Monday, March 5, 2012

easy peasy baked risotto

How good does this look??  It may feel like summer in LA but I saw this recipe for baked lemon risotto this morning and considering that I haven't been having nice, tasty home-cooked meals, I knew I had to make this for dinner.

I normally don't have a thing for risotto and thinking about slaving over a hot stove stirring, stirring, stirring is never enticing.  But Joy's method is all about putting this risotto in the oven and baking it, requiring just some stirring in the pan.  Genius!

I rushed to Trader Joe's after work to pick up the ingredients I didn't have, e.g., the arborio rice and parm cheese, and I decided to have this alongisde some baked lemon pepper chicken breasts.  It may be super hot in LA and now my apartment is super stuffy, but I just pulled this pan out of the oven and snuck in a taste while I'm waiting for it to cool down a bit and it is DELICIOUS.  I had to add a little extra water near the end of the cooking process, more than the recipe calls for, because the rice soaked everything up before getting perfectly soft, but it finished nicely.  The flavors are lemony, creamy, savory and just a little spicy from the red pepper flakes.  Yum.  I can't wait to eat this in just a few minutes.  Totally worth the hot apartment, sweating, and late dinner.

I love Joy the Baker's blog and have been reading it for years.  Joy has such a lovely way with words and her recipes, usually sweet, always look amazing and tasty.  I still haven't had the chance to try her mini pretzel dogs which look oh-so good. 

Joy just had her cookbook published and it just came out last week!  I ordered it a few days ago and should be getting it sometime this week.  I can't wait to see what's in store and try out more recipes.  No doubt that they'll be just as tasty as this one.

Now, it's time to eat... Go make yourself some baked lemon risotto, too! :)

Sunday, March 4, 2012

pizza love

For Valentine's Day, my mom sent us the most delicious treats:  Lou Malnati's pizzas!  Sausage pizzas to be exact.  And one was even heart-shaped.

Yum!  I couldn't wait to eat them...

Ready for baking!

All done and ready for eating!  They were as delicious as they look...not your typical sweet Valentine's Day treat but so yummy nevertheless.  Matt never had sausage pizza before and I wasn't sure if he'd like it, but he polished off half the heart by himself.  I was so proud haha.  Thanks mommy! :)

Thursday, March 1, 2012

bar exam, day three - aka, it's done!

Well, it's finally done.  Feels weird and...well, just weird.  I think it's really jarring to live out of a hotel room and do the same thing all day long, come, go, rinse, repeat...everything blends together after a while.

Today's portions were ok.  I don't know.  It's hard not to feel numb after a while.  The essays weren't great but at least the performance test, as opposed to Tuesday's, seemed manageable.  And it was a more positive way to end.  (I am also glad to be rid of the annoying dude who was sitting in front of me, he would not quit trying to talk to me about nonsense.  Bleh.)

It's funny to see all the different types of people who take the exam.  Just general age, backgrounds, etc.  Some people, I can't help but think, you want to be an attorney?  Who knows how things turned out...after a short hiatus, I think I'm going to start studying again.  If there is a next time, I'm thinking about trying out the BarMax app which seems to have positive reviews.  This BarBri stuff is/was just not very good materials-wise.  Just too generic and not enough oomph.  I think everyone feels the same after, just lost and confused.  And most of us were repeaters rather than first timers so we're even more clueless.  As we say to each other in the end, "it's been fun but I hope I never have to see you again, no offense."

Being a repeater obviously sucks, but I think it also gives you perspective on the exam experience.  The first time, you get all worked up and nervous and freaked out and it's a really horrible experience.  By the latter time(s), you feel like a pro and it's not so scary anymore.  You only worry about what topics they'll test you on, since it's such a nasty surprise usually, but it's nice to feel calm about things.  Well, until frustration sets in again if you find out later that you didn't pass and you realize you have to do it all over again, haha.  But, hey, a year ago, I took the exam and a week later, my hair started falling out like crazy - scary.  So, I guess I have a better perspective on things.  I can try my best and do what I can, and be happy that I'm employed, am relatively healthy, and have lots of great and supportive friends and family.  The exam is just something to be conquered and it will be eventually.  Have to enjoy life and every day I get to wake up and live it!  Good stuff.

Right now, I'm waiting for traffic to die down but I'm packing in a bit then heading home.  I'm going to miss living out of this suite but it'll be good to be home.  I'm looking forward to a nice night of rest.  Tomorrow, Matt and I have tickets to see the Lakers/Kings game, and we're planning on going a bit early before the game to have dinner at El Cholo near Staples Center and then head to the game.  Mmm, El Cholo makes the best blended margaritas!  I'm not too sure what the weekend will entail, but hopefully something fun and relaxing.  I *must* finish the ami I was working on for my co-worker/friend so I can give him to her on Monday when I head back to the office.  After being in a daze for the last week and a half, it'll be quite the adjustment to be back in the office.  My calendar for March is already full so it'll be a very busy month already, and who knows what else has been going on there since I've been gone.  Fingers crossed that everything is ok!

Time to pack up! :)