Thursday, February 25, 2010

Amy's Ice Cream




Ask anyone in Houston or Austin about this ice cream shop and you will hear nothing but good things. My friends and I used to go to Amy's at least three times a week during our senior year of high school just to hang out and eat ice cream.

Amy's is known for its eclectic, alternative atmosphere as well as its inventive flavors. You could compare Amy's to a more affordable Coldstone with more creative flavors. Example: They make avocado flavored ice cream...not the most tasty flavor, but still fun to try. Flavors that they always have include sweet cream, belgian chocolate, white chocolate, mexican vanilla, coffee, dark chocolate, and just vanilla. They offer seasonal flavors which will include anything from girl scout cookies to whatever fruits are in harvest on their farms. They also boast a list of 300 flavors that they make daily in addition to the eight flavors that they always have. You can add a variety of crush-ins to your ice cream as well. You are always more than welcome to taste any and as many flavors as you would like. Amy's loves when its customers are satisfied with their treats.

They offer their basic flavors for sale in different sizes at their stores, but you can also purchase them wholesale or even have Amy's cater an event (one girl had them cater her bat mitzvah party..needless to say, dessert was delicious).

In Austin or Houston? Find the closest Amy's location to you by clicking here. If you're visiting either of these cities, definitely skip dessert at a restaurant and take it to Amy's. You will not be disappointed.

Want more information? Check out their website!

Saturday, February 13, 2010

Homemade Hummus

My mom makes the best homemade hummus. It's so easy to make, and so easy to add different spices to add the flavor that you're looking for.

To make the basic hummus, this is all you need:

Chickpeas (garanzo beans)
Minced Garlic
Olive Oil

You put all this in a blender or a food processor and blend until thick and smooth...I know that I didn't give you any amounts or numbers, but we generally make a lot and kind of eyeball it.

When my mom makes it, we just make a lot and add in whatever spices or garlic we want until it tastes the way we are craving.

Some good add ins are lemon juice, dill, chili powder, or lemon pepper.

Sunday, February 7, 2010

Honor Bright, There for Tomorrow, and A Rocket to the Moon come to Syracuse!

Somehow I got really lucky again and two bands that I have really been wanting to see played a small show in Syracuse last Wednesday. I heard about A Rocket to the Moon from my friend, Cara early last year. My friend, Allison introduced me to There For Tomorrow a couple of weeks ago. Both bands are different, but both have great music and are great performers in their own ways. These two bands played on their day off from the Take Action Tour; if you have a chance to, check out them and the other amazing bands on this tour!

Honor Bright is a local Syracuse band that I had never heard of until this concert was announced. Caitlin and I got to Lost Horizon for the last few songs of their set. From what I hear, I really liked them. The last song they played was "Home is a Heartache". The fans who were there got really into it. It's such a catchy, fun, song; I really liked them and I need to find more of their music.




There for Tomorrow is one of the most recent bands that I have checked out. They are on the heavier side of my spectrum (take it as you want it..my music listening spectrum is all over the place), and I really like them. They gave an explosive performance that had the whole venue moving and getting into their music. I'm so glad that I got to see them during their break from the tour and I would love to see them again. They played a lot of songs from their new album "A Little Faster" including Remedy, Backbone, Stories, and Wish You Away, as well as other songs that are on my youtube channel , including part of an amazing acoustic version of Burn The Night Away.




I also got to meet Christopher and Christian from the band and they are really cool, down to earth guys.


yeah..excuse that i look exhausted and gross, i had class earlier...and then i was lazy

So after that, A Rocket to the Moon played their set. Okay, seriously, I am in love with this band too..they are such dorks, and such great performers. Most of the songs they played were from their newest album, "On Your Side", which I definitely suggest you check out. They opened up with Dakota, and also played Just Another One, Annabelle, and Sometimes. They did a really beautiful acoustic rendition of On A Lonely Night that was legitimately phenomenal. Check out that and the rest of their set on my youtube channel.

Monday, February 1, 2010

Rome, Italy

Rome is one of the most historical cities in Italy, but it's also one of the most current and modern cities in the country. Spend the day visiting historical sites, and on your way out at night, see them under the stars before you go to a club or a bar. The food, like the city, is rich with culture and flavor. Rome is known for its pizza, fried artichoke dish, carbonara sauce, and my favorite, arrabiata (spicy sauce). Rome is one of the biggest cities in Italy, so when visiting museums, ruin, and ancient sites, be sure to have your comfortable shoes on...you will do a lot of walking, even if you're taking a cab.

In Rome, you can find so many ancient Roman sites. Roman culture has been and continues to be a huge influence on modern life and the world today. The Pantheon was their main place of worship, while the Coloseum was their place for entertainment and amusement. These structures are still for the most part in tact and are open to the public. The Trevi Fountain is also beautiful during the day and night. This is the fountain where, to have your wish come true, you must throw your penny in with your back facing the fountain. If not, not only will your wish not come true, but you will have bad luck. (My friend and I threw our pennies in the wrong way, but reversed it by making two wishes the right way to cancel it out...juuust in case).

For those of you interested in Jewish history and culture, Rome also had and has a huge Jewish population. The Jewish quarter is gorgeous and full of history. You can visit and tour the synagogue as well as enjoy a great kosher Italian meal in the neighborhood. It is very interesting to see how the ghetto was set up and how the old neighborhood used to work.







Spanish Steps



Trevi Fountain



Synagogue


Ancient Roman Ruins





The Pantheon




If you are looking for a hostel, check out Carlito's Way...it first seemed kind of sketchy, but it was actually one of the nicer hostels that we stayed in, which trust me, is saying a lot.

Be sure to have one dinner at La Carbonara in Piazza Campo di Fiori...the food is amazing and they treat you very well there. For good drinks, live music and a fun atmosphere, go to Jazz Bar on a night out. It's relaxed, but fun; a great place to unwind with friends.

You have have HAVE to go to Giolitti; it has the best gelato in Rome; it is located right near the Pantheon and the gelato is legitimately to die for.