paint stick sign

While studying for the bar today, I realized I am not as versed in the law as I thought. My worst subject so far is real property. John claims that it is a toughie for everyone. I hope so, otherwise I am boned! I remember sitting in a bar survey class and the teacher saying, “look to your left and to your right, out of the three of you one of you will fail.” I sincerely hope I am not the one who fails. In fact, I do not want anyone in that class to fail. It is pretty rough how we are pit against each other. My dad calls it, “meanness training.” I think he might be right. If everyone knew all the terrible things lawyers went through to become lawyers, maybe they would ease up on the jokes. The bar alone is so tough, so stressful, and so traumatizing, that Nixon mentioned it in his impeachment speech. That poor bastard must have figured that if he could go though the bar, he could go through anything.

On a lighter note, I used the plethora of paint sticks I received when buying paint for my new place to create a door sign. My friend Stephanie started calling me Pita during our 2L year. The name stuck, and I began calling my old apartment, “The Pita Pad.” Even though my student digs were far from choice, I became attached to the apartment and wanted a way to bring a little piece of it and law school to Tampa.

Basic Design: 

My dad drilled holes down the sides of each stick, which I looped twine in and out of. Behind each stick is a knot in the twine. Because the paint sticks were narrow, I didn’t have space to drill 2 holes in each stick. Without a second hole in each stick, the sticks would not lay flat. Because of this, I added an extra paint stick in the middle. I tied the extra stick at the top and bottom with twine, but super glued it to the rest of the sticks.

blackberry and goat cheese rolled lamb with crushed potatoes

I took a break from moving, to visit my parents in Deland, and make this delicious dish for mother’s day. I am starting the work for my BarBri class today, but still have soooo many errands and soooo much housework to do.  I feel like it would take two of me to get everything done around here. John has been so sweet, and has helped as much as he can. However, he is very busy with work and can’t take too much time to do my chores. Right now, it’s just me and my long “to do” list again.

Rolled Lamb and Blackberry Pomegranate Sauce Ingredients: 

5 pieces of lamb leg center slice (tenderized)
goat cheese
blackberries
salt (optional)
bamboo picks (toothpicks or skewers will also work)
olive oil
1 diced shallot
100% pomegranate juice
a few sprigs of rosemary (chopped)

Lay each piece of tenderized lamb flat, spread on goat cheese, and sprinkle a pinch of salt onto each piece. Then, add as many blackberries as you think you will comfortably be able to roll. For a small piece, that may only be three blackberries. Each time you roll the lamb, a blackberry should be incased within the roll. When your lamb is rolled, seal each roll with your bamboo picks. Place a pan on medium high heat, and cook each lamb roll a couple minutes on each side. When all your rolls have been seared, place them into a baking dish and cook them, uncovered, in your oven at 350°, for 20 minutes.

While your lamb is in the oven, in the same pan you seared the lamb rolls, on medium high heat, add your diced shallot and your rosemary. Cook the shallot for a couple minutes, or until you can smell its aroma. Then, add 3 handfulls of blackberries and about 2/3 cup of pomegranate juice. Eyeball your juice to make sure the pan is coated, but the blackberries are not drowning. Cook this down for a few minutes, then keep it on low until you are ready to serve. You should not have your sauce on low for very long.

The crushed potato recipe is “as seen on pinterest” and is not one of my originals. They were sooooooo good though!

Ingredients:  

a few sprigs of rosemary (chopped)
salt
fresh groung pepper
olive oil
a bag of enchanted rose potatoes (perfect for mother’s day- this is my own twist)

Directions:

Boil the potatoes until they are tender. Then, coat a baking pan with olive oil and preheat your oven to 450°. Crush each potato with your hand held masher. Then, brush olive oil onto each potato and sprinkle them all with salt, pepper, and rosemary. Bake them for 20 minutes and serve them hot, with your lamb. I baked mine before I put my lamb in the oven, and kept them warm in my toaster oven.

bird cage planter

My move is going well. I have my room painted and most of the things I wanted to hang up, up. The salmon color that I painted my room looks different in different lighting. I think I really like that about it.

I am really happy with my bird cage jewelry holder from Urban Outfitters. I purchased it almost 2 years ago, for the purpose of using it as a planter, and never got down to buying a plant for it. I even hinted to John that I needed an orchid for it. Well, when I moved, my sweet dad got me an orchid. I think it looks perfect!

 

baked artichoke soufflé

I have been soooo busy moving into my boyfriend’s condo in Tampa, that I have not started working on my bar prep or posting! Eeeep! My bar class starts in a week or so, so I have a little time. I guess I am just starting to get the jitters because a pretty heavy box just came in the mail, filled with books for me to read, for bar prep. I am starting to get disheartened, I feel like I will not have the condo how I like it before bar prep, and I am scared of the bar. Also, I feel like everyone is a lawyer these days. Maybe I should have gotten my phd instead of my jd…life is a funny thing.

Anyway, to cheer myself up, I am posting a yummy appetizer I came up with, with inspiration from some of my fun Italian family members:] I love baked artichokes, but you really need to spice them up or make a dipping sauce, to pair with an artichoke. That’s when it hit me, put a soufflé in the middle to eat with the petals!

Ingredients: 

1 large artichoke (“scalped” and you may also cut the surrounding petals, I chose not to)
garlic salt
pepper
olive oil
1 tbsp butter
1 tbsp flour
1/2 cup milk heated (not boiled)
1 and 1/2 egg yolks
1/4 cup grated gruyère
2 egg whites beaten stiff (I do it by hand, but it takes forever)

Directions: 

First, season your artichoke with a little bit of garlic salt, pepper, and olive oil. Then, bake it at 400° until it looks done. I just eyeball it. Once it is done, take it out, but leave the oven on. While the artichoke is cooling, heat your butter in a saucepan over medium heat. Then, sprinkle in your flour and mix it well and then whisk in your milk. Cook this a few minutes, and then take the pan off heat and whisk in your yolks. Next, add your gruyère and mix it well. Right before gingerly folding in your egg whites, dig out the middle of your artichoke a little. Do not dig too deep, or your soufflé will not rise very high. I tend to over dig and under pour, do not make my mistakes! Lastly, pour your souffle mixture into your artichoke and bake at 375° for 12 minutes. Once it is done, serve to friends and family immediately and enjoy:]

shrimp pad thai

As most of you know, I have been drowning under a mound of books. I am proud to announce that I am finally done with law school!!! I am graduating next week and I couldn’t be more happy:] Everyone on here has been so sweet, and the nice comments I saw, the few times I signed on, really kept me going<3

As a treat, I am laying by the pool, drinking margaritas, and posting one of my favorite munchies. This is a real authentic tasting recipe. I hope you like it!

Ingredients:

2 jalapenos (cut thinly)
2/3 a package of spicy tofu (chopped into little cubes)
1/3 cup of fish sauce
1/2 cup of brown sugar (loose cup)
1 package bean sprouts
2/3 lb shrimp (peeled, but you can leave the tails on)
1 and 1/2 whole packages KA*ME Stir-Fry Thai Rice Noodles
3 large eggs (scrambled)
sesame oil on hand (you can dilute it with coconut oil, if you have any)
a smidgen less than 1/3 cup of Thai Kitchen Original Pad Thai Sauce
1 lime (cut into little wedges)
1 pinch of salt (optional)
A few teaspoons of pickled garlic (or 3 garlic cloves minced)

“Extras” that I rarely add, but are delicious:

chopped peanuts
cilantro
green onions

Directions:

In a small sauce pan, on medium heat, add your brown sugar, fish sauce, garlic, and Pad Thai Sauce. Stir the mixture often and keep the mixture on low, after it boils once, until you need it. Next, add a little sesame oil to a pan and heat it on medium high heat. When the pan is hot, fry the tofu for a couple minutes. Then, add your shrimp and salt to your pan, and cook everything until the shrimp all turn pink. When the shrimp are done, put the shrimp and tofu in a large mixing or serving bowl. Next, add more sesame oil to the pan and throw in your jalapenos. After about a minute, add your bean sprouts, and cook them both until your bean sprouts are at a desired consistency. Put the veggies in the same large mixing bowl and put a splash more of your sesame oil in your tired pan. Add one packet of noodles to the pan. Each whole noodle package should contain 2 packets. You are going to add a few spoon fulls of your sauce mixture to the noodles, and you may want to throw a splash of water on the noodles too, to help losen them up. The noodles need to be flipped and prodded a few times to get them to separate. When the noodles are done, add them to the mixing bowl, and repeat the process two more times. Lastly, fry your eggs in sesame oil, add them to the rest of the ingredients, and mix everything together. Serve each plate with a few lime wedges, to squeeze over the dish. If you want to add any “extras,” do so when you serve each plate.

ice cream scones

I wanted to make something nice for Easter, but I have been so busy. I thought it was hopeless, then I remembered ice cream scones. These scones are as mild in flavor as they are easy to make. They turned out so flaky and pleasant. They are not as moist and sweet as the average scone, but they are very tasty and perfect with a nice cup of coffee.

For Easter, my family and I went to the Yankees game in Tampa. Sadly, our boys lost, but we had a great time anyway. We spent the night at a hotel in Dunedin, FL and when we saw the rubbery hotel breakfast, my family was very happy I had made scones. They traveled perfectly and were so clutch.

Ingredients: 

4 cups of melted vanilla ice cream (it does not have to be 100% soup)
3 cups self-rising flour (keep the flour on hand)
2 teaspoons of vanilla extract
ghirardelli bittersweet chocolate chips

Directions: 

Mix the melted ice cream and vanilla extract. Once they are well-mixed, add in the flour. You will have a very sticky batter. Dust a counter top with plenty of flour and roll out your dough by hand, handfull by handfull. Don’t fold in too much flour. Just make sure the outside of the dough is dry enough to roll and cut into little squares. Preheat your oven to 350° and place all your little squares onto a parchment lined baking sheet. Bake the scones for 20 minutes. While the scones are baking, melt your chocolate chips in a double boiler. When your scones are done, let them sit out to cool, then drizzle them with chocolate.

cheesecake stuffed cupcakes

As I have made painfully clear, I am in crazy study and freak out mode. When I am stressed, I have the terrible habit of eating sweets. I have already gained 2lbs and I have been jogging regularly. As my best friend, Michelle, would say, “my sweet tooth is going crazy!”

My friend, Stephanie, really helped me beat a deadline on an assignment, so I was able to concoct this devilish delight and also have a few drinks with her. Ironically, my favorite cheap champagne, Cupcake brand champagne, was on sale last week. Stephanie and I sat around baking and drinking all afternoon. What can I say, when I’m bad, I’m bad.

I have been going back and forth from my fridge, for finger full after finger full of icing and the cream cheese mixture all day today. Hopefully posting has calmed my nerves enough to help me stop stuffing my face. Especially since my mom just called to say she was buying me a new bikini! Now I have more big decisions on my plate…pink or blue…eat less or jog more?

Ingredients: 

Your favorite yellow cake mix
Your favorite chocolate frosting
1 container full fat cream cheese
1 small container marshmallow fluff

Directions: 

Bake the yellow cake into cupcakes according to the directions, with the exception of the temperature. Lower the baking temperature to 325°. By doing this, you are assuring yourself more lovely, puffier looking cupcakes. While the cupcakes are baking, beat your cream cheese and marshmallow fluff together with a hand mixer. Make sure there are no lumps, and that the mixture is smooth. This should only take a couple minutes. Once the cupcakes are done baking, let them sit out until they are cool. Once they are cool, take an apple corer and core all the cupcakes. Once the cupcakes are cored, cover them with the chocolate icing, omitting the hole in the middle. Pipe the cream cheese mixture into the cored cupcakes and serve immediately.

honey beer bread

I saw the lovely beer bread Creative Noshing  posted a week ago, and got to thinking, how had I never made this before? I was originally just going to try that great looking recipe, but after talking to my mom, I realized that she had found another great recipe. I made the one my mom had and it turned out beautifully!

This recipe yields a hearty and rich bread with a distinct flavor. This bread is perfect for stews or any saucy meal. I made it with chili, and it was a welcomed change to the cornbread or rice I usually make. I used Yuengling, and I think the flavor would have been too strong if I had used a more robust beer, or had not made it with honey, but to each her own. This is such a quick and easy bread recipe, it is definitely worth a go! What else was I going to do with the one beer that had been sitting in my fridge since my birthday in August? My best friends from Tallahassee: Annick, Melody, Jessica, Kyle, and Kyllllleeeee came to visit for my birthday, and I have not had a weekend that fun since. They came, met all my lovely law school and Deland best friends, partied, sat out by the pool, played around town, brought a bunch of booze, and left a single beer. That beer would sit lonely until today, when I made it into bread. I can’t get tipsy off one beer and I aim to get tipsy when I drink beer, so this recipe was the perfect way to utilize “the lone beer.” ❤ Love you guys, this post is for you, cheers!

5 tablespoons of melted butter
1 heaping tablespoon of raw honey (I used orange blossom)
1.5 cups or one can of beer (I used a bottle, “the lone beer,” and measured it)
3 cups of all purpose flour (sifted)
1 tablespoon baking powder
2 tablespoons sugar
1 teaspoon garlic salt (The original recipe called for plain salt, but I had run out. I think this worked out very well.)

Preheat your oven to 350°. Whisk all the dry ingredients together and then pour in the honey and beer. Mix everything up with a large spoon. You may have to use your hands a little, I did. Pour about 1/3 of your melted buter into your baking dish or loaf pan, and smear it up the sides. When the pan is well greased, chuck your batter in and cover it with the rest of your butter. Bake your bread until it is golden brown. For me, that was 55 minutes, but my mom’s recipe said 50. I would say to keep an eye on it.

It’s that easy! This is one of the easiest most convenient bread recipes I have ever made. I am glad “the lone beer” made it home and out of the cold. I definitely got a kick out of using it. At a time when I barely have time to post and definitely don’t have time to see my friends, being able to remember better times is a godsend.

coconut shrimp paleo roll

You read it right, I dreamt up a Paleo sushi recipe, and put it into action! I absolutely love sushi, but the rice and all the soy sauce are bad bad bad! To make one of my favorite treats healthier, I looked to the Paleo diet. I invited my lovely friend Jess (who has become my paleo guru) over, and we had a lovely time making sushi and letting our pups play.

Before I get started on my recipe, I want to thank all the gracious bloggers who have given me awards. I am so sorry I have not posted them. I have 3 weeks left of law school and I’m drowning under research. I am afraid I may not post while I am studying for the FL Bar and I will likely not be up to date with what all you lovely bloggers are doing. I can’t wait until it is all over and I can have fun again. That being said, I found a wonderful blog, written by a beautiful girl, that I would like to say is definitely one of the bloggers I would pass an award on to. Check her out at Cibus Amare

Sushi Ingredients:

1/3 lb uncooked shrimp with no shells
1/3 lb sushi grade salmon (cut lengthwise)
2 mexican avocados (or one of the larger kinds)
1/2 a lime
1 cucumber (peeled and cut lengthwise)
about 1/3 of a can of coconut milk
about 1/3 a cup of coconut flour
coconut oil on hand
nori seaweed paper

Soy Sauce Substitute:

a splash of coconut milk
sriracha (as much as you like, I like a lot)

Directions: 

First, I covered the raw shrimp in coconut milk and put them in my fridge for a couple hours. Then, I coated each piece with coconut flour and fried them in coconut oil. I only used enough coconut oil to coat the pan, and had to watch out for a few splatters. When the shrimp were done cooking, I chopped off their tails, and cut them in half lengthwise. However, while the shrimp were cooking, I put all my avocado meat and hand squeezed my lime half into my magic bullet and combined them. When that was done, I laid out nori on my bamboo sushi roller and stacked all my ingredients (closer to the top half ) on my nori. Then, I smeared a little of the avocado paste on the nori and rolled. I repeated this process 5 times. Then, I cut my rolles into bite sized pieces. I don’t own a very sharp knife, so this was a little difficult for me, since the avocado makes this a more moist roll. My advice would be to use your sharpest knife.

John’s mom gave me this fun sushi plate and I am glad I finally got to use it. Jessica and I had so much fun, and the sushi was absolutely delicious! A definite win for the Paleo world.

paleo pasta aka spaghetti squash

My friend Jessica cooked me a lovely Paleo dinner (again) the other day. I love getting together with her because she always teaches me new things, or in the case of this pasta revamped an old favorite. I really love this recipe because I learned a new way of cooking spaghetti squash and a fresh Paleo sauce.

With summer coming up, a recipe like this is a must! I cannot walk away from pasta for a whole summer, this is a delicious substitute. Even if you are not Paleo, you can use this recipe and save your splurging for something like a fattening side, a night of cocktails, or a big piece of chocolate chip cheesecake (the cheesecake isn’t Paleo).

Jessica trying her best to chop the hard spagetti squash in half. They were tough customers to wrestle. I cut the other one in half and had to use all my might!

Ingredients: 

2 small spagetti squash (or one large one)
1/2 onion (red or yellow)
2lbs ground beef (or ground turkey, or ground chicken)
3 heirloom tomatoes (if they are on the small side, use 4)
sea salt on hand
pinch of pepper
garlic powder on hand
dried basil on hand
pinch of cayenne pepper
1 bay leaf
splash of red wine
3 garlic cloves

Directions:

Sauce: 

The sauce is a very simple sauce and was very easy to make. Begin by browning your meat. When the meat is close to done, add a shake of each dry spice and your bay leaf. While that is simmering, add all the rest of the ingredients, but the spagetti squash and red wine, to a food processor. Combine the processed mixture to the browned meat and simmer. When everything is commingled well, add the splash of wine and keep the sauce on low until you are ready to serve.

Spaghetti Squash:

Chop each squash in half and remove their seeds. Then, put the 4 halves into a pressure cooker, add the requisite amount of water your cooker uses, and cook the squash for 15-20 minutes. This process makes the spaghetti squash amazingly loose and easy to scrape out of the squash shell. If you do not have a pressure cooker, place the halves in the oven at 325°, with a drizzle of olive oil, for about an hour. You will have to check, to make sure the squash halves are tender enough to scrape. However you cook the squash halves, they should be tender enough to scrape their spaghetti like innards out with a fork.

I really like the sweet way the spagetti squash livened up the simple pasta sauce, and filled me up without tiring me out. This is a very versatile recipe, there are lots of pasta sauce recipes that could go on top of spaghetti squash, but this one is Paleo and simple:]