Friday, January 25, 2013

Lemon Thyme Mushrooms

I made two New Year's resolutions this year. I didn't blog about them because they're not really a big deal (resolutions aren't really my "thing"), but they were as follows: (1) relax, chill out, and stop worrying about stuff so much; and (2) eat more vegetables. Since the second is a bit easier to achieve than the first for a Type A personality like me, I've been trying out a lot of vegetable side dish recipes lately. 

So, you're probably going to see lots of veggies popping up on Spirals & Spatulas in the future (let's get that "Side Dishes" section of the Recipe page filled up, shall we?). Here's a simple-but-fancy (and yummy) side dish for all you mushroom-lovers out there! I just serve it as a side, but you could easily mix it in with some pasta, or put it sliced of toasted bread as an appetizer... so many possibilities!

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Recipe adapted from here.

1 lemon
1 tbsp chopped fresh thyme
3 tbsp olive oil
1 pound mushrooms (I use like 2/3 lb cremini and 1/3 lb shiitake, but whatever's fresh at your grocery store will do!)
4 tbsp grated Parmesan cheese
salt and pepper

1. Pre-heat oven to 400. 
2. Zest the lemon. Combine the zest, time, and olive oil in a bowl and mix until combined. 
3. Clean and slice the mushrooms. Place them on a lightly-greased baking sheet (grease it with olive oil spray if you have it!) in a single layer. 
4. Drizzle half of the olive oil mixture over the mushrooms. Sprinkle with salt and pepper to taste.
5. Bake for 10 minutes. Sprinkle the Parmesan over the mushrooms. Bake for another 5 minutes. Transfer the baked mushrooms to a bowl and mix in the other half of the olive oil mixture and some lemon juice (just a little from that lemon you zested earlier). Enjoy!

(mushrooms, cleaned and sliced!)

(single layer on the baking sheet - I use foil for easy cleanup)

(olive oil mixture)

(all done!)

(mixing in the rest of the olive oil mixture and some lemon juice)



Thursday, January 24, 2013

Law School Things

Y'all... the whole law school thing is getting closer and closer to being over. In the past few weeks, I've done so many "law school's almost over" things, and it just feels like graduation is actually within reach! To be honest, there were a couple times back in 2010 that I felt 95% sure I'd never make it to graduation (1L is rough, y'all!), so I feel really proud of myself that it's actually happening. 
I had my last first day of school... big smiles for that! 

I've officially applied for graduation! Now I'm just counting down the days until May 11th!

I've submitted my application to the State Bar of Texas! Now there's just the small matter of the Bar exam to worry about...

I bought my last-ever set of law school textbooks!

I decided to punish myself with not one, but two tax courses in my last semester. Gotta love those huge statute books.

And last but not least - this actually happened a while ago but I forgot to mention it with the holidays and all - my Law Review article was published! Check it out: 

I've got five long semesters behind me, and just one left! It should be a little more relaxing than the first five, so I'm going to try to enjoy it as much as possible before I enter the scary world of law firm work! 

Wednesday, January 23, 2013

Get Thee to the Dollar Spot!

Ok y'all. I am normally perfectly capable of walking through Target's "dollar spot" without putting anything in my cart, but they just have so much cute stuff right now! I came home the other day with this:

Yeah. That's $18 worth of dollar spot stuff. Oops. But it's good stuff! Like these doily hearts... I can string them on some embroidery floss and make a quick-and-adorable Valentine's Day garland! 

And there were craft paper stickers. How could I pass those up?

They were perfect for labeling a couple of my storage boxes in the craft room:

Much cuter with labels that match the lids, right? Plus there are heart-shaped stickers too... someone should come up with an adorable Valentine's Day craft using these!

And then there was the wrapping paper. I saw it, and I needed it to use as drawer liners... but I didn't know how many square feet I needed, so I just bought a LOT.

The spotted one is for actual wrapping paper purposes (perfect for birthdays, right?), and the other two are for drawer liners!

I love the flowers!

And then there were the gift bags. How do you resist cheaper-than-the-dollar-store cute gift bags?

And last but not least, polka-dot-embossed metal pails!

Perfect for holding my pens/Sharpies/highlighters in the craft room!

So the point is, you should go to Target and take advantage of all the cute stuff. Or, you know, not (if you're not willing to leave with $18 less in your purse). 

Oh and by the way, this is in no way an advertisement/sponsored post/whatever for Target. I just really love the stuff in the dollar spot right now! 

Friday, January 18, 2013

Curried Vegetable Soup with Pita Bread

I'm taking today to share some of my favorite soup recipes, and I'm sharing a new one as well! Before we get to the Curried Vegetable Soup, here are some of my absolute favorite soup dishes:

Creamy Chicken and Corn Chowder

Zuppa Toscana

Slow Cooker Taco Chili

Salmon Chowder

Chicken Pot Pie Soup with Puff Pastry Biscuits

And now for my newest favorite, Curried Vegetable Soup with Curry Pita Bread!

Recipe adapted from here.

3 cups cauliflower florets
14oz can unsweetened coconut milk
14oz can chicken broth
1 tbsp curry powder + extra for sprinkling on pita bread
1 tsp garlic powder
1 tsp ginger
1/2 tsp cumin
1/2 tsp cinnamon
ground black pepper (to taste)
1/4 cup chopped fresh cilantro
2 cups frozen peas & carrots blend
2 cups chopped cooked chicken (optional)
5 pita bread rounds, cut into wedges
1 tbsp olive oil

1. Preheat oven broiler. 
2. In a large pot or skillet, combine cauliflower, coconut milk, broth, spices, and cilantro. Bring to a boil over high heat. Reduce heat to medium-low and cover. Let simmer for 10 minutes, or until the cauliflower is tender.
3. Stir in frozen peas and carrots and chicken. Cook, uncovered, until heated through.
4. Place pita wedges on a large baking sheet. Brush both sides with olive oil, and sprinkle with curry powder. Broil for 4 minutes, turning once, until golden. 
5. Serve soup with pita wedges. 

(my grocery store only sells GIANT cauliflower lately)


(spices and cauliflower and liquid ingredients)

(ready for the rest of the veggies!)

(adding peas and carrots and chicken)

(ready for the oven!)

(Mmm, broiled curry pita bread!)

(finished pita bread)

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Thursday, January 17, 2013

Easy Chicken Fried Rice

Fried rice is sort of a comfort food for me. I just love the way Chinese restaurants do it with a little bit of egg and veggies and stuff in it. Delicious! This recipe is lightened up to be healthier than takeout, but it's still delicious! 

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Recipe adapted from here.

2 cups cooked brown rice
1 chicken breast (raw), diced 
1/2 cup frozen mixed veggies
2 green onions, chopped
1 clove garlic, minced
2 eggs
3 tsp sesame oil, divided
2 tbsp soy sauce
salt and pepper

1. Whisk eggs with 1 tsp sesame oil in a small bowl. Set aside.
2. Heat 1 tsp sesame oil in a wok or large skillet over medium-high heat. Season chicken with salt and pepper, and add it to the heated skillet. Stir fry until cooked through and remove from pan. Set aside.
3. Heat remaining tsp sesame oil in the skillet. Add mixed veggies and green onions. Stir fry until tender, about three minutes. Add garlic and cook for another minute. 
4. Push vegetables to one side of the skillet and add egg mixture to the other side. Scramble eggs.
5. Add cooked chicken, rice, and soy sauce to the skillet. Mix to combine.

(cooking rice)

(mixing eggs + oil)

(chopped chicken breast)

(heating sesame oil)

(cooked chicken!)

(stir frying veggies)

(adding the eggs)

(eggs + veggies done)

(adding rice and chicken back in)