Archive Page 2

29
Nov
09

Night Owls Embark on Studying for Finals

As a college student, the first couple weeks of December are consumed with finals, projects, and papers. Every year I end up camping out at a coffee shop, because I know I won’t get anything done in my apartment. I mean,  there’s a TV there, and lots of things on my DVR list that need to be watched…so I’m easily distracted. Here’s a map of ten Austin area coffee shops/restaurants that stay open 24 hours or late into the night to give our Night Owls a place to plunge full force into preparing for the end of the semester.

 

 

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28
Nov
09

Great holiday recipes = great late night snacks

Everyone knows the best part of Thanksgiving is the leftovers.  Well, it’s Saturday and I’m still living off of mine!

I’d like to share a couple family recipes that always raise a few eyebrows.  The first two are my two all-time favorite holiday dishes – cranberry soup and rhubarb pie.  The third is the Northern version of stuffing.  The main difference is the bread — people from the South make cornbread stuffing and people from the North make stuffing with actual torn pieces of bread.  I prefer cornbread, but both are delicious.  Here they are:

Jolynne’s Cold Cranberry Soup

(From The Madd Apple Café – a pretty soup for brunch, lunch or dinner.)

Makes about 2 quarts

  • 3 cups fresh cranberries, low bush
  • 2 cups water
  • 1 to 2 whole cloves
  • 2/3 cup sugar
  • 1 Tablespoon all purpose flour
  • 1 cup sour cream
  • ¾ cup dry red wine
  • ¾ to 1 cup fresh orange juice
  • fresh mint sprigs*

Simmer cranberries, water and cloves in large saucepan 10 minutes. Drain cranberries, reserving 1 cup cooking liquid.  Discard cloves.  Puree cranberries in blender.  Press through fine strainer into heavy large saucepan.  Mix in reserved cooking liquid.

Combine sugar and flour in medium bowl.  Stir in sour cream, wine and orange juice.  Mix into cranberries.  Slowly bring to boil, stirring constantly.  Reduce heat and simmer 2 minutes, stirring constantly.  Cool.  Refrigerate until well chilled.  (Can be prepared 1 day ahead.)  Garnish each serving with mint sprig*.

*optional

Jolynne’s Rhubarb Pie

  • 4 cups ( 1lb ) rhubarb in 1” slices
  • 2/3 cup sugar
  • 3 Tablespoons flour
  • dash salt
  • zest of ½ orange, minced

Combine sugar, flour and salt.  Toss rhubarb and orange peel with sugar mixture, mixing well.  Let macerate several hours if rhubarb is very tart.  Use a 2–crust 9” pie shell; cut decorative slits in the top.  Bake at 400 for 45-50 min., until juices have thickened and start bubbling out of the slits in the pie.

Note: I cut the rhubarb and freeze it; then toss it into the pie shell frozen and allow an extra 10 minutes baking time.

Macerate – to make soft by soaking or steeping in a liquid

Tim’s bread (and onion) stuffing

  • 8-10 cups sliced onions
  • 4 cups sliced celery (about 1 head)
  • ¼ cup butter or olive oil
  • 1 teaspoon sage
  • 1 teaspoon rosemary
  • 1 teaspoon thyme
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  • 1 large loaf of crusty Italian bread or San Francisco Sourdough, torn into 2” chunks
  • 3-4 cups poultry stock
  • Diced giblets (cooked in giblet broth)
27
Nov
09

Black Friday Mayhem

Black Friday, a shopaholic’s favorite holiday! It’s certainly one of my favorite days, besides my birthday and Christmas.

 The day after Thanksgiving is the busiest shopping day in America. I spent Thanksgiving in San Antonio with family. It was great to be home. San Antonio has a lot of great shopping centers—North Star Mall, The ForumThe Shops at La Cantera, etc. The Tanger Outlet in San Marcos, which is only about 45 minutes north, also has great places to shop.

Coupons arrived at my house a few days before the extravaganza of Black Friday. I was super excited to see all of my 30%-50% coupons be put to great use for the day. Most discounts for chain stores were highly publicized in the Thanksgiving newspaper edition.

Online or at the mall, a shopper is bound to catch a great deal. But it’s nice to catch a few sales for the majority of Christmas gifts. I’m not a die-hard shopper who camps outside of the mall the night before; I’m more of a person who gets up at a reasonable time and shops. But I did go to sleep very early. We still had guests in our house, but I made sure I was going to get a good nights rests.

Shoppers at North Star Malll

My grandmother, “Mema,” and I were at the mall for about four hours. Time flew by, and the crowd had semi-died down by the time we arrived at North Star Mall. As we ate our lunch, Burbank High School Band, played a few hits for the shoppers. Watch the video below to see the band perform. The audio is off at the beginning but the band’s music toward the end, plays perfectly.

26
Nov
09

Thanksgiving, a day to remember… or not

It’s very easy to think of topics to write about on a blog devoted to Austin night life, but when I go home to Podunk, USA (okay so Midland is far from Podunk, but it seems that way when contrasting night life to that in Austin) I can only think of three things to do. One is to go to the drive in movie theatre, and the other two I can’t even mention here.

I’ve compiled a list of the best Thanksgiving Day drinking games to give you all a way to get wild on the holidays without even leaving home. They are sure to make the festivities memorable, even if you can’t the next day.

Here they are:

College Jolt’s Thanksgiving Day Drinking Game

This one’s pretty basic.  Just take a drink anytime someone says the following:

  1. “Can you pass the (insert any food item here)?”
  2. “White or dark meat?
  3. “Just a small piece.”
  4. “Mmm…I love (again, any food item)”
  5. “How’s school going?”
  6. “This is really good.” (or any other compliments to the host)
  7. “Would anybody like any more…?” (This could be anything)
  8. “I’m going to need a nap after this.”
  9. “What’s the score?” (referring to football)
  10. And the most obvious which I cannot pass up-”I’m so full!”

Pax Romano’s Thanksgiving Day Drinking Game

  1. Every time someone says, “If I eat anything else, I am going to burst” – TAKE A SHOT
  2. Every time someone compliments the host/hostess on the bird, “Gee Aunt Flossie, this turkey is so moist!” – TAKE A SHOT
  3. When the gay or lesbian cousin/son/daughter uncomfortably introduces their date/partner to the other guests as “My friend” – TAKE A SHOT
  4. When the host/hostess proclaims, “I forgot the cranberries!!” – TAKE A SHOT
  5. If someone says, “I hate sweet potatoes.” – TAKE A SHOT
  6. Every time a relative says, “I can’t believe its Thanksgiving already.”- TAKE A SHOT
  7. If someone follows this up by saying, “It’ll be Christmas before you know it!” – TAKE A SHOT.
  8. If the host/hostess is playing holiday music in the background – TAKE TWO SHOTS, you’ll need them.
  9. Per food compliment (“great yams” “excellent stuffing” “fabulous turnips” etc…) TAKE A HALF SHOT.
  10. Family arguments that escalate to physical confrontations – TAKE THREE SHOTS
  11. Inappropriate sexual remarks made by anyone to any of the other guests. – TAKE A SHOT
  12. Depending on how many there are, TAKE A SHOT, per passed out guest on the sofa in the living room while football game is one – if pants are undone, TAKE A SHOT AND A HALF.
  13. If some one curses out someone else – TAKE A SHOT: If they are related: TAKE TWO SHOTS.
  14. When the first big dramatic proclamation occurs (“I’m gay” “I just quit my job” “My therapist says that I am so screwed up because of you, Uncle Jake!” “Yee haw, I just got my third DWI”) TAKE A SHOT (Note, IF YOU MAKE THE PROCLAMATION, YOU HAVE WON, THE GAME IS OVER)

Drink Wiki’s Food Network Thanksgiving Special Drinking Game

Tune into the Food Network and take a drink when:

  1. Any time Alton Brown shows a Chemical Formula
  2. Giada says ‘crisp’ or ‘light and delicious’.
  3. Alton says ‘brings flavor to the party’ or ‘wash those ____ hands!’.
  4. Emeril says ‘BAM!’, ‘kick it up a notch’ or ‘Yah, babe’.
  5. Paula talks about buttah.
  6. Rachael Ray says ‘EVOO’, ‘yummo’, ‘delish’, or ‘sammie’.
  7. Sara Moulton uses any form of the word “simple” or “simply”.

The Bachelor Guy’s Official Thanksgiving Football Drinking Game

During the games, everyone takes a drink whenever any of the following happens:

1. CBS and/or their announcers show off their incredibly lame Thanksgiving Game MVP trophy.

2. Any close-ups of celebrity “fans” that are in attendance at the game – who (as coincidence would have it) also happen to star in that network’s shows.

3. If announcers plug any of the following shows right as a play is about to develop:
CSI (any version)
60 Minutes
Two and a Half Men
Survivor
House
The Simpsons
Family Guy
The Next Great American Band
American Idol

BONUS: Everyone takes a second drink if the other announcer makes some lame comment designed to make us think he actually watches the show.

4. Whenever there is a shot of a completely unappreciated behind-the-scenes crew member waiving to the camera while mouthing “Happy Thanksgiving” to his family at home celebrating without him, as the announcers say how much they appreciate him and his “efforts” – shout “Here’s to you!’ and drink in his honor of working during the holiday to put this game on so you don’t have to spend the night talking to relatives. (Take a second drink if his kids are mentioned.)

5. Any time there is a gratuitously long close-up shot of the cheerleaders. (Actually do not drink for this, just ogle.)

6. If the animated FOX football-playing robot shown before and after commercial breaks is dressed as a turkey, pilgrim or Indian, take 5 drinks.
BONUS: FOX is running a contest to name this robot. The first guy in your group to actually attempt to come up with a name has to take 3 drinks. If the name he comes up with is something lame like “Robo-Back”, hit him with the bottle. 7. Any shot of a female fan holding a sign with a heart symbol and the words “Tony” or “Romo”.
BONUS: If she’s hot, take 3 more drinks to drown your jealousy over all the incredible tail he gets.

8. If anybody in your group comments “That Tony Romo is good looking guy”, take a drink. If it is a guy who makes this comment, drink is preceded by a long, uncomfortable pause. If the word “cute” is used in place of “good looking”, drink until you throw up.

9. If an announcer makes a reference to Tony Romo and his celebrity hookups, drink.

10. If anyone makes a reference to NY Jets head coach Eric Mangini and his celebrity hookups, chug a whole bottle if this actually happens.

11. Someone watching with you asks, “Do the players get distracted by that yellow line on the field?”, drink, then throw your empty glass at them.

12. If anyone in your group snickers at, or makes a stupid comment about, the BJ on the back of the back judge’s uniform, make them chug.
Note: The guy who made the comment also has to make the next beer run.

13. An announcer uses the word differential, as in “the touchdown differential between these two teams is huge.” It an unnecessarily big word to be used during a football game.

14. If there is a discussion about the Patriots going undefeated.
BONUS: Chug while jogging around the coffee table if the term “run the table” is used.

15. An announcer mentions that Terrell Owens is “really trying to be a better teammate”.

16. Any comments on how tough the New York media is on any Jets player or member of the coaching staff.

17. If Phil Simms talks about his playing days with Bill Parcells, drink.

18. If Troy Aikman mentions any game he played on Thanksgiving, drink.

19. If a celebrity joins the announcers in the booth, take 3 drinks and hit the mute button. Unless the guest is Charles Barkley, then turn up the volume.

20. If the announcers incorrectly predict how a replay challenge will go, you lose a drink. If it’s Phil Simms and he is “positive” about his prediction – and he’s wrong, as usual – pour the bottle down the sink.

21. If announcers acknowledge the troops watching the games overseas, shout “USA” three times and do a shot.

22. If announcers discuss how Roger Goodell is cracking down on discipline, take a small sip. Quietly.

23. If there’s any mention of dog-fighting/Pacman Jones/steroid suspensions/Ricky Williams, pour a drink on the floor for your homies who couldn’t be here tonight.

24. Any shot of a player using smelling salts or oxygen, then it’s beer bong time.

25. If Peyton Manning throws his hands up in frustration, yell “Oh, come on!” and take a drink.

26. Any time the camera finds Brett Favre’s wife in the stands, or if the announcers mention her overcoming her illness and how Brett dealt with it, drink. If both happen at the same time, chug.

27. Any mention of Brett Favre’s career game right after his father passed away.

28. Any play made by a guy with long dreadlocks, shout “Yeah, Mon!” and chug a Red Stripe.

29. If announcers comment that Marion Barber runs “hard” or “tough”, do a shot of whiskey. If the term “smashmouth football” is uttered at any time, do two extra shots.

30. For every sideline/owner’s box shot of Jerry Jones, take a drink.
BONUS: Do a spit take if it’s a tight shot on his face.

31. Anytime Jon Kitna removes his helmet, yell “Put it back on!”, chug whatever is left in your glass, and place the empty glass on your head.

32. If anyone dares mention of Detroit coach Joe Cullen going through the Wendy’s drive-through buck-naked, everyone watching must drop their pants, and drink.

33. For every mention about how nice and likeable Tony Dungy is, drink a wine cooler.

34. For every reference to Peyton Manning being smart, take a drink.

35. For every reference to Joey Harrington not being smart, pour the drink down the front of your shirt.

36. If a coach signals time-out right before a field goal attempt, drink. Then a second later, drink the exact same amount again.
BONUS: If any announcer uses the phrase “icing the kicker”, pull a bottle of vodka out of the freezer and do a shot.

37. If the referee forgets to turn on his microphone during a penalty call and/or forgets to turn it off after he makes the call, drink from an empty glass.

38. If a coach halfheartedly tosses the red challenge flag and it doesn’t go more than five yards, everyone yells “Lame!” and chugs a malt beverage with their non-throwing hand.

Special “First Half Only” Rules –
These rules are only in effect for the first half of games, since if applied for entire game, it would lead to alcohol poisoning:

39. Every time an interception is thrown by Joey Harrington or Byron Leftwich (should he get in the game).

40. Airing of any Peyton Manning commercial.

41. Any airing of the “This is Our Country” Chevy Silverado commercials.

42. Terrell Owens mugs for the camera and/or shakes his head in disbelief, amusement, or a show of pure unadulterated self love.

43. Any reference to Brett Favre’s age.

44. Any reference to Brett Favre playing like a kid again.

Winner:
Winner is determined by last guy able to stand after a full turkey dinner, 3 games and over nine hours of football.

USA Today’s Thanksgiving Day Drinking Game

  1. Every time someone unbuttons his/her pants, take a drink.
  2. Each time someone makes that uncomfortable “Unnnh” noise when they rise from a seated position, take a drink. 
  3. Each time someone screams at the TV, take two drinks.
  4. Take two drinks for each person napping.
  5. Take three drinks each time an old person mentions the weather. (In the end, the last one standing gets first pick at leftovers.)

Hope you all enjoy and please drink responsibly!

25
Nov
09

Ladies Night Out!

Happy hour…the place where you can kick back and enjoy a beer from one of Austin Brew’s  selections, or a simple cocktail.

As an early pre-party Thanksgiving celebration, a few of my friends and I went downtown to  McCormick & Schmick’s  for their late night happy hour. Their usual happy hour last until 7pm, but their second happy hour is from 9-10 pm.  This works out great for my schedule, since I’m a busy college student who  works and goes to school.

 McCormick & Schmick’s  offer great seafood dinner plates that cost about $20 during normal business hours. The place would be ideal for a nice romantic date. During happy hour, a few selected items cost $1.95-$4.95.

Laura looking at the menu.

I really enjoyed McCormicks, it’s affordable and good. Appetizers during happy hour are cheap. I was really hungry so I got calamari, buffalo quesadillas, and a Sangria. I’m usually a margarita type of girl but since they don’t offer frozen margaritas, I’d thought it would be nice to try a new cocktail.

Buffalo Quesadillas

Sangria

Fnan Gelai

Graduating UT senior Fnan Gelai said she would go back to McCormick & Schmicks. “I really like it a lot it’s a really good happy hour for college students. I think it’s very reasonable and the food was good…but they need to have frozen margaritas,”said Gelai.

Overall, the night ended great. We are all so busy that it was great to meet up and unwind for girls night out.

 

McCormick & Schmick’s Seafood Restaurant
401 Congress Ave.
(4th St. and Congress Ave.)
Austin, TX 78701

Phone: 512.236.9600
HOURS:
M-WED: 11:00AM-10:00PM
TH-FRI:  11:00AM-11:00PM
SAT:        4:00PM-11:00PM
SUN:       5:00PM-10:00PM

 

25
Nov
09

Hex Rally 2009

Once it hit me that I wasn’t going to attend a college football game for a long time, I couldn’t resist not attending the Hex Rally! It was my first time to go, and I suggest that every UT student experience the Torchlight Parade and/or the Hex Rally at least once. It was only about an hour long (the players have to get up for their 6am workouts!), and it’s non-stop energy and pride!

The rivalry between UT and A&M is one of the longest university rivalries in the country. The Longhorn-Aggie football game usually takes place on Thanksgiving day, and this past Monday UT held its annual Hex Rally on the South Mall. The goal of the rally? To put a hex on A&M. How do we do that? By singing the Eyes of Texas three times in a row. Many different campus organization performed: Texas Cheer, Texas Pom, Ransom Notes, Longhorn Band, and more. Coach Mack Brown, Colt McCoy and Mad Dog pumped up the crowd!

If you missed out on the rally, check out the videos below!

22
Nov
09

Lasts

UT vs. Kansas this weekend was my last home football game and tailgate of my college career.

Sad senior

I may not have attended every home game or even close to every. In fact, this year was my fist time to sit/stand through an entire game from beginning to end. Who knew they light the tower on the big screen after every win?

But I sure attended my last home game because I’m a sucker for “lasts;” I have a hard time letting go of my past.

This year I’m forced to say goodbye every step of the way. Last college game day, Eyes of Texas, week-long celebration of Halloween, 4-day weekend, Thanksgiving/summer/holiday breaks, 8 am class (yay!), and the last class perhaps for the rest of my  life.

Hook 'em

When did college change from a destination to a fleeting moment in the past?

Pasadena in January and graduate school down the road… here I come.