Happy Hour @ 1102

National Margarita Day

Well, who knew ,  (Besides my BFF and her brain full of useless information ), that Wednesday February 22nd was National Margarita Day.   Not like you need a special time to have a good Margarita.  But I will be putting it on my calendar, to remind me of this classic cocktail at least once a year.

So this week’s Happy Hour @ 1102 Cocktail is the Margarita – Enjoy!

Classic Margartia

INGREDIENTS

  • Salt, for rimming the glass (optional)
  • Ice
  • 1 1/2 ounces tequila (blanco, 100 percent agave)
  • 1 ounce freshly squeezed lime juice
  • 1/2 ounce Cointreau (not Triple Sec)

INSTRUCTIONS

  1. If using salt, place in a shallow dish. Moisten the rim of a margarita glass with the juice of  a lime wedge.  Then dip in salt.
  2. Fill a shaker with ice; add tequila, lime juice, and Cointreau; shake a few times until chilled.  Pour in salt rimmed glass and serve immediately.
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Published in: on February 24, 2012 at 9:16 am  Leave a Comment  

My Whitney Tribute

As I watch the funeral services for Whitney Houston – I decided to post my own personal Tribute to a woman I didn’t know personally, but that I feel sad about today knowing that she is gone.

Watching her services reminds me of home, It reminds me of my church where I grew up and everyone knows me.  It reminds me of friends, those still living and those like Whitney who have gone on. I listen to her friends and family talk about her life, and I smile, as I listen to stories that only those who know you well can tell, and I’m wiping my eyes and sniffling as I hear the sadness in there voices for there love one that is gone.

Her First Album

But, I grew up with Whitney’s Music, I had all her albums (yeah albums – that’s they way it started).  I’ve seen all her movies.  They are among my favorites.  Coincidentally this Christmas I watched all three, (look back at those Christmas Blogs).  The Preachers Wife – for Christmas, Waiting the Exhale – My New Year’s Eve Movie.  I bought The Bodyguard as one of my Christmas presents to myself.

So, this afternoon as I cook, make cocktails, do a little cleaning, and enjoy a rare Saturday off, I will put on those Whitney CD’s, and sing my heart out.  After dinner I will put in The Body Guard, followed by Waiting to Exhale, and then maybe even The Preachers Wife.

I will be glad, because the Whitney I knew personally, is all on CD, DVD, tape, film, and the internet. I can see and enjoy her anytime.  I look forward to her final gift to us, her public, her movie Sparkle.

So Whitney, Here’s to You.  Thank you for sharing your talent with the world.  RIP-We’ll miss you.

Published in: on February 18, 2012 at 1:42 pm  Leave a Comment  

Happy Hour @ 1102

BLOOD ORANGE MARGARITA

As I wrote this, (about 3 weeks ago), I had purchased my first blood oranges.  I was in Sprouts and saw them.  I’ve seen many drinks with blood oranges lately, and they always look so pretty and  refreshing.  Well first thing, blood oranges were expensive, about $1.79 a pound, but I bought 2 anyway. Since they were so expensive, I thought, what will I do with them, and the first thing that came to mind was a drink.

So, I came home and goggled blood oranges, and 3 drinks came up over and over.   Blood Orange Martini, Blood Orange Cosmos, and Blood Orange Margarita.  Since I had a brand new bottle of tequila on the shelf, I figured Margarita’s it is.  Wow, was this drink good.  Unfortunately I knew before I mixed it, that my 2 little oranges were not going to produce enough juice for me to have my fill of this drink – but as I sit here with this buzz from the first one, it was well worth the $1.79 and I would splurge on this fruit again.

The drink recipe I finally settled on led me to a blog, ( You gotta love bloggers), “White on Rice Couple” .  You must click and read the post for this recipe.  I was so jealous that they have a blood orange tree in their own backyard, which means they can make an abundance of this cocktail.

As an extra little bonus, I’ve given you another link to a separate post from them.  When trying to find the original Blood Orange Margarita recipe I found an older post for a Blood Orange sidecar that they affectionately call Midnighte Ride.  The pictures that both post show of their oranges will make your mouth water.  OK, I’ve rambled more that I usually do on a Happy Hour Post, but I guess you know,  I LOVED THIS COCKTAIL.  Here’s the recipe from Todd & Diane.   Enjoy!

Blood Orange Margarita Recipe


The acidity of  fresh blood orange juice in this margarita is outstanding. The bright, tart flavors of blood orange makes a brilliantly colored cocktail and not to mention very refreshing too.

3 oz fresh Blood Orange Juice
2 oz Tequila (for recommendations see comments on Meyer Lemon Margarita post)
1 oz  Triple Sec
splash of agave nectar (syrup) (optional yet fantastic suggestion from Brooke-who is a kick ass bartender)

1. Rub the rim of an old fashioned glass (or whatever similar vessel you prefer) with an edge of a blood orange slice.  Swirl the rim through a small pile of kosher or sea salt to salt the rim.

2. Combine all ingredients into a cocktail shaker, add ice and shake for 15 seconds.

3. Put a few cubes of ice in your glass.  Strain the cocktail into the glass and enjoy.

I rimmed my glass with the juice of a lime.  It’s a Margarita and I was not about to waste 1 drop of juice from my blood oranges on the glass.  I also didn’t have the agave nectar.  Mine was in a Martini glass which allowed me to have 2 considering my limited quantity.

Post Note:  It’s 3 weeks later and I’m posting this.  I’ve been drinking these for the past 3 weeks.  I have bought blood oranges by the bag full.  Not as expensive as I first thought – lol – and yes I will be having them again this evening with you for Happy Hour @ 1102.  Enjoy!

Published in: on February 17, 2012 at 9:00 am  Leave a Comment  

Soup’s on @ 1102

Last Week’s Soup:   Pizza Soup

My Rating:  **** 4 out of 5

Comments:  This turned out great.  I made it on Wednesday, and had it for my own Personal Super Bowl Week.  It was very tasty, and warmed up well for lunches, was good for dinner, and I made Buffalo Chicken Wing Eggrolls to go with it.  (You’ll have to keep a look out for that recipe in a future blog.)  I’m sorry I didn’t post last week.  It was saved, but I guess I didn’t schedule.  No worries, I need a break from soups,  I need to clear out my freezer and eat some of my stored concoctions up.   Enjoy, this is a keeper!

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Broccoli and Bread Soup

Ingredients

1 1/2 pounds broccoli spears

1 3/4 quarts chicken or vegetable stock

1 tablespoon lemon juice

salt and freshly ground black pepper

1.   Using a small, sharp knife, peel the broccoli stems, starting from the base and pulling gently up toward the flowerets:  The peel should come off easily.  Chop the broccoli into small chunks.  (I skipped the peeling part.  I cut the stems into chucks saved some for the soup and threw the rest into my vegtable stock pot)

2.   Bring the stock to a boil in a large saucepan.  Add the broccoli and simmer for about 10 minutes until soft.

3.   Puree about half of the soup and stir into the rest of the soup.  Season with salt, pepper, and lemon juice.

4.   Reheat the soup.  Toast the bread, rub with garlic, and cut into quarters.  Place 3 or 4 pieces of toast in the bottom of each soup bowl.  Ladle the soup over.  Serve at once, with Parmesan if  liked.

Published in: on February 15, 2012 at 9:00 am  Leave a Comment  

Happy Hour @ 1102

Pomegranate Champagne Cocktail

With Valentine Day right around the corner – I thought this pretty red drink made with Champagne was just perfect for this weeks Happy Hour.  So try it today,  see if you like it, make any adjustments and surprise your valentine on Tuesday evening by meeting them at the door with a glass of this in your hand.  Happy V Day – Enjoy!

Pomegranate Champagne Cocktail

Ingredients

1  ounce chilled pomegranate juice or chilled cranberry juice (2 tablespoons)

ounces chilled champagne (6 tablespoons)

Directions

Pour the pomegranate juice into a champagne flute.  Slowly add champagne.  Serve immediately. Makes 1 serving.

Published in: on February 10, 2012 at 9:00 am  Leave a Comment  

What I’m Reading – A Song of Ice & Fire

A Game of  Thrones

Currently I am reading A Game of Thrones.  This is my kind of book.  It’s an on-going saga.  It’s long, it’s detailed, and it has a long list of characters for me to love and hate.  I have the first 3 books that a friend lent to me.  Of course I am totally hooked now.

There is a TV show as well.  I have not yet seen the show.  Though it won’t be long.  My group of  “Thronies” (friends that have read the book and watch the series), have promised me a day to go through all 10 episodes so that I can catch up before season 2 starts.  (They wouldn’t want me to miss out on those Game of Thrones house parties)

*    *    *    *    *    *    *    *    *    *    *    *    *

Well since I wrote the first part of this post, I am now halfway through book 2, A Clash of Kings.

This tale of the seven kingdoms continues, with some of our characters from book 1 gone, introductions to new characters, and a war that has the 7 kingdoms with more than one king.  I watched all of season one, except the last episode which I will watch tonite or tomorrow.  Yeah, I know what’s going to happen, but I must say HBO did a great job of putting this book to TV.  Now as a reader, I love the detail that you get from a book, but if you are just watching the show you have an excellent rendition of The Wall, Winterfell, Kings Landing, The Starks, The Lannisters and House Baratheon.

There are lots of tidbits that are missed in the TV series, and some changes,  but they don’t diminish the story.  Plus we readers get to keep some knowledge for ourselves.  But I am throughly enjoying these books.

If you like knights and castles, and intrigue, magic and dragons,  spying, back stabbing, witches and warlocks,  loves gained, and loves lost, some for good reasons and some for bad, and an all around fight for power,  you’ll love these books.

Published in: on February 9, 2012 at 9:00 am  Leave a Comment  

Happy Hour @ 1102

New Old Fashioned

I figured I’d like to keep with the Zodiac theme that I started in January.  So here is February’s Zodiac Cocktail for all my Aquarius friends.

Aquarius (January 23-February 18)
Oprah Winfrey, Charles Dickens, John Travolta and Alice Walker all share your sign, Water Bearer. With your innovative and visionary personality, you want something different in a drink. The New Fashioned, blended with full-bodied-yet-super-smooth Crown Royal Whisky, is a new twist on an old favorite.

New Fashioned

1 ounce Crown Royal
¼ ounce simple syrup
½ ounce almond liqueur or Amaretto
1 to 3 dashes of bitters

Stir ingredients in rocks glass with ice. Strain into fresh rocks glass, serve up with a twist.

Published in: on February 3, 2012 at 9:00 am  Leave a Comment  

Soup’s On @ 1102

Last Weeks Soup:   Mushroom Soup

My Rating:    ***      3 out of 5

Comments:   This was ok.  I remember it being better the first time I made it.  The best thing about this one, was it had lots of mushrooms, which I love.  I did add a few more that the receipe called for.  It did warm up well, and it was good for lunches during the week.

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While sitting in the lunch room a while back, one of my co-workers was eating soup that his wife had packed in his lunch.  It smelled so good.  I asked him what kind it was?  He said he didn’t know,  just something his wife put in.  (MEN?!?)  But I looked at it and said, “It smells like pizza!”  It had pepperoni, and I could smell oregano, and italian seasonings in the tomato based soup.  Well, in a couple days he said, that he asked his wife and it was Pizza Soup.  She had got the recipe from a co-worker and she would send it to me.

Well, with Superbowl Sunday this week, I am going to postpone my regularly scheduled soup for this week.  Don’t worry it will be here next week.  I figured in honor of Superbowl – Pizza Soup sounded like a good selection.  Now I never got that recipe from work, so I looked one up.  After checking out several, I chose this crockpot one – because during Superbowl you want something that can stay warm, and that you don’t have to fuss over while you’re trying to watch the game.  It works well, on a buffet.

PIZZA SOUP

Ingredients

1 jar (14 oz) of pizza sauce
3 empty jars full of water
1 green bell pepper, seeded and chopped
1/2 red onion, chopped
1 cup sliced mushrooms
1 cup tomatoes, cut in quarters (or 1 can diced tomatoes, drained)
2 Italian sausage cooked
1 cup sliced pepperoni, sliced in quarters
8 fresh basil leaves, chopped (or 1/2 T dried)
1 T dried oregano
1/2  cup dried pasta
shredded mozzarella cheese (to add later)

Directions

Use a 5 or 6 quart crockpot for this recipe. Serves 8

Wash and prepare veggies. Dump them into the crockpot.

Take sausage out of skin and brown.  (Do a loose chop for bite size sausage pieces).   Add to crockpot.

Add pepperoni,  basil and oregano.  Pour in the pizza sauce, and follow with three empty jars of water.

Cover and cook on low for 4-6 hours.  Everything in this is already cooked, so you are really only heating through and allowing the flavors to meld.

Thirty minutes before serving, add the dry pasta, and turn to high.

Garnish/top with shredded mozzarella cheese for serving.

(Just like pizza you can add what ever you want.  All veggies, No Mushrooms,  Hot Peppers, have fun with it)

Some cheesy garlic bread makes a nice accompaniment.

SUPERBOWL PREDICTIONS – Any one but New England.  Sooooooo

GO GIANTS!

Published in: on February 1, 2012 at 9:00 am  Leave a Comment  

My Virtual Reality – Books

One of my many interest that I promised to exploit through this blog, was movies and reading.  I realized the area that I have shared the least is my love of books and reading.  You wouldn’t be able to tell from my blog, but I read almost everyday, and read over 70 books lasts year, on my then newly aquired kindle.

So, I tried to think of  a catchy name for my book post on my blogs – I’m leaning toward “My Virtual Reality”.  Why? ? ?  Cause I get lost in a book.  I read to get away from every day life.  A good book calls me to find out what my characters – virtual new friends – are doing next.  How they get out of whatever scrape they are in.  Did they find Mr./Mrs. Right.  Do they stay together.

I like a lot of different genres, from romance (of course),  to science fiction, detective to smut, from futuristic to kings and queens of old.  I love Sagas, long books with on-going characters, or generations.  The more detail the better.

So look for my book reviews and discussions.  I love the opportunity to “talk” a book with a fellow reader.

Published in: on January 30, 2012 at 12:00 pm  Leave a Comment  

Happy Hour @ 1102

Dandy Shandy

Now, I’m not a beer drinker, which is why this is probably the first beer based drink on Happy Hour @ 1102.   But if I do drink beer, I prefer a dark beer.  So this recipe joined with my favored ginger beer, sounded like a good combination.  We’ll see . . .

Dandy Shandy

Ingredients

  • ounces good quality dark stout or porter beer (or nonalcoholic beer) (1/2 cup)
  • ounces chilled ginger ale or ginger beer (1/2 cup)

Directions

Place dark stout beer in a serving glass.

Pour ginger ale atop. Makes 1 (8-ounce) serving.

Nutrition facts:  Calories 97, Protein 1 gm , Carbohydrate 16 gm, Sugar 11 gm, Sodium (mg) 12,

Published in: on January 27, 2012 at 9:00 am  Leave a Comment