explore ATX: Barton Creek Greenbelt

Up next in our Explore Austin series is the Barton Creek Greenbelt, which is located in south-central Austin. The Greenbelt contains 12.68 miles of beautiful, scenic trails for hiking, limestone bluffs for rock climbing & swimming. A creek, aptly named Barton Creek, passes through Barton Creek Greenbelt and some of the more scenic areas in Greater Austin.

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explore ATX: Blue Cat Cafe

This summer, I’m spending my time here in Austin to do some research, but of course, now there’s no longer any school/homework for me to worry about, I can actually go and explore Austin on the weekends! I’ll be starting my new Explore ATX series, which will hopefully highlight some of Austin’s gems that you, if you ever get the chance to come down here to Austin, can maybe check out later yourself! First up, Blue Cat Cafe.

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Sweet Tooth: Cake Mix Cookie Bars

I found this lil’ jewel of a website, Yummly; it’s basically Pinterest, except ONLY for food. Anyways, last night I realized I had a bunch of cake mix just lying around in my pantry (not entirely sure why?). But I wanted to do something more creative than, you know, cake, so I did a bit of research (and thus stumbled upon Yummly.) So here’s my attempt at Cake Mix Cookie Bars (which, my mom gave her stamp of approval, and if you know my mom, that’s really something…) 😛

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Sweet Tooth: Cookie Butter Brown Sugar Cookies

I am definitely on a baking rampage this weekend: after buying some on-sale cookie butter, I figured I’d try one of the many recipes that involved cookie butter. The easiest? These cookie butter brown sugar cookies! Note: My recipe was adapted from Ms. Averie Sunshine, but since I’ll be taking these to school, I made twice the amount of cookies. So if you definitely don’t want to end up with 45 cookies, divide my numbers by 2. 🙂

2 large eggs
2 cups of Cookie Butter
3/2 cups of light brown sugar
3 Tbsp vanilla extract 
2 cup all-purpose flour 
4 tsp cornstarch
3 tsp cinnamon
2 tsp baking soda
pinch of salt

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Sweet Tooth: Cookies ‘N Cream Ice Cream Bread

Alright, so my obsession with Tasty videos continue. This one, though, seemed simple enough to make in my free time, and only required two ingredients! (Though I did add some additional goodies to create my own twist.)

I never thought ice cream and bread would ever go together in a same sentence, much less be a part of the same food item, but it turned out to be some really delicious, not-too-sweet soft bread with a hint of cookies.

To make the bread:
* 1 pint (2 cups) melted ice cream (any ice-cream flavor will do, but do note that low-fat doesn't taste as good!) 
* 1¼ cup self-rising flour

I added (for fun, and for more yumminess):
* 2 tbsp cookie butter
* 12 dark chocolate Hershey Kisses

1. Preheat your oven to 350˚F.
2. Combine melted ice cream and self rising flour. Mix well, and add additional ingredients to the batter.
3. Grease a loaf pan and spread evenly (I used a round cake pan, so I had to thin out my batter, which then meant I had to lower the baking time to 23 minutes.)
6. Bake for 35-40 minutes if you’re using the regular loaf pan.
7. Allow to cool fully before cutting.
8. YASSS! GO EAT YOUR BREAD NOW!

Recipe adapted from Tasty.

Sweet Tooth: Double Skin Milk & Ginger Milk Pudding

Double skin milk is a popular Cantonese dessert made of milk, egg whites, and sugar, and my mom absolutely loves it. It kind of reminds me of panna cotta, because it’s essentially just a velcety smooth milk custard with two skins — the first one forms when the boiled milk is cooled; the second, when the cooked custard is cooled. I’ve also included another recipe for ginger milk pudding, since the two can often be eaten together. Ginger milk pudding is another popular Cantonese dessert made from ginger, milk and sugar.

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