cookies from the Flour Cookbook

From left to right: Dough balls by Kaitlin, orange chocolate cookies by Mark, smore cookies by Kaitlin, behind that you can see brie (!), and in the corner the cutest mini chocolate chip oatmeal cookies ever by Amanda & Andy.

There was also peppermint bark by Melissa! All the cookies were amazing this might have been my favorite of the afternoon.

The last batch!

Lemon and strawberry wippersnappers by Melissa, and finally almond Cinnamon cookies by Kaitlin. Whew.

We ate cookies and chatted for three hours! Time flies when you’re having fun. It was great chatting with some awesome blogger (I guess now we’re friends) and eating!

Group pic! Thanks to Kaitlin for hosting and for letting me steal this photo!

Kaitlin’s house is totally decked out for the holidays and she has a real tree, named Douglass because he is a Douglass Fir obvi. This inspired me to get my tree out tonight! I had a 6 hour long final and after I was exhausted but I managed to find the energy to decorate.

I told Izzy that if she wore the Santa hat she could have a treat but she wasn’t interested so just stuck to setting up the tree.

Why yes, my tree is silver and mini and fake. It doesn’t have a name yet but I am open to suggestions!

My favorite part of the tree are the ornaments. Every year growing up my Mom would give my brother and I an ornament as a gift that reflected what happened in our lives that year. Last year was my first year in my own apartment and my Mom sent me some. Last year I got surfing Santa.

So cute! My other favs are my Frango Mint ornament (you understand that if you’re from Chicago), Raggedy Ann ornament, Starbucks cup ornament, martini glass ornament, Clara from the Nutcracker, skating ornament, and my ornament with my Senior quote from high school on it. “The future belongs to those who believe in the beauty of their dreams”, in case you were curious.

I also hung a wreath and Christmasfied my dining table:

Don’t you just love the holidays?

And now an announcement!

As readers know, I recently ran the Malibu Half Marathon and loved it! Running is definitely a long term hobby for me and I have been thinking about what race I want to run next. Well, I am ready to announce, my next race will be the Rock n Roll Half Marathon in San Diego! The race is in early June and several other bloggers are planning on running. It should be a pretty fun time. Since Malibu I have averaged between 10 and 17 miles a week. I am very glad I don’t have training pressure during finals but I am excited to run in another race! After the holidays I will post a training plan. Since this will be my second half I will probably complete more long runs. I am very excited, and I hope you are too!

Finals Day 6

Cookies consumed: Countless (+1)

Bagels consumed: 3

YouTube videos watched: 7

Finals taken: 1 (but it was the longest one! Wahoo!)

Biggggg yawn

This post is titled big yawn because its how I feel right now. It has been an exhausting few days. Mostly I’ve been studying but I also went on a glorious 5.5 mile run yesterday. It felt so good to get out and on a run.

As you can tell, things have been hectic.

That is one destroyed kitchen, hence why there has been no truly blog worthy food.

Yesterday I finally got it together to cook something blog worthy: Potato Latkes! It is Hanukkah after all and while I am not Jewish, I can always get behind a fried potato. This is actually a recipe I made several times pre-blog. Its an oldie but a goody.

You start by grating russet potatoes with a cheese grater. I do it with the skin on because I’m lazy like that.

Oh, and you might want to be careful because if your not you will end up with a cooking injury.

Apply pressure and keep moving.

Once you grate your potato ( I used two medium potatoes, it made 6 pancakes) use a paper towel to absorb the moisture.

Then add 3 tablespoons of flour, 1.5 teaspoons of baking powder, two eggs, onion (half), thyme, salt, pepper, and garlic powder. For the salt, pepper, garlic powder and thyme I just eyeballed it.

And then we mix, and I like to mix it with my hands. Dirty, dirty.

After mixing the egg/potato mixture you need to get your pan ready. I used canola oil to cook the latkes, but I imagine you could use something else. I heat the pan to medium heat (you don’t want to burn the potatoes) and let them go, checking occasionally until they are lightly golden on one side. Then flip.

Once they are done let them rest on a paper towel to absorb the oil.

Ah they turned out so pretty. Perfectly fried on either side.

I cooked the rest and then served myself up a plate!

I added apple sauce on the side. There had to be something semi healthy about this meal! I love latkes. There, I said it. These were crispy and warm. I kinda wish that I added more thyme but these were still freaking fantastic! After the latkes I made these. And yes, I ate half of the dough. And tomorrow you get to see where I brought the cookies!

Tomorrow I have a 6 hour long Critical Race Theory final which I cannot wait to get done. Hope everyone had a good weekend!

Finals Day 5

Cookies consumed: I lost count

Bagels consumed: 3

YouTube videos watched: 7 (here, here)

Finals taken: 0

The Godmother

Today and Yesterday have been busy days.

Yesterday I tried to go to yoga. Twice. It just wasn’t my day.

The first time I tried to go to yoga I drove around a parking lot that insisted it had 15 available spots. Yeah. It didn’t. So I went to Panera and studied until the next class.

I got to the second class but the teacher didn’t. At that point I surrendered and went home.

Today was much better though! Not only did I feel good about the studying I had a good day.

I meet up with Kelly for a study break lunch at Bay Cities in Santa Monica. Bay Cities has 1300 reviews on Yelp and 4.5 stars, does it get any more stellar?

Bay Cities is an Italian deli and shop. They have great sandwiches, bread, pastas, cheese, and olive oil selection. You place your order at the deli counter and then eat outside on the patio.

Check out the garlic in the bottom right corner! We wandered the aisles.. there were so many truffle oils, I will need to go back. The cheese selection was good (holy giant mozzarella) and not too pricey. Next time I need specialty items I know where I’m headed!

We both ordered the signature sandwich, the Godmother, with the works. I mean, the name of the sandwich is etched in the window of the store (see below). How could I not order it?

The counter was pretty busy but we got through pretty fast. We picked out sodas (diet A&W!) and headed outside to enjoy.

I’m not sure what all was on “the works” version of the Godmother, but I can tell you that the bread is freshly baked. Crispy on the outside and soft on the inside. There are tons of meats in this sandwich and provolone cheese.

Yep, it really was “the works”. I only ate half the sandwich for lunch and I ate the other half for dinner tonight. This was a good sandwich. I think it was the bread that really made it special. Also the meat to cheese to topping ratio was perfect. Sometimes you get a sandwich and there is too much meat but this was just right!

After dropping Kelly off I found a metered parking spot with 40 mins left two blocks from Huckleberry. It would be wrong not to drop in! Right? Right? I grabbed a lemon bar which I ate after dinner.

I love lemon bars and this one did not let me down. It was a little tart but more sweet. There was lemon zest in the bar which was actually pretty good.

The lemon part was light and sugary. So delicious. Huckleberry is always a win.

After lunch I studied more and got my hair cut! I really, really needed it. I am totally that girl who walks into the salon and says “do whatever you want”. I’ve had super long hair, to a pixie cut and tons of styles in between. However, I made an executive decision: time to grow out my bangs.  I have had bangs in one iteration or another since 2007. It was time for a change.

If kinda reminded me of someone I idolize hair…


Yep, I’m a Jackie, not a Marilyn. Its true.

Day 3 of Finals

Cookies consumed: 1

YouTube Video’s watched: 5 (here, here, here, here)

Bagels consumed: 2

Finals taken: 0

Day One

Today was the first day of reading period. I have a love hate relationship with the first day of finals. Last year Izzy almost choked to death on her food. Last Spring I was worried about getting all my work done on time. I am happy to report that today was nothing but productive! This is the first time I’ve had a car during finals and I have to say, it feels really good to get out of Westwood when studying.

First I went to Panera for a bagel breakfast. Note, the reading you see is maybe half of my Critical Race Theory reading. No kidding.

Oy. Discovery of the day: Panera started listing calories! I felt good about this everything bagel at 300 calories (I also ate an apple). I was horrified by the counts though. I used to, well, binge at Panera. Is binge the right word for consuming 1500 calories? I think so.

Oh well, that’s over now. Moving on.

I was super productive at Panera. I worked diligently and didn’t even listen to music. I took minimal facebook, email, twitter breaks and didn’t watch any Youtube videos. Who am I?! I worked from 9:30 until noon.

Around noon I realized that I needed a break. I drove and parked at the Santa Monica Library and walked to Real Food Daily. The last time I went to RFD was for a blogger meet up and I knew I wanted to go back. Today was the perfect chance! I got a small plate because I had other snacks packed (like a Z Bar). I choose the BLT Tartine.

Look at that avocado! Love!

The sandwich has vegannaise which is totally better than mayonnaise, at least in my opinion. This was an excellent lunch pick me up. Next time I go to RFD I’ll make sure to say hey to Katie who gets to work there! Can you even imagine all the amazing food? Must be the best job ever.

After I ate I ambled back to the Santa Monica Library for more work. I was very, very productive. On the way home I picked this little guy up from Susie Cakes…

He was yummy. Then I went on a 4 mile run which was good but kind of cold. I need to work out a system for when its under 60 degrees and I go running.

Dinner was grilled salmon with salt, pepper, EVO, thyme and cumin (random I know). But it turned out pretty fantastic! I also had roasted Brussels sprouts and sweet potato fries.

Side dishes!

The sweet potatoes were left in a little too long but you know, it happens.The Salmon was DELISH and took a short amount of time to cook. I have leftovers and I cannot wait to dig into them tomorrow!

Now I am watching Glee and Biggest Loser. If Ada doesn’t make it to the final 4 I am going to go insane! Hope everyone had a productive day!

Finals: Day 1

Cookies Consumed: 1

YouTube Videos watched: 1 (thanks to vivi. It can be viewed here)