Brunch à la Broke College Student

Sunday brunch is a staple in any respectable college student’s life. And to be quite honest, it’s one of the most expensive habits that’s also very difficult to break. I would not be the first or the last to admit that I’ve dropped over $20 for a special brunch out with my girls (sorry Mom). But then again, I’m a responsible adult who’s trying to be more spend savvy this year. And so far, it’s been an alright ride.

This past Sunday morning hit a rough patch when I wanted nothing more in life than to go down the street to my favorite brunch spot, order a chai and some pancakes and watch the busy street from the second floor restaurant. Instead, my boyfriend and I opted for a cheaper (and much more fun) alternative: we MADE brunch.

Our fancy brunch included: homemade french toast with powdered sugar and syrup, grapefruit, bacon and hash browns.

I personally believe that any time you have the opportunity to cook or bake on your own, it’s so much better of an experience than going to a restaurant. TBH, we set the smoke alarm off in my apartment for like 5 seconds during our brunch adventure, but in the end it was so much better than going out.

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Quick and Easy French Toast

Ingredients:

White bread, about 6-8 pieces (stale is better but not necessary)

4 eggs

1 tsp vanilla (or less if you want, but this was the perfect amount for me)

1 tsp cinnamon

2/3 C milk

Directions:

Preheat a skillet or frying pan to med-high heat. Melt a small amount of butter so the toast doesn’t stick.

Mix the eggs, vanilla, milk and cinnamon with a whisk until thoroughly blended. Next, pour half of the mixture into a shallow bowl. In this bowl, one at a time, submerge a piece of bread and coat both layers. Tap off/let drip excess mixture. Then cook on the stove until golden brown on each side. Timing depends on each piece, but I usually found 2 minutes on each side appropriate.

Sift powdered sugar on top and add syrup to preference.

The “Robin Anderson” Grapefruit

My favorite way of preparing grapefruit is the way my Mommy taught me when growing up. This might not be healthy, but it sure is delicious.

Ingredients:

~2 Tbs brown sugar

1 ripe grapefruit

Directions:

Cut the grapefruit in half and then cut the slices in between the thin lining. Place each half fruit side up on a baking tray. Sprinkle the brown sugar on top of the grapefruit, and stick the tray under the broiler for about 5 minutes, or until the sugar is slightly caramelized.

In the end, the top will have absorbed the sugar and will be slightly crisp.

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Mexican Hot Cocoa Macarons

Originally, I wanted to make this post about making my boyfriend a tie blanket for Valentine’s Day. But, seriously, how easy are those things? All I did was buy two types of fabric, match them up, snip and tie. Voila. Bada-bing, bada-boom, doneso. But then I decided to include something else in the present, something a little more Macaron Queen – esque. And now, here I am with a fun macaron recipe to share. These are to DIE FOR. And they turned out the perfect consistency.

The funny thing about these macarons is that my boyfriend was looking through my cookbook the other day. When we sat down the book to a random page, it happened to land on a recipe for “Mexican Macarons,” which he playfully took offense to given that he himself is Mexican. So, naturally, I had to make them and give them to him for Vday. But in my world, they should be named “Mexican Hot Cocoa Macarons.”

Mexican Hot Cocoa Macarons with Cinnamon Buttercream Filling

Cookie recipe: Macarons & More, Filling recipe: my own

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Ingredients: 

For the Cookie:

  • 1 C powdered sugar
  • 1/2 C almond flour
  • 2 Tbs unsweetened cocoa powder
  • 1/2 tsp ground cinnamon
  • 2 egg whites at room temp (I put mine out at least an hour or two before baking)
  • 1/4 C granulated sugar

For the Filling:

  • 3/4 C powdered sugar
  • 1/2 stick of butter (softened)
  • small dash of ground cayenne pepper
  • 1/2 tsp of ground cinnamon

Directions:

For the cookies:

1. Pre-heat oven to 350 and line a cookie sheet with wax paper (I like to trim mine down to perfect size)

2. Combine the powdered sugar, almond flour, cocoa and cinnamon in a food processor (or because I’m a college student I used a blender) and blend until mixed. Then sift into a mixing bowl.

3. Next, beat the egg whites in a bowl until frothy. Gradually add the sugar with the beater on high and beat until stiff peaks.

4. Add half the flour mixture into the egg mixture and stir with a spatula about 12 times. Add the rest and stir with the spatula about 15 more times (mine took a couple extra strokes) to fully combine the wet and dry ingredients.

5. Transfer the cookie mixture into a pipping bag with a round tip. Pipe the mixture onto the cookie sheet into 1-inch diameter cookies. Mine aren’t perfect, but I find the best ones come out when I don’t move the pipping bag as much when creating the circles.

6. Set the cookies aside and wait until the tops of the meringue are dry to touch (nothing should be sticky on top, but it should still be soft).

7. Back the cookies for 13-15 minutes. After baking, the meringues will stick to the cookie sheet. Take a spray bottle and spray water underneath the wax paper to peel off the cookies.

For the filling:

1. Beat all ingredients together on medium until desired consistancy

2. Spread filling onto cookies and match same size cookies for the perfect sandwich size.

BON APPETIT!

Hallmark Who?

Happy week of Valentine’s Day! I absolutely love this holiday. And it’s not because I’m in a relationship. In fact, I’ve loved it my entire life. Growing up, I used the holiday as an excuse to wear as much pink as I possibly could. Year after year, I looked forward to decorating my Valentine’s Day box for all the cards and candy my classmates would give me. Then, I would pig out on chocolate Sweethearts. Yes, chocolate. They’re the most superior of all V-day candies. Lastly, the day marks a day of inspiration for me. My parents got engaged on Valentine’s Day – with the help of a “Marry Me?” sweetheart – and to this day I still aspire to have the same love that my parents have for each other.

With all that said, I still LOVE to procrastinate with V-day. This year, I cranked out three incredibly easy homemade cards you can give to your girlfriends, boyfriends, parents, siblings, etc. Not only are these easy but they’re insanely cheap and incredibly adorable.

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EASY

I love using scrapbooking materials to make quaint cards for special occasions. One of the more simplistic scrapbooking techniques I return to time and time again is “tearing.” If you tear scrapbook paper by lifting the paper towards you, the material will make a white feathered edging, very cute for layering over each other.

You need:

  • One sheet of card stock (I used a 12″ x 12″ and cut it in half)
  • Various scrapbook papers
  • clear glue
  • 3-D flowers

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How to:

  1. Decide what papers you want to layer on top of each other. I chose a dark red for the bottom, a red pattern for the middle, and a heart border for the top.
  2. Begin ripping the papers. Each layer should differ in size, going from smallest to largest (largest being the bottom layer).
  3. Once you have the ripped papers, glue them down. I chose to have mine go the entire length front and back of the card
  4. Adorn with flowers

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EASIER

This is my FAVORITE of the cards I made this year. I like that the lips aren’t all the same. The bow adds a touch of sweet girliness, and I can’t wait to give this to one of my girlfriends.

You need:

  • One sheet of card stock (I used a 12″ x 12″ and cut it in half)
  • A long piece of ribbon (my ribbon was 1.5″ in width)
  • clear glue
  • Lipsticks in a variety of colors, light to dark

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How to:

  1. Begin by applying the ribbon to the front of the card. Cut the ribbon into two pieces
  2. Glue down a piece of ribbon the length of the front of the card.
  3. Tie the other piece of ribbon into a bow and glue down on the edge of the already glued ribbon
  4. Start doing the lip pattern with the lightest color of lipstick first.
  5. You can layer the colors on top of each other on your lips so the hues complement each other well
  6. Finish off with a single smooch on the inside. Make sure the lipstick dries and nothing comes off to touch

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EASIEST

This card is seriously so fun to make. It’s a fun way to get out aggression to. The best part about this card is that it takes matters of seconds to make. And who doesn’t have an old toilet paper roll sitting around?

You need:

  • One sheet of card stock (I used a 12″ x 12″ and cut it in half)
  • A bare toilet paper roll
  • Any two color paint (I used pink and dark pink)
  • Small paintbrush

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How to:

  1. Take your toilet paper roll and squish it into a heart shape. This can be molded by make a fist with your hand.
  2. Dip one end of the roll into a pool of paint and begin dabbing hearts onto the card stock.
  3. Half-way through covering the card stock, switch paint colors and dip the other end of the roll into the new color
  4. I decided to paint a little arrow through one of the hearts. Take a small brush, dip it into the paint and sketch an arrow to one of the most prominent hearts on the front.

DIY: Bouncy Curls for Short Hair

It makes me sad that there aren’t very many hair tutorials for women with shorter haircuts. There are so many awesome celebrities chopping their locks lately, but yet those of us who take the plunge aren’t shown what we can really do with our short hair.

I like to think that I was one of the first of my friends who decided to cut it all off. This past summer, I went from shoulder length to a choppy chin length Karlie Kloss bob, and I loved every moment of it. Over the course of the year, though, I’ve let my hair return to a longer length at my shoulders. Even though my hair is long relative to me, it’s still MUCH shorter than many of the other ladies I see on campus.

As I’ve watched my hair in its many awkward stages of growing out, I’ve learned quickly to adapt my means of styling. Currently, I’m loving big voluminous bouncy waves with my hair. The length is fun to play around with, and these soft curls make me feel like a new age Farrah Fawcett (minus the ass kicking Charlie’s Angels abilities).

Got short hair? Want curls? Here’s how you can work it.

You’ll Need:IMG_0436

1/2 inch curling iron

1 inch curling iron

Large hair clip

Small hair clip (if you have bangs)

Heat protecting spray (I used It’s a 10)

Dry Shampoo/Texturizing Spray (I used Psssst)

Hairspray (I used TRESemme)

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Step 1: Skip washing hair for at least two days. These curls work best with 2nd or 3rd day hair. Apply heat protection deliberately throughout dry hair and comb through with fingers or a wide tooth comb.

Step 2: Pull back and clip the majority of hair except a small section at the bottom of the scalp. Using the 1/2 inch curling iron, curl 1 inch sections away from the face.

Step 3: Re-section off the hair and bring down a larger middle section of uncurled hair. Now use the 1 inch curling iron on 1 inch sections of hair, curling away from the face. I hold each section for at least 5 seconds, but you might want to hold it for less or more depending on thickness of hair.

Step 4: Continue again with the rest of the hair, curling 1 inch sections with the 1 inch curling iron. Use the curling iron to style your bangs as you wish. I used the 1 inch barrel to add some volume and direction.

Step 5: Go through and finish pieces that might have been missed and curly quickly with the 1/2 inch curling iron.

Step 6: Run fingers or a wide tooth comb through the entire head of hair. This loosens up the curls and makes them less poodle-like.

Step 7: Texturize the very top roots with a small amount of dry shampoo or texture spray and then hair spray lightly to make sure the curls hold.

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