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IN THE SPOTLIGHT

“Now You Know” Chili

“Now You Know” Chili

I started food blogging because . . . law school.

Today marks the last day of my second to last semester of law school (is that a thing?) I remember dreaming about going to law school as early as high school. The fact that I am about to graduate from Howard Law School this May is literally a dream come true. I was never motivated by money and never inspired by the status that being an attorney brings you. To be quite honest, I knew lawyers made a lot of money, but I had no idea how much. And, I didn’t really know any lawyers closely. I was so far removed from the world of law. I just knew that I wanted to pursue a career that I felt was meaningful. One where I could be in a position to affect change. I pursued law school because it was something I wanted for myself and I knew it would help me help other people.

After graduating from undergrad, I had so much doubt. It was the first time that my future wasn’t prescribed for me. The whole law school thing was completely up to me. I had no idea what I was doing. Like at all. So much doubt went through my mind on a daily basis. But I pushed through. I took it step by step. I researched law schools. I studied for the LSAT. I took the LSAT. I read books to become familiar with law school and how to study. And even though I didn’t know what was going on, I did my best to figure it out and gave my best effort at each point—always looking only a few steps ahead as opposed to 10.

When I started thedanareneeway, I went through the same process—a process I’m actually still going through. I knew nothing (and still don’t if we’re being completely honest) about blogging, let along food blogging, food photography, food styling, food anything. I just knew that I like to cook. And eat. I love the feeling of making people happy with the food that I’ve created. I love that a home cooked meal has the ability to warm a household or bring friends together. I started thedanareneeway because I wanted to share my food with other people. I want to share what I know about food, cooking and eating. Not knowing how to do something is a starting place, not an obstacle. That’s what law school has taught me and that is why I food blog.

If You Don’t Know, Now You Don’t Know. —Notorious B.I.G.

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People ask me all the time, “What do you cook?” And as many times as I’ve been asked that same question, I still don’t have a perfect answer. I love trying new recipes and making them my own. I also love to revisit family recipes and recreate them or upgrade them into something even better. At some point, I’m sure I will develop a niche of some sort, but for now I enjoy the ‘test kitchen’ method while I am still learning new recipes and techniques everyday. This is the most empowering part about being in the kitchen. Every dish is a challenge whether it’s an old or new recipe. And the challenge is always accepted. If it’s something I don’t know how to make, I’ll learn. And, if it turns out horribly . . . then I’ll just try it again later with a new mindset and a new technique. Julia Child once said, “The only real stumbling block is fear of failure. In cooking, you’ve got to have a what-the-hell attitude.” No truer words have ever been spoken. [short inspiring plug: Take out the word “cooking” and insert whatever goal you’re working towards, whether it’s career related or just a hobby. Set your own boundaries. Create your own successes and define your own “failures.”]

Back to the cookies. These cookies are very “cakey,” they even rise a little in the oven creating a soft and fluffy texture. And, of course, super lemony. If you’re in a last minute gift giving bind, place them in a cookie box and tie a bow around them. They present well and work perfectly as a gift. Don’t worry, you won’t have to give away too many, as the recipe makes two dozen at the very least. So there will be plenty left for you.

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