Holiday-Style Apple Pie Sangria

The holiday season is upon us! With Thanksgiving coming up and Christmas commercials out the wazoo, I decided to spice up some wine (literally) with my own holiday sangria recipe! Apple pie is one of my favorite holiday treats, which is why it is the inspiration for this cocktail.

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Holiday-Style Apple Pie Sangria
(makes 2 servings)

INGREDIENTS
2 cups of your favorite white wine
2 shots of vodka
1 cup apple cider
1/2 Fuji apple, cut into slices
1/2 soft pear, cut into slices
1 tbsp. sugar
2 tsp. cinnamon
1/2 tsp. nutmeg
Ginger ale

DIRECTIONS
1. Combine wine, vodka, apple cider apple and pear slices, sugar, cinnamon, and nutmeg in a container.
2. Let wine mixture sit for 24 hours.
3. Stir wine mixture, pour into a glass, add ginger ale (to taste), and enjoy!

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I hope you like this recipe! Be warned, you can’t taste the alcohol at all, so don’t go too crazy with it. Let me know if there are other recipes I should try!

Simple Homemade Red Wine Sangria

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Sangria is my new favorite drink and activity – I’ve been on a sangria-making kick recently. I’m not a huge red wine fan, but my housemate is, so the other day when I made white wine sangria for myself (see recipe here), I made her a few glasses of red wine sangria! Check out the recipe below:

Simple Berry Red Wine Sangria
(makes two servings)

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The oranges pick up the amazing color from the wine and end up as a beautiful and delicious garnish.

INGREDIENTS
2 cups of your favorite red wine
Your favorite frozen berries (I used a strawberry/blueberry/blackberry medley) – microwave until thawed
Half an orange, cut into slices
2 shots of blueberry-pomegranate vodka
2 tbsp. sugar
Ginger ale (however much you want)

DIRECTIONS
1. Combine wine, vodka, orange, berries, and sugar in a container.
2. Let wine mixture sit in fridge for at least an hour.
3. Pour wine mixture into a glass and add ginger ale.
4. Garnish and enjoy!

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The final product!

Let me know what you think of this red wine sangria recipe! Have any great sangria recipes my housemates and I should try? Send them my way!

p.s. I have a Holiday-Style Apple Pie Sangria sitting in the fridge right now – stay tuned for the recipe, coming soon!

Homemade Sangria (With Simple Dining Hall Ingredients)

Sangria is often thought of as a fancy summer drink, but I figured, why not make it a casual drink in the middle of winter? Check out this simple sangria recipe, which I made using only ingredients from the dining hall (aside from the alcohol).

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Tropical White Wine Sangria
(makes two servings)

INGREDIENTS:
Two cups of your favorite white wine
One mini bottle of orange vodka (1.7 oz)
One tbsp. sugar
Fresh strawberries, halved
Fresh pineapple, cut into chunks
Fresh orange, cut into slices
Ginger ale

DIRECTIONS:
1. Combine the wine, vodka, sugar, and fruit in a large container. Mix and refrigerate for at least an hour.
2. Add ginger ale (to taste) to the wine mixture.
3. Garnish with an orange slice and enjoy!

Let me know what you think and stay posted for an easy red wine sangria recipe coming soon!

Things You Know if You Work at the Dining Hall

Halloween_Feast_Food

People who eat at the dining hall often think they know everything about it. This, however, is completely untrue. Students may understand the stereotypes of the people who sit in certain areas or the types of food that is served, but student workers know the truth about what goes on behind the scenes at the dining hall.

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1. College students love food that goes straight from the freezer to the deep fryer – from mozzarella sticks to french fries and chicken patties to onion rings, college students go crazy for deep fried food.

2. Cleaning tables sucks more than anything. Cleaning tables when they’re covered in food, salt, and napkins is the worst thing in the world. And cleaning tables when you see your crush for the first time in a week makes you want to crawl into a hole and hide there for the rest of the year.

3. Unhealthy food runs out much faster than healthy food.

4. Complainers are the worst. Ever heard someone say, “I pay X amount of money to go to this school, can’t they at least feed me some decent food?!” (What’s worse is the people who request fresh kale at the salad bar or ones who demand organic options because “it’s no longer the 1990s.” Right, because non-organic food became unacceptable when we crossed into this millennium.)

5, Some of the food is delicious and homemade, and some of it is frozen crap. Knowing which is which can make all the difference.

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6. People waste so much food. Think before you load up your plate or tray – how hungry are you really?

7. There are some people who will tell on you for trying to sneak food out in tupperware. If you don’t know who they are and how to avoid them, you will get caught.

8. You don’t know how you gained the freshman fifteen? Really? We do.

9. Some of the cooks are the coolest/nicest people ever. Befriending them can make every work shift and meal that much better.

10. A lot of work goes into every meal – it means a lot when people appreciate the work everyone in the dining hall does to make every day just a little bit easier for the rest of the student body.

Apple Recipes

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My housemates and I all went apple picking, so we ended up with a zillion apples. We’ve now made applesauce, apple crisp, apple pie, and a bunch of other apple recipes. Inspired by my apple-baking binge last night, I wrote this Buzzfeed post on apple recipes. Check it out! http://www.buzzfeed.com/ipaulesbronet/15-perfect-fall-apple-recipes-fsbd

Happy Thanksgivukkah

Thanksgivukkah

Also, it’s not Thanksgivmukkah. Where is the “m” coming from? Neither Thanksgiving nor Hanukkah have an “m.” Just to clarify.

To hop on the bandwagon: I hope everyone has a fantastic time today at this once-in-a-lifetime holiday, Thanksgivukkah.

A year ago today, I was having the worst week of my life. I had cried more than half the hours I’d been awake and I felt worlds away from my family. This Thanksgiving, I feel so grateful for all the people who were there for me last year when I needed them, and all the people who have remained with me this year. I am also thankful for all of you who read my blog – when I started this, I expected to have my family, close friends, and a few random Facebook friends read it. Now, almost one million views later, I am still in shock that so many people enjoy reading what I have to say. So thanks!

I could keep writing about all the things I’m thankful for, but instead, I think I’ll go find some food (after all, I have two food-centric holidays to celebrate).

Coffee Name

I feel your pain, Mad-Ah-Lynn

I feel your pain, Mad-Ah-Lynn

I have a challenging name. I am aware of that fact. At high school graduation, I had to write “(pronunciation: Ill-ee-ah-na)” on the index card that some random teacher would read to announce me and I was still worried he would get it wrong. The first day of class is always an interesting day of me learning how incapable most teachers/professors are at pronouncing my name. I have gotten everything from Eileen to Elena, Leanne to Aileena, and those are only the ones that I can come up with spellings for. Usually, when I order food or coffee or something, I tell the server that my name is Ileana, and they should just spell it however they think it’ll be easiest for the other person to pronounce. If I don’t give them permission to spell my name wrong, I have to listen on the other end of the counter for every possible variation of my name.

You’ve all seen (or been the victim of) this kind of ignorance: http://www.thrillist.com/drink/nation/starbucks-spelling-tumblr-23-hilariously-misspelled-names-on-starbucks-coffee-cups. Just imagine what people with names like mine get written on coffee cups. It’s rough.

THUS, I have taken to using a coffee name. NPR did a piece a few years ago on coffee names (which can be found here: http://www.npr.org/templates/story/story.php?storyId=128828538).

So “Hi, Starbucks barista, I would like a tall caramel frappuccino, you can put it under Lilly.”

Apple Picking

Apple Picking is by far my favorite fall activity. It is the quintessential act of autumn, along with going to a pumpkin patch and a corn maze. Apple picking is one of the reasons I left the west coast and came back east for college – it just feels right to be able to go out on a crisp fall day and walk around a muddy orchard picking out the perfect apples. Not to mention all the other fun things that come with apple picking – the apple cider that is freshly pressed, the apple pies, the cider donuts; basically everything fun and delicious. I look forward to the fall every year, and I always love taking pictures at the apple orchards with my friends. So, given that, I have put together a perfect outfit for apple picking. Its fun layered look will keep you warm in the cool air, and it is still comfortable and casual enough to traipse through the mud and climb through the trees. It’s not fall if there aren’t apples, so get picking!
photo - Copyphoto (These are some pictures I took while apple picking earlier today)
Apple Picking