Monday, September 22, 2014

During each of Texas A&M's conference games, I'll be posting a brunch recipe and complementary cocktail for us all to enjoy. The recipes won't be your typical tailgate fare. I'm classing these up to bring a little extra fancy to our everyday lives. And really what's not to love? Brunch and cocktails is pretty much the best combination around. Get a group of friends together & celebrate your weekend! See all SEC Brunch posts.



What's better to eat while watching a sporting event than beer & pizza? Answer: nothing. It's classic. Default. Almost boring... if you let it be.

This week, Texas A&M is playing Arkansas. BTHO Pig, as we say here in Aggieland. Last year, I made pulled pork sandwiches and coleslaw. This year, I wanted to keep eating pig. And I really, really wanted an excuse to eat pizza. Bacon pizza has been done, so I went with crispy pork belly. And then I added Brussels sprouts & a Balsamic glaze. Serve with a nice beer & orange juice cocktail, and you have the perfect brunch.

Brussels Sprouts & Crispy Pork Belly Pizza

Ingredients

  • 1 serving pizza dough (I used this cornmeal pizza dough recipe)
  • 2 cups shaved Brussels sprouts
  • 2 TBS olive oil
  • 2 tsp garlic powder
  • 1 tsp salt (or to taste)
  • 1 tsp red pepper flakes
  • 1/2 lb. pork belly slab
  • 1 sweet onion, chopped
  • 2 TBS butter
  • 2 cups mozarella cheese, shredded
  • 1 cup Gruyère cheese, shredded

Heat your oven to 450 degrees. If you have a pizza stone, place it in the oven now, to heat it up.

Mix Brussels sprouts with olive oil & seasonings. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper & spread the Brussels sprouts evenly on the pan. Bake at 450 degrees for 20 minutes.

While the Brussels sprouts are cooking, heat a pan on medium high heat. Cook the pork belly, fat side up, until mostly cook through. Flip to fat side down & cook more until crispy. Remove the pork from the pan, to rest. Add the chopped onions & butter to the pan. Cook until carmelized.

Once the pork is cool enough to handle, slice it into slices as thin as possible.

Now all your toppings are ready to go. Assemble the pizza!

Take your stone out of the oven, or get out your pizza pan. Roll the dough out on the pizza pan, then cover with the Brussels Sprouts, cheese, and onions. Drizzle with the balsamic glaze. Then place the pork slices on top.

Cook at 450 degrees for 20 minutes, or until crispy brown. Serve with the Lunchbox cocktail (below).

The Lunchbox

The Lunchbox cocktail may be the best breakfast cocktail around. I love mimosas, but those can get a little old after a while. And while Bloody Mary's or Micheladas are great, I'm still partial to orange juice. So, enter the Lunchbox.

View the recipe now, on Fueled by Cocktails.



Happy brunching! Cheers!

Monday, September 22, 2014

It's always fun writing for someone else instead of myself... particularly when it's on a specific, requested topic. I've guest posted in a few places recently, on three of my favorite subjects: Cocktails. Web development. And my career path.

Here's some links, for you to jump over to the articles...

Cocktails: All Things Planned

This feature happened a really long time ago, but I forgot to share it here. Better late than never! I wrote about cocktails I would serve at a New Orleans-themed wedding. Click over here for the recipes.

Web Development: TAMU GoMobile

I'm part of a group on Texas A&M's campus dedicated to working towards making sure all of the university's websites are accessible on all devices (focusing on responsive web design). The group provides resources to the university, and keeps ongoing stats of which colleges are responsive. I recently wrote a blog post talking about responsive design techniques. Even if you're not a web designer or developer, you may be interested in some of the tricks of the trade. Click over here for the post.

Career Path: Emily Carlton | Remedial

I love talking about how I was hired for the job that I have now - it's one of my proudest moments in my life, since it was such a jump upward. I give a few pointers for how I survived my first project on the job. Read my guest post here.

Thursday, September 18, 2014

Who doesn't love a good bachelorette party? Especially if it's a theme bachelorette party. 

At the beginning of the summer, I made drinks for a 90's themed bachelorette party, held in a beautiful apartment rental in the heart of downtown Austin. Some of the girls wore their PJ's & we rocked out to pop music from my middle school days, while ongoing games of truth or dare & cootie catchers were thrown around. I created Fueled by Cocktails for events like this -- special affairs that deserve an extra special cocktail menu.

I was hired for this party by Meg of Everyday Meg. We've been blogging friends for a while, and met at last year's Texas Style Council, which was where the initial idea of Fueled by Cocktails came from. Meg & her friends welcomed me into their party, and it was such a great time!!





I served three drinks at the party... Each was based on something from the 90's, was super colorful & was made with the intended audience: girls doing girly things with other girls. (Sorry, Scotch.)

Gushers Shooter

First up was a shot with a Gushers thrown in the bottom. This shot features Loopy vodka, rum & Midori. I added some lime juice to cut the sweetness. The Gushers in the glass just adds a little extra challenge at the end (because it tends to get stuck in the bottom) but the challenge led to extra giggles, so it's worth it.

See the recipe to make your own Gushers shooter here.

Lisa Frank Fizz

I couldn't go to a bahelorette party without bringing some champagne with me. In my opinion a party isn't a party without something sparkling being passed around. The addition of pink edible glitter, strawberries, Ruby Red vodka & blood orange bitters is just what makes the champagne a cocktail. We went through an entire bottle of champagne in less than 30 mintues, but luckily I always travel with two bottles. Because when you run out of champagne, the party is over.

See the recipe to make your own Lisa Frank Fizz here. I suggest you also pick up some Lisa Frank stickers to play with while drinking this cocktail. It just somehow makes things even better.

Kel's Orange Soda

What would a 90's party be without some sort of Nickelodeon reference? We played with the idea of slime, but really... who wants to drink something gloopy and green? So we opted for something prettier but just as culturally significant: Ke's Orange Soda. Made with whipped cream vodka & a splash of vanilla creamer, it's soda with pizzazz.

See the recipe to make your own Kel's Orange Soda here.

A big thank you to Meg for the pictures & the opportunity to have some fun!

If you'd like to hire me for your next party, let me know. I offer a variety of services through Fueled by Cocktails, even if you don't live in Texas.

Tuesday, September 16, 2014

It's always fun working on a project that you get an immediate vision for the second you're brought on to the job. When Jessica reached out to me to help move her website from a wordpress.com blog to a self-hosted Wordpress site, I immediately envisioned a slightly quirky layout with playful accents. I wanted to let Jessica's content do most of the talking, so besides a few pops of gold & pink, the overall look is incredibly streamlined & minimalist.

The site needed to highlight three things:

(1) The blog (obviously). We needed a user friendly blog feed, with easy links to comment, share posts on social media & quick navigation to allow readers the abilty to flip through her content.

We made sure to include prev/next links on each blog post page, and a quick drop-down "archives" list on the home page. Social share buttons were added at the end of each post. And a custom pin-it hover button was added on images, in line with the coloring of the rest of the blog.

(2) Her Work. Jessica creates incredible work - from writing to photography to graphic design. We needed to make sure there was enough room to showcase everything.

We had some fun with her photography page, and used a masonry layout with lightbox feature to display the photos. I thought it was a fun way to show an overview of her work without using a traditional slideshow. The lightbox feature, then, allows for users to look at each photo in detail if desired.

(3) Jessica's Personlity. Jessica is quirky & fun, and slightly edgy in real life. I wanted to make sure her website reflected that.

She put together the fun skull mark featured on the side & sent me a few patterns to use on the site. We used pink because she's slightly girly, but we picked a more muted pink so the site wouldn't come off as too young. The gold stripes added some playfulness to the site. I love the overall look! To finish it all off, Jess had an amazing photoshoot & her "About" page really shines. Especially with the added Jay-Z lyrics.

And the site is responsive, so it'll look lovely on your iPad & even on your phone.

Client: Jessica Willingham / Weird & Wonderful Willinghams
URL: http://jessicawillingham.com/
CMS: Wordpress 4.0
Theme: Custom template using Twitter bootstrap
Hours to Complete: 16

Looking at sprucing up your own website? Check out my web development info here.

Monday, September 15, 2014

Hello fall TV schedule!!! I have a history of posting my fall TV watch list here on Interpret As You May. It's one of the few posts that have made regular appearances since the very beginning. And for good reason: we all can get excited about the return of new shows!

So, what's on my watch list this season? It's a little less than in years previous. Some of my favorite shows are gone & there really weren't a whole lot of new ones that caught my attention. But that doesn't mean I won't be glued to my television for ungodly hours each week anyway....

Here's what I'm watching, in order of premier date:

September 16 (tomorrow!!!)

  • New Girl (Fox)
  • Mindy Project (Fox)

September 25

  • Parenthood (NBC)

September 27

  • Saturday Night Live (NBC)

September 28

  • Brooklyn Nine-Nine (Fox)

October 5

  • Bob's Burgers (Fox)
  • Mulaney* (Fox)

October 14

  • About a Boy (NBC)

October 15

  • Top Chef (Bravo)

So... only one new show made it on my list of 9. I guess I may finally have a chance to watch Revenge on Netflix.

What are you watching this season??

Comments | Tags: TV, my life

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