Food Friday: Mexican!

At my internship at Social Factor last semester my supervisor/mentor, Elizabeth Hardy, suggested I have themed days to keep things interesting on my blog. So here it is, my first themed blog post: Food Friday! With all the delicious noms here I decided I needed to set aside a day to highlight the best dishes of each week. 

As you can imagine, there isn’t much Mexican food in Austria. What you manage to find most likely won’t be good/even identifiable as Mexican. Wednesday was my friend Kristen’s 22nd birthday so we decided to end our withdrawals by cooking a Mexican food feast. We wanted it to be a surprise, so we distracted Kristen as we hid out in the kitchen and prepared everything. We made ground beef tacos, rice with corn and bell peppers, guacamole, and brownies with Milka s’mores chocolate pieces. We also made Sangria with raspberries, blueberries, and strawberries (yum). The guacamole was really hard to make because we couldn’t find avocados that were ripe enough so we took turns mashing the avocados with a potato masher for an hour. It was a work out, but it was worth it because it was delicious! Our bellies were finally reunited with Mexican food and we were content. 

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The feast in all its glory.

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The most painstakingly delicious guac ever.

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Milka brownie heaven. 

Until next food friday!

Filzmoos, Austria

Yesterday we went to Filzmoos, Austria for the afternoon. It’s a small tourist town about 40 minutes away by bus, and is seriously the cutest little town in the entire world. 

The drive there took us past alps, castles, and numerous spots used in Sound of Music. I was so tired I wanted to sleep but didn’t want to miss out on all the photo opps! When we pulled into the town I was so excited to see all the snow. I haven’t seen so much actual snow (the “snow” in Austin is bogus) since going to Tahoe in high school. After taking pictures with the horses, we all got into sleighs, bundled ourselves up in the blankets, and started up the mountain. It was freezing with the wind but was so gorgeous you forgot about how cold you were. Everywhere you looked there were trees covered in snow, brooks with trout, troughs of water, and little cabins. The sun was shining and the sky was bright blue. We got so lucky with the weather! 

After about a half hour we got to the restaurant. It was still decorated for Christmas, which made me really happy. Because the trip was planned through the program lunch was a set menu, but it was so good I didn’t even care. We had goulash soup with bread, hot chocolate, and Kaiserschmarrn. Kaiserschmarrn is a shredded pancake with powdered sugar, fresh fruit, and stewed plum sauce. It tastes similar to a Dutch pancake, but better. It was seriously so good, I didn’t even have time to take a picture. I thought I wouldn’t like the plum sauce so I didn’t put any on at first but it was delicious. We decided we need to try to make Kaiserschmarrn in our dorm, but I doubt it will turn out as good as the restaurant’s. 

After we finished eating we took pictures and played in the snow, then got back in the sleighs for the ride down. Another girl, Meaghan, and I sat in the front and chatted with the worker. He told us that both of the horses that were pulling us were pregnant. I felt so bad that they had to take us up and down the mountain, especially after we’d all stuffed our faces at lunch!

On the bus ride home we listened to the Sound of Music soundtrack (how typicial haha). We were all singing along quietly but one girl, Breanna, has an amazing voice and wasn’t afraid to belt it out. She actually sounds like Julie Andrews. We all thought it was the CD until our guide told us it was her singing. We all joked that she sounded like Julie Andrews and we sounded like the children. 

I was so tired from all the food and from waking up early that I passed out on the bus. My friends took pictures of me and posted them on Facebook (thanks guys) and naturally they got tons of likes. Fortunately my friend Michelle also passed out (and got photographed) so I wasn’t the only one. All in all, it was an amazing day and I can’t wait until I can go back to Filzmoos!

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Horsies!

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There are trout in there!

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Snow selfies

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Is it Christmas yet?

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New preferred method of transportation.

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Front row seats ahhh yeah

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Post card-worthy. 

The Hills are Alive

I finally arrived in Salzburg, Austria yesterday! My dorm, Instituit St. Sebastian, is actually pretty similar to Hotel San Jacinto (my dorm freshman year for all you non-Longhorns). Each room has two beds, two desks, tons of storage space, and a private bathroom with a shower (yay to no community bathrooms!) It’s mostly an all-girl dorm, with the exception of two guys on the second floor. It’s a mix of AIFS students and Austrian students, which is really cool! The Austrian students haven’t gotten back from break yet so the only language you hear is English. I’m not complaining. The best (and worst) part about the dorm is the location. It’s right off of Linzer Gasse, a main street filled with cafes, shops, bars, grocery stores, and more. Everything I could ever need is right outside my window. If I didn’t live on the third floor I could probably jump out my window straight into the neighboring bar. Unfortunately it’s also connected to a cemetery. A lot of important people were buried there, including Mozart’s wife and father, but it’s pretty creepy to live next to. We’ve talked about bringing a Ouija board out there one night and daring someone to spend the night there alone. We’ll see if either actually happen.    

After I dropped off my luggage my dad and I went to lunch, did a little bit of shopping, then our program had a city tour. Most of the people on the program are from the Midwest or East Coast so they were talking about how “warm” it is here. Meanwhile I was shivering/being blown away by the wind. That polar vortex in Texas? Not even comparable. At the end of the tour we were all hungry, so we went to get schnitzel and soup. I attempted to learn everyone’s’ names. After dinner a few of us decided to check out said neighboring bar, which is connected to a fancy-looking hotel. I don’t know the name of the hotel, but there was a sign in front of the bar that said “Coffee & Booze.” What else could exchange students need? The second we walked inside we were befriended by this German guy who was finishing law school at the University. It was his second-to-last day, and you could definitely tell based on how intoxicated he was. He entertained us with random stories and ranted about some player on the Dallas Cowboys who apparently sucks. Is that embarrassing that a German guy knows more about a Texas football team than I do? As he wandered off to buy shots he got distracted and at that point we were exhausted, so we grabbed our stuff and walked home. 

Today we had orientation for four hours. The room was so dark and it was so early it was a struggle to stay awake. We had another city tour that was more of a city hike. We went up the hill on one side of the river and it was so muddy and steep I thought I was going to slip and take everyone out. I could picture myself falling down the hill, knocking everyone over singing “I came in like a wrecking ballllllll.” Luckily that didn’t happen and after two and a half hours, the tour was over and it was time to meet my dad for late lunch. After enjoying one last [free] meal we said goodbye and I went back to my room to finish setting everything up. I don’t know what the plan is for tonight, but I’m hoping it involves dessert. I haven’t had any so far and I’ve been in Europe since Thursday. Not okay. 

Tomorrow we take a German placement test. Last minute cram session? My German has gone a little downhill recently. Wish me luck!