Saturday, March 30, 2013

Saturday Sippers in The Locker

Saturday Sippers in The Locker
Ahoy Fellow Fathomers! Welcome to the feature here in The Locker called Saturday Sippers. Each week I’ll post a new skinny cocktail recipe for you to try. Many thinks to my Cali Bestie, Rhonda, for providing me with the deck of cards recipe book. J
This weekend is a special tribute to Easter. I celebrate Easter for a much bigger reason and it is actually a solemn occasion for the week leading up to a special Easter Sunday. However, the secular celebration of Easter conjures up images of bunnies, carrots, Easter eggs, and candy. In honor of the secular observance of Easter, here’s a spin on the margarita.
CARROT CAKE MARGARITA!
1  oz carrot juice
½ oz red grapefruit juice
½ oz lemon juice
1 t agave nectar
1 ½ oz blue agave tequila
Garnish with lemon and lime

Combine all ingredients, shake and strain over ice into margarita glass rimmed with sugar.  Garnish with lemon and lime slices-float a baby carrot if you feel hoppy. Calories 162!

Saturday, March 23, 2013

Saturday Sippers in The Locker

Saturday Sippers in The Locker
Ahoy Fellow Fathomers! Welcome to the feature here in The Locker called Saturday Sippers. Each week I’ll post a new skinny cocktail recipe for you to try. Many thinks to my Cali Bestie, Rhonda, for providing me with the deck of cards recipe book. J
I don’t know about you guys, but, I’m still trying to recover from last weekend and St. Patrick’s Day.  Oh, the Guinness, the fun, the corned beef, whiskey, and ibuprofen. Let’s go with something light today…
SKINNY ICED TEA!
1 oz sweet tea vodka
Sugar free lemonade
Lime wedge for garnish

Fill glass with ice, pour vodka. Top with light lemonade. Garnish with lime wedge. Calories 70!

Saturday, March 16, 2013

Saturday Sippers in The Locker-St Patrick's Day Edition

Saturday Sippers in The Locker
Ahoy Fellow Fathomers! Welcome to the feature here in The Locker called Saturday Sippers. This week I deviate from a new skinny cocktail recipe for you to try- in lieu of something more fitting for St. Patrick’s Day.
·         St. Patrick’s Day is observed on March 17 because that is the feast day of St. Patrick, the patron saint of Ireland. It is believed that he died on March 17 in the year 461 AD. It is also a worldwide celebration of Irish culture and history. St. Patrick’s Day is a national holiday in Ireland, and a provincial holiday in the Canadian province of Newfoundland and Labrador.
·         The actual color of St. Patrick is blue. Green became associated with St. Patrick's Day during the 19th century. Green, in Irish legends, was worn by fairies and immortals, and also by people to encourage their crops to grow.
·         St. Patrick did not actually drive snakes out of Ireland; the snakes represent the pagans that he converted to Christianity.
·         The very first St. Patrick's Day parade was not in Ireland. It was in Boston in 1737.
·         In Chicago, on St. Patrick's Day, the rivers are dyed green. Mayor Daley is also of Irish descent.
·         In Seattle, there is a ceremony where a green stripe is painted down the roads.
·         Most Catholics attend mass in the morning and then attend the St. Patrick's Day parade.
·         Shamrocks are worn on the lapel on this day.
·         In Ireland on St. Patrick’s Day, people traditionally wear a small bunch of shamrocks on their jackets or caps. Children wear orange, white and green badges, and women and girls wear green ribbons in their hair
·         Many young people dye their hair green for the special day.
·         Many people wear green on this holiday to avoid being pinched.
·         The phrase, "Drowning The Shamrock" is from the custom of floating the shamrock on the top of whiskey before drinking it. The Irish believe that if you keep the custom, then you will have a prosperous year.
·         Many bars in the United States, and abroad, serve green beer to celebrate St. Patty's Day.
·         Lucky Charms, a favorite cereal brand among many, young and old, was created in 1963, with its popular mascot, Lucky the Leprechaun. Its jig is a memorable tune for many, including the young at heart:
Hearts, Stars, and Horseshoes
Clovers and Blue moons
Pots of gold and rainbows,
And the red balloon
That’s the luck of me lucky charms!
Their magically delicious!

Kiss Me I'm Irish
Drink Type: Cocktail - K
Ingredients
Instructions
Shake with ice and strain into a martini glass.

St. Paddy Appletini
Drink Type: Martini - S
Ingredients
Instructions
Shake with ice and strain into a martini glass.
Shamrock Shaker
1½ oz. Familia Camarena Reposado Tequila
½ oz. sour apple liqueur
¼ oz. agave nectar
2 oz. lime juice
Combine all ingredients in a shaker filled with ice. Shake vigorously, strain into a martini glass, and garnish with thinly-sliced green apples.


Emerald Crush

2 oz. Blue Ice Organic Wheat Vodka
½ kiwi
½ lime
1 tsp. sugar
Peel kiwi and cut lime into quarters. Muddle fruit and sugar in a shaker until well crushed and juicy. Add ice and vodka, and shake vigorously. Pour all contents into a glass and drink with a straw.

LAST BUT NOT LEAST and MY PERSONAL FAVORITE!
THE IRISH CAR BOMB
Irish Car Bomb is one of the most popular drinks worldwide. The ingredients are simple and widely available, and beer lovers will almost certainly enjoy it. If you ask for one of these in an Irish pub you'll be greeted with either a smile, or a black eye. Enjoy!

Add the Bailey's and Jameson to a shot glass, layering the Bailey's on the bottom. Pour the Guinness into a pint glass or beer mug 3/4 of the way full and let settle. Drop the shot glass into the Guinness and chug. If you don't drink it fast enough it will curdle and increasingly taste worse.

Just Like an Infomercial....There's MORE!  But, wait!

OM GOODNESS, shiver me timbers! How about these to top off St Paddy’s Day??

Irish Car Bomb CUPCAKES from the Brown Eyed Baker

1. To Make the Cupcakes: Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Line 24 cupcake cups with liners. Bring the Guinness and butter to a simmer in a heavy, medium saucepan over medium heat. Add the cocoa powder and whisk until the mixture is smooth. Cool slightly.
2. Whisk the flour, sugar, baking soda and salt in a large bowl to combine. Using an electric mixer, beat the eggs and sour cream on medium speed until combined. Add the Guinness-chocolate mixture to the egg mixture and beat just to combine. Reduce the speed to low, add the flour mixture and beat briefly. Using a rubber spatula, fold the batter until completely combined. Divide the batter among the cupcake liners. Bake until a thin knife inserted into the center comes out clean, about 17 minutes. Cool the cupcakes on a rack.
3. To Make the Whiskey Ganache Filling: Finely chop the chocolate and transfer it to a heatproof bowl. Heat the cream until simmering and pour it over the chocolate. Let it sit for one minute and then, using a rubber spatula, stir it from the center outward until smooth. Add the butter and whiskey and stir until combined. Let the ganache cool until thick but still soft enough to be piped.
4. To Fill the Cupcakes: Using a 1-inch round cookie cutter (or the bottom of a large decorating tip), cut the centers out of the cooled cupcakes, going about two-thirds of the way down. Transfer the ganache to a piping back with a wide tip and fill the holes in each cupcake to the top.
5. To Make the Baileys Frosting: Using the whisk attachment of a stand mixer, whip the butter on medium-high speed for 5 minutes, scraping the sides of the bowl occasionally. Reduce the speed to medium-low and gradually add the powdered sugar until all of it is incorporated. Add the Baileys, increase the speed to medium-high and whip for another 2 to 3 minutes, until it is light and fluffy.
6. Using your favorite decorating tip, or an offset spatula, frost the cupcakes and decorate with sprinkles, if desired. Store the cupcakes in an airtight container.
(Recipe adapted from Smitten Kitchen)
Ingredients:
For the Cupcakes:
1 cup Guinness stout
1 cup unsalted butter, at room temperature
¾ cup Dutch-process cocoa powder
2 cups all-purpose flour
2 cups granulated sugar
1½ teaspoons baking soda
¾ teaspoons salt
2 eggs
2/3 cup sour cream

For the Whiskey Ganache Filling:
8 ounces bittersweet chocolate
2/3 cup heavy cream
2 tablespoons butter, at room temperature
2 teaspoons Irish whiskey

For the Baileys Frosting:
2 cups unsalted butter, at room temperature
5 cups powdered sugar
6 tablespoons Bailey's Irish Cream

Directions:
1. To Make the Cupcakes: Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Line 24 cupcake cups with liners. Bring the Guinness and butter to a simmer in a heavy, medium saucepan over medium heat. Add the cocoa powder and whisk until the mixture is smooth. Cool slightly.

2. Whisk the flour, sugar, baking soda and salt in a large bowl to combine. Using an electric mixer, beat the eggs and sour cream on medium speed until combined. Add the Guinness-chocolate mixture to the egg mixture and beat just to combine. Reduce the speed to low, add the flour mixture and beat briefly. Using a rubber spatula, fold the batter until completely combined. Divide the batter among the cupcake liners. Bake until a thin knife inserted into the center comes out clean, about 17 minutes. Cool the cupcakes on a rack.

3. To Make the Whiskey Ganache Filling: Finely chop the chocolate and transfer it to a heatproof bowl. Heat the cream until simmering and pour it over the chocolate. Let it sit for one minute and then, using a rubber spatula, stir it from the center outward until smooth. Add the butter and whiskey and stir until combined. Let the ganache cool until thick but still soft enough to be piped.

4. To Fill the Cupcakes: Using a 1-inch round cookie cutter (or the bottom of a large decorating tip), cut the centers out of the cooled cupcakes, going about two-thirds of the way down. Transfer the ganache to a piping back with a wide tip and fill the holes in each cupcake to the top.

5. To Make the Baileys Frosting: Using the whisk attachment of a stand mixer, whip the butter on medium-high speed for 5 minutes, scraping the sides of the bowl occasionally. Reduce the speed to medium-low and gradually add the powdered sugar until all of it is incorporated. Add the Baileys, increase the speed to medium-high and whip for another 2 to 3 minutes, until it is light and fluffy.

6. Using your favorite decorating tip, or an offset spatula, frost the cupcakes and decorate with sprinkles, if desired. Store the cupcakes in an airtight container.

(Recipe adapted from Smitten Kitchen)

---I hope to see you again in a few days…maybe…if I get through all of these by the luck o’ the Irish. Be with me my Irish ancestors….lol

Thursday, March 14, 2013

Saturday Sippers in The Locker- on Thursday

Saturday Sippers in The Locker on Thursday
Ahoy Fellow Fathomers! Welcome to the feature here in The Locker called Saturday Sippers. Each week I’ll post a new skinny cocktail recipe for you to try. Many thinks to my Cali Bestie, Rhonda, for providing me with the deck of cards recipe book. J
Saturday Sippers in The Locker makes sense, as drinking was a large part of a pirate’s existence. As taken from The Pirates Realm, please see the following descriptions:
  • Arrack - A strong drink made with fermented fruit or palm sap, rice, or molasses.
  • Black Jack - Large drinking cups made of leather that were made stiffer with an application of tar.
  • Bumboo - A drink of the West Indies made with watered rum and flavored with sugar and nutmeg.
  • Grog - The nickname of a British admiral was applied to a mix of water and rum, the rum was a cheap antiseptic and flavor mask for the spoiled water that sailors often encountered while at sea.
  • Hogshead- A large barrel or cask holding 63 to 140 gallons, usually referring to alcohol.
  • Rumfustian - Raw eggs mixed with beer and liquor...NOT the breakfast of pirate champions.
UGH!!  I promise you, the drink recipes I provide will be much more appealing!
Without further ado, the next recipes will be in honor of St Patrick’s Day and whiskey! Top O’ the Evenin’ to you!
LEAN WHISKEY SOUR!
1 ½ oz whiskey
1 ½ oz lemon juice
1 ½ oz water
Liquid artificial sweetener equivalent to 3 T sugar
lime wedge for garnish
Pour ingredients into a cocktail shaker half-full of ice. Shake what your momma gave you, shaker in hand. Strain into glass and garnish with a lime wedge. Calories 106!


Wednesday, March 13, 2013

Reflected in You by Sylvia Day - Review


Reflected in You by Sylvia Day

Book Review WITH SPOILERS

Ahoy Fellow Fathomers! Today in The Locker I offer my book review for Reflected in You by Sylvia Day. I read this book rather quickly, finishing it in a couple of days. The book held my interest as I read.

I looked forward to the sequel of Bared to You, the Cary situation left me hanging waiting for this installment. I cared about him and it concerned me how he would come out of the situation that ended the first book in this series. I almost felt there was more character development for Cary than there was between Eva and Gideon.

Eva and Gideon shared several hot scenes. However, I appreciated that instead of more sex scenes, this book had more situations that did not revolve around sex. For me, a book needs to have sex to add to the storyline, not BE the storyline. Otherwise, that’s just cheesy porn. Eva and Gideon had more discussions and shared more intimacies with conversation and I liked that aspect. My favorite was the beach house portion of the book, they connected and I felt the love between them.

When it came to the stepbrother, Nathan, I liked he got what he deserved by the end. It bothered me that Eva’s mom knew Nathan was in town and didn’t tell Eva. When Eva finally found out her mother knew, they never addressed the issue, and ignored it completely. Why would her mother not warn her? Why did Eva just let that go? Instead of treating Eva like an adult, many around her want to shield her from reality when that is completely irresponsible. Gideon does this as well, making me doubt their relationship will ever work.

I did appreciate how Ms. Day wrote in the scene between Eva’s father, Victor and her mother. I felt the tension and the unrequited love they shared. I also felt the sorrow and it broke my heart of this example of how love is not always enough. But, it does make Eva’s mother appear to be a greedy shrew- choosing money over true love. Not an admirable trait in my book; however, it happens all the time in this world.

I love the introduction of Brett in to the equation. As a formidable opponent for Eva’s love, he just might give Gideon a run for his money. Brett did write a song for Eva…and Golden is worth Gideon’s millions in my book. I appreciate he is not letting go of Eva so easily.

The ending of the book felt rushed and all this buildup to Gideon’s past and abuse took up all of a couple of pages. Really??  This is a huge part of his emotional, relationship, and mental health and the final revelation was trite and hurried over.

A couple of housekeeping issues. It may not occur on everyone’s download, but, I kept getting this header title and broken line across several pages throughout the book. Must have been a formatting glitch? I know this occurs occasionally and did not lend to my final opinion of the book. The other issue is the price. I do not believe this installment was worth 9.99. I received an Amazon gift card, the only reason I bought the book at this time. These first two books could have easily been one.

Overall I give this book 3 snowflakes. I enjoyed it, but, feel lukewarm about the characters and their outcome.

Thursday, March 7, 2013

Just Desserts Tasty Blog Hop - Secret Cravings Publishing

Ahoy Fellow Fathomers and welcome to The Locker for a tasty dessert treat. Please also visit my fellow SCP authors for your chance to win several prizes and find some decadent recipes. My recipe today is a tried and true breakfast favorite I've shared many times with my loved ones. I ate this delicious variation at a restaurant in Denver, CO and decided to make my own recipe to serve from my kitchen.  I even won a cooking contest and my recipe was featured in our electric co-op magazine publication. You can win something TOO-- Comment below for your entry for a $10 SCP gift certificate!  Enjoy!

Frisky French Toast

1 pint strawberries*
2 tablespoons plus additional sugar

4 slices cinnamon swirl bread

4 eggs

1/4 cup milk

2 teaspoons cinnamon

4 slices Canadian bacon

2 slices baby Swiss cheese

Powdered sugar
Slice strawberries and add just enough sugar to create a natural strawberry syrup from the juices. Let stand. Mix eggs with milk, cinnamon and sugar in shallow bowl. Dip each slice of bread in egg mixture, fully coating both sides. Fry in skillet lightly coated with cooking spray until lightly browned. Add Canadian bacon to skillet and cook until warmed through. Immediately layer two slices bacon and slice of cheese between warm French toast. Put on plate and top with strawberries and enough syrup to drip over sides. Dust with powdered sugar.
*Prepared frozen strawberries can be substituted when fresh are not available. After thawing, the strawberries have a great natural syrup.

You're just getting started! Please visit the main blog for links to other great Just Desserts experiences! Happy reading, cooking eating and winning!!  Secret Cravings Blogspot for Just Desserts


Tuesday, March 5, 2013

Bigfoot is in The Locker for Tuesday Tales

Ahoy Fellow Fathomers! Happy Tuesday and time for another edition of Tuesday Tales. This week I take you  to the second in my Critter Getter series, WIP, Finding Love and Bigfoot.   I present the word prompt, "green":

"Leandra perched once again with her laptop investigating her new obsession- Bigfoot. “Did you know there have been sightings all over the country?” She asked Kalista, while chomping on a green apple candy rod. “Owen was right, the only place not having a sighting is Hawaii.”

“Old-fashioned stick candy, huh? What gives…where’s your stash?” Kalista demanded, her focus obviously toward something sweeter than internet surfing. “Got a root beer one?” She rooted around in a kitchen drawer. “All that’s in here is miscellaneous receipts, some take out menus, and random batteries.”

“Nope, they are in the cabinet, behind the ramen noodles. I figured they would be safe there since you rarely eat those.” Leandra jokingly gave up her hiding spot.

“You just think you’re sneaky. I would have figured it out.” She walked toward her best friend, partially unwrapping the vacuumed sealed cellophane, uncovering the top-half of the light brown treat. The almost dreamy, sated look on her face spoke volumes of delight. “Taste bud heaven…” she warbled around the simple pleasure firmly entrenched in her mouth. “Where’d you get these again?”

“The little store up the street has them…tons of flavors. Now, I just gotta figure out which ones you don’t like.” Leandra almost smirked, continuing to tease her best friend.

“Like it’s possible to find one I wouldn’t like. Try, girlfriend, just try.”        

“I’ll just find a better hiding place.” Leandra redirected her attention to the online research. “This Bigfoot phenomenon is wildly popular. There are tons of TV shows and everything. It’s the new reality craze.”

“Duck Dynasty, move over.” Kalista hooked her thumb in an outta here move. “Okay, you and Owen both said every state has had sightings. How come we never heard of anything in Illinois?”

“I don’t know, probably because we had our heads buried in books and facts. There have even been reports in Cook County. So, not just our state, bestie, but the county we lived in.”

“Bigfoot in Chicago, Illinois? That’s preposterous.”

""Now that you've read my contribution to TT, please visit my creative friends over at our main blog, Tuesday Tales for their take on the word prompt "green". 

Saturday, March 2, 2013

Saturday Sippers in The Locker

Saturday Sippers in The Locker
Ahoy Fellow Fathomers! Welcome to the feature here in The Locker called Saturday Sippers. Each week I’ll post a new skinny cocktail recipe for you to try. Many thinks to my Cali Bestie, Rhonda, for providing me with the deck of cards recipe book. J
Saturday Sippers in The Locker makes sense, as drinking was a large part of a pirate’s existence. As taken from The Pirates Realm, please see the following descriptions:
  • Arrack - A strong drink made with fermented fruit or palm sap, rice, or molasses.
  • Black Jack - Large drinking cups made of leather that were made stiffer with an application of tar.
  • Bumboo - A drink of the West Indies made with watered rum and flavored with sugar and nutmeg.
  • Grog - The nickname of a British admiral was applied to a mix of water and rum, the rum was a cheap antiseptic and flavor mask for the spoiled water that sailors often encountered while at sea.
  • Hogshead- A large barrel or cask holding 63 to 140 gallons, usually referring to alcohol.
  • Rumfustian - Raw eggs mixed with beer and liquor...NOT the breakfast of pirate champions.
UGH!!  I promise you, the drink recipes I provide will be much more appealing!
Without further ado, the next recipe is delightful in honor of my publisher, Secret Cravings Publishing, home in Tennessee!
LYNCHBURG LEMONADE!
1 ½ oz whiskey
2 T lemon juice
1 T lime juice
A few drops orange extract
1 c diet lemon-lime soda
Pour ingredients into a glass. Add ice and stir. Garnish with a lemon slice. Calories 107!