Steak Tartare.

It’s the eve of my first day of graduate school, and what better way to prepare than eat a simple meal and write about it? So much better than starting on some accounting homework due in a week.

I don’t have much in the refrigerator and don’t plan on stocking up any time soon since USC is providing all my meals next week. Hey – if I’m tired, stressed, and in debt, at least I’m well-fed. So for my “last supper” of sorts, I decided to make steak tartare. Quick and easy.

BAM!

It turned out to be way too much for one. I’ll turn the leftovers into a burger for a midnight snack.

Good to know I can still prepare food for myself after having the fattiest summer in Maui and NYC.

Fight On!

After over a year, the process is finally over!

USC Marshall School of Business MBA Class of 2014.

My little corner of campus for the next 2 years:

Bill and I will have an interesting little in-house rivalry next year. But all in good fun, right?

Fight On!

Sawyer Day.

Happy Daylight Saving Time. Or Sawyer Day. Or We-Went-On-A-Picnic Day.

The weather in LA has been exceptionally beautiful, so Bill and I decided to pack a picnic this weekend and enjoy the local park. On the menu was my amazing pulled pork, homemade coleslaw,  jalapeno potato chips, sweet tea, and fresh strawberries.

Sawyer guarding the food. And longingly waiting for Bill to return.

I honestly love making pulled pork. 1) It’s cheap. 2) It’s little work (with high yield). 3) It’s always a huge hit. I’m glad I finally got to make it for Bill…now he can eat it for the rest of the week!

Sawyer also got to enjoy the (human) park and the dog park today. He even taught Bill how to play bocce ball. Quite the talented canine.

Touchdown! Preparing Sawyer early for college football season.

“I claim this land in the name of the kingdom of Saywer!”

If Sawyer somehow formed opposable thumbs and knew how to use the internet, he would find the following pictures embarrassing:

Chicken Tikka Masala.

One of the first things I learned about Bill was that he loves chicken tikka masala. So of course I had to make it – or at least attempt to make it – at some point.

Since we had a BBQ to get to, I set out to find a way to make it the simplest and fastest way possible. Obvious solution: slow cooker! A few chops, spoonfuls, and pieces of chicken later, and we were cookin’. The spices were just ever-so-slightly off, but nothing a little bit of practice won’t fix. I’d also like to try this with chickpeas in the future as a vegetarian option.

Not a fan of working while eating at the dinner table, but with the amount of work he has, I’ll let it pass.

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Minty Fresh.

For round 2 of dessert this past week, I made mini mint-chocolate cupcakes for Bill’s Section D BBQ. They were pretty easy to whip up, especially since I used boxed fudge cake mix. It was definitely a welcome break though after making chili and chicken tikka masala – more on that later.

The cupcakes are an excellent balance between mint and chocolate and they turned out to be a crowd-pleaser with Section D. I have a ton of extra frosting and broken cupcake bits. It’s been pretty hard not to make a meal out of the leftovers.

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Snap. Crackle. Pop.

These delicious treats were only the beginning to a pretty intense cooking week. Even though I came back from Miami (finally got to meet Bill’s family!) with a little sick-bug, I managed to make these peanut butter-pretzel Rice Krispies treats, 2 giant pots of chili, chocolate-mint cupcakes, and chicken tikka masala all in the span of 4 days.

I don’t know exactly was spurred me to cook so much this week, but it probably had something to do with the stark realization that I haven’t done much cooking, photography, or blogging after Bill took the liberty of telling his family about this here blog. If he’s going to go around bragging about it, I should have something to show for it. I decided on this variation of the staple marshmallowy treat since I wanted to send some to his fam-bam and needed something that could be easily shipped across the country.

Anyways, the treats are a good combination of sweet and salt – also the reason why I like Reese’s Peanut Butter Cups so much – but I need to figure out how to make the chocolate topping less sweet. I cut it with melted peanut butter chips, but I don’t think it made that big of a difference. Something to contemplate for next time. And believe me, there will be a next time.

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Super Spartan Race Report.

Happy New Year!

Wanting to have all of my b-school apps behind me, I put the cooking scene on the backburner. However, that didn’t stop me from having a private scrumptious NYE spread with the boy this December 31st.

Honestly, the picture doesn’t do it justice.

***

On January 4th, a Thrillist deal popped up in my inbox. $65 for race entry for the SoCal Super Spartan. Awesome deal, right? Let’s forward it to the boyfriend.

Fast forward 20 minutes.

Somehow I got roped into doing it with the boyfriend. I don’t know if it was a temporary lapse in sanity or me trying to make myself look good. It was a weird mix of excitement and fear. On one hand, there was the happiness of sloshing through mud and water. And on the other were the 8+ miles I had to trek.

A few days before the event, my roommate’s fiance asked me if I had been training. Uh, no. Should I have been? Eek!

January 29th finally came. With a 11 am start time, we didn’t have to crack the break of dawn to get out to Temecula. Looking around at the crowd, I got pretty intimidated looking at everyone who was taller, bigger, and more muscular than me. And it’s sort of intimidating when your boyfriend is an insane runner and amazing athlete. But I loved how supportive he was and that he stayed by my side the whole way, even when I had blisters on both feet and had to empty out my shoes several times during the course of the race. Couldn’t help by apologize the whole time. I’m curious to see how he’d do without me as a limiting factor. Say, in Tough Mudder??

So for the course. Hills. Hills and more hills. Before the race, my main concern was the mileage I’d have to run, but with all the hills, there weren’t many opportunities to run anyway. I was fine with that. +1 Megan.

Sexy face #1:

Sexy Face #2:

Almost done!

Obstacles? How cool! The obstacles were the best part of the whole thing since it meant dirt/water/mud/awesomeness. I even got some war wounds in the form of scrapes, bruises, and blisters. I had the time of my life and I’d do another obstacle race in a heartbeat. The length was perfect; don’t know if I can handle anything much longer, and anything shorter seems…too short.

Now that I’m playing the waiting game with b-schools, I have to start trying out recipes again. Valentine’s Day is coming up, too. I’m tempted to try some new things, but I don’t want to disappoint. Hrm. We’ll see what menu I come up with.