Lunching at Huckleberry

This is a LONG overdue post. I have been dying to eat lunch at Huckleberry for over a year. I had a sensational salted caramel there right after I started this blog (I had my 2 year blog birthday this week!) and I’ve always wanted to go back to lunch. The line always seems so long that I never bothered to try and eat there.

That all changed the weekend after finals ended. I met up with my dining buddy Kelly for lunch at Huckleberry to decompress from the semester. Kelly and I have dined together so many times, we have our system down to a science. We decided to get a salad to split and two sandwiches which we would also split. Luckily we went early and had no nasty line to wait in to order. We also had no issues snagging an awesome table near the window.

Faro salad.

Croque Monsieur with Niman Ranch ham, cave aged gruyere and bechamel on country toast. We know how much I adore bechamel!

Kelly ordered marinated pepper and burrata sandwich with pesto. Obviously we decided to kick it up a notch with prosciutto.

Is there anything better than drippy burrata cheese? Obviously no.

Kelly and I split our sandwiches as usual. The Croque Monsieur was cheesey as was the burrata and peppers. The ingredients are super fresh and direct from the farmers market. I love that. It’s good to know the food comes almost directly farm to plate. Kelly and I both approved of the sandwiches.

Of course we had to order dessert.

Gingerbread cookie and cheesecake. The cookie was delicious and the cheesecake was so creamy and delicious. Perfect, not too rich. I’m not the biggest fan of cheesecake ever but this was quite tasty.

Overall, I love Huckleberry. It’s on the shortlist of my favorite restaurants on the Westside. Get your booty there if you haven’t already. I would recommend going at “off hours” and definitely try and split dishes so you can enjoy more of the menu.

Sorry for the lag in posting last week. In my defense I was busy spending an insane amount of time with my friends. What with graduation growing up we’re all trying to live up this last semester as much as possible. I also had to get back on the workout wagon because I’m running a half marathon in three weeks and I, uh, basically stopped running for two months. I’m planning on doing a post about the status of my fitness life and post marathon emotions. I know this fall I kind of inundated you with fitness updates but I have a ton of food updates coming soon and apartment updates too!

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Wine-ing in Malibu

Friday afternoon my friends and I celebrated the weekend by going to Malibu Wine’s tasting room. We grabbed some food at Ralphs (cheese, salami, crackers) and headed up the PCH. The Malibu Wine’s tasting room in up in the mountains. The air is fresh and the sun was bright. I love taking advantage of one of the major perks of law school, three day weekends. This was the perfect way to start the weekend.

Saddle Rock Pinot Noir.

The spread.

The pro at work.

Perfection.

Even better than wine?

Crackers with salami and brie.

Now that is what I call wine-ing.

I’m sure this isnt the only time we are going to make it out to Malibu Wine’s this semester. It’s just too perfect of a place to spend an afternoon.

Can I also just say…. I love these people.

The semester is young but I think I’m the happiest I’ve been in several years right now thanks to these people (and others). I love my tight group of law school friends. Definitely what I’m going to miss most about law school.

I actually have had so much fun this weekend that I’ve neglected my homework. I need to get on that. But I also wanted to mention that I went on my longest run since the marathon yesterday. I pounded out 6 miles yesterday afternoon. Remember when I was able to do 16 no problem? Yeahhh. No longer. But it felt good to get out there. I forgot how epic the post run high can be and I felt healthy and strong afterwards. My legs are even sore today! Hurrah.

a word about SOPA

It would be remiss to not mention SOPA or PIPA on the blog at all. Those who use the internet or are on facebook or twitter surely have seen some coverage of SOPA/PIPA. I hardly consider myself an expert on IP law. I do, however, consider myself a politics junkie and a minor policy wonk. Lucky for me I have met some very smart people in law school who do know about IP law. If SOPA or PIPA were to pass, it would fundamentally change the  internet, how information is shared, and the blog world. If you use the internet in any capacity (i.e.: you are reading my blog so clearly you have SOME contact with the internet) you should be concerned about SOPA.

Here is an explantation of what SOPA/PIPA is, in plain English. This explanation is so simple a child would understand it.

In the words of my friend Josh, who studies and works in IP law: “IP needs to be protected, but SOPA & PIPA are bad legislation. They’re poorly written. They’re overly restrictive. They’re largely unnecessary since mechanisms for dealing with the problems they purport to deal with (if used as media companies say they’ll be used) already exist. But they allow for a scary kind of abuse – what borders on censorship – that has nothing to do with protecting IP. It’s not about liberal versus conservative. It’s not about content creators versus tech companies. It’s about making our legislators do what they’re paid to do: go back to the table, do some homework, and draft a fair workable piece of legislation that doesn’t chill open speech and stifle innovation.”

Here is an op/ed that was on Mashable today.

Here is a hilarious explanation from DListed (note: this is likely not suitable for work)

And you should sign this petition or write your Senator or Congressperson if you want to take action.

Palm Springs Weekend

So the #BestSemesterEver is off to a kicking start!

A few weeks ago my friends and I decided to kick off second semester 3L with a trip to Palm Springs for the long weekend. My friend’s family has a house there which was unoccupied for the long weekend so on Friday we packed up to Occupy Palm Springs.

I love the desert. I love the mountains and how they felt right on top of us.

I love the California sunshine. Never leaving.

We had a great weekend and it was so nice to be reunited with all my friends. I’m going to miss these weekends when law school is over. These people are some of the best ever.

Over the long weekend I:

  • Ate approximately 1,000 tortilla chips
  • Ran 3 miles in the shadow of the mountains

  • Watched the sun set
  • Jammed 5 people into my friend’s 1988 red BMW convertible blasting New Order

  • Consumed a 27 oz. “skinny” margarita

  • Ate numerous Mexican meals

  • Spent hours in the pool/hot tub
  • Helped my female friends dominate my guy friends at mini golf
  • Narrowly avoided a go-karting crash
  • Drove through Indian Country (I’ve been nerding out on Federal Indian Law and tribal law all year)

  • Picked citrus from trees, including monster lemon

  • Drank white sangria from aforementioned fruit

  • Put a clown noise on a dog.

  • Watched the Clippers own the Lakers, while also watching “sexting in suburbia” #ClipperNation
  • Cooked family dinner consisting of build your own tacos, quesadillas, and lemon bars

  • Walked into a cactus while trying to get to Starbucks. Whoops.

This semester is shaping up to be the best semester ever!

How did you spend your long weekend?

I’m going to highly suggest that you drink this.

I am about to head out to Palm Springs for about a minute but I couldn’t go without giving a shout out to this delicious thing I found.

Dogfish Head 90 Minute Imperial IPA.

I walked into Whole Foods the other day looking for a craft beer to sip while watching Kansas St vs. Arkansas and I immediately was drawn to this one. I love IPA’s and hops in general. This one is delicious and at the same time very drinkable. You still want to savor it (not slam it like Old Style at a Cubs game) but it isn’t as… heavy (?) as some IPA’s I’ve tried. It also got a 100 point rating!

Hope everyone has an awesome long weekend. Go forth and drink!

Apartment Spotlight: The Living Room

Hello gang! How have you been?

Vacation is winding down over here. I did NOTHING last week except read the New York Times, go to the beach, workout, and watch Revenge. It was glorious. Friends filtered into town over the weekend and it’s been fun catching up with them and taking care of business (like buying a bridesmaids dress!). I also managed to clean over break. School starts tomorrow and I wanted to have my apartment in order. I also figured, while my apartment was clean I should hang pictures and document the rest of my apartment so here is my apartment spotlight on my living room.

I love my living room. Obviously, it’s the room I spend the most time in. I have all the furniture from my old apartment in a different combination. I have my old long table with TV, lamps and mirrors. I also have the blue chair and the brown couch which I love! I also have my glass top coffee table. I love how all my furniture is positioned on a slant.

I have a lovely new green and white pillow on my couch and new art! As seen in the upper left corner, I have a new floral print. On the table in between the chair and the couch I have a mini Eiffel tower and a postcard or the cliffs at Gayhead in Martha’s Vineyard. My mom found the post card a couple of years ago and it has the sweetest inscription about the beauty of the beach. I love Martha’s Vineyard and have gone many times so it was appropriate.

As you can see on the opposing wall I have another print and Drinksy! I love having the blue cube and the wicker suitcases for storage. On the wicker suitcases I have a copy of Tales of the City and the sequel More Tales of the City. Tales of the city is a book composed of new paper columns that ran in the San Francisco Chronicle. They are fictional about an apartment building in San Francisco in the 1970’s. They’re pretty progressive and wild and I really enjoyed the books. I picked them up at a garage sale for cheap!

Here is the print up close:

Love having a big print of the wall.

Here is another fun detail in my living room:

Black’s Law Dictionary circa 1908 propping up my router. I found the dictionary at the Fairfax Flea Market for like $5. Love the little law school touch in my apartment. The dictionary actually is pretty interesting because there are terms from civil law (which is practiced in Louisiana). Nerd alert.

Finally, my old kitchen table has been relocated. Now it serves multiple purposes! It houses my keys, sunglasses and mail. Sometimes I work there when I need a bit more structure at home but more often it serves as Izzy’s perch. She sits on the table or the chair and watches the courtyard for my passing neighbors. She’s actually earned quite the reputation in my building because she’s ALWAYS there.

Love that girl.

Tomorrow is the first day of my LAST SEMESTER OF SCHOOL! I don’t actually have class but I’ll be waking up early, doing homework, running school errands and going to zumba! It’s been a long 3 weeks without zumba and I can’t wait to get back.

Hope you had a great weekend!

Short Ribs Braised in Red Wine with Prosecco Risotto

I have a declaration to make: I had the most delicious New Years Eve, ever.

As I said in my last post, rather than have a big to-do for New Years Eve I decided to make an extra special meal to celebrate. I had just the meal in mind: Short ribs and prosecco risotto

I love red meat but I rarely cook it for myself due to a combination of cost and laziness. However, I received the Santa Monica Farmer’s Market Cookbook for Christmas and I instantly knew that I needed to make an exception for these short ribs. I love short ribs and the recipe looked delicious (and it had “red wine” in the title) so I figured I should use the special occasion to give it a try. I also was anxious to cook out of this cookbook specifically. I frequent the Santa Monica Farmer’s Market. So far the book is great. I really like how it breaks down the recipe by season and I enjoyed reading the history of the market. Like with my blogging about the Flour Cookbook, I love this book and want to encourage you to buy it (especially if you frequent any farmer’s market). Thus, I will not be posting the short ribs recipe. I will post the adapted prosecco risotto recipe I used through!

Short ribs take forever and a day to cook so I started on the short ribs first. When I cook something big like this I like to prep all my ingredients first so I’m not madly chopping carrots and burning things.

It took an army.

Due to its spiciness I purchased Zinfendel for the red wine. I rarely buy Zinfendel but I really liked it! I will have to purchase it more.

It may look disorganized but it really helped me stay organized.

I started by taking the ribs, patting them dry and seasoning them with salt and pepper.

Look at that meat! Sorry veggies and vegans. I could never be/date one of you. I love me some meat.

Then I cooked the meat in the pan, browning on all sides.

After the meat had been browned I wiped the pan and threw in a bunch of spices (bay leaf, marjoram, and parsley), onion, carrots, celery and oil.

Let it cook. This is the last time it looks truly pretty.

Once the veggies had softened I added the red wine to the mix.

I let it cook until the wine had reduced. Then I placed the short ribs in and made sure that 1/2 the short rib was covered with liquid. To do this I added a little beef stock.

Then I covered the pot and let it simmer for 2 hours.

It was the longest 2 hours of my life! Not only did my apartment smell like red wine but I was starting to get hungry. I managed to distract myself for the first hour by drinking some of the leftover Zin and watching a replay of an old Jersey Shore. In all the excitement of vacation I totally forgot that my favorites are returning to Seaside Heights this week. That’s FTW.

After an hour I went back to the kitchen to check on the status of the ribs and flip them. I also added a touch more red wine and beef stock. I let them cook for another hour after flipping. After cooking for another hour the short ribs should be falling off the bone (yum). I removed the meat from the pot, removed the bay leaf from the pot and poured some of the red wine over the short rib.

Check the inside:

Back to business: In the final hour of cooking the short rib I turned my attention to the prosecco risotto.

I have been dying to try this recipe for months. Need proof?

Why yes, I adapted it from September 2010’s Cooking Light. Hey, at least I finally got around to it.

I could tell you a story about why I wanted to make this but let’s just be honest with each other: it has prosecco in the title. It was going to be made. I actually used the recipe as a rough basis because it call for cooking the rice in a pressure cooker which I don’t own.

I mean really, how can anything with prosecco ever be bad? #BarefootContessaMoment

Seriously though:

Shallots and butter.

And also garlic.

Cooking in prosecco?

Yes. More please.

Add cheese? And lemon zest? Yes and yes.

Excuse me while I face plant into this meal.

This was the best dinner ever. It took a lot of time and there were many steps and expensive ingredients but it was so worth it. The meat was falling off the bone and the Zinfendel provided a delicious punch with the carrots and celery. I could not stop myself from eating the risotto. I actually ate all the leftovers I had on New Year’s night. They were creamy like regular risotto but the prosecco added something extra to the flavor. I will be making this risotto again. I would bet soon. Plus, who doesn’t want prosecco in the house? I don’t think that this meal is something I would make on a regular basis but it would be a great thing to make if you had someone to impress.

Prosecco Risotto

Adapted from Cooking Light, September 2010

Serves 3

Ingredients:


1 3/4 tbs butter (all I had on hand was salted which actually worked)

1/3 cup chopped shallots

2 small cloves of garlic chopped

2/3 cup Arborio rice

1/2 cup prosecco, plus more for cooking

1 1/2 cups chicken broth

1 oz parmesan cheese, grated

1/2 tsp thyme leaves

1/4 tsp lemon zest

1/8 tsp ground pepper

Instructions:

Heat a large sauté pan to medium heat. Add butter and melt. Once butter has melted add the chopped shallots to the pan and cook until softened. Then add the garlic for 1 min, stir until fragrant. Add the rice to the pan. Stir for 1 min and then add the 1/2 cup prosecco. Again, stir constantly until the prosecco is absorbed. This should take a few mins. Then add 1/2 the chicken broth to the pan. Turn up the heat and stir consistently. Watch the rice until the liquid is absorbed. Then add the second half of the broth and more prosecco. I eyeballed it, likely it was another 1/2 cup. Adding a little more wouldn’t be the worst thing ever because it’s good for risotto to have some extra liquid. Again, continue stirring until the liquid is almost completely absorbed. Remove from heat and add grated cheese and zest. Mix well and serve with some additional cheese grated on top.

Of course I topped the night off with a Morning After Mimosa cupcake from Susie Cakes.

Hope you’re having a delicious 2012.

Goals for 2012

Happy 2012!

I rang in the New Year in my usual low key fashion. The year I turned 21 I went out hard and woke up with a gnarly hangover. Since then I’ve spent my New Years Eve’s in a more low key fashion. This allows me to wake up and go on a run or do something healthy. I was crazy busy in Chicago and am still kinda beat. I ended up shrugging off party plans in favor of a low key night in with Kathy Griffin, Anderson Cooper and a special home cooked meal. Last night I made short ribs braised in red wine,
prosecco risotto and roasted veggies. Recipes forthcoming.

Yesterday I posted a recap of 2011 and a report on how I did on my goals. Here are my goals for 2012.

1. Continue healthy living: Happy 2 year running birthday to me! I’ve been consistently running for 2 years now. Time freaking flies! Healthy living is a lifelong goal without an end point. I want to stay focused on healthy eating and working out this year. I’d like to continue my yoga practice all year, keep running and continue zumba class.

2. Pass the California Bar: I graduate from law school in May and will be taking the California bar in the end of July. UCLA has around a 90% pass rate and the California bar is formidable but my major academic goal this year is to pass the Bar exam.

3. “Enjoy the process, don’t get too crazy”:

There is a lot of change going on this year. I am graduating from law school, taking the bar, awaiting results and applying to full time jobs. It kind of feels like I’m jumping off a cliff. All of these things have the potential to make me lose my sanity. I’ve struggled with managing stress in the past especially in times of change (I gained 20lbs during Sr year of college while applying to law school, during winter of 1L I developed stress heartburn and a mild heart palpitation-> something I never want to deal with again).

My yoga teacher announced an affirmation in class the other day: “Don’t judge the process. Enjoy it.” This is critical for me. I could easily get wrapped up in what others around me are doing, fear that I won’t be successful etc. I know I’m going to be OK and I’ll be better able to navigate the process and be successful if I stay calm. It doesn’t have to be a stressful time; it can be an exciting time. It just depends on how I view it. I also want to enjoy what remains of 3L. This semester will be awesome. I don’t want obsessing over my future to get in the way of my enjoyment. I’ve developed healthy habits in the past 2 years and the longer I live in CA the more perspective I have. I trust I can do this and stay mellow but I need to remember to enjoy the process.

4. Read an affirmation everyday: This will help me remain calm. I’ve tried this in the past but have never stuck with it. This is the year!

5. Continue to explore California: There are still so many parts of the state I haven’t seen! I really want to get back to the Bay, wine country, explore the deserts more, and make it up to Santa Barbara or Ojai.

6. Have fun: I want to have a lot of fun. Obviously studying for the bar is going to be a very focused time but I want to make sure that I pack enough excitement into the first 5 months and the last 4 months to make up for the lost time. Looking back at this time next year, I want to view this year as fun rather than stressful.

7. Look critically at the habits, things, people that benefit me and those that don’t: I’m spending my break unfollowing blogs, unfollowing people on twitter, purging crap from my apartment etc. This year I want to think critically about the things in my life that benefit me and purge those things that don’t bring me fulfillment. Basically, I want to simply my life and expel drama.

2012 promises to be an exciting year for me! Writing out “pass the bar” actually feels eerie. I know it will be an exciting year and that there will be a lot of change and excitement, hence why a number of the goals are “mental health” related. Basically, I feel like I’ve been in a groove during 2011 and I don’t want the changes happening in 2012 to throw my groove off track. Make sense? I thought so.

What are your goals for 2012?