Posted in Uncategorized

Home for the Holidays

IMG_20151127_084555
Photo by Anna

I love the holidays. Maybe that’s because I’ve never been solely responsible for hosting Thanksgiving, or the fact that my family is in this wonderful period where everyone is older then 22. The fact that we are all un-married adults makes Thanksgiving and Christmas a blissfully low key event in my house. They mostly consist of over-indulgence; sleeping in, staying in flannel PJs all day, drinking too much bubbly, and eating whatever we damn well please.

As my siblings and I are all on the verge of holidays including spouses, in-laws, and screaming babies ( I shudder) we have to make the most of our last peaceful holidays. As always I am in charge of the bar- So with Thanksgiving one week away,  I am in full recipe re-search mode, for you Dear Reader, I will share the fruits of my labors.

 

Drinks, Drinks, and more Drinks

What’s Thanksgiving without a little Persecco, and Vodka? Okay, they may not be staple items on your pre-holiday grocery list, but they should be. Got a pesky mother in-law? Can’t stand your uncle Jim? Parents wondering when you’re getting a real job? Ply them with this sneak attack of a beverage and suggest a game of Gen rummy.

Ruby Red Delight

 -One shot of Ruby Red Vodka (if your not from Texas you probably don’t know about Deep eddy- it’s the best. Do your self a favor and GET A BOTTLE

-half a shot of Contours

-shake over Ice

-top with Prosseco

There’s always one person in the family with a major sweet tooth. What a better time to indulge them, and yourself with an alcoholic cream sickle.

Cream sickle

-one shot whip cream vodka ( I use Pinnacle, but there are a ton of different brands)

-one freshly squeezed orange

-Shake over ice

-Top with home made whip cream

For the traditionalist- whisky always works. Blow them away with a REAL Old fashion- yes the one with the egg white on top. I know it sounds gross but it adds a sweet creamy flavor that makes the whisky slide down in sweet perfection.

Real Old Fashion

  •  2 oz Whiskey (Jack Daniels, Bullet, Jameson…. depends on your crowd)
  • 1 oz fresh lemon juice
  • ½–¾ oz simple syrup
  • 1 Tbsp egg white

 

If you are planning on being the bartender for your Thanksgiving You will need to know a few terms

Neat (followed by whatever liquor)- Straight alcohol

Two Fingers- refers to the amount of alcohol it takes to fill a glass to the level of two fingers wrapped around the bottom.

On the rocks- Over ice

Enjoy!

Posted in Uncategorized

Ditch your Keurig!

 

I’m that obnoxious human who loves mornings. Up before the sun? No problem! Brunch- my favorite! Breakfast, is there really anything better? -To truly grasp the horror, read that last sentence in a high pitch voice while doing jumping jacks, that’s basically breakfast with me. So you can imagine why I am all up in arms about the Keurig. It represents everything I hate (laziness, mediocrity, ect.) while also ruining my favorite beverage.

Until recently I thought Starbucks was the worst thing to happen to coffee. I was wrong. The moldy, nasty, luke warm excuse for coffee that the Keurig produces takes the cake. If my overreaction to a bad cup of joe is any indication, I LOVE COFFEE…. and not just because I need it to be a functioning member of society, or that I’m obviously addicted to caffeine, I love it for the taste, the process, and the ritual.

10 reasons to ditch your Keurig!

  1. Taste- Be honest with yourself, it’s not very good.
  2. Wasteful- You throw away one of those little plastic containers every time you make ONE CUP of coffee.
  3. Aesthetics- They’re ugly as sin.
  4. Unhealthy- Bacteria and mold  Click Here
  5. Lazy- There really is nothing as gratifying as doing things for yourself.
  6. No Variety- Sure they have several coffee choices, but you aren’t going to find that amazing fresh gutamlen blend from the farmers market in Keurig form.
  7. Expensive: A new Keurig costs $120 and $15 for 24 cups of Folgers. – let me put that into perspective- my friend lives with three people, buys the big Folgers for 7$ and it lasts them a month.
  8. Unpractical-  If you want to make coffee for more than one person.
  9. Not space effective – make room on the counter, and find another plug!
  10.  No power, no coffee – With a gas range and a French press – no worries.

So now that I’ve convinced you that your Keurig is trying to ruin your life, here’s a cheap, aesthetically pleasing, delicious alternative: Get a French press!

Why? Glad you asked!

  1. Taste – Makes a rich, robust cup of coffee.
  2.  No waste- Grounds can be used to enrich gardens and flower beds.
  3.  Variety – Options are endless.
  4.  Highly Aesthetic- Beautiful European design.
  5.  Food safe – Easy to clean.
  6.  Ritual – Engaging and aromatic start to your day.
  7.  Low cost – Available everywhere and affordable.  $12-20.
  8.  Practical – Makes as much or as little as you need.
  9.  Compact – Nests nicely with your coffee mugs.
  10.  There when you need it – If you can boil water you can have a rich and delicious hot cup of coffee.
Posted in Uncategorized

Time for a Detox!

Screenshot_2015-11-12-12-49-11-1

—-First a little background——

If you follow my blog you know that I value health almost as much as I do tasty food. While the two aren’t mutually exclusive, they can be contradicted on occasion. Especially when you throw alcohol into the mix. I try and balance the two, but as a college student, I slack off on occasion. So after a weekend of hosting friends victimized by the San Marcos flood, and an epic Halloween party, I am in need of alone time, sleep, vegetables, and a whole lot of vitamin D.

After this weekends festivities I have decided to take a month to prep my stomach and liver for the beating it is bound to over the holidays due to the endless turkey, pies, and egg nog. This prep consists of healthy eating, zero drinking, and lots of: detox teas, vitamins, and exercise.

So in accordance with this sabbatical into extreme healthy living, I will be posting mostly detox recipes!

Continue reading “Time for a Detox!”

Posted in Uncategorized

Meme’s Biscuts and Gravey

Photo by Anna
Photo by Anna

Meme was a woman of many talents, but cooking was her absolute gift. Her kitchen was her sanctuary, and she guarded it with a wooden spoon. She had some serious reflexes, she could go from stirring to whooping your backside in .02 seconds. Our parents loved to send us in to help and Meme would send us right back out hollering and clutching our rears. In retrospect, they probably got a kick out of us piling over each other to avoid the spoon of death.

As an adult I understand her inclination to aggressively defend her domain. Having ten obnoxious children constantly fighting and bumping around next to hot cast iron is a recipe for disaster and an unwelcome distraction. In quieter moments, Meme would let us help/ get in the way. I was always in utter disbelief watching her maneuver around the kitchen- how she seamlessly watched her soaps, cleaned dishes, did endless loads of laundry, hand scrubbed our dirty shoes- all while cooking for her family, the newly widowed woman down the road, and the up coming church event. To others it was awe inspiring, to her, it was just what needed to be done.

I’d say my cooking style is heavily dictated by Meme. I never use measuring tools or set timers, if you were to ask her “how much salt” or “how long does this stay in the oven”  without fail she would always respond, “when there’s enough” and “until it’s done.” For someone as OCD as myself, that was a horrifying and yet strangely gratifying concept to grasp. So for you dear reader, I have saved you some heartache and measured out the recipe for my favorite dish.

golden biscuits

Biscuits:

PRE HEAT OVEN 450!!

1 cup- all purpose flour

1 ½ of baking powder

½ + salt

heavy whipping cream =enough to make medium dry dough

sprinkle flour. knead  dough 5 to 6 times

roll out and fold over roll out again

cut

450 degree oven- 8ish minutes

Smother them in gravy or jam for optimal results!

Posted in Uncategorized

Brunch Anyone?

brunchhh
Photo by Anna Nease

As adults we have to deal with a lot of things that just plain suck. Obnoxious co-workers, endless bills, and of course the bane of all college students’ existence: group projects. One reward for suffering through in silence is champagne and pancakes. It may not be a fair trade, but I’ll take it. Sunshine, champagne, and breakfast food that is a recipe for greatness.
There are two ways to brunch, go out or stay in. As per usual, I suggest the latter. If you choose to go out here are the best places to brunch in San Marcos according to my extensive personal research:
1.The Root Cellar Café
Perks: This place gets it on every level, they have an expansive mimosa/ bellini bar, and you cannot go wrong with anything on the menu. The wait staff is extremely friendly. It’s also nice enough to take your mother, but no one will judge you for being hung over either.
Drawbacks: On Sundays the wait is always long. They don’t serve liquor, so bloody mary lovers are out of luck.
2. Vodka Street

Perks: very laid back atmosphere, don’t worry about getting dressed for this one, yoga pants are acceptable and probably encouraged. Mimosas are cheap and the menu is all options, options, options.
Drawbacks: limited bar, classic OJ mimosas and bloody marys.
3. Los Vega
Perks: I really only put this on the list because every college student who partakes in drinking eventually, or regularly, comes head to head with a very bad hang over. This is your place my friend. Indulge in the wonderful greasy breakfast tacos and bring your own champagne.
Drawbacks: As you would expect this place can get quite busy and loud on Saturdays and Sundays, and you have to bring your own drinks.

So you’re staying in….
Lets start with the good stuff– Mimosas & Bellini’s
In true form to my blog, and myself, I recommend that you go fresh pressed! Get some oranges, strawberries, blueberries, and raspberries. It will take an extra ten minuets, but it is well worth it.
I like to set up a mimosa bar and let people serve themselves. This keeps the hostess from running around topping off drinks.

Now that everyone is preoccupied with his or her drink, time for some food.
*Side note: mix everything ahead of time*

Pancakes:
What you will need:
Pan
Spatula
2 bowls
2 cups Flour
2 teaspoons baking powder
2 cups buttermilk
1 teaspoons salt
2 Eggs
½ stick of melted butter

The steps:
1. In a bowl, crack the eggs into the buttermilk and gently whisk, do not over beat….ok…whip it good.
2. Combine the flour, salt, and baking powder in a bowl
3. Gently pour the buttermilk/egg mixture into the flour mixture and stir with a wood spoon. Add the butter. This is where you have to pay attention and not over mix… or you are certain to end up with tough, flat cakes that even the dogs would be insulted by.
4. Let it sit while you make yourself some coffee (or a mimosa). By now the griddle should be hot. Oh, by the way, turn on the griddle.
5. Rub a cube of butter over the griddle and pour about a half-cup of batter on the griddle. When they bubble, flip them!

Biscuits 
Preheat oven to 450
What you will need:
1 cup flour
1 ½ cups baking powder
½ teaspoon salt
Heavy whipping cream
The steps:
1. Combine flour, baking powder, and salt
2. Add heavy whipping cream, enough to make medium dry dough
3. Sprinkle flour on the counter or a cutting board
4. Knead dough 5 to 6 times
5. Roll out and fold over roll out again
6. Cut into discs
7. Place in oven on a greased baking pan for 8ish minutes

French toast:
This one is so easy.
What you need:
Bread of your choice
Eggs
Salt and pepper
Cream
Topping of your choice
The steps:
1. Crack eggs into a bowl
2. Add salt and pepper and cream to preference
3. Beat egg mixture
4. Dip bread into egg mixture so that it is completely submerged but not soggy
5. Throw onto a hot greased pan- brown on both sides until golden.
6. Smother in favorite toppings. I love maple syrup heated up on the stove with a little butter in it.

Now Brunch away!

Posted in Uncategorized

The Cheaters Guide to Paelo

cropped-blog-11.png
Photo By Anna Nease

When I turned 20, I became acutely aware that living off of pasta and beer was no longer an option. I became sluggish, my motivation to work out went out the window, and the weight began to pile on. I started fiercely working out, and while I got stronger, my appearance didn’t change. When I met my boyfriend, he was going to cross fit daily and he looked great, yet seemed to constantly be eating. He gingerly informed me that he was a paleo cheater.

For those of you who don’t know, paleo is a diet consisting only of meat, vegetables, fruits, and nuts. I won’t go into the science of why this diet works, but you can click here  for more information if you’re interested.

I would like to clarify here that I don’t believe in extreme diets, paleo included. I encourage people to use the paleo diet merely as base. It encourages you to plan out unrefined, well-rounded meals.

Here are the reasons why I stray from paleo: to denounce goat cheese (which has anti-cancer properties), yogurt rich with probiotics, or the cream that saves your stomach from the acidity of coffee is just outrageous to me. Diets encourage a lot of unhealthy behavior, such as avoiding food that is just plain good for you!

DO NOT JUMP ON THE BAND WAGON. It’s usually full of crazies.

*Also after a hard day, a glass of wine never hurts.*

Here is one of my favorite Cheater Paleo meals:

My Crockpot Shredded BBQ Chicken with Coleslaw:

the chicken:

-turn crock pot on high

-put three chicken breasts in the crockpot

-completely submerge the chicken in chicken stock, this will make your chicken tender.

cook for 6 hours

For the last 30 minuets add BBQ Sauce.

Again if you’re in a hurry: I use stubbs or salt lick bbq sauce.

if not, click here for  homemade BBQ sauce

The Cole Slaw:

-dice one red bell pepper into small cubes

-dice one yellow bell pepper into small cubes

-dice a who yellow onion into small cubes

-cut half of a green cabbage into long thin pieces

-cut half of a purple cabbage into long thin pieces

  • mix together in big bowl
  • salt and pepper to prefence

in a separate bowl:

-add half a cup of mayo

-half a cup of red wine vinegar

  • salt and pepper to preference
  • pour over veggies

****This also makes for a great sandwich if you eat bread. *****

Posted in Uncategorized

About!

Your 20’s are scary and if anyone tells you otherwise, they are lying! During this time you are trying to figure out who you are, what you represent, and who you want around you all while attempting to navigate college and/or a career. In my experience, the people who are the happiest and most successful in their 20’s abide by the following saying:

“Find three hobbies you love: one to make you money, one to keep you in shape, and one to be creative.”

I plan to use my keen eye for design to further a career in real estate, I mountain bike to stay in shape, and I cook to express my creativity. I am a lover of many things and I have many hobbies, but the three listed above are my life force. They have saved me from being another lost woman in her 20’s. While chasing the party is pretty standard for college students, and not something I necessarily discourage, I would like to advocate for a well-rounded life style. If you are going to drink, drink for taste. When you eat, eat to indulge your taste buds. When you want to exercise, find something that you look forward to doing. Life can be a beautiful tasty treat. You don’t have to dread work, exercise can be fun, and eating should always, ALWAYS taste good.

For this blog, I would like to focus on taste. Let’s face it, I can’t really teach you how to mountain bike via the internet, and design is something better left to the experts. What I can teach you is everything I know about cooking and hand crafted cocktails. I am not trained in the culinary field and by no means consider myself an expert on the subject, but what I lack in formal education is an unwavering devotion to my kitchen, and a life time being surrounded by people considered experts in the industry.

When I left for college, I wished more than anything that I had taken videos of my parents cooking. I could never remember the proper technique for rolling out pizza dough and no written word can capture that. In an attempt make your first experience with cooking less disastrous than mine. My name is Anna Nease and this is; Hand Crafted, video tutorials and easy recipes for the cooking novice!

This is me!