This Weekend…

.. it’s gonna be ME! [*NSYNC anyone? HA!] But no, really, I have the whole weekend to myself and basically I just plan on hanging around the apartment, in comfy attire, as much as I can. I do need to get some groceries since it has been about 4 weeks since I last went.. oh the single life. That is about it though. Kind of exciting really. I do plan on doing a few other things though…

Make HOMEMADE ICE CREAM SANDWICHESDark Chocolate Cookie Ingredients for 12 sandwiches:
8 oz butter, room temp
1/2 cup powdered sugar
1/4 cup brown sugar, packed
2 cups flour
1/2 cup cocoa powder
1/2 tsp salt
2 tsp vanilla
1/2 cup grated or finely chopped bittersweet chocolate

Ice Cream Sandwich Ingredients:
1 quart of your favorite flavor ice cream
Toppings of your choice

Directions:
Preheat oven to 350F. With a mixer, blend together the butter and sugars until pale and fluffy. Sift together the dry ingredients, and put your mixer on a low speed. Add the vanilla and chocolate, and blend until the dough becomes a rich, dark brown. On a floured surface, roll out the dough to a 1/4 inch thickness, and using a cookie cutter, cut out individual cookies. Place on a baking sheet covered in parchment paper, then top with sugar crystals if you like. Bake for 15 minutes and cool completely on a rack.

Pick your favorite flavor, scoop out about a 1/2 cup, and press onto the cookie (softened ice cream works best). Top that half with another cookie, and roll the sides in your favorite topping (sprinkles, cocaine, chocolate . . whatever!)

VIA REFINERY29

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Also the only thing I care about concerning the Super Bowl are the ads… I mean Kia Motors has teamed up with Adriana Lima (one of my favorites).. So that’s pretty badass. I guess I can watch that whilst scarfing down a few ice cream sandwiches!

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My NEW guilty pleasure is a TV show called “An Idiot Abroad”. It’s a travel documentary television series that follows Karl Pilkington around the globe trying new things while Ricky Gervais and Stephen Merchant call in and check up on his adventures. It is the funniest show I have seen in a while (to me at least!) because I just can’t tell if Pilkington is joking or not. I can’t wait to get my hands on Series 1 and have a marathon.. again whilst eating a few ice cream sandwiches.

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I am also going to be doing some inspiration hunting for various stuff and to start me off I found these. The first is a renovated 1942 air-raid bunker in Berlin. You know I love my history and adding a well designed space to it just makes my day. Second we have Keri Russell’s dining area. LOVE IT! Last is a kitchen with lovely open shelves and a perfect surface for making. . . homemade ice cream sandwiches!! HA! Yes, I quite like them all.

VIA ELLE DECOR + COUNTRY LIVING

Oh yeah.. In leiu of hitting the gym I’m going to learn the dance sequence from *NSYNC’s “POP”. {Mainly starting at 2:14 to the 2:57 mark.} Work it!

HAVE A FUN + SAFE WEEKEND Y’ALL.

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Austin Happenings

I have stayed put in Austin more recently and it’s been quite entertaining. [Thanks mainly to my friends dragging me around.] Unfortunately one of my dearest friends is moving back to Houston tomorrow. I am excited for her new beginning but am rather sad to lose her presence here in Austin. We have tried to squeeze in as much as we can before she leaves and it has all mainly centered around food + drinks. HA! We would be GREAT food critics! I just wish I would have taken more advantage of having such a badass friend in the same city with me!

I have also been celebrating birthdays and going to a few little events. It has been really fun! But instead of babbling on about my January (which we all know I can jabber…) I have added some visual aids. So take a look and then get out there and try new things! Take advantage of what your city has to offer and share it with your favorite people! {Trust me.. the extra carbs are worth it!}

Eat more Cake

I am that girl in the office who makes all the birthday cakes. I always try and make something a little different and am always on the lookout for new cakes! I just came across this one and I cannot wait to make it! [I may not be able to wait until the next birthday though!]

{I want to take that bite right thru the screen!!}
via Camille Styles

DEVIL’S FOOD BAVARIAN TORTE

For the cake: (or use 1 package (18 ¼ oz) devil’s food cake mix)

9 tablespoons unsweetened cocoa powder
1½ cups cake flour (not self-rising)
½ teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon baking soda
¼ teaspoon baking powder
4 ounces (1 stick) unsalted butter, at room temperature
1½ cups granulated sugar
2 large eggs, at room temperature
½ cup strong coffee (or water)
½ cup whole or low-fat milk

For the filling:

8 oz mascarpone cheese, softened
2/3 c packed brown sugar
1 tsp vanilla
1/8 tsp salt
2 c whipping cream, whipped
2 tbsp grated semisweet chocolate

Adjust the oven rack to the center of the oven and preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Butter two 9-inch cake pans and line the bottoms with circles of parchment paper. To make the cake layers, sift together the cocoa powder, cake flour, salt, baking soda, and baking powder in a bowl. In the bowl of a standing electric mixer, or by hand, beat together the butter and sugar about 5 minutes until smooth and creamy. Add the eggs one at a time until fully incorporated. (If using a standing electric mixer, stop the mixer as necessary to scrape down the sides to be sure everything is getting mixed in.) Mix together the coffee and milk. Stir half of the dry ingredients into the butter mixture, the add the coffee and milk. Finally stir in the other half of the dry ingredients. Divide the batter into the two prepared cake pans and bake for 25 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean. Cool completely before frosting.

{If using a mix, prepare according to instructions using two 9″ cake pans.}

To assemble the cake: In mixing bowl, beat cream cheese, sugar, vanilla and salt until fluffy. Fold in cream. Split each cake into 2 layers, place one on serving plate. Spread w/ ¼ of cream mixture. Sprinkle w/ ¼ of chocolate. Repeat layers. Cover and refrigerate at least 3 hours.

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JUST BY READING THE INGREDIENTS + DIRECTIONS, I CAN TELL THIS IS GOING TO BE ONE OF MY FAVORITE RECIPES!! OWWW! OWWW!

ALSO, I AM A FAN OF THE SETTING SHE USED TO SHOWCASE…..
WHITE PLATE + GOLD FLATWARE + STRIPE NAPKIN = PERFECTION!

FlatwareNapkinsPlates
{I’ve been meaning to get my hands on some gold flatware!}

Imperia {FOOD}

I am always down to try out new restaurants and am always on the look out for exciting + fun new places. I have decided to try and take more advantage of living in Austin and get out there and really experience it since there are so many places to try! (I get lazy sometimes..) I usually drag my friend Courtney with me whenever I go and it is always a good time! I want to track our restaurant hopping (as best I can) and figure the best place would be right here. We have been to many other places prior to today’s subject and I hope to file those trips later on. But for now, may I present IMPERIA.

A few nights ago we ventured downtown for some sushi. As we crossed the street from our $7 parking spot to the restaurant, we could not help but wish we lived in the modern/industrial apartments the next block over. Awesome bars, restaurants + unique retail shops flanked each side of the street and it was almost as if I had just pushed the ‘refresh’ button on my entire day. (It had clearly been TOO long since I had been downtown!)

We were semi-greeted by a semi-snobby hostess who told us it would be a 45 minute wait because we did NOT have reservations. (It was a bit like the scene in ‘Date Night’ where Steve Carell and Tina Fey try to get a table at Claw. HA!) So, we stood off to the side in the non-existent waiting area. As we were finally being seated, our waitress informs us there is a “super long wait” for the sushi bar because they were so busy. While our appetizer came in a flash, our drinks took their time finding their way to our table. We each ordered a roll which took about 30-45 minutes for them to get out to us. We had good convo and drinks, so no biggie. It was worth the wait though as it was very scrumptious! We wanted to try one more roll which took a little longer but it was SO good! At this point it had been 3 hours and we were both ready to get outta there.

The atmosphere was nice and I enjoyed the interior detailing. The lighting was a little dark but I like dark. There was louder music over in the bar area but I could carry on a normal conversation in our dining area. It reminded us both of some of the sushi places we went to in New York. We liked it!All in all it was a good meal and I will probably be back.. with a reservation though!

OUR PICKS

DRINKS
GINGER MOJITO / 10
BACARDI RUM, HOUSEMADE GINGER SYRUP, FRESH LIME + MINT

ASIAN PEAR MARTINI / 9
GREY GOOSE LA POIRE, MELON LIQUEUR, AND SWEET + SOUR

STARTER
FIRECRACKER SHRIMP / 9
WITH SWEET LIME CHILI

ROLLS
RED DEVIL · aka oni / 13
SPICY MARINATED TUNA ROLLED WITH BLACK SUSHI RICE
AND ROASTED RED BELL PEPPERS. TOPPED WITH SPICY MAYO
AND WHITE ANGEL SAUCE.

HAMACHI-POTLE / 13
SNOWCRAB, TEMPURA ASPARAGUS, AVOCADO TOPPED WITH YELLOWTAIL.
WITH CHIPOTLE MAYO.

THE LEADING ROLE / 15
UNAGI, CRAWFISH, AVOCADO AND CREAM CHEESE, SERVED CRISPY.
WITH SPICY TERIYAKI SAUCE.

IMPERIA | AUSTIN