What I’ve Learned From Gilmore Girls: Part II

I did a post like this a while ago on the old blog where I talked about what I’ve learned or picked up from Gilmore Girls.  One post was not enough, though.  This show extolls endless wisdom, so I thought I’d share with you a bit more!

1)  The best fake bar names

My goal in life (IN LIFE) is to have some creeper hit on me at a bar and then get him to believe that my actual name is Squeegee Beckenheim.  I am pretty sure that experience would rank up there with my wedding and passing The Bar.

2)  A perfect man, defined

Lorelai's taste in men, Gilmore girls

Oh, hey there Gilmore Girls, outlining the perfect man.  All you need to add here is a healthy nerd culture obsession, and you’d have just described my future husband!

3) Wallow, wallow, wallow

it's time to wallow

I know wallowing is technically supposed to be for when a relationship ends, but I’ve taken a broader construction of the concept of wallowing.  Like, my Con law professor assigns too much reading – cue the wallowing.  I have a bad bang day – cue the wallowing.  It’s a Wednesday — cccuuueee the wallowing!

Basically, I allow myself to consume large amounts of junk food and trashy television without the accompanying heartbreak.  Pretty sure my broad construction is better.

4)  This insult.

gilmore girls

I’ll use this on any guy who won’t believe that my name is Squeegee Beckenheim.

5)  The occasional breakdown is alright.  It’s recommended, even!

Gilmore Girls

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PB & J Thumbprint Cookies

I’m having one of those days.  And not a bad day, but one of those amazingly good days where you feel like absolutely nothing can happen to dampen your mood.  I woke up a half hour before my alarm to sunlight streaming in from my window.  I found that since I’ve left my blinds open at night I have a much easier time waking up.  Something about the sunlight seems to send a message to my brain that I should be getting up, so I wake up well rested and ready to face the day.  Let me tell you, after one too many groggy mornings, that is not something to be taken lightly!

I’m proud to say that it is now six days into Lent and I have not touched a single baked good!  I’ve been tempted several times – cookies for a classmate’s birthday and little poppyseed muffins at church – but I’ve held strong. It’s getting easier.  I have to admit, though, when I baked those cookies I wanted SO bad to eat one of the leftovers.  It just seems like a crime to have all those cookies there and not eat one!  I then told myself to suck it up and in a few weeks I’d be able to eat them, so I got my act together and ate some grapes instead.

The entire time I was wishing they were cookies.  But, it’s fine.  It’s, what, another 34 days?  I can do that.  Totally.  I can control myself.  Just because I want cookies and muffins and scones (oh my!) does not mean I need to eat them.

Anyhoo, just because I can’t eat cookies doesn’t mean I can’t post about them.  In fact, I will probably post a lot of them.  I will live vicariously through my blog!  Today I bring you a recipe I made early in the my first semester here.  They were the first cookies I brought over to the neighbors, and are probably the only reason they tolerate me.

A delicate peanut butter cookie base is topped with a touch of strawberry jelly.  It’s your favorite middle school lunch staple in cookie form, which I pretty much think is reason enough to make these.  The cookies come together relatively quickly and keep well in a tupperware.  If you’re not similarly abstaining from sweets, I highly recommend these!  Even if you are, make them and share them with the people you love.

PB & J Thumbprint Cookies

Ingredients:
1 3/4 cups flour
1 3/4 cups crushed peanuts
2 sticks butter, softened
1/2 cup sugar
1 1/2 tsp vanilla extract
1 cup strawberry jam
 
Directions:
Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
 
Mix the flour and peanuts and set aside.  In a mixing bowl, cream together the butter and sugar.  Scrape down the sides and mix in the vanilla extract.  Gradually add the peanut-flour mixture until combined.  You may have to use your hands to fully form the dough.
 
Drop tablespoons of dough onto the baking sheet.  Press your index finger into the center of the cookie, being careful not to press too hard.  Bake 15-18 minutes.  Let cool for 2 minutes on the cookie sheet, and then remove to a wire rack.
 
In a small sauce pan bring the jam to a boil.  Spoon into the thumbprints.  Let cool.
Source:  Joy The Baker

Pasta with Zucchini and Chicken Sausage

It’s the second day of Lent, and that means it is also the second day of me not eating any baked goods.  Yep, you read that correctly.  I am giving up baked goods for Lent.  If you’re like my friends, your natural response is probably, “Why in the world would you give up baked goods?  You have a food blog.  What is wrong with you?!”.

I have great friends.

The truth is that as I’ve mentioned in previous posts, my sweets consumption has gotten out of hand, and as someone who considers herself a fairly healthy eater, I had to do something.  Of course, these past two days I’ve eaten everything in my house that is still a sweet without being considered a baked good.  The great thing about gluttony, though, is that it makes food disappear pretty fast.  I’ve eaten all the candy/chocolate in the apartment that sneaks past my Lenten promise, and I’m not buying more.

So, let the sugar detox begin.  For anyone who will be around me for the next few days, I apologize now for any mean or bitchy thing I do.  It’s not you.  It’s the sugar withdrawal.

I have a nice healthy recipe for you all right now.  It’s such a great weeknight meal when all you want to do after a long day of classes or work is sit on your couch with some food and your Netflix account.  This comes together in about twenty minutes, and you get lots of yummy leftovers!  What’s not to love?!

Pasta with Zucchini and Chicken Sausage

Photo: Dinner Part II

Ingredients:

4 pre-cooked chicken sausages, heated according to instructions

1 lb whole wheat pasta

2 zucchini

1 tbsp herbs de Provence

Parmesan cheese

Directions:

Boil the pasta according to the directions, roughly 8-9 minutes.  Strain and set aside while you make the zucchini.  Heat oil in a medium saute pan.  Quarter and slice the zucchini and place in the pan.  Sprinkle with herbs de Provence and cook for 15-20 minutes covered.

Combine all the ingredients and serve.  Sprinkle with parmesan.  Best served with love and some wine.

For those of you who participate in Lent, what are you giving up (if anything)?

Happy Valentine’s Day!

It’s that day y’all.

Despite my single girl status for…err…basically the past 22 years, I’ve always loved Valentine’s Day.  I’m a girl who loves holidays, and this one is no different.  How could anyone hate a holiday studded with flowers, chocolate and everything red velvet?  I don’t understand how anyone could not LOVE a day filled with all of that.

Tea Valentine's Card <3

I plan on cooking a nice dinner for my roommate and I tonight and then we’re watching Bloody Valentine with the forever delectable David Boreanz.

Valentine’s Day with this mug?  There is no universe in which that isn’t winning.  So, I hope you all have a wonderful Valentine’s Day.  And even if you don’t have a hunny buying you heart-shaped boxes of chocolates, take a little time today to tell the people in your life that you love them.  Because that’s what today is really about – love.

And I’m pretty sure all of us have just a little bit of that to celebrate.

This Is What I Do When I’m Sick

I was pretty much the walking dead this weekend, and I took that as an excuse to spend all of Saturday watching chick flicks and episodes of Disappeared on OWN.  I don’t know why I watched a Disappeared marathon because that show actually really freaks me out and had me checking my apartment’s locks eighteen times.  It also has me never wanting to drive on a highway again.  Like, ever.  Plus, everyone pretty much dies which is depressing.  They should make some episodes where the person is actually found alive, and then they sneak the survivor in at the end of the video with some SNEAK ATTACK music.  I’d be all for that.

Anyway, I watched a bunch of romantic comedies during the day, culminating in a decidedly romantic viewing of the Bourne Ultimatum.  Why is it romantic, you ask?  Because any movie with Matt Damon on a motorcycle is romantic in my books.

I have such a thing for secret agent stories that it isn’t even funny.  As you may know (or don’t), my first television love was Alias, the be-all-end-all of super spy television shows for me, and I’ve been hooked ever since.  Plus, the Bourne series has such mystery and intrigue.  And did I mention that Matt Damon is on a motorcycle?!

Anyway, I threw a little foreshadowing into the first sentence of this post, and YOU DIDN’T EVEN NOTICE.  Not that you really would have.  But after this, go back and read it and you will totally have a lightbulb moment.  Sunday I started watching The Walking Dead on Netflix, and holy-gory-geeks, that show is fantastic.

I thought it might be too gory for me, but then I remembered that I have a television-stomach-of-steel and only a few scenes with gore really got me.  The emotional arcs, though?  The thrills?  Those are a whole different story.  I was jumping in my seat.  Crying into a hanky.  I think my roommate thought I was getting progressively sicker because I was so incapacitated on the couch from all the crazzzayy plot twists.  If you are not watching, you should.  As someone who has heard over and over again all the hype about this show and resisted for literally two years – just do yourself a favor and give the first episode a try.

How were your weekends?

White Chocolate Peanut Butter Cookies

Well, it only took one month for me to get my first illness of second semester.  I swear law school has kicked my immune system in the butt.  I rarely got sick in undergrad and now I feel like I’m fighting off an infection or cold every other week.  Anyway, because my nose is a leaky faucet and I can’t sleep, I am writing this post at 3 in the  morning.  Pretty sure the non-drowsy Advil Cold & Sinus I just took isn’t going to help matters.

I’m not here to complain, though.  I had a nice Pet Peeve Wednesday for that.  Instead, I’m going to share with you a pretty fantastic thing that happened to me yesterday.  The law school holds an annual auction for students and parents with all the proceeds going toward student grants.  It’s this wonderful event where professors donate special little activities with them that all the students bid on.  Similarly, students can donate items that professors bid on, as well.  We had a few items out for bidding yesterday and I offered to bake cookies for a professor’s class.

At this point in the story I usually asked whoever I was talking with to guess how much the cookies went for.  Since this is a whole you-reading-this-thing, I won’t do that here.  Actually, I take that back.  I will.

Guess away!

25?  Nope.

50?  Still not there.

100?  Try going a little higher.

200 dollars.  One of my professors (who I had a friend chase down) happily plunked down 200 dollars for me to bake cookies for our class.  Now, I realize the bid had little to do with my cookies and more to do with the cause, but I am still ridiculously excited.  I thought they would go for 50 dollars at the most, and to have them go for a whopping 200 pretty much has made my semester.  Who cares about grades and externships – I can ride this high for a good few months.

The cookies I offered to make are White Chocolate Peanut Butter cookies.  They are one of my absolute favorites cookies to make.  The first time I made them I loved them so much that I kept the entire batch for myself.  I literally hoarded them in my freezer and ate one (err..two) every day.  Not the healthiest choice, but definitely the correct one.

White Chocolate Peanut Butter Cookies

Ingredients:
 
1 1/4 cups all purpose flour
1 cup old fashioned oats
1/2 tsp baking soda
1/4 tsp salt
8 tbsp unsalted butter, melted and cooled
6 tbsp creamy peanut butter, melted and cooled
1 cup brown sugar
1/2 cup granulated sugar
1 egg + 1 egg yolk, at room temperature
2 tsp vanilla extract
1 cup white chocolate morsels/chunks
1/2 cup peanut butter morsels
 
Directions:
 
Preheat oven to 325 degrees.
 
Melt the butter and peanut butter, let cool. Mix together the flour, oats, baking soda, salt and set aside. Combine the melted butters and sugars. Next, add the vanilla and eggs. Mix in the flour mixture, making sure to scrape the sides and bottom. Fold in the white chocolate and peanut butter morsels.

Scoop the dough onto a prepared baking sheet (about golf ball sized scoops) and bake for 10-12 minutes. The cookies are done when the edges have browned, but the center should still be puffy. They don’t look 100% done when they are finished baking-that’s fine. Take them out anyway. And then try not to eat them all in one afternoon.

Source:  How Sweet Eats

Pet Peeve Wednesday: Law School Edition

Hello all!  It’s been a llloonnnggg time since I’ve done one of these.  I guess I’ve just been too content and happy with my little lot in life.

Well, THANK GOODNESS that passed.

There’s nothing like a memo being due in legal writing to make me look at my current situation and think, “Why the hell am I here and why am I not sitting on my couch eating cupcakes and watching The View?”

These are the important questions, my friends.  Therefore, without further adieu, I bring you Pet Peeve Wednesday:  Law School edition.

1)  The memo.  I’m about 85% finished and every morning this week I’ve woken up with the best intentions to sit down and finish it.

It takes me roughly fifteen minutes to lose my steam and do something else – anything else – that is not memo writing.  I’ve done dishes.  I’ve finished laundry.  I’ve watched about eighteen bagillion episodes of The Lizzie Bennet Diaries.  You know what I haven’t done?  Finished that stupid memo.

2)  Free time isn’t a thing in law school.  Neither are productive days, because you have so much to do that even on days where you get a lot done, you look at what you STILL have left to do and cry.  Or if you’re me, you eat half a batch of cupcakes.

3) Constitutional Law.  For those of you  not in law school, just imagine all the depths of hell inside of a large red textbook.  It is the devil in book form, and just when you think it might be getting better it throws a ridiculous case at you and it sucks all over again.

Yeah Con Law, you are so not getting  Christmas card next year.

Alright, I need to go run and make my lunch before the shuttle comes.  Hope you enjoyed my mild law school complaining.  Hopefully I can get a recipe or two up here by the weekend!

Flank Steak with Red Wine Sauce

I don’t have any words.

Okay, that’s a lie.  Obviously I have words because you are sitting on your side of the screen reading them, but I have no words that actually mean anything.  Do you ever have those times where you want to blog – you want to share – but find there is nothing to share?  Nothing to say?

It’s not entirely true to say that I have nothing to share.  This week has been full of life’s little hijinks.  The big law school event that I’m helping plan went through it’s third venue change.  I competed in a client counseling competition and didn’t hate it.  I even made some beef stroganoff that I neglected to take a single picture of.  A lot has happened, but I can’t really find anything in particular to elaborate on.

So, I will go straight to the recipe.  No witty lead up or pointless anecdote here.  Just a recipe with a poorly lit picture I took with my iPhone.

Clearly I take this food blogging thing really seriously.

I will, however, take a moment to complain about how this flank steak cost me 18 dollars.  I don’t understand this because flank steak is one of the more economical cuts of meat, yet it was priced like it fraternized with filet.  Anyhoo, my menu was set and there’s nothing I hate more than an un-set menu.

Oh!  I actually DO have a funny anecdote for this.  The red wine sauce is strained in this recipe, and me being an idiot strained the sauce directly into the sink.  I didn’t even realize what I was doing until half the sauce was gone and I jumped back with this huge cast-iron skillet.  It’s a wonder I don’t injure myself more when I cook.

Anyhoo, to end this very much stream of conscious post (sorry…I’m not sorry) you should make this steak.  Because it SHOULD be on the cheaper end.  It’s flavorful.  And it makes delightful leftovers.

Flank Steak with Red Wine Sauce

Photo: Flank steak with red wine sauce

Ingredients:

6 tbsp cold unsalted butter

1 onion, thinly sliced

1 tbsp minced garlic

1 tsp dried oregano

1/4 cup tomato paste

2 1/2 cups dry red wine

salt/pepper

2 tbsp olive oil

1 (2-pound) flank steak

Directions:

Melt 2 tbsp of the butter in a large sauce pan.  Add the onion, and sauté until tender.  Add the garlic and oregano and cook until fragrant, 30 seconds.  Stir in the tomato paste and cook for 2 minutes, stirring constantly.  Whisk in the wine.  Simmer until sauce reduces by half, 10 minutes.  Strain the sauce into a small bowl and discard the solids.  Set aside.

In a large skillet, heat the oil.  Add the steak and cook until done, roughly 8 minutes per side.  Remove skillet from the heat and let the steak rest for 10 minutes.

Transfer the steak to a cutting board and slice thinly on a diagonal.  Plate and drizzle with the sauce.

Source:  Giada’s Family Dinners