Dorm Room Bar: Southern Belle & Cheeky Yvette

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If you were to create a drink in honor of your mother, what would you call it? What ingredients would be in it, and why?

This is the challenge I set for myself last weekend, for Mother’s Day. Unfortunately, for the past three years I have been hundreds of miles away at college, leaving the clumsily cut fruit, scrambled eggs, and slightly burnt toast (the hallmark of Mother’s Day breakfasts-in-bed) to my 12-year-old brother. Sometimes I remember to mail a card, I usually end up calling, and to cut this story short: I thought my good ol’ mom deserved …

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You’re Invited: Mother’s Day French Bistro Brunch

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When my sisters and I were little, Mother’s Day was all about surprising mom. Paige and Lily would tiptoe down the hall to rouse me, the late-sleeping older sister, and we would sneak down to the kitchen, trying our best to keep the old wooden stairs from creaking. A quick brainstorming session around the kitchen island determined what would be on the menu and who was in charge of what. We then scurried about, keeping our volume to the lowest we could muster as to let mom sleep and savor the surprise factor. Any accidental bowl clanking resulted in …

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What’s On Tap: LBC Milk Stout

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I’m usually a Belgian beer snob, but recently my drink of choice has been a little closer to home. As a matter of fact, it’s made just three blocks away from my house, at the Lancaster Brewing Company. You can’t get any more Lancaster County than this place, with names like Amish Fourgrain, Hop Hog, and my personal favorite, Rumspringa. For those of you who don’t know, Rumspringa is a period of time in the life of some Amish teenagers, when they are essentially given a free pass to experience life outside of Amish culture, before deciding whether or not they want to remain in the church. My hope is that they drink plenty of beer from LBC before going back.

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Dorm Room Bar: The Tequila Sunset

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Recently I turned 21, which opened a door to happy hour, classy cocktails, and purchasing alcohol for more than 2 bucks. Basically I feel like I’ve entered actual adulthood. And yes, I will admit to fully exercising my newly minted ID card by purchasing incredibly girly drinks (champagne…oh you fancy, huh?).

And for those of us on the West Coast, we have started to get some amazing summer weather, which makes me crave summertime vegetables, strawberries, corn, walking around barefoot and being tan. I’m ready to not resemble a Cullen.

So what better to celebrate the approaching season with a margarita-esque cocktail? I personally am a HUGE fan of margaritas. You’ve got your salty and sweet and that amazingly fresh citrus. Great, now I want to make myself one of these cocktails and it’s only 1 in the afternoon. Well, it’s 5 o’clock somewhere right? Or rather, I’m in college, so why not?!

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Impulse Buy: Champagne

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It is no secret among my friends and family (and all of you readers who have kept up with my previous posts) just how much I adore champagne. It has a special place both in my heart, and on the tiny shelf in my shared refrigerator. There’s just something magical and classy about the bubbly beverage.

Champagne is used in celebration, to mark something new, something now, something that has the potential to be more than just “something.” January 1st is toasted with a tall sparkling glass, a bottle is broken on the bow of ship about to set sail, and Marilyn Monroe supposedly bathed in 350 bottles worth of the stuff.

While that last tidbit has nothing to do with new beginnings, it shows the other side of champagne that I love: its extravagance.

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Review and Giveaway: Edible Cocktails

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**Giveaway Closed 5/15/12**

During the summer I buy most of my produce at Chicago’s Green City Market—a fantastic farmer’s market that connects local producers and farmers to chefs, restaurateurs, food organizations, and the public. I love cooking with locally sourced ingredients and find that using seasonal, high-quality blueberries and tomatoes can turn a dish from dull to irresistible.

If seasonal ingredients tremendously improve the quality of food why can’t they do the same for alcohol?

In Edible Cocktails:From Garden to Glass—Seasonal Cocktails with a Fresh Twist, Natalie Bovis proves they can. Natalie gives you tips, …

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You’re Invited: Classic Snacks “Unwrapped” TV Fest

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Honestly, most of the time Food Network’s behind-the-scenes snacks and junk food show “Unwrapped” just annoys me. I think it’s too cheerful or something. But as I rather prefer a good molestation-infused marathon of :Law & Order: SVU,” perhaps I just have darkness in my soul, an often-contemplated possibility for so many SVU junkies.

Despite and/or because of this preference, I’ve recently found amusement in creating novelty, name-brand snacks at home. It just makes you feel like you’ve found some secret loophole in the system. “Oreos, pour forth from mine oven! I have the power!” Plus there’s the satisfaction of way less mystery stuff going into your mouth, even if not all your ingredients are necessarily organic.

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On Tap: Tripels

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Brewery: Flying Fish
Beer: Exit 4
Bottle, Can, or Draft: 12 oz bottle
Appearance: Clear golden straw, with a beautiful white head that eventually diminishes.
Flavor Profile: A crisp, floral taste with a sweet citrusy finish. It is medium-bodied with a delicate, spritzy mouthfeel.
User Profile: You enjoy pale ales and pilsners but want to expand your repertoire. Or, you’re looking for a light beer that stands apart from the others, as this beer doesn’t scrimp on taste or ABV.
Occasion: Happy hour (one beer will have you feeling quite happy) or outdoor get-togethers. Unlike some pale ales that benefit …

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Dorm Room Bar: The Animal Cell

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There are only three things I remember from my high school biology class:

1) I can only successfully dissect an animal if its head has already fallen off;

2) things are exponentially cooler when they’re floating in formaldehyde; and

3) I can make a pretty kickin’ model of an animal cell.

My fourteen-year-old self was so interested by all of the parts of this teeny cell that made up my own body, as well as the bodies of all other mammals (which is kind of unsettling to think about when one’s trying to sear a steak or whip up a

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You’re Invited: Earth Day Trash Bash

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I wouldn’t say I’m the savviest when it comes to going green, so I usually don’t celebrate Earth Day. But I am a huge fan of using recyclables to make clever, crafty things. So this year, I decided to throw a craft-themed Earth Day party so my friends and I could celebrate by reducing, reusing, recycling and most importantly, getting crafty!

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