This or That: April

Red heart bag

1. The most satisfying things to happen to food. So soothing.

2. I wish I had handwriting and calligraphy skills like this guy! #goals

3. Cinderella Slippers in real life…is this a dream??

4. Things sassy people wish everyone else understand. [Disclaimer: one of my friends may or may not have sent this to me as a joke, what is she trying to say?! :) ]

5. Need to make this chocolate pie ASAP. It looks divine.

6. How cute is my pup, Tex? [P.S. Follow me on Instagram, y’all!]

7. On my short list of restaurants to try in Austin: Josephine House.

8. How CUTE is this Kate Spade dress? Love it. [Name that movie: “Florals for Spring? Groundbreaking.”…….Devil Wears Prada DUH! My fav!]

9. Did you see my GoPro video from my mom and I’s recent trip to Paris?!

10. This outfit, so perfect for spring! 

Kites & Ivy Intern

Hey y’all! So this semester I am an intern for this new company, Kites & Ivy!

Kites and Ivy Spring Break Box

The Spring Break Box!

Kites & Ivy is an awesome subscription box company specifically tailored for college women. Here’s how it works: twice per semester, a box filled with the best bath and beauty finds, fashion accessories, and other fun surprises is delivered right to your door! The Kites & Ivy boxes go out based on the academic year – the next box is the Finals Survival Box! It will be packed with health and beauty items that will help you get through the stress of exams. Orders for the Finals Survival box will be accepted through April 10th (this Friday!) – the last box sold out early, so be sure to order yours today! Check out our website (http://www.kitesandivy.com/for more details.

Oh! You can use my promo code TEXAS2015 for 10% off you order! Don’t forget, order today because the deadline is this Friday!

You can also check us out and like us on FacebookTwitterInstagram, and Pinterest! Y’all rock and so does Kites & Ivy!

Spring Break 2015: Paris, France

For spring break last week, I went to Paris with my mom! #GirlsTrip

We had the absolute best time! We arrived on Sunday morning and left the following Friday. We took the city by storm. We went EVERYWHERE. We took The Big Bus around the city the first two days and I could not recommend it enough. Such a fun and easy way to get around the city to all the major attractions that one wants to see. It was my mom’s first time in Paris and she loved it!

We went everywhere, we saw everything, we ate amazing food, and we walked a ton. One day we walked 14 miles…are we crazy? Some would say yes :) Oh! And on Thursday, we went to Disneyland Paris! It was absolutely magical, everyone! I took a million and one pictures…enjoy!

Loved spending my Spring Break with you, Mommy! It was the absolute best. I love you!

Lucy’s Fried Chicken

If you’re in Austin, go to Lucy’s Fried Chicken. Don’t ask questions, just go. Who can say no to hot and delicious fried chicken? My brother, Daddy, and I went last week for dinner and were so happy with our meals. The atmosphere is fun and the food is good. What more could ya ask for?

For appetizers, we ordered the Texan Wood-Fired Grilled Oysters and the Deep Fried Deviled Eggs. Both dishes were phenomenal.  

For the main meals, Davis out ordered us all. He got the Deep Fried Chicken Spaghetti…! It was, as you can imagine, the best. I had the Burn-It Bowl and my dad ordered a basket of fried chicken with collard greens and mashed potatoes that we all munched on. YUM!

As if we hadn’t eaten enough, we ordered dessert. I’m so glad we did, it was delightful. And let’s be honest. there’s ALWAYS room for dessert……. We had the banana pudding and slices of the sweet tea and s’mores pie.

I rolled away from the restaurant after this meal. So worth the #foodcoma. The best part of the meal, however, was being with my favorite boys…thanks for coming down to ATX, Daddy and Davis! xoxo.

Monmouth 2015

Last night was Monmouth, Pi Phi and Kappa’s annual formal! It was an absolute blast. Everyone looked fantastic. The boys in the tuxedos and the girls in fun dresses, gosh, I love any reason to dress up! Here are some fun pics from the night! I wore a silver sparkly dress (similar) and these heels. Razzle dazzle!

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IMG_7464 IMG_7465_2 IMG_7466 IMG_7467_2 IMG_7468Aren’t all my friends just fabulous???

February Update

Life has been so great and fun lately! I thought I’d give an update for a little peek into busy life here on campus with school, soccer, and my social life.

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My friend Caroline and I went to Ramen Tatsu-Ya for dinner a couple of weeks ago. This ramen is incredible. I slurped up this bowl of goodness so quickly I could’ve ordered another one on the spot. I ordered the #1 Tonkotsu Original with Brussels Sprouts.

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Our first weekend back at school, there were tons of “Back to School Raves.” Of course we came decked in our sororities attire to the different frat houses. Remember, one must always #PartywithPiPhi.
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On the weekends, the weather has been delightful. I love to wake up on Saturday and run downtown to one of my favorite breakfast places, Blenders and Bowls. It’s about a 2 mile run and then I get my açaí bowl and *walk* back after breakfast past the Capitol. I love the view!

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I went to Uchiko for dinner a couple of weekends ago and my oh my, the food is absolutely fantastic. Every dish we tasted was amazing. I might’ve liked the dessert so much that I just had (….was dared) to lick the plate……… :)

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Some MLS teams came to play at our Texas Soccer stadium last weekend and it was fun to watch with my teammates from the stands. But it was weird being a spectator and not playing on the field. I got to see the view my family sees when they come to watch my games during the fall!

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For Valentine’s Day, my friends and I all dressed in black as a funny joke and had a night out on the town! It was so much fun! My best friends made the best Valentine’s!

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This is how you use chopsticks, correct???

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Fiji had a Studio 54 party this past weekend and the best part was getting to dress up. I seriously want to make go go boots a “thing”again. They’re so much fun!

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One last thing, hook ’em always! This is the famous UT Tower that has served as the University’s most distinguishing landmark since 1937! A selfie in front of it is a must, even if I am a little sweaty after a quick workout at the gym!

xoxo,

Brinks

Girl Scout Cookies: Homemade Samoas

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It’s that wonderful time of year when the Girl Scouts are on every corner selling those delicious Girl Scout Cookies that we all know and love. I promised myself that i wouldn’t buy a box this year because I’m trying to be “good”…and because I have no restraint and can eat a box of Thin Mints in a day. Gosh.

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So, basically I decided to go around the fact that I wasn’t going to buy a box and decided to make my own! :)

I decided to make some Samoas and holy cow, they came out even better than the ones I’d buy from the Girl Scouts (sorry, girlies). My Samoas were practically on steroids because they were so big but hey, they were SO good.

Here’s the recipe:

For the shortbread cookies:
2 sticks of unsalted butter, at room temperature
1/2 cup sugar
2 cups all-purpose flour
1/4 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
2 Tablespoons milk
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract

For the coconut topping:
3 cups shredded sweetened coconut
15 ounces caramels (I just bought 2 packages of Werther’s Soft Caramels and it was the perfect amount)
3 Tablespoons milk
1/2 package of chocolate almond bark

The How-To: To make the cookies, cream the butter and sugar together until light and fluffy. Mix in the milk and vanilla extract. Finally, add all of the dry ingredients until the dough forms in the bowl. It will be very sticky. Using your hands, form the dough into a ball and then place in the refrigerator for at least 1 hour. After the dough has chilled, roll out the dough to 1/4 inch and cut the dough using two circle cookie cutters, one smaller than the first to make a “donut” shape. Place the cookies on a parchment lined baking sheet and bake for 10 minutes at 350 degrees. The cookies will be lightly golden brown. Let cool and off to make to coconut caramel topping!

In a large pan, toast the coconut for 5-7 minutes over medium heat until the coconut becomes *lightly* browned. This step will make your house smell so good but make sure the coconut doesn’t burn! While toasting the coconut, melt the caramels with 3 tablespoons of milk. Once melted, pour over the coconut and mix together until combined.

Okay, now for assembly. Using a spoon, get the coconut/caramel topping and spread it over the top of the cookie. The mixture is quite sticky and will adhere to the cooled cookie easily. Do this for all the cookies. Then, melt the chocolate bark in the microwave. Spread the cookies out on parchment paper and then dip the bottom of each cookie into the melted chocolate. Then, place the chocolate-covered cookies on the parchment paper and let sit until the chocolate hardens. With the excess chocolate, place it in a plastic bag and then snip the tip of the bag so the chocolate can come out. Drizzle the cookies with the chocolate and voila! Homemade Samoas that everyone will LOVE.

I was never a Girl Scout when I was younger but I’d say I deserve some type of badge for this right???

Brinkles Sprinkles

Super Bowl Sunday

Super Bowl Sunday is as much about the food as it is about the football and commercials. In my opinion, we balled out with our Super Bowl snackies. Emily and I were the hostesses with the mostesses (just go with it…?!) and made an awesome spread. Some stop bought and some homemade, we basically could have our own catering company…

Here was the menu:

  • Mexi-Corn Dip with Fritos
  • Tequila Lime Chicken Drumsticks
  • Jalapeño Poppers
  • Chips, Queso, and Salsa
  • Assortment of Desserts and Ice Cream

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Mexi-Corn Dip:

  • 1 12 ounce can whole corn, drained
  • 1 cup mayo
  • 1/2 cup sour cream
  • 1/2 pound cheddar cheese
  • 1/2 cup  chopped white onion
  • 1 jalapeño, chopped

Mix all the ingredients together and refrigerate for a while then serve with Fritos! Warning, this stuff is addictive!

Tequila Lime Chicken Drumsticks

  • 3/4 cup tequila
  • 3/4 cup freshly squeeze lime juice (about 6-8 limes)
  • 1/3 cup honey
  • 1 tablespoon plus 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 3/4 teaspoon pepper
  • 4.5 pounds chicken drumsticks (about 20)
  • 3 tablespoons oil (we used olive oil)
  • Orange wedges, for garnish

Combine the tequila, lime juice, honey, salt, pepper, chicken, and oil in a large plastic bag and let marinate for an hour.

Preheat the oven for 375 degrees. Remove the chicken from the marinade and allow excess marinade to drip back in the bag. Reserve the excess marinade. Place the chicken on a parchment-lined rimmed baking sheet and bake until cooked through and golden brown. It’ll take about 40 minutes.

While the drumsticks are cooking, transfer the marinade to a saucepan and boil over medium-high heat until thickened and reduced to about 1/3 cup. It will take about 15-20 minutes. Transfer chicken to a serving platter and immediately brush with glaze. Garnish with orange wedges. Enjoy!

Jalapeno Poppers

  • 10 Jalapeños
  • 1 cube of cream cheese, room temperature
  • 1/2 pound pound bacon

Cut the jalapeños in half, length-wise. With a spoon or knife, remove the seeds and white membrane. Smear the softened cream cheese into each jalapeños half. Wrap the jalapeño with bacon slices and cook at 375 degrees for 20-25 minutes. It’s all done, it’s that easy! Yum!

Chips, Queso, and Salsa

We just bought our favorite chips and salsa from the grocery store and picked up some queso from Torchy’s!

Dessert and Ice Cream

We went to Whole Foods and picked up some mini tarts from the bakery. We got some key limes tartlets, fruit tartlets, chocolate turtle cheesecake, and raspberry chocolate triffle. We also picked up a pint of Lick Ice Cream in the best flavor: Honey Country Honey and Vanilla!! Lick is a local ice cream shop here in Austin that has the craziest and fun flavors. This flavor is pretty tame for thier standards but is so delicious. If you’re at Whole Foods, pick up a pint!

We ended the nights in food comas on the couch watching the game. It was great! Hope everyone had a wonderful Super Bowl Sunday like I did!

Browned Butter Chocolate Chunk Cookies

I finish class on Monday’s at 2 o’clock. I walk myself home and plop myself right down on the couch just in time to watch my three favorite shows on Food Network (Giada at Home, Barefoot Contessa, and Pioneer Women). It’s quite possibly my favorite part of the day.

Well, these cookies were a direct result of seeing Ree Drummond from Pioneer Women making them on the episode I watched. I thought to myself, “I have all the ingredients, I want a sweet treat, my friends love my baked goods…therefore, I’m making cookies.” And so it was decided. And since I’ve never used browned butter before, I was sold.

Now, I’ll write down the recipe here on my blog but honestly, The Pioneer Women has the recipe all nicely typed with pictures explaining detailing everything so clearly that I’ll just provide y’all with the link HERE.

But whatever recipe you refer to, these cookies are the bomb.com. Basically, they’re a simple update on the classic chocolate chip cookie and they are soooo chewy and melt-in-your-mouth. These babies rank up there as some of my favorite desserts (which is saying a lot).

IMG_6770 IMG_6768 IMG_6767_2Ingredients:

  • 1 cup (2 Sticks) Salted Butter
  • 1 cup Brown Sugar
  • 1/2 cup Sugar
  • 2 Eggs
  • 1 Tablespoon Vanilla
  • 2 cups All-purpose Flour
  • 2 Tablespoons (additional) All-purpose Flour (rounded Tablespoons)
  • 2 teaspoons (heaping) Instant Coffee Granules
  • 1 teaspoon Baking Soda
  • 1 teaspoon Salt
  • 1 1/2 cups Semi-Sweet Chocolate Chips (or Chocolate Chunks)

The How To:

Melt a stick of butter over medium heat. Allow it to melt and then continue cooking it for 3 to 4 minutes, continually stirring with a spoon. The butter will bubble up and then turn a caramel/golden brown color. At this point, take it off the heat and transfer everything (even the brown solids at the bottom of the pan) to a heatproof bowl and allow it to cool COMPLETELY. For the other stick of butter, allow it to come to room temperature.

Preheat the oven to 375 degrees*.

Cream the softened butter together with the brown sugar and regular sugar until it’s all fluffy. Add the eggs and vanilla and scrape the sides of the pan to make sure everything is all combined.

Now, pay attention. This next step is important: With the mixer on medium-low, very slowly drizzle in the cooled melted butter, making sure to add all the darker brown solids! MAKE SURE YOU POUR IT IN SLOWLY. Make sure everything is combined and then move to the dry ingredients.

In a separate bowl, combine the flour, coffee granules, baking soda and salt. Stir together and then add to the wet ingredients. Add in the chocolate chips. Taste the dough, let’s real, it’s the best part. Put the batter in the fridge for 15 minutes and then scoop out by the tablespoon. Then bake 9 minutes and oh my goodness, you’ve got yourself one heck of a cookie. I recomend serving it with some milk or a big scoop of vanilla ice cream (maybe make an ice cream sandwich if you’re feeling extra naughty!).

Brinkles Sprinkles