Why, hello there! Sorry for going MIA again. It’s beginning to turn into a talent, if I do say so myself.
So what have I been up to for the past few weeks? Well, let’s see:
- I finished my scholarly note. For those of you with a law student in your lives, you are probably well-aware that this behemoth of a legal paper is the bane of our existence. That being said, it felt incredibly rewarding when I turned in that thing. After massive amounts of editing, restructuring, then restructuring my restructuring, I was actually somewhat proud of the finished product–in that it contained at least one intelligible sentence. I consider that a success, don’t you?
- I caught the plague! There was no Easter celebration at our house this year. Yours truly came down with the stomach bug from hell within 24-hours of reaching my mom’s house. I couldn’t keep anything down for two-and-a-half days. I’ll spare you the details, but know that I ruined everyone’s holiday. May it never be said that I lack impeccable timing. I didn’t know it was possible to subsist on a diet of soup and Gatorade for as long as I did, but I managed. On the plus side, I am now back to eating normal food.
- I took the MPRE. That is all I will ever say on that matter.
- I’ve been out of town. After weeks of prep, I spent the larger part of the past week traveling with my clinic to Jamaica. While we didn’t have much downtime, I did take pictures of food and will post them as soon as they are developed (i.e. once I use up the rest of the pics on the disposable camera). Jamaican cuisine is delicious, and this trip reignited my love of scotch bonnet peppers.
So that’s what I’ve been up to over the past few weeks. I’m a bit tired, but feeling accomplished–especially given how well the trip went.
Whenever I get back from a trip, I like to make myself a decent breakfast the next day. Sunday was no different. Eggs have been on my mind lately. They’ve always been one of my favorite foods, but I tend to forget how wonderful they are. After a full day of traveling, nothing quite screams satisfaction like some runny eggs. This breakfast actually comes together quickly and is easily modified to serve a crowd or to incorporate whatever is lying around the fridge. Happy eating!
I may have found my second-to-last meal. If I have any say in my last meal on earth, I want it to be my mother’s biryani. If I have any say in my second-to-last meal? Well, it had best be these short ribs.
I’m not much of a meat person. I can’t go two meals without eating vegetables, but I’ve been known to go weeks without having a piece of meat. I eat a lot of beans and lentils and probably consume too much dairy, so I tend to get my protein from other sources. That being said, there are few foods in this world that I love more than slow-cooked, tender, fall off the bone ribs in a wine-enriched, vegetable studded sauce. Is your mouth watering yet? While I warn you that this recipe takes almost three hours to make, it is totally worth every millisecond.
I served these glorious slabs of deliciousness atop some instant polenta. For those of you unfamiliar with it, polenta is a staple in Italian cooking. It’s essentially cornmeal, cooked in broth until it is creamy. Conveniently, you can buy quick-cook versions at the Italian grocery store (straight from Italy!) for about the same price as the original, twenty minute stuff. Just whisk 1 cup of quick-cook polenta into 3 cups of broth (or, in my case, 2 cups broth and 1 cup water); add the polenta in a steady stream so as to prevent clumps. Stir for a couple of minutes until creamy, add some salt and pepper, then either throw in some parm and a tablespoon of butter or a tablespoon of mascarpone cheese (a little parm doesn’t hurt here either). The perfect side dish for any hearty meal.
So, if the apocalypse is coming, I would like two days and an expense account at my local Whole Foods. Girl’s gotta eat! Happy eating.
Sorry about the lighting! This is from the "forgotten camera dinner" last week!
If you can’t tell already, when Caroline and I get together and make dinner, we tend to remake some of our favorite foods from Florence (case in point: affogato, pear and pecorino ravioli, etc.). So, naturally, last week’s dinner followed suit. During our wanderings one day in Florence, the two of us happened across Ristorante il Teatro and decided to stop in for lunch.
In Italy, it’s traditional to order at least a primo (first course) plus either a contorno (side dish) or antipasto (appetizer) for lunch. The two of us both love polenta and adore mushrooms so we had a hard time resisting the crostini di polenta e funghi porcini as our appetizer. It’s an incredibly simple concept: grilled polenta squares were topped with a confit of porcini and caramelized onions. Since we planned on making ridiculously rich hot chocolate for dessert, it seemed like a perfect, light meal to adapt on a Tuesday night–especially when topped with an egg!
Serve this with a side salad for a light winter dinner. Happy eating!
Quick post today (as I am in the midst of epic memo-writing), but I made a bit of a discovery: there is a healthier, incredibly satisfying way to make good ol’ mac n’ cheese, and it is ridiculously easy. There is no cream in this recipe, no time consuming bechemel sauce, and the perfect amount of cheese. So where does it get its flavor? Greek yogurt.
You don’t have to use mushrooms in this dish. I did because I love them and think mac n’ cheese tastes even better with vegetables in it (I know. Sacrilege.). I refer to homemade Italian seasoning in the ingredients list. This is simple to make, and I was taught to make it by my Italian host father. It’s wonderful to keep on hand and adds great flavor to any Italian dish.