Friday, August 26, 2016

What Did We Do with All Those Tomatoes?

We are nearing the end of August and the end of summer here in New York. Even though I love the fall season, I’m not ready for summer to end just yet and wish to prolong it for as long as I can. What better way to stay in summer than a quick post about tomatoes?

Thursday, August 18, 2016

5 Reasons to Take the CPA Exam Right After College

If you recently graduated from college/university, I want to congratulate you! Well done! Are you starting a new job this fall and would rather do anything but study in your spare time? Do you want to take a short break from studying since that’s what you have been doing for most of your life? Well, despite all that, it may make more sense to take the CPA Exam sooner rather than later.

See, I made the mistake of pushing off serious studying for the CPA Exam during my first year working at a CPA firm. In the early 2000s, there were lots of layoffs in the Finance industry in New York, and this included CPA Firms. It became extremely important to have as many billable hours and not much “unassigned time.” I could not afford to lose this job and spent my free time asking Seniors for work that they needed help with instead of studying. I figured I could “wing it” on some parts and study hard later when things slowed down.

As the years went by and my personal and professional responsibilities increased, it grew more and more difficult to study. I kept trying though – passing parts, failing others. I took breaks from the Exam. This process started to repeat over and over again. If I knew then what I know now, I would have tried to find a balance between work and studying very early on in my career.  

If you sit for the CPA Exam soon after graduating, you may be able to avoid these 5 things that are currently working against me:

Thursday, August 11, 2016

Some Quick Organic Quinoa

Organic Quinoa with Arugula recipe below! 

I want to substitute quinoa for the French fries that have somehow become my standard side dish over the summer. Yes, I said French fries! See, it starts slowly – Too hot to stand in front of the stove? Just bake some French fries in the toaster oven. Grilling outside and don't want to walk in and out checking on food? Bake some French fries. Call it convenience or laziness, you get used to it and before you know it, you are serving French fries with veal because “it goes” and it only takes 20 minutes. 

To break this habit, I picked up a bag of Organic Quinoa from Costco recently and have resolved to use it instead of having it sit in the pantry until it expires. It is said that white quinoa (which this one is) has a mild nutty taste; whereas red quinoa has a stronger nutty taste. From what I can remember, I noticed a slight difference, but not enough for me to declare either one tastier over the other. Then again, I am not a quinoa connoisseur. 

Thursday, August 4, 2016

Healthy but Quick Series

I gained 20 lbs my first year in public accounting. It was all thanks to the restaurant takeout we ordered for lunch AND dinner while working until 1 AM. Since I was the one picking up the food (first year!), I felt obligated to eat that food, too. Just because it is called a salad, does not make it healthy. And I ate that salad twice a day for months. We had to wear suits because the client was business dress. By the time that client audit was almost over, my suit jacket buttons would not close at all and I was afraid to split my skirt zipper sitting down. All work and no time or money to buy new suits (non-matching separates were frowned upon and this was early 2000 before internet shopping was the obvious solution), I started making some food on Sundays to bring for lunch and dinner for a couple of days early in the week.

A decade and a half later, I am trying to eat healthier again and wanted to write a series of recipe posts that are Healthy but Quick. Many people want to eat healthier but don’t have time to cook a full, complicated meal after a day at work or school. Some recipes sound delicious but we give up for a number of excuses and just pick up takeout. Of course, the one item that really makes the recipe is not in our fridge and it’s too late to go to the supermarket; or we really don’t have the time or patience to follow a series of steps involving multiple cooking methods and pans. We also see something at the supermarket (usually a vegetable) and just leave it there because we have no idea how to cook it. Or we buy it and never make it (yes I have been guilty of such laziness!).

Thursday, March 24, 2016

I Still Hate BEC

Four years later and…

I’m still not a CPA.

BEC kicked my butt again and I lost all my credits back in 2012. I seriously hate BEC. If BEC could be slapped across the face, I would give it a firm backhand.

I’m still not a CPA. And I don’t care.  

Tuesday, January 31, 2012

The BEC Exam is my Super Bowl

I live in New York and all I hear right now is that the Giants are in the Super Bowl. The TV, the radio, friends, family, and co-workers – everyone is more excited about the Super Bowl than usual because it’s a NY team. Long-time Giants fans (such as my husband) are super excited. He has his lucky Giants sweatshirt ready to go for Sunday’s big game.
I grew up in a football-crazy house (my brother has played for years from Pee Wee League all the way to Semi-Pro) and I like football, but I don’t like the Giants. Regardless, I can’t help but get caught up in the enthusiasm and even think of my upcoming BEC Exam as the ultimate Super Bowl rematch – The Cooking Accountant vs. BEC. The last time I took BEC, I failed with a 74. I’m ready for a rematch.

All-time record: BEC – 6, The Cooking Accountant – 0.

Tuesday, January 24, 2012

Where I’m At…

Growing up, I would spend New Year’s Day journaling about the year that passed and what I wished for the upcoming year. I would write anywhere from 5-10 pages. Even though I have stopped journaling some years ago, I still like to reflect on and learn from the past and plan for the future.

Although a little late, this is my 2012 New Year journal entry and lets you know where I am with the Accounting and Non-Accounting areas of my life.

With the CPA Exam
I took FAR back in October when I was about to lose the last conditional credit I had left. I got a 70 and all my credits had expired. I was forced to start at Square One again and signed up to take BEC in April. BEC has changed and now includes writing in addition to the multiple choice questions, making it even more challenging. I have started a self-study plan using the 2012 Wiley textbook and may add a Cram course in March. I plan to blog regularly on my study progress even if it’s a paragraph.

Tuesday, September 27, 2011

In the Homestretch plus a Roger Discount!

So this week I have been studying like a madwoman since I am taking FAR on Saturday. I should finish my Roger Cram tonight. That means I will have the next 3 days to review my notes and do questions. Wish me luck!

Here is a great Roger CPA Review Discount. Looks like you can save up to $450 ($150 per part) on the online review course when you use the coupon code 150Party at checkout!
Click on the image below to take advantage of this sweet deal which ends on Friday!

Friday, September 16, 2011

Sponsored Post: Free Live Webcast TOMORROW: FAR Conceptual Framework

Roger CPA Review is offering a Free Live Webcast this Saturday from an actual FAR Class. Roger will discuss the Conceptual Framework. You may want to sign up if you need a refresher or are an “older student” such as myself (I learned the Conceptual Framework in school when it was SFAC 1 and 2 and now it’s replaced by SFAC 8!). I am thinking about signing up for this webcast since I watched the Conceptual Framework topic on the Roger Cram lecture more than a month ago.

Click on the image below to sign up for the Free Webcast.

And stay tuned for the secret discount code at the end of the webcast to get a special offer from Roger CPA Review!

Wednesday, September 14, 2011

Comfort Food: Zucchini Stuffed with Rice (Yemista)

Zucchini Stuffed with Rice (Yemista) recipe below! 

Today, I am drawing on my Greek roots to share a recipe for a favorite dish with you – Yemista. Yemista means “filled” in Greek and I think it’s a fitting name since vegetables (bell peppers, tomatoes, zucchini or zucchini flowers) are filled with a rice mixture.
Depending on where you are from or where you visit in Greece, the stuffing mixture may vary but usually includes rice. My mother uses a rice and tomato paste mixture. My mother-in-law is from a different part of Greece and she uses a rice and ground beef mixture. (Both versions are excellent, by the way). In some restaurants, I have seen them topped with cheese, although I prefer the Americanized version topped with bread crumbs.

Michael Psilakis has a good recipe for Yemista in his book "How to Roast a Lamb: New Greek Classic Cooking"