Thursday, January 31, 2013

Currently


It's been a few days since I've posted anything so I wanted to give a little update! Thanks to Lauren at Calm Delight for the idea. Enjoy! :)

Listening to: Gary Clark Jr. - If you haven't heard of him I command you to listen!! :) He is amazing...blues, rock, R&B...and the guy plays guitar like nobody's business.

Watching: Game of Thrones. I am trying to catch up before Season 3 starts in Feburary...I'm already through Season one...in like 2 days. I may have woken up at 3am last night watched an episode on my iPad and went back to bed. Judge me.

Happy with: My choice to join Match.com. Around this time last year I joined Match and met the love of my life last April. He has been there for me at the most uncomfortable times...going to the ER because I had food stuck in my throat...taking me to the dentist on a Sunday because I knocked my teeth out on the microwave...I mean doesn't that happen in every relationship?!! I've always been skeptical to rely on anyone but he has consistently shown me that he won't let me down and that makes me feel loved. 

Annoyed by: My teeth. I'm an idiot and somehow managed to screw up a couple of my front teeth...they look fine, but are temporary and SUPER annoying. I am wearing my retainer. At work. Humiliating.

Mad about: Snow. Snow. Snow. Rain. Thunder. Lighting. Snow. Snow. MAKE UP YOUR MING MICHIGAN. Ugh.

Eating: Soup and yogurt. I can't bite anything because of my teeth. I attempted to eat this delish grilled cheese I made for RGP and myself (think: apples, bacon, gouda) yeah I had to bite it with the side of my teeth. Savagery. 

What about you? What are you currently up to? 



Photobucket

Thursday, January 24, 2013

Thirsty Thursday





Remember in college when Thursday was the BIGGEST bar night?!

Thursday afternoon would consist of texting my girlfriends deciding where we would go for the debauchery. 

We knew how to keep it REAL classy when we first turned 21.  We had a love affair with a place called Rick's American Cafe. 

Rick's had a little thing called $3 Thursday's - we DOWNED $3 long islands (it's a mystery why I gained weight that year) - danced our lives away to the music of Jedi Mind Trip and just overall made a lot of memories.

I'm sure you think the American Cafe title makes this bar sound acceptable. 

It's not. 

Don't do it gal.

Anywho...I am very experienced with this whole idea of Thirsty Thursday and thought every Thursday I could share a new cocktail with all of you. So cheers! It's a new Whitney Brooke tradition!

Speaking of traditions...Christmas. Yeah I know it's over but it's my favorite and I am just obsessed in love with it!

It's a time for celebrating with the ones you love. For as long as I can remember we would go to church on Christmas Eve and head over to Charley's Crab for a delish dinner.  We would then come home open gifts, drink champagne and eat dessert.


Sister, Me, Mama on Christmas Eve

A few years ago my sister and I decided to add 'drink martinis' to the list of traditions

Yes, traditions. Because Christmas ain't Christmas without a little booze.

The first was the plain old chocolate martini and it has evolved since then.  We made s'mores martinis and cherry martinis, but this one is the Chocolate Peppermint. 





It's so simple and so good and so much fun to make! 

Well unless you are sans cocktail shaker.  Then you think you are smart with your homemade to glasses shaker. 

No, not smart. Messy.

Anyways...here is the yummy recipe. MAKE IT. Christmas in January??



Chocolate Peppermint Martini

Serves: 1

2 oz Vanilla Vodka
1 oz Peppermint Schnapps
2 oz Godiva Chocolate Liquor
Splash of heavy cream
Ice
2 Candy Canes, crushed
1/4 Chocolate Syrup

Instructions:

Place candy canes in a plastic bag and smash with a mallet of a heavy bottomed pot. Once crushed pour on a small plate and pour chocolate syrup onto a small plate as well.  Dip martini glasses in chocolate syrup and then into candy canes. 

Drizzle chocolate syrup around the sides of the martini glass and chill in the fridge overnight. You can serve them right away, but I like to let the syrup set up in the fridge.

Add all ingredients to a cocktail shaker. Shake vigorously and pour into chilled martini glasses. Enjoy! :)

Slightly adapted from: Cooking with Sugar





Lars was so totally over us after a few of these...



Merry Christmas?
Photobucket

Wednesday, January 23, 2013

It's just coffee...


Did you know a whole bottle of wine fits in a Starbucks Trenta cup?

Jus' sayin'.

Thanks to Chappy for that info. :)


HAPPY HUMP DAY. What the heck...drink a bottle.
Photobucket



Tuesday, January 22, 2013

Cheesy, Creamy stuffed Shells with Pesto Sauce




I couldn't help but think of Giada when I titled this.

Have you ever noticed the way she says ANYTHING that starts with a Cr or Chr...Chhhhrispy, Chhhhrunchy, Crrrreamy...I could go on. Anywho...just pay attention next time so you are as annoyed as I am.

Sooo...I love pesto.

My boyfriend says I'm obsessed and put it in EVERYTHING. 

Drama. 

Always.




I most definitely do not put it on EVERYTHING...I mean I don't put it on my - I'm blanking - dessert? 

OK maybe I do make a lot of things with pesto. But is so amazingly flavorful. I love it on pizza, burgers, steak, seafood, eggs...I can go ON...but my favorite would have to be pasta. Specifically pasta stuffed with cheese.




I also LOVE cheesy goodness and since RGP loves it too I figured I could keep these in my repertoire. 

Stuffing little pasta with cheese does take a lot of work, but the outcome is soooooo worth it. I am not a huge fan of ricotta so I add some super creamy marscapone cheese to my shells.




The first time I made these I did a completely different sauce.  I bought some of amazing artichoke and garlic chicken sausages and mixed it with jarred organic pasta sauce and beefed it up with some tomatoes, garlic and artichokes. I poured that over the shells topped with fresh mozz and baked until brown and bubbly. MMMMM...and probs a little healthier.

So I had some extra shells left over that I threw in the freezer last so I decided to make this delish sauce. The shells held up amazing in the freezer!



SOOO go crazy cuz these are amazy! (I even hate me for that line)



Oh and have a glass of wine while you're waiting for the oven...duh.



Stuffed Shells With Pesto Cream Sauce

Serves: 4-6

1 lb box of jumbo shells
8oz marscapone cheese
8oz part-skim* ricotta (I use part-skim due to marscapone's higher fat content)
2c mozzarella cheese, divided (1 cup will be used to top the pasta)
pinch of nutmeg
S&P
Pesto Cream Sauce (recipe follows)

Butter a large baking dish and preheat oven to 350. 

Bring a large pot of water to a boil and salt generously. Add box of shells and cook 2-3 minutes less than package directions as they will finish cooking in the oven. Remove cooked pasta to a large baking sheet until cool enough to handle.  

While shells are cooling mix marscapone, ricotta and mozzarella together in a large bowl. Season with nutmeg, salt & pepper.

Spoon cheese mixture into prepared shells enough to completely fill. Place shells on prepared baking dish seam side down. Laddle sauce over shells, top with 1 cup of reserved mozzarella.  

Bake for 20-25 minutes until cheesy is brown and sauce is bubbly. Let sit for a few minutes when you take it out of the oven and serve with some crusty bread for mopping up all that delish pesto sauce! Enjoy! :)


Pesto Cream Sauce

1t olive oil
1/2c red onion, chopped
3 cloves garlic, minced
1c peppers, sliced (I used red & yellow; roasted would be good too!)
1/2c grape tomatoes, sliced
1 1/2c chicken (I had leftover in my fridge)
8oz prepared pesto (you can make your own)
4oz heavy cream
S&P

Heat a large skillet over medium heat. Saute onion and garlic in olive oil until translucent, about 2 minutes. add peppers and saute until soft, about 2 minutes.  Add tomatoes and chicken saute for about a minute. Add your pesto and stir to coat the veggies and chicken. Pour in heavy cream and let simmer for a few minutes.  Season with salt & pepper.


Photobucket


Monday, January 21, 2013

Back to Reality

Gone from work for 3 1/2 days.

43 emails.

10 brides.

Exhausted from my amazing, fun, eventful weekend that included a little too much alcohol and a little too much grout dust...

More later - here's a little weekend by iPhone. 

Have a fabulous Monday!


Photobucket

Thursday, January 17, 2013

Green Chile Chicken Enchiladas


Most of my recipes will start out with "Step one pour yourself a glass of wine".  Well all except for the cocktail recipes, cuz that's just excessive...right?



Anywho...this is a Mexican recipe and I had to add a splishity splash of Corona to the recipe...so I might as well just drink uno. Or dos. Ok tres, but que sera sera - which by the way Wikipedia has told me a mixture of the 'Romance Languages' Spanish and Italian. Spitalian. There ain't a lot of romance in spit. Or is there? 

Tangent.


Soooo I've been craving enchiladas for like a thousand weeks. But the person I mainly eat with...boyfriend or RGP (recipe guinea pig) - not to be confused with RG3, who has superior athletic skill to RGP - is SUPER whiney about food. 

SUPER is capitalized to highlight my annoyance.


I learned after many nights of whining like a baby that pretty much anything drenched in cheese will work for him. Basically, add 10,000 times more cheese on his half and he's a happy man. 

RGP was actually SUPER excited about enchiladas...but not super excited about 'Nooooooooo RED SAUCE??!!!' (whiney voice). But I think I made him a believer. I served him up a couple and when I heard him exclaim 'OH MY GAWWWD' from the living room...I knew I had a winner. 

Please stuff your face with these. They are ever BETTER nuked the next day for lunch. 

Truth.



Green Chile Chicken Enchiladas

Serves: 4-6

1t olive oil
1 medium onion, diced
2 Jalapeño, seeded & diced
3 cloves Garlic, minced
1/4c Mexican beer (I used Corona)
2 4oz cans diced green chiles
1 can Rotel tomatoes with green chiles, drained
1c frozen corn
2 1/2c chicken, shredded (I used one whole rotisserie chicken)
1 t Cumin
1T Chili powder
Salt & pepper to taste
6-8oz light cream cheese
2 c Mexican shredded cheese, divided
Salsa Verde Cream (recipe below)
8-10 whole wheat tortillas* (flour or corn are fine too)
Additional Toppings: Cilantro, Avocado, Sour Cream, Lettuce

*burrito size were a little too big so I cut them in half to serve. I would recommend using taco or fajita size in flour, corn or whole wheat...whatever you fancy!

Instructions

Preheat oven to 350.

Heat olive oil in a large skillet over medium heat. Sauté onions and jalapeños for about 2 minutes. Add garlic, sauté one more minute. Pour beer in pan and use your spoon to scrape up any bits. Mix in green chiles, Rotel tomatoes, frozen corn and chopped chicken to heat through heat through. Season mixture with cumin, chili powder, S&P to taste. Turn off heat and stir in softened cream cheese and 1/2c shredded cheese. Set aside. (I removed the micture to another bowl to cool and for the assembly process, but it's not necessary)

Assembly: Spread some of the salsa verde cream on the bottom of a 9x13 baking dish. Wrap tortillas in paper towel and heat in microwave to soften; about 20 seconds. Working one at a time, add a line of salsa verde cream and a generous portion of chicken mixture. Sprinkle with cheese and place seam side down in the baking dish. Repeat until pan is full. My pan was a little small so I froze my left over chicken mixture for another day! Top enchiladas with salsa verde cream and remaining cheese.

Bake for 35-45 minutes until cheese is brown and sauce is bubbling.

Salsa verde cream

1/2 c salsa
1 can green chiles
1/2 cup sour cream
Juice of 1/2 lime

In a small bowl wisk together salsa verde, sour cream & can of green chiles. Season with S&P and lime juice. 



Photobucket

Wednesday, January 16, 2013

Hi Kids!

I'm welcoming myself to the blogging world!! :) I probably should have done this one first...but I had margarita's on the mind and couldn't resist sharing.

I'm Whitney Brooke...hopefully you've figured that one out. 

I'm a 26 year old, born and raised Michigan girl. The state NOT the University - let's make that clear - I'm a SPARTAN and very proud of it.  MSU bball is my life.

So amazed by the life, family and love I've been given and feel the need to share it. 
I'm an event coordinator who has dealt with her fair share of bridezillas, but am in LOVE with my job and the people I get to call my co-workers. Rare - I know!

I have a passion for learning about food and creating new recipes. Growing up, I had the best of both worlds when it came to learning to cook.  My Mom focuses on making it healthy, while my Dad was deep frying our Thanksgiving turkey and cooking in bacon grease!

Throughout the last few years, I found myself experimenting in the kitchen and testing my recipes on family and friends - basically anyone with a fork and a healthy appetite. I've become so much more confident in the kitchen and feel the need to share the love.

So in 2012 I resolved that I would start a blog. My best friend Megan came up with the idea after I cooked her a New Year's Eve dinner and couldn't shut up about my favorite food blog How Sweet It Is.  So here I am - made possible with this amazing design by my lovely friend Kayla - sharing with you recipes and hopefully some funny stories about love, life and a little too much wine!

That felt like a dating profile - more on that later! ;)

Photobucket

Tuesday, January 15, 2013

I have a drinking injury...

I mean lets be honest; it’s not the first one I’ve ever had but typing at work is impossible when you can hardly move your fingers…on both hands.

I injured myself while up north at my boyfriend’s family cabin in the Manistee National Forest area aka the Middle of Nowhere.  I love how secluded and peaceful it is in the middle of the woods. EVERYTHING in this cabin is outfitted in camo…including my boyfriend.  He crosses the threshold of the cabin and goes from city slicker to hillbilly boy.

The front of the cabin
Camo carpet & deer cups...seriously.
Northern Michigan is amazing

I have made these once before in the summer and I used the juice of one lime for one cocktail. Well I forgot to get limes for my amazing margarita and fresh lime juice is a MUST. We went to the Dublin General Store, the only grocery store around there…people it’s a hillbilly gem.  You can buy everything from a box of ammunition to a box of tampons. It’s also jerky heaven…they have Kangaroo jerky. Nuff said. 

So I picked up 14 limes...no I was NOT planning on having 14...well, maybe but that is beside the point. Many boyfriend gripes later (what do you need 14 limes for?!?) we arrived back at the cabin to indulge in  some margs.

Take note winter limes do not equal summer limes folks.  My 14 drink plan only made 3 drinksssss. Guess who squeezed all those limes. Yours truly. Hand cramps. Pain. Injured. But still a great margarita.


P.F. Chang’s Organic Agave Margarita
Prep Time: 5 minutes Serves: 1

- 2 oz. Silver Tequila (Patron silver recommended)
- 1.5 oz fresh lime juice
- 1 oz. Agave Nectar (I used Agave in the Raw)
- ice

Directions:
Salt 1/2 rim of cocktail glass. Combine all ingredients in martini shaker. Shake well and pour all contents into your cocktail glass. Add a slice of lime. Drink up buttercup.



We had an amazing weekend drinking, riding quads, relaxing in the hot tub, eating too much, shooting guns…but let’s just say I’m happy to be back to reality with makeup on, hair curled and snuggling in my own bed.
Can you see him?


Photobucket