Thursday, October 20, 2016

Don’t be Intimidated by Lamb!

Greek-Style Lamb Chops with Sweet Potato Noodles
My family is from Thessaly which is often called “the bread-basket” of Greece due to all the flat, fertile wheat fields. My mother’s family has been farmers for years and they had a flock of sheep. They still maintain large fields of wheat, corn and cotton just outside the village. My father’s family is from a village a little higher in the hills and they were shepherds and cow-herders. My uncle still had a huge flock of sheep up until the 1990s when we went to visit! That was cool for us to see, being city kids from New York. I watched my grandmother make feta and kasseri cheeses from the sheep’s milk and they served lamb for any big celebration, as well as Easter. In the US now, we still keep many of the traditions and have lamb at Easter with roasted potatoes and other seriously delicious traditional side dishes.

OK, I know lots of people are intimidated to even try cooking lamb because it’s too expensive. Some ingredients we find at the market can be very expensive (think: some cuts of steak, lobster, scallops, veal, lamb). However, you don’t need to cook a whole leg of lamb; lamb chops are the answer! My market had some really nice lamb chops so I bought them. Then, of course, they went on sale the very next day…

Others don’t like lamb because of the strong gamey taste (you are buying the wrong lamb!) or think it will come out chewy. This might be because you haven’t yet tried Greek-style lamb chops! If we go to the Greek restaurants and tavernas in Astoria here in NY for dinner, I will usually order “Paidakia (Pa-eee-tha-kia)” or grilled lamb chops. These are made well-done since that is how most Greeks like them. I know there are those out there that prefer their meat medium-rare, but seriously, try some well-done Greek lamb chops. They are rich with flavor and not at all chewy. 

Thursday, October 13, 2016

Acorn Squash with a Greek Flavor

Today we are going to have fun with fall squash and give it a Greek flavor. And no, that does not mean feta cheese... I'm talking about honey!

My favorite breakfast is 2 slices of toast with a light touch of butter and honey drizzled on top while the toast is still hot. This is a breakfast that my Grandparents in Greece made along with toast with olive oil and sugar sprinkled on top. 

Greek honey is usually a thick thyme or wildflower honey. It has a deep, rich flavor; it isn't just "sweet." A little goes a long way. Recently, my mom gave me a jar of Greek honey and I have been putting it on everything! 

I bought an acorn squash and was looking for some fun fall recipes to try with it, but everything was butter and brown sugar. I wanted to try something different. I was eating my butter and honey toast and thought: why not add some Greek flavor to this squash? I decided to make it with walnuts and honey and sprinkled some cinnamon on top. I sliced it in half and baked it with a little butter, crushed walnuts and honey. It was so good! It tasted like I was eating a Greek dessert! There you go – Baklava but healthier!

Thursday, October 6, 2016

The Ultimate Comfort Food - Slow Cooker Roast Beef!

The Fall is the perfect time to break out your slow cooker and make some of your favorite fall comfort foods! I haven't used my slow cooker since last winter. I feel like spring is for making lighter dishes like sautes with fresh peas and summer is for grilling lean meats along with summer vegetables and fresh tomato salads. When fall comes around, pumpkins and squashes such as acorn and butternut are plentiful and we start seeing more root vegetables such as carrots, parsnips and turnips. 

The weather is getting cooler here and beef roasts were on sale at my local market, so I decided to make a healthy slow cooker roast. I found large loose carrots and parsnips - perfect for our fall slow cooker roast! 

I am always looking for slow cooker recipes that are simple and don't use too many processed ingredients such as soup mixes or high sodium broths. They are so hard to find! So, I decided to try an experiment and make my regular, delicious oven roast beef recipe in the slow cooker. 

Thursday, September 29, 2016

BEC 2016 Update

Many people reach my blog by searching about BEC on Google (“How can I pass BEC,” “Why did I fail BEC,” “BEC Study Plan,” etc.). Therefore, I thought I would write this updated post for 2016 with some helpful information instead of just complaining about BEC (you can read complaining here). I have included resources that I found helpful for my own study plan. I am not affiliated with the AICPA, NASBA or the CPA Exam. This is not official at all; I am just a CPA candidate writing on a personal blog. You should do your own research and double-check whether the information presented here is correct and still applies. 

This post contains my BEC Strategy, A Closer Look at BEC (Content Specification Outlines) and My Study Plan, CPA Exam Resources, and BEC Resources!

Thursday, September 15, 2016

Back to School Supplies for Accountants

Schools started on Long Island last week and NYC this week. How can you tell? The increase in traffic, of course! It is also getting cooler these days and I have such an urge to buy school supplies. There's something about fall and school supplies! Why leave all the fun to the kids? Yes, Accountants – You should have some new supplies this fall! 

OK, notebooks and other supplies may be considered low-tech compared to your cell phone, tablet or laptop. But I find people pay more attention when taking notes in a notebook as opposed to a laptop. Don’t you hate giving a presentation to a conference room of people who are typing away on their laptops? You hope that they’re taking notes on what you’re saying, but they are more likely responding to an e-mail. How about when you are explaining how to do something to a colleague and they just stare at you and nod? Fast forward 3 hours later, and they completely forgot everything you said. To prevent them from asking you a million questions via e-mail, rip out a page from your notebook and give it to them to take notes. 

Wise people have said that you retain more information when you put a pen(cil) to paper, and the science now proves it. Check out this article entitled “Attention, Students: Put Your Laptops Away” which references a number of recent studies that prove this theory.