Doin’ the Tea-quila Twist

Life has been busy lately. I started my last semester of college a month ago and time is flying by. Still, I’ve managed to make some time for friends and fun. My roommate and I hosted a back-to-school party a few weeks ago and I, of course, made cocktails for our guests. The weather has been so temperamental and the day of the party brought a sticky, unpleasant heat. Why doesn’t DC understand that it’s September?!

This drink, which I call the Tea-quila Twist, was the perfect way to cool down.

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Tasty Travels: Nice, France

From September to December 2013, I lived and studied in Paris, France, which is one of my favorite cities in the world. This post is the first in a series about the foods I tasted during my four months in Europe.

Perhaps what I love most about the French is their love of food. My host mom, who I called my “Madame”, once told me that the French never stop thinking about food. Before, during and after a meal, French people are thinking about their next meal. One night, my Madame and her daughter spent the entirety of our main course and dessert interrogating my Swiss housemate about her favorite brands of chocolate.

During my time abroad, I traveled to Belgium, England, Germany, Italy, Luxembourg, Monaco, Spain, Switzerland, and various places in France. This post is about my weekend trip to Nice, France, a seaside city in the South of France with a food culture that mixes French and Italian traditions.

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Put the lime in the coconut…

Since my 21st birthday, making cocktails has been one of my favorite hobbies. Usually I stick with classic cocktails, but occasionally I invent my own. This weekend I picked up a bottle of Cruzan Key Lime Rum on my walk home, invited some friends over, and my “Loconut” (a crazy good combination of lime and coconut) cocktail was born.

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Simple Sandwiches

Sandwiches: they’re a staple in the American culinary repertoire. These handheld meals – whether we’re talking about the classics, like peanut butter and jelly, or something more innovative, like New York City’s newest obsession, the ramen burger – are beloved.

As a college student, I often turn to sandwiches as an easy midday meal. In this blog post, I’m going to talk about two of my favorites: a spiced fruit-and-cheese baguette and a twist on grilled cheese.

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Super Bowl Sweets

On Sunday I watched the Super Bowl for the first time in my life. How I managed to make it 20 years without ever seeing the Super Bowl, I don’t know. And, not only did I (sort of) watch the game, I watched it at a Super Bowl party! The only sports I really like playing are tennis and basketball, and when it comes to watching sports…I don’t. Despite years of watching (and hearing) my dad watch football, I don’t know the rules at all. Oops. But this year I was invited to a Super Bowl party and I thought I’d give it a chance. After all, isn’t the Super Bowl also associated with great, stick-to-your-ribs comfort food?

My friend Katie asked guests to bring snacks, so I racked my brain for ideas. Cupcakes are my fallback baked good because I can easily make them in large quantities. Plus, they’re always a hit. I wanted whatever I brought to be festive and different. I became fixated on the idea of having the team colors represented in some way.

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Pâte à Choux and Success, too!

Most of my best friends have birthdays between January and April, and that means one thing for me: more time in the kitchen. Last year, instead of gifts, I offered to make each of my friends a dessert of their choosing on their birthday. Last year’s requested desserts included birthday-cake-flavored cinnamon rolls, chocolate cupcakes with creamy peanut butter frosting, and chocolate and butterscotch chip cookies.

My friend Nicole’s birthday is today. The dessert she requested? Chocolate eclairs. For the record, I don’t have a big sweet tooth. Or any sweet tooth at all, really. I’ll bake all day but I’m not wild about eating sugar-y things. At restaurants I always choose an extra appetizer over dessert. It’s weird, I know. But even I can’t resist a good eclair. I can even remember a time during my childhood when there was always a box of frozen eclairs in the freezer. (Side note: eclairs are delicious at any temperature, but they are especially delightful when they’re frozen.)

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