Happy #NationalCoffeeDay

        What a special day for all coffee lover and caffeine connoisseurs. How special of a world to live in that we have a whole day just appreciate coffee. Now I couldn’t really call myself your typical coffee drinker. I don’t drink it for the caffeine or because I love the taste of coffee, but rather I drink it only when I can’t taste it. The only kind I have really had the courage to try is from Dunkin Donuts and with some sort of flavoring, my current favorite is Vainalle Swirl, as well as it over ice.

The best way to enjoy iced coffee is also with your best bud :)

The best way to enjoy iced coffee is also with your best bud 🙂

        As many of you know, I am a huge tea drink (even more so after my time in England, literally the motherland of tea) but I have slowly found my way to a concoction of iced coffee that I actually enjoy. The Dunkin Donuts near my school is funded almost 100% by our school, we don’t have Starbucks so this is the “basic girl” equivalent. This Dunkin is quite special as well, because my usual order here is not my usual order at home. When I ask for a  medium vanilla swirl iced coffee with cream and sugar, I don’t get one cream and one sugar, but rather three. This I didn’t realize for quite sometime, until I went home and tried the same order at my local Dunkin, and when I drank it I COULD ACTUALLY TASTE COFEE…not my fave.

        But then I began to think about how much sugar I was actually consuming by getting three creams AND three sugars in my weekly, sometimes bi-weekly, coffee run. One of the biggest tips on health and fitness that I ever received was to not drink your calories and sugar, and sugar is more of my concern as I have a major sweet tooth. So my healthy tip for my fellow coffee drinkers out there is this. Now my bi-weekly treat of iced coffee still comes over ice, along some vanilla swirl flavoring, but instead of cream I get skim milk and instead of sugar I just have the sweetened version of the vanilla swirl. Sometimes I even switch out skim milk for almond, if Im feeling a little crazy (haha)

        I hope these tips have helped you, and you were able to enjoy your national coffee day!

As someone who stays away from anything that tastes too coffee like, its quite the alternative and I feel much better about having it! What are some of your favorite ways to make your favorite morning pick-me-ups a little better for you?

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Makeshift College Cooking: Part 1

I found myself at a new low last week, but at the same time a college student peak. I created the most makeshift pizza that has ever been conceived. As I sat in class, my mind of course wandered to the most obvious of daydreams: food. I thought of what I was going to be making for dinner.

The pizza goal

                           The pizza goal

Now my mind has always worked in an interesting way. For me I often though items such as tomato sauce and ketchup where on some level interchangeable, I mean after all they are quite similar in nature. Either way this brought me to my next interchangeable item: pizza sauce and salsa. Now not to say that I think salsa and pizza sauce are the same thing, however when you are on a college budget lines become blurred and experiments in the kitchen become more and more fun.

Regardless on that Thursday I decided that I wanted pizza and that I was going to make it on my own, but there where more ingredients that I didn’t have rather than those that I did. Regardless I was determined to make the best of this makeshift situation.

Now for my pizza crust I had limited options pita chips, some wheat thins, or sandwich thins. As I am writing I think pita chips would have been quite delicious, but regardless at the time I went with the sandwich thins. SO I popped that sucker in the oven and let it toast…to the best of this dorm oven toasting ability.

Once my ‘pizza crust was nice and crispy I then spread some medium salsa all over, which actually turned out surprisingly well. I mean think about it, it is kind of like chunky pizza sauce even some veggies. Now fro cheese all I had were some mozzarella cheese sticks, which is probably the most realistic pizza ingredient that I actually had on hand. So I chopped up that mozzarella stick very thin and threw the entire concoction back into the oven.

Now I am not going to say this is the best pizza I ever had, because it was exactly pizza but for a college student with lack of transportation to the store on a Thursday night after a day of chaos…it was the best damn pizza I had ever had.

sex-is-like-pizza-even-if-its-bad-its-still-pretty-good-e6abd

So Obsessed Saturday: Macarons

Wow! It has been a while since I have done one of these, but worry not I have a ton of ammo for some new ones! After my recent travels around Europe, i have fallen in love with a new desert: MACARONS. Now these where the treat that I always saw in upper scale life-style television (GOSSIP GIRL) GGOMacaron

They always looked so cute and dainty, and I had always wanted to try them but had no idea what to expect. So while walking through London when my family came to visit me we passed a darling bakery with tons of them in the window. I asked my IMG_2601family what they were, as I thought that they were macarons and my mother said no those are always coconut, I’m not sure what they are. Quite spontaneously we decided to give them try. (Of course while in inside my mother found out the entire process and history of these dainty little treats, she’s such a social butterfly) Regardless, I had my first macaron experience and now I am SO OBSESSED (I’m so funny and ironic…haha)

They are the perfect mix of cookie and cream. It is basically a glorified Oreo, they are also pretty expensive which is the major downside…however you can’t take your money to heaven so you might as well spend it on macarons 🙂 When we went to Paris I got to try some world wide acclaimed macarons, needless to say I stopped at nearly every place that sold them just because. I felt quite Parisian in strolling around Paris eating macarons and sitting by cultural landmarks.

*and in my own mind I looked something like this…and regardless of the inaccuracy I will keep telling myself that :)*

gossip-girl-paris-couture

However, in typical Emily fashion I bought some to bring back to London after our 4 day weekend…only to leave them on the plane. I even went to customs to see if they could retrieve them( but I am not going to lie, I was almost happy that they weren’t found because I was a tad embarrassed that I had gone through all that trouble of finding the aircraft and researching it, only to find that I had left some macarons, but are there ever lengths too far for an amazing desert?!)

Now back to the specifics. I never really knew what they were before I had tried them or even what I should expect them to taste like. Essentially it is a soft cookie as the top and bottom, and the outer-shell is very light and airy, but once you bite into it the filling is creamy and added with the crunch of the top it is the perfect little treasure.

*writer takes a snack break because she made herself hungry*

**there were no macarons so she ate Oreo’s which is the closest thing this broke college girl could find to class Parisian deserts**

Now the most infamous place to get macrons in Paris is Laduree…so essentially on my visit I also got to experience a Gossip IMG_2543Girl landmark, which was equally exciting as the macarons. And the inside was just as darling as the pastries they made. My friends and I purchased 20 of them for $34 which isn’t that bad and honestly was completely worth it.

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Honestly as I am writing this I just keep getting hungry and also getting excited because macarons even look adorable. But I hope you have enjoyed my stroll (a slow one because I have been eating while hungry) down memory lane, I hope your weekend is blessed with delicious treats and even sweeter people to share them with 🙂 and just remember:

StayCalm

Food Frenzy Friday

One of the greatest parts of traveling anywhere, and really life in general, is food. And as I was scrolling through my camera roll, like any typical person, I have taken a ton of photos of my food and thought why not share the amazing experience that is food. It may sound a little strange but food really is an experience, especially when traveling! It is how one person can physically internalize a culture and a way of life. through this journey through even just a fraction of Europe, I have tried so many yummy new things, and none really restricted to jus the culture of England and France, but other ethnic foods that have crept their way into the places that I have traveled to. so join me on a walk down memory…of deliciousness
IMG_0010AND HOW ABOUT THAT AIRLINE FOOD….no really I have such low standards for food, as in I will eat nearly anything in front of me. Needless to say the flight over we were given dinner, and the highlight for me was the tomato and mozzarella as that stuff probably runs through my veins because it is my favorite. We also had chicken and rice, and desert as it is the greatest of nearly any meal was some chocolate cake. Now it all looked much better with the tops off, and I have to say that airline food has made strides in terms of taste, nutrition ehhh well you can’t control everything while your flying through the sky.
IMG_0022At the school I am staying at we are provided with breakfast and dinner. Breakfast usually consists of croissants and other pastries, yogurt, fruit, toast, roasted tomatoes, hash browns, eggs (poached, fried, and scrambled) sausage, and bacon (and their bacon is our ham). My usual consists of two poached eggs on wheat toast (which they call brown) with a yogurt, sometimes oatmeal (called porridge here), and a bowl of assorted fruit. My favorite is probably the fruit bowls I make for myself every morning, and of course I let the inner Pinterest-er inside me free a I always make it look pleasing to the eye.
One of the first days here, my new found friends and I explored around the town of Oxford to get the lay of the land.We
IMG_0014noticed a restaurant that had bathtubs for seats, and this became known as the ‘bath tub place’, and needless to say we had to give it a try. Upon arrival we discovered that it was a Thai restaurant (which is actually very popular in Oxford). My friend and I wanted to get a taste of a few different highs rather than just one big meal, which resulted in this fun sampler. It included chicken spring rolls, honey pork, salt and pepper squids, and fish cakes, with some awesome sauce (which I mean not only as a compliment but also for lack of the actual name of the sauce ;). Whenever I go somewhere new I always try to make a point o frying something new, and at this restaurant I definitely went outside my comfort zone and was rewarded!
IMG_0012Also in the little town of Oxford (and most likely in Europe in general) on the go themed foods usually come in terms of sandwiches, so needless to say I have had quite a few…and enjoyed every single one. One of the best however I have to say was one that is in a local market of Oxford, called the Covered Market, which is full of cute little shops that satisfy nearly anything you could be shopping for from flowers to food. At this coffee themed cafe I had a bacon (ham), avocado, and chicken mayo (chicken salad)  sandwich that was toasted to perfection. It also came with a side of rocket salad, which is simply lettuce, but for some reasons, an awesome one I’m sure, they call it rocket. (it just sounds cool and I love it)
Now that we are on the topic of the Covered Market, I must of course mention a near landmark of Oxford, which is MooMoo’s. I had the benefit that a friend of mine traveled to Oxford and gave me a list of the must go places, and this IMG_0013one was near the top, so I gave ti a try. Although it is small ti is mighty, mighty as in you can create your own milkshake with over 300 different add-in options. It is two window trailer looking place that makes possibly the best milkshakes I have ever had, which is a high standard considering I am the queen of sweets. I have so tried Snickers and banana, as well as Oreo. (Others on my list to try before I leave are marshmallow and apple pie…and I am also quite curious about skittles flavor, I will let you know how those go)
One of the last that I all cover in this post (worry not here is part two to come 🙂 is Hazzan’s. He is listed on Buzzfeed’s
IMG_0015must try, but of course I only knew this after I had tried it, so I did feel a bit trendy I suppose. Anywho it is a simple food truck that comes out in front of our campus from 6p.m. to 3a.m, which is prime for late night munchies. My personally favorite is the lamb kebab with garlic mayonnaise, lettuce, tomatoes and pickles, and the occasional side of onion rings. Either way it is an amazing guilty pleasure, and especially after a 11 mile day spent in London it was the perfect end as it served as the food component to a late night picnic dinner on the lovely college lawn.
All this talk of food has made me quite hungry, and ironically enough I am going to have some Hazzan’s right now, but I will be sure to share the rest of my camera roll with you all next week. I hope your Friday is full of FANTASTIC food and feel free to share ti below because I love to read and hear about food just as much as I love to eat it! 🙂

The Princess Goes to Paris

As many of you know, I have the fabulous pleasure of studying abroad this summer. I have been lucky enough to be spending my summer days in the lovely town of Oxford, England. This includes many cups of tea, yummy pastries and sandwiches and enough cobblestone paths to satisfy me for life. However I was recently given the awesome opportunity to go to Paris with 3 other amazing people I have met on this trip! ToIMG_2436 say we had many adventures would be an understatement. It is very refreshing and empowering to travel to a foreign country all on your own and coordinate everything on your own, and navigate a foreign city without knowledge of the language all on your own, or with equally lost and confused peers. Although this post is one of many that I plan to write in regards to my studying abroad, the greatest point that I hope they all bring across is that studying abroad is so much more than studying. Our adventure began when we took a 4 hour bus ride on a Thursday to bring us to the airport, which required 3 bus transfers along the way, and then an hour and half flight to Paris, which had us arrive at 10. Now prior to our departure a wise professor mentioned the threat that comes along with traveling abroad, with a language barrier, and while being female ( a fact that I resent, but that discussion is for another time). The threat of danger is something every girl is very aware whether a their home or abroad, but of course you never think it will happen to you. Being in a group is my first trip when traveling abroad, bot only does it create more room for opportunity, adventure and enjoyment, but also there is safety in numbers. Upon our late arrival to the airport, when there weren’t many people around, 4 American girls attempted to find a taxi to their apartment when we were approached by a man who offered to drive us…now why would that be suspicious?! So we gave the man the address and he told he could take us, however the suspicion began with how aggressively and readily he offered us ride. Next he took us back into the elevator to take us to the parking garage where his cab apparently was, which also raised our suspicion as the queue for the taxis was outside. Needless to say as a group we had our suspicions and made up some panicked reason that we had to call our parents which allowed us to go back upstairs and get in line for a legitimate ride. ( I don’t say this to alarm anyone or suggest that he definitely was trying something suspicious, but rather the importance of trusting your instinct and going with your gut! If something feels wrong don’t feel like you owe someone something because you previously agreed, just go with your gut!) Now back to the fun part! Once we were able to meet up with our apartment owner and were shown around we crashed immediately, after all it was around midnight and a very long day. The following days consisted of early tea as breakfast and seeing the many sights that Paris has to offer, and attempting to be classic Parisians by walking around enjoying fresh pastries and delicious sandwiches. Now I could give you an every moment play by play, but I would rather give you my top moments and perhaps you can find something that you would want to see for yourself one day.

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1. Macarons: These are the classic treat that I had always heard of and seen (especially on Gossip Girl) but had never actually tried…and once I did I feel in love.  Making it even better we sat in a park right outside of the Muse D’Orsay (where Van Gogh’s paintings reside) and enjoyed some from Laduree which is the infamous place for macarons in Paris, and the price was worth the taste and experience.

2. Notre Dame: Now I feel very blessed and accomplished to say that France is the 23rd country I have been to in my 20 years on this Earth, and I can honestly say that I have never seen anything quite like Notre Dame (I have even been to theIMG_2492 Vatican). I have never seen anything so magnificent and massive as Notre Dame. En route I felt quite indifferent to the whole situation, sure I was excited but I also assumed it would be quite like any other cathedral that I had seen, however, upon entering it was one of the most magnificent places and atmospheres that I have ever experienced.  I would highly recommend anyone to visit it, religious or not. It is quite breath taking and massive, and its beauty is very overwhelming.

IMG_25643. Le Tour de France: Although this had no influence on our decisions to travel to Paris for our vacation weekend, it turned out to be an awesome surprise once we had arrived and discovered this massive event. Unfortunately on the day of the event it was pouring rain and freezing! Although we were able to stay and watch the women’s race, after waiting for 4 hours in the rain waiting for the men, we couldn’t make it, as the men were running over an hour late (so technically we would have been there are the right time if the weather had permitted) However the enjoyment came from not only watching the women race (Which is truly amazing, like can I have your legs so fit and fab!) But I was also able to bond and share an amazing experience with new friends, which included a 4 hour long game of iSpy and would you rather? to pass the time. Which brings me to my second piece of travel wisdom, it isn’t always where you are but who you are with. Exploring the world is an experience in of itself, however there is so much more magic when you experience it with others that you truly enjoy the company of!

4. A Lock Bridge Detour: Now as a series of events we realized that because of the Tour de France nearly every convenient IMG_2558metro was closed (understandably so). This led us to wander around bit before we found an open metro, and as consequence we wandered ourselves over the Lock bridge. This bridge is infamous as the place that many will place a lock on its grated sides, and write a message (usually consisting of initials of loved ones) and throwing the key in the river. However in recent years the bridge has slowly started to sink and as consequence you can’t put locks on it anymore (in retrospect I wish I could have locked one for Murphy, but this idea came too late 😦 ) Either way it was very cool to see this landmark, and one that was decided by people themselves rather than one that was determined by scholars or ‘professionals’, but rather it was an everyday person determination and creativity that has now brought people from all over the world to this bridge of love and a little mystery. Although there where many more legs to our Parisian adventure I will save some of those for later! Have you traveled anywhere interesting recently, or even to Paris?! Let me know what you thought! (:

National Ice Cream Month

July is great time for celebration for many reasons, from the great relaxation and adventures that come with summer time to the 4th of July, but perhaps the greatest reason is Happy ICe cReam Monththat it is NATIONAL ICE CREAM MONTH. Now my personal opinion is that ice cream should be its own food group. I mean really the possibilities are endless from flavors to the serving options! But sometimes when you are in the midst of a great health kick you have the all time tricky dilemma of ” Do I indulge myself and live on the edge or keep myself from the one thing I am craving?!” Personally making a poor eating choice can off set my good track record because it can lead me into a spiral, especially when it is not planned.

I have discovered the best sweet treat sneak that actually won’t require 14 hours of your time and a million obscure ingredients to make (as I find most healthy cheats require). Banana ice cream! It is banana ice creamvery easy to do and even easier to customize! Simply slice 3 to 4 bananas (more or less depending on how many people you are making ice cream for. You may have to play around with the serving size because this also depends on the size of the bananas) and then place them into a container and freeze them for 3 to 4 hours. Then take them out and place them in a blender with milk (I like to use almond milk). This alone will be tasty! However I like crushing up pieces of dark chocolate and either sprinkling them on top, or using the blender to do so, depending on the abilities of your blender. This is a great fairly healthy alternative next time you’re in a crunch for a sweet treat! Other favorites of mine include sprinkles, raspberries, blueberries, and even some chocolate sauce. There are so many other options! Let me know what favorites you discover! (:

Caul Me Crazy Cauliflower Pizza

Caul me crazy (and bad at jokes) but I am obsessed with Cauliflower pizza. I saw a recipe online and heard cauliflower2recommendations from friends, so I decided to give it a try. Now the third time I made it was arguably the best as you learn as you go.

Ingredients

1 whole head of cauliflower, cut into florets (for the non chef extraordinaire like myself this just means cut it into tiny pieces by the stem but leave the ‘tree looking part’ together)

2 eggs

¼ cup of parmesan cheese (I say the more cheese the better it tastes )

1 tsp of onion powder

1 tsp of Italian seasoning

salt & pepper as desired

Recipe

  1. Use a food processor to finely chop the florets of cauliflower. If you do not have a food processor like myself, simply put all the cauliflower into a pot with water and bring to a boil, then turn down the heat to a simmer and let sit as the cauliflower softness. This usually takes about 20 minutes for me, but test the softness of the cauliflower as necessary.

  2. Next place the cauliflower in a dish towel and ring out all the excess water. (In my case I had to mash the cauliflower first and then ring it out because I didn’t have a food processor. The softer the cauliflower the easier the abashing will be, and this can be done with a potato masher)

  3. Once DRY AS POSSIBLE, transfer to a bowl and mix in the rest of the ingredients. once combined spread across a parchment lined baking sheet (or a baking sheet heavily covered in PAM or other non stick cooking spray)

  4. Bake the crust at 400 degrees for 40 minutes, then add topping and bake for another 8 minutes or as desired!

So along with the recipe I have included the holy grail of tips about this dish: make sure you get as much water out of the cauliflower as possible. I mean when you think that it is all gone and as dry as can be ring it out again. I apologize for being so MIA recently but soon enough I will be back in full swing! Let me know what you think of this recipe below!

*disclaimer: pizza may come out in all shapes and sizes but all are delicious! aka mine came out in a terrible oval and one even triangle like.