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

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)

Back at it

How was everyone’s Thanksgiving?

Mine was awesome! I took Thursday and Friday 100% totally OFF. I didn’t read, I didn’t outline, and I didn’t blog. All I did was hang out with Catie and her family, ate good food, gave thanks, watched movies, shopped and put my feet up. It felt gooooooood. Sometimes you just want a day or two off. Saturday I got home and ran errands, organized my life, studied and crashed really early.

Good thing too, because guess what tomorrow is? The last day of classes. This is both good and bad. Its great because I will have a lot of very unstructured time, it means the semester is almost over and I’m almost half way done with law school (gah! I can’t even believe it). It also means I have finals. Boo.

Here is what we have to look forward to:

Yup, it all ends on the 16th. Can’t wait!

Tonight I made a very healthy recipe from the Skinny Bitch cookbook: Leek and Sweet Potato Casserole. Casseroles are great when it is chilly. Yes, it was only 55 degrees today. I realize there was a wind chill of 9 in Chicago on Thanksgiving, but I don’t want to hear it. My blood has officially thinned out and a high of 54 is cold. Casseroles reheat well, which is good when you anticipate being short of time. And I really love sweet potatoes. Any excuse, right?

3 leeks. 2 sweet potatoes.

Sliced.

Sauteed (with salt, pepper, rosemary, and garlic).

Arrange (potato, leek, potato). Top with panko. Add vegetable broth. Bake at 400 for 30 mins.

Yes, I added a thin layer of Swiss. I realize that this isn’t vegan or part of the skinny bitch recipe but I ran 8 miles today and I wanted some cheese. Deal with it.

This was a great, easy casserole. Another reason I like Skinny Bitch is that she lists all the nutritional information after all of her recipes. One serving of this is only 280 calories! It probably ended up being more per serving because I added a little bit of cheese. I ate slightly more than one serving because of the aforementioned run. This was a fantastic dinner and I am already looking forward to the leftovers! Definitely a dish worth repeating.

Hope everyone had an awesome holiday weekend!

Super Freak

I saw this at the Farmers Market this weekend and knew I had to buy it. Who wouldn’t want Siamese eggplant? I love the “freak” veggies. I always make sure to give them a good home in my belly.

Tonight I used the eggplant to use it for flat bread pizza with butternut squash, onion, garlic, salt, and pepper on Trader Joe’s Whole Wheat crust.

I only ate half, and saved half for tomorrow.

Carolyn tipped me to a great desert, pumpkin ice cream from Trader Joes. I added mix ins of course! Tonight I chose cinnamon and chocolate chips.

I used the ice cream scoop of my childhood. Many of my kitchen utensils are from my parents house!

Hello dessert. I love you. This literally tasted like fall. Pumpkin-ey, nutmeg-ey, and cinnamon-ey. SO good. Do yourself a favor and go out and buy some tomorrow!

I also had another new kitchen acquisition… a magnet!

Its like a daily Operation Beautiful reminder :). The note it’s holding up has been on the fridge of every apartment I’ve lived in since May of 2008. I originally posted it to get me through the LSAT and have moved it with me since. This is the 4th fridge its been on! To me, it means not to make plans because life always turns out better than your plan could ever be. I know its been true in my life.

On that positive note, hope everyone has an awesome week! I have Thursday classes on Wednesday (woo hoo! No Wednesday busy day!) Thursday I have no class and my Mom lands in LA Thursday to watch my Half Marathon this Sunday. It’s going to be an epic week!

Honey Mustard Chicken with Corn and Roasted Potatoes

If there was one meal that I loved as a child it was chicken with honey mustard sauce. The sweet and tangy honey mustard has continued to be a favorite as I have gotten older. Obviously I am not eating chicken fingers with honey mustard all the time but I decided to try a more “adult” variation on the theme of chicken fingers with honey mustard.

I got my recipe from the Trader Joe’s cook book. It’s a great resource for easy recipes with a limited number of ingredients.

This is where I got my honey mustard chicken recipe from. Then I collected my ingredients.

This is what you need:

First things first: start the potatoes. Like I always do, chop up, add S&P and EVO. Toss and place in an oven heated to 350 degrees. Let it be while you prep the other food.

Then you have to prepare the chicken. In a small bowl take 1/8 a cup of flour and combine with salt and pepper.

Mix it up and coat both sides of the chicken. Make sure the excess is knocked off.

Then take out a pan, place one tablespoon of EVO in the pan, heat it up and brown the chicken on both sides.

And now, while it is browning, it is time to multitask! This is when we make the honey mustard. It’s super easy.

Take a 1/2 cup of mustard, and 1/2 cup of honey and some basil. I’m sure you could increase of decrease as you need to.

Super easy! Taste test and adjust as you need to. Side note: I had leftovers and put it on a turkey sandwich and it was ah-maz-ing.

At this point the chicken should be done browning. Take it off the heat and into a pan that can go in the oven. Spread over the top of the chicken and place in the oven for ten mins. Save some HM to apply to the other side of the chicken later.

While you are waiting for the chicken to cook uncork that bottle of wine.

I tried a petite syrah the other night. It was pretty good. I love red wine and I am quickly becoming an expert on the cheap side of the TJ wine section. If its a vino under $6 and its red, I’ve probably taste tested it!

While I cooked Isala watched and “commented”.

She’s such a character!

OK. Back to work! Take the chicken out and flip it after 15 mins. Apply more HM sauce and put back into the oven for 15 mins. Time to get cracken’ on corn.

As a Midwesterner I am skeptical of CA corn. However, my mother was with me last week at the FM and taught me how to evaluate corn to determine if its good. Mostly you want to see that the kernels are large and in a row. You also want the husk to be damp. At my FM some of the corn was already shucked which I was told is bad and will dry it out. Shucking corn isn’t that hard, don’t buy it pre-shucked.

It should look something like this:

Very good. Bring unsalted water to a boil and put the corn in until it seems done.

At this point, your also going to want to take out the potatoes. I have to say, the potatoes were roasted to perfection! Maybe its because I used a lower heat than I usually do to roast (350 as opposed to 425).

Holy Yum!

At this point the chicken should be done as well as the corn. Literally just take the corn out of the water and plop it on the plate. You, of course, want to make sure your chicken is fully cooked.

Yum. The potatoes were delicious and the chicken was super moist. As stated above, the honey mustard was delicious and simple. Great to use on sandwiches or as a dip! The corn was good. It’s not Midwestern corn but it isn’t half bad. A meal I will be making again and a great adult twist on a classic.

Taylor’s

Tonight I met up with my Uncle for dinner at an old school steak house near my work, Taylor’s. Taylor’s is a great place to go if you want to go to an old school steak house. There are no windows so the restaurant is super dark. The booths are red and they made a decent martini:

Yes please! There is no pairing better than a steak and a martini!

For an appetizer we had bacon wrapped scallops and a cream of mushroom soup which was pretty good. Have I ever not appreciated something wrapped in bacon? Forgot to take a picture of the bacon wrapped scallops but they were good. The scallops were cooked to perfection. I never liked scallops until I moved to Boston and they always remind me of my “other” city.

For an entree obviously I had the “Taylor Special” which was a filet with onions:

I chose mashed potatoes on the side, always a good choice. It also came with a side of spinach which was good. I only managed to have three bites. I would totally live off of red meat and potatoes if I could. You just can’t go wrong. The steak was perfectly cooked exactly to the level of rare that I like it.

Unfortch I did not save room for dessert. I couldn’t even finish the steak and potatoes before I was stuffed! That’s what I get for scaling back portions for the past 7 months. I just can’t thrown down like I used to.

Overall I really liked the vibe of Taylor’s. I can always go for a martini and red meat. The atmosphere is very old school and more “Old LA” than most of the places that I frequent. The change of pace was delightful and I always love having dinner with Joe.

In other news: Tomorrow I am going to happy hour at a bar that has a bacon and egg martini. Yep, bacon infused vodka with a quail egg. Should I be adventurous?

My Fridge Runneth Over

My fridge is packed ya’ll! Tons of farmers market finds, some awesome fruit salad (thank you Danielle) and I have things from Catie’s house from over the weekend. I started to dent it tonight with…

Butternut squash in balsamic vinegar sauce (gently brown butter with pine nuts or walnuts, once the butter is brown add balsamic and cheese). This is a single serving.

Hummus and 1/2 a red pepper…

Purple potato cheese crisps. I nicked this recipe from Tina but switched it up with goat cheese and purple potatoes. I these were pretty good but I would love to try them with sweet potatoes in the future. BTW- these are baked, and oh so delicious. See we don’t have to fry things for them to be tasty.

Tonight I caught “Losing it with Jillian” and killed a run. It was an awesome run! Def made up for a lazy run on Saturday. Can’t wait for the race on Sunday!

Put Some Ice On It

First order of business

This suped up version of Paula Deen Brown Sugar Chewies were a big hit at work today. Non profits love free baked goodies. The cake was moist and spicy because of the nutmeg and Saigon Cinn. Will be making these again at some point.

Today was another crappy day. It actually rained today which is kinda unheard of for So Cal in the summer. Ok, by “rain” I mean that it misted enough for me to put the wipers on the lowest setting. Between the overcast weather and being a bit hormone whacked at the moment I kinda had another gucky overly tired day. Positives from today? Free iced tea day at Coffee Bean and while I was at coffee bean I spotted this truck!

Dainty Cakes sounds like it would be right up my ally, right? I have to get this dessert truck thing under control because roaming cupcake trucks are SO TEMPTING! Of course, I got a cupcake. I’m human and my mood was mediocre.

Can I just say that the frosting was incredible. It was super light butter cream and you could tell it was made with tons of butter. It tasted totally homemade.

However, I will say that the cake part was not exactly “dainty”. It was cakey, not very moist and really tasted like it was from a box. I am not totally positive that it was, but it was a bit heavy compared to other cupcakes I’ve had. This is also surprising because the frosting was so amazing and homemade tasting. Either way, it was worth the calories but I was still in a bit of a funk…

Best cure? Working out! I went on a 2 mile run to the UCLA stairs which I went up and down 5 times and then ran about 3/4 miles home. I also did some weights, triceps dips, and crunches. It energized me and boosted my mood. However, my right knee didn’t love it. I had some pain so I decided to put some ice on it.

Its already feeling better, but tomorrow is for sure going to be a yoga day.

Dinner tonight was a veggie a thon because I wasn’t that hungry after my supervisor approved hour and a half long lunch/ oogling the Spain Soccer Team break. I had a chicken sandwich on wheat for lunch but I forgot to order without mayo. I forgot how glorious mayo kinda is… don’t get me wrong, I love replacing with avocado but mayo was kinda a special treat! So for dinner I went light…

I made even more veg then you see here so I have something to enjoy with lunch tomorrow!

And my potato “chips”

LOVING farmers market potatoes. Look at all the pretty colors! Delicious.

OK so “negativity off, positivity on!” Extra credit to those that can identify the show where I altered that phrase from…

Eastside Afternoon

Today I am blogging at 9:15 from my living room because I have an unexpected day off. Thanks law clerks for all taking today off! My plans for today include yoga, reading, and just all around doing nothing. Right now I am enjoying peanut butter Ezekiel bread with a small amount of strawberry jam. Plus, French Press coffee. Love lazy Friday.

Yesterday I went to an event hosted by the National Lawyering Guild. It didn’t start til 6 so I had some time to kill after work. Molly suggested that I hang out in Los Feliz on Vermont, so I did. I spent most of my time in Skyline Books.

Look what I found:

I want it!

Then I made my way to the Echo Country Outpost for the event.

The event was at this great little store/gallery in Echo Park. I really liked the space, except so many people showed up it was a little hot. There was Fat Tire, Pinot Noir and good eats…

This potato thing was delicious! It had hoisen sauce which was so good.

I also sampled these:

The spring roll was pretty good. The bean cake on the right was ok but a bit heavy and cakey.

The best thing I had at the event I didn’t actually get a picture of… it was a carrot cake cupcake with a ginger icing. So good! The cake was moist and the frosting was really good. Sadly, I was networking and didn’t want to be “that girl” with the camera out. I knowwww I have to man up and just take the pics. It was good though.

Now I have another Big Announcement!

Yesterday I signed up for the Malibu 1/2 marathon in Malibu on November 14th! My friend had invited me to run with her in April and I was unsure about whether I could do it. I knew that while David was in town, when I was in Boston and home and I wouldn’t be running as much. I also wasn’t sure what I would be like training this summer. I wasn’t sure if I would be able to commit to it like I wanted to. But, I’ve been feeling good about my runs and after reading tons of race recaps on various blogs I decided to bite the bullet and sign up for my first half marathon! I’m actually feeling really excited and energized about it!

Off to the water room for a long stretch!

Purple Potatoes

Its true. I love multi color farmers market finds, like these potatoes.

I had a crazy busy work morning and I ran over to Carl’s Jr. for a diet coke on my lunch break. For a moment I wanted fries but then I remembered these wonderful multicolored potatoes and I saved my potato fix for later. I also had brussel sprouts and a small leftover portion of pasta.

Delicious. Today I had to wear a suit to work. Exciting news, my skirt suit is a little loose.

Good things happen when you restrain from fries at Carl’s Jr!