Final Countdown

Tomorrow is my last final and I am at that level of excitement where you announce every hour just how long it is until sweet freedom is yours.  In case you’re wondering, at this time tomorrow I’ll have been done for 3 hours and 24 minutes.  I bet you  that’ll be a beautiful 3 hours and 24 minutes complete with a delicious and fattening post-final-meal and then packing that I will actually find myself enjoying because it doesn’t involve personal jurisdiction or contracts.  Because at this point, anything not involving law exams seems like bucket of laughs.

Packinnngggg!!!!

I’m actually marginally enjoying the preparation for my civil procedure exam tomorrow, which has me worried that (a) I am in the midst of a psychotic break, or (b) This is actually one of those alternative dimensions like in Fringe and the real Liz is cowering under a pile of outlines and notecards, or (c) I have a brain tumor that is pressing on the part of my brain that houses the dopamine receptors, and that is why reading about Erie and state vs. federal law is not making me want to bang my head on the coffee table.

It’s probably none of these.  I’m leaning toward the fact that my civ-pro-light-bulb has potentially gone off and all these random rules and restrictions make sense.  It’s a lot better than my usual feelings on the subject.

Much better.  Anyhoo, I will now be going back into my study cave with my books and eighteen gallons of coffee.  There might be some greek yogurt on the horizon, too.  Livin’ the dream, my friends.

Panna Cotta with Fresh Strawberries

I had Taco Bell for the first time yesterday.  I ordered the XXL steak nachos after my final and proceeded to chow down watching One Tree Hill.  It started out okay, but then the more fake cheese I ingested the more I kept thinking, “This is not that good.”  And then I ate some more.  Had the same thought.  Ate even more.  And then I finished the entire 1 lb platter (yes, I mean platter) of nachos.

When I end up being 800 pounds and following fashion tips from Mama Honey Boo Boo I have only myself to blame.

In an attempt to counter the Taco Bell I am going to post perhaps one of the classiest recipes from the old blog.  For those of you who are not acquainted with panna cotta — there is no time like the present.  Panna cotta is a cooked Italian cream originating in Northern Italy.  It also has three cups of heavy whipping cream.

I said it was classy not healthy.

I made this for the first time over the summer for a small dinner party I hosted with some friends.  It is the perfect ending to a meal because despite the heavy duty ingredients, it’s a relatively light dessert.  Serve it with some cut up fruit for a delightful close to your meal.

Panna Cotta with Fresh Strawberries

Panna CottaIngredients:

2 cups whole milk
1 tbsp unflavored powdered gelatin
3 cups heavy whipping cream
1/3 cup honey
1 tbsp sugar
1 cup strawberries, chopped

Directions:

In a saucepan, mix together the milk and powdered gelatin.  Let sit for 5 minutes, softening the gelatin. Put the saucepan over medium heat, and whisk for 5 minutes.  Do not let the mixture boil.  Remove from heat and add mix in heavy whipping cream, honey and sugar, about 2 minutes.  Pour into either ramekins or wine glasses and let cool before covering and putting in the refrigerator.  Set either over night or for at least 6 hours.  Add the berries and serve.

Source:  Everyday Italian

Apartment 108: The Musical

So, I saw Pitch Perfect this weekend and now all I want to do is sing.  You may not know this about me but I am a huge theater nerd.  I did musicals all through high school and go see shows in the city whenever I have a chance.  I still count seeing Spring Awakening when it was in Chicago as one of the best nights of my life.  We had third row seats and then met the cast after the show.  Pretty sure that won’t be topped until my wedding.

Anyhoo, it’s been a non-stop musical here.  I used to try not to be too loud because the units here have paper thin walls, but I’ve gotten to the point where I have about zero shame.

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My neighbors probably love this.  So much.

I have about two or three songs on rotation, and I just sing them over and over.  A few weeks ago it was Phantom of the Opera.  I sang those songs non-stop.  No matter what I was doing –  dishes, showering, driving – I was doing it with Andrew Lloyd Weber.

This week, it’s all Pitch Perfect with a random bit of John Legend thrown in.  I rediscovered his Revolver album and am o-b-s-e-s-s-e-d with it.  That man has the voice of an angel.

Any other closet musical people out there?!

Buffalo Chicken Dippers

Last night I had the world’s worst craving for Buffalo Wild Wings.  Up until this year, I had never actually gone to the place, and now I have become an addict.  I was practically shaking for it last night.  If there was a Buffalo Wild Wings Anonymous I would be the president, secretary and treasurer.  It’s that bad.  As I tried to work through practice exam problems, all I could think about was how I really wanted wings and whether or not it would look strange to go there and just order, like, four different types because that’s pretty much what I wanted.

Wings on wings on wings.

But I’ve really been trying to save money lately, along with not ruining my semi-regular workouts with copious amounts of fried foods.  So, I defrosted some chicken and got creative in the kitchen to get my BBW fix.  Miraculously, it worked!

The breaded chicken strips are baked here, so they’re moderately healthy.  After being dredged in buffalo sauce they’re nice and spicy, which is tempered by the ranch dipping sauce.  Pretty much an A+ all around.  And I’m not just saying that because I made the recipe.  Okay, I might be.  Seriously, though, you all should make this.  It’s really simple (because my brain can’t take anything complicated right now) and comes together in less than 30 minutes.  Rachel Ray would be proud and you will be amazed and delighted.  Or maybe just one of the two.  Bottom line – make this pronto.

Buffalo Chicken Dippers

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2 chicken breasts, slice into strips

1 egg, beaten

1 cup panko bread crumbs

1/2 cup buffalo sauce

ranch dressing for dipping

Directions

Preheat oven to 400 degrees.

Dip the chicken strips in egg, dredge in bread crumbs, and place on a prepared baking sheet.  

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Bake for 20 minutes, or until the chicken is cooked through.  

While the chicken is cooking, pour the buffalo sauce into a shallow bowl.  When the chicken is cooked, dredge it quickly in the buffalo sauce and place back on the baking dish.  Serve with ranch dressing for dipping.

Video Break: The Riff-Off

Just a quick post between finals studying here.  I want to share with you a video that I have been OD-ing on lately.  I think I’ve watched it about ten times today.  Will probably watch it more.  It’s just SO GOOD!

For those of you that have seen Pitch Perfect, it’s the riff-off scene.  For those of you who haven’t (including me, actually) it’s basically like a rap-off but with snippets of songs.  It’s fun.  The vocals are amazing.  And it will definitely bring a smile to your face 🙂

Peanut Butter Chocolate Chip Coconut Bars

Hello there.

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I feel like I haven’t posted a recipe on here in a kagillion years.  And yes, that is a real measurement.  It comes right after bagillion and kagibagillion.  Anyhoo, if you look it’s only really been about a week but it feels so much longer for me.  Finals isn’t really conducive for cooking and when I do find the time and energy to cook, the last thing I want to do is attempt to take semi-appetizing pictures of it all.

So, yes I made some dijon-crusted porkchops.  Yes, they were da bomb.  Yes, I DID just use the phrase “da bomb” and if I were able to post that recipe you’d be using it, too.  You’d all be going, “These pork chops.  They be da bomb.”  And apparently we’re all from one of those Barbershop movies, too.

Aannndd, I’m going on a very long tangent that is meant to lead to this cookie recipe, which is a repeat from the old blog.  I know it’s sort of lazy to repost, and I admittedly don’t really have a defense for the laziness argument.  But, I can tell you these are delicious.  And they will make you gain about eight pounds, but you won’t care because they are JUST THAT GOOD.  If those all-caps don’t make you believe, I don’t know what will.

Peanut Butter Chocolate Chip Coconut Bars

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Ingredients:
 
1/3 cup butter
1/2 cup creamy peanut butter
1 cup sugar
2 eggs
1 tsp vanilla
1 cup flour
1 1/2 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp salt
2/3 cup sweetened shredded coconut
2/3 cup chocolate chips
1 cup powdered sugar
 
Directions:
 
Preheat oven to 350 degrees.  Prepare a 8×8 baking dish.  In a bowl, mix together the flour, salt and baking powder.  Set aside.
 
In the bowl of a mixer, cream together the sugar, butter and peanut butter.  Add the eggs and vanilla, scraping down the sides.  Put the mixer on low speed and add the flour mixture.  Fold in the chocolate and coconut.
 
Pour the batter into the baking dish, smoothing it evenly.  Bake 30 minutes, or until the center is browned and the edges darken.
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Source:  Confessions of a Cookbook Queen
** Btw, I apologize if this post or any forthcoming posts over the next two-three weeks are scatter-brained.  Finals has done bad things to my mind.  Like completely obliterating it.  **

Kick It Up

With finals rapidly approaching I’ve been dealing with my fair share of stress.  This means I leave the law school early (that library in the afternoon is enough to make me break into hives) and hide away from the real world in my bedroom as I cram a bunch of contract law into my head that I will probably never use.  I’ve started working out more, too, as a way to work off my nervous energy.  Earlier in the semester I would do yoga to unwind, but lately I’ve needed something stronger.  Sometimes you want stretching and meditation.  Other times you just want to pretend to punch something.  Right now, I’m liking the punching.

Perhaps not coincidentally, I’ve been watching my fair share of Buffy lately.  I always find that when I watch that show I gravitate toward more physical and active workouts.  All the fight scenes just make me want to jump up and kick some booty.

Buffy Bamf

I also just want to be a badass like Buffy Summers.  I mean, who wouldn’t?

Do you guys find that outside factors influence your workouts or do you have usual routines that you stick with?