Saturday, October 24, 2009

Coke Addict

I'm sitting in a library, trying to write. There are two things that will help me here - some caffeine, and to just start writing something, anything (like a blog post.) Big LEGAL MEMO on Defamation and Intentional Infliction of Emotional Distress is due on Tuesday. I sometimes wonder if law profs are trying to find the line of IIED - and go right up to it. They all say that you can't really win an IIED case - I think it's their way of protecting themselves...

OK - so I'm writing now. Words are starting to dance around in my head - that's a good thing. Now - caffeine... but, I've decided to give up artificial sweeteners whenever possible... so, my FIRST COKE! No diet today! I ran over to the little deli near school and grabbed a wrap for lunch - and a can of Coca Cola. Coke Classic. I don't even know the difference between Coke, Coca-Cola, Coke Classic. Is there a difference? Whatever - it won't change my claims of actionability for defamation.

Want to bake something with Coke? Check out this Coke Cake.

There - I think I've just accomplished my two goals of the moment. Now, back to writing something legally smart.

Thursday, October 15, 2009

Dutch Apple Pie for a fall BBQ

Apple pie just seems like the right thing to do in the fall. Looking for some way to add something new - I decided to try out the Dutch Apple Pie recipe with some modifications from Cook's Illustrated Fall Entertaining (2009 cover recipe - still on the shelf). Check out the magazine for the full recipe. It's worth the $8.

This recipe breaks the process down into three parts: the bottom crust, the apples, and the streussel topping. This proved to be helpful on a busy day that made me leave the kitchen several times between steps.

Crust: baked blind, and using cold vodka for part of the water. Very smart. You can get vodka much colder than water! If you don't keep it cold, measure it into a small ziplock and throw it into your freezer while you get everything else together.
Scate's Tip: I used pear vodka.

Apples: The apples are cooked down in a big dutch oven before assembling the pie. This is a great way to manage the amount of liquid that goes into the finished product.

Scate's Tip: you need liquid! After cooking down the apples, if you don't have much liquid left over, add about 1/4 cup of apple cider to the cream. This will really help your pie meld together. Also, I don't like raisins with apples - so I used finely chopped dried apricot. It added a nice color and was really perfect for this pie.

Scate's Tip: Check out your farmer's market for apples! I was able to chat with a woman from the farm - she knew everything there was to know about apples and apple pie. It was really helpful. I got some harrelson and something else that was soft... I can't remember! Look for a mix of crisp and soft, and sweet and tart.

Streussel: mixed with a little bit of white cornmeal! This made it retain the crunch even after sitting on the counter for a bit.

Scate's Tip: Avoid over mixing - you want the lumbs to create a great topping.

Wednesday, October 7, 2009

Justice by way of Annie's Shells (pep'd up!)

I'm doing an A-1 job studying tonight. Feeling the first signs of a sore throat today (ACK!) - I decided the full-force attack plan had to get enacted, then I could study better.

Step 1: Target pit stop after school. Load up on Zicam stuff, they're out of echinacea???
Step 2: Don't touch anything or anyone on the bus ride home. Pop a zinc lozenge.
Step 3: Get my sweat on - run 3 miles with bursts of speed. It will help get blood moving, i'm sure.
Step 4: Shower. Run salt water through cavities to find and DESTROY the bad bugs. Pop a zinc lozenge.
Step 5: Incorporate peppers into a "comfort food"/study dinner.
Step 6: Mango sorbet and sleepy-time tea. Hope this leads to a good night of sleep!

Annie's Shells and Cheese - they used to be the fancy mac n'cheese that families had in Boulder when I babysat (in undergrad). Organic food was so young and new, but in Boulder - it already had a strong hold of the market in the late nineties. Somehow, eating "organic" mac n'cheese makes it seem healthy. However, it does not manage to take away the "i'm a student now!" fun dinner.

This past weekend, I spotted these great peppers at the farmer's market. They were sold as "sweet, and creamy" when cooked. Hmmm... i've never had a 'creamy' pepper before. Sounds good. Looks even better sitting on the counter ALL WEEK waiting for a dinner to call home.

Since I was just cooking for my self tonight - into the Annie's shells it went! This was so tasty! I threw an all-beef hot-dog and one of the peppers into a little non-stick pan while the noodles boiled. I let the pepper and dog get all dark and cooked through - pulled it off the heat just as the noodles were done. Drain the noodles, slice the dog and pepper (can keep all of these seeds - not spicy at all). I stirred in the pepper and hot dog before the sauce ingredients. I'm not sure it would really matter - I was hoping that the pepper would help flavor the sauce. Maybe it did - but not noticibly.

Tasty for a Thursday while going over my Lawyering Skills material. I came up with a great mnomonic device to remember all of the US Supreme Court Justices:

The Super Active Girl
Sails, Bikes, Runs*
and Sometimes Kayaks.

(Thomas, Stevens, Alito, Ginsburg, Scalia, Breyer, Roberts (CJ), Sotomayor, and Kennedy).

Who knows - it could be on the test tomorrow. Even if it's not - it's something every law student SHOULD know!

Friday, October 2, 2009

Favorite MPLS Burger Joints

*** HOME: I have yet to taste a burger that beat's H's magic recipe. With freshly ground beef (ground with butter) - they are juicy and tender. I'm trying to find something that will beat it - but have not had luck yet. I understand that not everyone lucky enough to have their own H. with a magic homemade burger, so here are my favorites found on the quest so far.

#1 Firelake: Located in downtown, around 7th and Lasalle. This was the truest burger that brought me back to childhood memories of pickles, tomatoes and mayo. Juicy, upfront with taste, and not pretending to be anything but a darn good burger.

 #2 Busters: located in south MPLS next to a Baker's Wife. H had the read burger, I tried the buffalo burger. Typically dry, as buffalo is lean, this was so juicy - i had to ask. Did they pour bacon fat all over this? Lo and behold, bacon is chopped up and mixed in with the buffalo meat! Good thing I didn't really want a LEAN burger! Tasty though...

 #3 Burger Jones: The white trash burger for H and the house-made Veggie burger for me. The WT burger was a little over the top with deep fried cheese curds, 1/3" slab of velveeta, and chicken fried bacon. The veggie burger - unreal. Whole beans - black and kidney - and cornmeal to help hold it together really add a wholesome and filling burger. Mushrooms add deep flavor, good quality swiss and a bit of pico de gallo with cilantro help pull the tastes together. Worth a drive out of downtown,

 #4 112 Eatery: Brie on anything makes for a good evening. This is a place where you can get a rare hamburger if you can handle cool meat. It's big and on an english muffin - all for about $9. Can't beat that with a stick.