Cheer-up Cupcakes

Well Jill still is pretty down about her boyfriend.  I do not know what we need to do to shake her out of this slump, but we thought that making her some nice food and having a whole morning of eating might just do the trick.  We know that she has been spending a lot of time alone as of late and has been eating a whole lot of ice cream.  She told us she has put on eight pounds in the last two weeks and that is not a good thing because she has always been at that weight where her doctors told her that she needs to be really careful.

Now true, if she is worried about her weight, it would make sense that we would not be giving her all of these really fatty and bad foods that would make things worse.  So we went a different route and tried to find deliciousness that was not too un-heart healthy.  I think that we did a really good job on that.  I have included the recipe here so that you too can be involved and get a sense of what the baking scene in Washington D.C. looks like.  Please let me know what your suggestions are after you have whipped up some of these goodies.

1 cup flour

1/2 teaspoon baking powder

1/4 teaspoon soda

1 cup granulated sugar

1/4 cup butter

1/2 teaspoon vanilla

2 egg whites

2/3 cups plain yogurt

Directions

  1. Preheat the oven to 350° F (180° C). Line 10 muffin cups with foil or paper liners.
  2. In a bowl, stir together the flour, baking powder and baking soda. Set aside.
  3. In a large mixing bowl with an electric mixer, beat together the sugar, butter and vanilla on high speed for about 2 minutes, or until well mixed. Add the egg whites, one at a time, beating for about a minute after each one. Now add the flour mixture alternately with the yogurt, in about 3 portions each, beating after each addition just until combined, and scraping down the sides to make sure everything is well mixed.
  4. Pour batter into the prepared cupcake pan and place in the oven. Bake for 20-25 minutes or until lightly browned on top and a toothpick poked into the middle of a cupcake comes out clean. Let cool completely on a rack.
  5. To assemble the Cupcake menorah, frost all the cupcakes with your choice of icing and decorate in any way your heart desires. Place 9 cupcakes in a row on a platter or foil-covered cardboard base. Raise the middle cupcake up higher than the others — the “shamash” or leader. Stick candles into each of the 9 positions. When it’s time to light the candles — enjoy the flickering flames while you eat dinner, then eat the menorah for dessert!

Book Theft

I would like to say that everything was going well and good with school this year and to a certain extent, I can.  But my lawmate is not having a very good time.  Her boyfriend left her and she just got all of her books stolen at the Law Starbucks.  I do not understand why within our own group someone is going to rob one another.  It seems that she is now in a serious problem because that first set of books cost her around $600.  She does not have the necessary money to replace all of those and that does not even take into consideration the fact that her wallet was in the bag too.  When all was said and done, she lost around $700 and all of her credit cards, plus the replacement fee for her ID and the keys into the law buildings.

So I told her that we would try to help her raise the money for books.  I went and talked with some of the professors and they said that they would find some old copies and see if they would still work.  I know that at least one of them said that they were going to write into the publisher and see if they could not get an extra desk copy that she could use.  I really love the professors here and they really understand real world issues that we are all dealing with.

As for my own books, I spent around $500 and even though mine were the same books as Jill’s, I paid a lot less.  I used Abe books this year and I am a fool for not having done this the last few goes at this.  The savings were intense and the selection was amazing.  Since most people do not sell their law books back it is not like I can just go on Amazon and buy all the books that I need.  So if you are a law student, I recommend that you go out there and buy your books from Abebooks.com.  Even if you are not a law student, I think you should give it a look.  It has such an impressive spread.

It seems that this time around, Law School Socialism just is not panning out the way that it did last year.  I don’t know if the new cohort is just a little bit less friendly or if they have not realized how much we are trying to help them out, but they are not contributing or giving us any sort of benefit in return.  They do not even say thank you and that really has irritated everyone that I have talked to.  Maybe it is still just the nerves at the beginning of the year.  Time will tell.

Chocolate Filed Crescents

While I still want to give you all some recipe ideas, I also want to give you some back story.  Most of the comments I receive about these creations, other than the ones telling me how good they, involve wanting to know where I experience them.  I’d like to say that I sample all the fancy restaurants in the D.C. area, but that simply isn’t the truth.  I happen to have made good friends who are in the know about recipes.  That and a couple of them working for catering businesses and they give us all the inside scoop.

 

This week I was meeting with Angela, who worked as a pasty chef at a restaurant for a few years in between undergraduate and law school.  She is probably the best friend that I have out here and if it was based solely on my friends’ abilities to bake tasty treats, she would win hands down.  After our discussion of internships and how each of us was doing with it (yes I told her all about my pants suit episode) she told me that she was going to make me something to forget all my troubles.  I somehow doubted that, but over the last year I’ve learned not to doubt Ang.

 

As she was whipping everything up in her kitchen, it reminded me of how many things I’m missing in my own.  When I moved up here, I left most of my baking utensils, pots and pans at home with my mother.  I guess you could say that I did my fair share of baking while I was at home, although I also know how to cook.  Not that I ever really get to do that for captive audiences anymore.  Again, a story for a different time.

 

Basically in the time that it took me to type that last paragraph, Ang had already started the preparation for her award winning (seriously) chocolate-filled crescents.  When all was said and done, it took her about 20 minutes to get it ready and 12 minutes to bake.  After feasting on these delectable goodies for a while, I asked her the recipe.  She gave me the one she wants published.  It isn’t as good as the ones she made me, but still pretty close.  I hope you enjoy it.

 

3 tablespoons butter, softened

1 cup confectioners’ sugar

1 tablespoon milk

1 teaspoon vanilla

¼ cup baking cocoa

3 tablespoon finely chopped pecans

2 tubes refrigerated crescent rolls

 

For the glaze:

1 cup confectioners’ sugar

2 tablespoons baking cocoa

2 tablespoons plus 1 teaspoon water

2 tablespoons butter, melted

½ teaspoon vanilla

 

In a bowl, cream butter and sugar.  Beat in milk and vanilla.  Gradually add the cocoa.  Mix everything together.  Gently fold in the pecans.

 

Unroll the crescent dough and separate in to triangle shapes.  Spread about 2 rounded teaspoons of filling over each triangle all the way to ¼ inch of the edge.  Roll up each from the wide side.  Place the pointed side down on an un-greased baking sheet.  Curve them to make the corners have the crescent shape.

 

Bake them at 375 degrees for 12 minutes.  Remove them to a cooling rack.  While they cool, whip together the glaze ingredients until smooth.  Then drizzle them over the crescents.

 

This should give you about 16 amazing goodies for yourself or others.

Wet Day at Work

At my super secret internship, in one of the most important buildings in the United States, I got drenched. When I was talking to my mom about this earlier in the day, she couldn’t help but laugh at how pathetic I sounded on the phone. Hopefully it doesn’t come across in the same tone online. Please let me know in the comments if this sounds pathetic. Not that it will really change anything, but just for my own knowledge.

I always dress nicely for work. I mean, I meet incredibly influential people on a daily basis and I would love to be employed by any of these people when I finish school, so I want to leave a good impression. Earlier today I was wearing one of my gray pants suits. I got them on sale earlier in the year at JC Penny’s and they have served me well so far. Unfortunately, as I learned today, they bleed. Terribly. Needless to say that when I got home from work I had to throw the whole pants suit out in addition to my blouse, socks, and undergarments if you know what I mean. Even my skin is tinted a bit gray and I’ve showered four times without it coming off.

Since I’m buying my clothes from Penny’s, I obviously am not worried about spending tons of money. I’m Ms. Frugal after all and really try to stretch my dollar as far as it will go (let me tell you it isn’t going nearly far enough these days). I’ve never had any problem with my clothes before, but after this I might need to spend a little bit more money on them. The tag on the pants suit said that it was colorfast, but obviously, someone made a mistake in labeling it as such. I have a good mind to sue them. Oh, there I go again sounding like a lawyer and one of the kind that I hate.

I would like to say that I got wet fighting against a tidal wave of bad legal advice, but it was much simpler than that. The sprinkler system in my office went off. At first I didn’t know what the beeping was about, I figured fire alarm, but didn’t realize how serious it was until the water came rushing down. I’ve never been in a situation where sprinklers have turned on and I had no idea how much water comes down and in such a short period of time. Now I know even though I wish I didn’t.

It seems that one of the servers in the room behind me overheated. The fan failed or something along those lines. While the server room is full of electronics, the designers of the building saw in their infinite wisdom to equip it with a world class sprinkler system. I found this out because I was in the server room looking for some files on one of the PCs. I didn’t smell any smoke. All I know is that it is already cold in that room and that being drenched in water does not improve the situation.

So there it is. That was my day. I had to spend another three hours at work drying out before they let me go home. My boss apologized that they couldn’t spare me, but I’m quite upset all the same. I wasn’t productive at all for the rest of the day and I doubt you would be if your hair was dripping on to every page of legal text you looked through.