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April 24, 2009

Summer

Filed under: Uncategorized — megs @ 4:35 pm

Well, now that I’m officially signed up for summer, I’ll let you all know about my plans. I’m working at my school’s legal clinic from June through half of August. Supervised by one of the professors at school, I will be representing real clients, filing official paperwork, and making actual court appearances. The area is family law, which is not what I want to practice; the trade off is that this is genuine lawyering work experience that I can put on a resume after I leave school.

My plan was also to take community property, but due to the economy’s wonderful affect on the availability of academic aid at my school, I’m trying to take out at as small a loan as possible for the summer. Community property has been lumped back in with my regular core classes for the coming fall term.

As for the rest of spring term, I’m two weeks out from finals.   I’m 60% finished heavily-tabbing and annotating the books I can use openly during my Business Associations final, 70% comfortable with the material for Evidence, and 80% behind the 8-ball in Constitutional Law because I’m so far behind in my case briefs.  Not great, but, all told, that’s still better then usual for this point in the term.  I’m trying to start running again (three days this week so far), and will attempt to channel my stress through that activity, as opposed to eating and freaking-out (my usual finals weeks hobbies).

Hope everyone is doing well.

April 21, 2009

Recipe Challange: Beer Chicken Burritos

Filed under: Uncategorized — megs @ 9:11 pm

Chicken burritos are pretty much the default dinner for Chris and I.  Using beer is one variation – I like it because it gives the chicken a little more flavor.

Cook time: 20 minutes (about 5 prep, and 15 to cook)

Ingredients:

  • 1 raw, boneless, skinless, chicken breast per person
  • 1/4 cup bell pepper (I prefer diced, but we usually keep it as two large pieces that are easy for me to find, and for Chris to avoid)
  • 1/4 tomato (per person – I like tomato and Chris does not)
  • As much grated cheese as you feel like eating – we use Tillamook Sharp Cheddar.
  • 1 can of beans – we go back and forth between re-fried and black
  • 1 bottle or can of beer – dealer’s choice on brand!  My parents cook with Fosters, I’ve used Fat Tire often, and tonight I used Franziskaner Hefe-Weisse because that’s all we’ve got in the house.
  • 1 tortilla shell per person – we use the 10″ Mission flour tortillas, but obviously corn works just as well
  • 1 dash of Lemon Pepper spice
  • Optional condiments for those who like living on the cutting edge of flavor: sour cream, guacamole, salsa, or all of the above

Directions:

  • Get a frying pan
  • Dice the chicken breast.  Break the bell pepper and tomato down to your desired cut.
  • Put the chicken bits in the pan, turn the stove to medium-high heat, and push that chicken around like you’re going to brown it.
  • After the chicken’s surface starts to turn a little bit white from the heat, open up that beer.  Take a swig for yourself!  Mmm.  Now pour just enough beer in the pan to cover the bottom in a thin layer.  Yes, this means your chicken is now soaked.
  • Keep moving the the chicken around the pan until the beer cooks off.
  • Just before all of the beer cooks off, and before the chicken is browned, add the bell pepper and the dash of lemon pepper.  Keep cooking until the chicken is browned.
  • While the chicken is cooking,  open the can of beans.  Plop them in a microwave-safe dish.  Microwave on high for two minutes, stir, and see if you think they’re warm enough. If they’re not, cook ’em longer.
  • After the beans are done, put the tortilla shells on a microwave safe plate.  Cook them in the microwave for about 30 seconds on high.  This makes them soft, and less likely to crack when you wrap your food.
  • When the chicken is thoroughly browned, and the bell peppers are a bit warm, turn the stove off.
  • Put 1 warm tortilla shell on a plate.  Apply a large spoon full of beans to the tortilla shell as a base coat.  Add meat, cheese, and bell peppers, and tomatoes (if you’re having them.  And you should).  If you’re heading for flavor country, add your optional condiments.
  • Fold the edges of the tortilla shell around the food it contains in a manner that will safely hold all the goodness within.
  • Dinner complete!

Outcome:

Mmm…burritos.

April 19, 2009

Challenge: Recipe Exchange

Filed under: Uncategorized — megs @ 12:18 pm

Challenge: For the next two weeks, whenever you cook a full meal, post the recipe to your blog so the rest of us can try it out for ourselves. If you make the same meal twice during the challenge period, you don’t have to post the recipe again.

Why? Basically I realized that because of my school schedule, I was eating out a lot, or paying for a lot of snacks. It was unhealthy and expensive. I’m trying to cook more, so I’ll have leftovers to take to school instead. And hey, it is fun to try new food.

I’ll even get the ball rolling. Tonight’s experiment (which I got from a crockpot cooking blog):

CrockPot Chicken Makhani (Indian Butter Chicken)

The Ingredients.
2 pounds boneless skinless chicken thighs (can be frozen solid at start – mine were thawed)
1 onion, sliced
6 garlic cloves, chopped
4 T butter (I used 4T Smart Balance “butter” spread)
15 cardamom pods (sewn together!)
2 tsp curry
1/2 tsp cayenne pepper
2 tsp garam masala
1/2 tsp ground ginger
1 can coconut milk (can be replaced with light coconut milk)
1 can (6 oz) tomato paste
2 T lemon juice
1 cup plain yogurt (I used fat free)

The Directions.
Use a 5 quart or larger crockpot. Carefully sew together the cardamom pods using a needle and thread. You can put them in a little cheese cloth bundle, instead, if you have that in the house. Put chicken in crockpot, and add onion, garlic, and all of the dry spices. Plop in the butter and tomato paste. Add lemon juice and coconut milk. Cover and cook on low for 8 hours, or high for 4. The chicken should shred easily with 2 forks when fully cooked.

Stir in plain yogurt 15 minutes before serving. Discard cardamom pods. Salt to taste, serve with white or brown basmati rice. You can tweak the amount of garam masala and curry to your own taste—it’s fine to add more at the end of cooking.

Outcome:

This turned out awesome!  The apartment smelled like an Indian resturant all day.  The sauce was mildly spicy, but I think the  yogurt made it a little sweet as well.  The chicken seemed a little dry to me, but still delicious.   I highly recommend this dish if you like Indian food.

April 5, 2009

Enjoying the Moment

Filed under: Uncategorized — megs @ 6:04 pm

I owe you folks a catch-up post, because it has been forever and a day since you heard from me.

April 19 and 20th (the last part of my spring break), I was up in Palo Alto for the Giles Rich Moot Court Competition on Intellectual Property.  My coach was quite helpful with refining my arguments.  My partner and I did very well during the oral presentation.  Unfortunately, we were eliminated in the first round.  Though I still haven’t seen the final marks, it seems like a low score our written breif was mostly to blame; the judges gave us amazing feedback on our oral performance – one of them told me I had a good future as a litigator! – but the other team’s total score was enough to keep us from advancing.   It was a really good experience, and my coach for the competition seems like she might be a good career mentor to keep in touch with.

The following week, I took a few midterms, and Donut Brunner was in town for his spring break.  We enjoyed his company thoroughly.  He split his time between us, and Jacques, and a brief detour to Mudd.  We also went up to Cheryl’s that weekend and installed insulation under her back room.

This past Thursday, Cindy Ruggles came to visit us on her spring break.  On Friday we had a party.  On Saturday we went to the beach, and then to Badier’s for his going away party (Badiar is moving to the Bay Area for a new job).  This afternoon, after everyone was up and functional again, we played Catan at Matt and Anna’s.  Cindy totally smoked us – being defender of Catan pays off in the long run.  It was lovely to see her, and we miss her already.

It is five weeks out from finals, and I have a vigorous study schedule planned to catch up and kick butt.  Next weekend is Easter, and we’re headed up the mountain to Cheryl’s.  The weekend after that, I have a make-up class at school.

So right now, I’m enjoying a quiet moment of Zen wedged between the last two weeks and the next five.  I love my friends and family, but dang, I need to sprint to keep up with all’yall.

Which reminds me – congratulations again to Matt & Anna, who are totally engaged, as of Saturday morning.  Yay!  And if you want to elope in Vegas, Chris and I will drive.