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

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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!